Respect the Book Drop, or How a 13 Year Old Taught Me to Make Vines

In January I started asking my friend’s 13 year old about Vine.

I have a Vine account, but I hadn’t played with it much, or gotten very far yet in thinking about how the Library might use it. So I asked Spencer to show me who he follows, and the videos he makes. Looking at what he likes on Vine, my gut reaction was that if anyone could use Vine to connect teens with the Library, it would be kids like Spencer himself.

So I invited him to work with me, and a few weeks later we made our first Library Vine, “Respect the Book Drop” (if you watch the original, you’ll notice we unintentionally held the phone sideways).

Lesson #1: It takes a lot of work to make an 8 second video.

We started by talking about possible narrative ideas. When we settled on one about abusing the book drop, we then storyboarded the shots (we had to fit everything in 8 seconds), checked out our location, rehearsed all the shots, recruited a shelver to throw the book during the final scene, and then filmed it using Spencer’s  iphone and Vine app.

Lesson #2: You need multiple people to make a Vine, if there are people in it.

You can’t star in your own Vine while also running the camera. So I ended up being the talent because Spencer was much better acquainted with his iPhone and the app.

Lesson #3: You can’t edit or add captions to Vines.

After we uploaded the Vine – and discovered that we’d filmed it sideways – he emailed me the video and I imported it into Camtasia, where we could edit it more completely. I rotated the frame, slowed down one section, zoomed the frame in on another shot to cut out the arm of the book-thrower, and added captions and music.

Then I uploaded the 10 second version to the Library’s youtube account:


Will I keep making Vines? If they seem like the right tool for the right audience, probably yes. When we parted, Spencer was talking about a sequel about respecting the book when you have  it at home: don’t use it for a door stop, don’t eat on it or use toilet paper to mark your page…

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