I’ve always marveled how startups and Kickstarter campaigns can come up with great videos about their products. I just don’t have the video chops or the tools to make videos like that! Unfortunately, I had the opportunity to make a couple of videos for A Healthier Commute as part of the things I need to do for the CODE Hackathon.

It was very difficult and a big pain. Making a video is harder than making the app, especially because I am nowhere near happy with the outcome. Here’s my first video:

I feel I have good branding and slides, but everything else is tough. It’s tough to control the phone and talk at the same time. It’s tough to get your message down in the minimum amount of time. And it’s tough just to assemble the video together.

Certainly I wasn’t happy with this video, but at least I had something to pass this gate.

Next, I was asked to produce a 15 second video. Not only is that not a lot of time at all, there was a collection of information that must be in the video. Here’s what I came up with:

I think this video is better than the first one. I spent more time thinking about my message and how to cut it down so it’s more concise and direct. 15 seconds isn’t a lot of time, it’s half a TV commercial! But this video still took about 4 hours to make.

Then I started working on version 2 of my teaser/about video. Here’s the result:

Each video is better than the last, and for this one I had spent a lot more time thinking about the positioning and how to convincingly present my argument. I’m happy with the message. However, I’m still not happy with the video itself. I actually wanted to do a bunch of different animations for my slides, but I just don’t have the tools to do it (I don’t have Powerpoint/Keynote either!). I suppose if I had a slick presentation I could do a screencast and then record it; but ideally I’d want some software where all the images are objects that I can animate around (sounds like some Adobe product).

It’s important to be a designer (or have a designer hat) when building. I’m better at graphics now. But with the advent of YouTube, it’s important to have video skills, and I have neither that or the right tools!