Digital Video Production

Digital Video Production

 

Hello, and welcome to the course page for Digital Video Productions! In this course, we will learn the hardware and software fundamentals of video production, as well as developing our understanding of skills related to shooting video, recording audio, and writing and planning for short video packages. I will be posting course material on this page, as well as some useful links and resources here, so be sure to check back regularly for updates.

 

Please email me if you have any questions at michael@ilabliberia.org

 

Thank you,

Michael Madaio

 

 

Day 8 (6/26/14) – Finishing

 

Today is our final day in the course! Please come back tomorrow at 4:30 to receive your certificates of participation or completion, and stay for our Course Showcase from 5:00-6:30. Invite your family and friends, and tell them to come by 5:00.

 

 

Continue to work through the process flow listed below, and you should have your video finished by 5:00 at the latest. At 5:00, we will upload them to YouTube, and you will email me the link to it. You will then take your final test for the course.

 

 

 

Process Flow:

 

Watch footage

Write down several topic ideas (not too specific, not too broad), and choose one.

Select clips to use

Drag them into Kdenlive to create your sequence. Think about the order you want to see them in.

Start to write the script to correspond to those clips.

  • Start broad
  • Get more specific
  • Don’t make up facts.
  • If you make claims, attribute your sources (where did you learn that fact? What Internet site, newspaper, etc? Who told you that piece of information? – “According to X…. Y.”) Ideally, you would get a video interview to have the opinions coming right from the mouth of the people on the street.
  • Give us details that we can’t see, or wouldn’t notice just from looking at the clip.

Record your “stand-up” – you reading your script (memorized, ideally), in front of the camera.

 

Input the video and audio into Kdenlive.

 

Edit that into your sequence of video clips from last Thursday, and trip any clips as desired.

 

Be sure to have at least one section where you remove the audio from your “stand-up” and use it over top of the video clips around Monrovia.

 

Final video should be no less than 2:00 and no more than 5:00. (Ideally, 2:30-4:30)

 

Upload to YouTube – Send me the link (michael@ilabliberia.org)

 

 

 

IF you are finished everything and you sent me the link to your video, click the link below. Before taking the test, please take this brief survey, and when you complete it, it will give you the link to your test.

 

 

Day 7 (6/24/14) – Editing

 

Work through the Process Flow outlined below. You should have a finished (or mostly finished) video today, so that Thursday you can simply edit, polish, and finalize it.  Thursday we will export these to Youtube and take our final assessment. Remember that Friday is when we will give the certificates out (4:30pm), and when we will have our showcase, playing these videos for your friends, family, and other members of the iLab community.

 

 

 

Day 6 (6/19/14) – Writing a script and editing the final video

 

Today we will be taking the footage we found, and writing and recording yourself giving the stand-up, or, narration where you look and talk directly into the camera. This works in place of an interview, though, if you have an interview with a relevant source, that will work well in addition to your stand-up and voice-over.

 

By the end of today, you should have your voice over and stand-up editing into the footage that Alvin, William, and Israel took last weekend. See below for some tips on creating the structure of your video, or the sequence of shots. You must edit your footage. No one wants to watch 2 minutes of the same shot. Cut them down, and only show the relevant parts of it. Feel free to use still images that you found online as well.

 

Process Flow:

 

Watch footage

Write down several topic ideas (not too specific, not too broad), and choose one.

Select clips to use

Drag them into Kdenlive to create your sequence. Think about the order you want to see them in.

Start to write the script to correspond to those clips.

  • Start broad
  • Get more specific
  • Don’t make up facts.
  • If you make claims, attribute your sources (where did you learn that fact? What Internet site, newspaper, etc? Who told you that piece of information? – “According to X…. Y.”) Ideally, you would get a video interview to have the opinions coming right from the mouth of the people on the street.
  • Give us details that we can’t see, or wouldn’t notice just from looking at the clip.

Record your “stand-up” – you reading your script (memorized, ideally), in front of the camera.

 

Input the video and audio into Kdenlive.

 

Edit that into your sequence of video clips from last Thursday, and trip any clips as desired.

 

Be sure to have at least one section where you remove the audio from your “stand-up” and use it over top of the video clips around Monrovia.

 

Final video should be no less than 2:00 and no more than 5:00. (Ideally, 2:30-4:30)

 

 

 

See some helpful links on editing and recording voice-overs:

 

Day 5 (6/17/14) – Viewing footage and planning our video structure

Today we will be editing the footage we took on Saturday into our first complete video, the news package. Hopefully, you had a chance to think about what topic you wanted to do your video on, and, if you met us on Saturday, you took footage that captured elements of that topic.

 

If not, there are 3 folders in the Video folder on each computer that contain the footage shot by Alvin, Israel, and William. Remember that your video does not need to be exactly what they shot, as long as it can be used as B-Roll, or background footage, for your Voice-Over.

 

Take the first 30 minutes to look over the footage, taking down notes on which clips (and which timestamps within those clips), you would like to use for your video, and how you’d like to use them.

