It might sound a little unbelievable, but you can get pretty good quality voiceovers for your projects using a simple smart phone. For our latest series Streetfacts we decided to go a little bit more low-tech: rather than using a microphone to record directly into the computer or renting out a studio and spending a ton of money, well, we just used our iPhones!
In actuality it started out as a test to do some rough drafts with some early-version scripts. But when I married the images to the recordings and played it with the soundtrack I realized they sounded pretty good. Now I'm not suggesting these videos feature award-winning, movie quality sound, but the ability to be able to record at a moment's notice ended up letting us do many revisions without worry. Simple process: record in a voice notes program, email it to yourself, and then simply drag and drop onto your desktop and into your edit timeline.
I'd suggest a few things if you go this route. 1) Make sure you are in a quiet area (and as a bonus make sure the room isn't too "echo-y". 2) You'll need to get the smart phone fairly close to your subject. 3) Make sure your talent doesn't hold the paper as they read it (it makes noise). And most important, 4) I'd only recommend this if you plan on having background music in your piece.
Here's our Streetfacts #4 which I think shows off the quality. For those of you making your own transportation videos, you might want to try it out. And in the future look for more Streetfilms University tips!
While on a shoot in Indianapolis to document the grand opening of the Cultural Rail Trail (look for a great Streetfilm on it shortly), Jaimson Hutchins, the Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator for the city was leading a group ride showing off its bike amenities to some of the group gathered there from National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO)
While riding along the Canal Tow Path, Jamison and others spied a robin in distress. It was tangled badly in a fishing line and the crew jumped into action to to try extricate the bird. After calming the bird a bit - and a futile search to see if anyone had a tool sharp enough to cut the line - Jamison just did the superhero thing and used his teeth to give the baby robin its freedom. See it as it happened here:
Jamison said later, "The Canal Tow Path is a great spot to take in a quiet ride in a natural habitat, so any time I can do my part to save a robin, I will do whatever I can. Sorry worms!"
As bicyclists all around the world know, almost every day you get on a bike something exciting and fun happens. I just happened to have the camera rolling this time. What's the coolest/weirdest/funniest thing that has ever happened to you?
Friends, as you may know our major funder for Streetfilms, Mark Gorton, has a wonderful touring presentation called "Rethinking the Automobile" which he's been delivering at many gatherings throughout the country. Recently he was in Portland, Oregon at the Active Transportation Summit a few weeks ago.
Dan Kaufman of PDXK Productions (and CrankMyChainCycle TV!)captured the entire speech and did a wonderful edit job putting this together for any of those who may have missed it. See it below. (There is also a shorter highlight version here.)
Dan also did a great guest editorial in The Oregonian which is a great read.
Spring has arrived! And along with it an explosion of livable streets activity. Every time I ride my bike, or relax in a public plaza, or walk down a nice wide street where I can stop and say hello to my neighbors, I think how lucky I am to live in a place with growing amenities for better biking, walking and public space. Streetfilms helps fuel the fire for positive change to our streets.
Today we’re launching our spring pledge drive, and if you value the work we do please make a contribution to Streetfilms so we can keep bringing you the latest in livable streets news and advocacy.
This spring we'll be covering the roll-out of the largest North American bike share system in New York City, new public space and bike trails in Indianapolis, and filming the fantastic BRT and light-rail in Salt Lake City. The videos that Streetfilms distributes continually make the case for safer walking and biking and more effective transit. And we need you to help us.
If you've ever enjoyed one of our films, shared them with your neighbors, or used them to build your own local livable streets movement, please make a donation today. And remember all of our films are available now for FREE via Vimeo in case you want to show them to your politicians or community.
For some extra motivation, we also have a very fine folding bike to give away at the end of the pledge drive. Everyone who makes a gift of $50 or more (or a monthly gift of $5 or more) will be entered into the drawing to take home this beauty, courtesy of Dahon:
Thanks to all our donors for making Streetfilms possible. Please make a tax-deductible gift to help us raise $40,000 by June 1 and keep us going through 2013 and beyond.
It's likely most of our readers haven't heard of Regions Bank or at least haven't seen some of their trademark television spots featuring their distinctive lime green bicycles (Regions refers to them as "life green"). That's probably because most of their branches are in the Southeast U.S, so they likely advertise locally instead of purchasing national buys. But many of their cool adverts are on YouTube so I'll try to embed and link to as many as I can for the bike-curious.
With all the horrible bike ads out there, for years I've admired Regions Bank's marketing arm and their positive integration of the bicycle into their ad campaigns. Most of their settings have a real warm feeling of community and many of their commercials feature a very vibrant downtown vibe with a few slow-travelling cars, plenty of smiling pedestrians and bicyclists rolling around on their Regions classic cruisers. Sure it might be a little livable streets nirvana, but for 30 or 60 seconds you are there.
And sometimes they get artsy. They even did a series of ads featuring bicycle-riding acrobats!