Wow weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Ha! I did it!!! The presentation is complete!
I can’t remember if I’ve talked about this here before or not, but on Thursday, I have to give a 20-minute presentation on Development Resettlement, the Chinese Governments program to deal with over 2 million people whose homes are suffering from a rather major case of damp as a result of the Three Gorges Dam (i.e. they’re under 150 metres of water).
I jokingly asked my tutor, Chris Bramall, if I could just video myself giving a presentation, and show that instead of doing it in person.
“I don’t see why not Comrade Tame! Yes, a splendid idea!”
Last week, when I mentioned that I’d decided not to do a video, he seemed somewhat disappointed. Thus, I resurrected my plan, and embarked upon a 40-hour project to create a 20 minute documentary presentation for class.
The whole weekend was spent searching for suitable clips and photos. Prior to that, I’d read numerous journal articles and 2 books on the 3 Gorges. Then, it was into production, Apple’s Keynote ’08 and iMovie HD (iMovie 08 can’t handle soundtrack adjustments) my main production tools, with those special scenes in which I appear actually at the Three Gorges filmed by Photobooth.
It was a long process. I spent hours painstakingly applying subtitles to one particular sequence, only to find at the end that it was just too long – into the trash it went. Other scenes had to be filmed again and again, as I forgot my lines or the sun came out, destroying my magical blue screen effect that allowed me to be at the Three Gorges.
[technical note: All this time I was suffering sudden system restarts – no kernal panic message, it just switched off. A bug in Keynote causes your system to suddenly restart when you click on the ‘play’ icon. I looked on the forums but no help there, called Apple and after an hour on the phone to ‘Owen’ was no closer to getting it sorted. Over time I realised that it only ever happened if I pressed play right after clicking on save, and it only seemed to happen with video-heavy presentations. Clearly, Keynote is not saving files as fast as it says it is, resulting in it trying to play a file that is halfway through being saved and thus causing a system restart, which can lead to all system preferences being reset, thus best avoided!]
Finally, about 50 minutes ago I managed a clear run through. The voice over’s OK, the timing pretty much spot on. I quickly saved it on two different drives, and am now exporting it as a movie so I can just sit back and laugh at my own silliness when it’s played on Thursday.
Whilst the end product is not a professional video, I am delighted to have completed the project. I don’t think anyone will believe how much work went into it. I just hope that when marking it, Chris finds it in my heart for getting the name of that city wrong halfway through!
Caw, I love being ‘creative’! And the sun’s shining today. Oh, and just 13 days till I see my *Twinkle*!