Module Six: Telling A Story I – Mini Doc (Production and Post)

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Reading and Writing

From reading Tom Schroeppel’s “The Bare Bones: Camera Course for Film and Video”, I have learned a lot of interesting information and skills that will be useful for future projects. This book was very helpful in showing that making a video or taking pictures is not just about pulling out a camera and shooting the shot. To get the perfect shot, a lot of thinking, planning, and work is put in to it to get that shot perfect. The importance of balance in images, color, lighting, perfecting your audio, and many other factors have really made me appreciate the work that is put into all of the different things I watch online, tv, and other platforms.

Many of these skills that we have learned and used to produce our own class projects I hope I can keep to be able to help me with my research capstone project that I will be completing over the next couple years. This weeks project in particular made me realize how much work I will actually need to put into my project to make it look professional and reach the correct audience. I will definitely need to hire a graphic designer or animator to help with what I want to do with my project, but I will at least be able to properly plan and sketch out my ideas, know some skills in properly shooting the shots I want and make them look good, as well as be able to perfect my audio and edit a lot of it together to make a solid piece. I am very excited to use these skills in the future.

Research and Inform

I was watching this movie this weekend and noticed this scene after reading about L- and J-cuts. I happened to find the clip on youtube and it happens right at the beginning of this clip. You can notice that the humming and chest pounding Matthew McConaughey is doing at the beginning of the scene starts in different clips of the movie and will then cut to the scene of Leonardo Dicaprio listening to the humming and then cuts to Matthew McConaughey physically doing the audio and actions. This is called a J-cut and I think it helps transition the movie from the scene it originally was in to a new scene without being too abrupt. A J-cut is when the audio of a scene precedes the visual.

J- and L-cuts are really helpful and used quite frequently in conversation sections of pieces. Rather than jumping back and forth immediately when a new person begins or finishes talking, the audio or the scene can carry over to create better flow. It can also be used in opening scenes to captivate the audience before even seeing an image, or at the ending of a film to make the audience feel as if the story carries on even after we can no longer see an image. In this scene, we have an example of an L-cut where the original audio from the first shot, carries over into the new shot before new audio begins. This is very powerful and takes the audio from the original shot, and makes it into a narration for the rest of the following shots after to end the movie.

Create

Here is the link to the video I created for this week’s module. I realize while making this project how much help I will need from a graphic designer to make my real Concussion PSA more professional looking and actually get a good animation created to play in the video rather than my $0 budget animation made from paper. But overall this project was really fun to make and helped me come up with a lot of ideas for my real project.

Module Six: Telling A Story I – Mini Doc (Pre-Production)

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Reading and Writing


Chapter 7 – Lighting

The most powerful lighting source that is used in film/video making is the sun. The sun comes with several disadvantages however. The sun changes locations throughout the day and can cast different shadows on the subject depending on their position compared to the sun. The ideal position for the sun to be in when using it for lighting is at 45 degrees above the horizon. Once it gets any higher than that, the sun will cast many different types of shadows on the subjects face and other areas. To fix this you can have the subject face the sun, but this could bother their eyes. Using the sun as a back drop is done as well, but you need to somehow get effective lighting to the subject’s face.

There are two tools that can be used to fill in any lighting needed: reflectors and fill lights. Reflectors will reflect light off of its surface to bounce the light to the surface of the area that has shadows and needs extra lighting. Fill lighting is an extra lamp that is used to add extra light from the direction needed to get rid of shadows. The downfall of using a fill light is that you need electricity to power the light and this could pose difficulty if using it outside.

When discussing interior lighting, there are three traditionally used forms of interior lighting: focusing quartz, broads, and softlights. Focusing quartz lights are your stereotypical spotlights used in theater. A lever is used to change the intensity of the lighting. These lights form a spot of light, but a disadvantage is that there are typically hot spots on the light and can get an uneven pattern of light. Quartz lights are very harsh and can produce sharp shadows which can be a disadvantage. This can be managed through diffusing materials or bouncing the lights off of a white wall or ceiling. Broads are non-focusing lights designed to put out a broad lighting out across a large area. This type of lighting can also be softened by diffusing material or by bouncing. Softlights are permanent portable bounce lights. It consists of a material shaped into a curved scoop (white or silver colored) and a light is mounted inside facing the scoop so the light will bounce off towards your subject. They are advantageous because you are able to take these wherever you like and don’t have to worry about finding a wall or ceiling to bounce the other lights off of.