 

Think about the typical structure of a video news segment:

 

  • -Establishing shot, with Voice-Over
  • -Reporter “stand-up” talking into the camera about the story
  • -Long/medium shot of event or topic, with voice-over
  • -Close up to show detail of some element of the topic
  • -Cut back to reporter?
  • -OR cut to reporter talking to someone about the topic
  • -Cut to long/medium shot of related topic or event, with voice-over
  • -Cut to close up to show detail
  • -Repeat, mix, match.
  • -Closing stand-up by reporter

 

Some important story-related questions as you work:

  • What is your story about? Are you working alone or with a partner?
  • What will you be saying about what we’re seeing?
  • Which elements of the images will you be talking about?
  • What are you saying about what we’re NOT seeing?
  • Do you need other images? (from the Internet)
  • Do you need another person’s perspective?
  • Do you need facts, research, or statistics to support your ideas?
  • What larger story does this tap into?

 

 

 

 

Day 4 (6/12/14)

PLEASE READ: If you have not yet taken the research survey about how you use the iLab, please do so at this link. Thank you.

 

Today we will continue with Tuesday’s practice with interviewing and basic editing. If you were not here on Tuesday, you will be recording you and a partner interviewing each other. You each should take turns asking questions and responding. Set the camera up on a tripod, frame the shot correctly so that either both of you are in it, from the shoulders up, with a medium shot, or only focus it on the subject of the interview. Keep your questions to one topic, looking at my guidelines above.

 

For everyone else who was here, we will continue with editing our footage – we will trim the clips, combine them, and take the audio from one clip to add to our B-Roll (or, background footage) that we got. If you didn’t get any, you can download some pictures to use as a slideshow.

 

Then, we will end with breaking into groups and brainstorming topics and planning for your news package. We will find a time and a place this weekend to film, and meet then to record our first video for the class outside of the iLab.

 

 

 

Day 3 (6/10/14)

Welcome back to the 2nd week of Digital Video Productions. If you have not done so already, please take the brief survey on how you use the iLab. Thank you.

 

Today we will continue what we learned about types of shots and combine that with audio recording and digital video editing in order to record interviews.

 

In your group, choose a topic to interview your group members about. Then, draft a set of interview questions. Make sure they follow the guidelines below:

  • Open-ended (not just single-answer, closed-ended questions) – Try to use How and Why
  • Specific (the more specific they are, the more likely the subject is to want to keep talking)
  • Topical (make sure they are relevant and timely, and don’t appear to be irrelevant or random)
  • Flexible (coming up with follow-up questions when they hit a topic they are passionate about is important)

 

Record one of your group members interviewing another group member. Then, record some B-Roll (or, background footage). For now, this can just be the iLab, or perhaps a shot of the city from the balcony. Maybe it’s a close up on that person working, or reading, or doing something other than being interviewed. What the B-Roll is doesn’t matter at the moment, since we’ll just be practicing how to edit your main shots and Voice-Over (VO) on top of the B-Roll. Then, take out the memory card and insert it into the computer’s memory card slot on the left side. Next, upload the footage into the Video folder on the computer. Open Cinelerra, and import the video file. Begin to select the parts of your clips you want to keep, and trim the rest. Detach the audio from the video to put it over top of the B-Roll, and cut up the clip to remove the interviewers’ questions and any mistakes you made.

 

 

Day 2 (6/5/14)

Before we start for today, please participate in taking a brief survey for research that I am conducting on the iLab. Click here to begin.

 

We will begin today by sharing some of the videos you found on Vimeo, the video hosting site, and describing 1 or more aspects of them using terms we learned on Tuesday.

 

Today we will be focusing in depth on the cinematography strand, explaining the major terms and techniques we will use to describe the ways we shoot video. Then, after looking briefly at our cameras and how they work, we will do some practice shooting, with a short assignment called the Door Project.

 

Time permitting, we will begin to open Cinelerra, the video editing software we will use during this course, and start to look at how it works and how we will use it for video and audio editing.

 

 

Day 1 (6/3/14):

We will discuss the scope of the course, and begin to look at the 4 major “strands” we will be talking about and learning. These include: video (or cinematography), audio, editing, and scripting. These are, of course, inter-related, but we will be talking about, and studying them separately, before combining them in our video projects.

 

There will be 3 video packages that we will make during this course: A commercial, or Public Service Announcement (PSA), a news package (documentary style), and a short film (or music video). Each will be 3-5 minutes long, and each has their own unique challenges and requirements.

 

Watch the following commercials and news package, and write down not just what you see, but how you are seeing it, and how the audio works with the video to convey a mood (or feeling), as well as the idea.

 

Commercial – Nike World Cup

Public Service Announcement – “Embrace Life”

News Package – Trapped Chilean Miners

 

Before Thursday, take a look at Vimeo, an excellent video hosting site with high quality work from amateur filmmakers, watch a few of the short videos on there, and choose one that you want to show and explain to the class on Thursday.

If you have a digital video camera, please bring it to class on Thursday, as well.

 

 

 

 

 

Terms Used:

 

Cinematography:

     Framing

     Angles – birds’ eye view, high, eye-level, low, ground level

     Camera movement – zooming

     Focus (depth of field)

     Lighting

     Location

     Pacing/length of shots

 

 

Audio:

     Natural (or, background) sound

     Sound effects

           Could be acoustic or digital

     Voices / Narration / Voice-Over

     Music

          Different styles or instruments create a certain mood

          Changes at certain points for an effect

          Can be layered with other audio tracks

 

 

Editing:

      Clips

Shots (length of shots is important, can create or shape the mood)

      Transitions

          Cut

          Fade

          Layering audio with different video clips

 

 

 

Story:

     Mood – or, the feeling created in the viewers through the way the video is shot, edited, and how the audio contributes to that feeling.

     Choosing what to show, rather than telling us everything

     Symbolic shots

 

 

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