For my final project, I chose to tell the story of public health via Polly Public.

This was one of the ideas that came up over the course of the semester.  I work with clients in the public health field and I know how hard working they are, yet how little the general public knows about the field and what public health actually is.  In comments from fellow posters, the idea of a superhero came up as a way to tell the story.  Thus was born Polly Public.  I came up with a story and filled it out using the “story spine” format.  Briefly:

Once Upon a time, Public Health workers comprise a silent army…

Every day, Polly Public is out there…

But one day, The council of PH met at their headquarters…(this is the EVENT)

Because of that, Polly was scared- could she do this?…

Because of that, She encounters pitfalls along the way…

Because of that, she is resilient…

Until finally, even more join her!…

And ever since then, people begin to practice public health- in their own lives.

The End.

This is how I made this masterpiece:


I decided I wanted some public health images- kids getting vaccinated, healthy food, maybe some bikers wearing helmets (so they don’t crack open their skull if they crash), exercise, clean water. I went to Pixabay since I’ve had great luck there finding good images and found what I needed using a key word search.

Then I went to pixlr and used their collage option to create a five photo collage from my photos. I added a blue border and that was it- easy peasy.


I wanted the message from HQ to sound like a missive from God. I went to SoundJay and downloaded a howling wind sound and also a church choir singing from Freesound to add some “holy” elements. I do not have an especially god-like voice, but I’m all I’ve got (and the vast majority of people working in public health are women so it would make sense that the leader is a woman too), so I recorded the message to Polly and lowered my voice using the pitch tool on audacity to add some “heft”. I then used audacity to combine the tracks. I had to repeat the wind sound several times and also lowered its and the church choir sounds so the voice wouldn’t get lost. I added echo to the last few seconds of my speech as well.  Here’s what my Audacity track looks like:

audacity screengrab

The top is my narration, followed by the howling wind, and then the choir music at the bottom.  I uploaded it to SoundCloud, and then embedded it in the post.


I tried some non-You Tube sources like Vimeo and ended up back at You Tube when I couldn’t find what I had in mind.  I did keyword searches for things like “bikers wearing helmets” “kids getting vaccinated”, etc.  to find my clips.  I ended up with four clips and about 30 minutes of footage.  I downloaded them using  I imported them into Movie Maker Live and used the trim tool to cut them down to size.  I removed all the audio by simply muting the clips.  Then I added some music from the Free Music Archive over it.  I added a title, captions to provide some narration, and then noted my references using the credits tool.  I also added the “Fade” theme to the film.

moviemaker capture

I used the following references to create this page.






Final Thoughts:  Getting the story down and mapping everything out helped a lot.  I developed the story a week ago and made tweaks to it over the next few days (to include up to the last  minute).  I mapped out where I wanted to use media and what I had in mind.  That helped tremendously when it came time to find media as I knew what I was looking for and how it would fit in  (seems obvious, but I did not do this for a few assignments and not surprisingly, was very frustrated!).  I mapped out the effects I wanted to use for sound and video.  All in all, it ended up being fairly painless and not as time consuming as I had feared.  I’m glad that I got to work with Audacity several times prior as I finally felt comfortable with it and only had to look up how to lower my pitch.  Movie Maker was also not as scary given that I had experience with it as well.  All in all, save for perhaps the images, I would not have believed it if I told myself back in March I would make my own audio and video track and post them to a blog!!



One thought on “

  1. BRAVO! You’ve not only done exactly what I hoped to see in this project (an explanation of something wrapped in a story to make it more understandable or approachable). Your media editing and integration into the final story works well, and I am happy to see how you have expanded your abilities in sound and video editing.

    We need Polly and more like her.

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