Final Video Story

Of all the four units we’ve worked on this semester, it’s video that I’m most familiar with. While I don’t shoot and edit video much for work, I love to dabble in it as a hobby (when I can find time). For this project, I wanted to touch upon water conservation. In earlier projects, I covered energy conservation, but water is also part of my work outreach as well.

I decided on creating a public service announcement (PSA) on saving water. It’s a cross between an informational video and a promotional one. However, the best approach I wanted to take was at a “point-of-view” stance after watching a Reuter’s video on Youtube. I also purchased a GoPro camera last year and thought it would be a great opportunity to put it to use.

I’m almost never in front of the camera but for this video shoot, I knew I was the only talent that could do it. So, I enlisted my capable husband to be behind the camera. I borrowed my office’s camera equipment mainly because it came with a wireless microphone. This video was shot with a Canon VIXIA HG G30 digital video camera and my GoPro Hero4 action camera.

I created a script based off an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) brochure I have in the office. We went to the beach park after work to film but we lost the sunlight in a short amount of time. We had to continue filming at a different location a couple of days later.

Filming the GoPro shots was actually tons of fun. There’s this really cool option to use their GoPro app when filming. It made it very easy to set up the camera shot in the planter and in the washing machine with the GoPro.

When it was finally time for editing, organization was my best friend. With so many takes, I had to set up bins to make sense of all the clips. I organized bins by camera, then scene, and what was usable and not. That made editing “easier” in terms of having to sift through numerous clips.

After some feedback from my peers with my draft video, I attempted to lower the background noise of the opening shot by using an audio effect, Adaptive Noise Reduction. However, I don’t think it made a difference in reducing the background noise. For the ending, I also faded to black sooner after the credit rolls on a note from my groupmate. I also made the credit roll go slower for readability and the font size a bit larger, too.

Also, I changed up the way the text appeared on screen for the additional tips section on the suggestion of one of my group members. I made the first bullet point show up then move up when the second bullet point appeared on screen. Here, too, I made the text bigger for readability.

I also tried to slow down the speed of my voiceover to allow more time to read the text. Unfortunately, that made me sound like Death himself (as in a really low voice). It didn’t sound right so I reverted back to the original. I couldn’t re-record the voiceover to talk slower because I lost my voice the past couple weeks and my voice just sounds terrible right now.

I considered taking video or a picture of the WaterSense and ENERGY STAR logos but I felt I would be stepping into a gray area of copyright so I abandoned the idea and stuck with the original background I used in my draft story.

Lastly, I added in a “bug” on the bottom right hand corner for the department’s logo (used with permission) that stays on for the entire video. I also added a lower third for my name and title when I introduce myself. I created that lower third in Illustrator using a “Video and Film” template so I could see the “safe margins” when creating it so to make sure that the transparent white bar bled off the screen. I imported in the actual Illustrator file into Premiere and adjusted the position accordingly.

Here’s my updated storyboard for the PSA. There were only minor revisions from the original.

Timestamp Video Audio
0:00 [CU zoom out to MS] Jessica speaking on camera. Introduction of self and water conservation tips.
0:22 P.O.V. of a hand grabbing the water hose. [V.O.] About watering plants.
0:25 P.O.V. of plant with shot of person watering plant. (Plant is getting watered on). [V.O.] About watering plants with foley sounds of the water spray.
0:29 CU of bathroom sink with Jessica putting toothpaste of the toothbrush. [V.O.] About turning off the faucet while brushing teeth.
0:30 P.O.V. of toothbrush with toothpaste moving under the faucet water flow. Continue voiceover script.
0:33 MS of Jessica beginning to brush her teeth. Jessica continuing script dialogue voiceover.
0:35 CU shot of water spout running water onto bathtub. [V.O.] About taking a shower instead of a bath with foley of the water shower.
0:39 P.O.V. of a person looking up to the shower head and the water spouts directly onto the camera when turned on. Continue voiceover script.
0:43 P.O.V. of inside a washing machine with Jessica adding laundry inside with the last piece of clothes onto the camera. [V.O.] About washing laundry.
0:49 Text slate with two bullet points appearing one bullet point at a time timed with the V.O. dialogue. [V.O.] About two extra tips to saving water.
1:02 Jessica talking to camera. Closing statement.
1:11 Closing title scroll includes credits over continuous video playing from last shot. Background/foley sounds from the continuous shot.

