After public voting, you officially crowned one video the 'Best Scribe of 2021' in our VideoScribe Awards! That video was created by the awesome Manuela Cosenza who uses video to tell captivating stories and explain ideas.
We caught up with Manuela to learn more about what went into creating her winning video, and we're excited to share her story with you in this blog!
Q1: Please tell us a bit about yourself
I'm Manuela and I'm 21 years old and from Brazil. I'm currently studying nutrition at university and I started making videos in 2021, thanks to all the time I got to stay home during lockdown! I’m very interested in both matters since I love working with creative things and I love to study the mechanisms of the human body.
I’ve always loved to draw and I would love to get really good at cartoon style. I never thought that I could actually work with anything related to art, that’s why I decided to go with science. Thing is, I’m a very creative, talkative and extroverted person, so I really hope to work in a field that allows me to create my own animated projects someday!
Check out Manuela's winning video and learn more about her journey to video editor 👇
Q2: What does winning the most creative and best scribe of 2021 mean to you?
It means everything to me! When I saw I was one of the finalists I just could not believe it, especially after seeing all the great videos that were there too. The day before the final result I was super anxious, and I couldn't sleep. At 7am I was already awake waiting for the result, and when I got the email saying that I won in both categories, I just started crying. I woke my mom up, told her and she was like “ARE YOU SERIOUS?!” She was REALLY happy for me ❤️
It really means the world to me. I know that I’m not the best animator in the world, not even close to it, but I always felt like “if I don’t speak up, nobody will hear me”, so I decided to give it a try. I told my family that I was not the best, that there were people more talented than me, but that there was only one me! I felt like the message of the video could help someone that was in the same situation as I was and I was really heart-warmed to see that people thought so too!
It was my first year working with video editing/creation and I won that contest, so it only made me think that I can go really far in everything that I try! It made me more confident and thankful. Thankful for the nomination, thankful for all the people that voted for me, thankful for VideoScribe, for my family, and especially, thankful for trying. I know how hard it was to work, study and also make that video, but it paid off! I mean, I could have never predicted that I, a girl from Brazil who had just started working in that area, would've won that competition in a company as big as VideoScribe, who has been on the market for so long. It really made me the happiest person, thank you for the opportunity.
Q3: What types of video do you create and why?
Well, it depends on my clients’ needs. I already created explainer videos, promotional videos and storytelling animations. When it comes to storytelling, I usually get a script based on a book and then I create videos lasting around 10 minutes to tell the story of the book and communicate the message.
I've also created explainer videos to help Brazilians wanting to move to the US understand the immigration process (check it out below 👇). Plus promotional videos for an insurance company here in Brazil to get their benefits across.
Q4: Why do you think animation is so effective for communicating a message?
Nowadays it's pretty obvious that you need something to catch the viewer's attention, and reading a long text isn’t going to do that in the middle of a timeline full of colors, shapes, sounds and dynamics. So, If you want to be heard, you need to speak up, and I feel like you can do this with an animated video.
I personally know a lot of people that can’t read a page without getting extremely bored. It's easy to get lost in the middle of your reading, especially if you're not used to doing that. Conveying a message with images and a great voice-over is very effective to get your audience to understand what's going on. It's useful for an adult who doesn’t like or have time to read, or even to a child that does not know how to read yet. For example, I’m currently creating videos related to matters of the Bible, like family, relationships and life. I summarize the books and give life to them. I always think that if someone wants their kid to learn some principles of the bible or even of life and family, they can show those videos to them. The drawings and the dynamics can catch the children’s attention while also passing a message that can be very positive to them.
Q5: How did you plan your winning video?
Well, when I first saw the video promoting the competition, I knew I HAD to win it and that I WOULD win it! Of course I was not 100% sure, but I decided that I would give my best.
I used VideoScribe to create all my work in 2021, so I developed some skills and always looked for ways to improve my video designs, so I knew I had some creativity going on! I’ve always wanted to do an animated video of myself, telling my story, but I was always postponing it. That contest gave me the push I needed to do that!
Firstly I was terrified because I thought that I had no content. What would be my story? I thought I could talk about how VideoScribe changed my life (because it did), and then, I realized that I had a story before that, so I decided that I would talk about my journey since I decided to do biology. I was going to develop a lot of ideas in the video, but I couldn’t find the time to make all that animation by myself, so I cut a lot of parts!
