I’m Making Crappy Quality Videos on Purpose

Only put your best work out on the public web. You do not want potential employers to find your inferior, embarrassing work. You will look bad. Because, they will judge you solely on THAT and not where it sits in a continuum or body of work.

I’m countering that with the “Front Stage” videos I am doing with Brian Lamb for our upcoming You Show open non-course (I don’t know what to call it? seminar?).

Most typically for an intro video for a course, you would go to your local media department, set up something with proper lights, mics, you sitting in front of a bookshelf, or emphatically walking around campus. High quality. The End product. And we have a crew here that would have helped us.

But a different idea emerged, actually as this was being planned and edited.

The lighting from a lamp is bad. This makes for grainy video. As Sandy Brown Jensen Brown noticed, the camera angle looks up our noses.

I initially had the idea for the opening title sequence to purposely have in the first video a hand sketched version of a logo. And that as we moved through the sequence, the logo would actually improve, getting sharper as we discuss Visual Communications and better color and shape when we do Design, and better audio when we do that unit.

I also want to be able to show that the idea of the production matters as much as what you produce; that a good concept comes before a good production. It’s not about boasting who great we were (though I think we pulled it off well considering how fast we did it), but the idea I had came to be through some rough idea casting, not overscripting. So when we produce a video (Front Stage) there will be a post narrating the process (Back Stage).

And its also about what one can do with minimal equipment. Ours was filmed on an iPad and edited in iMovie. I had the idea to ask Brian’s son Harry to grab some short clips from the side, so we can show how you might do multi-camera edits, because the same front angle gets kind of dull.

And then it hit me- the videos themselves should show an arc of improvement as we go. Because that is the essence of what we want to communicate- that you do not start of creating high end media; you improve through a process of iteration and reflection.

The You Show is about making your improvement visible. It’s not about Being Perfect all the time, it’s showing where you go from a rough, crappy quality start and ratchet up to something (hopefully) better.

The organization of the You Show non-course will be fleshed out more in the next few days (if I get my act together and stop getting distracted by the internet).

Yes, we are going to be doing all of this in the open. Yes, we will have a blog aggregator set up. I will be building the automatic registration (via Gravity forms, we are waiting on the license purchase), so I will probably set up now a Google Form if you want / are interested in being early (and help me test the mechanics of the hub). We will be probably offering as many sessions we can via Google Hangout. There will be a new iteration of the ds106 Daily Create using the new Daily Blank template (oi, I have to work on that too).

The structure will hinge a lot on the open DS106 though with less of an aim towards digital storytelling as an end (more of a means) and how do you put the media creation and reflection/narration onto play in an online portfolio or working to disseminate the results of research.

But look for an only (slightly) improved Episode 1 video in early January. Because we do not want to get too far from crappy too quick.

About cogdog

I bark about and play with technology and web stuff. Harmless. I have my shots.

5 thoughts on “I’m Making Crappy Quality Videos on Purpose

  1. Oh by the way, I am a huge fan of video journaling–when I was in Alaska earlier this fall, I posted a video amost every day of that day’s adventures–rough, but the spirit of each day was fresh.
    I loved the concept of your intro video, and I’m sorry that didn’t cone across.
    I am currently experimenting wirh Storygami, in which you make a “primary” video, and then you can layer video in video, embed a gallery of photos, a text document, a social media link. I wonder if you two wild and crazy guys might not enjoy cobbling your videos together with it?
    Just a thought. I think the whole meta meta thing (short for metacognitive for those not up on their academic acronyms) is lots of fun–keep following the golden thread of your unique genius.
    i.e. build it and they will come!

  2. Love your blog! I used to think that we had to produce really professional videos and so forth – not only because we could – but to assert our mastery (I suppose)… but recently I have discovered the power of the friendly ‘own voice’ blog for students – a space that was definitely less professional – and because of that allowed students the space to learn in their own voice. Writing about that recently I came across a point from Phyllis Creme where she wrote against the monolithic power of the academic essay – stating that it is only when we allow in the creativity of everyday life that we would shift that power. I thought ‘YES’ – that is what we were doing – and it so works! On thinking further, I think this also allows us to disturb internalised genre conventions over all – and then the very mundanity of this becomes subversive – and allows new forms to emerge…

  3. … and of course your video was anything but crappy – but a lovely sophisticated lesson… as you well know – so take that tongue out of your cheek that man!!

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