We took a quick trip to Maine last week to escape the Florida heat for a few days. It was the Last of the 50 United States for me to visit. I’ve been to all of them now even though a few states were just drive throughs, but that counts doesn’t it?
Here is a 4-minute video production of our trip shot entirely with my iPhone and a GoPro.
I seem to always shoot video now instead of still photos. In my opinion still photographs need to be captured in high quality and viewed on large screens or in prints. That way the viewer can study and fully appreciate the slice of time that the photographer has chosen to capture. Crafting still photos is a similar yet different skill than filming and editing a video. Video can be watched quickly and enjoyed on phones and pads, providing the video tells a story and the individual scenes have interesting content. Home videos of long unedited scenes can be painful to endure… we all have been subjected to these home movies and wedding videos that drag on and on and on… I know this 4-minute travel video is just my own “home movie” but curiously it contains some of the same production elements that I use when making videos for my clients.
At 2 Minute Films we tell our client’s stories with audio dialog and well-crafted visual scenes. Usually we film an interview with the president of the company or a spokesperson. Then we film scenes that are directly associated with the story being told or other general visuals called “B-Roll”. The ratio of story information to visuals can vary wildly from 90% story – 10% visuals or 10% story – 90% visuals. In the case of my home video it’s 95% B-Roll and only 5% story. The only story being presented is a few words on screen; 4 Day Getaway, Maine, Portland, Rockland, Pie for breakfast, Vinalhaven, and a handful of audio words; “ice cream, nice to be cold, eat/shop”. The rest of the video is scenes that I grabbed when it was convenient (remember I was on vacation).
The video clips in this home movie also contain tiny bits of information; one windshield wiper swipe indicates rain even though the scene is too short to see rain, mussed hair while sipping coffee indicates morning, Sherri making a face at me in the car tells you I made another stupid husband comment, etc.
I intentionally edited this home move to be about 3-4 minute long. I chose the music first and then marked the timeline to the beat of the music and cut the scenes to blend with the music. Music is the lubrication of many films and videos. A film or commercial without music can be rather dry to watch. Trivia note: The TV series “The Wire” used music only when it emanated within the scene like a jukebox or car radio. This places an emphasis on the dialog.
Many of the 30 second commercials we see on tv are finely crafted short films that tell elaborate stories and show exquisite emotional moments even though each scene may only last a fraction of a second. Generally, at 2 Minute Films, we pace our client videos to show each scene an average of 3 seconds. This pacing varies of course due to the type of business we are working for and the target audience. My home video is a bit quicker and I used a bunch of time lapses to further compress time and make it fun. Time lapses are fun… I don’t know why, they just are! Thanks, Bill
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Written by: Bill Sallaz, Owner
Specializing in Web Video Production Services
Sarasota Video Production | Video Production Bradenton FL