Sunday, July 21, 2013

Old School Ideas for Creative Text in Poetry Videos

Let’s get the elephant out of the room. This is not about using After Effects to animate text. After Effects is a wonderful program. Full featured. Expensive. And way beyond an entry level user ability to comprehend in a single sitting.

The goal in this blog series of creating poetry video posts is to help solo poets who are interested in creating their own poetry videos without having to go to film school.

There are ways to animate text in poetry videos that do not require hundreds of dollars. Some of the ideas are a little labor intensive. Or they may seem too simple.

Simple is good. Simple can force you to pay attention to what you need to do as opposed to all the things you could do.

The point is to create a finished video. Not to explore each and every software variation of a plug-in. ( I can’t believe I just typed that sentence.)

Anyway, lets look at a few old school techniques for incorporating text into a video.


Bob Dylan thunk it up and many a recording artist with a music video copied the concept of placing words on cards as the song plays on.

Subterranean Homesick Blues

It was re-invented again in 2010 when Google updated the concept to display the search features in an ad:

Don’t want to show your face? Go for tights shots of hands, skin or the sidewalk. It is inexpensive and this technique gives you a lot of control. You can edit in the camera or tweak it up later in a video editing program.

Another old school technique is to record words as they are being typed on a typewriter. Can be really effective. Except that most people do not have a typewriter.

If you do have a functional typewriter then put your recoding device on a tripod and have at it. Since everything old is new again you could use contemporary tools.

Text Editors and Screencasting

All of us has some form of a text editor or word processor. If you want to have a minimalist look to your text then you might want to look at text editors like Write Monkey, Pillarbox for Chrome or you can use your native note taking software on your operating system.

Combine that with a screen recording software and you can record your text into a video clip.

Screen Recorders

You don’t have a screen recorder?

Well, you might. If you are are a current Corel VideoStudio user those video editing programs do have a screen recording function. Other video editing programs have this function as well.

You can also access on-line screen recorders like Screen-O-Matic which does allow you to download an .avi or .mp4 version of the recording. There is a free and paid version of the service.

Another web app to consider is Screenr. You can record your text or maybe even a well designed slide show presentation using Screenr and upload to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or save the .mp4 for later editing.  Screenr is free and a good option if you want to post on social networking sites.

CamStudio is a free Windows based screen recorder that has been around for a long time. If your are a Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7 user this could be your desktop solution.

Finally, there is TechSmith’s SnagIt. For cost effective and ease of use (as in $40) screen recorder I’d recommend SnagIt which can record screenshots and screen recordings. SnagIt works on Mac and Windows computers.

The recording process is very simple. For recording and uploading videos it is the real deal. If you think you want to edit the video there can be some issues with audio slipping out of synch in some video editing programs.

These are just ideas. Suggestions for those people on a Frugalista budget can implement with little to no cost.

And yet, I wonder if there are other options….

Other Posts of Interest

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love actual comments. Please understand that comments will be held until I get a chance to look them over or wake up, whichever comes first.

Spam and other forms of hate speech are not welcome here. And due to the actions of spam bots and the people that love them moderation is in full effect.