Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Editing Tricks for Amateur Vacation Video #153: iMovie for iPad

Create a Vacation Movie on your iPad

We took an iPad with us during a visit to Montreal and Quebec City in 2012.  The movie you see above was created using only the iMovie app, including its built-in sound effects, titles, and transitions.  I had no convenient way to transfer video into the iPad, so this is essentially an animated slideshow that tells a "story".

The video makes good use of close-up photos of sculptures and unusual street signs.  How about the police mannequin in an old squad car?  And the rare sighting of an endangered species -- a phone booth!  All I needed was some fool to play the leading man.

The iMovie app has a relatively small feature set, and precision editing is difficult on its small screen.  Nevertheless, this little video came out pretty well. 

Lessons Learned:
It's possible to create an entertaining vacation video using even the simplest of editing programs.  This short story was created using only: photos; transitions; titles; music; and sound effects.

I am spoiled by my two-monitor video editing workstation at home and felt cramped when I tried to edit on the iPad.  (Imagine trying to edit a movie on a smart phone! No way.)  Oh well, the iMove app cost only $10.  I used it twice, so that's $5 per try!

Obviously I'm not very enthusiastic about creating my vacation videos on a tablet.  But that's my preference ... it might work for you.  Have you created a great vacation video on an iPad?  Post a link in the comments section and I'll discuss it in a future HENBC blog post.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Editing Tricks for Amateur Video #152

Example of a Video Product Review:

"Installation of Skinomi TechSkin film on iPad"

Once in a while I create a movie that has nothing to do with travel and vacation.  That was the case with this product review.

There's a company named "Skinomi" that offers protective films for phones, tablets, and other digital devices.   Their Amazon reviews looked good, so I bought a set for my iPad.
I set up a camera to record the film's installation.  Fortunately everything went smoothly, so I created this instructional "how to" movie and shared it on YouTube with a link in my Amazon review.

The crazy look at the beginning of the video comes from a "kaleidoscope" filter in Final Cut Pro X.   A couple of still shots establish what we are doing, then the camera is locked down in position for a medium close-up view of the installation.  Simple cuts compress the time, plus a little humor when my cat decided to help.  Simple royalty-free jazz music introduces and closes the edited video.

Lessons Learned:
Medium Close-Up worked well for illustrating the installation of this protective film on an iPad.  An even closer point-of-view might be necessary when shooting a more intricate project.  In that case, enlist the help of a friend to shoot the B-roll.
My music choice worked well for this video.  Notice that when the music fades out/in there is no ambient sound.  I could have chosen to duck the sound, or include some of the natural background.  But I decided that this simple video did not need a complicated sound mix.

Sometimes you need a break from your typical editing routine.  Why not try something different like this short instructional movie?
Is your camera ready to shoot with a charged battery?  Little projects like this one happen all the time and offer an opportunity to practice shooting and editing.