I have now written and produced over 100 tutorial movies on design and marketing for MediaBistro. Lately, these have started to resemble textbooks. The last one, on the influence of Bauhaus design in web design today, looked like a glossy coffee table art book.
Some call it e-learning, and think it is new, but I was doing the same thing for a CD magazine in 1992. In those days, limited by the data rate of CD ROMs and by concerns about choking the user’s hardware, we published at 3 frames per second; one tenth the normal frame-rate (for those of you who don’t know video format, normal video is 30 frames per second).
It was my job to teach designers and artists how to create multimedia — one could say I went one step further than reviewing software — I was showing people how to use it in their work. I had to produce movies for both Mac and PC platforms. The movies could not be more than 2 minutes long each, and I had three two minute movies in which to convey how the program worked via a dummy project that I designed.
For MediaBistro, my editor and I brainstorm the concept for each tutorial series. We focus on creativity, web design and design principles rather than on software instruction. (Other instructors at MediaBistro cover software.) Each edition consists of six movies: an intro movie that everyone can see, and five tutorial movies for the subscribers. Each movie is about five minutes long, so I produce about a half-hour of content for each series.
The process I follow to create the tutorials is as follows:
- Create the outline for the tutorial.
- Write the scripts for all 6 movies.
- Find visuals to support the script (still graphics or websites).
- Get the scripts approved.
- Rewrite or edit the scripts.
- Build the graphics for the movies.
- Build splash screen (movie title).
- Record movie with voice-over.
- Upload movies. Wait for approval or edit request.
- Edit or remake moves, if necessary.
I enjoy doing the videos, despite the fact that it is hard work, because I get to continue my work as an educator (I taught at Parsons, Pratt and at The School of Visual Arts.) To see more of what I do, go to MediaBistro.