Using Mozilla Popcorn Maker to Create an Interactive Video

I’ll be teaching a workshop on Mozilla Popcorn Maker soon and, as is my habit, I created this step-by-step tutorial. Here’s the tutorial in handout form as a PDF, and here it is in Word, in case you’d like to modify it.

Mozilla Popcorn Maker allows you to enrich a video with interactive maps, images, and webpages. Your video could be different every time it’s played, because it pulls in dynamic content and allows your “viewer” to interact with it. Here, we learn how to use it to enhance an archival video.

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Clips, class, and copyrights

Photo by number657.
Photo by number657.

A film class needs film. Duh. Close-analysis of film clips is an important part of teaching sections, and nobody wants to mess with scanning DVD chapters to find the right clip. So most TAs I know make clip reels — DVDs of clips — to show in class.

I was interested to see that the Society for Cinema and Media Studies has issued a statement of best practices for fair use (the doctrine that covers this area of copyright law). As far as clip reels are concerned, SCMS has this to say:

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My favorite tools: Download YouTube videos with KeepVid

YouTube logoI’m always kind of scandalized when presenters connect to the Internet to show YouTube videos. I mean, if they want to risk it, fine, but why take the chance? The Internet connection could cut out, the wifi could fail, the connection could be slow, an embarrassing ad could pop up … I think people have the idea that you can’t download videos from YouTube, but it actually couldn’t be simpler. Just enter the address of the video at KeepVid, press “convert,” and there you go: a file in the format of your choice, ready for you to drop into your presentation.

KeepVid also works for other Flash-based video and music sites. It’s free, no registration required.