Category: creativity

Simple set-up for simple videos explaining complex things


Originally uploaded by LeeLeFever

Completely inspired by’s video explanation of how things work.

Thinking about how to use similar techniques to help explain proposed functionality to clients. Will be particularly useful in explaining AJAX functions – as I’m already grappling with the difficulty of how these complex interactions can be documented – for testing, for client approval and for dev teams

I asked Lee at CommonCraft for some tips on how to get started. (I wondered if it was a bit cheeky, as they make videos for a living – but I received a lovely response really soon afterwards). Here’s what he said:

Hi Jenni.
Really quick run down – ready?

1. We write a script
2. We create a quick storyboard to establish the flow and artwork needed
3. We create the art work
4. We point a Sony Handycam (on a tripod) straight down onto a whiteboard and record all the scenes in the storyboard.
5. We record the audio separately

We use GarageBand to edit the audio and Final Cut Express to edit the video and create the final product.

Some info here:

Hope this helps.


What a nice guy!

I found a £50 baseboard on ebay – just the ticket, I reckon. Now all I need is a camcorder of some kind and away we go!


anyone can draw

When I first started at Nixon McInnes I was concerned by a lack of confidence about the role of creativity within the team. This was quickly solved by the addition of Creative Director Josh van der Broek. However – I thought I still would like to encourage everyone in the team, whatever their job titles, to become more confident about their own creativity.

I pondered for ages what approach to take – but as usual the solution turned up in the bath when I was thinking about something else. I realised that all the children I know draw – none of them say ‘I can’t draw’ they just get the felt-tips and get on with it. I thought how great it would be to encourage my colleagues to return to this state of confidence and get back in touch with the pleasure of mark making.

I contacted artist Juliet Kac and formulated a secret plan. One Friday, instead of the usual team meeting we went along to meet Juliet at the Phoenix Gallery for a life drawing session. This caused an amusing degree of uncertainty and shyness amongst my normally confident colleagues – particularly when presented with a naked lady with blue pubic hair. However, we soon settled in by running through a series of drawing exercises. By the end of the afternoon we’d filled in many sheets of paper and revealed some surprisingly good drawings. Some of us were really fired up, some less so, but all got a fresh perspective on what we can do – and how easy it is set pencil to paper.

Since then we’ve been joined by Anna Carlson – someone who’s dedicated to getting everyone drawing, on themselves, on each other, using MS Paint or as a game. Below is my paella lunch and her ‘best BLT in Brighton’.

Paella for lunchbest_BLT