Category Archives: Video Assignments

Most Heartwarming Advertisement Ever

A year and a half ago, Gillette Razors released this short video, but it took me a year to discover it in my social media feed. It is probably the most heartwarming “commercial” I have ever seen. It is a perfect example of short-form digital storytelling. I often give an assignment to my students called mini-documentary and going forward I plan to show this to my students as an example of how it is done well.

The pacing, the lighting, the sound, the music and the story all flow effortlessly. It quickly draws the viewer in and you become absorbed in the story. That, my friends, is good storytelling. Please watch first, then come back and read what else I have to say after the video.

Did you watch the video? Read no further until you do. I will wait…

You’re back? It is really good, right? Ok, I have more to say, but that will come in another post. Click here to continue…

Happy 50th Star Trek!

Fifty years ago, one of the best television shows ever made was first aired – Star Trek! We love Star Trek at my house. A few years ago I made this video of myself and I thought it appropriate for today.

But then I saw this tweet:

So we made this video in our Digital Media class. Sulu, get those shields up!

Thanks to Paul Bond for sharing the idea with us and the commentary. http://blog.raptnrent.me/2016/09/08/awesome-moments-of-spontaneous-creativity/

PS I made a vector of Spock in celebration of Star Trek 50 too!

Spock Vector Drawing

Napoleon Gifs

Pull me to town Tina you fat lard

Tonight, I did the Say It Like Peanut Butter assignment on DS106. I used to make a lot of animated gifs, but have gotten away from the practice. But apparently, ,the tools have gotten a lot better. I used Photoshop CS6 to do mine. I actually have Photoshop CS5 and CC on my Macbook, but either of these gave me an error saying that video import was not supported on Mac. For some reason, the CS6 version was happy to import a video clip.

For my 2 gifs, I chose scenes from Napoleon Dynamite. My kids & I love this movie, but my wife, and plenty of other people just don’t “get” it. To me, it is a lot like a non-sensical Monty Python film, but come to think of it, my wife doesn’t care for those either. It takes a special brand of humor, I think.

As for my process, since it’s been a while, I googled for an animated gif tutorial and found this one that told me what I needed to know.

*** Edit – Ok, I looked at this and decided I could tell you a bit more about the process I used. I was in a hurry and wanted to get this post made, but I’ll tell you more here.

I used Handbrake to rip the movie DVD. Handbrake is hands-down the best tool I’ve used to make a video file from a DVD. It’s free, and simple to use. It works on Mac, Windows and Linux.

Once I got the entire film into a digital file, I brought it into my favorite editor for quick video projects, Camtasia. It is $179 with an education discount, but really powerful andwell worth it if you make a lot of video projects. It is best known for screen capture, but also has a really nice, simple-to-use editor. If I needed to, I could have skipped the Handbrake step and just recorded the scenes I wanted directly from the DVD in Camtasia.

But I already had the fully ripped film so I brought it into Camtasia, and edited it down to the scenes I wanted to use. I rendered to a new file a smaller video that had only these scenes. Once I had this digital file, I imported it into Photoshop using the “import as layers” command. After it was in Photoshop, under the “Window” menu, I selected “Timeline” so the video frames were visible. From there, I deleted any frames I didn’t want, and used “File -> Save For Web” to save the project as an animated GIF.