The Making of


In yesterday's post I talked about Swift 4 and provided a link to a short video I made about What's New in Swift 4. Several people wrote to ask how I made the video so here are some of the details.

Before I create anything I consider two things:

  • Who is this for?

  • What is the purpose of the journey I am taking them on?

In the case of this video, my goal was to create a short video for developers that gives them a quick look at what is new in the Swift 4 release. It should save them the time it would take for them to read through all of the proposals. If they see features they want to know more about then they can go to those specific proposals and read more.

Once I understood that, my job was to digest the proposals that were implemented in Swift 4, organize them, and provide enough detail and context but not too much.

The most time consuming part of the task was to reread all of the proposals and other articles and presentations online and organize the content.

I thought Swift would drop in October so that I would have time.

Unfortunately, when Swift 4 was released on Monday I was caught unaware. I'd been waiting to see if some of the remaining accepted proposals would be implemented in time. There were two that I thought had been implemented but they were still marked as not implemented so Monday I opened the latest release of Xcode and tested my sample code.

I then produced a small slide deck with the proposals and wrote a script to accompany it.

I exported the Keynote deck as a Quicktime movie. I thought I included fades between all of the slides but it turned out I didn't. Sigh.

I then recorded the script.

I always record the audio separately. This allows me to start sentences or phrases over if I don't like the way they sound. It also let's me hear what I'm saying out loud and rewrite parts on the fly.

I then edit the audio so the faulty takes are eliminated. I love this part.

I then created a ScreenFlow project and brought the video and audio in.

I like this approach because I can always edit the video to shorten it or add freeze frames to lengthen it so the video matches the audio. There's no tricky timing I have to do as I can always adjust this in post.

In the process I discovered that the slides didn't all have fades - I decided to leave it as is.

I also discovered two reading mistakes I made.

One was significant and one wasn't.

Both were cases in which I replaced a word with another word that wasn't quite right.

Why didn't I catch it during the recording or sound editing?

I don't know. It was kind of the audio equivalent of using the wrong word but spelling it correctly. Spell check won't find this sort of mistake.

Anyway, the second error was just wrong and led to a very tricky edit which I don't think anyone who isn't a real audio person will hear.

The final video isn't supposed to be a great video - it's supposed to provide a specific target audience with a specific service.

It's important to identify your audience and goal so that you can evaluate at different points in the process whether you are talking to the right people and providing them with what you intend to.

Anyway, that's how I put together the video. If it's for you, I hope you like it.