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Beautiful Hat Manipulation/Dance - Version 2
The first release of this video didn't go down very well.
After much thought, and taking into consideration all the helpful* (and not so helpful**) comments on the last version, I went ahead and completely re-edited it.
After 3 days of editing, deleting, editing, showing, changing, editing, etc… I present version 2.
It's half the length, more punchy, more beautiful, and generally has less awkward moments.
Once again, available in all your favourite places.
* Like "The repeat of the trick at 2:10 & 2:14 plus the foot catches at 3:04 [breaks the seamless effect]"
** Like "it's not very good"
Well done & thanks for the revisit. For me that is spot on. I would now call this video art. Or possibly a promo ;)
I'm surprised that the original wasn't well received. I thought it knocked spots off of most juggling videos & was one of my favourite videos (of any kind) I've seen this year. Who said it wasn't very good?
Ah splendid. I couldn't quite put my finger on exactly why the first version didn't click with me, but this one does.
*Presses the JTV Feature button*
And well done you for listening.
That's *much* better.
I mean I liked the first version, but it had a few glitches - this version however hangs together really nicely and I only actually noticed the editing about twice, which were both "wow - nice" moments.
In my opinion, that's exactly the way editing should be. Unnoticed.
Well I thank you all for your kind words. I'm very happy with this edit and I'm glad to see that I'm not alone.
I’d like to explain, if I may, the difficulty around making this video, and why the first edit wasn’t quite up to it.
I had been away in Germany and had missed the entire development of this act. Last I saw, it was still very much research. As soon as I got back, he was very eager to show me it, and upon seeing it I instantly knew that I wanted to make a video of it.
My first idea was to try and find an old bar somewhere. The lighting from pool tables and such, the grainy, dirty atmosphere, combined with some gritty blues music. Unfortunately we were in full swing with the end of year show creation, and it was a tough thing to organize (especially getting permission to go into a bar and start doing acrobatics).
My second idea would be on the street, under a street lamp. I really wanted the dark exterior with the strong triangle of light (however cliché it may be). I experimented a bit, but the contrast was never as nice as I hoped. I didn’t have enough confidence in my post-prod abilities and didn’t want to film a whole video that would look like crap.
Then the end of the year show was upon us. There was a section with a giant very clean circle on the floor, which was really beautiful. I decided that this would be it.
My original plan was to film the whole routine (which he’d never tried in this lighting…the balance tricks are not so fun with a giant spot in your face) from 2 or 3 angles, followed by close up of almost every trick and some very close face-shots.
Unfortunately we had to get the lighting team in early (even if it was just to turn the desk on and click on lighting cue number 317) and turn off all the house lights and clear the stage (effectively stopping the warm-up time of 60 students)… This gave us the option of a 10 minute slot to film everything. 2 days after that, he was leaving to start a 2 year contract with Cirque Éloize, and I really wanted to make this video, so we took it, we took the 10 minutes. With almost no warm-up, we filmed the routine in its entirety from one angle, and then I filmed a few tricks in close-up, before being stopped by the admins.
I wanted to show the whole routine, changing angles at times to keep it interesting. Not possible due to shot restraints. Also, as we only had one chance of the whole routine, he dropped a couple times. I couldn’t very well leave the drops in, but I had nothing else as filler, which explains why it sometimes cut from one angle to same angle in the middle of a sequence. I wasn’t happy with it, but couldn’t think of anything to do.
Part of my nature (and I’m sure I’m not alone, among jugglers) is the fact that I get bored of something very fast. I knew that if I didn’t finish editing the video that day, it was just get forgotten about and I would never do it…that lead me to rush it. I showed it to a few people who all said it was nice (like you’ve said too, it was nice…just not quite right). So I figured it would be good enough, and I put it online.
It was ignored (but with the death of the IJDb, I know there is a lot attention towards videos. Not to mention summer was starting), I got a bunch of dislikes on YouTube (might seem arrogant, but I think it’s normal to feel, that after a couple of dislikes, I start to take it badly) and I got various negative comments about it (I have, of course, learnt that the new generation don’t care much if there isn’t some enormous juggling in it).
