I recently wanted to create a short, two-minute and thirty second “pitch” for the Herdict-Firefox integration prototype I’m working on with Jennifer Boriss, Laura Miyakawa, and Jeffrey Licht.
Here is the result. It turned out that the pitch itself was an experiment for me: after fiddling around with Screenflow and iMovie for a bit, I got frustrated with their limitations and decided to just use HTML to put together the presentation.
After writing out the script for the pitch, and recording my narration with Audacity, I saved the file as both Ogg Vorbis and MP3—different browsers support different formats—and set up a directory structure.
As with Mozilla: The Big Picture, I basically stuffed everything into the structure of an HTML page. The first two slides of the presentation, for instance, look something like this:
<h1>Firefox-Herdict Integration Pitch</h1>
The data-at attribute is an example of the HTML 5 data- attribute and records how many seconds into the audio the slide should be displayed. I marked up subtitles for the presentation in a similar way.
- Slides can have any valid HTML content embedded in them. Text can be copied and pasted, their look and feel can be altered through CSS; images can be hyperlinked to their original sources.
- It’s easier to eliminate compression artifacts without sacrificing bandwidth and download size. Text, for instance, is always super-crisp.
- Subtitles can be toggled on or off, and adding new languages isn’t hard.
This approach has its downsides, too, of course: there wasn’t a really easy way for me to embed the presentation in this blog post, for instance, and it can’t be viewed at all on Internet Explorer, as far as I know.
Still, it was a fun experiment to try, and for this particular use case I actually found it easier to compose everything using Open Web technologies than with the proprietary tools at my disposal.
Please be sure to check out the actual presentation, too, as the stuff we’re doing with Herdict is way cool.