Monday, July 30, 2012

Things to Remember In Travel Mode

I'm in travel mode so posting is gonna be light for a few days.  I'm hunting for cables, looking for power cords and wondering where the heck is the memory card case. I've done this a few times and I can tell you to keep it simple. I have experience to back me up.

Make a frigging list of what you are taking. It can be on a 3x5 card. Make the list so that you know what you have packed and what to bring back home.

Packing Your Gear

Don't forget the camcorder. I've done this. I had promised to take video and my camcorder was 2,500 away at home. I had to buy a new one in a city I did not know. That kind of adventure you don't want to experience.

Power and Charging Cords

The JVC has a proprietary plug. The Samsung.has a non-removable battery that has to be charged via a USB plug or by computer. I have a standard definition SD camcorder whose plug I haven't seen in god known when.

Need the extension cords because most of my cameras only record one hour on battery power. If there is a socket along the baseboard it is mine, mine I tell you!

Ethernet Cables

Yeah, yeah you got your Wi-Fi device. Me too. I am going to New York to meet up with 4,000 women of BlogHer who also have Wi-Fi devices. I'm also taking my netbook. I know at some point we are gonna crash the hotel Internet Wi-Fi. We've done it before.

Memory Cards

You can't have too many memory cards but you might want to make sure that they are empty of content. Many stores now sell memory cards but if you are near a tourist area they will jack the price of those suckers up. Please don't pay $40 for a 4GB card.


I have a small one for tables and a collapsible one that can extend 50 inches. Very light to travel with but you probably should pack a larger tripod in the luggage.

External Microphone

Digging for my Zoom H1 and batteries for that device. I only have two hands so it might become a bra mike or clench it in my mouth. Something.

Lemme see, lens cleaner, small notebook, labels on stuff so I know it is mine.  Recycle bags for extra padding. I'm forgetting something but I'll remember it someplace over Colorado.

Other Posts of Interest

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Protect Yourself - Make A Resource Binder

There is a good post by Roni Loren on BlogHer about the dangers of using copyrighted materials. Ignorance is no excuse under the law. Roni's post is about photography in blogs but it applied to video folks as well. 

It isn’t even that you intentionally did something wrong. With the new software algorithms that are now being used by YouTube and other video web hosting sites, you might be flagged as having music that appears in multiple videos.

Being able to quickly prove that you have the right to use the music or video in question can help to get your video restored a bit faster. If you use another person’s work without their permission you can be in lawyer involved trouble. 

For this post, I wanted to find a public domain image of a binder. What appears is royalty free stock photos and trademarked images that require permission. I can’t use a photo of the cover if there is a design element on it.

It is trademarked protected. Think of the Nike Swish which cannot be used without permission of Nike. Same concept.


Example of A Terms of Service page at Texture King

One way to avoid those problems is to make sure you can document where you obtained the photo, video or music used in your project.

What You Will Need
It doesn’t matter if it is an old school 3 ring notebook or a file on your system. You will want to have some method of demonstrating where you obtained the content and the Terms of Service (TOS).

Here is what you need:

A copy of the web page where you obtained the content with the date you accessed it.
A copy of the site's Terms of Service page that specifically gives you permission to use the material for
  • Attribution
  • Creative Commons Attribution
  • Non-Commercial Use
  • Commercial Use
  • Public Domain
A note page where you list all of the sources of content that appear in your video. 

If your can't find the TOS or license of the content I would not download or use that material. Be aware that there are users that steal other people's content, modify it and claim public domain. It doesn't work that way.

I also would be cautious of sites that have URL/web addresses that have public domain music or public domain photo multiple times in different domains. There could be skeezy activities in that neck of the Internet.

Protect Yourself

If you are creating business videos you have to do this. It might be far safer for business vloggers to purchased content at quality royalty-free sites.

If you are doing news/documentary you have to be aware of your surroundings and what is being heard in the background.

Demo and resource vloggers also need to be conscious of materials used but you might have more of a Fair Use leeway if you are reviewing or evaluating a product or service. 

Goofing around with the camcorder and you make your own music, you are free to do as you please.

