Storytelling is essential for communicating ideas. When they are well told, stories help us make sense of information, appreciate cultural or societal differences, and imagine living in entirely different worlds. Audio/visual stories in the form of radio programs, audio books, podcasts, television, movies, and animations, are especially powerful because they provide a rich multisensory experience. Technological advances have made it easy to capture stories using the microphones and cameras that are readily available on our mobile devices, but, the raw media rarely tells a compelling story.
The best storytellers carefully compose, filter, edit and highlight the raw media to produce an engaging piece. Yet, the software tools they use to create and manipulate the raw audio/video media (e.g. Pro Tools, Premiere, Final Cut Pro, Maya etc.) force storytellers to work at a tediously low-level – selecting, filtering, cutting and transitioning between audio/video frames. While these tools provide flexible and precise control over the look and sound of the final result, they are notoriously difficult to learn and accessible primarily to experts. In this talk, I’ll present recent projects that aim to significantly reduce the effort required to edit and produce high-quality audio/visual stories.