I can take criticism, but don’t take kindly to useless negative comments. A big thank you to Orinoco who was very honest and who pointed out very well everything he didn’t like…quite fortunately, it included things already on my mind and things I wasn’t happy with from the first edit. I still waited it out to see if anyone else would be constructive.
Finally, after thinking about it for a couple weeks, I took 3 days (around 21 hours total) to make the new edit. It started by remixing the song from 4 minutes down to 2 minutes, which helped me a lot. I really tried to follow the comment of not letting the stage be empty – never letting Jé go into the black, and also trying to keep the hat in shot too. I cut it up and timed it with the music nicely. A lot nicer, but it was still just a video. I was trying to find a way to mask the transition more – flashes and fades weren’t cutting it. Then I came across a fantastic lights pack, a few GBs of various different style lights. A LOT of cutting, mixing, changing, and editing, rinse and repeat later…they were the icing.
I showed the new version to the same people as the first version and the result was nothing but positive.
I don’t know how much that may interest you, but I think it’s nice sometimes to know how things come about.
Thanks for that, it's rare that we get to hear the backstory to a video!
I was a little worried when I started reading your post that it was going to be full of whiny excuses - but it's the exact opposite. Every problem you hit, you've solved in some way either while shooting or in the final edit.
Personally, I find tales of problemsolving in photography/video very interesting reading and wish more people would talk about the process. Every shooting/lighting/editing problem you solve and talk through is a solution I can bank for later if I hit a similar problem - that way I get to learn in advance of my own mistakes, which (should) make my next shoot easier (iyswim)
So yes. Thanks for the explanation, it's very helpful!
10 mins to record that video? (I know it's not only that, but effectively, you got it...) You're my hero! haha
I really enjoy your videos! Did you ever go to film school or took some courses? or you learned everything by yourself?
I really liked the glances of light that comes in the open plan (don't know if you say like that in english, well, the plan where you recorded the whole routine), how did you do that? There are presets for that or something? Is some kind of affect on AE?
Thanks a lot for the video and thanks for sharing the story behind it, it's really interesting.
Sorry I never replied to you.
I have never been to film school or taken courses but have always been very interested in aesthetics (in photography, video, graphic design, etc). I analyse videos/photomanipulations a lot to try and see how they might have done, then sometimes try to recreate them for my own fun and to push my knowledge. Sometimes it's not the most efficient way, but it's still a way, and along that way I will find other things I didn't know which will help me for later. I do however watch tutorials online about certain subjects I want to use in upcoming projects.
In reply to your second question...
You can film any light effect over a dark background (try putting your camera infront of a black wall or just in a completely dark room, and shining lights at the camera), then import it into your editing program and place it OVER the clip you want it on. After that if you change the composite mode to "add" or "overlay" (or others, but those work best) it will get rid of all the dark area and just put the light areas on the video clip below it. Make sense? A lot of times I trimmed, added a second one on top, changed speed and opacity and a lot of other things to get the right look on each individual light effect.
Of course you can film them all yourself, but I used this kit http://www.crumplepop.com/lumineux-effects/ which has a fantastic selection and very FCP friendly.
Well that was a longer reply than I expected to write. I hope it was interesting.
It was! Very interesting!
I'll try some things with lighting effects, really interesting.
Thanks a lot Norbi! I'd love to talk to you personally.
I'm a sucker for the documentaries & extra features on DVDs so I found that very interesting, thank you.
I don't think anyone else has ever given any background info on a juggling video such as you just did. Which is a shame for the reasons LP mentioned above. I think a lot of people get a camera & think "Brilliant! What direction shall I point it?". If more people talked constructively about what does & doesn't make a good video through the process of osmosis videos will get better plus people might start to appreciate the editors that little bit more which I think is something lacking.
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