another about amy

There are of course many reviews of the Amy story and movie. This is one by Ty Bur and the Boston Globe.


My point amongst all the reviews that talk of her pain is the way the film is presented. It follows almost some of the digital story values where the story and the telling take precedence over who is telling the story. I don’t mean that the teller is lost but I do mean that the focus becomes placed on the story.

I’m not sure throughout the story that I had a real understanding of who her manager “Nick” was but the story he told was resounding. But he does talk to us in the Kathryn Bronwich Observer interview. Amy’s best friend (is this she of “we’re best friends right?”) talks over images and videos but we never really see her. It’s a powerful way to tell a story.


using music – one more note


One of the issues I remembered as I drove to work (down the Ngauranga Gorge along the Hutt Motorway) was that it’s tricky to add music to windows moviemaker stories.

To do so you use Audacity to import or add the voice, then add the music track. To do this you need a double track (you can add tracks under Tracks). When you Export, select Export Multiple. There are other options like aligning tacks and so on.

This might be another example when you ask me or visit How to Use Audacity.

Coming soon: the more sophisticated imovie details.

using music

Music can add emotion and excitement to your story. I tend not to use music with the local stories we have made for the Ranui Residents Association, because it can override the voice, because it can take time to find the right piece and because copyright can be fraught.

Generally it’s ok to use music that is 50 years old (i.e. out of copyright) and it’s ok to use copyrighted music as long as you don’t share it publicly, for example something shared at a funeral or tangi is pretty much ok.

For this video, made for my friend Bella, I added Dobie Gray’s Drift Away to the end where I added a series of images representing aspects of her life. There was a bit of a tangi singalong by the end of the story. I made another version and added Nick Cave’s Breathless – music that Bells liked. Both songs really lifted the story and gave it an ending that allowed us to remember her with joy.

Free music

You can find free music sites – some listed here.


This site from Creative Commons Legal Music for Videos is useful.
This wikipedia site List of countries’ copyright lengths may also be useful. Note for NZ it’s 50 years after creation.

As with images you should credit any music you use. Of course it’s best to make your own – using Garage Band, an Apple Mac application or by recording a song using Audacity or a more sophisticated application.

Most importantly, however, consider the time and effort in finding music when the voice of the speaker can be an effective sound.