In-Depth Blog Post #4

I would like to start this post by saying that I haven’t made as much progress as I would have liked due to several setbacks I had. The first setback I had was that my bi-weekly meeting with my mentor was delayed by a week which meant that I had three weeks without a meeting. This week I asked my mentor if it would be ok if we might later because I thought that I would be able to pull off another video between then but something happened.

I was supposed to go to Seymour with my friend to days in a row to film but on the first day I had a leadership class at Taekwondo and the timing ended up being way too tight for me to be able to go. He went with his dad and he crashed and got a minor concussion which sucked because he could only rest so he couldn’t ride and I couldn’t film which of course is for the best. I figured that I would just record POV from my helmet on the second day but it was raining so hard that the audio got messed up and the footage was super wet even though I kept wiping off the GoPro.
I figured even though the footage wasn’t good I might be able to salvage some of it and make something. I tried but the software I use to edit was failing on me. When I was trying to playback the video it was playing a couple of frames a second and it was just impossible to work with. At a certain point, I gave up because I couldn’t make any progress. I felt like I hit a wall, I was super frustrated with the software because it’s a very good software and my mentor strongly recommends it and I know many people that use it but it wasn’t working for me. Instead of looking forward to my next project like usual, I was kind of dreading it because then I would have to deal with all those problems again.

When I met with my mentor we tried to sort out the problems and it took a little while but eventually, we figured out how to make it run smoother by putting the render quality to 1/16 and changing the render cache which I didn’t understand what it was so I asked and she told me that it was essentially the settings to pre-render the video so you can change how it does that.

When I asked her how to make it smoother she didn’t know right away because she mainly uses Premiere Pro so we were both trying to figure out how to do it at the same time. I think that kind of gave us a chance to improve our connection because instead of her showing me how to do everything, we were on a similar level even though she was the one who ended up figuring it out.

After we got that sorted out I showed her the two videos that I had done since our last meeting, one of which I included in my last blog post and the other one is the one that I talked about filming in the last one.

Here’s the link for the ski video: Ski Video

Here’s the link for the mountain biking video:In My Backyard

I enjoyed making the mountain biking video, it was a blast to film being out there in the snow with my friend and playing with the camera angles but producing the video was quite fun as well and this was before the problems started happening. The mountain biking took me longer to make than any other video including the planning, filming, and production it took around 10-12 hours and I was very happy with the outcome. I incorporated a story into the video and tried to make it seem fast-paced even though that was a little tricky because of the ice. The ski video, on the other hand, took around 2 hours to produce and I was just filming while skiing plus I asked my dad to take a few shots for me so quite simple but still a good outcome but to me, the biking video was much superior.
After watching the videos she immediately said that the ski video was very good, it followed pretty much everything that she taught me already. “What about the bike video?” I asked. She wasn’t as much of a fan of that video because it was too long, not fast enough paced, she said it should have some music even if it’s just in some parts, and that it should have more of a variety of shots because they were all pretty much wide shots. We hadn’t talked much about using too much of a shot before but she had told me that wide shot was a safe shot so I assumed that it should be my main shot but now I know that I should try to do a mixture of close-up and medium shots and all the other ones.

Of course, she’s the expert so I thought about everything she said and it all made sense, thinking back on the video. It just took her to point out the issues for me to realize they were there even though I didn’t exactly agree with her right away. I know she told me before that my video was too long for my very first one and that seems to be my main problem, that I want to use all of it and I can’t help myself but in this case less is more. We decided that I would redo the video using the same clips but I would add music to make it more non-stop and faster-paced while also cutting out the unnecessary clips. I’ve decided that I’d use a song called Hardrock Hallelujah because I think it will be fitting to the video, but I haven’t been able to start that yet because I was working on another project until just now. I’m not exactly looking forward to making it again because I’ve already worked with the clips but it will probably end up being enjoyable and I like working with music because it’s a little more challenging and it’s kind of like a puzzle because you have to fit all the clips in a spot of the song that fits, the only difference is you have a tool you can use to cut the piece to fit.

As I said, I’m struggling to keep my videos shorter so I had to ask what the ideal time for a video would be. I asked her if it would depend on how engaging the video was or if there was just some general rule for how long the video should be. I was sure the answer would be one of those but then she said that it depended on the story in the video. If there was a story like in a Redbull video you watch then the video would be much longer however if it was simpler like in my edit then the video should be shorter. I feel like if I had just asked how long should a video be instead of putting the two things that I thought on the table then I would have gotten more of a vague answer instead of the in-depth answer she gave me because she could have just said “it depends on the story” but she gave examples and it made a lot of sense to me.

Speaking of the other project, I started a new project the day after our meeting taking into account some of the things she said in the meeting. It was a little hard to make the video fast-paced because of the terrain and the whole video is shot from my chest which is quite a nice angle if I do say so myself but the reason I did the whole thing the same angle was because I’m not too familiar using the chest mount so that was to get used to it and I’m going to keep using it in the upcoming videos. It was very tricky but I kept the video under 2 minutes which was my goal for it and made it non-stop.

I also tried a little bit of a different method making the video using flags in the timeline to keep it even more organized and using a new tool she taught me called “Blade”. If you do control B on a clip where your timeline cursor is then it splits the clip and it’s insane how helpful it is and I can’t believe I didn’t know about that earlier. The other thing that I did differently was I cut the clips into a bunch of smaller clips then I mixed them all up so that I wouldn’t be tempted to put them in order. That’s another thing that she is telling me, that the videos don’t have to be in order they should just go by what works the best and I came up with that little solution to break the habit and it had a positive effect on the video for sure.

Here’s the link for that video: Bike Video

The other thing that I tried with this video is to make the thumbnail more appealing. As you can see the title is almost like clickbait because that would make the viewer want to watch the video and put a decent picture that they see. I also used capital letters for GNARLIEST and EVER because those are the words that I would want to stick out to the viewer because if I saw “gnarliest ever” in a video that already sounds like a good video to me as well as the exclamation marks to make it stick out even more.

She also showed me how I can make sections of a clip slow motion which I tried to learn over a YouTube video in between our meetings but it was a little confusing and it seemed like there had to be an easier way so I asked her to show me. Sure enough, there was a much easier way by using the blade tool to make separate clips than choosing the speed for each clip.

Here’s a link for a few of the videos I tried that with: Slo-Mo

The first video was very basic, I just made two different clips and made the speed 100 then 50 in the second. In the second video, I had three clips because it had to come back to speed at the end. In the final video, I had five clips and it starts to get a little trickier but so much easier than the other way I know.

For the following weeks, I have so many video ideas that I’m not sure I’m going to be able to follow through with them. I’m planning on doing a video at Montgomery middle school because we found some pretty insane drops there where you can easily get 10-15 feet of air and I think that I can make that look cool on camera and that place has so much more to offer as well. I’ve also planned to film Ben for a day skiing and make an edit out of that with some good music.

I have so many more ideas too like I want to make a video to show 5 easy parking lot bike tricks which will be interesting because I’ve never done something like that before. I also found so many good songs in the last two weeks that I’m dying to make videos out of, for example, Dance of Death by Iron Maiden is absolutely perfect, its got a good intro then 9 minutes of high-speed heavy metal following that so I think I’ll save that for a big edit maybe at the end of the project even if I just use a portion of the song. Ben also suggested some songs to me as well as I discovered USS, a Canadian band that would be great for smaller ski edits and they might work for mountain biking as well. Anyways, for the upcoming two weeks, I have tons to work on and this is for sure going to be a great week for me.

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