Here I’m presenting kamishibai stories at FOO Camp, Tim O’Reilly’s annual gathering of technology provocateurs. I cracked up when I saw the photographer’s caption: “It’s not just geeks.”
How do you present multimedia at conferences? For my workshops on Japanese kamishibai storytelling, I use a PowerPoint slide show with about 70 slides. Only the first, second, and last slides contain text, because the point of the kamishibai format is to look at your audience, not turn your back on them to read bullet points. (At FOO Camp last year, I wryly called the technique “PowerPoint for People.“)
Later this month, though, I’ll be delivering a lecture about my book and DVD, The Art of Digital Music, at a tricked-out auditorium. The bulk of the DVD is 60-second movies of the artists I interviewed for the book. For each interview, I extracted sound bites with Ambrosia WireTap, added original music with Ableton Live to move the stories along, and then synced the audio with photos I animated in LQ Graphics Photo To Movie.
My concept for the presentation is to intersperse video clips from the disc with photos and behind-the-scenes stories, such as why producer Don Was recorded the Rolling Stones on his iBook instead of in his million-dollar Hollywood studio, how I got a stealth interview with Brian Eno, and more.
My dilemma is one we often face with today’s cornucopia of creative software: Which program(s) would be best for pulling all those media together and presenting them smoothly? My first inclination was to rerender the movies and embed them in PowerPoint slides, but I won’t have my computer with me, so I was worried that the host computer might not be able to keep up. Ditto if I simply built an HTML page and linked to the media files. Perhaps Keynote would perform better, but I haven’t bought it yet. (Should I? Please leave a comment.)
My current plan is to produce a custom DVD with, say, ten movie clips instead of the 50-plus on the original. For the static pictures, I could whip up some iDVD slide shows, even including titles. I wonder how the comparatively low resolution will look projected, though. Boinx FotoMagico now creates standalone, high-resolution slideshow players, but I’d have to recreate all my Photo To Movie movies to use them in FotoMagico, which seems excessive.
With 53 interview movies sprawled across seven pages, jumping to a specific chapter on the Art of Digital Music disc takes some clicking on the Mac. But a remote with a numeric keypad might make that feasible live.
So, what system are you using to present multimedia—and what do you like about it? (A better question might be what presentation techniques do you find effective or annoying when you’re in the audience!)
Editor’s Note: David Battino will be performing Kamishibai: Japanese Storycard Theater at the Maker Faire, May 19-20, in San Mateo.