Chapter 9 – Doing It

When planning your shoot, it is important to know what you want to end up with as your final project. When creating a shooting plan, it can be hard to now what exact shots you want where in your piece. A good strategy to go by is to shoot the entire scene in a wide shot, repeat as a medium shot, then again in close ups. This will use a lot of film and take up a lot of time, but it will ensure you have all the shots you need and have enough to edit your final work later. When you get better at knowing what you are doing, you can begin to just repeat certain sections in the medium shots, close ups and cutaways to get what you need. Slates can be very helpful in this stage. Slates are a piece of identification on a clapboard or piece of paper that is used to tell different shots from one another. When going to edit the piece, it helps you identify the scene and where it goes in the editing process to help prevent any confusion over scenes.

Shooting scripts and storyboards can be very helpful in the planning and organization of your piece. It allows you to determine what shots you want with certain audio. Shooting scripts are simply just a list of what the shot is going to be, how you’ll shoot it, and the audio that goes with it. A storyboard is just more visual in which the shots are drawn out as simple drawings and can help you visualize better.

Shooting out of sequence can be very useful as well. In situations where lots of lighting and cameras need to be moved for different shots, it can be beneficial to film all the shots needed for that particular shot angle and lighting first and then move on to different scenes where cameras and lighting needs to be moved. Shooting out of sequence can help save time by not having to continually move the lighting back and forth between different shots throughout the piece when trying to film in order.

Communication is a very important tool to utilize throughout a project just to keep everyone on board and knowing what they are expected to do. Good communication can keep the project moving smoothly. Even in unexpected or uncontrolled situations, communication will be key to get things done and get the shots you need in this changing situation.

Research to Inform

So this video I think does a really good job sharing the mother’s story. You know immediately that the mother is narrating and it does a good job showing her life while she is telling the story. There are some clips of her having conversation as well with other people and fits into the story. The conversation has specific questions and related to the story and how she is taking steps for the future to advocate.

This video was awesome in showing the story of this young player and all the struggles he and his family has gone through. It does a good job incorporating different video clips as well as interviews with the player, family, and coaches. The beginning clip was kind of too long in my opinion, I got bored looking at the aerial view of him playing basketball for that long. This clip was about 20 seconds until moving into a different shot. To fix this I would have switched to some closer shots earlier just to keep the interest of the audience. This clip was used as the intro scene with the title, but then the clip extended longer without any changes.

The opening scene with the camera on the truck and showing different clips of the truck driving through different locations was a cool opening scene. This clip did a good job telling the story of being in the food truck business by narrating as well as having different food truck owners talking about their experiences. The first interview where you see the person speaking that starts around 1:15, the audio seems a bit off. You can hear some of the background noise, but him speaking seems to be echoing just a little bit due to the room that they are most likely in. To fix this I believe it could have been beneficial to have him wear a microphone so it would pick up his voice more clearly without picking up as much of the echoing just to make the audio a little clearer.

Create

Module 5: Continuity – How-To Video

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Reading and Writing

Chapter 3

            When editing your film, it is important that you break up long scenes to make it more interesting for the audience. You don’t want to sit on a single scene of a conversation for 30 seconds because the audience will get bored and begin wondering and looking at other things and not paying attention. You can break away from the scene by adding in close up shots of the individual talking and adding in clips of the other person listening to continue to have the image change to keep the audience’s attention.

            A jump cut is when you go from a wide shot to a close up shot and only change the image size and not the angle of the shot. This does not really change the perspective of the audience’s view, just moves them closer to the subject. A smooth transition is one that will change the image size and the angle of the scene. This allows for a change in perspective, and can also allow for the audience to not notice any slight changes in position of the actor. Cutting on the action is when you film the same action in two different types of shots and cut them together. This can allow your viewers to follow the action through the shots without paying too much attention to other things in the scene because the viewer’s natural instinct is to follow the movement. Using clean exits and entrances can help with cutting out a lot of unnecessary audio or shots and help you get from one place to another very quickly.

Chapter 4

            Crossing the line is another tool used to be aware. For example, when you are shooting a scene of a conversation, you want to be sure the actors are always facing the same direction in all of the different types of shots to keep continuity. If you cross the line and film from the other direction, the audience may now think that one of the actors is talking to the back of the other’s head because they have now switched directions from what they were originally facing. This can cause confusion to your audience as the characters are switching directions, but they are not actually seeing the characters make any movements on the screen.

