Before I start the tutorial, however, consider for a moment how bullying affects LGBTQ youth and just why Spirit Day is so important.
Most of us are familiar with the term “bullying”, but let’s get clear about exactly what it is and why it’s a problem.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, bullying is “unwanted, aggressive behaviour among school-aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance.”
Bullying, they say, can involve behaviours like verbal harassment, physical harm, social exclusion and cyber-threats. Bullying behaviours are usually repeated, targeted and come with long-lasting consequences for the person being bullied. Some of these consequences are mental health problems, self-harm and suicide.
Spirit Day Explained
Though bullying is a huge problem among young people across the globe, LGBTQ youth face a higher risk of being bullied and harassed because of their identities. This came into the limelight in September 2010 when a series of LGBTQ teen suicides related to bullying made the news.
At that time, a young woman called Brittany McMillan stumbled across a post online about these suicides. McMillan was so distraught that, using Canada’s Pink Shirt Day as inspiration, she began to ask people to wear purple on a day in October. Purple is the colour of spirit on the LGBTQ Pride Flag.
This day came to be known as Spirit Day.
McMillan’s hope was that wearing purple would not only symbolise support for the LGBTQ community, but also encourage LGBTQ youth to find the spirit to persevere in times of struggle.
Her activism got the attention of GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) who used their influence to amplify her work.
Over the years Spirit Day, which takes place on the third Thursday in October during National Bullying Prevention Month, has grown into a massive campaign.
GLAAD says on its website, “forward-thinking companies, global leaders, respected celebrities, neighbours, parents, classmates, and friends” across the globe show visible solidarity with LGBTQ youth and “take part in the largest, most visible anti-bullying campaign in the world”.
Why Spirit Day Matters
If creating safer, more inclusive school environments for our children matters to you, then Spirit Day should matter.
A survey by the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network (GLSEN) in the United States found that measures like “inclusive anti-bullying and harassment policies, supportive school faculty and the presence of school clubs like Gay-Straight Alliances are all factors that lead to safer schools and better school performance.”
And the point of Spirit Day is to raise the kind of awareness among everyday citizenry that leads to these kinds of changes and policy implementation in our schools, that inevitably promotes a safer and more compassionate school environment for all our children.
How You Can Help
There are many ways you can support Spirit Day, and whether you’re a business or an individual, this article can get you started with some ideas.
In this article, I’m focusing on helping you spread the word and show your concern for this important issue by creating your very own short video.
You’ll need access to Adobe Premiere Pro, a template from Envato Elements, and a few images of your choice.
Select and download the Dynamic Upbeat Opener template from Envato Elements. I selected this template because it uses great motion graphics to create a powerful and engaging video.
Don’t worry if you’re not a motion graphics expert—the great thing about using a template is that it does all the grunt work for you and makes it easy to create a beautiful project in a short space of time.
Once you’ve downloaded and unzipped the file, click on the file called Dynamic Upbeat Opener.prproj to open up a dialogue box. Name the project and decide where you want the file to live on your computer. I called mine SpiritDay2018.
Once the project template opens, you’ll see a sequence called Final Sequence in the timeline. This contains all the modules (scenes) that make up the project. There are 24 scenes in total, but you won’t need them all for this project. In fact, I used only Scenes 1, 2, 5 and 4 in exactly that order, so before you begin, delete scenes 3 and 6–24 and drag scene 5 to where 3 was.
This will shorten the video significantly, so you need to highlight the dust and leaks elements in the timeline and drag them to the left until they’re only as long as the entire length of the remaining four scenes.
Now highlight the remaining four scenes and drag them upward in the timeline so that Scene 1 is on Track 17 and Scene 4 is on Track 20. Now you’re ready to edit the video.
Double click on Scene 1 of the final sequence in the timeline. This opens up all the component parts of the first scene so that you can edit them.
The first thing you’ll do is edit the text. There are three separate text boxes in this scene. Start with Title 1. Double click Title 1 so it opens in its own timeline.
To change the text double click on Title 1 again. This opens up a Font menu for Title 1 that allows you to change the text to October 18th as well as change the font type and size.
