Tuesday, May 12, 2015

MONSTERS OF THE AMAZON - Tips for Amateur Video Editors #150

 The Amazon 1999 (video edited in 2012) -- (Part 3 of discussion)


Recapping from Part 1 and Part 2, the nine hours of video from our Amazon vacation was hopelessly boring.  Friends wanted to see a vacation movie, but I was simply uninspired.  Then, I decided to create a completely fictional background story.  Monsters of The Amazon was created long before the cable television series about "river monsters",  and is a completely original wacky concept.

Story Synopsis:
I gathered an expedition team of friends.  We went together to the Amazon, searching for legendary monsters.  On the way we fall victim to predatory animals and indifferent humans.  Only two survive.

Watch For:
Continuity problems.   Cast members are killed, yet appear in the following scenes.  Are they zombies?
Camcorder-imposed dates in the lower right corners of the screens.  Poor cinematography + indifferent editing?
Special effects and compositing.  I was practicing editing techniques with Final Cut Pro X.

Step Through the Movie's Scenes:
(1) The title narration just cracks me up every time I hear it.  "The lucky ones never find why they're looking for!"  My own voice enhanced in Garage Band.   It's a mysterious graveyard, followed by a montage of literary and theatrical Amazon monster masterpieces.  Background music throughout the video is from Smartsound.

(2) With a map in the background we are introduced to our cast of characters, and board the boat.
As we cast off, the Captain reveals himself to be an alcoholic.  The morning looks promising, but the crew gives us contradictory instructions.

(3) Ants and other flying/crawling things take advantage of our exposed skin during the night expedition.  Heather Locklear, Dwayne Johnson and I all suffer from insect attack.    The ship's doctor is of little help, as he seems to be conducting biological experiments.

(4) Next morning, topless natives steal our clothes.  The ship's crew takes my wife's underwear, and piranha attack as we swim in the river.  At least we weren't shot at.

(5) Some of our team participate in topless, butt-shaking  native ceremonial dances.  Our Financier's head explodes, infected by the jungle rhythm.

(6) The Collector wants to acquire an anaconda skin.  Jon Voight shows her one, and natives offer live ones for sale from a canoe.  Inevitably, she becomes lunch for a snake.

(7) An Amazonian religious cult tries to warn us, to no avail.  The Dancer scoffs at the danger, and he looks quite effeminate as the Creature from the Black Lagoon drags him away.

(8) The greedy Captain runs away; we go fishing.  Children warn us that "The piranha will feast on your white butts!"   The Financier makes an unexpected return appearance as the Wisecracking Old Guy becomes fish food.

(9) The Tree Hugger (who begins to look a lot like Heather Locklear) and I escape in Columbia.  One hundred years later, I've morphed into a plant.  Fortunately, she has become a vegetarian and we live happily ever after.

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