Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Editing Tricks for Amateur Vacation Video #107

China 2001:  Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River

Chapter Six of the China vacation DVD takes us to the Three Gorges Dam construction site.       Excavation and concrete placement was well underway in 2001.  The dam body was competed five years later.  The first generator was switched on in 2005, and the last (#27) was placed in service in 2012.  Total generating capacity is 14.1 gigawatts, nearly five times that of Gezhou Dam.

This is an interesting and informative chapter.  Once again the length is about 2-1/2 minutes (looks like that will be a common denominator for these vignettes).  It begins with our surprisingly steep climb up the riverbank, then riding a purple bus with our guide, "Bobo Lee".  It would take a Cinemascope camera to capture the enormity of this project -- but this video is not even widescreen.  I was able to show the scale model; the 4:3 aspect ratio was more suitable for close-ups and personal moments around the construction site.

Lessons Learned:
Widescreen format was not available for this video.  Use a few stills to establish the scale, but then play to the strengths of your equipment.  In this case there are four or five very good clips that are well framed as 4:3 traditional compositions.

You're unlikely to return for a second chance at filming with better equipment.  So build your video edit with the best of what you have.  

All of the China trip vignettes are already loaded onto YouTube.  They may be viewed on one of my YouTube channels: HENBCtravel
I have three other channels that might be of interest:  HENBCvideo (miscellaneous videos that try to look professional, with particular respect for copyrights), RAGEAIR (advertises the licensing availability of my newsworthy videos), and this YouTube Channel of Shame (an odd collection of stuff, not respectful of others’ copyrights).

Music Copyright Considerations:
This original audience for this video was friends and family who would view the DVD in my living room.  It contains identifiable music that is regrettably used without permission.  
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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