If you are like me, you are beginning a new school year of teaching this week! I enjoyed a two-week break prior to this week, which provided some much-needed time off as well as some time to focus on some fun side projects that have been on my to-do list. Let me tell you about one of those projects.
One of my adult students has a background in video. He sold me a used copy of Final Cut Pro, which is a program kind of like Photoshop except for video files. There is a huge learning curve involved with learning how to use Final Cut Pro, as I discovered. I decided to create a “studio trailer” video of sorts, showing various photos of my students to give a sense of what my studio is about. It’s not a perfect video, but I am happy with the results and enjoyed learning the basics of video editing through this project. I posted this video on my studio website and facebook page for my students/parents to enjoy.
Note: You might notice that this video shows my old house, before our recent move twenty minutes away. I still need to collect more photos that show the new house/studio. Maybe I’ll make another video a year from now. I decided to think of this video as celebrating the past three years living and teaching in Ohio. End of one era, beginning of the next!
Interested in creating your own studio trailer? You don’t have to learn Final Cut Pro. Here are the steps:
Buy or create a music track.
If possible, you will want a music track that is only 60 to 120 seconds long. People have short attention spans these days! I bought a royalty-free music track at audiojungle.net.
I considered recording myself playing something, but I wanted to use something spunky and I did not want to worry about the issues associated with recording something that is under copyright. If you choose to record yourself, be sure that the music is something in the public domain. If you want to use a pre-recorded track, you must be sure that you attain the rights to use it for your project.
Gather a variety of photos and video clips.
First, be sure to get permission from your students/parents to use photos and videos of your students.
I chose to use a mix of both photos and short video clips, but you could use only photos if desired. The ideal length for each photo or video clip to be shown is 1.5 to 3 seconds, to keep things upbeat and maintain the viewers interest. Do the math: If your music track is 60 seconds long and you show each photo or video clip for 2 seconds, you will need 30 different photos or video clips. Gather more photos than you think you will need, so that you can pick-and-choose as you edit.
Choose a software program or online service to make your video.
As I mentioned earlier, you don’t have to use fancy software. Here are some options:
- iMovie — It comes installed on Mac computer. An app is also available for iPad or iPhone (it normally costs $4.99, but if you have a fairly new Apple device, you should be able to download it free).
- Windows Movie Maker — It comes installed on Windows computers.
- Animoto.com — an impressive online service with both free and paid options.
- [Please let me know if you know of other options!]
Upload, edit, and create!
Upload your photos and movie clips to your software/service. Begin with introductory photos showing your piano and studio. Find a good ending photo. Then, fill in the middle with photos, editing to suit the music track when possible. For example, if the music starts calm and then becomes more upbeat, use your more exuberant photos during the upbeat section.
Have fun! If you decide to create your own studio trailer, please share the link in the comments below.