Wednesday, 5 December 2012


Here are a few screen shots I took when editing the video in the beginning stages down in the AV suite. Here I edited each shot down into smaller cleaner shots without the unwanted shadows from where I was walking around the camera to the front of the cage at the beginning and end of each shot. Once I had these shorter shots, I placed them all on the timeline in order, with the 'filler' shots of the gerbils playing at the end of the sequence ready to place in any small gaps that may need filling when editing to the music.

Before editing the video properly from over six minutes of footage down to a single minute, I decided to sort out the sound for my video. When choosing music, it was really important that it fitted with my footage and the style and theme of the video, as I had no other sounds to the film (I decided not to use any noises from the film footage as it wasn't clear and the gerbils don't tend to make any noises!). I spent a good few hours on trying to find 'the perfect soundtrack' to my gerbils. I chose this website to look for music, rather that using music I already knew or searching on websites like Youtube, as this music specifically is free to use as the artists feel that they get their music out to the public more. The gerbils have such unique personalities, and I found it really important to try to capture their character in the music. I started off looking at simple electronic music with minimal noises as I thought that this wouldn't detract from the video footage and you wouldn't loose concentration, however surprisingly it did the complete opposite as it was so obviously different to the style of footage. I then gravitated towards music involving acoustic guitar in the 'Indie' section, but I again had the difficulty of finding music with lyrics which matched the situation or music with no lyrics in at all, which was difficult. I can't quite remember which section I eventually found the song I used in the end (I think it was under the Surf Rock..!), but it just felt natural for some reason for this to be with my footage. In the crit once we had all finished our films, surprisingly Mike mentioned that my music seems to have been specifically picked as it is a Western piece and the gerbils are desert animals, which I hadn't consciously realised, and stupidly if I had thought of this in the beginnings of choosing music it would have probably saved loads of time and I may have even found a piece of music which would fit their personality more. I am however happy with the music I chose in the end as it was really easy to edit to as there was a constant beat in the background, and odd jingles and noises throughout in a rhythmic pattern, and it was easy to cut a middle section out to make the length of the music fit with the length of the footage. During editing I actually found it really enjoyable to work so closely editing to the music, which surprised me as when I was younger I really wanted to create music video's and enjoyed playing music myself, so obviously this passion from a young age has carried through into my editing work now (strange how things pan out hey)!

When editing the footage at first I was uncertain how to show the instructional side of the video, as I knew that I didn't want to include a voice over as often it can make the video look overly tacky and distasteful. So the only option really was to let the footage play and be a stand alone piece where you simply watch how to care for the gerbils rather than 'learning', or to include text in some way. I didn't want to include blank frames with text on between the footage as I personally feel that it breaks the footage up too much and can become confusing if the film footage between is too quick. So I decided to use text over the top of the images. On Final Cut Pro, you are able to place text boxes easily over the footage, but like choosing the music, I struggled to find a font which looked 'friendly' and that would reflect the friendship between the owner (being me..) and the gerbils, as most of the text looked too harsh overlayed. So I finally decided to use my own handwriting, but written on my graphics tablet on photoshop. Once I had written out each section of the step by step guide out on separate layers and then saved each as a separate image I imported all of the files into Final Cut Pro. Un-expectantly these images still had their backgrounds, even though they had been deleted when creating the images. So to try and combat this I saved the images as TIFF files, but this still didn't make any difference. At this point I was starting to panic that I would have to find a ready made font to use which I wouldn't be happy with. After asking a few people who were in the studio, I was still non the wiser on how to resolve the problem, and resorted to the good old internet. After trawling through god knows how many useless tutorial videos I FINALLY found this one which explained how to make the background transparent and keep it that way (It turns out that I just hadn't spotted the little check box to keep its transparency, but I suppose this is what first year is for... to learn from your silly mistakes!)!

After all of this crazy panicking, I am still not 100% happy with the final outcome of the text, as I had problems trying to change the colour of the text as my tablet didn't seem to want to work with the Uni computers, so I was unable to rewrite some of the words to be white against the black background. To try and resolve this I had to resort to using the magic wand tool to select the letters and fill them in white. This however left a weird grainy edge around the letters, which oddly nobody picked up on in the film showing crit. Maybe it is just a personal annoyance which has no significance to the video or anybodies viewing experience, but I wasn't happy with this in the end. I also struggled with moving the images of the writing around the video footage, but Chris luckily was able to show me how to transform the image (yet again it was a really simple process, and yet another part of the learning curve). Annoyingly after all of this, some of the sections of writing was still unclear to read as there wasn't always enough light in the footage for the words to be readable, or it was simply having to be placed over a really busy or detailed section of the footage; but again nobody mentioned this in the critique surprisingly.

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