Just when traditional annual reports have all but disappeared in the business world, a guy named Dan Meyer in the beach town of Santa Cruz, California, has produced his own personal 2009 annual report in video format. A high school math teacher by day, Meyer aimed for the kind of accuracy that even an independent auditing firm would admire. On his blog, he credited his speed in getting his report out so fast to having a “working knowledge of a) the degree measure of angles, b) proportions, c) percents, d) coordinates, e) 3D space, f) modular arithmetic, and g) linear interpolation. “ He adds that he even calculated an integral.
Ever the teacher and geek, Meyer explained that he collected data by maintaining “active records in Google Tasks before transferring them to an Excel sheet biweekly, which I backed up fastidiously over the course of the year.”
To track his other critical data, he says, “I collected all music records passively through last.fm, which became significantly more accurate after I outfitted my car with a 30-pin iPhone cable and began tracking car audio. I also collected my mobile phone statistics passively through AT&T’s online billing system, which kindly exports data to Excel.”
From there, Meyer went into video production. “I sketched an outline on paper, then ordered it in Google Docs and turned that into 60 Photoshop compositions. That took about two weeks. Then I sequenced those compositions into a slideshow of still images and synced them in Final Cut Pro to a Creative Commons track. After Effects doesn’t play nicely with music so I spent the next two weeks working deaf, working exclusively off the timecodes from Final Cut Pro.“
Now for their next assignment let’s see if Meyer’s students can duplicate his process – minus the beer consumption, of course.