The Peanut Gallery – Add text dialog to silent movie clips
One of my favorite improv skits from Whose Line is it Anyway? was called “Film Dub” where the cast would have to watch a video clip with the sound muted and provide all new dialog, the results of which would often cause audiences to erupt in laughter. Now, thanks to a Google Chrome extension, students can flex their own improvisational muscles with The Peanut Gallery.
Before you begin, you will need the following:
- Google Chrome web browser app
- An enabled or connected microphone
There are 15 silent movie clips to choose from with themes that range from The Lost World to Phantom of the Opera and Plane 9 from Outer Space. Once you make a selection, verify/approve the extension’s access to your computer’s microphone. When ready, speak the word “Action!” to begin. When you want to add textual dialog, simply speak into your microphone and the extension will do the rest. If you want specific punctuation then include it in your voice command (e.g. “What day is it question mark”). Once complete, you have the option to watch your film with inserted text and soundtrack, start over, or share over social media. If the use of social media is not an option, then copy-&-paste the URL from this screen into an email, Google Form, blog post, etc. to share.
For recording tips, background information on the origins of the Peanut Gallery idiom, and bibliography for the film clips click the ‘About‘ link in the bottom toolbar for the website.
- Use this with students to conduct digital role-playing scenarios.
- Create a PSA (Public Service Announcement) on a past or current events topic.
- To maximize speaking opportunities, it might be helpful for students to storyboard out each scene in the video clip so that they can script out the dialog that would like to add.