Prepping for the Writer's Dice Kickstarter: Part 2 - The Video

So you've heard my usual advice for making a Kickstarter video. All that still applies. Here was my strategy for this video in particular.

I was greatly inspired by Trey Parker and Matt Stone's lesson to NYU writing students in which they shared their technique for outlining a plot. In their lesson, they break out each beat so there's always a "therefore" or a "but" in between. That makes a naturally flowing sequence of events. It's a great lesson and one that fits seamlessly into the main appeal of Writer's Dice, to select the most meaningful words to connect each beat.

Normally, I'd start off a Kickstarter video as if it were a short 30sec commercial for the project. This time, I decided to neatly present that writing lesson into a cute tutorial, something like Common Craft or One-Minute Science. Megan and I brainstormed all the ways we could present this lesson: Stop-motion props? Stock art with silly voices? A sketch with actors in costume?

Finally, I settled on using the papery figures from Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple. You might recognize the girl with hair buns from the examples of play in the latter half of the book. I dreaded the thought of animating in Flash, though. Surely there would be an easier way to do this.

I ended up recording a screencast from Photoshop. I just moved the individual layers around as needed. I hid the mouse and cursor during the export, then I brought together those screencasts in iMovie and sped them up about 2000%... yes, literally 2000%. Essentially, I was using the same stop-motion technique as a Common Craft video, but entirely on the computer. I wrapped up the video with a description of the dice and long close-up shots of the dice prototypes.

The video is titled "How to Write the Plot for your Story" in the hopes of capturing some SEO in the last few weeks leading up to 2011's NaNoWriMo. The whole video is designed to be (hopefully) edu-taining enough to be shared on its own, thus drawing more eyeballs to the Kickstarter campaign.


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