While finishing an unconference session with Dennis Grice at the Discovery Education Summer Institute on ways to create cool effects and titles for iMovie by using Keynote slides with the funky asparagus color, I had an “oh wow” moment.
“What if?” I excitedly asked myself, “I pulled out the silly JJ Abrams created Action Movie FX app and instead of filming an object to flood or explode I just filmed green?”
Would it work in iMovie (iLife ’11 not iOS version) as a green screen layer?
I frantically raced around looking for green construction paper and to my assistance came Kyle Schutt and Chad Lehman. They pulled a piece out of a supply case and I was off to try it.
I recorded the effect and saved to camera roll.
Next I imported the effect clip over green I had saved to iMovie and created a new project. I dragged a clip up onto the project timeline of Dean Shareski who was one of the lead facilitators of the institute. Another group of guys and I had been working on a silly mashup video and we had a fun clip of Dean acting surprised.
The next step was to drag the effect clip of the flood directly on top of the Dean clip until an options menu appeared. You have to be using iLife 11 and you need advanced tools selected in your iMovie preferences.
Next I selected “Green Screen”.
After getting the effect clip in the right place, I tested it and the water was coming in too high. I simply used the crop option and tweaked the effect oh so slightly. This tweaking was a Dennis Grice idea and really speaks to the increased flexibility that creating the effects on green provides over trying to do everything with the iPhone.
Below is the final product.
Sure…this is silly. Just think though of the creativity that students can generate. Think of the fun. Think of all of the language arts that can be fostered by creating “What if…” video writing prompts like “What if dinosaurs invaded the Obama inauguration?” or “What if Justin Bieber was trapped under a rock?” and kids had to write about how the problem was solved. Seems like pretty good pedagogy starting out with an anticipatory set like that.
What I plan to do for my students is record all of the different effects on green paper and then place them on Google Drive in a folder students can access. For appropriate use, students can then download effect clips and import them into iMovie projects. There is then no need for them to all have devices with the app on it. Since the app is free I also feel good that we aren’t skirting any process that would be outside the ethical bounds of sharing. We can apply to an endless amount of footage which expands the app’s capability exponentially.
See what other cool ideas you can think of. I would love to hear them in the comments.