Hot on the heels of last Thursday’s post, I decided to continue making little films but quickly ran out of usable footage. One of the big problems recording with an iPhone is making sure to shoot horizontal and not vertical. Hence I wrecked a nice film recorded at a Japanese hibachi restaurant. What to do? I don’t intend to make fan videos but it would interesting to learn about the process. Interviewing other video makers about the how-to seemed the best way to go, until I realized that many of the main fan vidders had already been interviewed for the two Fanstravaganzas. Great.
Although the task seemed daunting, the only thing to do was read up a bit and jump right in. It turned out to be not quite like that. So, hypothetically, if I were a new video maker interested in leaping into the fray, what exactly would it take?
First I would have to select the editing software. Being cheap, I would opt to use Windows Live Movie Maker bundled with Windows 7. This program was not immediately intuitive. The idiot proof aspect occurred only after I watched the tutorials. However, producing the fireworks and bicycle videos were simple and linear. They simply required music and transitions if needed. But how would you tell your own story in a fan video using footage from a series?
Second, I learned not to grab any kind of footage, so I had to read about ripping raw footage from a DVD. This would require downloading a small but powerful program, MPEG Streamclip. If I used clips, they had to be preferably high quality. But I couldn’t edit that footage yet in WMM – I would have to “set up” the clips or my video would look like garbage.
Third, I learned from nifty tutorials all over video forums how to setup clips, that is how to process and convert them to a format appropriate for editing. This meant I would have to know the resolution (i.e. 720×526), format (PAL or NTSC) and aspect 16:9 (letterbox)/ 4:3 (normal) of the footage. Heaven forbid I didn’t know the right aspect or I’d have squished or squashed images. If I had a mix of resolutions and formats, I would have to convert the clips to be on the same page, as it were. The tutorials provided the exact settings for using MPEG Streamclip. Boom, converted. Once I wrapped my brain around this process, which was the hardest in terms of a learning curve, my studies progressed. (If you’re curious, the answer in my situation was to convert to NTSC DVD DV AVI. Aren’t you glad you know now?). This may sound complicated, but as I said, once it mentally clicked, it’s smooth sailing.
Four, armed with a load of newly convert AVI clips, I would have to attach descriptive labels so they could be used again. THEN I was ready to drag and drop them into WMM. I would select a song, depending on copyright constraints which would be published on either YouTube or other more lenient sites like Vimeo. With the song in place, I would use WMM to edit the clips I wanted and arrange them like a jigsaw puzzle according to taste, tempo and and the story I wished to tell using all the programs bells and whistles if I so chose. Tutorials listed different things to do or avoid in making videos but from watching numerous pieces on the internet I would say it’s all down to viewer personal taste and what the vidder wanted to say.
Five, I would add the title and credits (very important) and render my masterpiece into a file appropriate for posting on video sites and then upload it to that site. That’s it. The video would be out there for all the world to see.
So, after all that study, would I bite the bullet and finally make a fan video? Well, if I did I’d probably select as a topic Sir Guy of Gisborne played by a certain Richard Armitage. Or maybe not.
What do you think?