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Puppetry For Information Literacy Videos?!

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Creating and using effective promotional and educational videos for libraries and information services. Session delivered at the Jan 2010 AOSEC meeting in Portsmouth

Creating and using effective promotional and educational videos for libraries and information services. Session delivered at the Jan 2010 AOSEC meeting in Portsmouth

Published in: Education, Business

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  • 1. Creating and using effective promotional and educational videos for libraries and information services Gareth J Johnson Weasel Televisual Enterprises (and University of Leicester ) www.twitter.com/llordllama www.youtube.com/llordllama
  • 2.  Creating effective movies for training, education or promotion  The practicalities of going from idea to script to screen  Where do puppets fit in?!
  • 3.  Started filming in 2007 for fun  Bought a camera and editing software  Moved on to developing short films  Started using videos to support teaching and training  Made open accessible & now reused by librarians globally  Learned about the practicalities and craft of film production
  • 4. Repetition Refocus Relax Remote Reinforce Respite Re-usable
  • 5.  Won’t click for everyone  But neither do other forms of instruction or promotion  Satisfying different customer needs and styles  A hybrid or blended promotional approach  Another weapon in the arsenal  Video production itself can be a PR event  Barriers exist  Organisational ethos or personal resistances  Concerns over skills set or resources
  • 6.  Why puppets?  Because they are always available to record!  Because they are adaptable to filming requirements  Because humour is a powerful a communication tool  Makes it engaging  A key goal for any education or marketing exercise  Makes it memorable  Audiences will remember serious points made  Makes it digestible  Sugar coating for difficult or complex topics
  • 7.  Videos are a non-trivial creation exercise  A 3-5 minute movie might well take 1. Plotting, scripting, planning 1-2 hours 2. Set up, shoot and re-shoot 1-2 hours 3. Editing & polishing 2-3 hours  May not be consecutive periods  Helps if are relatively close together  Need for script approval can increase times
  • 8. Message Release Pre-production Plot Editing Production Dialogue Filming Action
  • 9.  A video short should contain 1 core concept  Concept encapsulated in 25 words or less  Don’t be tempted to cram multiple ideas in a single film  Start simple with message then plot then dialogue  Choose your artistes with care  Dull inflection/intonation bring death on swift wings  Availability can be a key factor  Block out plenty of time  First time always takes longer than you expect  Get someone else to film it if you can…
  • 10.  Effective way to conceptualise your idea  What if all reality was a computer game, and only you knew how to use the cheat codes?  Biographical story of the rise and fall of a small time mobster, and the lives he touches  Respected and only possible suspect tries to prove he didn't kill his wife, while fleeing an unstoppable pursuer
  • 11.  Write for your audience  The opening and closing lines are crucial (hook & exit)  Get someone else to read/review the script  Basic screenwriting techniques will help  Not a simple migration of words to screen  Standard screen writing format means 1 script page = 1 minute on screen  Make use of a visual grammars  Visual shorthand can play an important role in scene setting  Instantly recognisable traits or postures speak volumes ▪ e.g. Smartly dressed character vs a scruffy one  But don’t over rely on cliché ▪ e.g A bookshelf backdrop can be a major turn off to non-librarians!
  • 12.  Writing effective and engaging dialogue  Dialogue needs brevity, clarity and punch  Two heads can be better than one  An interrogative between two speakers drives a narrative forward  Use naturalistic phrases and phrasing - and speak them aloud once written  Action!  Show don’t tell at the heart of best scripting practice  Helps the economy of words and pacing  Non-verbal cues 4 times the effect of spoken words  Keep thinking message, message, message throughout
  • 13.  Shooting tips  Consider simple backgrounds for less viewer distraction  Make sure it’s well lit  Shoot once, shoot twice, shoot thrice  Editing it together  The more shots that make up a film, the more editing will be required  Good editing can save weak filming by trimming dead air or gaffs  Rough cuts & polished gem  Screen to a small audience & listen to their feedback or comments  Be prepared to make (minor) changes or reshoots  Output in multiple formats - Lower res for web, higher res for DVD & archive  Make a splash with your premiere
  • 14.  Don’t have time to make - then reuse someone else's  Freely available high quality videos on YouTube, Jorum Open or Institutional Repositories  Failing that commission someone  For effective information literacy videos  Videos can be a vibrant addition to the IL toolkit  Keep your message uppermost when scripting  Visual grammars more powerful than words alone  Write for your audience’s needs and attention  Be aware of backgrounds and lighting  Make & watch a rough edit as quickly as possible
  • 15.  Contact  gjj6@le.ac.uk  0116-252-2039  www.twitter.com/llordllama Slides  tinyurl.com/randyweasel  Videos  www.youtube.com/llordllama  Questions?