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Archive for the 'Video' Category

Amazing package: Soul of Athens

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

Check out the Soul of Athens project. (Via Multimedia Shooter.)

I don’t know what class or group or what prepared this package of videos/stories, but seriously, each of the stories is amazing. Together, they really do give you an indepth understanding of the soul of the city where Ohio University is based.

This package is amazing. Well done!

A few to definitely check out:

  • Jenny’s Story — if you only watch one, this is the one to watch. It’s a pretty raw and honest capture of that girl’s apprehensions and ambitions for life beyond her school and city. It’s also universal. I can hear this girl’s voice echo through millions of small towns.
  • Love in the First Person — I love the intimacy of this video, which is shot mostly from the fiance’s camera lens. It’s the basic idea that young love can conquer anything, and this is a testament that even through the tough times, this couple is ready to try.
  • Be Not Afraid — A woman in Iraq to help as a member of a Christian organization is abducted. Listening to her recount the tale is incredible. The way the video is shot and edited also works so well with this story, the stops and starts and unpected turns it brings.

time lapse video of creating and destroying a masterpiece

Monday, May 14th, 2007

This is an awesome video by the IndyStar.

Basically, they time lapse monks creating a sand mandala, which is beautiful and full of intricacies, over three days. At the end, they destroy it. The music it’s set to also works well. It helps give it an upbeat, constantly moving feeling, while still sounding traditional (not sure if it is?) enough to work with the subject.

This video makes the point about impermanence so much more real because I can see in a few minutes just how much work went into creating the masterpiece and also how quickly it could be wiped away.

ABJ’s car jumping video

Monday, May 7th, 2007

I hate to pick on the Beacon Journal. I really do. But it happens to be one of the news sites I frequent, so I see it at its best and worst, and a lot of in between.

Tonight, I happened to click on the story 22-year-old hopes talents will take him to new heights. Even before I clicked it, I was hoping there’d be video. (There was no indication on the story list. Come on, guys, you should advertise this to entice me to click!)

I spent the first minute or so — I actually have no idea how long it was because there’s no timer on the video, but it was more than halfway — wondering, OK, when do I get to see him jump the car?

I am not a videographer. I’ve never actually produced a video for a news Web site. (This is going to change soon, as when school lets out later this month I’m going to have more time for that and they’re going to train me, even though I have a solid grasp now from my classes/fiddling around. And I’m pretty happy about that. But, another day.)

But as a video consumer, I can tell you this video fails in pretty much every critical area except for the fact that they did have the foresight to capture video to help tell the story. And yes, they get brownie points for that.

Other than that I found myself wondering what the person shooting and editing the video was thinking. Or if they were.

First of all, zooming in and out of the man crouching by his car — not cool. Focus please. Take a few of those wide shots and alternate them with a few close ups and a medium one or two. Also, what is up with the lack of tripod? I can tell it’s a windy day (because I can hear the wind on the guy’s lapel mic as he’s talking and, btw, that’s pretty distracting, too). I can also tell when the videographer gets tired of crouching because you can watch him stand up mid-quote. It’s even shakier from there.

Second, the sound is mediocre at best, barely audible at worst. As I mentioned, you can hear the static from the wind, etc. And the reporter off to the side asking the questions is distracting. Edit these out please, they’re unnecessary.

Third, why is he crouching by his car for the entire first half of the video? If I hadn’t been watching to see if it got any better, I would have closed the browser about 10 seconds in. Also, what’s up with the jumpcuts/quick transitions? It’s jarring.

It seems like the video has all of the, to be honest, boring interview up front. Then at the end it’s like a fireworks display where they have a grand finale and just set off everything they have left. You suddenly see some cool angles and creative shots. You finally see him talking not on bended knee. You get to actually see him jump his car about a dozen times, which would have been way cooler if the videographer had used all these ample opportunities to catch him from different angles instead of sticking to his spot on the sidewalk. (It’s not like there was a unwieldy tripod holding him back).

I wish I could pull this out of flash and try to edit it in a way that I think would have been more appropriate. That shot of him running toward the car as seen from below the car? That could have been an interesting opening shot. At least you had some action. And when he talks about everything else he can jump, why not get him showing off some of those skills? Or a shot of him making a slam dunk on the basketball court? And why don’t we have a shot of him bracing himself for the run? Or a shot of the faces of the onlookers as they watch him perform his trick? Even if they had only spliced some of those “fireworks” from the end into the middle, it would have eased the transitions and held the viewer’s interest better.

If it wasn’t 1:30 a.m. and I didn’t have my alarm set for 7:30 a.m. I’d go through and try to find a positive example of video on the site. But again, their video list is daunting and I don’t have the paitence to sift through and watch it all. I should probably get to bed so I’m not running on empty tomorrow.

