Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Studio 613 Vancouver Hebrew Academy

Well, after a (very) well-deserved break we are all back to work!

Filming has begun!!!! Rabbi Estrin is working with the grade 5 class and they are all having a great time. One challenge that we are working through is that our camera’s microphone may not pick up voices from across the room. Ironically, the lens is so good that it surpasses the range of the mic. But, we shall persevere and solve this as well. One of the primary goals of this project was to use an innovative approach to bring new life and excitement to the curriculum. In this regard we are certainly seeing results. Some of the students do not even realize that they are learning! Imagine how surprised they will be when they find out.

Meanwhile…back at the Wayne Mansion, I have been tooling around with the Mac applications that we will be using for the film-editing component. It is amazing how even the base level programs that are preloaded on the machine can produce such a nice result. iMovie, does a great job of putting clips together with some nice transition effects. It can also be used to create slideshows much more quickly that PowerPoint or other similar programs. My favorite find to date is iDVD. This program takes movies and/or slideshows and creates professional looking DVD menus for them. It then burns the DVD directly. The result is a VERY quick and very easy GREAT looking product. I used it last week to put together a slide show of pictures of a teachers recent visit to our sister school in Israel. In 45 minutes I had 30 pictures running in a loop with Im Eshkacheich Yerushlayim playing in the background, all with a snazzy looking menu.
Well, back to work. More later…


Debbie Harris said...

You might also want to check out iPhoto. You can select an album of photos and iPhoto will automatically create the slide, complete with random transitions and the soundtrack of your choice. You can then save it as a movie and burn it to iDVD or bring it into iMovie for further editing.

One tip on iDVD - it will burn even faster if you turn off motion menus.

Rabbi D. Nimchinsky said...

Regarding your audio difficulty, most better video cameras have a jack for an external microphone, Unfortunately audio quality is neglected in most mid-priced cameras so if you want quality audio, an external mike is a must. This also avoids the problem of motor noise being picked up by the built in microphone (frequently a problem if you are using a motorized zoom lens). When choosing an external microphone you might want to get a few different microphones if you will be filming in a variety of situations. For example if you are filming a group discussion you might want am omni-directional mike, for a lecturer or for picking up from a more distant audio source (like a stage) you might want a directional or unidirectional mike. If you have the budget you might also consider the flexibility that standard wireless or bluetooth audio gives you.