Because it seems I can’t leave comments on the actual post below, I figure I’ll reblog and respond.
This Xtranormal video was but a first experiment in what I think could be a bright future for animation recreations in news. We had this phone transcript (not an audio file, or else we’d have just used that) and wanted to do something that would present it in a non-textual way. It could be done in a more serious fashion, if one has the time, desire and credits to do so.
I went with the bears because 1. It was free, I’d have to pay for people. Eventually we may buy credits there, but for an experiment, I wanted to stay free. 2. The ship had long since sailed at local media making light of this transcript.
The added sound effects stem directly from what is being said in the transcript, nothing was added for editorial effect.
TBD Social Media Producer Mandy Jenkins tried out the xtranormal video production method to recreate a conversation between a couple before they were arrested by the FBI. While interesting, I’m not sure I like it for a few reasons:
1) Teddy bears are not serious, and this is a serious topic. It’d be like recreating a crime scene with Legos, even if it was properly built to scale, etc.
2) Added sound effects. I don’t know the story behind the knocking (how she knew when to add it, or the doorbell), but I think enhancing content in such a way could be dangerous. Maybe she added too many knocks, and maybe she didn’t pay it enough justice at all, adding far too few.
3) Sure, it’s no iPhone 4 video, but still it’s a bit too close to pure entertainment. It’d be like if I watched the Colbert Report and took everything he said literally — it’s based in reality, but the context makes it seem humorous. Then again, is it that different from when shows like America’s Most Wanted re-enact stuff? I don’t know.
At the same time, I like the direction. Voice software is not far from being able to replicate this in even more impressive fashion. And, it’s clearly a benefit to have some sort of non-text transcript for the internet user who likes to listen and browse other tabs. Multimedia, especially interesting stuff, is a good way of enhancing stories, and this makes that clear.
I guess I would have just preferred an audiofile (though I do like the computer voice in some ways — it can’t really be overdramatized).
I’d like to go back in time and tell a younger me, “Someday, you will attend networking events just for the cheese platter. Your ability to small talk will only be surpassed by the amount of wine you can absentmindedly drink while listening to someone whose name you forgot talk about whatever it is that they do.”