In addition to the bi-monthly “How Do I Do That Sessions?” the BPS EdTech team is offering a new program for all Burlington Public School teachers to earn three hours of in-service credit: the App Explorer Challenge. The first challenge is to learn the iMovie iPad app. Completed projects are to be submitted to District Technology Coach Tim Calvin by Tuesday, February 25th. Movies are required to be 2-3 minutes in length. Here’s a sample iMovie I made to introduce this new program. This post is designed to give you tips on how to go about filming your first iMovie project. If you need any help putting the final touches on your iMovie project before you submit it for credit, be sure to stop by the Help Desk when you return from February vacation.
Why Use iMovie?
iMovie is a powerful creation tool. Teachers can create instructional videos or student exemplars and increase engagement by getting students excited about what they are going to learn. Likewise, students can use iMovie for a wide variety projects. And because it is such a fun app to use (yes, learning can and should be fun!) once students are introduced to iMovie, many of them will select it as their app of choice. In terms of promoting 21st century skills, iMovie challenges all learners, both students and teachers, to think critically and be creative, and students can hone their collaboration and communication skills through creating iMovie projects in small groups.
Although Apple has designed the iMovie app to be easy to use, it is still important to pay attention to the details in order to create a high-quality product, especially if you are designing an exemplar to show to your students. So, before getting started with creating your first iMovie, here are some important filming tips to remember:
iMovie Filming Tips:
1. Hold the iPad in landscape
Remember that your movie will be displayed on a screen once it’s completed. Therefore, always film in landscape, versus portrait. Filming in portrait mode will result in black bars on either side and will make your film look distorted.
2. Be aware of your surroundings
If audio is going to be included, try to limit background noise, as the microphone will pick up all sound. Be sure you don’t accidentally cover the microphone when filming, however you will be able to record audio over a clip during the editing process.
3. Hold the iPad as steady as possible when filming
This may take some extra time and practice, but a smooth, clean and steady shot is more pleasing to watch than shots that are unsteady. While you may want to take a panoramic shot and move the iPad to follow an object, an alternative could be to hold the iPad steady and let the action go past the camera.
4. Do not try to zoom in with your iPad when filming
The iPad camera just isn’t sophisticated enough to achieve a professional looking zoom effect, but there is a workaround. If you want to create a zoom effect, take one shot, stop the camera, then move closer to take the next shot, and so on. Once you’ve taken all the shots you need, you can edit them together to produce the desired zoom in effect.
5. Consider the duration of the video clips
Think. Many. Short. Clips. Not one long shot that just goes on and on and is very difficult to film and will make your audience want to get up and leave the movie because it is poorly made and terrible to watch and has absolutely no point with bad acting and terrible costumes and an even more terrible soundtrack (run-on sentence humor). Short, simple shots are much easier to edit than one long video. Gathering short clips of videos also allows you to get better angels and create a much nicer looking video. Plan out the shots ahead of time (that’s the critical thinking piece) and try to keep the clips at 20 to 30 seconds; definitely no longer than one minute. If you notice in the iMovie trailer templates, the length of the clips for each shot are less than two seconds! This is no accident. A trailer is meant to generate excitement and motivate the audience to go out and see the movie the night of the premiere!
Keep these tips in mind when filming video for your iMovie project. Happy movie making!