Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Editing Tricks for Amateur Vacation Video #27

Easter Island 1998

I took twelve hours of video during our multi-destination vacation in February of 2008.  Beginning in Bariloche, Argentina; crossing the Andean lakes to the coast of Chile; from Santiago to Easter Island; returning to Santiago and then on a cruise to Antarctica.

You know from previous posts that my analog 8mm camcorder had failed; to replace it I invested in an early miniDV unit made by Panasonic ... the AG-EZ20.  I loved that little camcorder, used it around the world until it was pick-pocketed in Paris.  Although the video was captured in DV, there were no affordable hobbyist solutions for digital editing.  So a 105-minute analog edit onto VHS tape was made with the help of Video Director Studio 200.

This six-minute Easter Island excerpt is the first of three that I'll be writing about on heNBC.com.

The opening is a cute use of the song Let's Go Get Stoned to establish that we are in the presence of the mysterious stone carvings known as Moai. Then we look at the annual festival known as Tapati Rapa Nui.  The mayor introduces their new garbage truck to great fanfare, then Miss Eater Island 1998 is crowned.  The camera results are impressive, lot's of fun well-exposed footage from the celebration stage.

I also like the use of natural sound for background music.  The local band gives a nice soundtrack for tourist scenery, including a beautiful sunset over the Pacific that should have been the end of the edited video.  But the scenes were edited chronologically, so it is prolonged with daylight clips from the next day.

This movie has a lot of goodness, just needs a more mature editing hand to create a nice three-minute story.

Lessons Learned:
Even old video can contain great images.
Once again we experience the neet to ruthlessly trim video and slideshow to keep your audience interested.
If the raw footage contains some great background music, use it! 

Good use of explanatory titles, no narration is required.

Music Copyright Considerations:
This is a short excerpt from one of my older edited videos.  It contains some identifiable music that is regrettably used without permission.  But remember the time this video was created; in 1998 the audience for this production was usually sitting in my living room.  "Fair Use" allowed me to use the music without consideration of copyright.
Today, with digital distribution, artists' rights deserve more attention.  Since this video is intended for non-profit illustration and educational purposes only, I believe that valid arguments can be made for its "Fair Use" in this situation.  Please understand that I do not encourage improper use of copyrighted material.

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