Draft Video Story

Of all the four units we’ve worked on this semester, it’s video that I’m most familiar with. While I don’t shoot and edit video much for work, I love to dabble in it as a hobby (when I can find time). For this project, I wanted to touch upon water conservation. In earlier projects, I covered energy conservation, but water is also part of my work outreach as well.

I decided on creating a public service announcement (PSA) on saving water. It’s a cross between an informational video and a promotional one. However, the best approach I wanted to take was at a “point-of-view” stance after watching a Reuter’s video on Youtube. I purchased a GoPro camera last year and thought it would be a great opportunity to put it to use.

I’m almost never in front of the camera but for this video shoot, I knew I was the only talent that could do it. So, I enlisted my capable husband to be behind the camera. I borrowed my office’s camera equipment mainly because it came with a wireless microphone. This video was shot with a Canon VIXIA HF G30 digital video camera and my GoPro Hero4 action camera.

I’d like to preface my shooting process by emphasizing that, I AM NOT AN ACTOR! With that said, shooting the scenes with my on-camera dialogue took what felt like forever. I created a script based off an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) brochure I have in the office. We went to the beach park after work to film but because of my many script outtakes and hair flubs (as well as sound issues with wind, airplanes and crowds of people), we lost the sunlight in a short amount of time. We had to continue filming at a different location a couple of days later. That was ill-planned on my part as I thought I could get all the filming done before dark but didn’t factor in all the elements that could delay shooting.

Filming the GoPro shots was actually tons of fun. We shot around our house and despite wasting water (how ironic), wasting toothpaste and getting drenched from the shower, at least it forced my husband and I to clean our bathroom and bathtub for the shoot. There’s this really cool option to use their GoPro app when filming. It made it very easy to set up the camera shot in the planter and in the washing machine with the GoPro.

When it was finally time for editing, organization was my best friend. With so many takes, I had to set up bins to make sense of all the clips. I organized bins by camera, then scene, and what was usable and not. That made editing “easier” in terms of having to sift through numerous clips.

My editing process deviated from my original storyboard but I think that organically happens when you start looking through footage and seeing “new” things. Sound is what I worked on the most in Premiere as I wanted the foley sounds of water of the shot overlay with the voiceover dialogue, too. So that was most challenging.

I may consider adding music to the video but I did like the sounds of the ocean waves. If I end up using that, I may need to pump up the sound for it higher but still on the fence for that. But otherwise, I hope the video served its purpose and viewers got the gist of the “story.”

Here’s my storyboard for the PSA:

Timestamp Video Audio
0:00 [CU zoom out to MS] Jessica speaking on camera. Introduction of self and water conservation tips.
0:22 P.O.V. of a hand grabbing the water hose. [V.O.] About watering plants.
0:25 P.O.V. of plant with shot of person watering plant. (Plant is getting watered on). [V.O.] About watering plants with foley sounds of the water spray.
0:29 CU of bathroom sink with Jessica putting toothpaste of the toothbrush. [V.O.] About turning off the faucet while brushing teeth.
0:30 P.O.V. of toothbrush with toothpaste moving under the faucet water flow. Continue voiceover script.
0:33 MS of Jessica beginning to brush her teeth. Jessica continuing script dialogue voiceover.
0:35 CU shot of water spout running water onto bathtub. [V.O.] About taking a shower instead of a bath with foley of the water shower.
0:39 P.O.V. of a person looking up to the shower head and the water spouts directly onto the camera when turned on. Continue voiceover script.
0:43 P.O.V. of inside a washing machine with Jessica adding laundry inside with the last piece of clothes onto the camera. [V.O.] About washing laundry.
0:49 Text slate with two bullet points appearing one bullet point at a time timed with the V.O. dialogue. [V.O.] About two extra tips to saving water.
1:02 Jessica talking to camera. Closing statement.
1:11 Closing title scroll includes credits over continuous video playing from last shot. Music playing.
1:20 Division’s office contact information. Music fades.

