A Free-Market Energy Blog

Jane Talks About Wind with a Town Representative (Part II)

By -- December 9, 2010

Building on yesterday’s Q&A on the realities of windpower, Part II has our heroine Jane discussing energy matters with her town supervisor:

Viewers are asking good questions about why I did or didn’t do such-and-such with the initial animated video. So here’s some background on making such a video as a teaching tool for wind activists around the country.

Making a Video

There are severe software restrictions when making these seemingly simple videos. For instance:

1 – I am limited to two actors talking in any scene;

2 – I am limited to only about ten actors to chose from;

3 – I can’t put non-talking actors in the scene, even in the background;

4 – I am limited to only six pre-determined settings;

5 – I can not position the actors where I would like them to be in these settings;

6 – I can’t move them to a different position in the settings;

7 – The actors can’t walk;

8 – The options for their facial and body expressions (gestures) is very limited;

9 – There is no control over voice inflections; and

10-There are no options for what the actors wear

Etc., etc.

With these (and other restrictions) it is a major challenge to create an interaction that is educational, yet interesting.

And to put together one five minute video (writing the script, editing, rendering, etc.) has taken me about 20 hours — a lot more time than it might appear.

In Part Two, I was hoping that Jane could be a person standing up in the audience, and speak to her town board (seated at a table in the front of the room). But, as explained above, the software doesn’t allow me to do any of this. Thus I had to change the script to adapt to the software. Hopefully, this is acceptable and achieves its educational goals.

Even with these severe limitations (and time requirements), I think this could be an important tool in “getting the message out” — so I am willing to do more videos if the response continues to be favorable.

Further Ideas

One skit that could be worthwhile would be Jane discussing nuclear power with a skeptical neighbor. If you have other pertinent topics, please let me know. If you would like to write a script for such a video, be my guest: send it along.

Another question I’ve been asked: why not do this with real people and a digital camcorder?

Yes, that sounds good, but to make it look right it also involves a lot more than you might think. For example, I just came back from an independent film festival. Even when there was only a five minute “short” film, there were typically credits listed for some fifty people. And that was with one person using a camcorder.

So that would require hiring professional actors (lines have to be memorized), setting up real set ($), getting a film maker to film ($$), processing and distributing the film ($), etc. That would likely involve over a hundred days of labor, and probably several thousand dollars.

That said, I have no problem doing a professional film. I have already written some scripts, so if someone wants to take care of the rest, please let me know.

I look forward to your comments and suggestions!


  1. Paul in Sweden  

    John, What is the name of the software package? All-in-all I think it is pretty cool.


  2. John Droz  


    Send me an email at “aaprjohn@northnet” and we can discuss the video technicalities — which are too long to go over here.


  3. Michael Morgan  

    Mr. Droz,

    Thank you for a superbly logical presentation.

    These video links should be sent to each and every leader in the industrial wind approval pipeline and I will do my part to distribute.

    Your efforts are very much appreciated.


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  5. Steve C.  

    Overall a good effort. I encourage you to continue developing this project. Yes, the tool has some limitations, but I think as you work with it, you will find that those constraints will force you to be more creative.


  6. John Droz  


    I’d love to be able to just sit and be creative — but the demands on my time make that an extremely rare pleasure.

    Further, I’m sure that there are many others who have a higher degree of natural or developed creativity — and I hope that they step up to contribute here.


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