Notes on Affective Video Projects


December 1, 2014 by Brian Harmon

Here are some general thoughts about the Affective Video Projects.

First off, while the genre of a kickstarter video has elements of what I was asking for in an affective video, it might be much more expository or narrative than your initial video.  Therefore, it might be appropriate in some cases to significantly edit your video for structure, content, AND production quality.  This is the kind of situation you might elaborate upon in your final portfolio memo.

A common problem concerned resolution and aspect ratio.  I’ll repeat the note I made in an early post:

As you consider revisions of your Affective Video Project for the portfolio, think carefully about resolution and aspect ratios.  I will not take these into effect when grading the first draft, but it should be addressed before the portfolio. Here are some links to help understand this issue:

There are other ways to deal with a vertically oriented image.  If you have access to HBO Go, check out one of their newest documentaries: Banksy Does New York.  There is significant use of vertical iphone images presented in a smart, topical way.  Remember, this is a new enough technological constraint that strict conventions aren’t yet in place.  Be creative and surprise me, but remember that large black borders around your video or still images isn’t a conventional “look” and can signal (more often than not) a less than professional production.

The issue of resolution is also important to consider when making your revisions.  Read the youtube advice for uploading videos, and do your best to submit a video with as sharp an image as possible.  If you are having trouble with color corrections, consider black and white (effect filter) or going crazy with the color!  It all depends on the audience.


It has often been noted that bad audio can destroy even the most compelling visual images.  Spend a large portion of your editing time on audio.  Here is a tutorial I watched recently while I was working on the Osamu Kobayashi project.  Think about layering audio and matching audio layers.  Fade in and out.  Check the sound levels in youtube BEFORE you turn in your final video.


To improve the ‘look’ of your film, consider adding an effect to the image.  Here is a very simple brightness/contrast filter tutorial.


Remember the “read it twice” rule.  With any significant amount of text on screen, an average viewer (you) should be able to get through it twice, so make sure to leave it on screen long enough!  As in the poster design, be selective and purposeful when choosing fonts and design elements.  Explore other kinds of visuals (still photographs, graphics, screen captures, etc).  Double check all spelling and punctuation.  Think about visual design principles and readability.


Please add any production questions (that might be valid for the whole class) to the comments section, and I’ll do my best to give an answer quickly.



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Kickstarter Creator Handbook

Recent changes to Kickstarter policy



One thought on “Notes on Affective Video Projects

  1. […] Bring hard copies of any text you plan to use in your final project or portfolio for peer review.  Review pdfs in the class dropbox (technical writing tips, wordy sentences, sections from White Space).  Also, as you begin the next stage of editing your video, please refer to the general notes I provided here. […]

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