Thursday, March 28, 2013

Editing Tricks for Amateur Vacation Video #67

Don't Go To France!


This spoof of a PSA (Public Service Announcement) was also a political commentary.  

It was 2004, a presidential election year.  John Kerry was being "Swift-Boated".  Politicians expressed outrage that European allies did not support the United States' invasion of Iraq.  The Senate lunchroom replaced French Fires on its menu with "Freedom Fries".  

Yet we and our friends enjoyed this trip immensely.  The political irony of this video was obvious at the time; but the simple humor ensures lasting watchability. 


Lessons Learned:
Be careful of political jokes, your vacation video may not withstand the test of time.  Focus on the humor and keep the politics subtle.

Suggestion:
"Public Service Announcement" is a great format to add to your vacation video repertoire.  If I do this again I'll try to have the "spokesperson" give their message on live video while we are traveling.

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.


Monday, March 25, 2013

Editing Tricks for Amateur Vacation Video #66

France 2004: Sarlat


This is a light-hearted walk through the Dordogne Valley town of Sarlat.  I like the colorful views of the farmers' market, rapid zoom of still photos, and the woman with purple hair!

So it's an enjoyable montage, made more fun by the music (Gong Oh by Paolo Conte).


Lessons Learned:
Keep your video montage short.  Use good images and stimulating music.

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.


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Editing Tricks for Amateur Vacation Video #65


France 2004: Gender Changer


Those strange boxes found all over the city of Paris.  They look like phone booths ... but different ... in a sinister sort of way.  You put a coin in the slot and a doors opens.  You enter, the door shuts behind you.
Afew moments later the door opens and you re-emerge.  Changed forever!

I had some fun editing this one.  Used Premiere 5 to apply a sepia-toned old-time-movie look, with silent-era-styled titles.  Despite numerous technical flaws, everyone who sees it laughs.

It is well-placed as the 16th chapter in the 23-chapter DVD from our trip to France.  The mood of that presentation has definitely shifted to light-hearted.  Several consecutive short  and humorous vignettes are preparing the audience to ignore a longer final segment. 

Lessons Learned:
Once again, I'll repeat:  "Have fun.  Try something crazy.  Don't be predictable."

Suggestion:
I remember rushing to finish this one; as a result there are some flaws in the edit.  Most obvious to me are abrupt changes in the size of the screen format.  Yet no member of any audience has ever brought this to my attention.  So I guess that proves the point that entertainment is more important than technical perfection.



Music Copyright Considerations:
This video was my first use of royalty-free music.  I had purchased a set of DVDs on eBay from a company called Elite Video.  They appear to still be in business, here.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Editing Tricks for Amateur Vacation Video #64


France 2004: Villages of the Dordogne Valley

This video is a short montage of French villages that were not shown elsewhere on the DVD.  Great for that purpose.  Although the clips are decently photographed, they are not very interesting to those who were not on the trip.

Lessons Learned:
Don't feel obligated to post everything publicly on the Internet.  Consider distributing some of your work privately.

Suggestion:
If the images are good, archive the video clips in your personal catalog of stock video.  You never know when you might be able to repurpose them.


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.




Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Editing Tricks for Amateur Vacation Video #63

France 2004: Gloria's Secret Life


The acting "talent" was a little reluctant, but with a little coaxing Gloria agreed to become a human cannonball!

This is an imperfect but fun little vacation video that always gets a laugh.  The theme music adds false excitement as Gloria spins into outer space.  Did you notice that her feet are missing?  That's my Photoshop "skills"!  Fortunately her feet come back when she lands.

The photo was composited onto stock footage of the solar system.  

Lessons Learned:
Have fun editing and your audience will join you!
Use some gentle coaxing to convince your friends and family to "act" in the video.

Suggestion:
Try new things.  I am not a Photoshop expert, but did well enough to create a still photo with alpha channel to composite onto the stock video.



Saturday, March 2, 2013

Editing Tricks for Amateur Vacation Video #62


France 2004: Castelnaude

Castelnaud's static collection of medieval siege machinery finds a more lively counterpart at the "Punkin' Chunkin'" competition in southern Delaware.  Catapaults, Trebuchets, and Air Cannon?  See for yourself!

This vignette is five minutes long, which is probably a good duration.  The castle seems kind-of dull; do├žent's voice is nearly unintelligible under the music.  Punkin' Chunkin' is a fun and unexpected conclusion.

Lessons Learned:
Be careful of the sound mix.  Test it on a few devices before finalization.
Good idea to enliven the museum-tyupe dullness with modern example.


Suggestion:
If looking for a larger YouTube audience, take the time to re-mix the old audio.
Consider using royalty free music to replace the copyrighted songs.
If re-edited, could try mixing like-kinds of weapons with their modern copies.  For example, follow scene of the castle's catapult with modern scene of a pumpkin launch.


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.