If you are unclear about Copyright, Creative Commons, Fair Use and Public Domain you are putting yourself at risk. I wish it were easier. We in the U.S. have had corporations influence and muck up the traditional terms of copyright.

Until things are sorted out we have to abide by the current rules.

Related Posts

Thursday, July 26, 2012

YouTube Creators Space to Open in London

The nature of web video has just changed again. The need for quality content from producers is growing in importance. YouTube has been conducting classes and seminars for content producers here in America but has now opened a production and training studio in London. The UK one.

Take a look:

The proper name is the YouTube Creator's Space located in the Soho section of London. According to the YT Creator Blog, there will be DSLRs, movie cameras and a bunch of other stuff that folks can use for their video productions.

I hope that includes a whole heaping dose of 24 hour security.

I was trying to explain to a good friend. This isn't just about cat videos. It isn't just about folks goofing around in front of a camera. A new type of content distribution network is being developed. for those that are ready. It is Boom Tube time.

I know a few London peeps and video folks are gonna check this out. I'll let you know and will report back to home base.

In the meantime, if you want to tighten up on your vlogging stroke and you are not near London you can always check out the YT Creators Playbook.

Other Posts of Interest

Kansas City Digital Storytelling Forum Video

There is storytelling happening in other parts of America. Kansas City Missouri had a Digital Storytelling Forum in June 2012. Even better,  the sessions were recorded.

This is a recording of the Components of Digital Storytelling session. The participants are John Baker from the Kansas City Art Institute, Rob Grace of Bazillion Pictures and Diana Stuart of Hallmark Cards.

The panelists have a mixture of traditional and digital skills that  are essential in their professions. The video is about 50 minutes. If you want to see more of the KC Digital Storytelling Forum videos you can check out the Forum's University of Missouri's Reynolds Journalism Institute page.

You might like what they have to say. Or totally object. Then again, there might be ideas you can use. You will never know until you make time to watch.

Related Posts

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Digging Into the Baskett of Goodies Part 3

There are good people writing and recording amazing things about multimedia, mobile communications and recording the experience. And since I can't seem to draw a single thought out of my head at 4:30 in the morning I'm going to share some necessary goodies we all need to know about.

Ok, everybody yabbers on about the 5-Shot Method of shooting video. So check out this video from Andrew Zahler's Old Blog called Shooting In the Forrest. Try to reverse engineer it. What are the elements that make this work?

Adam Westerbrook has a good post about How to Make Boring Things Interesting In Video which I am printing out to read on the bus. I pity you poor drivers; you miss out on a lot.

Deb Winger at Advancing the Story has a piece on how a reporter used mobile journalism to cover a story about stranded manatees and how local folks returned them to the Saint Johns River.

I remember seeing Jesse Thorn at a local meet-up for independent media makers and activists. In addition to being a sharp dressed man he has a lot of information to share. This is a very long and worth your time post that appears on entitled Make Your Thing: 12 Point Program for Absolutely, Positively 1000% No-Fail Guaranteed Success.

Too hip, gotta go.

Related Posts

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

My Experience wiht YouTube's Light Correcting Filter

Many of the videos that I record at conventions have bad lighting. It can be dim in the room or a mixture of light or I'm too far away from a light source. Short of taking a lighting kit with me I deal with it as best I can.

So this a video that I recorded last year at BlogHer 2011 that I found in my ever growing Review folder.  This is an screen capture of a video before I uploaded to YouTube:

This was at the end of the day with my old Sanyo Xacti C40 standard def camcorder. All of the other camcorders were drained out of power. Dark curtains, flat overhead lighting and this is the kind of video you are gonna get.

When I uploaded to the service I was asked if I wanted to improve the video. I clicked yes because experience is the best teacher. This is the video that was corrected with some type of under exposure filter:

Eh, yeah. Actually it get a little better into the body of the video but as you can see is blew out the light on the first and third speakers faces. The second speaker has light burst that appear on her cheek and forehead.

Now I did have the option to reject this correction. If I was thinking with half a lobe I should have grabbed a screen shot of the "correction" and let the original video stand.

Where is the adventure in that?

