How I made my Are You Blogging This video

usatodaySomeone asked me to blog about how I created my “Are You Blogging This” video. So, here goes… But first, a shameless plug – take a gander at the image on the right. My silly little video was picked up by the USAToday Tech_Space blog, of all things! How cool is that?

OK…. shameless self-promotion over now…. Here’s what I did to make my video, song first:

  1. Wrote a song (won’t go into that…)
  2. Recorded song using Apple’s GarageBand. Involved plugging things (ie., guitars, mixers, etc) into the little line-in jack of the Mac laptop I have access to, then mixing it down into a semblance of a pop-ish sounding song.
  3. Saved the song as an AIFF file in iTunes, transferred the file to my PC, then changed the file into an mp3 file (using the good ole dbPowerAmp Music Converter).

Then, I started on the screenshots of the websites I sang about:

  1. Made screenshots of all the Web 2.0 sites I mention in the video using Paint Shop Pro.
  2. I really had to think through the screenshots, so I could pull off some quirky little “tricks” for effect (ie., the first sequence of my pic in Windows, then in Flickr, then in Technorati required first searching for me in Technorati to see what Flickr photos of me appeared, then downloading the Flickr pic for the Windows shot)

Then I started in on creating the actual video:

  1. Gave some thought to what I wanted to see in the video, for each section and actually roughed out a storyboard timeline for the video.
  2. I dropped the mp3 file of my song into the Movie timeline, and created the movie title word thing at the beginning (there’s an easy-to-use template for that – I just typed and changed the color and font)
  3. Then I filmed myself as needed (maybe 20 minutes of filming tops), and dropped in the screenshots (stretching them to match the length of the song lyrics)
  4. The second chorus video chunk (the jerky screenshot with me superimposed over it) was actually a goof-up. I did the frame-within-a-frame thing on Camtasia, hoping to actually get me singing the chorus while typing. I did that, but messed something up when I dropped that video clip into Windows Movie maker – it turned out all slow and jerky. But I thought it looked kinda cool that way, so I kept it.
  5. In a couple of places, I used the built-in video effects – you can see it on the clips of me in a few places, where I look all blotchy – that’s the Watercolor effect.
  6. Saved it as a DV-AVI file.

Finally, I opened up the AVI file in Quicktime Pro, exported to Quicktime’s .mov format, and voila! That’s how I made my video.