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Old July 14th, 2008, 01:03 PM   #1
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How can I make this more interesting?

I shot a baby shower video for a friend on impulse, so there was no planning involved. It started with them sitting in a circle, giving blessings for her and the baby. I grabbed my camera and was simply setting up so it's one long shot of the circle with no movement or anything. Each girl gives her blessing and it goes on about ten minutes. There are some noticeable (but not fatal) exposure problems that change. The audio is not great either - I had it miked with a wireless in the middle of the circle so there is room noise, low voices and some hum (I was able to get the hum out).

I wasn't going to use these, was just getting ready, but in retrospect I figured they'd be important to her so I kept them even though the video had some flaws.

The video starts with this because sequentially that's how it happened. However it's a pretty slow start. Bor-ing. The rest of the video is a lot more fun to watch, has some music put in, fun interviews, speeded up footage opening presents, etc. It all goes together pretty well and would not work to scatter the blessings throughout.
The video ends with her doing a 15 minute straight interview with things she would like to say to her child when she is older - her hopes, wishes, etc. I didn't put music or anything to this because it seemed inappropriate -- just sort of considered it a separate section.

But that's a lot of extra information. How can I make the circle footage more interesting, esp. since it starts the video?
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Old July 15th, 2008, 01:46 AM   #2
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I shot a baby shower video for a friend on impulse, so there was no planning involved. It started with them sitting in a circle, giving blessings for her and the baby. I grabbed my camera and was simply setting up so it's one long shot of the circle with no movement or anything. Each girl gives her blessing and it goes on about ten minutes. There are some noticeable (but not fatal) exposure problems that change. The audio is not great either - I had it miked with a wireless in the middle of the circle so there is room noise, low voices and some hum (I was able to get the hum out).

I wasn't going to use these, was just getting ready, but in retrospect I figured they'd be important to her so I kept them even though the video had some flaws.

The video starts with this because sequentially that's how it happened. However it's a pretty slow start. Bor-ing. The rest of the video is a lot more fun to watch, has some music put in, fun interviews, speeded up footage opening presents, etc. It all goes together pretty well and would not work to scatter the blessings throughout.
The video ends with her doing a 15 minute straight interview with things she would like to say to her child when she is older - her hopes, wishes, etc. I didn't put music or anything to this because it seemed inappropriate -- just sort of considered it a separate section.

But that's a lot of extra information. How can I make the circle footage more interesting, esp. since it starts the video?
What about eliminating any pauses in the audio. Or may be fading different voices in and out so the voices sound layered. Lots of J and L cuts? What about putting the audio from the circle at the beginning over various parts of the rest of the video. So all the audio from the beginin is used throughout the rest of the video?
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Old July 15th, 2008, 03:08 AM   #3
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You might try taking the circle totally appart and only using short one or two sentance blessings from each. Cross fades between different person. That way it won't seem like they just went in a circle (if that is what they did). Without seeing the raw footage it's hard but from what you described I'd try putting some background music to it and cut it as if it were an opening to a movie. If you've got some stills mabye cut to the music only with some photoalbum type stills, them back to a few more blessings.

Just a thought.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 12:14 AM   #4
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Those are great ideas - never even thought of that.
There is some background music in the shot - it was playing in the room - but it's not very loud. Still, it's there. So I'd have to see if I could cover it. Also, they are very hard to hear - I had to turn the level up quite a bit.
I wish I had some stills but unfortunately, I don't. That would certainly be ideal. And the shot doesn't change.
I was wondering even if I could mix graphics in somehow.
It may be that it's lousy, boring video and there's no fix for that?
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Old July 17th, 2008, 01:24 AM   #5
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Those are great ideas - never even thought of that.
There is some background music in the shot - it was playing in the room - but it's not very loud. Still, it's there. So I'd have to see if I could cover it. Also, they are very hard to hear - I had to turn the level up quite a bit.
I wish I had some stills but unfortunately, I don't. That would certainly be ideal. And the shot doesn't change.
I was wondering even if I could mix graphics in somehow.
It may be that it's lousy, boring video and there's no fix for that?
I've taken to calling this sort of production and "after thought" edit. In other words, the shoot was not conducted with a clear plan for the final product. Unfortunately that makes life very very hard.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 04:49 AM   #6
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Another option could be to edit together a fun highlights version of the party to music - maybe 3 or 4 mintues - then include the full circle blessing ceremony thing as a separate menu option on the DVD. Same with the interview.

That way you have a fun, entertaining and easy to watch main feature that she can show friends/family etc ... And the other more personal stuff as separate menu items that she can watch at her leisure.

Just an idea.