Final Audio Story

For this course so far, I’ve been focusing on clean energy. That is because promoting energy-saving is one aspect of outreach which is my topic for this course. I wanted to pivot the focus for this project on the actual topic of outreach. I’ve been employed in this type of work for over four years now and wanted to draw attention to the great efforts education outreach brings to an organization.

I definitely wanted to interview my colleagues here at the State of Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. There’s a few other education specialists for their respective division (as I am for the Division of Consumer Advocacy). So, I decided on creating an explanatory story segment discussing outreach – the good, the bad, the future. With that, I drew inspiration from audio shows like Radiolab to create my audio story.

The original interview of my colleague in the Insurance Division, Chanel Honda, was about seven minutes long. I used my iPhone voice memo app to do the recording which was great since it’s lightweight, I held and moved it between the both of us easily.

I gave Chanel the interview questions ahead of time so she could prepare her answers and we did the interview in one take so I wouldn’t take up so much of her time. I think it also prevented a lot of “mistakes” in her answers since she already knew what she was going to say. There were a few “ums” that I had to edit out but at least it was kept to a minimum.

I brought the recording file into Adobe Audition and started breaking up the interview into question and answer blocks using the razor tool. I knew I wanted to take myself out of the interview because I’ll be narrating in between Chanel’s answers.

I recorded my narration portion of the story, again with my iPhone. I did multiple takes of each line so I wouldn’t have to re-record and upload to Audition repeatedly. After choosing the best take to bring in to the multitrack, I wanted to make sure the flow between my narration and the interview was not “choppy.”

I may have held the iPhone mic too close to her as I had to bring down the sound levels in Audition. Then had the task of matching my recording to the sound levels as hers. I made sure to adjust the volume before cutting up the clip with the razor tool otherwise I’d have to adjust each new individual clip after splicing (which can be a pain).

After some feedback from my peers (including editing the “ums”), I had to re-record the beginning and end of my narration. I changed my introduction of Chanel that I had mentioned at the end, thus, having a new ending to the story. I also needed to define “DCCA” which was an oversight on my part in my draft story. That made for a longer introduction narration for me. Luckily, with the clean-up edits to Chanel’s interview, it didn’t add to the timeline length.

You can listen to my draft audio story here.

I went researching for some sounds to use in the background just like you would here on NPR, This American Life or Radiolab. I landed on a piano recording I found on ccmixter. I only added it in during my narration so the focus is solely on the content of the interviewee.

I also had another suggestion that the music was a little too loud and distracting from listening to my narration. I lowered the sound levels even lower for the music on each of the four times the music comes on so that it’s at an “elevator music” level… hopefully. With the edits to the narration and cuts to Chanel’s interview, I had to be sure the narration sounds on the second track corresponded correctly with where I wanted it as the interview track shifted.

I think the final story is much cleaner than the draft and am very happy with the end result. Thanks to my peers for making great suggestions.

SoundCloud link to Final Audio Story:
https://soundcloud.com/jessica-rc-595640954/final-audio-story

Audio credit:
Put the Needle Down by Admiral Bob (c) copyright 2010 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/admiralbob77/27962

Draft Audio Story

For this course so far, I’ve been focusing on clean energy. That is because promoting energy-saving is one aspect of outreach which is my topic for this course. I wanted to pivot the focus for this project on the actual topic of outreach. I’ve been employed in this type of work for over four years now and wanted to draw attention to the great efforts education outreach brings to an organization.

I definitely wanted to interview my colleagues here at the State of Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. There’s a few other education specialists for their respective division (as I am for the Division of Consumer Advocacy). So, I decided on creating an explanatory story segment by way of an edited interview, discussing outreach – the good, the bad, the future.

I listened to a couple of audio shows on Radiolab that drew inspiration on how to go about editing the audio interview. The tough part was actually cutting it down to 1-3 minutes. Most of these podcasts are about 20 minutes. Creating something with a beginning, middle, and end under three minutes was pretty difficult especially when I felt I got some great audio content with my interview I wanted to share but had to cut.

