Sunday, May 31, 2009

Final Cut

It's Sunday night and I have just finished the final cut of my marathon movie. I am going to burn it on a few DVDs for class tomorrow. Later, I will save it as a file I can use on my blog for everyone to see. After my regular school year is over, I still plan on making a longer version for my family. My movie is roughly 6 minutes long right now. When I am done it will probably be 10 to 15 minutes in length.

I was able to practice a few techniques when I was working on the final cut. I didn't have a lot of footage to work with to do some cutaways, so I had to do a little extra filming today. Only 8 seconds worth. See if you can figure out where I put it. I didn't realize that I could cutaway to still pictures and graphics, too. I am definitely going to play around with this technique in future editing.

To give my music at the end time to fade out into black, I added a black title without words. I chose "Born to Run" by Bruce Springsteen to end my movie project. It fades out well at the end. In addition, I was able to work with the audio clip trimmer to get my music synced up with the start of the clip I wanted and the end one. At first it was a little frustrating, but now I have the hang of it. I kept editing the middle of the movie which made it longer, hence the clip trimmer edit had to be lengthened. Slightly annoying. For me, it was great because I got to practice using the tool. Later on, I am not so sure I will have the patience.

I added a few more transitions between clips. Since I chose cross dissolve, I had to go back and lengthen the front ends and back ends of clips because it cut off a little of the sound on each end. That's no problem. Easy fix. I love the keyboard short cut and now I can't even remember how to bring up the window to do it.

Overall, I am very satisfied with the work that I have done on this project. In essence I worked mainly on iMovie '09, but I also learned how to use my camera and upload footage to iMovie. Now I am ready to film my next marathon in San Francisco on July 26, 2009. Maybe, my wife will learn how to use the HD camera, so I can get some good footage to use in another marathon movie.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Rough Cut

I just finished a rough cut of my marathon video and showed it to a couple of people. They seem to like it so I must be going in the right direction. I haven't put in the end of the race footage, cutaways, or the voice overs(not sure I want those). I was worried that too many of the same type of picture would detract from the overall feel of the movie. I don't think it does because the still pictures move by very quickly.

I haven't created the beat markers to sync the pictures and transitions with the music. I'll do that tomorrow. I extended the clips that needed it. When you press the apple key and then the option key, you can instantly and quickly extend a clip. It's rather easy in fact. I haven't had to use the precision editor yet, though I probably will get the exact edits I want on some of the video clips.

I am very happy with the direction of the project. I am learning the program while practicing the skills they teach in my book. I like using shortcuts, so the book is a perfect match for me. I hate having to open extra windows to do a task that has a keyboard shortcut.

Video and Still Pictures

Last night, my friend brought over his Sony digital camera that also records video and we uploaded about 2 minutes of footage. I'll get to try the stabilization function because the footage is a little shaky at the beginning. What I love about iMovie is the fact that you can crop video. I thought you could only do that in a still picture. It has already come in handy in the first part of the movie where I am talking about the race.

I took my two disposable cameras to Walgreens last night before the Laker's game and picked up the photos during halftime. I purchased a copy of the photos and a photo cd so I could start loading the pictures in the iMovie project. I haven't decided how many of the pictures I will use since some of them are similar. I have to label all of my photos so I know where I took the pictures at each mile marker. It'll make it easier to insert the photos once I label them, too.

I was rereading parts of the Missing Manual for iMovie this morning. I reviewed how to extend a clip using some keyboard short cuts because I realized a few of my clips in the beginning were a little too short. iMovie '09 has made it easier to do cutaways without having to extract the audio from the video clip. I have already decided I will use that technique in several places to make the movie more interesting.

After I finish the project for my Monday presentation, I am going to make different version fro family. For my project, like I said before, I am going to create a shortened version of the movie. That way I can talk about some of the information I learned and how I applied it in the movie. Otherwise, it will be me talking about the project and then watching a 10 minute movie. The whole of the presentation seems too long. If everyone in class takes 15 minutes or so, we could be there all night. Short and sweet is the way I would like to keep it.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Chapter 9: Narration, Music, and Sound

I plan on doing some narration in the marathon video in certain parts. I don't want to over do it, so I will have to be careful to make sure it fits with the overall theme of the project. Because I do not have much footage of the actual race during the middle parts of the movie, I feel like it might need some explanation to help guide the viewer. I have about 30 more still photos to add to the project. I don't anticipate narrating each picture, though I will choose a few to highlight in the movie.

I decided to use Pink Floyd's "Run Like Hell" as the background music for the movie. It seems appropriate for what I am doing and the beats will actually match up with the video. It will be difficult to adjust the sound in the new version of iMovie. In the old version you could just grab the "rubber band" on the sound clip and move it down all of the way to kill the sound during narrations. In the new version, I am going to have to trick the program by using the clip trimmer to take out parts of the audio during my narrations and the people talking in the first part of the video.

