Prose and exploring Apple Keynote

As little as I’m a fan of genres and labels, my work sits solidly in the domain of the pyschogeographic and I suppose that is a useful indicator for anyone who understands what that term means. As I’ve started to work on a video production to show my work, I have also thought about what that medium offers and how to distinguish a video comprising of still images from a straight photographic slide show. I see this as resting in the use of sound and the conveying of a narrative. For example in the work of Laura El-Tantawy explored in a previous couple post and in the Robinson series of films by Patrick Keiller.

Feeling some creative force this morning, I drafted my own psychogeographic prose to accompany my video. I’ve asked a writer friend to review and suggest edits to avoid working on sound recording only to find there are unseen flaws in my own prose.

Yesterday, I spent time with Apple’s Keynote application to gauge its suitability for my production. I was surprisingly encouraged with what I found. It is easy to manage the placement of images on the black screen space, has a number of suitably subtle transition options, control over individual image timings can be accessed and adjusted (though it was clearly not designed with this in mind as bulk editing isn’t supported). A weakness is in its management of sound, which are not editable as separate tracks but attached as files. However, I’ve found a simple way around this by not adding sound in Keynote but exporting the video and then importing to Logic Pro (or Garageband desktop) where sound can be added and managed in separate tracks. The finished production can then be exported as video and sound. It is completely unsuitable for more complex video production but for what will essentially be a slide-show, plus it is perfectly adequate when used with a separate sound application. It’s ability to export to html could also have other uses – for example, page turning of a book for a website. Premiere Pro cannot export to html, understandably.