            A way to fix any problems of crossing the line is to through in a point of view shot to break up the two different shots to make it more fluid. An example of this is when you have an individual facing a computer looking at the left of the screen and then you add in a point of view shot of what she is looking at on the screen, and then cutting to your third shot of the individual sitting at the computer facing the right side of the screen now.

            Sometimes when you are limited in the location you are filming, it could be difficult to not cross the line and try and keep a continuous background if you have multiple subjects. A way to fix this is to film your first scenes with the background you want, and when it is time to change angle, you can have the characters slightly pivot as well as the camera. This will allow you to keep the background and remain on the same side of the line, avoiding line crossing and avoiding any confusion to the audience.

Research to Inform

This clip from The Hangover shows really good examples of not crossing the line. This scene goes through several different angles of the individuals and does a good job of not crossing the line in order not to confuse the audience. The camera angles are from all sorts of different angles but the characters always stay on the same side of the shot.

This clip does a good job of keeping on the same side of the line. They are continuously on the same side of the shots and don’t confuse the audience. It also does a good job of changing between shots to keep the audience interested. Even though this clip is mostly just a conversation between the two people, they continuously change the cut to keep the audience interested and don’t just remain on the wide shot of the two talking the entire time.

Was watching this movie with my dad when I noticed the small error in continuity. In this clip at about 1:29 you see him refill his drink and pick it up and it’s full, but when he actually drinks his drink at about 1:35, his glass is almost empty even though it was full in the previous scene. Just thought it was funny. This module has really made me more aware and pay attention a little more to what I am watching.

Create

Hey everyone, here is my How-To Video on how to bake a cookies and cream cake! I was difficult to try and keep everything in the same position when doing different angles to keep continuity. Filming all the things in different angles took some time as well but this video was fun to make. Plus I got some cake out of it!

Module 4: Visual Composition II – Visual Montage (Production and Post)

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Reading and Writing

In Chapter 10 of “The Bare Bones: Camera Course for Film and Video” by Tom Schroeppel, we talked about editing your piece. There was a small example of an experiment to do with another person that emphasized the importance of editing. Editing allows you to control what the audience can see and hear, and ultimately this allows you to determine how your message will get across to your audience. The author talks about the importance of allowing the viewers to fully absorb the images you are showing them, because it takes time for the brain to process new information that is given to them.

Another topic that was discussed was that you shouldn’t become too attached to a particular shot or sequence. When you get too attached to something that you may have put a lot of work into getting, you will force it into your work where it may actually not work appropriately and not help you get your idea across clearly. When editing, it is important to separate from the directing, and focus on the script and getting your script across.

It’s important to appropriately establish the audience at well. You want to be sure that the audience knows where the images are taking place as you don’t want them wondering what is going on but rather focusing on your message. You may need to be more specific in you establishing shot with an audience new to the material, but if you have an audience more experienced with the topic, you can be less specific in your establishing shot, and still have audience know exactly what is going on in the shots. It is also important to re-establish your audience. With too many close up shots, the audience can begin to wonder where they are, so using wider shots periodically can keep the audience reeled in to where they are.

When editing with sound, there are some tips that can be used to make your project flow more. L-cuts are particularly important when filming regions of dialogue. What you can do is when person A is talking to person B, you can have the video start on person A, and then towards the end of person A talking, switch to a scene of person B listening to person A. This helps the project have forward movement and have better flow. Background music is also helpful in that it can help convey a mood to your piece, but it shouldn’t be extremely noticeable or remembered by the viewers.

Research to Inform


In this video, it has a good example of a clock transition that is something that is not commonly used. Even though that this type of transition is not something used all the time in films or video, I believe that this is an effective transition to use here, and something that the Star Wars Saga uses often in their movies. This transition I believes help the viewer move from one time period or location to another. Its not a smooth transition so I believe it helps jump between different locations or times effectively that the viewer is able to quickly identify that there is a change occurring.

I know, another Star Wars clip, but I think this video is a good example of some of the material we read about in Tom Schroeppel’s book in Chapter 10. In this clip, they do a good job of having an establishing shot and then getting close up shots of the scene. After a couple close up shots, they have another more zoomed out scene to show that they are still in the same hallway and location. Especially when they continually are zooming in on the door in this video, I think it is really helpful and effective to zoom back out to be sure that the audience is still aware that the door is located in the same hallway that we were just previously looking at.