In any case, an algorithm is not a human being. Dark curtains, different skin tones and dicey lighting are tough on humans to correct. Allowing  a bit of software to make the corrections is a little futuristic.

We are not their yet.

So the lesson learned is that you are the best person to decide if a video needs correcting. It is going to happen that automatic light correction will be a viable feature. But not any time soon.

In the meantime, do it yourself.

Related Posts

Monday, July 23, 2012

Mobile Reporting Field Guide from UC Berkeley

I think in these times we are all called to action when an event occurs. Don't get too hung up on if you are a journalist or not. The University of California at Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism has created a free guide to the applications that can be used to record and transmit news stories and documentary material.

There is also an iBook Version at
The guide is focused on Apple iOS equipment and applications but it is still worth a look. It is an quick way to review the quality of the apps in  a reporting type situation. You can get a glimmer of what to buy and what to stay away from.

The guide is available as an Adobe PDF, an iBook download or through the iTunes store. The iBook option allows for the reader to view video that is embedded inside of the book to get a look at what the application can do.

I'm going to port this to my Kindle and get to know the software presented.

Other Posts of Interest

Friday, July 20, 2012

Pcth - A New Way to Tell and Share Stories

There is a new video service called Pcth (Pitch). This is for you iPhone 4 and above folks and Podders/Padders. Androdians, take notes on what's coming down the road.

This is a commercial/demonstration video from the company.

Pcth lets you assemble your social media content that you have all over the joint on your social media platforms and create 60 second presentations. You can add titles, effects and music on your phone and then upload it to the Pcth patch.

You can also post your composition on Facebook. As the video demonstrates, it ain't all about you. Your friends can use and re-mix sharable content and create something new from your source material.

Which begs the question, how well do you know your friends? Cuz we all have that skezzy connection in our lives that you might not want to share life's more intimate moments, if you catch my drift.

Hmm. You can make your ptch content private and have the option of not allowing it to be re-mixed.

This is a very new service. Before you sign up you should at least glance at the Content Policy and the Terms of Service. Ptch is promising a lot of features for users; it is important to really understand what you may be giving up to access the service.

I refer to Section III C:
Rights granted by You to Ptch for User Content. By making your own User Content, or User Content to which you control the rights, available through the Services, you hereby grant (i) to Ptch the worldwide, irrevocable, sublicensible, non-exclusive, transferable, royalty-free license and authority to do the following on, through or by means of the Services: to access, use, view, download, modify, combine with other Content, reproduce, create derivative works based upon, distribute copies of, disseminate, publicly display, publicly perform, host, cache, and transmit such User Content in connection with the Services, including for promotion of the Services, directly or indirectly by intermediaries, and to authorize others to do the same; and (ii) to other users the worldwide, irrevocable, sublicenseable, non-exclusive, transferable, royalty-free license to access, use, view, download, modify, combine with other Content, reproduce, create derivative works based upon, distribute copies of, disseminate, publicly display and publicly perform such User Content, in whole or in part, when using the Services only as permitted through the functionality of the Services and under these Terms, solely for such users' personal entertainment and non-commercial purposes.
Oh, my goodness. I'm gonna need a little time to parse this out.

As usual, I have questions. It interfaces with Facebook and Twitter. Does this mean than non Apple folks will be able to see the content?  Or is this an Apple only kind of party?

I don't know.

In any case, it looks interesting. I can't figure out how they are going to make money on this. The download is free. My guess is that at some point you either see ads on your ptch content or they will sell effect modules to enhance what you can do.

Related Posts

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Glance at Sony Vegas Webinars

I was trying to figure out how to use still images with Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD. I went to the tutorial section of Sony's web site and found out that there have prior recorded webinars that could be helpful in getting a grip on the many things this video editing software can do.

If you are a Vegas Movie Studio newbie you probably should view the basic tutorial movies first before tackling the webinar videos. 

You can watch the tutorials on-line or download the Adobe Flash .flv file for offline viewing. If you want to see the video in your phone or tablet you will need to convert that video format to one that you normally use.

Apple users, this means you. 

Most of the webinars focus on the Vegas Pro line of the software but many of the core tasks and features are the same.

