Due date: 19 jul
Late penalties: 10% per day
In this assignment you'll be working in a small team to create an infomercial. That means coming up with a script, filming the parts, editing the audio and video, converting it to formats that the popular browsers can play, and using the newest web technologies such as Popcorn.js to display the infomercial in a web browser.
The project you create will be in a webpage created by you, but can be easily integrated into any other website using just copy-paste (and uploading the necessary files, of course).
The good news is that this will never be aired on TV or anywhere else. The better news is that you will get some practice not only with some new technologies but also with your communication and selling skills.
I recommend 2 or 3 people per team. If you want a bigger or smaller team - I may allow it, please talk to me about it. You teams must be formed by the end of study week.
If you don't know who to make a team with - let me know and I will assign you to someone else without a teammate.
When you're forming the team - keep in mind that the following are the major tasks:
- Presentation scripting
- Getting filmed (presenting)
- Audio/video post-processing (the quality must be good)
- Exporting the resulting video for the web
- Using popcorn.js for your video
As soon as you decide, add your names to the following list (one row per team).
|#||Members||Infomercial topic||Progress report|
|0||Example1, Example2||SampleProject1||11 Jul. Done.|
|1||Justin, Natesh, Ivan||BigBlueButton||11 Jul|
|2||Anatoly Spektor||Aperture||11 Jul|
|3||Daniel, Kalid||11 Jul|
|6||Yohanes, Chaobo, Zain||11 Jul|
|9||Stephanie, Sezar||11 Jul|
Note the following:
- Filming has to be done using a camera on a tripod, so a cellphone will not work, and a point-and-shoot camera may or may not work. If you don't have access to this equipment - I can lend you mine, but we have to arrange it well in advance.
- You'll be filming yourselves and though the quality will matter - you can try as many times as you like and assemble the best pieces. You don't have to worry about doing it exactly right the first time for this assignment.
- You'll need to make a video of a reasonable size (that can be streamed over a typical residential internet connection).
- You'll need that video to play in the latest versions of Firefox, Chrome, and Internet Explorer.
- The entire webpage has to look professional.
- There will be a graded progress report in week 10, so don't leave it till later.
- The infomercial must be as professional-looking as possible, so do your best with the set (stage) setup and the dress even though we obviously have limited means there.
This is not a Digital Media Arts course so the requirements are not nearly as stringent, but doing this step will help you get verything else done on time.
You're selling a product. This could be something that exists already or something that's being built. It could be one of your projects or someone else's. I don't much care about the product you're selling - I care about how well you sell it. So pick any project you're interested in (that you know stuff about). Please do not pick and existing product and parrot its existing commercial. If you want to use existing material like that - ask me first, I may allow it.
Write a script for how the infomercial will flow. There should be at least 15 minutes of talking and a some of minutes of closeups, "live" demos, etc. Try not to make the whole thing longer than 25 minutes.
If you feel you can do a good job without a script - go ahead, but that will be quite hard for most people unless they're experienced in sales.
Once you have the script - get the camera and make sure you know how to use it. Definitely use a tripod also, I don't want to see any handheld shaking. This should be quite easy to do since I don't expect you'll need to move the camera during any scene.
You must film the following:
- Yourself talking, this is probbly most of it.
- You answering questions from your partner or if you don't have one - questions that came in from the audience.
- Whatever you're selling in action, though I'll accept a creative use of a screen capture software.
Even if you feel it's hard to sell the product without showing it all the time - remember selling is mostly about the salesman and the product is just there to help. You're doing a sales job and not a technical tutorial. Just talk about the features as you would explain them to a friend - that's the least stressful way to get it done.
Remember that even though you have a script that doesn't mean you have to do the whole thing right at once. Do it in pieces, expecting you'll be pasting the pieces together later during editing. This is a why a good script is important - you can concentrate on one scene at a time.
The final video should look like this:
- Title screen with the names of all the people in your team, and the name of the product you're selling. Also if it's not obvious - a brief (one sentence) description of the product.
- Approximately 15 minutes of one or more of you talking, including answering a question or two.
- Interspersed in those 15 minutes approximately 5 minutes of hands-on product demonstration, not more.
- All along the video there should be contact information shown for people who want to buy it, like a (fake) phone number or a (fake, short) website address. Don't forget to mention this info several times as you're talking.
You may use any software you like for editing.
Look back on what you've done in the Video lab and convert your video into those formats so that it will play in Firefox and Chrome and IE. You will probably also have to change settings when you do the conversion to make the size of the videos smaller. The videos must be streamable on a typical residential 5Mbps connection, so calculate what that means in terms of a maximum size for your video.
Same as for assignment 1 - you will need to find a template for your page so that the result looks professional. Don't forget to set the titles correctly and remove links that you aren't using.
On the index page you should have:
- The team number and all the team members' names.
- A list of the equipment you used.
- Where you got the website template.
- Links to any code samples written by someone else that you used in the assignment. You may use online resources or Chris's demo code from here, but you have to be very clear which code you didn't write yourself or else it's plagiarism.
On the video page there will be a title, the name of the product, a short description, and two main components:
The video itself, in an HTML5 video tag. Have the controls showing but don't start playing it automatically. Remember this has to work in multiple browsers. Next to it (probably to the right, though I'll leave that detail to you, as long as it works it's good) you'll need a "Content" area, where you'll show some extra promotional material.
This will contain extra stuff to encourage the viewer to buy whatever you're selling. To keep it simple just have a statement like "16221 of these have been sold already! Hurry up and order yours before the promotion ends!" Where the number can come from http://matrix.senecac.on.ca/~andrew.smith/multimedia/count.php or you can write your own.
The content area should be blank before the video playback is started and after it ends.
Have at least 10 events at appropriate times during the video.
On thursday in week 10 (the week before the assignment is due) your entire team has to meet with me and show the status of the project. Not a standup presentation, but just a chat to make sure you're on track to completing everything on time.
- What are you going to be selling, and why did you choose that?
- What equipment you used / will use, and where you got it from.
- Your script or whatever form of plan you used or will use for the infomercial, including the setup and location.
- Whether you had any issues doing the recording. If you haven't done the final recording yet - why not and have you at least tried a test run?
- Show me the raw recording you've made.
- Tell me your plan for doing the editing.
- Let me know if there are any team problems (MIA members, etc).
This progress report will be worth 20% of the assignment.
Test your project in Firefox and Internet explorer. Since we don't have a place to host such large files - you'll have to submit the assignment on a CD or DVD. It will contain:
Your webpage, fully working. The original, unmodified videos, inside a folder called "raw".
Please write "BTC640/PRO608 Asg 2 Team X" (replace X with your team number) on the disk. And test it!
Put the disk (in an envelope so it can be timestamped) in the dropbox at reception at the CS office.