This video is a really good example of the fast cut editing style. Throughout the video there are a few longer scenes that break up all the fast cuts. The fast cuts themselves I noticed that the video that they did use was typically a little more simpler shots. From our reading, I’m sure this is because if you are moving through the video and images so quickly, you most likely want the footage to be a little more simpler so the viewer’s brain and eyes are able to view and process the material before a new image appears on the screen. I believe this creator did a good job of this and was effectively able to create the scene and message to the viewers early on.

Create

Here is my project I created this week. When producing this project, I really had a hard time keeping the camera still and getting good shots even with the tripod. Even though I used a tripod, I feel as though a lot of my shots are still kind of shaky and moving when I was trying to edit the clips together. I did use a Nikon d3500 for this project which I was able to take really good pictures with last week, but I feel like the video was much more difficult to do and wish I could have used some of my images throughout the piece to make it a bit better than I was able to produce.

Module 3: Visual Composition I – Visual Montage (Pre-Production)

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Reading and Writing

Chapter 1 – Basics

  • In Chapter 1 of “The Bare Bones Camera Course for Film and Video” by Tom Schroeppel, we learn that the functions of a camera and its lens have several similar properties to that of the human eye and the lens within our eyes. Both the lens of the eye and the lens of a camera will turn the image you are looking at upside down before it is processed, and this is due to both lens being convex in shape. Our eyes are able to automatically adjust different elements to help focus an image. Cameras unfortunately do not do much of this automatically so different things need to be manipulated to get a good picture.
  • One thing you will have to control is the exposure. Exposure is the amount of light that comes through that hits the film or chip within the camera. Too much light in an image can make the image look too bright, flushing out some detail. The same can be said however with an image that does not have enough light. Without enough light, you may not be able to see the details of the image clearly.
  • You may have to manipulate the camera to get it to focus on what you want in the image too. Different lens types can give you different image types, but there are zoom lenses that can range between the wide angle, normal angle, and telephoto. This allows you to get a good angle on the subject and keep the subject in focus. But just manipulating these different things will allow you to have different frames with different ranges of focus that work for your project.

Chapter 2 – Composition

  • Chapter 2 of “The Bare Bones Camera Course for Film and Video” by Tom Schroeppel, was really helpful in providing some tips on who to make the composition of your photos better and to help draw the attention of the audience to what you want in the image. First we learned about the Rule of Thirds. The rule of thirds have you divide the frames into thirds vertically and horizontally to help you place elements along the lines and have the center of interest at a point of intersection of the lines.
  • Another topic discussed was the importance of balance. The images need to be balanced to keep the interest of the audience and to help them focus. If an image is unbalanced, then the audience could think the image is frustrating to look at or they could not be focusing on what you want them to. Providing head room or lead room helps the viewers see the subject looking towards something or a car in an image moving in a particular direction. Balancing colors can also be important. If your subject is one part of an image but there is a bright structure near them, the audience’s eye might first go to the bright structure before the subject of interest. Angles can help give your images dimensions rather than just being 2D. And incorporating frames within a frame can help hone the focus onto an image, but can also be used to hide unwanted elements.

Chapter 5 – Camera Moves

  • Chapter 5 of “The Bare Bones Camera Course for Film and Video” by Tom Schroeppel, discussed different camera moves and some tips in performing good moves. First we have zoom ins which typically help direct the attention to your center of interest. Next are zoom outs which help provide you a more detailed picture from your initial close up. Can help show where a person is and their surroundings that weren’t seen in the previous shot. Lastly and pans and tilts. Pans are horizontal movements while tilts are vertical movements. These movements can also reveal new information into a shot much like that of the zoom outs. It is important however to do the pans slowly and not too quickly.
  • A helpful tip they provided was when you are performing a move, always start out in an uncomfortable position and end in a comfortable one. This allows you to move into a more comfortable position and relax your body while taking the shot rather than twisting and making it more uncomfortable as you are getting the shot.

Chapter 6 – Montages

  • Chapter 6 of “The Bare Bones Camera Course for Film and Video” by Tom Schroeppel, just provides a short description of what montages are. A montage is a series of related images or shots that to display different information (time, mood, summaries). As long as the images are related to the topic, then they can be used to create a montage. The important thing to do is not have too similar of images in series. This will make the images appear as if they are abruptly changing and not providing anything new. Have a variety of different angles, image sizes, and content to help the effect appear more smooth.

