Thursday, December 23, 2010

Final Class Reflection

Video 1. Overall, the class has really helped me become more involved in a field that I am now seriously considering as a profession. I came into the class knowing only about Sony Vegas, and now I consider myself pretty proficient with Final Cut Pro, a far better program in my opinion. I am getting involved in GreyComm next semester as well in order to get more experience in both writing and production. The Video I class has plunged me into the next phase of my career, or at least what I am interested in - who knows what I will end up doing in the "real world".

From long takes to music videos, we covered a wide range of shooting techniques and video editing techniques. Before the class I only had basic knowledge, but after the class, I feel as I know a good amount about lighting, more specifically three-point lighting; I know how to handle a video camera, and more specifically, I notice the different movements while watching a film; I also know how to do more techniques within a video editing program - what's corny and what actually looks good; I can make a DVD menu - something that can make or break the film you are attempting to put on a DVD.

I will definitely be taking more video-type classes in the future, as I am in Sight, Sound, Motion next semester. Hopefully, a Video 2 class is approved for the future, as this would be something that I would certainly be interested in. The techniques that I learned in the class are indispensable and I plan to continue my work throughout my college career, and hopefully beyond that as well.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Week Eight Reflection

The final product is everything I hoped it would be and more. This is not to say though, that editing the music video was not a difficult task. On the contrary, it took about 10 hours total to edit the music video in its entirety. The song used turned out to be "Such Great Heights" by The Postal Service. I found the song simply by scrolling through my iTunes library until I found something that stuck out to me. I didn't want to do simply a song I liked, but rather one that sounded like visual images could mesh well with the song in unique ways.

Coming up with the idea for the video took quite a while, and we moved through several different ideas. Looking back upon our older ideas, I am glad that we finally came up with the plot dealing with an ironic sort of death. The plot allowed for a lot of creative scenes as well as some interesting B-role film. Shooting went smoothly for the most part, though of course laying "dead" on Charles Street wasn't the easiest of tasks. However, we got all the shots that we needed to in a short amount of time and we had more than enough material. Originally I thought that the movie wouldn't have enough material to fill four minutes, but I ended up having more than I needed.

The editing process was excruciating. Nearly ten hours later though, the final product is something that I am very proud of. I realized that there are tons of problems that come up throughout the process; most of my problems dealt with problems with the film clips being available. In the end though, everything came together very smoothly and I have another video to add to my portfolio.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Week Seven Reflection

Commercial project, check. I finished all the final edits to the project yesterday, and it came out looking not half bad. The commercial was the first video I have uploaded to YouTube that can be viewed in high definition, and honestly, I don't see too much of a difference. Regardless though, the movie idea itself worked its way out. The toughest part was without a doubt doing the actual challenge. The cinnamon challenge, that is. The final idea of our video ended up being that "A Spoonful of Sugar Helps the Medicine Down". Medicine in this sense, meaning cinnamon.

The cinnamon challenge is an essentially impossible challenge where someone attempts to swallow a spoonful of cinnamon within 60 seconds. Our spin on this was that, with a spoonful of sugar, this seemingly impossible challenge is a piece of cake. Thus, our final outcome had different "actors" swallowing the cinnamon, and then promptly coughing/spitting/choking it back out to the tune of the aforementioned song. The final actor took a spoonful of "cinnamon" followed by a spoonful of sugar, and had no problem whatsoever. Then the commercial ends with a zoom out to a box of Domino Sugar.

Editing the commercial was not too much of a problem. The only really challenges were timing the swallowing and spitting of the cinnamon with the beat of the song. I feel that a music video would have much more opportunity for editing, though this is not to say that I disliked the commercial project. Overall we all had a good time filming it (after everyone was done choking on the cinnamon).

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Week Six Reflection

The last project we did was the interview project. This project was unlike anything I had ever done before. There is very little editing that can be done in an interview besides the cuts between different sections of the interview as well as the nod shots that are strategically placed throughout. However, despite being somewhat limited in the editing aspect, I still greatly enjoyed the process of the actual interview. My interviewee was very easy to work with and had very full and straightforward answers. He made my job as the interviewer very easy. I feel like the interview was interesting too - Claudio was very passionate about everything he said and it came forth in the interview. The whole interview lasted for nearly 25 minutes, so cutting it down to about 12 was a pretty difficult task, but the most interesting information definitely made it through to the final product.

I am also very much looking forward to creating a commercial or PSA. There are so many good ideas out there, but they are very difficult to create yourself. I have been looking to other commercials for inspiration and many of the ones I have come upon are brilliant. A couple examples are the "Got Milk Aaron Burr" commercial as well as the "Dentine Ice Condom" commercial. Both of these are extremely creative and it is very tough to come up with something as clever as these commercials. Regardless I have a few ideas lined up and the process of creating the commercial should be enjoyable.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Week Five Reflection

Final Cut Pro is becoming more and more second nature for me. This past week, I opened up Sony Vegas and actually wasn't as comfortable with it as I used to be. Instead, I am becoming more familiar with FCP. In class, the lessons we went through deal mainly with cutting and editing video clips as well as sound. Much of the basics in FCP are similar to the experience I have had with Vegas, and thus came with little to no difficulty. However, I decided to delve into "motion" in FCP. One of the first things I learned with Vegas was to make a Star Wars intro crawl. This was relatively simple to do with Vegas, which is very user friendly, but proved to be more of a challenge with Final Cut Pro. Regardless, I got nearly all of the intro completed, but had some trouble with having the text rotate on it's x-axis without going outside the border of the frame. All in all, FCP is gaining a lot of ground with me and I feel that I might make the complete switch to it in the near future. The only problem is that FCP is for Mac only, and I have Windows!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Week Four Reflection

This past class, we learned all about Final Cut Pro. Final Cut Pro is currently only able to be run on a Mac, so I have had no experience with it...however, it is quite similar to Sony Vegas. Many of the flagship programs: FCP, Vegas, and Premiere all are very similar to one another and thus there is quite a bit of overlap in each of the programs set ups. However, as I quickly found out, there is without a doubt a learning curve when it comes to switching to Final Cut Pro.

One of the main differences that I noticed was the presence of a canvas as well as a viewer window. In Vegas, there is no canvas, only a viewer which shows you the visual image of what your movie looks like at a specific point in time. Another difference involves fading in and out. In Vegas, you simply have to drag one clip over another in order to have them fade into each other. In Final Cut Pro, you must have them end and begin at the same place, putting some extra "room" in between each individual clip in order for the fade to have enough time to look right. While this is a minor difference, I do feel like it takes some getting used to. Regardless, I am excited to become more able with Final Cut Pro in the coming weeks.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Week Three Reflection

A perfect video does not exist without perfect (or at least close to perfect) lighting. Lighting is also not as simple as it seems. There is firstly the key light, which is the main light. Then there is the fill light, which fills in the rest of the subject with a light or reflective board from the opposite angle of the key light. The last light in a traditional three-point-lighting set is the back light, which is used to illuminate the background as well as separate the subject from the background. In class we had some hands on experience with lighting a subject, and it is not always as easy as it is explained. There are several different options, each one giving of a slightly different look from that last.

Obviously, camera work is also needed for a great video - and where better to start than with a camera in hand. The automatic settings can work very nicely, but for more advanced technique videos, the manual settings are a must. In class we learned about zebra lines, a setting on the camera which shows the viewer areas of intense light. In addition to this, we learned some simple things such as zooming in and out, adjusting brightness, focusing, and other basic camera functions. All in all, with my increased knowledge in both lighting and camera techniques, I feel videos will already begin to start coming out more professional.