I started by creating my character... since I’m not a professional artist, it took a lot of time! I looked for a lot of ideas to bring my character to life. I had an idea of a timeline and an order of the events since I knew what my message was. After doing some drawings, I decided that it was time to record my voice-over. I wrote the script based on my drawings, and then I realized I had 3 pages of script, so I had to take a lot of things out! I did my first voice-over and after that I think I did 10 more, every time I changed something on the script.
I had a lot of drafts so I needed to make the final cut with everything. I felt like I needed to put all the effects I learned throughout the year to show all the possibilities VideoScribe has, so I did. I wanted to make something very personalized, since VideoScribe gives you that opportunity.
Q6: How did you use animation to bring your story to life?
Firstly, I needed my drawings to be "drawable" in VideoScribe, so I created them in Adobe Fresco on my iPad, and then I vectorized them in Adobe Illustrator. I drew the lines with the pencil tool, so they could be drawn in VideoScribe and I organized the layers so they could also be colored (learn more about creating your own images for VideoScribe here).
I created my own hand holding an apple pencil, so it could give the impression that my character was drawing. I created the hand in Adobe Fresco, saved it as a PNG and imported into VideoScribe. I love that possibility and plan on creating better hands in the future!
So, my drawings were able to be drawn by my hand, but I needed another type of animation to mix with that, frame by frame. I had never done any kind of frame by frame animation before, this was my first try and I knew I was not going to be able to do complex things! I learned how to do the lip sync and made all the mouths according to the sounds in Callipeg, an animation app for iPad. I exported only the mouth movements and added that in the VideoScribe animation that was already exported and ready to be edited in Luma Fusion (another app for iPad). That’s how I mixed those types of animation!
Q7: What made you choose VideoScribe to create your videos?
After making my first video, for my physiology class, I posted that video on a freelancer website and I got my first client. I made him a video, it lasted 8 minutes and it was the hardest thing to do, I didn’t have the iPad yet and also didn't know VideoScribe, so I drew it all on my smartphone with an improvised pen… When I sent it to my client he said “Oh, it’s nice, but can you add a hand drawing those images to make it more dynamic, in a whiteboard style?”, and I was always SUPER determined to be good at everything I do, so I searched for it on Google… “How to create a whiteboard animation?”, and then… VideoScribe appeared.
When I downloaded VideoScribe and opened it, it blew my mind. All the drawings that I needed were already there and ready to be animated, so easy! I loved it. I used the free version, but when I got enough money to buy it, I did. It made my videos more professional. That was the perfect starting point.
Now my videos are different and I try to create them all in a personalized way, with different fonts, colors, designs, drawings, textures, etc. VideoScribe gives you that! It's a software that provides you with all the drawings you’ll need if you are a beginner, and also, if you want to level up, you can! All in one app.
It was especially perfect for me thanks to the fact that my computer is not the best. It's ok, but it is not good enough for big video editing softwares, but VideoScribe runs smoothly on it. So if you're a person who cannot afford a good computer, you can still work your way to the top, earn some money working with video creation and buy yourself your tools!
By working with VideoScribe I was able to buy an iPad for myself, my own Apple pencil, a good microphone to do my voice-overs, the Adobe subscription and even a Freepik subscription. All while being able to save some money for my future. So I will always be thankful for that. It really changed my life and the way I see things!
Q8: What's your best advice for other people wanting to make animated explainer videos?
Just start! Find a theme, maybe try to explain a subject that you're interested in and start to produce something! Sometimes we get scared thinking we're not good enough, that it's hard or simply not for us, but you won't know if you don’t try.
Then look for ways to improve, there are plenty of good videos on YouTube showing you how to create your first video. You can start with basic videos and work your way to the top, you don’t need to be perfect when you're a beginner, always keep that in mind. If you wait to be perfect to start putting your work out there, it will take a lot of time, and maybe you will never do it, so just go for it and get better in the journey!
Q9: What video projects are you excited to work on in 2022?
Well, I have SO MANY projects, but not that much time to develop them! Firstly, I really want to post videos on my YouTube channel. I have a lot of funny stories of my time doing biology, of my cats, of my animals, of my life in general. I really want to make my personal videos soon, and I’m trying to do them!
I also have in mind a YouTube channel to talk about the things I learn in college. I’m definitely fascinated by my college course and I love all the subjects related to health, eating, eating disorders, diseases related to bad nutrition and things like that. So I really want to have a channel to explain all that to people in an easy way. I feel like people need to know those things and I would be studying while also making videos.
Since I’m from Brazil I really want to make videos in Portuguese, but also in English, so... multiply all that work by two 😂 It will be a lot of work but I believe in my projects and want to make them happen!
Big thank you to Manuela 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 👇