Article 1 – https://onemarketmedia.com/2013/04/16/video-pre-production-planning-check-list-11-steps-to-a-successful-project/

In this article, we are given steps, or a check list of things to think about and complete when in the pre-production planning phase of our projects. The first step is to define your business objective. This means you want to figure out the purpose of your project. Why you are doing this and what you want your audience to do after watching your project. Next is to define your audience. You want to know exactly what audience you are targeting so you can more specifically target that audience through specific materials in your project. Now you can develop your message. Determine what ideas, themes or topics you want to communicate to your audience. Determine what are you trying to do and what is the best way to communicate that to your audience. Next is to determine your budget. You want to figure a budget before getting too creative with your ideas so you aren’t coming up with ideas that will blow the budget and will be unrealistic to complete. Figure out how you will distribute your piece. Now it is time to come up with the big idea to get the message across. Then take that idea and create a storyboard. This helps you plan out the project, determine what shots to use, where to have voiceovers, where to have music. It helps give you more structure to the project and keeps you accountable for what you want to do. Next is to determine how long you want your project to be. Shorter is better, but it can also be harder due to the fact that you will have to leave things out and possibly narrow your message to only a couple ideas. Before moving into production, you then have to get approvals from the appropriate people to actually move ahead with your project. Lastly you need to have meetings to start the planning process and then move into actually scheduling things and planning for production. This includes finding good locations, getting the proper permits, finding a crew, getting all the equipment needed, getting talent, planning for weather, and developing a schedule.

Article 2 – https://www.nyfa.edu/student-resources/12-most-popular-camera-shots-actors-should-know/

This article, different important camera shots are discussed and their importance.

  • Aerial shot – a shot that is filmed from the air that is typically used to establish a location
  • Establishing shot – this is the shot used at the beginning of a scene that establishes location and the action
  • Close up (CU) – usually framed from above the shoulders and has only the actor’s face in the frame. This allows for the even the smallest changes in the actor’s face to be seen and keeps the focus on the actor and not any other elements that were going on before.
  • Extreme close-up (XCU) – focuses on a smaller part of the actor’s face or body to emphasize intense emotions. Ex. Twitching eye or licking of the lips
  • Medium shot – shoots the actor from the waist up that allows for subtle facial expressions to be seen as well as body language. This helps in providing context during dialogue scenes.
  • Dolly zoom – this is a neat trick invented by Alfred Hitchcock that has the camera track forward from the actor while simultaneously zooming out or vice versa. This keeps the actor and foreground in place while the background increases or decreases. This creates a dizzy like effect, but it really hard to get just right.
  • Over the shoulder shot – camera is placed behind a subject’s shoulder and is typically used in scenes of conversation between two actors. This helps the audience feel part of the conversation and focus on one speaker at a time.
  • Low angle shot – Camera is placed low, shooting upwards at the actor making them seem larger. This can make the subject appear heroic, dominant, or intimidating.
  • High angle shot – Basically the opposite of low angle shot. Shoots from a higher point, looking down at the actor, having them appear as submissive, inferior, or weak.
  • Two-shot – just a medium shot that shows two characters within the frame
  • Wide (or long) shot – typically has the subject from their head to their feet in frame while also capturing the environment around them to give setting of the scene
  • Master shot – identifies key people in the shot and where it is taking place. But unlike the establishing shot, this shot captures all actors in the scene and runs the length of action. This allows for smaller shots to be woven in, showcasing different angles of the same scene.

Article 3 – https://tubularinsights.com/storyboarding-tips/

Storyboards are important to give you a visual representation of your ideas. It helps you map out the flow and should be done before you film anything. Not mapping out a plan can cause you to make many changes down the road than could waste time and resources. You don’t need to be super artistic to have a good storyboard. No one needs to see your storyboard besides you and the production crew. It’s also important to remember that story boards will change! Don’t just accept your first draft and go with it. Make changes among the crew that you can agree on before making the final draft to start filming.

Research to Inform

The following are 3 examples of video I thought contained good examples of some of the visual composition guidelines we learned about this week from our readings.

This video I believe has several clips that demonstrate rule of thirds.  For example, the scene with the rock climbers, they are located in the top right hand corner of the screen in one of the key positions while the background scenery is in the rest of the frame.

