Visual storytelling is quickly developing thanks to smartphones, new apps and wicked technologies. TikToks green screen video effect for instance is only 6 months old. But it helps transforming boring videos into little layered masterpieces.
I have a newsletter now. Because i wanted to check out Substack anyhow. It is about TikTok. It took a couple of minutes to set it up. My main motivation to do it was to finally find a new structured outlet for some observations. Apart from that a newsletter comes with a bunch of obligations. You need to sit down and do stuff regularly. It forces you to focus.
Right after setting the thing up, i tried to reverse engineer one of the TikToks by NPR´s Planet Money team. This one to be precise. Because it has a decent skateboarding scene inside. And just like back in the old days in front of a television with a vcr and a remote control i watched this little part of the clip over and over again. And tried to recreate it. So how did that go...
It is all about layers, the green screen effect on TikTok plus adding an intentionally amateurish cut-out image of a skateboard and some more steps that turned out to be quite time consuming for a very short video snippet.
Okay, here is what you need to do. Find a skateboard image. Remove the background. Film a surrounding for the background. It is important that you move from right to left. Add a skateboarding sound. How? Find a skatevideo on YouTube (most convenient way, just add a "ss" before the y), download, export an MP3. Yes, quite some work for 2 seconds of sound. But they are important for the entire feel. Now you can combine these two layers with a video editing software. I did it on my mobile phone using Luma Fusion.You can animate the skateboard using keyframes. Now export the video. Make sure it is 9:16!
Open TikTok next and use the green screen video effect. Pay attention that there is a photo and a video option! Here is a nice description and the logo for you to find. The rest is fiddling around. I did not do my homework properly here as you can see.
A lot more of observing and testing i guess. It seems pretty strange that it took most of us more than ten years of owning a smartphone to finally start observing all it can do making use of software, hardware and some skills.
For inspiration check out how Brendan Miller is using stop-motion and a wild mixture of analog and digital to achieve stuff. Or watch this video that Marc Settle recorded on Facebook. After that go get some tape and tape your phone here and there and everywhere. And a little minor observation: When it comes to presentations i really do like this layered approach by James Bridle. Just put Powerpoint on your head for all to see.