Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Editing Tricks for Amateur Vacation Video #124

China 2001:  Great Wall

It's the first day of May, 2001.  In the Peoples' Republic of China, that's the Workers' Holiday.  Vacationers from throughout the country make a once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage to their capital city, and complete an emotional climb on their Great Wall.

Our tour guide suggested an early start to beat the crowds; the bus left the hotel at 7:00AM! It was an exciting day for us too, but we had no expectations regarding the exciting buzz created by the domestic tourists.  We were first to arrive, enjoying an almost solitary walk along the wall.  Vendors were just opening; guards were just waking up.  But walking back we met excited crowds of early-arrival families -- adults and kids -- making their pilgrimage.  Hence the music selection:  Pilgrim performed by Enya.

I always enjoy this video.  The clip placement and cuts were instinctive and work well.  The story unfolds in a logical manner:  Approaching the wall; Our climb upward; Witnessing others' climb.  I like the pan of a still photo at 01:01 -- Art is standing high on the wall; pan down to see Linda halfway up the stairs.  Enya's music is, of course, inspirational.  Unfortunately I do not have a copyright release from her, but perhaps there is a "fair use" here since I posted the video for educational purposes.

Lessons Learned:
Tell a story.  Don't forget establishing shots to begin.
It's moving video!  Consider the use pan-and-zoom to provide motion when using still shots. That's how director Ken Burns wins Emmy Awards!

My experience with obtaining clearance for the use of commercial music tracks is not good. But you need to consider the ethics if you intend to post your video on the Internet.

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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