Video Selfie Instructions

We have 25 people enrolled in Practical Special Effects and we only meet once a week. To save precious class time and to give you an opportunity to express yourselves right out of the gate, we’re going to introduce ourselves with video selfies. After all selfies are uploaded we’ll cut them into one video, upload to YouTube (unlisted so it won’t show in search results) so we can all learn more about each other. Yes, this will be on the test.


Practical Special Effects will be a radically collaborative course. Effective collaboration is built on trust. Trust is built on relationships. Therefore, the first step to collaboration is getting to know each other.

Your introduction should answer the questions below.

  1. Your name?
  2. What practical special effect (from film, theatre, or themed entertainment) excites or influences you?
  3. Your favorite junk food?

Other parameters

  • your face must be visible
  • your voice must be audible
  • include an image or video of your effect
  • 30 seconds or less (anything longer will be trimmed… awkward!)
  • mp4 or mov format
  • upload to UT Box by Sunday September 2, at 11:59pm and name your file using this format “Lastname_SFX18intro”

How To

I own The Muppet Movie so I streamed it on Amazon and used QuickTime to make a New Screen Recording. (You could also find the clip on YouTube, etc. You don’t have to be this fancy — just point a phone camera at your TV if you have to.) This took me about 10 minutes.

Next, I thought about where I wanted to shoot my video. I tried a few places outside but the shot was with very back lit or I looked too squinty so I went back into my studio and mess around with a few clip lamps until I was satisfied lighting and composition. Then I used QuickTime and my computer’s internal camera to make a New Movie Recording. It took me about six takes until I was happy and under 30 seconds. All this took about 15 minutes.

Finally, I imported both of the file above into iMovie. I pulled the clip of myself into the timeline first then placed the effect clip on top. I reduce the volume of the effect clip considerably. I also faded the audio in an out to make a better transition. I then saved the file to my computer and uploaded to UT Box. This took another 10 minutes.

Shooting and editing this 30 second introduction took about 35 minutes. By comparison, writing this short instructional took considerably longer — about an hour and a half.

Looking forward to meeting you!

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