The QiRanger Adventures

Posts Tagged ‘Film

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: Music

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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

The Race to Seoul

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Hyunwoo Sun and Steve Miller

This past weekend I had the opportunity to race with a friend. The whole story started a month ago, when Jo and met with Hyunwoo Sun in Seoul for a mini-gathering. At that time, he mentioned that he uses the subway heavily and oftens find it faster than any other mode of transportation in the city.

Coming from the outlying areas, I find the subway convenient, but very slow. Jo and I have spent a lot of time learning various bus routes and have found that we can get anywhere around the city faster than if we relied solely on the subway. This gave Jo the idea that Hyunwoo and I should race to see which one, the bus or subway, was the speediest method of transportation. We both loved the idea, since many Koreans only rely on the subway and most foreigners are too intimidated to learn bus routes.

But just how to go about it???

Since Hyunwoo had never traveled to Dongtan, I thought I’d invite him out for the day. He arrived Saturday morning and we spent a good two hours walking and playing around. He brought Jin Seokjin with him, and I have to say the four of us had a great time.

But it wasn’t long before it was time to get down to business. The race was simple: start from the bronze statue in the Dongtan Town Center and race to the statue of king Sejong in Gwanghwamun Plaza. Jo and I would take the bus and Hyunwoo and Seokjin would take the metro.

The entire experience was awesome and I was surprised at the result. It took me a day to edit all the footage and to see who won, you’ll have to watch the video.


Written by Steve Miller

May 4, 2010 at 8:00 am