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Author Topic: Fancy Dress??? Video making hints  (Read 5176 times)

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GbH

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Fancy Dress??? Video making hints
« on: September 30, 2009, 12:11:50 AM »

By now, I'm sure that many of the videos I've posted previously are presented differently to many of the other melodeon videos seen on YouTube.  I sense that at least some of you gain at least some enjoyment of this, but suspect that others would rather I abstained from such sillyness and behave like a proper musician.  Now, some of the reasons that I've done this relate to performing experience, location limitations, availability of props/costumes and, well, because it makes the filming process more unique and fun* for me.  Another reason, though, which was perhaps more significant at the beginning, was that my first attempts at filming my melodeon playing were really, really dire.  To start with, I was only really thinking about the music and didn't really consider what it might look like.  Thus, when I first got a take and played it back, I was alarmed (to say the least) at (i) how my playing sounded a lot worse than I had imagined and (ii) how utterly bored, miserable and static I looked when I was playing.  It didn't make for comfortable watching and, of course, the evidence was deleted soon after.  That was when a bit of re-thinking needed to be done.

So, what's the point of writing this now?  Well, I'm certainly not suggesting that you should all follow a similar path  to myself (although, I guess there's nothing stopping you...).  However, it does seem possible that, due to this new monthly tune thing, there might well be a few people wanting to make videos for the first time.  Thus, it's quite possible that some might encounter the same initial problems that I, myself, experienced.  As such, if you're going to make such a video, can I suggest giving at least some thought to the following:

1.  Obviously, a major component of a video is the visuals, so it seems a bit hopeful to expect the end result to be successful if you've not thought about this aspect at all.

2.  There's no requirement to actually show the instrument being played at all - artwork, atmospheric film clips, 3D graphics or any other suitable medium could be used effectively instead.  Having said that, from a player's point of view, I do think that there's value in showing how the instrument is being operated.  For melodeon's this is particularly significant, if for no other reason than understanding the use of the bellows.

3.  If you're going to be filmed while you play, don't forget issues around 'melodeon face'.  If it's an issue for you in general, I guess it's only going to get worse once on film.  I suppose a bit of practice in front of the mirror might help, as would a deliberate attempt at relaxation whilst playing.  Of course, there's a much more drastic solution, but I suspect that most people wouldn't want to follow me down that route.

4.  Think about the filming location carefully.  Stuff in the background can certainly be distracting for the viewer.  Worse, you probably don't want to be broadcasting your house contents to the world in general.

5.  Think about lighting.  It's no fun watching a video that you can't see properly.  I've had some problems and disappointments with this myself - it's not always easy to figure out what will work to start with.  If things have gone wrong, it might be possible to fix them later in your video editing tool, should you be choosing to use such a thing.

6.  If you're using a camera with a built-in mic, it's quite possible that the sound won't be as good as you hoped.  Again, if you're using a video editing package, there might be tools available that will help adjust some of the main parameters or let you add effects.  This can improve matters quite signifcantly, without having to resort new hardware.  Alternatively, if you've got the kit to do it, you might consider capturing the sound on a separate recording device, then mixing it back into the video at editing time.  In theory, this should give much better results - I've still not had a go at this myself, though.

7.  Don't bother playing the same tune multiple times through if you're not going to be adding variations.  It'll take much longer to process and upload - and for what ultimate purpose?

8.  If you're in the habit of tapping your foot on the floor, make sure that it's not making the camera bounce up and down.  It won't be obvious until you play back the result, but can easily ruin an otherwise good take.  If your foot is out of view, it might be better to rest it on a cushion, to stop any unwanted vibration.

9.  Don't position your instrument too near the mic.

10.  Finally, try to enjoy it.  It's probably a fact of life that, as soon as the camera is rolling, you'll tense up a little (or perhaps get a full onslaught of nerves).  However, as you'll most likely have the luxury of unlimited takes, there's really no need to get wound up like this, despite the frustrations of playing the same thing over and over.  Relax - it's supposed to be fun!


Hope this helps...

Guy


* actually, sometimes it turns out to be super-frustrating (i.e. the solo Earnest turned out to be a nightmare to film), but it's cool once the result is 'in the can'.
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graememackay

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Re: Fancy Dress??? Video making hints
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2009, 12:26:11 AM »

Thanx gbh, good tips.
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ladydetemps

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Re: Fancy Dress??? Video making hints
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2009, 08:59:57 AM »

Quote
3.  If you're going to be filmed while you play, don't forget issues around 'melodeon face'.  If it's an issue for you in general, I guess it's only going to get worse once on film.  I suppose a bit of practice in front of the mirror might help, as would a deliberate attempt at relaxation whilst playing.  Of course, there's a much more drastic solution, but I suspect that most people wouldn't want to follow me down that route.
Filming so just the melodoen in shot is also an answer.

