Today I took two of my children to Tulsa, Oklahoma, to the Miles Automotive Group where we learned about electric vehicles and shot our Film on the Fly / Earth Day cell phone video, “Go Green! Go Electric!”
The description for this video which we included on YouTube was:
The children have the answer! Tomorrow is Earth Day 2009, and to share ideas for how to “go green” we created this video for the “Film on the Fly” Earth Day cell phone digital storytelling contest. We had heard about the Miles Electric Cars, but had not seen one in person or rode in one. We went to Tulsa, Oklahoma, today and learned about electric car technologies in person! This video was entirely shot on a cell phone and edited with iMovie 09.
Miles Automotive Group is located at 1207 S Detroit Avenue, near the intersection of Detroit and 12th Street, in downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma. (918-230-4283) They are one of approximately twenty dealerships in the entire United States for Miles Electric Vehicles.
The prompt for this month’s “Film on the Fly” contest was, “The children have the answer!” The contest was delayed this time around for Earth Day, so videos could have an Earth Day focus. The prompt was sent via SMS to participants on Monday at 9 am PST, and everyone has 48 hours to shoot, edit, and upload their cell phone video to YouTube with the tag “FOTFEarth.” You can view other submitted videos on YouTube directly by searching for the tag FOTFEarth, or by visiting the Film on the Fly Ning and viewing them there as they are added by the contest coordinator, Janet English.
A little background regarding our video: Yesterday my 5th grade son, Alexander, brought home the following “Earth Day worksheet” as homework from school.
I decided this was a perfect opportunity to do some “home schooling” with my public school enrolled children, and use the “Film on the Fly” Earth Day challenge as our focal point. Except for the scenes he is in, Alexander filmed all the sequences for this movie with my cell phone.
He then edited it entirely on his own, using iMovie 09, on our drive back to Edmond from Tulsa this afternoon. He made a few tweaks this evening, and we added the final sequence with his 3rd grade sister (who couldn’t go to Tulsa today because of some “Bear testing” at school) sharing the directions to the dealership and their corporate website. The video came in just under the 4 minute limit, at 3 minutes, 49 seconds.
I served as a technical consultant for Alexander, and helped him plan different shots for the film. He thought of including a series of quick shots at the beginning, set to music, which would be like program introductions he’s seen on Nickelodeon and elsewhere on television. He even thought of the song he wanted to use, “The Electric Slide,” since part of the intro is the line, “It’s Electric!” Very clever and appropriate, I thought. I used Audio Hijack Pro to record the 30 second preview of the song which is provided on the iTunes Music Store, and Alexander edited down his intro sequence so it matched the 30 second song clip precisely.
I had not planned on being “sold” on electric cars when we decided to go to Tulsa today and make this video, since I knew the car is limited to just 35 mph. I learned, however, that this “speed limit” is dictated by US vehicle regulations, which treat the Miles EV as a golf cart currently. There is an electrical engineer in Iowa who has learned to adjust the “speed governor” of his Miles electric car to permit it to reach 60 mph. I guess this is kind of like “jailbreaking” your car.
We do need to “go green” when it comes to our cars! Battery and electrical technologies are not at a point where 18 wheelers can be powered with them, but personal autos can be. (I’m a vocal advocate for the “Pickens Plan” because of these realities.) This vehicle has a range of about 60 miles, but that is great as a commuter vehicle which does not have to be used on the highway. Does a Miles EV lie the future for our family? I’m not sure, but I’m more positive about this electrical vehicle technology than ever before after seeing and experiencing the car in person today. Time will tell…
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