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Documentary Video

Project Description

For this project you will be recording and producing a documentary video about the topic that you used for your Magazine Project. If you did not complete the Magazine project you will need to choose a topic and use the Wikipedia article as your script. (If you need to edit the script so that it’s not too technical that’s ok as well.)

Software Used

In class we will be using Garageband and iMovie from Apple. If you’re working from a Windows computer you can try Audacity for the audio recording and Windows Live Movie Maker, or Sony Vegas for putting together the video.

What to do…

Step 1: Find and Edit your script

If you have completed the Magazine Page project in this class you will need to use that for your script. If you joined class after the Magazine Project you will need to look up a topic on National Geographic Kids and use portions of the article there as your script.

Step 2: Set up Garageband for recording

Open Garageband and start a new voice project. Open the Garageband > Preferences and be sure that you have selected the right microphone that you want to record from. Press R to begin recording and to a test recording to be sure that your settings are correct

Step 3: Record your narration

Press R to begin recording your narration. Read clearly and slower than you think you need to. When you make a mistake stop the recording by hitting Spacebar and then back up to the beginning of the sentence you made the mistake in. Hit record to begin recording the sentence again. You don’t need to start all over, just at the beginning of the sentence the mistake was in.

Another way of recording your narration is when you make a mistake snap your fingers or click your tongue near the mic and go back to the beginning of the sentence and then keep reading. This will make a visible mark on the recording so you can go back and edit out the mistakes.

When you are done listen back to your Documentary narration to be sure that it is correct. Go back and re-edit or re-read any sections that you need to. In addition to the script you need to be sure record an introduction section introducing yourself and the topic that you will be talking about. At the end of your script record this sentence: “ More information about [name of topic] can be found at these websites.”

Step 4: Collect graphics for your video

You will need to collect all the pictures, charts, graphs, maps, and other graphics that you will use for your video. You will nee to have at least 10 graphics, and at least one map, and one chart. When you are collecting your graphics do your best to get graphics that are at least 1,000 pixels wide so that your video will look good in HD. Watch the tutorial video to see how to find graphics that are the right size.

Also, be sure to collect information about the sites where the graphics were found so that you can add them to your credits.

Step 5: Assemble your graphics in iMove

Drag all your graphics into iMovie in the order that you will want to see them in your video. You will need to use the clip properties (gear icon) to adjust the length of the clips. I recommend choosing something longer than you need (maybe 30 seconds each) so you can trim it down to match the narration later.

Step 6: Import your narration

Import your narration from the garageband project section of your media browser. I recommend that you drag it to the first clip in your video, not into the background of your project. This will make it easier for you to add background music later.

Step 7: Adjust the length of the clips and add transitions

Next click on the gear icon again to access the clip adjustment to adjust the length of the clips to match up with the script narration. At this time you can also bring transitions between your graphics. Keep in mind that the transitions will change the timing a little bit so you make need to adjust the clip length again after adding the transition. Be sure to preview your edits frequently so you can Undo if you make a mistake.

Step 8: Adjust the framing of your graphics

Again, click on the gear icon on each clip and use the “Cropping | Ken Burns” setting to frame up each graphic the way you want to. To make the picture move in the video choose “Ken Burns” and place the green frame where you want to see the image at the beginning and the red frame where you want to see the image at the end. Click “Fit” or “Crop” to make the image stand still in the video.

Step 9: Add titles

Titles are text that appear on the screen. You will need to have at least two shots with titles: the Title shot at the beginning that says your name and the topic of the video, and the References shot that has the citations for your sources. On the reference shot you will want to record a voiceover (if you didn't do it in step 3) that says "More information about ____________ can be found at these websites," that will display while you are showing your references. 

Step 10: Add background music

The last step is to add appropriate background music to your project. Remember that the music can set the mood or feeling for your video, so choose your music carefully. Use music that has not vocals (words) so that it doesn’t distract from your narration. You can use music in iMovie, make your own in Garageband, or download clips from Free Play Music or Soundcloud. If you download music be sure to include the information in your credits shot in the video. Also, if you download from Freeplay music you cannot post your finished video online for others to see.