Friday, June 6, 2014

Editing Tricks for Amateur Vacation Video #128

China 2001:  Beijing Duck Restaurant

It was Ron's birthday and he wanted to eat scorpions.  Others wanted to try something more traditional.  The Beijing Duck Restaurant had something to satisfy everyone.  And this 28th chapter from the China Vacation DVD is reasonably satisfying too!

Comments on the editing:

  • Opens with a still frame, then the motion video is released after 8 musical bars.  I remember not having enough footage for the scene so I inserted the still ... but it unintentionally worked out well to build a little tension and excitement.
  • The dialog in the restaurant is almost hilarious.   I like the use of titles and unrelated images to help clarify the sound.  (e.g.  01:11 Baby with air-sickness bag; 03:08 Mr. Bill )
  • Close-ups of individuals trying the fried scorpions are well-mixed with fanfare from the Tang Dynasty Show
  • Reference to Joe's Apartment is a great way to illustrate man's relationship with bugs
  • Interaction with people outside could perhaps be trimmed to shorten the vignette, but all together it's a nice 4-minute piece.

Lessons Learned:
Use titles and composited images to clarify dialogue and bring home the laughs.
Illustrate your message with clips and photos from referenced cultural icons.  (Someone unfamiliar with Joe's Apartment and his roach friends would otherwise miss the humor.)

The scenes outside of the restaurant were unrelated to the meal, but fun to see.  Without them, this movie would be a minute shorter ... should they have been cut?  I don't know; that's why its a good idea to preview your movie and get comments from some friends you trust.

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 copyrighted music and video 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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