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Thread: Ultimate Christmas Lights - Preview

  1. #1

    Default Ultimate Christmas Lights - Preview

    Hello DD boards, please take a look at this preview video of a much
    bigger project I have taken on board, its a close look at what goes on
    in setting up a giant Christmas lights display, very much focused on
    the people behind it.

    YouTube - Ultimate Christmas Lights - Preview

    I did have in mind making it for a community based TV station, but they
    do not accept 16:9 format.
    Please pull it to pieces, its quite long as a preview, really a project for Christmas 2009, this is a sneak peek for this Christmas season.

    I know nothing about youtube, even less about video

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Surrey, UK
    Blog Entries


    In England, we'd call these people eccentric. Over in Oz, I guess you say they're bonkers!
    I thought the transitions at the beginning (unlit to lit houses) were very smooth - and how did you get the cameras set up identically?
    The "preparation" section was far far far too long for just a musical background. Narration would help big time - or even just some explanatory subtitles. As a model maker you probably see a lot more in those shots than the rest of us do. However, I guess you know that already.
    The interview was just right - perfectly captures the guys enthusiasm for the project and clearly gets over to the audience what he gets out of it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Bristol uk
    Blog Entries


    We know you is good - so knives out time....

    Music only on first half or so, mistake maybe - perhaps bung in some contextual sound / chat.
    Maybe some macro stuff of that mdel village?

    Opening shot was top - maybe use the same gag a few more times with diffferent scenes.

    A shot of the leccy meter spinning ????

    Actaully it was dam good.

    As for the 18 to 50 diasbled kid - I bet they were having a siezure -

    I look forward to the main feature - so needs to get on the community channel - crop it to 4 3 - going wide to narrow is a cinch if you edit with that in mind.

    Every year I plan a film about this and am yet to follow through - next year.... Films like this are what us auteurs do best - far better then big production houses.

    Test shot at the end was cool too.

  4. #4


    Thanks for your thoughts Tim.

    This preview was a very rushed video and a grab for me to have something out for the Christmas just gone, 2008. It is a video project aimed for 2009.

    About the transitions at the start, its very simple and a little rough.

    1. Have your camera set on full wide, go around and take your video, tripod bound will help, if you can leave a marker of the point where your camera was. In this video there is a 8 week gap between the two plate shots required, and it helps if you use wall edges or gargen features be pick up points in a frame.

    2. Take your video home pull off stills, print them as full page A4 size, mark in the overscan area, so you know what the edge of frame is on your camera LCD screen. All up I did 8 before shots I had to find again weeks later.

    3. Now 8 weeks later go in and find markers, I had a cross painted on the road, and landmarkes in the garden where the first plates were taken, a couple of issues I had was it was impossable for me to do it as a day / night transition, two issues were people and finding frame landmarkes to line up with. Use your printed off A4 pages and line up the camera as best as possible, re shoot the scenes.

    4. Check the video on the edit bench, my line ups were a little rough, I was going to line them up in after effects, as it was such a rush edit I used a wave transition to hide the rough line ups, I should have cropped off the overscan as youtube sees all the frame.

    Thats it, very low tech.

    I needed to have it seen by Christmas lights lovers very quickly, I had to act real quick, as it was just days before Christmas, I jumped between 3 different rising videos, from different parts of the world, Japan, Europoe, and the US, first time I had milked a free ride via another videos viral effect, it worked a treat, so pack that away as another youtube trick, its viewership is 90% viral, and its looked at all over the world, as usual half the viewing audience is the US.

    Via the insight feature 'hot spots' in a my youtube account I can see clearly what people watch over or skip through, the video has luckily been very popular, so there is some great data to work on to see what to feature in what may be a 30 min video, I might break it into 3-10 min segments, difficult to grab a audienced for a whole 30 min.
    The most watched parts of the video is the speach about the disabled person and their reaction to the lights, second most watched part is the Lemax model houses, almost equal with the short timelapse scenes near the end.
    My swag of Thomas loving fans have not picked up this video, no one looks at the very end rough edit of the helicopter crash, it was my little youtube experement, I sort of knew viewers were locked onto one subject only, this video has completly confirmed this to me.

    Of note as I can see via links on the internet, very few people on these forums have watched the video, its been all viral, via the videos it was sent to as video responses.
    The video has added another component of variety to my channel, something I am keen on doing as I am trying to steer away from being a Thomas train channel.

    11.500 views in 9 days on a Christmas subject is a great start, so for me the preview has done its job.

    I hope there are some tips for anyone who uses youtube in this post.
    I know nothing about youtube, even less about video

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