The original interview was about seven minutes long. It’s of my colleague in the Insurance Division, Chanel Honda. That is whom you hear in my draft audio story. As mentioned before, it was a challenge to cut it down without having it sound cut off. I used my iPhone voice memo app to do the recording which was great since it’s lightweight, I could carry and move it between the both of us easily.

I brought the recording file into Adobe Audition and started breaking up the interview into question and answer blocks using the razor tool. I knew I wanted to take myself out of the interview because I’ll be narrating in between Chanel’s answers. Even with cutting down to just her answers, the edit was pretty long. I ended up cutting out an extra question I ad-libbed during the interview.

Next, I had to record myself for the narration portion of the story. Again, I used my iPhone for the recording. I did about 4 takes of each line so I wouldn’t have to re-record and upload to Audition repeatedly. After choosing the best take to bring in to the multitrack, I wanted to make sure the flow between my narration and the interview was not “choppy.”

I went researching for some sounds to use in the background just like you would here on NPR, This American Life or Radiolab. While I’m not savvy enough like those podcasts to add in many sound effects, I attempted to with one piano recording I found on ccmixter. I only added it in during my narration so the focus is solely on the content of the interviewee.

I’m open to adding in more background or foley sounds but I’m not sure how to mix them in that would match the content. In any case, I hope the story segment was engaging enough for any listener.

SoundCloud link to draft audio story:
https://soundcloud.com/jessica-rc-595640954/draft-audio-story

Audio credit:
Put the Needle Down by Admiral Bob (c) copyright 2010 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/admiralbob77/27962

Final Graphic Design Project

final-graphic-design-project

I wanted to create a design that could be used for the division’s website, social media and could also be inserted into our division newsletter that’s emailed and printed for distribution. I decided to create a PSA on energy saving tips.

After a search, I landed on a light bulb background that would be the base of the design. However, after some feedback I received, the light bulb and the CFL bulb in the design were conflicting messages so I opted to change the background of the design to a CFL bulb. This didn’t change the background dramatically as it was still an overall dark-colored scheme.

Speaking of CFL, there were notes from two of my group members to define or change it as it didn’t explain what a CFL was. I changed it with a little trouble of fitting in all the text but I think I made it work by reducing the font size a smidge.

As for the three smaller pictures – I took those myself. I tried to use a neutral background to not take away from the object itself. The power strip photo initially had a different background that wasn’t black like the other two. A group mate suggested I change it to match the other two and it was a great note to take.

The black backgrounds were different hues of black so I had to go into each photo and with the magnetic lasso tool, outline the image to select the inverse and color it black. Then reinserted the new photos back into the design canvas. With the change, all three photos are blended now with the black in the background.

In my draft design, I had square borders around each photo. Since now they all have black backgrounds and the entire design with the new light bulb picture was black it made sense to get rid of the borders and have them free standing in black. I think it looks a lot cleaner this way.

Working on the Gestalt Theory of proximity – I grouped all three photos together on the right-hand side of the canvas. I think with the border gone now it still appears to have grouped together without having lines and borders to show for it.

The text list next to the photos were at first a san serif font (the same as the title on the bottom) but after some feedback and self-critique I changed it to serif font. And now that the background was black, I played around with shadows (since the light bulb was lit) and put in a drop shadow on the list text- giving it a little glow.

Another suggestion was to add a “point-to” reference like a URL or even a logo. I opted for a URL to find out more. I made this text smaller and colored white so it feels different from the rest of the list. I had trouble figuring out where to place it but settled with underneath the light bulb toward the bottom left.

In terms of the title, it just worked out to put it on the bottom. I had all this space with the background image and with the placement of the light bulb it seemed to make aesthetically more sense to place on the bottom instead of the top. I used a ruler guide (again, from what I learned from the Layer Masks tutorial) so that I could snap a perfect rectangle on the bottom to create a filled box with a lot of opacity. That rule tip really came in hand for this one. There were no edits that were made on this section compared to the draft version.

When comparing the draft version and this final version, I think there were a lot of great improvements that were made thanks to my group members’ input. I hope this design could be made useful at my place of work.

Photo credit: CFL bulb background image (Pixabay):
https://pixabay.com/en/light-bulb-energy-bright-1721389/

Draft Graphic Design below:draft-graphic-design-project