Maya has been shooting videos since she was about…5 years old, I think. Most of them were done with my little Canon Powershot camera, which makes decent video unless you want to watch it on a larger format. Then, last week, we got a Flip video camera and oh my! This thing shoots up to two hours of high def video, is amazingly easy to handle being only about the size of a pack of cigarettes, and has a built in usb that ‘flips’ out, hooks into the computer and offloads automatically into iPhoto.
Of course, shooting the video is only the beginning. My Mac has iMovie, but neither Maya nor I really knew how to use it. Enter the fun and brilliant people at Apple, who offer one on one tutoring at their store to learn about anything a Mac can do. Happily the closest Apple store is two blocks from our building. Monday we went to learn how to edit videos into a movie, complete with titles, subtitles and lots of other goodies like slow motion, voice over, background music and even the ability to make a ‘movie trailer’ of your video clips. After an hour with our tutor, we were video masters.
That was yesterday at 5pm. Maya has since edited 14 videos, and thinks she wants video editing to be her career. I wish I could include one or two here, but WordPress tells me the files are too large. Bummer. Maybe we’ll get them on YouTube at some point and then I’ll post the links.
Anyway, this is the kind of fun and learning that I can’t put a price on. Creative, engaging, funny (very funny, in some cases). She would stay up all night working on videos if I wasn’t using the computer for blogging. It’s a good kind of obsession, and I can’t believe how easy it is. The Flip video camera, too. Puts the old camcorders to shame and is foolproof. The only thing you need to do now and then is charge it. Not only is she editing videos, but she and Ben are, as I speak, in her room shooting a video (something about porcupines, from what I can hear). They’ve scripted it, blocked it and are now shooting small segments one by one, to be edited together tomorrow (or later tonight, if Maya can talk me into it) . How much money do you want to be that I will get a request to ‘use the computer for just a few minutes?’ within the next half hour?
[30 seconds later]
Ha! They just came out to ask if they could show me something….
They did refrain from asking to use the computer. But I got to see the entire skit, about Prickles the Porcupine. It rhymed and they’d memorized it – in about 15 minutes. Maya always tells me she’s not good at memorizing. So funny. But when she says that, I know she’s thinking of being told to memorize a poem, or some verse that has been chosen for her. One of those things that causes her eyes to glaze over and her hearing to fail.
So hooray for the Flip video and iMovie! Who says time on computers will stunt a child’s creativity? Not me, that’s for sure.