This are some of the webinars that focus on the Vegas Movie Studio line:
The videos start automatically. If you are on a slow connection I'd say let pause the video to allow it to build a buffer area so that the video does not stutter or freeze. 

I got a lot of good ideas from the video, I liked the concept of placing a video inside of a photo frame and then transitioning to the actual video.

Related Posts

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Quick Look At Dropbox For Video

Cloud storage is a way to solve an on-going problem. Many people want to share videos privately without uploading to a video web host. A few days ago I was looking at Microsoft's Sky Drive for video storage and transfers.

This time it is a quick look at Dropbox. This is a service that you can access using a desktop client or by a mobile device. It works on just about all of the operating systems and on the iOS and Android mobile platforms.

This is a video from CNet's Sharon Vaknin on what you can do with Dropbox with tips on what you can do with the service.

Ok, short and sweet, Dropbox gives you 2GB of free storage with an option to purchase more. One of the advantages is that you can share items in your public Dropbox folder with only those people that you want to allow access.

You need to think about your potential usage of the service. If you upload and remove videos infrequently then 2GB should be fine.

However, video files can be huge. You can max out your storage options very quickly. If you know that you want to upload three or more HD videos then you will have to consider a purchase plan to up your storage options.

If you are uploading via your mobile or tablet device then you need to add up the potential hit to your data plan. Unlimited doesn't mean what it use to. There are some phone and cable companies that are capping users data transfers if the companies feel that you are being an excessive user.

Mobile providers and cell phone ISPs think that everyone is an excessive user. In other words, check your terms of service before you upload your daily video explorations of life.

This is just another option to consider. There are other storage services that might fit your needs. But for the right person, Dropbox could be a good cloud storage option.

Other Posts of Interest

Monday, July 16, 2012

Be Willing To Kill Bad Frames

There is an expression in writing called kill your darlings. It means that no matter how much you like a piece of writing or a character in your story if it doesn’t work then you have to remove it.

I had a similar problem with this video. The audio was okay but as I was walking up to the stage the video was jerky. People were walking in front of the camcorder.  It was a mess.

I was trying to save the audio. I had about 50 seconds of bad video. I tried inserting title cards.  Extracting stills from the video and trying to cut between the performance and the stills. I even tossed in a blur to give it some mystery.

It was all crap.  Tricks do not always work.

So, had to think about what I could do with the good part of the video. Keep it simple. Fade into it, let the performer have at it and get out.

No tricks, no effects and a shorter better video is much better than a longer crappy one. 

Related Posts

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Missing Miranda Film - Kickstarter Campaign

We often talk about how Hollyweird never expands their views about women in film. I say we do more than just talk about it. In the Kickstarter pipeline is a film called Missing Miranda, directed by one of my blogging friends, Liz Rizzo.

This is a video from the writer and the director of the project. At this time they are 11% funded. Not lot a lot of time to reach their goal of $65,000.

This is a scene from the movie:

$1 will get them closer to the goal of making a 21st century woman generated film.

No robots. No slicing or dicing of limbs.

Yes, there will be men in it.

No zombies. No vampires and no off world predators. In full color with no gray shading anything.

A film with a plot and a story line. That should be worth a fiver at least. If you would like more info visit the film's Facebook page.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Ze Frank Interview From PressPausePlay

Ze Frank is an inspiration to me. A long time ago I saw his "Learn to Dance" video. I waited the 10 minutes it took to download the video and then laughed. Hard. I needed a good laugh at the time and there it was in 320x240 Quicktime format.

This was almost before blog. There was not podcasting as we currently understand it. You had to work on finding alternative content. There was no commenting system other than sending an e-mail message.

Currently Ze and the community are working on A Show with Ze Frank. The video below is an 2011 interview with Ze Frank from PressPausePlay

Love black and white videos. Like coming home to the familiar. There is an intimacy that allows for slow, connected thinking.

One of the things that I want to do with this blog is to make it more holistic about not only what you can do with web video but to look at the innovators, pathfinders and those people that don't necessarily want to regurgitate traditional television.

