Monday, December 12, 2016

Video Update #1 - Lessons Learned


One of the gremlins with the BlogSpot software is the length of comments is limited, meaning a long comment, or reply, will often be cut off in mid-sentence.
Over the weekend I posted a link to a video update I made - I received the following comment in the thread for that post from Mike Cougill. Rather than deal with the limits of the comment section, I decided to make my response it's own post.
Here's Mike's comment and my reply:
Hi Marty,
Your videography has a solid foundation to build on. The motion is smooth and consistent, with each scene well lighted. Tthe audio is clear with excellent sound quality and natural sounding narration. Excellent beginning.

Regards,
Mike Cougill

Thanks for the kind words Mike.  
Although I’ve shot “grab shot” videos before, this was the first time I tried to create something resembling a coherent, technically acceptable product.  My goal was to create something at least one step above unwatchable – in other words an acceptable baseline from which I could progress.
While I didn’t write a script, I did use some notes taped to the underside of the camera on the tripod to keep me on track.  What you heard (and saw) in most cases was the second or third time I’d shot the segment – in fact I shot a whole segment on fascia colors that ended up on the cutting room floor. In all, I shot about 3 or 4 times more “footage” than I actually used. 
The video editing is an enjoyable challenge, but it does take time.  All told, I spent a pleasant few evenings and one Saturday morning working through the process, toying with the software (iMovie), and the like.  I found structuring the content of the video no different in principle from writing for print – but there the similarities end.
A few seconds on a single image with voice over feels like an eternity. Excessive panning creates a dizzying viewing experience.  And you need to think through what the viewer can see, and what they will be hearing. for example, in the "here's what's in the box" segment I should have spent less time showing my ugly mug and cut back and forth to video closeups of the parts of the model I was holding up. Doing that, of course, takes longer than simply holding up the stuff in the box but the results will be far better.
I tried to focus on not saying “um, and eh and the like.” The video editing process came pretty easy – once I figured out the software. I found audio editing is an entirely different animal.  More than once I found I’d cut some video and fail to accurately cut the corresponding audio, resulting in me talking about something the viewer wasn't seeing. I also need to add some musical outros and intros for the segment transitions.
I was impressed with the performance of my iphone 6 in shooting both the video and the audio.  I felt I might have needed to do a “voice over” for the layout tour sections, but the audio levels once boosted slightly matched the “sitting at the modeling desk” portion so I went with them.
I should add the inspiration to do this video was from Mike Deverell (see his Colorado Front Range YouTube channel), and Gerry Leone's Bona Vista update videos (also on YouTube).  Mike's are long, extremely well done shows (they're almost broadcast quality) - while Gerry's updates are a little more "shoot from the hip."  I can see advantages and disadvantages to both approaches.
We'll see how this evolves over the next few months.
But, hey, I had fun doing it and have more ideas (improvements!) for the next one!

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for such a thoughtful reply Marty. Video is a different animal to be certain.

    Regards,
    Mike

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