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Victoria Video Club

Bulletin Vol 66 No 1 - Page 2



“Holistic” Video-making

The essence of the “holistic” approach for us amateurs is much the same as a Pro film-maker’s mental-set: he recognizes a “workable script”, how to “direct”, plus a good deal about camera-work and editing.


Four inter-dependent skills. Intuitively, an individual experienced amateur takes a shot at managing all four skills, simultaneously. “Holistically”.


My movie featuring Barkerville. A new destination. Take two days to shoot. Just my partner and me.


Workable Script

 “Read up” the information available. On arrival in Barkerville, the walking tour; marking the various exhibits’ starting times, looking for potential “scripts”. First tour. The “salting” of the gold “nuggets” at the water-wheel. And the “school-house”.


The “gold” movie. While tootling around the streets, I’ll shoot some establishing shots, some “color” provided by costumed characters, signs, etc. Plan for two chances at the gold-mine. Arrive ahead of time, find a tripod site, best lit side, shoot what I can of the sequence in the “staged plot.” Likely, I’ll have to abandon the tripod if I get crowded out.


My head’s cranking around pondering on a set of options from my “promise” and how I’ll “deliver” that promise - an “approach”. Take some DV just for the background audio regardless of the video - Get all the shots I can today; tomorrow’s lighting may be different.


Second day’s shoot. Missed shots. Take a whole raft of “cut-in’s” and cut-away’s – specially of faces “reacting”.


As I shoot my stuff, my editing mind’s in gear, figuring how I can maximize the “natural” video and audio, and minimize commentary. Let the video and audio carry the content. “The Old Schoolhouse” - similarly.



 On this kind of shoot, I may be able to ‘direct” an actor’s response or comment. After the “show”.


Back at the motel, review what I’ve got. Plan on tomorrow’s supplementary shoot. If I’m traveling with a partner, I’ll ask her to stand close in, one corner of the frame and make (prompted) comments. And get some of her (prompted) facial “reaction” shots.


Make all my shots “too long”.


As I plan on adding minimal commentary using my own voice, I’ll ask my partner to take me speaking a few times. Personalize “my” movie.


Camera-work and editing

Often enough, on this kind of serendipitous shoot, a tripod is too restrictive. If I’m shooting a heap of hand-held, by necessity, I’ll keep the lens at wide-angle; vary my shooting spot and angle; try a couple of trucking and tracking shots, capitalizing on my camcorder’s Steadishot capability.


Radio-mike, boom mike - nice but hardly practical. I’ll get in as close as I can to the audio source.


Take as much DV as I can – blank tape is cheap. The shots I discard at home at the editor - I may use them for another project. Even years away.


My short (say, 5 minutes max.) long Barkerville movies will reflect a personal experience, perhaps a unique point-of-view.


On the way home, I’ll be refining the design of the “promise”, how I’ll deliver the promise in the following sequences and how I’ll “wrap it up.” Artistic unity.


So, there’s no better way to make better movies than “DOING”.  You’ve gotta DO it! If the above recipe is new to you, give it a shot. It’s tried by many, tested and true!


Fall, 2006, is there a “people” event on your horizon ?






Our Library Grows


We have signed up with Focal Press as a user group. They have sent us three new books for our library, and I will be passing out copies of their catalogue at the September meeting.


In the beginners category we have added the “Videomaker Guide to Digital Video and DVD Production, 3ed.”, and in the advanced category we have added the “Essential Digital Video Handbook,” and “Singe-Camera Video Production”. Detailed book descriptions are available in the library section of our website.


Club Logo

Sheila discovered a lapel pin that she received back when she joined the club. Eleanor says she has one too…it looks like this:


If you visited our web-site recently you have already seen this logo, along with a link to the article on the club’s history.


A logo helps promote club identify, is useful to use on marketing materials, and (gosh) is just ‘fun to have.’ We’ve gone through a few dry runs already looking at a new logo…but when Sheila discovered the old logo, it inspired me to try and update it, while staying faithful to the previous design.  Here is the proposed logo shown with a blue and red silhouette.


Need A Buddy?

Ray Painchaud proposed that the club consider adopting a ‘buddy system.’ The executive discussed this at the September exec meeting and will be bringing the discussion to the general membership at the month-end meeting.


In essence, being a buddy means that you are the first line of contact for someone new to the club.  You let them know what the club is all about, and find out what they most need---and then try to steer them towards the people, training, or resources (e.g. our library) that will help them achieve what they need.  As an example, Ray was a ‘buddy’ for Alice last year, helping to get her first production completed and entered into a club contest.

A Theme For the Fall

Last year we touched on music and soundtracks for our productions. It was a bit of a theme that wove its way through several of our meetings for 2005/06.

This year, we will be picking up on the thread that Dave started to spin last year with his Nanaimo workshop that looked at some ‘hands-on editing.’  The September meeting will feature a “Sound Layering” demo by Dave, a short production that he has made to illustrate the value that layering audio can add to your movie.


This will be followed up with a club workshop on Wednesday October 18th where interested members can get into more detail on editing with audio.


At the October general meeting Stan will give us a short demo of using a green screen to achieve layered video in the editing process.


In November Dave and I are also planning on another editing workshop. This workshop would introduce basic editing techniques…using some professionally shot footage from “Start Editing Now!” a DVD project from the Videocraft Workshop group, and also using footage from  a DVD that comes with the book “Editing Digital Video.”  If you want to help us prepare give one of us a shout…


Show & Tell

Worked in kindergarten, and it works in the club too. Take a few minutes to think of something that you can show to the club (like Ray’s Slide Filming setup) and let me know so I can schedule some time for you…