Some tips from me...
1. Its nice to have a 'placeholder' with the tune title at the beginning (if you have the software to do it) if that isn't possible put title, type of melodeon and key (if known) into the 'info' box and 'tags' box...it makes it easier to locate (actually do that anyway...I keep meaning to go back over  my old vids and put in the info).

2. I find IMO practicing the tune through a couple of times before I press record helps get all the mistakes out the way.

This may be useful for those with macs

(click link to see large view)
http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v28/imbored22001/?action=view&current=howtomakemovie.jpg

I'll do one for PC (windows XP) if my laptop decides to work.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2009, 09:21:25 AM by ladydetemps »
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Owen Woods

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Re: Fancy Dress??? Video making hints
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2009, 11:47:35 AM »

Thanks GbH, some sound advice there. And for the record I think that your costumes are fantastic (:)

Unfortunately my camera was stolen in Europe, so it may be a while before I have something that will adequately record both sound and visuals. I did try recording myself with my old camera and was horrified at how terrible my playing sounded  :D
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stevejay

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Re: Fancy Dress??? Video making hints
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2009, 02:11:35 PM »

You bring a lot to the party GBH, your videos are hilarious, some in a macabre sort of way, but funny nonetheless. I think your playing is very good, but the visuals add so much ;D

Hey wait a second, didn't you invent  interesting yo-yo variants etc? If so, I perform advanced yo-yo/diablo tricks as well, we have something in common. Did you post any yo-yo/diablo videos if you are the person I'm thinking of?
Sorry for hijacking the thread, back to regularly scheduled programming...

I want to see the yo-yo adaptation of the classic magic trick "zombie" Clever concept.


« Last Edit: September 30, 2009, 03:58:37 PM by stevejay »
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GbH

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Re: Fancy Dress??? Video making hints
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2009, 04:47:42 PM »

Hey wait a second, didn't you invent  interesting yo-yo variants etc? .....

Yes, that's me.  Have we met?  There are a few such videos around - juggling.tv is probably the best place to look.  I really should get around to finding others I've done and putting them in one place.
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Clive Williams

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Re: Fancy Dress??? Video making hints
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2009, 11:33:35 PM »

GbH, LDT - thanks for your articles; they're great! If it's OK with you I'd like to pull your hints together into a sticky FAQ topic so it's easy to find when needed?

Cheers,

Clive

GbH

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Re: Fancy Dress??? Video making hints
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2009, 11:37:02 PM »

GbH, LDT - thanks for your articles; they're great! If it's OK with you I'd like to pull your hints together into a sticky FAQ topic so it's easy to find when needed?

Cheers,

Clive

Yes, fine by me.
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ladydetemps

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Re: Fancy Dress??? Video making hints
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2009, 08:26:03 AM »

Yep fine.

Chris Brimley

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Re: Fancy Dress??? Video making hints
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2009, 12:06:44 PM »

GbH and LDT,

Thanks for the help on how to make vids, which is all good stuff.  I'd like to try to play something, with reasonable sound, but with video to show how it's achieved.

Could someone help us (OK, me!) with techy advice on how to do it? eg; 

What would be best resolution, and how do we set it? It presumably depends on connection speed, but say for braodband?
How do we get a decent sound with just a cheap camera - is it possible?
Should we try to use a digital camera with video capability?
Or should we try to use a decent video recorder?
Is there some way of relating an audio clip from say a Zoom H2 to a video clip?
Is it poss to use an audio clip?  How do we attach it?
If we use digital cameras, what's the sound like, and how do we use it best?

Sorry if these are difficult questions.

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Chris Brimley

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Re: Fancy Dress??? Video making hints
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2009, 04:18:45 PM »

OK, ignore my last post, I've just found all the discussion elsewhere!
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GbH

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Re: Fancy Dress??? Video making hints
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2009, 04:59:57 PM »

GbH and LDT,

Thanks for the help on how to make vids, which is all good stuff.  I'd like to try to play something, with reasonable sound, but with video to show how it's achieved.

Could someone help us (OK, me!) with techy advice on how to do it? eg; 


As a general statement, when putting together the original list, I made a point of avoiding the techy stuff.  There seem to be too many variations and options to really cover it sensibly in a single post.  If people have got specific problems or concerns about undertaking video/audio recording, it's probably best to post them specifically, so that a more directed answer can be given.
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