This video has great examples of utilizing field of depth in the scenes. The close ups on the main characters in the scene with their backgrounds blurred out really adds to the intensity of the scenes in this show. The closeness to the characters places the audience there with the character, allowing the audience to feel and understand the emotions and thoughts the character might be experiencing.

This is a scene from the movie “The Switch” and there are a lot of really good examples of depth of field. And I think this is used in many video and helps the audience focus on the main content. By focusing on the characters and having the background more out of focus, masks some of the distractions that are in the background to help you remain focused on the main characters. If the scene was shot with no blur in the background, movements from some of the background actors could distract the audience and cause them to pay more attention to the background rather than what the main content is.

Create

Below is my pre-production plan for my video montage that I will be producing for module 4. My pre-production planning document with my storyboard attached and shot list document demonstrating proper composition techniques are provided below.

When working on the shot list, some of the visual compositions were more difficult than others. Particularly when walking around New Haven, I found it difficult to find a good example of the technique “frame in the scene.” I think I was too drawn on the example given to us using tree branches to form a frame and many of the trees in New Haven are tall and there are also a lot of trees so I felt as though it never truly framed what I was looking at properly. I ended up looking up more examples online and realized there are a lot more ways to accomplish this visual composition technique than just with trees. So I ended up finding a tunnel archway that worked as a frame in scene.

I chose to do my montage about promoting New Haven because even though I have lived here for about 9 months now, I feel like there are times I don’t know what to do and don’t go out and experience New Haven. I hope this montage can help advertise all the different activities that New Haven does have to offer for all types of people and interests.

Module 2 – Audio Design II – Podcast (Production and Post)

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Reading/Writing

“7 Secrete for Getting Pro-Sounding Vocals on Home Recordings” by Filippo Gaetani

The article “7 Secretes for Getting Pro-Sounding Vocals on Home Recordings” by Filippo Gaetani, shares seven good tips on how to make your recordings from home sound more professional but still natural. The first tip is to get in the zone of recording. You don’t want to be super stressed out or not focused when you are recording or your vocals will be less ideal from the start. The next few tips are related to how to do certain things at home to get better recording sounds. Ensure that you are recording in a room with minimal reflections and reverberated sounds and can do this by making a small vocal booth out of blankets, curtains and other things (as shown in the picture from this article). You’ll also want to manipulate your microphone a bit and try to make a pop filter to use to tame some certain sounds from audio.

Once you’ve made some of these alterations, the author states it’s important to do several takes and be sure to label everything to ensure they are easy to find and use later. The author also states it is important to take breaks as well. Don’t over stress yourself if you are not pleased how things are going in the moment. Take a break and try again later or the next day. Editing should also be done carefully as you don’t want to over edit your vocals and make them sound less natural. The author states that leaving audio in bigger portions will keep the audio sounding natural rather than trying to edit a bunch of little pieces together. The author also gives some tips on certain effects plugins that could be useful and some ideas on what kind of edits to use for different types of music audio. It’s important to try different effects until you find something that fits.

“Sound Advice: Editing Audio for Video” by Hal Robertson

The article “Sound Advice: Editing Audio for Video” by Hal Robertson is an article that states the importance of audio in projects and some tips on editing that audio. The author states that sometimes audio takes the back seat to the images on the screen, but this can be a big mistake as the audio can really make or break your production. The author’s biggest tip is to really edit the audio first to make it how you want it and then change the video afterwards. He states it is easier to fix the video after the fact than it is to alter the audio.

The first tip is to get all of you’re A-roll footage first. The A-roll footage is the “must have” elements of the project. If you don’t get all of you’re a-roll footage, then what you didn’t record, that part of the story will not end up in the project. Next is to get B-roll footage. B-roll footage is any supplemental/filler pieces, such as video clips of traffic movement, the cityscape, and any other footage related to the main A-roll footage. This footage will be important for transitioning as well as covering up any unnatural switches between clips in order to keep the audio smooth.

The author suggests that when you are editing the audio to not look at the video per say. As you edit, there will most likely be some unnatural jump cuts and scene breaks but this can all be fixed later with different transition effects or overlapping other footage. The author shares some tips on how to snip video clips and scrub the ends in order to allow for adjustments when you are overlaying clips together in order to get the audio transitions just right. Background music can also be used to hide any rough edges of the audio that you are unable to fix.

