The QiRanger Adventures

Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

The Pick-up

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Today was the awards ceremony for the most recent Korea Brand UCC Contest. Unfortunately, due to my work schedule, I was unable to fully participate; however, I did manage to make it out to Seoul for a while today and meet with the fine folks at the Presidential Council on Nation Branding.

At first I declined to attend the ceremony, not because I didn’t want to meet everyone, but because it takes about 90 minutes to get from their offices back to Dongtan. Since the ceremony was going to be at least an hour, it meant there was no way for me to be at their office and miss work. My solution was to go early (with their permission), and they agreed.

As this was my second award, both parties were eager to put faces with names. When I received my award certificate, it was also shared with all those in attendance that I was a repeat award winner.

It was great to finally be at their offices and mingle with other award winners. There’s an incredible amount of talent in Korea, and the contest brought out the best in everyone. They announced two more contests for the remainder of 2010, and I might enter them as well. For now, I we’ll see how my free times stacks up.

As mentioned on YouTube, I thought I’d answer some of the most common questions regarding my travel videos. I’m going to do that now, since I’ll be delivering my computer to UBASE on Friday for a hard disk upgrade, and I’m not sure when I’ll get it back. Couple that with SeoulTube 2010 and Chuseok (추석) next week and I think you’ll see that I’ll be away from the Internet for some time.

So here are those commonly asked questions:

How long does it take to make a travel video? On average, the 4-minute videos I produce on YouTube with a travel theme take a full day of editing. Meaning that it may take 8 or so hours to produce the 4-minute program.

How do I choose where to go? This is really more of a team effort on Jo and my part. We both love to travel and see as much as we can during the time allotted. This means researching our destinations and scouring over maps to see what may be interesting and off the beaten path. Once we have an idea of where we want to go, we set about researching the Internet and consulting tourism organizations and books for details.

Are my videos scripted? Not really. Based on my research, I know what bullet points I want to cover, but rarely do I actually write out each line.

As always, thanks for reading and commenting. If you’re in Korea, I hope you have a great Chuseok and I’ll see you soon!

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Many thanks!

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One of the things I try to do with my travel videos is to make them fun, interesting, and educational. When I returned from holiday this summer, I saw that Experience Korea had launched its Season 3 competition, focusing on traveling in Korea.

With only a day to prepare an entry, I opted to submit my Wongudan video.

I was notified last evening that it was selected as one of the honorable mentions in the competition. I am extremely grateful for this distinction and plan to continue making shorts that extols Korea’s hidden treasures!

Written by Steve Miller

September 10, 2010 at 7:27 am

Monday… Monday

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From the media pole!

The past few days have been amazing, but alas it is Monday once more and time to focus and get ready for work.

This past weekend was a great little get-away for Jo and I since we had a lot on our to-do list. It entailed traveling all over Seoul, picking up items from Craig’s List, seeing movies, breaking bread with friends, and visiting historic sites.

Probably the best part about the weekend, is that we just kind of took things step-by-step, having a few ideas of what we wanted to do , but being open to other opportunities along the way.

For example, we had completed all of our shopping on Saturday and had a few hours to kill before meeting up with our friends for dinner. While on the bus to Sinchon (신촌), we passed by a Megabox movie theater and decided to see if something was playing. We opted for Killers with Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigl.

It looked like it was going to be a cute comedy, and there were moments, but in the long run, it fell flat and was predictable. But for Jo and I, it served its purpose and allowed us some down time and time to get out of the summer heat in Korea. (Seriously, when is it going to end?)

Over the next few days, I’ll be reviewing some video footage to put together a quick video about a normal weekend in Korea. I hope you’re downtime was fulfilling. What did you do?

Written by Steve Miller

September 6, 2010 at 6:43 am

SeoulTube 2010

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It’s high time the Land of the Morning Calm hosts a YouTube Gathering, and what better place than Seoul- the nation’s capital.

Come join myself and cohost Hyunwoo Sun (ever4one) as we host SeoulTube 2010 right on the Han river at Banpo Hangang Park.

We’re planning on starting around 5pm on September 25th, so bring some food and beverages to enjoy while meeting others that utilize our favorite site. So come one, come all to this gathering whether you make videos or just enjoy watching them!

Got questions? Write them below or shoot me a message!

When: 2010-9-25, 5pm
Where: Banpo Hangang Park

See you there!

Written by Steve Miller

August 19, 2010 at 5:25 pm

Travel Videos: Filming

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We’ve got our camera and conducted research out our trip… now let’s go out and film!

I will admit this is my favorite part of the process. I just love getting out of the apartment and going someplace new. Exploring every nook and cranny and seeing what I can discover.

