If you’re starting out in digital storytelling, you face some fundamental decisions that will determine or be determined by equipment and software you have access to. I’m not going to give many answers today, but I’ll come back to these in future. It’s just useful to be aware of the scope…
What kind of computer am I going to use: Apple or PC? Or am I going to use a device like a mobile phone?
Am I going to work in Standard Definition or High Definition?
Which operating system am I going to choose: Windows, Apple, Linux?
Will I launch the operating system from the comupter hard drive or will I launch it from a disk or portable drive? E.g. dyneBolic is a LinuxLive OS which runs from a CD-Rom
Which aspect ratio am I going to use: 4 x 3 squarer format or 16 x 9 widescreen?
Which video editing software am I going to use?
Windows: Windows Movie Maker, Adobe Premiere Elements, Adobe Premiere, Avid, etc?
Apple: iMovie, Final Cut Express, Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere, etc?
Linux: Kino, Cinerella, LiVES, etc.
Browser-based: eyespot, JumpCut, etc?
If you ask the advice of a TV video editor, many will say ‘buy Avid or Final Cut Pro’. I’ve avoided using those when helping people make digital stories because Avid uses baffling professional jargon on labels and FCP’s writing on buttons is too small for many of the people we work with to read. You may decide to go with them or explore other software like Adobe Premiere (Elements?)
Whatever you go for, if you want the stories you make to end up on TV, make your own story using the proposed kit and software, then show it to a technical TV professional to expose any shortcomings.
Written and first published by Gareth Morlais on 6 November 2007.