The Adventures of Tapey

I probably shouldn’t be posting this, because it’s going to make you think that I have no business doing anything with video-editing software ever again…but what can I say. I had fun. (I guess that’s what I can say, actually.)

I’m teaching myself how to use a new program in order to put together a well-polished trailer for Life in the Dorms once we’re closer to its release. For the idea I’ve got hashed out for my trailer, I needed to download a new software package in order to mess around with green-screen and writing-on-video capabilities, which surprisingly the free version of Windows Movie Maker doesn’t have. (It does have the power to freeze and lose all of my goddamn hard work LITERALLY ALL THE TIME, though!) This video represents my attempt to teach myself how those features work.

Things I learned about green-screen from doing this video:

1) Make sure the subject isn’t the same color as the background. (Also known as the “Duh Principle.”) My background was white, and I picked a subject (my colorful tape dispenser “Tapey”) with some white in it, not realizing that the white part of Tapey would be green-screened away along with the background.

2) If you’re using a wall as your “green screen” (white screen), make sure the corner of the wall isn’t in the shot. That’s just going to make things look weird.

3) Also try not to get the “floor” (in this case, the cover to my wife’s piano) in the shot, because that just messes everything up, AND it means I have to teach myself how to crop videos, too.

4) It’s REALLY HARD to make the image you’re green-screening in not look all faded out. I’m still not sure what the problem was, though it might be because I didn’t use the correct color background.

Things I learned about writing-on-video:

1) Get someone else to do it. I have terrible handwriting.

The final product may look like butts, but I still came away from this project with a better knowledge of how to create neat videos, beyond just messing around with filters. And you have to admit—it’s pretty cool that you can’t even see the strings. Part of the time you can’t even see my hand!

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