I used Arial Bold at 200.0 and re-centre the text vertically and horizontally. I also removed the black bar behind the text by unchecking the background at the bottom of the box.
When you’ve finished, close out of the box and close out of Title 1. This returns you to Scene 1. Now follow the same steps for Title 2 by changing the text to ‘is’ and Title 3 by changing the text to #SpiritDay.
When you’ve finished press the play button to view the changes.
You may have noticed the coloured backgrounds behind each text. I’d like to change each background to reflect the purple theme.
In the Scene 01 timeline, double-click BG Intro 01. This opens a colour picker box where you can change the colour of the background of the October 18th text to any shade of purple you like. I used
Follow the same steps and change the background for BG Intro 02 and BG Intro 03. I changed the background in BG Intro 02 to white and went back to the text is and changed that to
#5C2278 to add some variety. I reverted to
#5C2278 for the background of BG Intro 03.
You’ve completed the first scene. Press the play button to view the changes.
Double click on Scene 2 to open up all the component parts of the second scene so that you can edit them. Working from top to bottom in the timeline, double click Transition to change the transition colour from blue to
#5C2278 or whatever shade of purple you prefer.
Now continue to work your way down by double clicking Title 4 to edit the text and the colour of the bar behind the text using the techniques you’ve already learnt of modifying text in the Font menu. I changed the text here to I’m wearing PURPLE.
Now you’ll learn how to replace the five placeholder images in this scene with your own images. If you don’t have enough of your own images, Envato Elements has a wide selection of great stock photos. All the images I used in this video were downloaded from there.
To import the images, go to File > Import and go to the folder you’ve stored your images in. Select all the images you want to use in the project and click Import.
Return to the timeline and double click on Shot 1. Drag the image you’ve downloaded onto the placeholder image. Several options will immediately appear.
Drop the image onto the Replace option located towards the bottom of the placeholder. If the image is too big, you can click on it and resize it manually or Control-click on Shot 1 in the timeline and select Scale to Frame Size.
Use the same steps to place images in Shot 2, Shot 3, Shot 4, and Shot 5. Ignore Shot 6.
Be aware that you may have to move your images around a bit to have them fit in a way that is aesthetically pleasing to you. Press the play button to view the changes.
Now double click on Scene 5 to open up all the component parts. Working from the top to bottom, use the techniques you’ve already learnt to change the text in Title 05 to ‘to show LGBTQ youth’ and the text in Title 6 to ‘I’ve got their back’.
Add the images to Shots 19–24 using the techniques already covered.
Now for the last scene. Double click on Scene 4 to open up all the component parts. You won’t be using Mask 01, so delete that.
Working from top to bottom, use the techniques we’ve already covered to add images to View the changes. Press the play button to view the changes.
Close out all open scenes and go back to the Final Sequence. I’m going to add an additional image and some text to the end of the sequence.
Drag an image of choice to Track 21 of the timeline so that it overlaps a little with Scene 4 below. Trim it to play for around 6–8 seconds.
Go to Graphics > Add New Layer > Text. Drag the new layer to the empty track (Track 22) above the new image so that it starts a second or two after the new image.
Type ‘How about you?‘ or whatever text you prefer. You can modify the text by highlighting it and going to the Essential Graphics window where you can use the Font menu as before.
Open the Effects panel and type ‘cross dissolve‘ in the search bar. When the cross dissolve effect comes up, drag it on top of the text at the beginning of the layer so that the text comes in gradually.
Preview the work and make any tweaks and changes needed.
Export the file. Go to File > Export.
A dialogue box opens up. Working from the top left of this box, in the Export settings, select H264. For Preset, select YouTube 1080p HD.
Click Output Name and write the name you’re giving your video and where you’d like it saved.
In Basic Video Settings, check the box next to Render at Maximum Depth, and in Encoding Settings make sure the Profile is set to High and Level to at least 4.2.
Check the box Use Maximum Render Quality and press Export.
Now you have a wonderful 14-second video supporting Spirit Day to embed on a blog, show on YouTube or use wherever you please.