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Thread: Need help...Shooting and Editing

  1. Default Need help...Shooting and Editing

    Hey Gang,

    I could use some help not only with shooting but with editing. Most of my footage involves airplanes, airshows and flying. I like to shoot video when I fly, and shoot from the ground when I'm working air shows. I have NO experience with shooting or editing and it shows. I'm here to learn from you so please don't be afraid to rip apart. Right now I'm using a Canon FS100 but will be moving up to the HV200 when my skills improve.

    Here is some footage shot while flying..music starts at 15 sec mark. Editing done with MS Movie maker. I dont know how to use Sony Pro yet.


  2. #2
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    If I wanted to record my own flight and the scenery around Arizona for my own memories, that's pretty much the film I would have made. I don't know whether a polarizing filter would help reduce some of the glare from the windshield which is reducing the contrast a bit.

    If you were showing it to friends, you'd no doubt talk over it about some of the scenery, but I'm not sure this would have stood a narration as is.

    If you want help, the first question you've got to ask yourself is: For whom am I making the film? Who is my target audience?

    Other good questions to ask yourself are:
    What type of film am I making - a documentary about flying? a documentary about landscapes/geology? A relaxing "chill out" film?
    Do I want to inform people? (if so, about what?)
    Do I want to make a statement?
    Do I want it to be peaceful? Exciting? Dramatic?
    Or are you making "just" a record of events (in which case you've already done a pretty good job, if it's for yourself, but needs at least some info - captions or nmarration or both - if it's for a wider audience - location, date, landmarks, that sort of thing)

    I bet you just thought you wanted to make a film, didn't you

    But the point is once you know you can hold a camera, you need to work out why you're making the film. You needn't necessarily have an answer to that when your shooting (though it will make life a lot easier in the edit if you do), but as you examing the footage and begin to piece together your ideas, you will need to address these and much more in order to make a successful film which you'll be satisfied with.
    Tim

  3. #3

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    To be honest it's hard to rip apart amazing aerial footage. Ok you could have trimmed it shorter so it ended the same time as the song I suppose. I think there was only 2 cuts in the whole 9:34. At about 2:00 The first cut was when the aircraft was flying toward a shadow on the ground. Then the cut gave the impression that the aircraft had moved back as the new shadow was further away from the first clip. so I would have trimmed a couple of second off the beginning of the incoming clip. This would have made the continuity better.

    I have a question what did you fix the camera to? It's obviously a good steady shot. If you have the opportunity to point the camera in other directions ie the side window or even a bit of inside the cockpit just to give a bit more interest.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Well it was certainly great footage. Great smooth landing as well.

  4. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TimStannard View Post
    If I wanted to record my own flight and the scenery around Arizona for my own memories, that's pretty much the film I would have made. I don't know whether a polarizing filter would help reduce some of the glare from the windshield which is reducing the contrast a bit.

    If you were showing it to friends, you'd no doubt talk over it about some of the scenery, but I'm not sure this would have stood a narration as is.

    If you want help, the first question you've got to ask yourself is: For whom am I making the film? Who is my target audience?

    Other good questions to ask yourself are:
    What type of film am I making - a documentary about flying? a documentary about landscapes/geology? A relaxing "chill out" film?
    Do I want to inform people? (if so, about what?)
    Do I want to make a statement?
    Do I want it to be peaceful? Exciting? Dramatic?
    Or are you making "just" a record of events (in which case you've already done a pretty good job, if it's for yourself, but needs at least some info - captions or nmarration or both - if it's for a wider audience - location, date, landmarks, that sort of thing)

    I bet you just thought you wanted to make a film, didn't you

    But the point is once you know you can hold a camera, you need to work out why you're making the film. You needn't necessarily have an answer to that when your shooting (though it will make life a lot easier in the edit if you do), but as you examing the footage and begin to piece together your ideas, you will need to address these and much more in order to make a successful film which you'll be satisfied with.
    Tim:

    Thank you so much for your feedback. I never looked back and tried to asses my audience. I guess my target audience is family and friends. Most of my friends are performers and pilots.

    Your suggestion on the filter is also a great idea. They have simple mods for the camera so you can screw on other filters. My video looks grainy, and old due to the wash out from the sun. Of course lighting changes when I fly (into clouds, and other terrain). I also need to remind myself to white balance before each flight, plus shoot at higher resolution. I think the filter will help out a lot.