I still don't have a proper grip on how to do combine the technical with the aesthetic but I' am failing upward. Ze would back me up on consistent failing until you get it right.

Ze Frank was not the first to try new things with web video but he keeps trying different things and is willing to engage his audience. We are not just consumers; we can be collaborators.

Related Posts

Friday, July 13, 2012

A Look At Grovo Learning Resources

The learning and edu-tainment business is growing. There are a lot of people who want to share what they know because it can be a profitable business. And because it is something that most humans naturally do; share information.

Grovo puts together a package of video tutorials, quizzes and helper guides to help you get a grip on a specific topic.

The reason I bring this up is that Grovo has classes and tutorials that web video users and videobloggers might find interesting.

Doing a quick snoop around they have basic classes in:
  • Blogging - YouTube and Vimeo are not your only storage options
  • Dropbox  - One use is to access content via mobile devices
  • Facebook Communication
  • Google Hangouts - which is another way to have a group chat or video class
  • Social Media
  • Vimeo Channels
  • YouTube Video Editor
  • YouTube Video Optimization
I like how they set up the classes. You view a short video and then take a quiz to find out what you retained. Grovo keeps track of your classes and progress.

The videos present the information that is understandable to entry level users.  I think that is the right way to go because we all are entry level users in something. 

You will not become an all knowing expert but you will gain a basic understanding of a topic. This is a good thing. Especially if you are listening  to someone who claims they know all about social media.

With a little time at Grovo you will be able to hear that they are just blowing smoke out of an orifice of their body.

There is a free version and a $99 paid version that will allow you to have access to more content.

Grovo Learning would like to to use your social media applications to tell folks about the service. Not only do you share upcoming classes but you could gain access to premium content if you share it with enough people . 

That is your decision. You can log in with a Facebook ID or with an e-mail address and password. 

My sense is that the site would very much like you to tell a friend or 30 about their services. Lord knows I've got people I wish I could force into the Netiquette class.

I certainly will tell folks about the site but I'm not going to hound people about it. 

Check out what they have and see if you like it.

Related Posts

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Creator's Corners Buttons from YouTube

I hear some of you are solid YouTubers. You have an active channel and a blog. YouTube wants to help you promote your videos. There is a button for that.

It is simple visit the Creator's Corner download page. All you have to do is select a button, copy the embed code and place it on your blog or web site.

When your visitors click on the button they will be transferred to your YouTube channel.

Related Posts

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

What Can I Learn From Pomergrante Video

I tend to see things and then notice something and look at it again. A long time ago I learned about the concept of reverse engineering. You look at an object, a story or a video and try to figure out how to figure out the structure. What makes it work?

Can the film or video give me an idea or two that I can use?

Now you shouldn’t try this with Citizen Kane. That movie is multilevel genius work of art. Let it alone. Savor it. But for every day consumable videos you can learn a lot of technique. Today I did it in less than 41 seconds.

What You Will Need
  • Pen, pencil paper or recording device of your choice
  • Timer/stopwatch (optional)
  • Open mind (required)
You can go as deep or as shallow as you want but the point is to pay attention. I was looking around the American Test Kitchen site and viewed this 41 seconds video on de-seeding Pomegranates:

First question to ask is what kind of video is it? It is not just a cooking video. It is a demonstration/tutorial video. You have to be clear about giving instructions. What you say has to match up with what you do. 

What I Learned or Observed:
  1. Intro tiles told me in 4 seconds what this is about and who made it. With people sharing videos this other viewers who don’t know about the site orbit back to the source.
  2. Combination of text and limited motion graphics
  3. Brief black transition then slide into
  4. Establishing shot of the environment – 5 seconds
  5. Cut to close up of the Pomegranate – 3 seconds
  6. Cut to the establishing shot – 4 seconds
  7. Cut to the Pomegranate – 5 seconds
  8. Cut to the establishing shot – 5 seconds
  9. Cut to slightly different angle but still a close up – 5 seconds
  10. Back to establishing shot – 4 seconds
  11. Brief black transition then into
  12. Closing titles that introduce the speaker with an invitation to visits the main web site with the web site address.

A lot happens in 41 seconds. Simple cuts and transitions can make an instruction interesting. It was a natural pathway from the chef telling me something and being able to see it.

The lighting, audio and focus was spot on. It should be. And there lies a story. Or memory. Something.

My Highly Subjective Memory of America’s Test Kitchen

(For those not into cooking, social media history or business 101 you can skip this part.)

America's Test Kitchen has been making television programs for years.The television show is part of a larger publishing company. That company reluctantly came to the Internet but didn't understand the linking and sharing thing.

Recipes were sparsely given out at the site. They did not allow people to view content unless you were a subscriber. The other option was to view the programs on PBS.

The television show encouraged viewers to come to the site. Where you had to subscribe to see what else they had to offer.

As I recall, they did not like bloggers. And had even less regard for food bloggers.

They were in a corporate silo of we have books, magazines and the television show to sell; we have our existing consumer base. The vibe I got when I visited the site years ago was “We do not acknowledge you other folks exist. Pay or go away.”

That is their right. Understandable from a corporate point of view. Just as it was my right to go other food sites and publishers that did not mind me visiting or viewing some of their content. And telling people about it.

Time marched on. Other publishers, foodies, bloggers and manufactures decided that they wanted to make food videos. Those people that understood about relationship selling benefited from open engagement with their audience. Places like talk to the next generation of cooks and food hobbyists.

Video food bloggers are creating videos for a spectrum of users that are not serviced on the corporate food cable channels. Raw, Vegan, Paleo, Gluten Free; you name it there is an audience for it.

There are new cooks in town who don't know jack about America’s Test Kitchen. Never saw the magazines or the television show.

Apparently, things have changed a bit over at the site. The version that I stumbled into is called The Feed. They even have a YouTube channel. I would have never ventured over their by myself. It was a link from another web site that I trusted that I followed.

Now I know. Change is good. Learn from it.

Other Posts of Interest

Monday, July 9, 2012

Video Challenge Re-Interpret A James Brown Song

I just found out about this and you really don't have much time. Mr. Brown's music is going to be released on iTunes. The Saatchi & Saatchi advertising agency and wants to give $4,000 for the best music video based on four of JB's songs.

The songs are:
  • It's A Man's World
  • Sex Machine Part 1
  • Try Me
  • Papa's Got A Brand New Bag
I've taken a quick look at some of the videos that have been submitted or allowed to be viewed. Y'all got a shot a this. For real.

As always, I encourage you to read the full rules to know what you are required to do and what you will gain if you win. You do need to be over 18 years of age. And if you win you will be responsible for paying for taxes on $4,000.

Study the details my friends. Because you cannot:
  • Use any copyrighted material other than your own.
  • No logos, trademark, registration symbols or anything that a third party might jump to sue you or the contest for. This means you are going to need to pay attention to people wearing jeans and t-shirts with brand names. You can't show that kind of stuff.
  • Any obscene or pornographic material.  Which is kinda laughable when one of the song is called Sex Machine Part 1
  • If another person appears in your video or your record certain types of landmark properties you will need releases. Lots of them.

Oh, more more thing. Rule 7.3 You must have legally purchased the song for use in your video. Which is 99 cents at iTunes.

What you don't have is a lot of time. Contest ends at 11:59pm GMT on July 16, 2012. For me that means 3:59am but you can use something like Time and to work out the contest end date in your neck of the world.

So go ahead and take a licking stick to it. One song in particular needs a serious update. 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Le General by Juliette GrandJonc

There is this man, well, not just him but a group of imitation men that state that women can't do (insert________) or they have no right to be interested in doing X when they should be satisfied by doing B and only B.

Le General from Juliette GrandJonc on Vimeo.

Real men and women will continue to ignore the nay sayers and just keep doing what their spirit commands them to do. This is a short one called Le General by Juliette GrandJonc.

Quick Look at Pond5 Stock Media

Every once in a while you should check an advertisement. I’ve seen commercials for Pond5 for royalty free audio and video content that you can re-use as you like. Royalty free meaning you find what you like, pay for it and not have to worry about the RIAA trying to take your home or savings from you later on.

