Thursday, January 17, 2013

Editing Tricks for Amateur Vacation Video #51

 France 2004: Paris

This is the second in my series of 23 vignettes from our 2004 trip to France.  We transition from the craziness of Chapter One's fictional introduction and really begin to "feel" like we're on vacation.  

Eurostar arrives, and the viewer is immersed into the City of Lights.  Mood of the sequence is enhanced by music from Josephine Baker,  ending with a fade to black.  Fade-in from black then another segment begins, showing us more of Paris.  It is not until the very end of the video that we see images of the four travelers who have rendezvoused; this is the beginning of their adventure!

Take a look at the beginning title; I was experimenting with placing motion pictures inside the outline of the letters.  I like the idea; there's a sense of anticipation as you hear the train conductor's announcements and the scene slowly unfolds.  You will also notice that I did not narrate this series of videos, choosing to use titles and natural sound to inform the viewer.

There's a lot of hand-held* panning, tilting, and zooming in the first part of this vignette.   (This is a telltale sign of non-professional camera handling ... discussed elsewhere in this blog.)  Modern video editing software helps reduce the shakiness,  and in this case  Josephine Baker's beautiful song makes it less noticeable. (See note below regarding copyrighted music.)

The second part of the video switches gears a bit, we hear the gruff voice of  Paolo Conte and start to detect a little humor.  This section of the video seems like an entirely separate vignette; it's as if I created two independent Paris movies, then decided to use both.  So in retrospect there's some continuity problem, but the video is pleasing nonetheless.

Lessons Learned:
Grab your audience's attention with a different style of title.  Filling the letters with moving pictures seemed to work here.
Once again we see the importance of music selection.  A good soundtrack enables the audience to forgive bad camerawork.
Maintain the flow of your production.  It seems like this video has three introductions!

I really enjoy editing in vignette-style.  I can produce a 3-5 minute story in a few days that tells its own story and is ready for preview.

* Who carries a tripod on vacation?  Enjoy yourself, have fun shooting your video, and try to keep it steady! 

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 2004 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.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please post your comments and share your ideas: