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-   -   I laughed 'til I cried (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/all-things-audio/537507-i-laughed-til-i-cried.html)

Greg Miller July 18th, 2020 12:32 AM

I laughed 'til I cried
 
I was just contacted by someone locally -- not even an amateur, let alone a professional -- with a strange project. He thought it would be a good idea to make a video of the this year's fireworks display. So he recruited seven friends, each with their individual video camera, to shoot footage. In his favor, I will say that they all shot continuously (except for one camera that allegedly went into error mode and shut itself off because it thought the audio track was too loud). But, you guessed it ... no time code, no definite head or tail slate. So, e.g., one camera was "about 200 or 300 feet" from loudspeakers playing the music track for the display. "Can't we use that?"

I am not soliciting advice here ("run away, fast" might be appropriate). I have given it some thought, I have found some solutions. But ... talk about doing things the wrong way! I did suggest that he think about the details *beforehand* if he wants to try this again.

Just thought you folks might enjoy this little diversion, since the forum has been quiet lately. Maybe we need a "can you top this one?" thread.

Peace, out.

Andrew Smith July 18th, 2020 05:18 AM

Re: I laughed 'til I cried
 
I've kinda said this in various places before ...

The role of the amateur is to make the professional look good. I used to say this in graphic design circles (because there would always be someone after school using their computer to compete with). Applies here just as well. I just let amateurs learn the hard way and do my best to remain humble and thankful.

Andrew

Jim Michael July 18th, 2020 06:46 AM

Re: I laughed 'til I cried
 
At least with fireworks you have the slate equivalent of a bursting shell, the visual part. Only one audio source is likely to be usable due to the difference in distances. Amateurs have the luxury of time to deal with the issues. Too bad about the music. I need to dust off some footage I shot in downtown Atlanta a few years ago, incredible concussive effects from the tall buildings.

Pete Cofrancesco July 18th, 2020 09:06 AM

Re: I laughed 'til I cried
 
sounds like fun. ;-)

If there was a camera far enough away that didn't have the music in the background you could use that for the sound of the fireworks explosions and then add your own music. It would then be a matter of visually syncing up the cameras.

Greg Miller July 18th, 2020 09:09 AM

Re: I laughed 'til I cried
 
Unfortunately it wasn't even that simple. There were simultaneous (although not synchronous) displays at several different locations, with a few cameras at each location. At any given location, not all the cameras were aimed in a way to get all the bursts (you'd need a very wide lens for that, but then the individual bursts would look small and thus less impressive). So, unfortunately, no 100% visual slate, either.

At least one camera had a balanced XLR input. That volunteer chose to record audio from his portable radio ... but with the wrong adapter, so that he ended up with a mono L-R track. (oh, right, he was the one "professional" out of all the camera people).

Etc. etc.

Greg Miller July 18th, 2020 09:14 AM

Re: I laughed 'til I cried
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Pete Cofrancesco (Post 1960182)
If there was a camera far enough away that didn't have the music in the background you could use that for the sound of the fireworks explosions and then add your own music. It would then be a matter of visually syncing up the cameras.

The thing that has always bothered me about these "synchronized" displays is that they aren't. If the flash is synchronized with the music element (which is the intent), then the boom is too late. So they always look stupid to me when I see them in person (which I therefore try to avoid). It's like watching an entire movie with the sound loop too big.

Because different shells burst at different altitudes, an audio "boom recorder" would have to be at a significant horizontal distance if you wanted to sync the booms to the music track.

Pete Cofrancesco July 18th, 2020 09:18 AM

Re: I laughed 'til I cried
 
Yeah reminds me how simple these projects always sound at the out set. Film fireworks with multiple cameras put them together... Maybe it be better to produce the highlights that aren't synced.

No offense but who really wants to watch a video of the fireworks. The whole point is to experience it first hand and even professional videos are still a poor facsimile. All those people who film concerts on their phone does anyone every watch them? The whole point of a live event is being there in person.

Greg Miller July 18th, 2020 10:00 AM

Re: I laughed 'til I cried
 
Agreed. As I said, I don't even enjoy them in person. (And what about all the toxic lead and sulphur compounds wafting in the breeze?) Apparently a lot of amateur helpers are involved, stringing wires (and whatever else they do). Maybe they want to watch the video afterward to give themselves a pat on the back.

Fireworks are what they do in hell, when the bagpipers take a break.

Pete Cofrancesco July 18th, 2020 12:30 PM

Re: I laughed 'til I cried
 
Yeah I'd be more interested in watching a behind the scenes movie of what goes into pulling off the show with some b roll of the actually fireworks, funny stories, interesting characters... There's probably already a reality show on that idea or in the works.

Good luck brother LOL

Patrick Tracy July 18th, 2020 02:25 PM

Re: I laughed 'til I cried
 
I would get a good quality copy of the original audio and cut the footage to that as I saw fit. It's not the kind of thing that needs to be a literal document of the event.

Greg Miller July 18th, 2020 04:43 PM

Re: I laughed 'til I cried
 
Pete, now that you mention it, a video of the setup (or teardown) would be interesting. I have no idea how they do something of this magnitude. I'd prefer to see the technology, rather than watch the display.

Patrick, I have the master audio, which I used only to figure out some of the sync points. I am not touching the video (not even watching it), thank God. What the volunteer person/people seems to want is a literal document. It's in their hands now. I wish them luck. Fortunately, my part is done.


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