Why Would I Want to Do This?

Well, you might have one of the following needs:
  • A video introduction/closing
  • A theme song
  • A specific audio effect that you don’t have time to search
  • Educational – maybe you are creating an lesson plan that involves audio and video.
  • A rush job you have to finish and it needs a little boost that fits your budget.

For Users

If you need music for your video and you don’t want to go to the usual free resources then this can be an option. If you need it for a business video it is a safe option. Basically you purchase a license to use the stock media and then do with it as you will, short of trying to sell it as your own stock media.

Currently you can select content such as sound effects, music, photos and illustrations, Adobe After Effects project and templates and stock video footage.

You get what you pay for; prices range from $2 on up. As the quality of the media goes up so does the price. They do have the freebie of the week but it isn’t that hard to find what you are looking for.  You can search the gallery or you can just browse.

You set up an account, select what you want and purchase the media file. I hear some of you out there grumbling about the price. Keep in mind that you might pay $79 for a video clip but if it is exactly what you want when you need it then it can save you money.

For Creators
Opportunity is where you find it and Pond5 is actually asking for new material.  I did a search for trolly cars, as in light rail, subway surface and traditional public transportation cars. If you are not in San Francisco you have an opportunity fill in a gap in their coverage.

According to the selling information page you get 50% commission of the sale’s price of the stock media.

Before you upload everything you ever recorded be sure to read the video requirements page before you even think about sending them content. They are looking for professional level created videos that meet certain technical standards.

You must also have a model release for anyone that appears in the video.There are other considerations as well.

If you can provide the content that the site requires this could be an additional income stream. Anyway, go check them out. It cost nothing to look around and it might give you some ideas that can inspire your own videos.

Related Posts

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Taking the Sting of Of Failure

I didn't make it to VidCon 2012. Totally my fault. I'm learning to live with it and will not let this error happen again. All is not lost This little ditty that was shown at VidCon should curl a portion of a lip or two.

For those of us that didn't get to go this is a humorous video with participation from some of the upper level YouTubers is a mythical journey to the (cough) YouTube complaint department.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Quick Look At Microsoft Sky Drive for Video Storage

Microsoft SkyDrive has its own online storage service. Not only can you store in the cloud you can share links with friends or clients.. You might consider using the service as a way to maintain control over your photos and videos.

The service is available to both Mac and Windows users. You can sync your devices to what you have stored in the cloud and you can view your cloud content on your mobile devices.

This is a commercial about SkyDrive:

The free version of SkyDrive allows you to store 7 GB in the cloud. For documents, music and photos that is more than enough.

I've been scanning the Microsoft information page. No question you can store and share photos. You can store and share slide show presentations.  At this time, I can't confirm that you could view stored videos from the site or if there is a web address you could access.

I'm still looking to confirm and will update when I find it.

Other Considerations

For video? Well, you literally have to do the math. If you are regularly uploading 300 MB to 500MB worth of video to your current web host you will max out the free account in no time. You can purchase more space, up to 100 GB.

I could see if you are giving a presentation and you uploaded a video as a back-up source. Then there are the data usage issues when you are on a mobile device that on contract.

Too hip, gotta go. Will dive in further but it is an option to consider.

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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Problem Solving on My ALA Advocacy Video

Recording at conferences and conventions is tricky. You have almost no control of the lighting in the hall. You are lucky if you just get an echo. Generally you will have to deal with air conditioner noise, electrical hums and the sounds of people walking back and forth.

And yet companies still give presentations on the floor of expos with underpowered microphones. And people like me try to record those presentations with a point and share camcorder.

Recording Device: Kodak Zi10 that records in 1280x720 mp4 with monaural sound. Hey, when the battery dies on your main camcorder and the 1st back-up is about to hit tilt, this is the last solder in the line.

Place of Recording: Anaheim Convention Center. This is a huge convention center that goes on for city blocks. The ceiling seems to be about fifty feet high. Just a huge, honking wide, open space.

