by Sarah Redohl
Three minutes on an iPhone and Gary Symons, CEO of Vericorder, is well on his way to creating a full video package. Around the room, professors and students are a chorus of “That’s neat,” and “Cool!” and often, “Wait, what?”
We’re learning how to use Voddio, Vericorder’s video editing application for cell phones. Upon first experience, it’s like having the power of a whole newsroom at my fingertips—albeit big, clumsy fingers that don’t yet know how to maneuver on such a small screen.
For example, on a cell phone screen Voddio’s exit function (X) can look similar to its screen neighbor, (+) for adding new elements. Add that to the proximity of buttons and a bit of muscle memory and you may have lost your entire project.
Despite the room for error, building a project is pretty easy. Users can shoot video with other applications, or within Voddio itself. Importing files is as easy as clicking a button labeled “import.”
Much of the Voddio interface is similar to other video editing software, but somehow, on a smaller screen, Voddio is a bit more welcoming for video editing newcomers. Hovering over each key tells you its function, and there is a help menu on the home page. Online you can find a bunch of video tutorials to go through step-by-step.
That’s what Symons did for us over Skype, addressing all of our questions and concerns, from “What does the arrow button do?” to “Slow down!” From our two-hour training, I feel ready to take Voddio out for a test drive with the True/False Film Festival. Maybe I can even edit while in line at Starbucks…
The build screen makes building clips and putting them in order easy, and the touch functions work much the same as all touch functions on the iPhone. Double tap highlights something to copy, paste, and much more. Moving two fingers apart zooms in, and closing two fingers zooms you back out. Altogether, Voddio is quite intuitive for new users.
One concern, however, is that despite the online tutorials, I’m afraid it was only intuitive because someone was doing it right in front of me. I’m sure my fingers won’t be the only things I’ll be fumbling with, come my first MoJo assignment.
Of course, the help menu will be a good on-the-scene plan B, but having seen some of the video tutorials, I’m not sure I will be able to figure things out completely on my own.
But Symons, who zips around the interface seamlessly shooting, editing and sending video packages, gave us newcomers a few tips.
- Shoot b-roll in seven second increments for easy editing
- Capture at least 30 seconds of ambient sound more than your intended video length
- Get sound bumpers for scene transitions, like crowds cheering
I have a feeling that if all newsrooms had the time and money, we would always bring out the cannons (our cameras, recorders, hefty tripods) rather than a slingshot. But that’s not our reality anymore, and I’m looking forward to seeing whether Voddio is our answer this weekend.
Also, I’m kind of excited I don’t have to lug the cannons around all weekend.