Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Editing Tricks for Amateur Vacation Video #40

Africa 2002:  Zimbabwe Godfather

Mismanaged and corrupt, collapse of the Zimbabwe economy was underway.  President Mugabe was manipulating the currency for the benefit of his offshore accounts, creating an opportunity for freelance money changers.  The hotel doorman hooked us up with one of those guys ... a character with the ominous name of ... "Con".

What happens when some of the cash is missing?  Will we be able to pay for dinner?

One of our friends narrates the story, it's certainly a fun memory.  But it might be one of those videos that's for a limited audience.  When I play it for folks I usually stop the movie and provide a background story. 

There's a lot of money counting, music and stills from The Godfather are well-placed.  Light in the restaurant was very dim, so the I desaturated color and raised brightness which created something watchable and also a nice effect. Audio is from the camcorder's microphone, some of it is over-modulated.

Lessons Learned:
We have so much ownership of these vacation videos that we are sometimes unaware of an "inside joke".  Have an uninvolved person preview the movie before publishing it to the world.

Two lines of narration might set up the video for an audience that doesn't know the background story.

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 1997 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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