Sunday, March 10, 2013

Fun with free, creative video apps

OK, here's a quick diversion.
I have been playing with video apps this weekend and have found a few fun, free ones.
These would obviously not be fitting for a hard news story, but they might be interesting for a feature story (Magisto for a burlesque class or our annual 1940s ball, for example).
Or maybe they're just amusing.

Here are two videos featuring my adorable daughter (and adorable husband) that I made in about two seconds this weekend.

What app: Magisto Video
Cost: Free
What it does: Makes quick "music videos" with preset themes. My favorite is Roaring Twenties, which turns your clip into a silent movie. You can combine clips, too. Then add music (you must have music, which obv takes the professional journalism out of it, but hey, it's 2013).
Pluses: You only need to hit four clicks and it automatically creates the movie for you (e-mails you when it's ready). If you've ever spent hours crunched over iMovie, you know the relief in this concept.
Downsides: Some of the themes are pretty cheesy. And I wonder about the copyright of the preset music they offer.

Here's my Magisto titled "Bettie and Dad play with her new puppy:"

What app: Smule CineBeat
Cost: Free
What it does: The free version turns super short (15 seconds and under) into stylized "music videos," using your own audio laid over preset music. Turn your clip into a rap song or an acoustic indie song, or make it sound like you're in an echoey hallway. I honestly can't think of any legitimate reason why you would ever need this app for journalism, but that doesn't mean I didn't waste an hour last night recording my daughter and making her a rap star. OK, maybe you could use this for some kind of music or entertainment reporting... OK, maybe not.
Pluses: Addictive, easy, funny, entertaining.
Downside: You only get a few free filters and the others cost about $5. This sucks because the app itself is so addictive that you can easily get caught up into thinking that is a good idea.

Here is my daughter's Smule, her first original indie single.
Click here.
Oh yeah, that's another downside. No embed code. Boo.

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