An Olympic Story

In the past I have mentioned the “real world” need and 21st century skill of being able to communicate visually. Well, fellow STAR Discovery educator (and Spanish teacher – ¡qué bueno!) Linda Bilak got just about 48 hours to put together a 30 second video that would go to the voters in her quest to carry the Olympic torch in Beijing. Of course you know I’m going to encourage you to vote for her at But you also have to know that we’re going to take a good look at her video.

One of the reasons I like the commercial/PSA format so much is that they are naturally short and to the point. You have to reach a balance between speed talking your words (burying your viewer in information) and letting a few, carefully chosen words and images lead the viewer to understanding. Linda and the friends who gave her a hand did a very nice job of striking that balance. Her few words and strong imagery make for a great message. She gives a quick nod to her life at the beginning, strikes a “classic” pose to emphasize that she is a (the?) thinker and uses a close-up of her car keys and passport to introduce the joy and value of travel. Her world view is nicely underscored with pictures overlayed with a spinning globe. Higher level video editing programs like Premiere and Final Cut let you layer any number of videos and determine their opacity. You can get the same effect with a slow, very slow cross dissolve transition in any of the entry level programs. With a little finagling you can actually trim the beginning and end off so that neither picture appears at 100%. Haven’t you voted yet?


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