Sunday, January 13, 2013

Editing Tricks for Amateur Vacation Video #49

Aruba 2003:  OD's Gone Wild

(If the video window does not appear, please click the above link.)

Our friends invited us to join them in Aruba.  He was taking a continuing education class with other Optometrists.  We were there to play.  I brought a miniDV camcorder and taped several activities including this stage show.  Several of the O.D.'s were pulled onto stage by the dancers, creating an innocent but memorable exhibition.

The only editing software on our Dell laptop was Windows Moviemaker.  (This video is the first and only movie that I ever edited with that software.)  Our friends previewed and laughed their heads off.  They insisted that I play it for the seminar leaders; who asked me to join their class and show the video using their projector.

I posted the video on YouTube in 2007; it's gained over 3,000 views.  Could've been more, but I mistakenly used "private" settings.  Now that I've changed it to "public" who knows?  It might become a viral sensation!

This video is very steady, especially considering that it was shot hand-held.  White balance is also good ... despite constantly changing coloration of the stage lighting.   A few zooms but not overdone, and the on-camera mike gave decent sound.  It would be pretentious to call the cinematography mise èn scene, since it was not done purposely.  But editing used very few cuts, the relatively long clips provide continuity that was thoroughly enjoyed by the live audience.  They also enjoyed the humorous titles.

Lessons Learned:
Pace the edit to match your audience.  Short choppy edits would have been less enjoyed.
A lighthearted approach creates an entertaining video.
If the tools you would like to have are not available, make use of the tools you have. (e.g. video editing software)

Don't forget to have some "B-roll".  Ideas:
     - Stills
     - Video of the audience
     - Borrow someone else's footage
     - (If allowed by the venue) Move around; shoot some video from a different location.

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.  (That music was probably licensed by the venue for use within the venue.)
But remember the time this video was created; in 2003 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.

Let's rescue your horrible vacation video.  Turn it into something your friends will enjoy watching!
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