The Problems:

  • The audio is not great.
  • Too far away from the speaker, can’t really be fixed but moving closer would have helped. The reality is I couldn’t move closer. There was a couch in front of me with participants and then the speaker in front of the couch. 
  • Hand held and shaky. My hands and purse was full of swag. What can I say?
  • This open caption version has a lost in video quality. Still learning how to do captions so hopefully I will get better at it.

Making the Cuts

This is an portion of a presentation. The speaker is talking about library advocacy in the public and governmental space. Her main point, as I understand it, is to appeal to the interests of the funders, what are they going to get out of supporting a library system. In the clip that I selected the speaker gives an example of about the use of the ideological high ground.

This is a simple video; a title, the clip and the closing credits. This is the process I used to make the video.

Cleaning Up the Audio
 Bad audio is unfixable. But if you can reduce the amount of audio ickyness in your video the better. It would be better not to record bad audio but in some situations it can’t be helped.

One of the first things I did was to edit the video down into the final form. Doing this after the final edit make it a heck of a lot easier to sync the improved sound with the video.

In order to improve the audio I exported the sound to a WAV file. Most video editing programs have a basic level audio feature that allows you to increase the volume of the audio but may or may not have anything to make speech clear and understandable.

If you are on the broke side of the fence you can use a program like The Levelator. I’m using a program called iZotope Music and Speech Cleaner. It has modules that deal with electrical hum and voice enhancements.

It is a balance between raising her voice above the background noise in the hall and distorting her voice.

If I remove too much of the background noise the speakers voice gets tinny. If I improve the vocal sound too much via the software the entire audio is distorted.

Once I have the audio at an acceptable level I imported back into my video editing program.

Here is another option that I need to seriously consider. Captioning. I have yet to find an easy, effective way to caption or subtitle a video. 

I have friends in the hearing impaired community that are ticked off when a spoken word video is posted without captions. I’m testing out a caption solution. I manage to create open captions using Camtasia Studio 8 but the video quality dropped. And there is some flicker action I can't seem to fix.

I will upload a non-caption version and compare. I can also add a transcript if it is really bad.

Putting It Together

Not much more to do. I need remove the original audio and add the corrected soundtrack.  Add a few title cards and I’m done. This is really a quick clean up edit.  One video finished and five more to go.

Related Posts

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Text Storyboarding Or Editing On Paper

I don’t know about you but sometimes I get stuck on trying to make a good video. Not great, not perfect just a good video. One factor is self censoring or not wanting to put up crap. The other part is trying to do something different.  And then there is the time factor. I don’t have a lot of it.

I need a process that lets me do video editing away from the computer. I can snatch ten minutes here and there. So, how could I do that?

This is a prototype idea. I don’t know if it has been done before. I’m thinking out loud. I have a video that is giving me major problems.

What Do I Have? 

  • Two minutes of video. Parts of it are shaky
  • Good audio
  • Images extracted from video
  • Performer’s web site and other information from reviews and write ups.


Title Card:

Body of Video:

  1. Shot 1 – What will the viewer see first?
  2. Cut or transition
  3. Shot 2
  4. Cut or transition
  5. Shot 3
  6. Cut or transition
  7. Shot 4  - How will the video end?

Closing Credits

  1. Information card for performer’s web site
  2. Copyright card
  3. Blog URL

Again, I’m just trying to get a version of this video out of my head so that I can compose more effectively when I have time to edit. Which I don’t.  I am also trying to solve the problem of the shaky video, I will not upload that but how can I replace the not so good parts?

This is just an idea. I am working out a kind of template I can work on during the day.

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Monday, July 2, 2012

Viddy for Really Short Form Videos

I am not sure why people need the video equivalent of Twitter. Then again it took me a while to warm up to Twitter. Viddy is a video sharing service for those in the Apple iOS world.

What can you do in 15 seconds? Well, you can take a tram (trolly car) in Hong Kong.  Below is a photo. I can only show you a photo because there does not seem to a way to embed these types of videos.

Alive TV video of Hong Kong Tram

You can share with your folks on Facebook and Twitter, have viewers subscribe to your Viddy feed and have a Viddy based community. You can tag and geo-tag to your hearts content.

If you are on a Apple device.  The request for an Android version seem to be ignored.

Other Posts of Interest