One of the best things about blogging is that you can turn even unpleasant experiences into content!
For the last two days I have been struggling to make a trailer for my upcoming release Fire in the Blood. For my last major release, I paid to have a trailer made. It wasn't all that expensive, but I was surprised to discover that I ended up doing most of the work. I wrote the script, located the images, found the music. I reviewed at least five drafts of the one and a half minute video, making detailed suggestions about everything from font to timing. The only thing I didn't do was actually use a movie-maker tool to construct the video itself.
So for this release, I decided I'd try to do it myself. How hard could it be? One of my fellow authors, Kris Norris, has raved about Apple iMovie as a platform for composing videos. Her own trailers are fantastic. (I call her the Trailer Queen!) As it happens, I have a Macbook that my company bought several years ago for a project that never materialized. Normally I use Linux and occasionally Windows, but I figured I'd give iMovie a try.
I'm pretty smart. I mean, I have two masters degrees and a PhD. And I make my living developing software. But I'm almost ready to admit defeat.
As is normal for computer people, I started up the program without looking at any kind of manual. I was confident that I could figure it out. I clicked and dragged and fussed and fumed and got absolutely nowhere with the simplest task (importing my images).
Okay. I gave in and decided to see if there was any documentation. I found a thirty page introduction and tutorial and sure enough, there was the information that I had to put my images into iPhoto first, before I could use them in iMovie. Huh? Well,that was a bit strange, but iPhoto was straightforward.
So. I got my images. I figured out (by frequent consultation of the tutorial) how to drag them onto the time line and set the duration. Great! Now I needed to add the titles.
Back to the manual. I found the right tab for creating titles. Gee, they looked great, flying around, in any color or font that I wanted...Now if I only I could get them to attach themselves to my images...
Then when I'd figured that out, the titles started spontaneously spreading themselves out over multiple images. I had a theory as to why, but I couldn't figure out how to undo the effect. I had to start a brand new project, repeating all my earlier steps...
Then the program crashed.
Didn't someone say that the Macintosh was easy?
I was pretty close to tears. I'm not used to being thwarted by computers. However, I'm planning to take a break and give it another try tomorrow. I've sent friend Kris some questions--perhaps she can explain some of the more arcane aspects of the software. Even she admits that iMovie "has a long learning curve".
I do hope the curve's not too steep. My release is in three weeks!
Thanks for letting me vent. That's another advantage of having one's own blog!