    I shot this video a about 2 weeks ago and 3 weeks ago I shot this video (posted below). Out of the second video I was only able to use 5 minutes of footage since the glare was awful. Once again grainy and washed out colors. I think the prop and reflection work hand and hand.



    I really need to asses my target audience, and appreciate your suggestions on narration, and sub titles. When I first started filming it was for instructional purposes only. Now its for enjoyment and to share with the friends. I never really thought about my audience and your input brought new light to my videos and its audience.

    Your input is very insightful and I wanted to say thanks for your time and suggestions. I have plenty of other videos but this was just a recent one shot 2 weeks ago. This forum is great and I hope my skills improve over time.

    I wish I knew how to use Sony Vegas.
    Last edited by radiokaos; 02-21-2010 at 01:27 AM.

  5. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Midnight Blue View Post
    To be honest it's hard to rip apart amazing aerial footage. Ok you could have trimmed it shorter so it ended the same time as the song I suppose. I think there was only 2 cuts in the whole 9:34. At about 2:00 The first cut was when the aircraft was flying toward a shadow on the ground. Then the cut gave the impression that the aircraft had moved back as the new shadow was further away from the first clip. so I would have trimmed a couple of second off the beginning of the incoming clip. This would have made the continuity better.

    I have a question what did you fix the camera to? It's obviously a good steady shot. If you have the opportunity to point the camera in other directions ie the side window or even a bit of inside the cockpit just to give a bit more interest.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Well it was certainly great footage. Great smooth landing as well.
    Midnight thanks for watching and your input. Yes, the footage could and should have been trimmed at by 5 minutes. Its hard to trim a beautiful flight and scenery, but most of it looks similar except when you are in Sedona AZ.

    I also see what you mean about the first cut. There were about 6 cuts total and it was hard. I had to make sure the airplane was either in a banking movement or flying straight and level while doing the transition.

    I mounted the camera using a cheap set of spring vice grips along with a old mouse pad to absorb the vibrations from the engine. I mount the camera on the glare shield (dash), and even patch in audio from the radio sometime. I can move the camera but it is hard when you are flying a couple of feet off the ground. Besides I don't think the viewers want to see my ugly mug.

    You suggestions are great and thank you for your help and input and watching the long winded video.

  6. #6
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    Some excellent advice from Tim and Midnight already. I would add the following;

    Be aware that cameras when your filming are a major distraction and as you like to fly ultra low the risks are significantly increased. Your attention needs to be on flying and avoiding obstacles rather than ensuring you have good footage. I only mention this because as you become aware of what makes a good shot you may be tempted to correct a bad one in flight.

    The ideal way to get the footage you need is to take someone along to do the filming. It would be interesting to try a monopod as it would provide vertical stability and they would be able to reposition the camera fairly easily.

    Same warning goes about not messing with the camera in flight. Don't mess with them in flight, just make sure they know how to operate the equipment and you brief them on the type of shots you want them to take.

    You are very lucky to be able to fly in such a beautiful part of the world. I have flown there as a passenger myself. However, the land texture all looks the same so its easy to become bored with the pictures. The only thing that will keep the film alive are lots of cut aways interspersed into the forward looking view.

    How about fixing the camera to record the instruments on one flight. That footage then becomes library footage from which you cut in appropriate shots where the instruments match your current flight attitude.

    Then mount the camera to film you operating the controls, talking on the radio etc. Then mount it looking along the wing etc etc. All of these become useful cut aways and you will be amazed at how it brings the film to life.

    If other people operate your aircraft then shots of the plane taxiing. Taking off and landing further expand you options.

    Don't forget filming the pre-flight checks, refuelling, arriving at the base, weather checks etc etc.

    Last but not least, why not try adding a narration of your thoughts on the flight, after you have landed.

    I enjoyed the film.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by radiokaos View Post
    Besides I don't think the viewers want to see my ugly mug.
    Actually I think you are totally wrong. The odd shot of you concentrating on flying the machine or gazing out at the landscape will add a sense of perspective and a human touch.

    I don't think you can move the camera while flying single handed! The only real approach to get a good mix of shots is to make the same (or similar) flights in similar conditions more than once with the camera shooting in different directions each time (including one flight just looking at you)

    This is obviously costly and may not be worth it. In which case you're stuck with the one long shot (which, because of the content, isn't too bad).

