Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Cool Mix of Media

I read this post on the official Google Blog about their new presentation application which sounds cool but it wasn't what excited me the most. It was the demo video of Google Docs. Again it wasn't the Google Docs that got me excited, but the video itself.

The students (and teachers) where I worked often would seek my help in creating various kinds of presentations. Usually, the day before they wanted to present it to the class. One of my suggestions for a fast presentation was to film simple line drawings or cut-outs. I had seen a demo of this somewhere and it had impressed me. (Though of course, I didn't have the demo to show them.) Their response usually went something like;

"But Al, I don't want to do no stinking paper puppets or stick figures. We've got all this expensive video equipment. I want a gosh darn movie. Something along the lines of Star Wars. By tomorrow! Morning!"

I wish they could have seen this Google presentation. It is a video of paper cut-outs and magic markers diagrams. The camera is static and a white background becomes the stage. A hand appears to move items around and in my favorite part, an almost invisible string pulls a paper cut-out across the screen. In another scene, a smile is drawn on a cut-out character's face to depict happiness. It's simple. It's effective. It's a great example of how a good video can be made using everyday materials.

After a little digging, I discovered that the video was created by a company called Common Craft. They have some other examples of their work on the web site . I'd be first to sign up, if these folks ever gave a workshop.

[Bodis, Attila. "Our Feature Presentation." The Official Google Blog. 19092007. Google. 18 Sep 2007 .]
[Screenshot: Bodis, Attila. "Our Feature Presentation." The Official Google Blog. 19092007. Google. 18 Sep 2007 .]

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