After you are happy with the audio, you can then focus on making the video match and transition more smoothly by using some transitional effects or overlaying with B-roll footage. Some effects are effective in distracting the viewer so they cannot see the difference in the clips, but the author states to be careful with some of these edits and not to use them too often as they can get distracting and old very quickly. After video is edited to your liking, you can post-process your audio to add any other audio effects to make it sound better. Such as compression, limiting, and equalization.

Research and Inform

https://ew.com/recap/greys-anatomy-season-15-episode-19/

This clip is from an episode of Grey’s Anatomy that I thought was super powerful and used a lot of different techniques with audio and video. To give some content, the patient in this scene was sexually assault and just completed a rape kit (which was also a very awesome piece audio wise as well). Due to the trauma, every man she saw, she saw with her rapists face and did not want to be brought to the OR in fear of seeing men in the hospital. What the staff did next is bring as many women staff as possible to line the hallway to the elevator to the OR to support this woman and show her she is not alone. So this video and how they did the audio and its effects help make this scene so much more powerful. The beginning there’s almost no background noise with the characters speaking which makes the scene so anticipatory. Then you hear just small sounds in the back ground of the women lining up and then when they focus on the woman in the hospital bed, and she sees what the women are doing, the music begins and just makes this moment so moving. While walking down the hallway the music is the loudest thing heard, but you are still able to hear some back ground sounds; like when the patient lets out her breath while trying to hold back her tears. Going back and forth from a general view of the scene to a first person perspective from the patient adds to the emotions of this piece and you are really able to put yourself where she is and just feel the emotions being felt in this clip.

“To This Day” by Shane Koyczan

This video is a spoken word poem by Shane Koyczan called “To This Day.” This is a very powerful piece I came across sometime last year that really stuck with me and thought would be good inspiration for my podcast this week. Even though this video is animated, I believe the audio really brings it to life, making it so powerful. The piece itself is about bullying and just how much words can actually impact a person throughout their life. After the beginning of this piece and the narrator shares his story, there is background music throughout the poem that goes through stages of starting out low and slow, and slowly increasing in intensity and tempo until there is a moment of silence. And in this moment of silence, there is typically a powerful statement made during this time. What is amazing in this piece is how the narration also increases and decreases in intensity with the music and just makes the piece so moving.

https://youtu.be/LSHWzOXJDSs

Not only this clip, but throughout the TV show, The Office, they do a good job of putting in ambient sounds to make it feel like you really are in an office building. You can hear phones ringing in the background and papers moving. The cameras also help to make it more personal I suppose, the camera angles are changing so often and the viewer feels as if they actually are part of the camera crew filming the employees in their office. I enjoyed this scene because of its joke about Pavlov’s classical conditioning, but re-watching it again for this section this week, I was able to really listen to the ambient sounds and other audio of the clip rather than just watching the clip like normal. You could really hear the container of Altoids and the paper within the container moving without the actors being obvious trying to make noise with the object. I would imagine they had microphones nearby in order to capture those sounds rather than just from the cameras they are shooting with.

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In this podcast, I felt it was important to share this story to help viewers understand that their decisions ultimately affect their children more than themselves. When parents choose to not vaccinate their children, they base those decisions on the idea that vaccinations can cause bodily harm to their children. They also believe that their children won’t get sick from certain disease because they survived their childhood with the chickenpox and other illnesses. What people don’t understand is that these diseases are unpredictable and react different in one person to the next and can and do cause death across the country and the world every year. This story is to help listeners think about how their children will feel and what they have to go through because of your decision not to vaccinate them.

Some challenges I faced were finding appropriate music and sound effects that would fit into the piece without taking away from the seriousness and message of the piece. I used the Audacity app to edit my podcast and used the microphone on my Macbook computer for recording the audio.

Module 1 – Audio Design – Podcast (Pre-Production)

Reading/Writing

From “Engaging Episodes: The Powerful Podcasting Series”, there were many helpful tips that will help make good podcast. The first chapter talked about the importance of the “invisible script.” It talked about the importance of letting the script flow. This can be done by writing like you talk. When you talk you don’t always use such proper English, and you almost always use contractions. A script is not like writing a paper but rather just speaking like you normally would.

You also want to let your personality flow in the podcast. You want to engage the audience and be the real you. You can use your personality to help make your story more powerful and relatable to audiences. This is useful in hooking your audience and to keep them listening.

