Step 6: Write the Scripts
Scripts are absolutely necessary. No one could work through the next day without one. Even the students who knew their story by heart had to have a script. Simple reason why: we had only enough time the next day to have each group come in and do one take. And their one take would be challenging. When they would come in to record, they would have the experience of sitting down and watching their video running 5-7 times faster than when they originally recorded it, as is the RSA style. They would have to be able on the fly to go faster or slower to keep up with the video.
So although writing the scripts after doing the drawings seems counter-intuitive, I discovered it was a good idea to write the script after recording the images. Doing the images first allowed students to visualize what they were going to write about, better understand it, and allowed the scripts to flow better and sound more like narration rather than essays. In writing the scripts, students could take their supporting details under each step and flesh them out with the emphases of the drawings.
While the students were writing the scripts I spent the day processing the videos. At my school, we don’t have very good computers. The 2gb of RAM on my computer was not enough to process a twenty minute video quickly. Although these would eventually be two minute videos, the original files were around 10-30 minutes long. The videos were shot at 720p, which resulted in huge files—too big to put into movie maker and have the students watch and narrate at the same time. In addition, if we tried to watch the files at 5x speed the computer would freeze. So while they wrote the scripts, I placed each video into moviemaker, sped it up 5X, and then rendered it into another file.
With this process, each video took roughly 15 minutes, a full day’s work to do. To give you an idea…using a simple school laptop with 2GB of Ram, each minute of video took one minute to get loaded into the video editing software, and then 2 minutes per minute of video to render as a movie. Again…cruddy laptop. Almost every laptop in the world that has more than 2GB of Ram and would do this process faster. If you have a similar situation, one idea is to take lower quality video or do larger groups so there would be fewer videos. If you have better computers, this probably wont be that big of an issue. Also keep in mind that you might need a universal card reader to get the videos off of your camera or cell phones.