It is only for solemn or silly reasons I will put a cloth chain around my neck. Yesterday was definitely the latter.

I made a video as a “trailer” for our upcoming UdG Agora Google Hangout (this Friday) the live sessions we are running each week to support the online phase of the project.

Of course, a trailer was not really critical. No one told me to do it. But this feeds into something I have been trying to write think about for a possible Hybrid Pedagogy article. I may come back to that.

In our project our participants are working on “implementation plans” for the challenges/activities they are integrating into their courses over the next few weeks. We are encouraging them to share in their ~40 person sized groups in our online community space dilo and/or their smaller triad groups.

It has been a little bit of an effort to move them from seeing they were turning it in like a homework assignment to us, their group facilitators, and it’s more for each other to share and support.

Somewhere in the random neural circuit room, I was reminded of the scene from the movie Office Space, where Peter is harassed by his boss, Lumbergh, about his lack of covers on his reports

This could be fun, and Ken Bauer was game to play the part of Peter. I did a quick re-write of the script, and sent it to Ken. As he does,m he shot his video in like 10 minutes.

Reminder, Ken is in Guadalajara, I am in Arizona. We are making a movie together.

But Ken has the office decor, he works in one. My home is full of wood paneling. I lack a set. What to do? Set up the Green Screen!

I tack it to a wall that get’s the most natural light from doors and windows. I have 2 clamp in utility lights I added to fill the background (these are those cheap lamps from the hardware store, I clamp on some ripped up old sheet fabric as a diffuser). My video camera is my iPad (because it’s easy to monitor the angle) and I use my Samson Meteor mic for audio.

To play the part of Lumbergh I had to dig out of the back of the closet one of 2 ties I have (the other one has green in it, that won’t work) and some prop eye glasses I have used before to create the serious academic look.

It took about 45 minutes to set up, test, and shoot video. I then took an hour to edit in iMovie- yeah I should use something more sophisticated, but why? I can pull off must of what I need here.


My character sits in the upper video track using the green screen mode, which shines through to some generic office photo I found. I have a few cuts between me and Ken, even a view where my video is over his dialogue. There is this thing in video called the 180 degree rule that you need to pay attention to when doing these 2 camera angle edits, to maintain their spatial relationships. To do this, I had to flip Ken’s video horizontally (I chuckled every time I chose this video effect since Ken is an expert on the flipped classroom).

Also what I like to do is add a layer of audio environmental sounds, it smoothes the gaps when we are not talking. I used an Office Ambient sound (creative commons, ftw) from freesound.

Okay, that was all the background stuff– unlike a DVD, on CogDogBlog you get the extras FIRST. Here is the episode for “Dilo Space”

It is totally ridiculous, there is a message. And its not too likely our colleagues in Mexico know the original movie. That, is not even critical to get the message (the one mistake we should have done Ken is Spanish subtitles).

Even if they do not understand it, they should see that we are having fun.

And this is my idea to write about videos- it’s when you do them in teaching for Stuff That Is Not Contained in the Syllabus. So much of stuff written about video is Its All About the Content. And so much money, time is spent on making it look like professional video. Why? Are we trying to emulate TV?

Why not guerrilla style video, low tech iPad and iMovie editing? Instead of producing video students may never be able to emulate, show them what they can.

And damnit, show you are a goofball you can have fun.


Top / Featured image credit: Here I go again, attributing myself! Why? Because I can. No because I do — flickr photo by cogdogblog shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

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An early 90s builder of web stuff and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person. And he is 100% into the Fediverse (or tells himself so) Tooting as


  1. Thanks Alan for suggesting this, you did know I would jump on it. Also thanks for the writeup which always helps to inspire and teach techniques.

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