Cheers,

Matthew.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 07:35 PM   #7
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Hmm. Yeah. Hide it. That might actually work.
It's definitely an 'after thought' production. Actually, i grabbed my camera on the way out the door and thought it would make a nice gift. (Which is of course turning into ten times more work than I imagined but live and learn). There was no planning involved at all, just spur of the moment.
I wish I had some stills I could edit in and mix with graphics, maybe emphasize some words, put a background up there. Graphics, nice picture frames, effects, all could pretty it up a bit. Along with the cross-fades suggested, that might help. But I don't have any stills, just one lo-o-o-ng boring shot. Worst case scenario I guess I could bury it in the menu. The rest of the video moves pretty well. The first part (the blessings) is really slow. The last part, a message to her child, is more private.
In the videos I've done before, I created pretty much one long track, then added a nested menu with links to various parts. So this would be a variation on that. I guess it doesn't HAVE to be included in the main track. I'll play with some structuring ideas and then run that by her. Meanwhile I'll see what can save it - cross fades, edits etc.
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Old July 18th, 2008, 04:05 AM   #8
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Just had a thought. Could you email each guest and have them send you a picture of themselves? Then superimpose it into the track. I'd probably play a lot with the color of the pictures, make the circle in the footage into a sepia or B&W and then have the words playing. If the audio is hard to hear what they are saying have their words fly in or fade in as they say them.

You could reverse the look and have the coloring of the circle supersaturated and have the stills fade/float across the screen with the words again fading/following them.

Might be a lot of work but it could be fun.
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Old July 19th, 2008, 02:25 PM   #9
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I only know how to reach two of the guests but I could look into it. I like that B/W idea a lot.

She's in the middle of moving out of state in a week so it might be hard for her to go through pictures, but along that same line, it would be cool to have one or two pix of her with each person in color and then float them over the black and white.

Hey, mentioned earlier, J and L cuts. What are they?

Thanks you guys for all these creative ideas.
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Old July 19th, 2008, 11:57 PM   #10
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I only know how to reach two of the guests but I could look into it. I like that B/W idea a lot.

She's in the middle of moving out of state in a week so it might be hard for her to go through pictures, but along that same line, it would be cool to have one or two pix of her with each person in color and then float them over the black and white.

Hey, mentioned earlier, J and L cuts. What are they?

Thanks you guys for all these creative ideas.
A "J" cut has audio that starts and is played "under" an unrelated video scene, but eventually the video track that it belongs to is shown on screen and the audio is synced to the video. And "L" but is th opposite and the video and audio start at the same time but then the video cuts to a different visuals while the audio continues to play. If you watch the evening news, then you see this allllll the time.

When the reporter is talking about that car accident down the street and is looking into the camera, the audi o& video are both played in sync. But then the station cuts the video to scenes recorded earlier of the car crash, and the reporters voice continued unchanged.... that is an "L" cut.
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Old July 20th, 2008, 11:09 PM   #11
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Hey Jason,

Thanks for the info. I've been doing both of these for years, and I've heard the term before but never knew that was what I was doing.

Now I'll only look and sound half clueless.

:)
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Old July 30th, 2008, 01:13 PM   #12
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Update

Hi y'all,
Just wanted to update you on how it worked out. Thanks for the save! What I ended up doing was a combination of suggestions. In Motion, I put it over a background of a CU candle photograph from the shower, which matched some of the other stuff in the video and created a cohesive color scheme. Then, I layered the video over it and blended it slightly with the orangish background. The video itself I filterred out most, but not all, of the color, so that you have soft color over a colorized background. It worked really well. That also seemed to help distract a bit from the exposure changes. Lastly, I feathered the edges with a mask for a more finished look.

Then I faded on althernating script fonts (Didot, Edwardian Script etc) in whitish and sometimes yellowish colors, highlighting certian words, overlaying onto both the edges of the video and the background. I added a yellowish glow highlight that went through each text at varying times, and tracked the text where appropriate but with enough variation to create interest. It created enough visual interest that you really dont notice the slight exposure changes and the whole segment moves faster.

Lastly, since it really didn't go with the middle part of the video - which was already edited cohesively with music, interviews, etc and was highlighting the party part of the shower, I created a nested menu and buried it in the menu so that she can see it, but friends who she may show it to don't have to sit through very personal stuff.

Thanks for your great ideas! It was a real exercise to learn how to take boring video and make it watchable.
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Old July 31st, 2008, 02:38 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Kell Smith View Post
Hi y'all,
Just wanted to update you on how it worked out. Thanks for the save! What I ended up doing was a combination of suggestions. In Motion, I put it over a background of a CU candle photograph from the shower, which matched some of the other stuff in the video and created a cohesive color scheme. Then, I layered the video over it and blended it slightly with the orangish background. The video itself I filterred out most, but not all, of the color, so that you have soft color over a colorized background. It worked really well. That also seemed to help distract a bit from the exposure changes. Lastly, I feathered the edges with a mask for a more finished look.

Then I faded on althernating script fonts (Didot, Edwardian Script etc) in whitish and sometimes yellowish colors, highlighting certian words, overlaying onto both the edges of the video and the background. I added a yellowish glow highlight that went through each text at varying times, and tracked the text where appropriate but with enough variation to create interest. It created enough visual interest that you really dont notice the slight exposure changes and the whole segment moves faster.

Lastly, since it really didn't go with the middle part of the video - which was already edited cohesively with music, interviews, etc and was highlighting the party part of the shower, I created a nested menu and buried it in the menu so that she can see it, but friends who she may show it to don't have to sit through very personal stuff.

Thanks for your great ideas! It was a real exercise to learn how to take boring video and make it watchable.
Cool! Glad to hear it all worked out for you.

Cheers,

Matthew.
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