Creating Content for an Early Literacy App

On set with the actorIn order to shoot clean, audible clips, I have a solid equipment list that I go to time and time again. My favorite piece is the boom microphone set up. Folks get active on set and can produce quite a bit of rustling if they have a mic on them. The best solution is using a well-pointed  PAA 350, a dynamic mic made by Peavy. I place it so it doesn’t cast any unsightly shadows and in a place that I can use a matte to remove it in post production. It is sensitive enough to register low talkers and produce a strong signal that can be shined up in an audio editing software like Adobe’s Audition.

I quick scan of the internet proves that this was probably purchased many moons ago, but the traits to look for in a replacement would be : solid metal construction, dynamic range and directionally mountable. I can’t wait to get this footage into After Effects and start adding the fun animations.

PAA 350, Peavy


3D printing Classes at the Lab!

3dPrintingCertificateI’ve had the opportunity to give an intro to 3D design class several times now and each time I learn a little more. I am also surprised at how interest keeps building in the service. I have started surveying the folks who come to the classes to try to get an idea of where to grow the program. The last survey was pretty unanimous in that participants want more advanced training with CAD software. I used an old advertising trick that doctors hate to get them to fill out the surveys, I offered one free print to whomever completed a 5 question Survey Monkey questionnaire.

Covering Children’s Programs

This was a fun week for me because it is the annual Puppet Show week. Back in the day this event was held in the program room of the downtown library and it was a challenging set up. What works for a room of squirmy toddlers doesn’t always translate onto the tv screen. There was a wireless mic system that was finicky and a lighting set up (overhead florescent) that was downright unflattering. Luckily the show is now held in the theater and the lighting and mic situation is much better. There is even a sound guy! I took a small hand held HD (Sony PlaySport) camera around during a performance and collected some extra footage then used Premiere, After Effects and Final Cut Pro to put this short together!

The Itsy Bitsy Spider is playing in a loop.

In my brain! Here is a selection from the Children’s Application Content Project. My subject was a very enthusiastic intern. I think this piece is effective because our performer is fun and approachable, is comfortable in front of kids and projects well. I think the subject matter works because it is familiar, but adds the Early Literacy elements of rhyming and word play. It also works as an inducement to come to the library. The script called for an all white background to minimize distraction and to add to the slick “App” look of the piece, so I used the infinity wall and underexposed the footage so the white background would “White Out” when pushed. I used Adobe AfterEffects to edit. I shot it on a Sony XDCam.

Content for Children’s Department App

Looks like I’ll be going full swing into production this Friday when I start shooting for the first of 6 short clips. The Children’s Summer Help will be leaving soon and the rush is on to squeeze every last drop of creativity from them. The first clip will be about an elephant who like to smell gross things, garbage, “bathroom smells” and stinky humans. This should be fun, picts to follow.