The device is just a device: the real art is in the hands of the person who is holding that device.
Quote by: Glen Mulcahy, Mojo Guru
Even when that person is sat in a hair salon…
I’m not saying I’m an artist here, far from it, but it’s incredibly liberating to be able to create stories away from the confines of the office, the desk, or even a computer.
Following a practical study in which journalism students were told ‘to go mobile-only’ for six whole weeks, many of them said they felt pressured to get their stories out there asap while also feeling in control that they tools and technologies they needed to create their stories were literally in their hands.
Time to experiment
After work on Friday we took the kids for a bike ride and, thanks to the super helpful tutorials I’m working my way through via Robb Montgomery’s mobile journalism course on Udemy, I took the opportunity to try some of this stuff out.
I filmed a bunch short clips and took some photos. I filmed some vertically too, delete, delete, delete (although you can zoom these shots to fill a vertical frame but it lowers the quality so not recommended).
A few hours later, while sat in the relative tranquil of the hair salon, confined to my seat with a headful of foil, I pushed away the trashy magazines on offer, pulled out my phone and got to work on making a video.
Variety is the ‘Splice’ of life
I used the Splice app to sift through my clips, get rid of some, trim some and swap the order, until a story fell into place. Because I’m emotionally involved in this video – the subject is my three-year-old daughter – it was hard for me to make cuts because I loved all the footage and photos. But I kept Robb’s 30-second limit in my head (therefore shareable on social channels which impose time limits on videos) and removed the photos because the video clips were so much better, even after apply the Ken Burns effect. I particularly love the ‘from the bike basket’ clips: without any direction from me, my phone captured genuine childlike joy at riding a bike in the sunshine out in the big, wide world. It’s just lovely.
I was going with a silent video to start with but wanted to bring in the sound of the bike bell, especially to finish the video. Does this mean I created a semi-Kinogram? Possibly, I just made that up
I then used Videoshop to add a title bar across more than one clip. One thing I’m learning from Robb’s course is that you don’t need to do everything in one app, and learning which apps are best for which techniques is key.
I’ve kept this video simple but I could have made at least 10 different versions. But for an hour in the hair salon, not bad. A productive use of time, two apps experimented with, a family memory captured, and I can now take this knowledge into work and make good use of it.
For me, it’s absoloutely key to find the time to experiment and play with new tools and apps – it’s the best way to learn, make mistakes, learn some more. And if that means doing it while you have your hair cut and coloured, so be it.