When filming, my personal belief is to go hog-wild, but that’s because I have a lot of memory in my camera to record images with. I say this, because having too much footage is always better than not having enough. So when I’m exploring, I’m hitting the record button quite often. Most of the clips are only 10-30 seconds, but over time, they add up.

This makes things easier in the editing process. It’s during this time, that you can start filming yourself at the location. this is important, because people do really want to see you at the location. This is also a great way to introduce the location on film. I usually use a combination of on-camera appearances and voice-overs to narrate my films. It makes for a great mix. When filming yourself, I recommend bringing a friend or a tripod, so that you can get longer shots. It helps to create a size and scope of your special destination.

Also, change things up a little and shoot the same scene from various angles. This will allow more choices when putting the video together. You might even want to include parts of one scene several times. As I said, more is always better.

I was debating on whether or not to have a separate topic about microphones, but thought I’d include it here. Most cameras have crap microphones. A few of the consumer levels do have good ones (and I think the HFS11 does have a good one). But they all fall short when you start moving back away from the camera. This can really limit what you do in terms of setting up shots, but by no way, limiting what you can achieve. Just keep the following in mind:

1) When standing back from the camera, you’ll need to project your voice. Don’t shout, but speak loudly so the mic can pic you up.

2) Anything more than 6 feet is probably too far from the camera.

If you want to get an external mic, there are several options. Some are boom that go on the camera’s hotshoe. Others are wireless or hand-held options.  My recommendation is really do some research and get something that meets most, if not all of your needs, that won’t break your bank.

Written by Steve Miller

July 31, 2010 at 4:27 am

Travel Videos: Research

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I’m going to be brutally honest. Most people don’t care about your trip. You have to make them want to care about the trip. When preparing to produce your travel video, you’ll need to do research ahead of time to know what you’re going to see in order to capture the most spectacular images. This also helps you when it comes to editing the final version, since you already know what kind of story you’d like to tell.

For me, I use a wide variety of resources when researching my topics. I use Wikipedia, travel blogs, tour books, and the materials published by the actual location. This assists me in getting the big picture of my destination. From here, I can pick and choose what I want to focus on. Doing this ahead of time also helps you write your copy for the video (speaking parts). It also makes it easier to type up descriptions and blog entries.

But the most important aspect of research, is that it helps you craft an engaging and interesting story. Here’s an example: On our trip to Indonesia, we visited several places. A travel video showing Jo and I walking around Indonesia may be entertaining to our families, but not to a large audience. Picking out interesting things to go see and do ahead of time allowed us to have a better vacation, but also assisted me in choosing how to string together all the clips to tell the story about Indonesia that will inspire people to get out of their homes and book flights.

The more information you have, the easier it makes things… but in my opinion, you don’t have to use it all. Viewers want to be engaged… not lectured.

Next week: Filming

Written by Steve Miller

July 24, 2010 at 4:18 am

Travel Videos: Music

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Tunes!

There are several things that go into making a good travel video, and one of them is music. I’m not a musician and have very little talent in this area, but I do know that adding a layer of music to the finished project enhances the experience to the viewer. But using music in videos is quite tricky.

If you’re making something for home use, you can pretty much do what you’d like, since no one will see the final project. However, if you’re like me, and want to put the video up on YouTube (or in public), there are several things to consider.

First, you need to pick music that fits the subject matter. Second, you must have the rights to use the music. It’s the latter where many get into trouble. As a content provider on YouTube, one can pretty much use any music you find, since YouTube has made agreements with the major record labels. But as was seen with BMG, these deals can cause some headaches down the road. You see, for a while, BMG allowed songs to be used on YouTube. Then they stopped. So if your video used one of their songs, then all of a sudden, it was pulled. It created a huge headache for content providers.

A better road to travel down is using Creative Commons licensed music. But here, there is also a problem. Many artists will allow you to use their music for free, provided it’s not for commercial purposes. This is great most of the time, but I make some money on my videos by using AdSense, which is a commercial endeavor. As such, I can’t use Creative Commons licensed tracks without extra permission.

What I end up doing is using Royalty Free music. iMovie comes loaded with a ton of tracks and I can create my own in Garage Band. Don’t have a Mac? Don’t worry! Most of the time I use music from Kevin MacLeod or Jason Shaw. Both have hundreds of songs you can use and they only ask that you credit them. There are also other options, like using Sonic Fire from SmartSound, too.

In short, use your music to accent the final piece. Make sure it fits and complements the project. Overall, you’ll end up with a great product.

Next week: Research

Written by Steve Miller

July 16, 2010 at 1:10 pm