A colleague of mine retired in December of last year. I remembered seeing this post and video on Dean Shareski's blog, So I started this Google doc... and proposed the idea to my colleagues. Dean created a video for Alec Couros' (who turns out to be a Prof at the U of Regina, I only mention this because I now live in Regina) 40th birthday by asking friends, and colleagues of Alec's, from across North America, to contribute a short video clip of them lip syncing a song. What a brilliant idea! My colleagues loved it and said "Sounds great! How soon can we record our bits? When can you have it done by?"
In all honesty, I was not sure what kind of uptake I was going to get from my colleagues here at work. I thought we are busy, not a lot of them are really technically savvy (I had visions of ... "How do I use the movie mode on my camera?), and I was not sure how many of them would be willing to "belly up to the bar" and do this. I knew this would not be every one's cup of tea, but I had to give it a try. But I figured I had to try.
So I set-up a google doc/form just like Dean and sent out a massive email to probably almost all Kathy's colleagues (I figure about 50-75 people) asking them to go to the Google Form and sign-up. I, of course, checked the results of the form about once an hour for the first day, and was really starting to get scared when by the end of the day I had 5 people signed up. The number steadily grew until I had over 25 people willing to participate.
Following Dean's lead, I used a google spreadsheet to identify every one's part and sent out another email asking everyone to record their little piece of video and then send it in. I set a deadline of two weeks. At this point, I had several people drop out, deciding that they were not comfortable doing it, and so I had to re-arrange some parts. That was fine. I had anticipated that. I used Dropbox and Dropittome to collect the video and that worked great! I had never really used either service before, but am a big fan now. After two weeks I opened my folder on Drop box and discovered exactly 2 videos! YIKES! Some frantic emailing and phone calling later, the other videos started to stream in.
It took me about 3 days to figure out the Premiere Elements software (great deal on Black Friday $50) and put the video together and sync it with the audio.
I was quite happy with the end product. I know Kathy really likes it as well.
Outside of learning how to use Premiere Elements and Dropbox, I learnt something else that to me was far more valuable. I learnt that:
- Many of my colleagues are far more tech savvy than I had thought. I was only asked twice how to get the video off of some one's blackberry (and it was not easy).
- My colleagues are a creative bunch.