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.

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