Working Overtime

Posted by on April 6th, 2013  •  0 Comments

I caught a bad cold on the weekend before the new quarter started. I have 2 new classes. I’ve taught some of the content for both of them before, but under different names and older software and programming languages. My 99 page book on web design is growing at the rate of fifteen to twenty pages a week, or however many pages my students can consume. I’m writing the content based on current web standards, as explained in many different online resources, and books that I have purchased from other authors.

There is no one book that explains web design the way I like to teach it. I like to build a web page as I teach it. Very few current books are written this way, or if they are, the web pages they build are not pretty. Most of them explain theory, usually badly, and assume you can absorb the knowledge and apply it to your projects.

The book I am writing builds a nice looking website, while it explains the theory. If I do my job, the students will walk away from the class with a professional portfolio website that can be the basis for freelance client work, or as a vehicle for advertising their skills to future employers. And the best part is, they understand everything about the process of building the website. It’s all documented in the pages of the book I am writing.

Whenever I get a spare moment I’ve been studying scriptwriting. I foolishly agreed to teach a brand new class on DSLR video summer quarter. I thought it would be fun since I enjoy exploring new things. I soon learned a dirty little secret about video: any monkey can learn to shoot video. Witness all the grade school kids on the ski slopes wearing go pro cameras on their helmets.

In still photography, one image is all you need and it’s over in a tiny fraction of a second. In video, you film over time. It doesn’t matter how much brilliance you display in your camera work and editing,  your audience will quickly get bored without a story. Which leads me to scriptwriting and a book called Save the Cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting You’ll Ever Need His basic concept is that your audience will like your story if: (1.) You have a hero; and (2.) your hero is likeable because, before he enters into the main storyline, he stops and saves a lost cat stuck in a tree.

It’s much deeper than that, but it’s interesting stuff. Storytelling with video, who knew?

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