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Techniques for Independent Production
The challenges of creating Digital Cinema and other narrative forms.

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Old May 31st, 2010, 06:22 PM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
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Representing abstract content

Greetings all,

I've been working on a video for a non-profit organization for a while now. Our budget for this video is small and we have been using mostly a Canon 2Ti along with a Zoom H4n/AT4040 for audio. We've purchased some royalty free music, sound clips, and video clips to help out.

The greatest difficulty I have ran into is how to take advantage of the capability of video to explore some very subtle and abstract content. Abstract isn't quite the right word but it will do for the sake of this post.

In particular, our video deals a lot with thought, the mind, consciousness, intelligence, perception, insight, memory and the subjective/phenomenological experiences of emotions, sensations, tensions, and so forth. Basically, we are dealing with a lot of things that are not reducible to some physical object that could be easily displayed.

Unfortunately, because of the cost to license, I am unable to obtain footage of certain scientists and experts speaking directly on these matters. As I have a very monotone voice and am not overly expressive, we will be using little footage of myself in this video. I could potentially pay amateur local actors to read out some of the script or act out scenes that could be narrated to illustrate the underlying concepts -- and I will likely do this for a few scenes, but not as the bulk of the video.

There are several concepts that would lend themselves well to animation, but the cost of animation is prohibitive. I've toyed with a few 2D animation programs and was able to produce some crude animations but nothing I produced is of the quality that should end up in the video we are working on.

Through a video segment of photographs, narration, a few video clips, and what not, I could produce a glorified slide show that would represent some of the ideas we are working with -- yet this leaves me filling dissatisfied.

I could try to produce physical analogues to the concepts we are trying to convey and then video record these -- but this approach is labarous and it's not at all clear that the results would be elegant.

I was hoping to learn from the experience of you all and hear of some potential solutions apart from what I have listed.

Thanks in advance.
Matthew Capowski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 2nd, 2010, 06:06 AM   #2
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
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This might be way off the tone you're going for, but maybe old-timey clips and images? They might be cheap and/or in the public domain. It might have a comic effect, depending on how you edit it.

Another way might be to look for an art student who design original stuff for a reasonable price or just experience/credit.
Dennis Stevens is offline   Reply

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