Screencast assignment

Image from Digital Inspiration.
                                                                                                                                                                                           Image from Digital Inspiration.

The screencast is a production genre that can take many forms. Your task here is to teach us about you and your work through a screencast that features your website and other media artifacts that you choose.

Your screencast should be between 3 and 4 minutes long.  You can choose to do voiceover narration if you like (in which case, see some tips below). Or you could just use text (you typing words on TextEdit or Word to tell the story) while drawing the viewer’s attention to things on the screen.

You should write some kind of script or “mind map”to guide you through. What do you want to cover? In what order? Key points? Examples? I have thought about the production of this and I think it might work best if you plan to do several takes. Record your screencast in segment and then edit them together.  Use video, photos and writing (even social media if it makes sense).

This is due with the rest of your portfolio by the day and time of the final. Export from iMovie (or whatever) upload to YouTube and Vimeo and then embed that in your site. I know, kind of meta.

Other tips:

• Think about minimizing your taskbar and hide your icons unless you are doing a training on using the operating system for a computer, don’t distract your audience or waste valuable screen space with other program icons.
• Add some bed music if you like. But be careful; don’t let it be a distraction.
• Add “bumpers” at the beginning and end to introduce the screencast.
• It’s not necessary to move the mouse while describing something. Also, when you are editing the screencast later on, it’s much easier to make your edits when the mouse stays still so there is no distracting mouse movement between shots, or mouse jump at a jump cut.

If you choose to do a voiceover:

• Get a quality mic. Don’t rely on your internal mic. Sound quality is vital. Make sure you are using the external mic by checking it on your computer.
• Record in a “small and soft” room.  You want stray sounds stays muted. Use blankets and pillows if you need to.
• Cushion your mic. For screencasts, even the vibrations of your computer fan and the table can screw up the quality.
• Check your levels.  position the mic as close as it can be without pickup up your breathing.
• Go through and cut out the pauses, the “umms” the stumbles.  With practice, you can indicate a take while recording and make it easy to cut mistakes out.

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