Just words here (along with some educational movies). Actually, an unusually large number of words.
First off, is something wrong with my comment thingamabob? I am getting tons of repeated comments. Hmmm...
Several readers have asked about my movie music and so I am going to share some secrets. First and foremost, I am a true believer in copyright laws. They are there for a reason. So that artists can make enough money to continue to practice their trade. If it is on your iThing, you probably do NOT have rights to use it in your movies and if you have music on a CD you DEFINITELY shouldn't use it, so DON'T! ARG!
DO NOT STEAL MUSIC!!!!
My videos either have the music that came with my computer or I use the music that Kevin MacLeod has generously posted for royalty free use (and every so often I will purchase a single use tune from the internet). If you use Mr. MacLeod's music, PLEASE follow these rules;
- Send him some money! He has a link on his site for making contributions to his craft. He doesn't ask for much and is very talented and gracious to share his creations. If you had to pay to use music it would be much more expensive, so support him by popping him some money now and then.
- Always give him credit. Always, always, always. If you use his music, then put an attibution in your video.
- Some readers have mentioned issues with downloads from Mr. MacLeod's site. I can't help there because I always just click the download button and it appears like magic on my computer (even on my PC).
The link to his website is here.
Now, on to coordinating soundtracks. First off, I use iMovie on my Macintosh which makes things a whole lot easier. I used to use the free movie making application that came with my PC. That was a big pain, but it can do most of the things the mac does if you persist. In general, I find googling queries about applications provides better solutions than using online help when it comes to the PC.
- When I am working on a movie I video EVERYTHING. Never know what you will use and "boring" shots of faces, scenery, whatever can sometimes be useful.
- After watching the raw footage, I usually toss about 50% of it on the editing floor, and patch together whatever clips make a good story.
- On most movies I disable the primary soundtrack since the background noise is quite loud at the estate (turnpike sounds) and some of the movies (gasp) have telltale audio of me giving commands or imploring the dogs to get into their positions.
- I look for music of appropriate style that is approximately the same duration as the video.
- If the music is off by a bit, I will typically edit down the movie to fit the music. Hehehe.
- If the music is too long, but has a good pause point, there is a feature in iMovie that lets you manually edit the soundtrack. This can be tricky to use and I typically use the online help every time I do it.
- As a last ditch thing if the music is too long, I can select a fade out option from iMovie that at least lets the soundtrack end gracefully.
One other thing I have learned over the years is that shorter is usually better with videos. While I find footage of my own dogs endlessly fascinating, I will admit that my attention span for watching other dog movies is about 2 minutes tops.
I watch my videos a lot prior to posting and tweak them, but it is an art that I am still working on (I also usually write my posts a few days in advance so that I can revisit them and tighten up the words). I continue to find it difficult to edit out pieces that I just love and sometimes leave stuff in because I want to see it, but usually I will just keep cutting and cutting. The only time I add stuff back in is to occasionally stretch something out to fit the music.
Readers might be shocked to learn that sometimes I (gasp) show events in a slightly different order than they actually occurred (for dramatic effect). For example, during Dexter's recent swim he spent almost 30 painful seconds sitting on the pool steps watching the ball float away before he finally jumped in after it. Here is the original clip (you can hear my neighbor volunteering to get the ball for him, and big meanie me telling her not to)...
Rather than just showing that, I put little bits of it throughout the movie with the punch line at the end. More exciting, like a subplot almost, right? If you want to refresh on the final product, you can watch it here.
Hey! It's a movie, OK? Entertainment and whatnot.
As an instructive example, I have created two movies for you just today (which is actually yesterday by now). The subject? The weekly nommy meaty bones. What could be more exciting than a movie of dogs chewing on bones, right?
First I'll show you the totality of the raw footage that I shot. BORING! You will hear shameless coaxing on my part to get a brief shot of Mango's tail wagging (not to mention the persistent background noise of the turnpike). Mango got distracted by some visitors to the barn and temporarily abandoned his chewie (keep that in mind). Slightly over TWO mind numbing minutes. Ish. Watch it here.
Now, for the exciting version! Just under one minute, add a few subtitles, take some liberties with the sequence of events, and a happy soundtrack and voila! Watch it here. Notice music fade out at the end. It was a tad too long and I could have adjusted the start point, but I thought some of the pauses and changes in the music lined up so nicely with the video that I didn't want to alter the timing.
I owe all the cool graphics and effects to iMovie. I am totally a Macintosh fan having never regretted spending the extra bucks a couple of years ago to replace my tired PC with a MAC. I know they seem expensive, but amortized over the life of the system, it isn't all that much more and EVERYTHING is so much easier. Plus if you are lucky enough to have an actual Apple store nearby (like I do), they are always happy to spend as much time as you need helping you figure things out. Those Apple nerds seem to really love their jobs and their products.
As a bonus, here is my very firstYouTube post. I love this movie because you get to see Raja playing soccer (her favorite thing in the world) plus Angus and Baby Mango. Poor old Angus was near the end of his life at this point and you can see how tired he looks. The movie was made with a disposable video camera (have mercy).
If you want to see a longer movie of Raja playing soccer you can watch it here. The movie is kind of flat, but her skills were impressive. She taught herself and it was her greatest joy.
Hope that helps. If you want any other info, you can peemail me at backupdog AT comcast DOT net.
P.S. OK, one photo... an oldie with me, Raja, Angus, and Baby Mango (he's that black puddle of dog to my left).