Thursday, July 23, 2015

Editing Tricks for Amateur Vacation Video #156 - Delightful Embarrassment

Embarrass Your Friends With Video?  Be Cautious!

Even if you're a senior citizen, it still feels good to poke fun at your friends.  

We were at our friends' home for a summer backyard party, when martini consumption somehow outpaced good judgement.  They're from Wisconsin, where Myron Floren is treated with god-like respect.  Maureen doesn't practice her accordion much anymore, and Steve is not much of a vocalist.  But they decided to entertain us with the Julida Polka.  

Luckily I had my iPhone.  Light was fading, but dark video is better than no video:

(For your information, here's a link to what Julida Polka is supposed to sound like.)

Well it's pretty obvious that Steve & Maureen love to party, and are not afraid to make fun of themselves.  When they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, I created a video presentation as a gift to them.  That show opened with this 30-second clip.  Everyone was rolling on the floor laughing -- many had actually seen this happen live!  The stage was set for everyone to have fun watching the rest of a half-hour movie.  And as you might guess, it was a killer anniversary party!

Titles:  I edited with an early version of Final Cut Pro X.  The animated opening and titles are nothing fancy -- Apple includes them stock with the software.  I used lower thirds captions for the lyrics since Steve was mangling them in a lovable but mostly unintelligible way.  (Patting myself on the back) I think the ending title is hilarious!
Light & Sound:  Front light was incredibly dim, provided by a gas fire pit.  I used FCPX's built-in tools to brighten the video; there is a spotlight effect that helped a lot.  The software's audio tools also helped to enhance weak sound picked up by the iPhone's microphone.

Lessons Learned:
The day after the party, I was on a mission.  Transferred the "awful" video onto my hard drive and tried to save it -- this was too precious to lose!
The success of this edit proves that content is more important than video "quality".  No one has ever complained that this video is "too dark" ... they are too busy laughing.

- Use your phone to capture unexpected special moments.
- Hard drives are cheap; moments like these happen only once!  Preserve them.
- Use good judgement.  Don't turn your friends into enemies with your "funny" video

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