Saturday, November 10, 2012

Editing Tricks for Amateur Vacation Video #35

Africa 2002:  Romance

This is the first of eleven clips from our second trip to Africa.  The video was taken in Chobe National Park, Botswana, from the back of a jeep where I sat with six other tourists.  We were not allowed to get out of the vehicle; as everyone jostled to get the best camera angles, the fully zoomed video became shaky, but that problem is mostly forgiven by viewers because of the subject matter.

Music is an old doo-wop favorite from the Orioles, It's Too Soon To Know, which perfectly sets the mood.  Slow zoom in, hold, then slow zoom out works well as the lyrics and visuals relate the story of "Mr. Belt."

These Africa clips were the last that I edited using Pinnacle Studio on a Windows computer. I am pleased with the titles and ability to replace original sound with the music.  If I were to re-edit, I would try some modern software options for stabilization ... however the camera movement is severe, and I suspect that the standard-definition footage would be extremely softened.

Lessons Learned:
If your video is compelling or funny, the audience might forgive some shaky camera work.  Focus on what you can control (music, titles, narration, etc.)

Modern editing software might be able to reduce the shakiness.  Perhaps use an artistic filter if the video loses its sharpness.
Replace the music with a royalty-free selection.

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 2002 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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