Before the digital revolution, videos — like still photographs — were actually shot on film. Editing them involved cutting out individual frames and splicing the filmstrip back together, a tedious and expensive process that resulted in lots of little plastic squares on the cutting room floor. You also had to move through all previous footage to reach the scenes you wanted to edit, more or less requiring you to edit the film in the order in which you shot it.
Today, software makes editing digital footage faster, easier and much more affordable, and puts it within reach of anyone with a personal computer. Even better, digital video editing is “nonlinear,” which means you can access the scenes you want to edit directly. This helps speed up the process, especially for a short, Internet-ready video for which you just need to trim off the ends and add a title screen or two. Continue reading →
Stupeflix & Animoto offer new ways to tell a story
Updated to remove RockYou, which has switched its business model to focus on games, and Slide, which closed up shop in March 2012.
By Kim Bale
In a world where we’re bombarded with 3,000 messages a day, it’s hard for nonprofits and social change organizations to break through the noise and get your message across in just a minute or two. But a new generation of multimedia storytelling tools lets you do just that. You don’t need high-end video editing software — just a compelling message, some good visuals and a knack for mashing up content and music in an eye-catching way.
Three companies that are helping to blaze the new multimedia-meets-Cuisinart terrain include Animoto and Stupeflix. The sites make it simple for you to upload photos — often from existing Flickr or Facebook accounts — add captions and music, and create a finished product that is both professional-looking and affordable.
Photo sharing services like Flickr and Photobucket let you embed a photo slide show — here’s a nice slide show by the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation — and we like those, too. But we love the new breed of multimedia roll-your-own-video sites, which take visual storytelling to another level. You’ll notice that these sites cater to pop culture; don’t worry about that, so does YouTube!
Here’s a look at what they offer:
Among the most advanced in multimedia technology, Paris-based Stupeflix has a lot to offer. It lets you choose from four basic themes and upload your images from your computer, Facebook, Picasa or Flickr. You can easily arrange your images by using drag and drop and add a soundtrack by choosing files from your own computer. Preview your creation and export it for free or upgrade to a higher quality version for just a few dollars. You can automatically upload it to Facebook or YouTube for no cost, or remove the Stupeflix brand and create own your own commercially licensed video for $5! (Of course, you’ll want to make sure you have the rights to use the music or that you use only a small portion, though this area of fair use is far from settled law. However, if you plan to sell DVDs, make sure you’ve secured the rights to use of all content in the video.)
The video above created by Stupeflix highlights Seedcamp 2008, a gathering of entrepreneurs in Europe. It can be used as marketing material or as a highlight reel of the conference.
As part of our silo-busting effort at Socialbrite, we’ll be showcasing cool technologies that haven’t received enough attention in the nonprofit and social change worlds. So here’s a one-minute video, announcing the launch of Socialbrite, that I created last night on Animoto:
Check out Animoto: They’re doing amazing things with a very small staff. You can try out a few remixes for free, and choose from music and images on their site; after that, it’s 3 bucks a video or $30 a year.