Step 5: Record the Videos
The day we recorded the videos was simply wild. Everyone knew that we had just this one day to record, so teams could not start over very many times. The average group took about thirty-five minutes to get together, set-up, and record. Upon reflection, the filming went so much better than I anticipated. We really had no idea how to do this so everyone figured it out as we went along.
What they did learn is that even a very tiny camera starts to get very heavy after 20 minutes, so teams started to set-up in some very creative ways. Each class took the best ideas of the previous one. We especially learned that is it important to zoom in and focus on what was being drawn. If an artist was drawing a person, the person should fill the the camera screen. We also learned the importance of staying as still as possible…and I bet you can’t guess why. If a camera person moves ever so slightly while filming, even so little that when you watch it you barely even notice it, when we increased the speed of the film 5x…the movement became unwatchable.
Luckily what saved us is that on YouTube you can click on enhancements, and then stabilize. Without that feature most of the videos would have been unusable.
Some groups did start using tripods as I have two in the class. A huge difference is seen in the final videos that used tripods, but the camera was not able to move as freely…so still undecided what to do next year.
Finally, it was important to stress to the kids that they could talk during the filming and give directions and think out loud since the audio in these videos would eventually be replaced by voice over scripts. Many groups tried to be very quiet out of instinct, but there was no reason to mute conversation.