This week, our challenge was to create a 30-second video.
The Premiere Pro assignment
Creative Challenge – 30-second book trailer: Create a short video sequence or trailer promoting your favourite book from the entire world of literature. Create a sequence that creatively highlights the key characteristics of the book in video format.
American Gods by Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite books of all time. It’s not an easy book to describe in 30 seconds or even 30 minutes (here’s Wikipedia’s attempt as background for those who have not read it).
I didn’t do any formal storyboarding for this project. I picked a few favorite quotes from the book to use for the voiceover and then picked some visuals that matched up with the quotes.
I found Premiere Pro somewhat overwhelming to use, but I was determined to learn at least a few basics and not run back to my iMovie comfort zone.
I opted not to add credits/notes to the video in order to use all 30 seconds for content. Here are the free resources I used to create my trailer.
- Free royalty-free background loops from http://movietools.info (“Flight through the Clouds” and “Digital Rain”)
- Free royalty-free images from stock.xchng (linder6580: 1279418 “Shadow” for the opening, cabrantes: 1121637 “Single Tree” for the closing)
- Public domain images of the “old gods” from Wikimedia Commons
- Background music is a free Apple GarageBand royalty-free loop, “Dogma”
- Voiceover recorded with Recordium on iPad
I used Photoshop to resize and clone additional background for the opening and closing images, and convert the public domain images of the “old gods” to transparent images that could be superimposed over the clouds background loop.
I enjoyed creating the trailer even though I struggled with the time constraint. Perhaps I should have picked another favorite book with simpler themes! I’ve thought about professional and hobbyist applications for video, and there are many instances when video would be most appropriate for instructional materials. However, I still find it frustrating when a video is not accompanied by supporting text or static graphic resources. There are times when sitting through an entire video isn’t the best way to learn something.