Ian F. Hunt

Cinematographer and Filmmaker

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Principles of Sound and Video Production – Fairytale of New York

Fairytale of New York

Tuesday 21st December 2010

The Fairytale of New York Version

What worked and what didn’t – Fairytale of New York

That’s Lucky

Unlike so many previous filming projects we were extremely lucky, we had an excellent and committed team who worked very hard to make sure that we put together a good short film.

People that we had invited to come on the night actually turned up, in fact we got more people to come than had been expected because of the poor weather condition’s.

We were lucky that the Council refused us permission to cycle through the Bournemouth Pier approach as this helped to produce a surprisingly good film sequence of the cyclists dismounting their cycles and carrying them across the Pier Approach Although we were expecting this and had storyboarded them pushing their cycles past the camera the effect was much better than we’d envisaged..

We were also lucky that I’d made the last minute change to have a camera operated from the back of the car as the footage from this camera by far produced the best shots.

We were lucky in my purchase of the Flip camera just the previous weekend with which the final Flag waving sequence was shot as the Z5 footage was too dark.

Finally we were lucky with the weather, it rained continuously right up until just a few hours before filming was to commence and then suddenly it stopped and remained dry throughout filming.

That’s Unlucky

Ok maybe not unlucky as better preparation might have avoided some of these.

The ambient light was less than anticipated along our planned route for the cameras. In particular the GoPro was unable to work with the available light and produced little footage that was useful. This was a particular disappointment as we had the perfect camera position situated at the top of the cars open tailgate giving a very high viewpoint above the cyclists which would have given the opportunity for cutaways in the final sequence.

The Sony Z5’s were equally poor in low light conditions but this footage was able to be enhanced in Post Production although with the loss of some clarity.

The Glow bracelets although visible in the dark conditions they were not as effective as we’d hoped as they really needed darker conditions in order to show up and of course this would have been too dark for the cameras.

What would I change next time?

Whenever I have to film in the dark again some form of artificial lighting will be required, even if its just torches.

More preparation time and in particular more time with the equipment before filming just in order to familiarise yourself with what can and what cannot be done.

Cover the bases – I think this time around we had just enough people in the team but I think in retrospect another pair of hands to operate a camera would have been very useful.

More time – we were running up against a tight deadline throughout the filming and this meant effectively everything had to be done in a single take. With road barriers about to be closed there just was no time to reset the cyclists for another run with cameras located in locations for high angle and side angle shots which we had planned.

Research the market to see what the most popular keywords are being entered into Google’s search relating to Video’s and Music. Having done some research recently on Google’s Trends pages it appears that the highest number of searches are for Comedy Videos, Celebrities and the Economy.

What’s Next for Fairytale of New York?

Marketing, Marketing and yet more Marketing a Viral Video can only be considered a success if in fact it becomes a Viral Video that is shared by people on the Internet and on other forms of Media. Many company’s use some form of paid for Advertising  to promote their Video but this is outside of the brief for this project.

There is a considerable amount of footage including several minutes on the preparation of the cycles and setting up of the cameras etc. and so it is possible to produce a film of the filming off the Video Viral. Of course there are various alternative edits to explore, the adding of effects etc. If you look at my previous Blog entries there are examples of alternatives including a 30 second version and others with effects added. Also the Team members are also working with the footage and developing their own versions which when uploaded will also have the opportunity to become Viral Videos and will also have the benefit of testing the market to see what works best just by comparing the numbers that have viewed the video.

Fairytale of New York – YouTube general licensing allows me to use this music track (non profit) for this project and so in terms of marketing I thought lets try promoting this video as a music video and see how well it performs against the other edits.

This is a video for Google’s search terms for 2010
[youtube.com/watch?v=F0QXB5pw2qE]

Google’s search terms for 2010

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My first Interactive Video

Wednesday 15th December 2010

First let’s start with an apology the film features myself wearing a dodgy hat; in close up, poorly framed but in glorious 1080p HD.

YouTube provides the facility of adding annotations to its Videos and these can have links to websites or in this case other videos. This instantly allows the filmmaker to add interaction to their videos. By interaction I mean provide the audience the option to say choose an alternative narration for example a different ending to a video or a link to more information or a menu with even more options.

What I’ve produced is  very short film introducing the idea of interactivity with two possible endings. I’ve added 2 quotes to the first video sequence and linked these in turn to two other videos which are selected by clicking on one of the quotes by doing this one of the two video sequences is selected. I’ve added a return to each of the possible ending videos so that the viewer can go back and test the alternative choice.

Interactive Video Yes or No?

[youtube.com/watch?v=6FJaLxEh4Fs]
Choose your ending
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