Website Wednesday is a regular feature in which we highlight one (or a couple) of sites from the Billions floating around the Intertoobz that just might help you with your Herculean task of educating inquiring minds. Any and all suggestions for future editions are welcome.
I am sad to say that this post is already a failure and the fault is mine.
As you may have realized from previous posts on the subject, I am a bit of a procrastinator. Also, a cheapskate. (The relevance of those two items will be apparent in a minute or two.) Since I saw the funny videos made by District’snottheboss of me, I have been planning on highlighting the website/software that makes them possible and doing so by making a movie of my own. Alas, it cannot be.
Still, I can tell you about the site and the tools there. It all comes from a site called Xtranormal.com. If you go there, you’ll see (once you sign up for a free account) that you have two options for moviemaking–option one is to download their free software, a program called “State;” and option two is to use a program called MovieMaker and publish your movie online (basically using the tools without downloading them).
The latter requires buying something called Xtranormal Points (XPs) that you “spend” to buy sets, pay for “actors,” and other sorts of things like that. When you sign up for an account you get 300 to start with (which is enough to make a movie and try it out), I think. Somehow, I lost mine, though, which is why I couldn’t make one. They sell the XPs (you can buy 1200 for $10–which is enough one very very fancy movie or lots of pretty simple ones, assuming, that is, that you’re not a cheapskate like me), and they have educator discounts, but they are not “same day”/instant, which is a problem for procrastinators like me (see the bottom of this page).One good thing about the XPs is that once you “buy” an asset, it’s yours to use in future films and projects anytime you like without additional charge. So, really, with only a few dollars you could have all that you need to make a lot of movies. But how does one make a movie with these things? Good question.
First you start by a collection–they have superheroes, historical figures, soccer players, robots, etc. Then you pick out the set you want, the specific actors (and their voices/accents), background sounds and/or music, and then you get to the story, which is basically a text box featuring a variety of symbols (one for pause, one for “points finger,” and others for faces, motions and the like). Then you type in your text and drag over the symbols you want to the appropriate places in the dialogue, and blammo–you’re a movie maker. You can preview and change your items pretty easily (it appears), and it looks totally fun to play with.
Being a cheapskate, I went for the software download version, but it’s still downloading as I type this, and I have no idea how long it will take to install or whether it will crash my computer. I also don’t know if I have to buy XPs for the downloaded version, but as soon as I know, I will add the info.
And if I can get around to it, I just might make a movie, too…