Saturday, February 2, 2013

Editing Tricks for Amateur Vacation Video #57

France 2004: Rocamadur

We've already noted that #6 and #7 of the 23-chapter France trip video project are a bit too long.  In fact we are worried that we might be losing the audience's attention.  Let's see if Chapter #8 starts to turn things around. 

Rocamadur was the rendezvous point where all eleven travelers finally get together.  It's a true stone fortress on a hillside in the Dordogne Valley.  Our guide explains that there are three levels, a rock on the church and a castle on the rock.  It would have been a worthy target for invasion by the barbarian tourists of Chapter #1.

My serious narration is all a build-up to the "surprise ending".  We learn about pilgrims, frescoes, a sword in the stone, and the miraculous statue of the Black Madonna.  The video doesn't need to be seven minutes long, but it's a fresh approach compared to the project's other vignettes.  The music and narration encourages us to shift our mood from from respectfully attentive to mildly amused.  It's a decent video ... not excellent, but encouraging enough that I'll take a look at the next chapter.

Lessons Learned:
The goal is Entertainment NOT Perfection!  
Editing decisions can shift your audience's expectation.  Use tools like narration, music, and pacing to encourage them to continue watching.

Halfway through this video the soundtrack falls out of sync.  The original video had no problem; the DVD I burned in 2004 is not like this.  An error must have crept into my digital file sometime during the past nine years.  
About half of the 23 chapters have a similar problem; most of the others are fixed.  But I left this one to illustrate the need for caution.

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.

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