Course 3 Video: How I Got Stronger

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Here’s my Course 3 video. I didn’t finish it in time for the Course 3 Reflection, but better later than never, right? It was a fairly straightforward process to create it, but for me it looked like:

  1. Brainstorm in my head, come up with initial concept
  2. Outline on notebook paper
  3. Match images to outline
  4. Match music to outline
  5. Write script & record voiceover (2 hours to this point)
  6. Find images and music (4 hours to this point)
  7. Add voiceover to iMovie; then add images and music
  8. Shoot footage; add to iMovie (another 2-3 hours)
  9. Tweak, tweak, tweak (probably 7 hours total from inception to completion)

I didn’t use a storyboard template to sketch out my scenes because I shot little original footage and relied mostly on images from the web. For the footage I did shoot, the purpose was instructional so it wasn’t as important to have creative cinematography.

I made my video using iMovie, still images, and the original footage that I shot on a handheld Panasonic camcorder recording to an SD card. Of the hours and hours that I spent, some of it was in figuring out how to work with clips in iMovie, but more of it was in tweaking the pace of the audio and figuring out when to cue music, video, and images. In other words, my problem was creative and artistic, not technical.

Here’s the video:

And here’s everything that could have been done better:

The Concept

It’s not a compelling story, but I suppose it may fit a niche. Digital storytelling is supposed to have some emotional content, and my video is more instructional in nature.

The Audio

I decided to go with a straightforward voiceover to tell my story and have the images matched to it, rather than taking a set of compelling images and having a minimum of text and voice supporting it. The voiceover itself was recorded in my study using the microphone in my Logitech webcam. The result made me sound hollow, and if I’m going to do voiceovers in the future then I need to work on my expressiveness (or lack thereof). Next time, I might see if the Sound and Lights Club would be willing to lend me some professional- or prosumer-grade material.

Additionally, I’m not convinced that my choice of background music with lyrics was the right choice. The songs all matched with the theme of the video, but I didn’t like how the lyrics sometimes competed with the voiceover.

Finally, the fade-ins, fade-outs, and transitions between the music are really rough. I’d like to know the rules about when to cue music when leading into images and voiceovers.

The Video

There were a few instances where I should have added another image to support the voiceover (for example, when I talk about functional exercises and show a picture of construction equipment, but don’t show a different image when I transition into talking about making lifestyle changes, at 2:29).

I also could have benefitted from someone to actually shoot the video for me, which would have allowed for more dynamic shots and cuts – I did everything on my own with a tripod.

The video from the camera was also surprisingly grainy. There was a lot of natural light, but maybe this is just an example of the need for more, more, more. It could also just be a reflection of the quality of the video.

4 thoughts on “Course 3 Video: How I Got Stronger”

  1. Well done! I’ve been following the P90X model for just over a month now that takes a similar approach to doing a few core exercises. During my month long trip I lost about 8lbs and continue to get stronger every workout. Who knew that pushups and pull-ups could be so good. 🙂

  2. As the ultimate judge of your story, you’ve now got me contemplating going to the gym after my (very looooong!) hiatus. Maybe I’m the niche audience you were after! Well done Matt!

  3. One thing I didn’t highlight is Rippetoe’s recommendation of doing 3 sets @ 5 reps after 3-4 sets of light warmup for each exercise. 8-10 reps is good for building bulk, and 1 for strength; 5 reps seems to hit the sweet spot between strength and endurance.

    I’m actually looking at switching to more reps, though; I suspect I’m hitting a ceiling that I won’t break without making substantial changes to my diet.

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