Acting Like a Producer for a Day

Today I took the opportunity to work from home which I relish.  If I could do this more often, I would.  You see, I’m an early bird.  I don’t think twice about getting up at 5am and starting work if it means I finish early and do the things I want to do.  So today, I was up at this time, made myself a cup of coffee and sat in front of my computer to create the podcast with the various shots I took of the SMEs at yesterday’s filming.

Admittedly, the technology I have at home is much faster than what I have at work. At times I feel constrained by the software and the versions we are allowed to use simply because I can’t be as creative as I want to be.  Also, my preferred style in ‘design and develop’ mode is complete silence.  I only want my thoughts to be the only noise that I hear.  I don’t work well with chatter around me; nor with music.  I find it distracting.

I used Windows Moviemaker to insert all the videos in a linear format, added the captions and the opening and final slide.  I made sure that the animations and transitions weren’t distracting but consistent and finally finished it off with some music.

Deciding what music to use was interesting.  I used the website www.jewelbeat.com to go through their Corporate section and see what was available.  Their prices for royalty free copyright music is reasonable and recommended.  I spent some time going through the music and it amazed me that music evokes certain feelings and emotions. Going through some of the songs, I instantly felt that they weren’t going to be ‘right’ for my podcast.

For this podcast, I only used a free sample download as it suited my needs however, I will pay for future downloads of music from this site because of their price but also registration was quick and simple and it looks like a site that you cannot get lost in.  Sometimes, you just need a site that you can go in, get what you need and leave.  However, I will include this site for ongoing future reference.

From there I finalised the movie file, played it through and then published the file but it turned out to be over 400MB.  For a 14 minute video, this is too much especially since I need to upload it to the online workspace at work so that it can be accessed from staff.  A quick tweep out on Twitterverse, I got back some responses but I also used the School of YouTube to see what others recommend.  One site recommended the software, Handbrake and I downloaded to see how it would fare.

I saved the file in various formats in Windows Moviemaker (the smallest file being 130MB and this was under the Email format!?). When I ran the program through Handbrake it reduced it to 99MB.  I ran through it again which further reduced it to 93MB and again to 85MB.

I’d be interested if anyone can recommend an open source software program that reduces files but you stipulate the size.  I know that they are out there as I have used them in the past.

One stupid mistake I made yesterday – and it must be one of those lessons NEVER to be repeated is that I forgot to put an SD card into my camera.  Luckily the JVC camera has an internal memory storage and captured all the videos!

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About Activate Learning Solutions

Helen Blunden is the founder of Activate Learning Solutions and Third Place. She has over 20 years of experience within learning and development across private, public and not-for-profit organisations. With a specialty in performance consulting and networked learning, Helen believes that workplace learning is integral to business success. She has a passion for enabling people to learn beyond the classroom and believes in the power of networks and communities to drive collaboration and meaning within the organisation. From facilitator-led instruction, online and blended, Helen deploys social and informal learning such as enterprise social networking, collaboration tools and emerging technologies that have been proven successful and embedded workplace change.
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