    However, next time you're flying, especially if it's not over scenery you particularly want to capture, set the camera to film your face. If opportunity presents itself, also set it looking at your hands on the joystick and/or controls.

    You will then have some stock footage that you can use as a cutaway whenever you want to make a cut in your main sequence.

    Also, take shots from the ground of your plane (or one similar) flying. Again you can use these as cutaways.

    Build up a stock of all these shots - you'll find them useful, I'm sure.


    EDIT: Posted whilst Shrimpy was posting. Some comments overlap with his excellent suggestions.
    Last edited by TimStannard; 02-21-2010 at 10:41 AM.
    Tim

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    Tim and Shrimpy have both given excellent advice as always (I envy those two) but I would add sound. In my opinion , and it's just my opinion, it would be nice to have some of the engine and cockpit sounds. The music is okay but a mix with some of the ambient noise, even at a very low level, would bring the viewer into the cockpit more.

  9. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Shrimpfarmer View Post
    Some excellent advice from Tim and Midnight already. I would add the following;

    Be aware that cameras when your filming are a major distraction and as you like to fly ultra low the risks are significantly increased. Your attention needs to be on flying and avoiding obstacles rather than ensuring you have good footage. I only mention this because as you become aware of what makes a good shot you may be tempted to correct a bad one in flight.

    The ideal way to get the footage you need is to take someone along to do the filming. It would be interesting to try a monopod as it would provide vertical stability and they would be able to reposition the camera fairly easily.

    Same warning goes about not messing with the camera in flight. Don't mess with them in flight, just make sure they know how to operate the equipment and you brief them on the type of shots you want them to take.

    You are very lucky to be able to fly in such a beautiful part of the world. I have flown there as a passenger myself. However, the land texture all looks the same so its easy to become bored with the pictures. The only thing that will keep the film alive are lots of cut aways interspersed into the forward looking view.

    How about fixing the camera to record the instruments on one flight. That footage then becomes library footage from which you cut in appropriate shots where the instruments match your current flight attitude.

    Then mount the camera to film you operating the controls, talking on the radio etc. Then mount it looking along the wing etc etc. All of these become useful cut aways and you will be amazed at how it brings the film to life.

    If other people operate your aircraft then shots of the plane taxiing. Taking off and landing further expand you options.

    Don't forget filming the pre-flight checks, refuelling, arriving at the base, weather checks etc etc.

    Last but not least, why not try adding a narration of your thoughts on the flight, after you have landed.

    I enjoyed the film.

    Shrimpfarmer,

    Those are some great ideas. I did that early when I was learning how to fly. Yes, I do like to fly lower then normal, which gives a different perspective that most don't see. Sometimes I take friends along for the flight so maybe I can have them adjust the camera. I can also include taxi, take off, and landings as well. But then it will add even more time to already long winded videos. Below is a example of instrument and gauges while taking off and landing, plus a short one doing some aerobatics. Its gives you a different perspective but you are not able to see the scenery that much. Thank you for taking the time out to offer some input and suggestions. I think I might do a 2 camera setup and cut back and forth on my flights.



    Last edited by radiokaos; 02-21-2010 at 03:47 PM.

  10. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TimStannard View Post
    Actually I think you are totally wrong. The odd shot of you concentrating on flying the machine or gazing out at the landscape will add a sense of perspective and a human touch.

    I don't think you can move the camera while flying single handed! The only real approach to get a good mix of shots is to make the same (or similar) flights in similar conditions more than once with the camera shooting in different directions each time (including one flight just looking at you)

    This is obviously costly and may not be worth it. In which case you're stuck with the one long shot (which, because of the content, isn't too bad).

    However, next time you're flying, especially if it's not over scenery you particularly want to capture, set the camera to film your face. If opportunity presents itself, also set it looking at your hands on the joystick and/or controls.

    You will then have some stock footage that you can use as a cutaway whenever you want to make a cut in your main sequence.

    Also, take shots from the ground of your plane (or one similar) flying. Again you can use these as cutaways.

    Build up a stock of all these shots - you'll find them useful, I'm sure.


    EDIT: Posted whilst Shrimpy was posting. Some comments overlap with his excellent suggestions.
    I see what you are saying and I like the idea of stock footage while flying. I once wore a headcam which worked well and gave the perspective of shooting while still being able to focus on flying.

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