The QiRanger Adventures

Archive for the ‘Television’ Category

The end of another month…

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September is over! It has been an awesome month, but the best thing about it has been the cessation of summer temperatures.

Fall is in full effect, bringing with it beautiful days and cool evenings. It’s also bringing with it several busy days. On the heels of SeoulTube, I stepped into several filming projects, most of which are not for my YouTube Channel. This is a breath of fresh air, as it lets me revisit some older topics and present them in a new, more stylistic manner.

Today, I went out to the Suwon Hwaseong Fortress. It’s a great place, and a must-see (in my opinion) for anyone living in Korea. While out filming two projects, I was interviewed by KTV for an upcoming documentary they are working on in preparation for the G20 Summit later in October.

It was a fun experience, but for me very challenging. The interview portion was easy, but I constantly had to retrain myself not to look at the camera while talking. Shooting your own videos for YouTube, one must always look into the camera to engage the audience. However, this isn’t what you’re supposed to do in an interview… and after four years of trying to talk into the camera, looking past the camera was a stretch.

Here’s a quick little video I did at the pond while shooting:

I’ll post more about some of the other projects as they near completion.

Written by Steve Miller

September 30, 2010 at 7:25 pm

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!

Travel Videos: Editing

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PLEASE DE-INTERLACE!!!!!

Here we are… the final entry in the series. This is where it all comes together: Editing.

Believe it or not, this is the most fun and challenging part of the process. Once you have all your footage sorted and music chosen, it’s now time to package it. When I first started making videos, chronicling my travels, I used to use every bit of footage.

I mean, if I took an hour of footage at a palace, I would end up using most of it. The result was a good video, but very long. This might be great if you’re making a long video for television or a short movie, but since my broadcast medium is YouTube, videos longer than 5 minutes usually don’t do well.

That’s the reason this past year, I’ve really had to make some tough calls when editing. I might have a great scene, but it doesn’t fit in the time I’ve allotted for the project. For example, in my Bataan video, I have a great clip of the clouds rolling past a window from atop the Shrine of Valor (Mt. Samat), but it didn’t fit within the video scheme, so I cut it. It was a tough call, but something that had to be done. Doing this is key, since it really places you in the chair of your potential viewer. When the entire process is over, you should not only be proud of your video, but be excited to watch it (time and time again). So only pick the very best of your clips to tell the story. If the clip is great, but doesn’t tell the story… it needs to be cut!

Once you’ve completed your edits and you have your project rendered, watch it a few times to make sure it flows like you want it to. If it doesn’t, go back and make some changes to get it to where you want it to be. The final step is to de-interlace the video.

THIS IS KEY and a personal pet-peeve of mine. While videos shot in 720p or 1080p are by default de-interlaced, some titles and sped-up or slowed-down footage may not be. The end result is a distracting experience to the viewer. I see this all the time on YouTube and it instantly makes me want to click off. What still surprises me is when I’ve seen it in professional circles.

I hope this short series was helpful. If you have any questions, please let me know!

Written by Steve Miller

August 7, 2010 at 4:23 am

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

Phones and the ADA

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I’ve written a few times about how phones in Asia are considerably more advanced than those in the US. But my question is this:

Given the ADA and the fact that hearing impaired individuals can use video calls to sign, is it likely the US Government will require all US carriers to provide such a service on all phones?

What are your thoughts?

Written by Steve Miller

July 15, 2010 at 5:41 am

Not that impressive…

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Look at my camera... and it isn't even a Smart Phone!

I was going through the news yesterday and saw a news story that made me laugh.

It tells of a major “new” advancement in cell phone technology: two cameras on a phone, allowing users to make video calls in real-time, over a cell phone network.

The HTC EVO4G will be the first in the US to offer this on the Sprint Network.

Wow.

The reason why I think this is quite funny, is that to many  Americans, this will be seen as a huge innovation. What they will fail to realize is in Asia, we’ve been able to do this for years, and not only on the high-end smart phones. My entry-level Samsung phone handles these video calls quite nicely.

The US really needs to vamp up its technology infrastructure if it ever hopes to catch up to Asia. Even now, the Broadband speeds and penetration are 15 years behind Korea.

Written by Steve Miller

March 31, 2010 at 4:00 am

Amazing Adventure Awaits!

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Each year teams of two embark on an adventure around the world. They must complete challenging tasks, overcome roadblocks, and navigate detours. Their goal is to land on the mat first and claim their prize as winners of The Amazing Race.

That show is probably one of my favorites on television, if not my favorite. The way it’s produced keeps it entertaining, plus I get to see and learn a little bit about the world. When you look at the reality television market, there are many viewing options, but nothing, in my opinion, comes close to this show. Perhaps that’s why the show has earned an Emmy every year.

Jo and I enjoy watching the weekly updates as teams continue on the race. Some of our favorite “games” are picking the teams we really like, hate, and who will be eliminated each week. We also like to guess which legs will be non-elimination rounds. I know we’re geeks, but that just makes us perfect for one another.

Another thing that’s great about The Amazing Race, is it isn’t just on US television. AXN has been running a very successful version of the show.  Jo remembers watching Series One back home and over the weekend we caught up on Series Three. It’s just as gripping (if not more so) as the original US edition. In fact, we really like the focus on Asia.

I bring this up, because one of my YouTube subscribers and Twitter followers is now applying for The Amazing Race Asia 4. Josiah is a musician and moved with his father to Thailand. I have no idea what their chances of getting on the show are, but I do wish them all the luck in the world.

If you have 3 minutes in your day, could you please stop on over to their application video.

Thanks!

I hope you have an amazing day!

Written by Steve Miller

March 29, 2010 at 7:20 am