Today was spent doing two things. The first was completing a fast-paced video I made for The Fuller Center for Housing. I began editing this 40 second video yesterday. I made it a point to survey the music library in iMovie. I thought this would take hours of listening to short clips of varying music. I knew I wanted something fast, but I was open and not sure of exactly what I would be using. As it turns out, the first clip I listened to sounded right to me, so hours of anticipated listening turned into just minutes. Sometimes the Video Gods can shine on you!
So, I was immediately able to begin editing now that I had my music. And for this promotional video, I knew ahead of time that music would be vital. I imported several hours of video to our iMac. This took over an hour to digitize, so I made a sandwich. Some friends came over and I began editing the video in earnest around 8PM. Editing took me past midnight and close to 2AM. Most of the edits were under a second and the timing of each video clip had to have a sense of movement that lined up with the music. Not every edit is on the "drum beat" but there is a pace that I was after. Here's the finished video:
This morning I could have/should have/but didn't go to a small neighboring town that was holding its annual peanut festival. The 5K run, the parade, the awards and the special speakers all happened before lunch. I was eating breakfast at lunch time. So, I missed the major components of the event. I debated whether or not I should even go, having missed so much. But inspiration struck. I bet that there were a lot of people who, like me, were not able or capable of getting to the event "on time". The focus for my story would be, "This is what you missed if you weren't here on time." This would mean that I would need to ask some vendors and others "What did I miss this morning?" Their voices would help me tell the story of the event even though I would have no b-roll to back it up. This is not the best approach, I'm sure. But I wanted to shoot something (if for no other reason than practice).
If you've read some of my other posts, you know that I am getting reacquainted with our Panasonic DVX100A. Today, I winged a lot of what I shot. I used a boom-mic and the camera's mic thinking I knew what I would get. I also intentionally did not use headphones. I wanted to see if I could trust the audio meter. Also, the sun was very bright today making it hard to see the LCD external view finder. I put the camera on auto-focus and hoped for the best. You can learn more by screwing up than reading a how-to manual. So, today, I set out to screw up. And I had a good start since I missed all of the key elements to the story by sleeping in (but I was up until after 2AM editing-in my defense).
I'd love to tell you how my footage came out, but as it turned out, I was not done with the fast-paced Fuller Center Bike Adventure video. I tweaked a couple of edits after I got back from the Peanut Festival and began to export the Bike Adventure video into a QuickTime file. I'm not sure what went wrong, but previous exports that were coming out in a large resolution were now coming out web-ready. I was not pleased with this and I ended up spending all afternoon trying to figure out the difference between Data Rate, Key Frames, Multi vs. Single Pass, preserving aspect ratios, 16:9 vs. 4:3 and deinterlacing source video. I'm not sure what all of that means, but it must be important if they put these as options when exporting a video file. Right now I am uploading a very high resolution video to YouTube. Normally, I upload to YouTube from between 360-720p. I do this, in part, because I think I am helping to ensure that viewers don't have any trouble with buffering issues and, in part, because it uploads faster and I can move on to something else. Like cookies to go with my sandwich. We'll see how well this massive 47 second video file uploads and plays. It seems like at every turn, there is another knowledge gap to be crossed. I can't wait to get to the point where I can make a video knowing exactly how it's going to be done. (Will this ever be the case?!)
As I write this, I am multitasking (if you can call monitoring an upload a task). I call it a task, therefore I am being very productive right now. Tomorrow, I will see how my attempt to learn by screwing up turned out when I bridge another knowledge gap by trying to offload footage from the DVX100A to the iMac. I've done this before, but who knows what gremlins have changed the aspect ratios and internal mic syncs on the camera or the data rate of files to compression on the computer. Who knows, maybe I know more than I think and it will all simply work.
I just wanted to say that I think your website is amazing. I am a beginner with an idea, and the info and articles on your website are easy to understand and answer many questions I have. I can't wait to start filming!
--Sarah (Sydney, Australia)
I am a professional filmmaker, and I applaud this site for detailing the ABC's of documentary filmmaking. It serves as my own checklist as I continue making my own films... Thanks!