I have learned in this chapter about unpinning and pinning the background music. My background music is currently unpinned though I will begin to change that as I add more video footage and stills from the marathon. I am going to have to pin the video in the parts where I want to hear the song playing. In the older version it was easier to use. Alas, a new program brings new challenges. I am looking forward to practicing with the beat markers that can be inserted so I can time the music out with the still photos. I am going to try to use the function "snap to beats" to see how well it works in the project. If worse comes to worse I can use Garageband to edit the sound before I put it into iMovie '09.

I will probably not use sound effects in this movie because I don't think they are appropriate. However, I could change my mind and add some if I think it will make the movie more interesting.

Chapter 10 on photos is next. I just got the second disposable camera from my running partner. Tomorrow I develop the photos and get a CD made. That way I can put all of the stills into my project and start matching the song or beats to my new pictures.

The project is coming along nicely...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Project Update

I finished the marathon in 5:01:34. Not bad for my first marathon. My friend and I took still photos for each mile we ran that I will be using in my iMovie project. Several other family members also took shots that I will use in the movie. I took before the day of the race and day of race footage on my new camera. My wife was supposed to take footage of my friend and I running through several parts of the race. Unfortunately, my wife pushed the stop button on the camera instead of start button. So now I have 5 minutes of pavement and the occasional running shoes passing by the frame. The video part of the race was not completely ruined due to the fact that another friend of mine was able to capture a minute of running at mile 22. I was hoping for more footage to "play around with". I read the chapter in my book, "Video Effects, Slo-Mo, Green Screen, and Picture-in-Picture" and figured I could try out these effects on my running video. I have less footage to use, but I will make the best of it.

My project has turned into 2 projects, really. I ended up buying an Sony HD camera model HDR-XR100. I had read from my book about hard disk cam,eras and I was still leaning toward a MiniDV camera. If you have read any of Pogue's articles on buying cameras, he tends to lean toward MiniDV. I concur. I have used many MiniDV cameras and they have yet to fail me. After going to BestBuy to buy one for the project, I was unable to find a MiniDV that I liked. Plus, there wasn't a guarantee that it would work with iMovie '09, though I did print out existing cameras from the web that did work. I knew I wanted an HD camera for my own future use not just to use for this one project. I shied away from using my school's camera because I couldn't figure out which one would work with iMovie '09. To save time and a lot of aggravation, I broke down and bought the new, shiny one from the store.

I was not disappointed in my purchase when I got home. I was able to take some footage the night before the race. The fact that I didn't have to rewind or fast forward saved time looking for the clips I needed to upload into the project window. It was easy to do. All of my clips showed up on the iMovie screen. I just selected the ones I wanted and within several minutes they were all loaded for me to experiment. So I did. I had already played around with trimming clips and adding music. I had read the chapter on titles, so I decided to play around with that function. At first, I made 26 black title screens with Mile 1 through Mile 26 with the "Lens Flare" option. It looked cool, but maybe 26 screens throughout a short movie was too much. I decided to limit those titles to about 7 or 8 instead of 26. I don't want to bore my audience when I present it on June 1st.

The more chapters I read in my book, the more I wnat to add to my project though I know there are limitations due to time and execution of the project. Too many bells and whistles could detract from the content of the movie and defeat the purpose. I will be using the techniques and effects purposefully throughout the movie where they are needed. That's more realistic anyway.

Tonight, I am going to edit the first part of the movie that has all of the pre race activities. Tomorrow, I develop the pictures from the two disposable cameras from the race. Since, it will only take an hour to develop, I will be able to add the stills into my project and see how they look with the overall look of the movie. Some pictures may stay, some may go. My friend that did get a minute's worth of footage is coming over tomorrow also. Most of the pieces will be finished before the weekend, so I can put the finishing effects on the final movie.

As a bi product of this project, I am able to send my family a copy of my running of the LA Marathon that they were unable to witness first hand.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Marathon Project

I decided the other day what I was going to film for my EDIT 435 project. I am going to create my project around my running the LA Marathon on May 25, 2009. My wife is going to film me preparing for the race, the minutes before the start, the successful run through the finish line. The start and finish lines are near to each other in downtown. I will be running for 4 and 1/2 hours with a disposable camera so I can take pictures of the race and myself. With the raw footage and the camera stills, I am going to edit a short movie on iMovie '09. I am going to use as many of the functions of the program during my edits. It will allow me to practice using the program, of which I am not that familiar.

I would like to do it "24" style with the beeping times for each mile. I will do a shorter version for the project because I don't want to bore everyone with a 15 minute video of my running the race. later I can do a longer version for my family who are interested in what I do.