April 13, 2010
 

"Super Budget Vacation -- The Video with a Heart"

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(Please click on the photos to launch the video)

By Wendy McHale

During UGC Week we've been writing about some of the video submissions for the Budget contest we found interesting. One of the most visually appealing is "Super Budget Vacation." I had the good fortune to chat with Travis Darcy, the writer/director/producer of this terrific video.

Wendy: What was the inspiration for your video?

Travis: Well when I started, my idea was to tell a "once upon a time" story, starring our family, with a little slideshow of us enjoying the free things we always loved on our vacations. Lots of pictures of us on the beach, camping, picnicking and siteseeing. Though our vacations were budget minded, we always had a great time. For our family it was the time we spent together on our vacations that made them special. In terms of my creative concept, I wanted to include some stop action with animation because I like the homespun look of it. It's kind of down to earth, non-tech and friendly. Pretty soon, there was no time for our family pictures, but it didn't matter because the heart of the video was still there.

Wendy: The animation really sets it apart from the others I've seen. Where did you learn that technique?

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Travis: Well, I teach elementary students. I learned "stop action animation" with my students in the classroom. The process of putting together a story concept with images and sound is fun, but also challenging. It was a great learning experience for my students (and for me, too!) To put together a 2 minute video there were many, many individual pictures to draw. For me, that's fun part. I animate the old fashioned way; move the picture, click, move the picture, click. So even though countless hours went into the making of this video, it was really satisfying because it captured the essence of my family's road trips--good old fashioned fun!

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With that, our interview concluded. Travis' break was over and 25 eight-year-olds were clamoring for their teacher's attention!

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Travis Darcy's Self Portrait!! An absolutely beautiful person and one of America's most creative teachers!





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