A Town called Panic

A week or so ago, iTunes offered an episode of “A Town called Panic” as a free download. I downloaded, watched, laughed and then bought the series (Note: it can be watched for free here). It is bizarre, and amusing and I love that horse sounds like Bernard Manning.

Windy Day Brighton Cycle – 16:9, Final Cut Express, iDVD experiment

This is a test movie I put together so I could discover how to use the 16:9 setting on the camera, to see how to edit with 16:9, and how to export it. I also wanted to see how I’d get on hand-holding the camera on a cycle.

It turned out to be a great lesson, but unfortunately a terrible piece of video. Sorry about that. Here’s what I’ve learned…

In the first half of the film I was cycling with the camera resting on the handlebars, using my right hand to press the camera onto the handle bars. This is bad for two reason: first, I couldn’t signal in traffic to turn right; second, the vibrations from the road through the camera has crippling effects on the recording.

Later I was cycling essentially one handed, which produced smoother film. It also allowed me to try out changing the filming angle.

Other stuff: cycling against a strong wind, while filming, resulting in me wheezing. Combined with the occasional loud sniff makes for some horrible sound. Gah. But it was a good exercise for me in blending and offsetting the sound from different clips—more so later in the sequence than earlier. Oh, and I learned that I need to oil my cycle: some of the squeaks and rattling sounds are embarrassing 🙂

But that aside the 16:9 part kind of works. I had to jump through a few hoops to export the movie into iDVD. Although the 16:9 export from FCE has the right aspect ratio in QuickTime player, it imports to iDVD as 3:4. I don’t have QuickTime Pro, so I couldn’t use the official Apple workaround for this, or Anamorphicizer, so to get round it I had to pull the movie into iMovie08 and then export from that. It works.

Initially I was deeply unhappy with the output, especially when viewed on TV. Then I found the “Deinterlace Source Video” checkbox in the size option box from “File/Export QuickTime Conversion…” (which is where I also picked “PAL 720×576 16:9” for the dimensions). Lots of jaggies in the original, all gone when deinterlaced.

The version here is a result of exporting from iMovie08 using the “Share/Export Movie” menu, and picking the “medium” format.

Duration: 4min 19sec

Camera: Sony DCR-PC4E (MiniDV)

Recorded: 13 Jan 2008

Editing software: Final Cut Express HD 3.5

NaVloPoMo 2007 Screening

This afternoon we spent a couple of hours at The Werks watching the highlights of the NaVloPoMo 2007 project. Some of the films were funny, some were sad, a lot were well thought out with a story to tell.

I used the video feature on my phone and recorded snippets of the afternoon, which I’ve edited in iMovie as a tribute.

I don’t think I should give up the photography and switch to video any time soon :-). Having said that Node 101 is a skill swap style idea to help people learn how to produce video, so if it gets off the ground in Brighton, maybe I should head along.