With so many awesome educational animations entered into the VideoScribe Awards, there was tough competition for the top spot of 'Best Educational Scribe of 2021'. But our community fell in love with one animation in particular... Pierre Chanut's awesome video explaining continuous and sequential welcomes! 👏
To learn more about Pierre and what went into his award-winning video we caught up with him to get his thoughts on all things animation including his top tips for other video creators. Read on to discover our full interview with Pierre and what makes a stand-out animation ✨
Q1: Please tell us a bit about yourself
I’m 41 years old and live in Toulouse, France. I’ve always been passionate about drawing and it's always been part of my life, but it took time for it to become the heart of my professional activity.
Ten years ago, when my daughter was new born in the maternity ward, I sketch-noted the instructions I received from the nurse to take care of my baby on a sheet of paper and left it there. Eight years later, when I came back for the birth of my son, the sketch-note had been attached in every room and carried away by young parents. I realized that my own technique to remember things could be useful to other people!
Today, I juggle with two occupations - during the day, I work as a project manager for the local community. In the evening, I grab my pencils and become an illustrator and a graphic facilitator, under the name of Knut.
Q2: What does winning the 'Best Educational Scribe of 2021' mean to you?
It’s a great honor because the other selected scribes are so creative and full of talent. This award is not only a recognition for my work, but also a sharing of style and animation skills between VideoScribers from all over the world. Seeing my video beside Brazilian, American and Danish scribes, sharing the same sense of visual thinking, was amazing!
The voting in the final round gave me the opportunity to share my VideoScribe creations with people around me. Most of them didn’t know I was creating this kind of animation. I'm very grateful to all of them for supporting my video ❤️
Q3: What do you think is the secret to a great educational video?
I guess there's no magic formula, but for me a primordial thing is to adapt to the audience. For example, in my winning scribe (check it out below 👇), a part of the audience is people with cognitive disabilities. It was important for the voice-over to be very clear and understandable, not too fast. I was also careful to use simple words and language without double meanings. Clarity is key for education!
Q4: What feedback do you get on your videos?
The positive feedback I get is often related to the illustrations. Indeed, I use only self-made images because I like my scribes to be homogenous with my work (…and watching my drawings getting magically animated by VideoScribe is one of my secret weakness 😊).
The mix between drawings / text / arrows, circles etc. is also appreciated, just as the ambient sounds which bring scribes to life.
Q5: Can you give us an overview of how you created your video?
Everything started with the script, which was written by the people I worked with for this video. Then I recorded the voice-over with Audacity. I always pay good attention to the personality and tone of voice as it gives a color to the story.
In the awarded scribe, I recorded my wife Emilie, who is a great artist choreographer and has a powerful sense of storytelling. Sometimes (for example in the video below 👇), I involve people who planned the video to tell the narrative. Most of the time, it reveals great talent and brings the story to life.
Then I create a storyboard full of good and bad ideas, arrows and notes everywhere. A last comes the time of drawing and animating. To bring my illustrations to scribes, I draw them in Adobe Photoshop and then trace the lines with transparent vectors, in Adobe Illustrator (learn more about creating your own SVGs to use in VideoScribe here).
Q6. What made you choose VideoScribe to help create your videos?
When I looked for a software to turn my graphic facilitation works into scribes, the key thing for me was to be able to animate my own drawings. VideoScribe has a great community of users and a lot of tips and tutorials are released on the website and on the blog. I found quickly the way to use my own images… my choice was made!
Q7: What's your best advice for other people wanting to make educational videos?
Once again, there's no magic formula to create a successful educational video. Exactly, I would recommend not to try to copy other scribes, but to trust your own approach, your own style. There's thousands of ways to capture the attention of an audience, and your sense of visual thinking is unique, which means valued.
The only advice I would attempt to give is to use humor. When you learn something and enjoy at the same time… it works twice as well!
Q8: Can you tell us about any video projects you're excited to work on this year?
This year, I'll be creating a video telling the strategy led by the local authorities to promote culture. Culture is strongly affected by the COVID crisis and I've seen many people around me forced to give up their art, which is pretty sad. Fortunately, some actors consider culture as an essential activity and develop actions to save it and bring it to people who don’t usually have access to cultural offerings.
Moreover, I will probably create a promotional video for a friend of mine who is osteopath based in Montreal, Quebec. And I will definitely import my own hand in VideoScribe!
Big thank you to Pierre for sharing your story with us! If you'd like to create your own educational videos or animations, try VideoScribe for free for 7 days 👇