If you know anything about multiple sclerosis (MS), you know that it is a frightening, unpredictable disease that can stop you from moving at any time. You may be feeling fine one day and wake up unable to get out of bed the next.
For six years, I have participated in Walk MS Lexington with Gretchen Bolton, who was diagnosed with MS eight years ago and who supports the National MS Society through this walk. The money that she raises through this walk helps provides programs and research for her and others like her who are suffering from this debilitating disease.
In addition to doing the walk and making a financial gift, I help Gretchen create an appeal to send to others so that she can collect as much as possible. (You may remember a previous post about the 2011 appeal.) This year we created a 3-minute video to invite others to give. I used a background template that I found on the Articulate website and a variety of software applications to do the appeal, including Microsoft PowerPoint 2010, Adobe Photoshop 5.5, Camtasia Studio 8, and Snagit 11. PowerPoint, Photoshop, and Snagit were great for capturing images and editing them for use in the video. And Camtasia Studio is now as good a video editor as screen recorder, so I used that for my audio recording and video editing.
Some efforts I made in the process were as follow:
- I displayed a map of our area and then created an animation of the driving route from home to the neurologist’s office. To do this, I used PowerPoint’s scribble shape tool to create the animation on top of the map, recorded that using Snagit’s video recorder, and then sent the resulting movie to Camtasia Studio as I worked.
- I displayed a logo inside a cell phone screen that appeared to be “flashing” in and out. To do this, I created an animation of the logo in Camtasia Studio’s Visual Properties and then copied and pasted that a few times so that the “in-and-out” motion was possible.
- I imported a free audio track that TechSmith provides for Camtasia Studio into the application and edited it for use as background music in the video.
- I used the sketch motion callout tool in Camtasia Studio to create a simulation of calendar dates being marked through, which looked pretty cool.
- I imported into Camtasia Studio a “thank you” video I’d created a few years ago that featured photos of donors, cut a clip from it, and included just that small clip in the appeal. I also screen-recorded a short clip of the “Kindergarten Cop” motion picture and did the same as with the thank you video.
- At the end of the video inside Camtasia Studio, I added two call-to-action buttons using Camtasia Studio’s “hotspot” capabilities. One button links directly to Gretchen’s giving page on the MS Society’s Walk MS Lexington website, and the other button links to a page where donors can ask to be reminded a few days later. For this reminder page, we used a Google Form, so we can collect all such names in one place easily.
I won’t say the resulting production is worthy of an award (one issue I’m still trying to figure out is why my fade-ins and fade-outs aren’t as smooth as I’d hoped for, and some of my images aren’t as great as I’d like them to be), but the project was fun and challenging to create, and we hope to reach Gretchen’s goal of $1000 for Walk MS Lexington using it as an invitation to give. Why don’t you view the video now and select the “Make a Gift Now!” button at the end? Be sure to make your gift by September 14, the day of Walk MS Lexington! Thanks!