Mobile Media Production

observe  Observe & Consider


The heart of any media arts production is the collection of materials that are designed around a central idea. Materials might include audio, video, graphics, animation, photography--virtually anything that can been seen or heard. Yet before any materials can be edited they have to be created, often in the real world. Production can be both messy and a lot of hard work, but also exihilarating.

An area that's developing quickly is that of mobile multimedia production. Mobile hardware and software are coming together such that production and post-production can happen on the same device, like the iPad. The following short videos guide you through an example workflow.

Example 1: Language Production Activity

Consider the following use of mobile media production. The production is fairly traditional (video shots, voiceover audio) but the total production time was about two hours. The activity emulates a traditional in-class language performance (skit), where the spoken production of language within a cutural framework is the goal.

Workflow using iMovie for iOS

Editing can happen on-the-spot and influences the creative process. The following how-to guide describes the use of iMovie for iOS.

Apps in Use:

Mobile Production and the Step-by-Step Video

Recall the article from week one about designing video for instruction. The article illustrates how to match a desired outcome to a video genre. For example, instructors wanting students to perform a specific set of tasks can use a step-by-step video.

Considering the article, I used the following video called Alone in the Wilderness as an example of a step-by-step video. While it didn't give every step and I had to consult a number of other sources, it did get me started. I used an iPad to document the process. There are many lessons I took away from the experience, including the realization that accompanying the video with a voice-over would improve the video's effectiveness as a teaching tool.

Observe & Consider

Alone in the Wilderness

Watch until 2:44 (the end of the spoon segment).

Adaptation: Making a Redwood Spoon

Apps in use:

Intermediate Editing

observe Observe & Consider


Editing is often described as an invisible art because when well done, the craft is not seen by the viewer. And while there is no single recipe for achieving seamlessness, there are countless techniques that editors draw upon. Yet one roadblock to clearly understanding the choices editors make is being able to see the editing process unfold. The following presentation (8 minutes in length) uses short film excerpts to analyze various kinds of edits, followed by activities that allow you to manipulate raw footage.

  Practice & Apply

Activity 1: Three part motion in iMovie '09

Begin activity 1 by watching the video tutorial above. Download the picture from the link immediately following the video. By the end of the activity you should be able to create a true Ken Burns style photo animation. If you are having trouble seeing the screencast in enough detail, click the watch on youtube button located at the bottom right of the video player. In addition, if the video is too slow or too fast, try using the variable speed controls located on the video player.

Download this image to use in iMovie. When you click on the link, a new window will appear. Select "edit the file" then click "ok". A new window will appear. Click "Save a copy of the file to your computer."

Activity 2: Documentary style

Begin by watching the completed video (1 min.). What do you notice if anything about the edits? Remember that the goal is for the edits to disappear. Next, use iMovie to recreate the sequence in the tutorial. There are several different kinds of techniques used in the short video, so focus on one or two that you find most interesting. By the end of the activity you should have a general awareness that various techniques exist to create seamless edits. You should have a general idea of how to recreate the technique with your own material. Watch the completed video below, paying special attention to the edits:.

Download these exercise files to use in iMovie. When you click on the link, a new window will appear. Select "edit the file" then click "ok". A new window will appear. Click "Save a copy of the file to your computer."

Use the following screencast tutorial to learn about a variety of editing techniques that help create seamless edits:

Final Project: The Small Mundane Presentation


Movie-making is often described as a linear process, ending broadly with post-production. The reality is much more cyclical, where the results of production are tested in the editing suite and then reimagined and refigured back on location where once again the results may send the maker back to the beginning. The cyclical revisions seen in digital filmmaking are yet further examples of what happens in drafting, prototyping, modeling, and storyboarding (to name a few). Furthermore, one unique aspect of modern digital filmmaking is that it's now technically possible to experiment while editing. Prior to digital editing the expense and labor of analog editing made the prospect of playing around with the raw material quite impossible.

Practice & Apply


The final project: The Small Mundane Presentation is designed to be several degrees removed from the subjects you normally teach. You should feel free to experiment and revise as you wish, provided you stay within the constraints of the following instructions:

 Share & Connect