My Need for Caffeine

I really enjoyed the digital story telling where folks invite us along their morning trek to work. I was up for the challenge, but darn it, wouldn’t you know it, the next day our fall break started.

Plan B. My route to a cup of coffee.

I love Vietnamese coffee. I know they add artificial flavor in it – I’m not naive. How else would you get that heavenly buttery cocoa-ish flavor that I must have every morning! According to National Geographic, Vietnam is the world’s fourth largest exporter of coffee but Bloomberg’s latest puts Vietnam as the second largest coffee producer second only to Brazil.

I was surprised when I first found this out; have you ever seen ‘Vietnamese’ on a Starbucks blend? I hadn’t. Even today if you visit Starbucks’ site you won’t see this country even mentioned in the Asia section. This year Vietnam is having a hard time with their coffee exports. Reading  the Vietnamese take on the whole thing makes you wonder what is really happening.

by Jon Marshall

Well, having lived here for four years I can tell you that the vestiges of French colonialism are alive and well; Vietnamese people love a strong jolt of coffee at all times of day. You can see ‘coffee ladies’ on their motorbikes bringing the thick syrupy fix to workmen, security guards, taxi drivers and the like from very early on in the morning to late at night. Plastic tables and chairs line the streets; men lounge, chat and smoke while enjoying ice coffee.  I will miss my cafe sua da as we are looking for our next job posting.

But back to the assignment. I hope you enjoy coming along on my short journey to a morning cup of coffee (cafe sua nong – hot). I enjoyed working with Animoto, even the short 30 seconds free trial version. I really had to think about choosing every photo carefully. I was inspired by both the Brochure Without Words and Nate’s post on his use of  Slideroll.  The idea of minimal use of words – maximum visuals – is much harder than it looks! I decided to place my photos in InDesign to add the dashed lines and a few words; then I exported the pages as jpgs.

I think my Animoto would be better a bit longer so that the movement effects I was going for would be more apparent, but I don’t have any other reason to commit to one visual vehicle yet. Throwing 12 frames into a 30 second slideshow makes every second count! May I recommend you maximize the screen and feel free to hit that pause button.


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3 comments for “My Need for Caffeine

  1. Avatar of Megan Walker
    October 23, 2011 at 1:41 am

    Josee, this was absolutely fabulous!!! After you commented on my blog (a comment to which I attempted to reply… twice… and somehow lost the somewhat extensive missive both times), and mentioned that you used animoto for your digital story, I made a special note to come check it out. I had heard good things about animoto, but have never actually used it.

    With the exception of the time limit with the free version, did you find that you liked it? You’re absolutely correct… the limited number of slides you can include does force you to reflect on your choices. Every single image needs to be packed with meaning, and yours are! You’ve certainly inspired me to go give it a try. Well done!

  2. Avatar of Josee Marshall
    October 23, 2011 at 7:15 am

    Hi Megan,
    Thanks for the lovely comment! You are absolutely correct when you say ‘every single image needs to be packed with meaning’. I found myself agonizing over placement of images, linear progression and all kinds of tiny details I’m sure are impossible to notice at the speed those slides swish by. Oh well, I read in a design book that if you do it right, people don’t notice it. ;)

    Animoto is user friendly. I think for students that’s important – that way they can concentrate on the content. But I’d love to see how much more control you get if you actually get the pro version.

  3. November 19, 2011 at 1:40 am

    Love it! Not only do your images tell a story, but the music matches perfectly. Great job!

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