This Make is opportunity to learn how to make an animated GIF from one of the Screening Surveillance short films using the Giphy Gifmaker. The process of choosing a segment of less than 10 seconds helps focus on a important scene. The captions you add can add commentary or suggest an alternative narrative.

In these films, the protagonists are forced into situations by surveillance technologies. Here is an opportunity to image alternative paths of the plot if (a) characters made different choices or (b) the technology behaved in a different way.

The films available the two we watched in class (the third movie, A Model Employee is too long for Giphy to process; sad because it’s marvelous):

It’s not required but if you think you might create more than just one GIF, you might want to create an account on giphy. This will make it easy to find all your creations, and it creates a nifty portfolio for you.

The Giphy GIF Maker allows you several ways to create animated gifs.

We use with the bottom option entering the URL for the YouTube link for one of the three films. Paste in the URL for it e.g. for the Blaxites film, we use the address

This brings up a (silent) view of the video. Use the Trim Video to select a portion of the video to make into a GIF. With giphy you can select up to ten seconds of any video clip to generate as a GIF (3-5 seconds is a better length to keep the file size smaller).

In the example below, we have zeroed in on the scene where the doctor slides Jai the box with a tracking device in it.

Pick the start point and how many seconds your GIF will last. Aim to make as smooth a loop as possible.

Use the bottom slider to select the start time of the GIF and the bottom one to pick it’s length. The preview will show you the loop for just this selection. Aim for the shortest length possible but also that makes use of the looping point to emphasize something important in the clip.

When the loop looks okay, click Continue to Decorate.

Here you can place a message or caption. Explore the different text styles and colors. Typically these must be short, but as shown above we can use a special trick. By breaking a message into multiple lines, and using the Old Switcheroo animation, we can make the text play out in segments, one line at a time.

Once your GIF looks complete, follow the button link for Continue to Upload.

Be sure to add netmirror tag as as one for the movie title, and make sure the public option is on. Then click Upload to Giphy.

Give it some time, when done, you will end up with a URL you can use to tweet, embed the GIF in your blog, and add below as a response to this make.

Like these!


Netmirror GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY


Netmirror GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY


See what detail you can GIF from a Screening Surveillance video, and how you might do some “Old Switcheroo” on the plot.

Example for "GIF a Key Scene of a Screening Surveillance Film":

Frames GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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3 Guides for this Make

  • Free GIF Maker
    shared by Alan Levine (@cogdog)

    If Giphy does not work, this is another GIF making site worth trying.

    shared by Alan Levine (@cogdog)

    If Giphy does not work, this is another GIF making site worth trying.

  • Make a GIF
    shared by Alan Levine (@cogdog)

    If Giphy does not work, this is another GIF making site worth trying.

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This work by Alan Levine is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


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