For our first team meeting, we had planned on meeting via conference call. However, Taurean Durrette suggested using Google Hangouts. Solange Gill and I had not used this before, so after a few technical glitches we were all able to meet together using Hangouts. We were also able to create a Google Doc where we could document our progress and share ideas. During the Q&A session, I decided to start an iCloud Keynote document, but we found that Docs was sufficient. We used smartphones, iPad, and Macbooks to create and edit our content. We all checked out Amazon app and came up with a story of a panicked Dad with a bonus trying to buy Christmas gifts at the last minute. Solange had recently discovered Animaker and chose to create our visuals using the app. She worked very hard and struggled with the shortcomings of the free app, but created a colorful and exciting animation for our project. Solange also took all of the elements and edited them together using Final Cut Pro. I played with the Christmas poem by Clement C. Moore and changed the words to fit our project. Using Audio Recorder on my phone I recorded the narration for the project. At first the poem was too long for the animation, so in the end it was short and sweet. I used Adobe Audition to edit the narration to fit the animation. Taurean was tasked with the music background for the project and came up with some really great ideas. He shared videos using YouTube for the team to compare. Taurean also created the credits. We used Drive to store our assets and used the Docs app to list the links for the files so everyone had access.
My role in the team was to create the script and narration for the project. I was at first stumped and faced a bit of writer's block. Once the idea of using the Christmas poem, the ideas and words flowed quickly. I ended up re-writing about two minutes of the poem, but animation is a labor intensive process, so the script was shortened. I was surprised by Solange’s willingness to take on animation. I suggested using a comic book form to make it a bit easier, but in the end the animation looks amazing. I am really proud that we were all able to come together and brainstorm and come up with a unified theme. Working in groups can be a challenge, just to find a single time to get together, let alone really get together and come up with a project. The distance, individual schedules, and other distractions can easily sabotage a group, but I think we really made it work.