Friday, June 13, 2014

Editing Tricks for Amateur Vacation Video #129

China 2001:  Hutong

The "Hutong" is a kind of old-world refuge among the Beijing craziness.  In fact, that's precisely what it is ...  a purposefully preserved part of history where residents live in unremarkable buildings that have withstood many generations.

I (as an editor) was fortunate that I (as a cameraman) had captured some nice clips while visiting the Hutong.  There are also some good use of still photographs.  This was also one of those cases where popular music became inextricably linked to my feelings about the raw footage.  It became impossible to edit without using that copyrighted material.

That popular music really sets the mood, regrettably there is a problem with sharing edits like this online (see Copyright Considerations below).   Regardless, its a fun and easy-to-enjoy little video.  A bit of Quincy Jones' Sanford & Son Theme is very appropriate to accompany the opening clip of a jury-rigged smoky gas-engine hoist.  Then Queen's Bicycle Race accompanies nice scenes of our rickshaw ride.  The Bellamy Brothers' Let Your Love Flow is a fun song and goes well with scenes of our interactions with friendly Hutong residents.

Lessons Learned:
This was a well-paced good example for the use of varied camera angles, live action, and stills.
When I edited this clip I did not own a license to use any royalty-free music.  I have since accumulated a reasonable collection of tracks from SmartSound.  If I was editing today I would try to not use unlicensed music.

A viewer of this video knows that we were at "The Hutong" but the term remains undefined.  Perhaps some explanatory titles or mention in the narration?

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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