There are many tools in planning the podcast to help you be successful. Outline, write, edit, and continue to edit until you find what’s right. Mind-maps can also help get the ideas out and keep them organized. Rehearsing is also a big deal. Rehearsing allows you to practice reading aloud and can help you find things that sound odd spoken but appear okay written down. Reading aloud will help you rewrite and edit your script to make it sound more fluid and natural. You can also identify areas of your script where you may get caught up in your words, so you can add tips to help while you are reading in the future.

In Tom Schroeppel’s The Bare Bones Camera Course for Film and Video, we read about the importance of sound in productions and different tools and tricks to use in your productions.

To start things off, we read about what sound is and how it is produced and interpreted. Sounds are vibrations of the air around us, and our ears and microphones can tell the difference between these sounds based on a few characteristics of that sound wave. Some sound waves are very close together. This “closeness of the waves” is called frequency, how frequent are the waves hitting a certain point per unit time. The higher the frequency, the higher pitched the sound, the lower the frequency, the deeper the sound appears. The next characteristic we look at is how big or small the wave is, which is called amplitude. The larger the amplitude, the louder the sound is. The smaller the amplitude, the softer the sound is.

In our ears, we have an ear drum, also called tympanic membrane, that vibrates to the sound waves in the air and convert those waves to mechanical waves that travel through the bones of the ears. These haves will then reach the inner ear and vibrate a new membrane that will vibrate fluid in the ear that will activate specific cells and nerves depending on the sound waves characteristics. Microphones mimic this process in several ways. Microphones have a membrane, similar to the tympanic membrane in our ears, that vibrates when it senses sound waves. It then converts those waves into electrical signals that can be recorded or played aloud. Speakers work in opposite to microphones where the electrical signals work to vibrate a membrane that will produce sound waves to be played out of the speaker.

There are two pickup patterns for microphones. The first type is omnidirectional, where the microphone picks up sounds equally from all directions. The second type is directional. There are two different categories to directional pick up patters. The first is Cardioid. This pick up pattern appears to be heart shaped because the area of greatest sensitivity is directly in front of the microphone. The second is supercardioid. This microphone’s sensitivity is very narrow, so it needs to be directly at the source of sound. This allows sounds from the sides to hit “dead zones” of the microphone where there is no sensitivity.

There are 3 different microphones types that each utilize these pick up patterns in different ways and can be useful in different situations. Each microphone type has their pros and cons and it is important to plan accordingly to determine which microphone to use. You have to think about what sounds you want to pick up, what sounds you don’t, where you will be recording, what actions you will need to be doing with the camera, and other factors.

When recording sound, it is important to take many takes. One tip they mentioned that I would have never thought of is to try and record voice recording at the same time of day if you record multiple days. This is because a person’s voice can change throughout the day and could make the audio sound like different people if recorded at different times.

Research to Inform

Below are 3 different podcasts I found and listened to that I liked different aspects of.

https://www.gimletmedia.com/the-habitat

In this podcast, I liked all the sound effects they had that helped you feel as though you were in the vehicle with them. I also liked how they would describe what they were seeing so clearly to help the listeners visualize their surroundings. In this podcast I feel like they did a good job switching between in the moment and narrating the story. This shifts in volume of the sound of the car driving and the music helped them switch between the two different audio types: in a vehicle and the narrator. They do this throughout the entire podcast and helps explain the content and purpose of their experience while also listening to their actual reactions in their environment.

http://soundcloud.com/kindafunny

I liked this podcast from the beginning. They had some upbeat music right from the beginning to keep it light and fun, but the rest of the podcast didn’t have much sound effects. Just the clear, crisp sound from each cast member speaking. I think this podcast is a really fun just conversational podcast where you have people talking back and forth about a specific topic. For a conversation that long about one specific topic I’m sure the cast has some bullet points of different points to hit throughout the podcast but the entire podcast seems super natural. This podcast’s content was about one of the friend’s proposals and actually played the audio from the cast member’s proposal to his girlfriend that they recorded when it happened.

https://www.potterlesspodcast.com/episodes

This podcast is about a 24 year-old male who has just started reading the Harry Potter novels after receiving disgusted looks from friends and peers for years because he never read the books as a child. In this podcast, his audio sounds very professional with little to no background noise at all. I think he does a really good job at letting his personality out which really brings to life his stories that he shares. He shares his experience in seeing the first harry potter movie as a child and how he just thought it was “meh” and just how obsessed all his friends were about it since they had read all the books.

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