Master Your Story with Apps + Video Collages!

Shaili Bhatt (C+R Research) rethinks the way we share mobile pictures and videos. In this post, Shaili explores iPhone apps for quick video collages and movie mashups to cultivate better storytelling in qualitative research.

In this era of over-sharing, curated storytelling is imperative.  While many of us own and use smartphones as cameras, it’s a challenge to remember to do something with the pictures and videos that we capture with these devices.

Many of us love to capture pictures and videos on our phones, and more often than not, we try to publish the most irresistible moments in our social galleries. (There’s an undeniable sense of accomplishment when I can share my stories and memories—perhaps you can relate.)

This is no different for our market research projects. If anything, it’s even more important to share key pictures and videos from our projects to help tell the story across clients’ reports and presentations.

Whether we want to make an album, an elaborate scrapbook, float it all in the Cloud on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, or deliver an outstanding report or presentation that really gets to the heart of the story with consumers and clients—most DIY options can be overwhelming, expensive, and for some, it can feel like a chore.

It is time to rethink the way we share mobile pictures and videos—and consume other mobile media—and look for tech-savvy time-savers.

Recently, I was excited to run across a bunch of new, free iPhone apps with robust movie-making and storytelling capabilities: Qwiki, Givit, Magisto, Viddy and Splice. These tools allow anyone with an iPhone to turn pictures and videos into a brief movie that you can share in minutes!

Again, I got that research-geek thrill to uncover how these tools could potentially benefit all areas of market research:Apps for quick video collages and movie mashups to cultivate better storytelling in qualitative research.

  • Introductions/Warm-up
  • Homework
  • “On-demand” Movie/Video Collage Activity
  • Reporting
  • Presentations

Our participants are able to capture so many timely moments for us on a variety of mobile devices (smartphones, iPads, digital cameras, you name it!). It’s really up to us to deliver a system that organizes and focuses all of this data.

Qwiki is my favorite app of the bunch, as it automates the picture/video selection process into a one-click movie. The app works by automatically stitching together media from the iPhone camera roll and creates a 30-second to one-minute mashup from a certain day or album.

Song selection for the Qwiki occurs from the phone’s music library or from “soundtracks” preloaded in the app. Perfectionists and those of us with additional interest can easily play around with media configurations and change the audio track, which gives us an even deeper look into the mood of the visuals.

To give you a feel for the output, here’s a sample Qwiki video collage (pics and videos) of advertising around Chicago:

Video collages, great storytelling tool!

 

Indeed, video collages and movie mashups can bring impressive creativity and flexibility to qualitative research:

  • Introductions/Warm-up: participants share a brief video collage or slideshow of their family, interests, typical day
  • Homework or “On-demand” Movie/Video Collage Activity: participants create video collages and movie mash-up from experiences captured on their phones
  • Reporting: Integrate a video collage (that we’ve created) of participants’ key pictures and videos for a quick debrief/recap
  • Presentations: Show a similar video collage to get the discussion started, bringing the project to life!

The seamlessness of such videos add richness and energy to our stories in all of the ways above, as well as any others that we can dream up.

The days of our Creative Departments and contracting with a video editor are by no means “over.” These apps lack the ability to output a professionally designed highlight reel with exact precision, multiple formats, or perfect image resolution, and its related audio effects and capabilities are limited, at best.

Still, these new apps are remarkably efficient, and we’ve certainly found another cool solution to elevate our perceptions of the smarts in our smartphones! Telling a great story is even easier as we ramp up our use of video collages—and make them faster, better, cheaper with today’s mobile capabilities. ◙

What are your suggestions and feedback around these new apps? How are you integrating videos into your current market research efforts? Post a comment to share what you think!

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2 Responses to “Master Your Story with Apps + Video Collages!”

  1. Gary says:

    February 20th, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    Hi Shaili,
    Great write up and a wonderful way to enrich videos. I was wondering if you’ve experienced challenges with participants sending videos to a secure source via their Smartphone. We see many have problems with file sizes if they email videos or try sending videos to some of the file sharing services via their Smartphone. Have you found a file sharing service that provides permission security and works well with mobile devices?

  2. Shaili says:

    March 6th, 2013 at 11:46 am

    Hi Gary! Some of these apps, like Qwiki, include a private sharing option. This allows participants to create and upload video/movie mash-ups on their smartphones, and the app provides a shareable external link that does not appear in the public directory. The nature of these videos often limits the video length and resulting file sizes.

    || Apps designed for research are more useful in other occasions. For example, if a project calls for longer uncut footage, I ask participants to record video(s) and upload files directly into an online discussion board platform, and there are platform-specific apps for this as well. (Message me for recommendations.) Thanks for your feedback, and I appreciate the question!

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