But I will say this, it’s pretty cool that the guy can jump over cars. And I am glad I got to see it not just read about it. So I guess a poorly executed video is better than none at all.

Kind of an OnBeing rip-off, but I’ll take it…

Wednesday, March 7th, 2007

So, it is a little soon to be ripping off the OnBeing idea from the Washington Post. But I saw the “Stater.You” link on the site and clicked.

Not as pretty as the WP or as artsy, but it is something different. And I’d be willing to bet, outside Taylor Hall the number of people who’ve heard about or seen OnBeing is a few dozen at most. So the readers won’t hold it against them.

I’m not sure I’d have chosen those subjects (for one thing Karl Hopkins-Lutz used to be a Stater columnist, though it has been a few years) or that location to jump off the project. But if the idea is to offer random snapshots of people around campus, it succeeds.

This is definitely thinking beyond the printed page. And it’s a good example of why student newspapers are great places for experimentation and trying new things. Don’t waste months, which could mean semesters, which means staff turnover in the world of college newspapers, testing and tweaking to perfection something before launch. Just go for it. If it doesn’t work, ditch it. No harm, no foul.

My first foray into Flash

Sunday, February 11th, 2007

I’m hoping this works, but I’m not optimistic: It works now!

Ugh. I don’t know why the videos won’t load. Trust me they’re funny. They are clips from fall semester at the Stater. There’s one of Seth attempting a cartwheel, the infamous Driving Ben Bananas video and then another never-before-seen clip of Aman (then city editor) playing NBA Jams in the newsroom on election night. A hodgepodge glimpse of the “play hard” part of the Stater.

If it’s not working for you (and it’s not working properly for me), I uploaded here.

And if anyone knows why the videos won’t load here but they do on that page… I could use some help. My hunch is it has something to do with the paths to the movies being called. (As in, it’s trying to call them from the folder this post is in, not the one the flash movie is in.) But I could be and probably am way wrong. Either way, I don’t know how to fix it anyway. It’s working now! :)

Even so, I will say I am surprised I got it to work at all. And considering it’s pretty much my first foray into Flash, I’ve impressed myself.

With much thanks to Mindy McAdams whose handout helped me get as far as I did. And for the tip that helped me fix it.

On being… the cutest kid ever!

Thursday, February 8th, 2007

I was really confused by the cheesemaker, which was the first one I clicked on. Though I did laugh, especially at the “smells like a proctologist’s finger at the end of the day” comment. (If you’re not curious what prompted that comment, you’re not normal.)

But this kid, Gio, is so cute. It’s like someone gave one of my nephews a video camera and just said, “Tell me what’s on your mind.”

Or maybe it’s like 7-year-old stand-up comedy? With the jump cuts, that’s kind of what it feels like.

A tease for you to click:
“I get those like scary feelings. If I die in my sleep, I don’t even need to worry. I’ll either be in heaven or in hell, either one. I think I’m gonna be in heaven. Because I got this little feeling that I’m special. So, it’s been a good life, but it’s hard on a little guy like me. It’s actually gonna suck more when I actually grow up. I know that. Uh huh, I know that.”

Either way, these awesome portraits/interviews are a part of a new project by the Washington Post called onBeing. Reminds me vaguely of the NYTimes project I blogged about awhile ago, where they went around and found ordinary people doing off-beat things. Only, probably because Rob Curley sprinkled his magic on it, the WP project is so much cooler.

How dumb are we?

Friday, January 26th, 2007

I don’t even remember the series of clicks that brought me to this video on YouTube, but I wanted to yell “Are you kidding me?!” at some of these people: Chasers war on everything — Americans

A few highlights

Guy: “I’m a lil mixed up over the Palestinians and Israelis. Which one is throwing the rocks?”

Name a country that begins with “U”: Utah, Yugoslavia… (Note: Nobody thinks of United States of America. lol.)

What is the religion of Israel? Answers vary from “Muslim” to “Probably Catholic.”

Apparently, Americans don’t know where Australia is on a map. Or any other country for that matter. He asks them to pin point which country we should invade next and put a toothpick on it. As a hitch, however, he puts the words “France,” “Iran,” “North Korea,” “Sri Lanka” etc. on Australia. The people don’t bat an eyelash or seem at all baffled that Iran is floating off in the ocean by itself. lol.

It reminds me of that show Street Smarts that used to be on UPN. Contestents had to pick which of the three random people interviewed would get the answer to common sense questions right or wrong. It was always hilarious. I still wonder where they find these people.