Gye Greene's Thoughts

Gye Greene's Thoughts (w/ apologies to The Smithereens and their similarly-titled album!)

Monday, June 07, 2021

Video editing is addictive

Last night (Sunday night), I "accidentally" stayed up late editing video:


"I'll just import the footage, then call it good." "Well -- I'll cut them into clips -- and then stop." "Well -- and put the clips in the right order -- just so I remember what I was planning." "Oh -- I'll just clean up a few of the clips." "Just one more clip." "Aww... just one more." "Well -- now I'm just about at the end of the scene... may as well finish."

And etcetera.  :)




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Sunday, May 30, 2021

Filmmaking as homework

 As I've mentioned, I'm getting into amateur filmmaking.

In 6th grade they had to shoot and edit a simple recipe for their foreign language class (spoken in that foreign language).

And then about once a year, starting in 7th grade, they've has some sort of assignment -- usually for English class -- where they've have to write and perform a monologue.

In all of these instances, I got to help with the props and staging (my wife tends to help with the costuming); lighting; camera work (including the camera angles and framing), and simple direction (e.g. conveying a mood; asking Socratic questions).  While they do the writing (at the front end), the acting (during the shoot), and the editing and any post-production (at the end).

It's nice having a hobby that's useful for my children's homework.  :) 


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Monday, May 10, 2021

Movie review of Rocketman

Just finished watching Rocketman -- an Elton John biography.  Probably fictionalized, but it's still a good movie:  I have a cold, but it still brought me in, rather than making me bored.

Kind of a musical.

Some good camera work.





Sunday, May 02, 2021

Nice vinyl finds

 Maybe half a year ago I joined the vinyl craze:  i don't actually think vinyl sounds better than CDs -- but I like the meditative, intentional aspect:  it takes a bit of handling, and (because I don't have speakers for my turntable, just a headphone amplifier), I have to just sit and listen to music -- not putter around doing tasks.

Because of that, though, I usually only listen to one side per session:  the typical side of an LP is 23 minutes (or less).

There's a new and used record store downtown, near where I work, which I visit about once a week -- and another record shop in the mall.  "Normal" LP prices are $15, $20, or $25 for the "good" (i.e. popular) used vinyl, and $10 for the "cheesy used" (a lot of Neil Diamond, plus various bands I've never heard of).  When I stop in to a record store, I'm a little disappointed if I walk away without finding something good.  Luckily, I'm a child of the '80s -- and LPs were still in abundance (apparently) until 1989 -- so there's a lot of bands from my youth that are available on LP.

Usually I have a mental list of favorite bands that I'm on the lookout for -- but I also stumble across some unexpected finds:  Saturday (a week ago) I visited a record store I'd only been in once before (about a year ago), and stumbled across two Petra (a Christian rock band from the '80s) albums -- plus the (good) Georgia Satellite album (the one with "Keep Your Hands to Yourself" and "Battleship Chains"). 

And on Friday morning (a few days ago; took the morning off from work to attend a funeral), at the record shop in the mall I found a Talking Heads album for $15, and a semi-obscure band (The Shirts), of which I have one of their albums -- which I like -- in the ten dollar bin:  wooo!!!!


I have a bit of a backlog, in that I'm buying albums more quickly than I'm listening to them.  But I'm okay with that.

I've stopped buying guitars, amps, and woodworking tools -- and LPs take up less space -- so maybe that's an okay trade?


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Biggest edit yet


I'm getting in to amateur filmmaking, and I just finished my largest editing job yet:  usually I do fun little micro-shorts -- about half a minute to a minute.  But this time the finished product is 3 minutes 15 seconds -- plus an Easter egg about ten seconds later.  That doesn't sound like a lot -- but that's me distilling down 54 shots, of about 52 minutes of run time -- not including eight additional shots (at about a minute each) that I reviewed and went "Nah".

It was on a tight deadline, too:  this recent Monday was a public holiday, so my church had a working bee to clean out a storage shed (about the size of a four-car garage) -- so I wanted to have the video ready for the "Announcements" section of the church service on Sunday.  So, about five and a half days turnaround.  

 I don't remember if I started editing on Monday afternoon -- but I at least reviewed the footage.  Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday I stayed up past midnight, editing (although I did take time to have dinner, etc., before starting editing).  Probably four hours per night.

And then on Saturday I spent most (but not all) of the day recording backing music for the various scenes, and editing it into the footage.

And!  Just as I was adjusting the volume on the final clip (Saturday night -- or really, 12:50 Sunday morning) listening the the pitter-patter of rain on the roof -- the power went out!!!  Commendably, I didn't swear -- I just said "Aaaaaaggggggghhhhhh....."  So, I set my alarm for 5am and went to bed.  The lights came on around 3am -- so I went back to it (luckily, the components had auto-saved:  the editing software asked "Would you like to recover your project?" ("Yes!!!  Yes, I do.")

 Went back to bed; got up at 7am; drove my USB flashdrive in to church and handed it in to our pastor, who embedded it into the PowerPoint slides -- and came back home.


I'm writing this blog entry now because I'm not tired now.  But I know I will be in an hour -- at which point I'll go back to bed. 


Anyhow: it's not perfect -- but I'm pleased with it.  I'm happy with the video component; I wish I'd had more time for the audio (my quasi-military drumming isn't as crisp as I'd like) -- but people will be focusing on the visuals, so they probably won't notice.

I learned how to fade in and out, cross-fade, and insert audio: so, learnings.  And I got faster with using the editing software -- as well as making edits by instinct and not agonizing over the "edit points" so much (deadlines!).

It was fun -- but I wish it hadn't been such a crunch.  But -- I'm not "burned out" on editing:  so, that's good.  :)

I told my pastor she could post it to the church's YouTube channel -- which means I can't link to it yet (as I type this, everyone's at the church service).  I'll link it to this post later -- and possible a follow-up post.

Although, I'll then take down the link in a few weeks -- just for privacy reasons (I name the church and the location in the title card; if I every amass tons of subscribers, I don't want that information to be public).  ;)


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Saturday, April 03, 2021

Two types of people - Boxes

 There are two types of people: 

Those who leave on the shelf a mildly-damaged box (e.g. cornflakes) for someone else, in favor of a pristine one....

and those who take the damaged box, because it doesn't really matter -- and by taking the damaged box that leaves the nice boxes available to those who care about such things.


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Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Getting organized

I decided to tidy my "scripts and script ideas" folder on my hard drive:  it used to just be a folder called "Scripts".

Within those folders, I have three in the "Under development" folder (one that's a feature length film, that I've been picking away at for a few years; one that's probably a 10 minute film short (with input from B-Man, a co-worker who's also into filmmaking); and one that's a music video (for a song that I'll write to suit the video -- once I clarify what needs to be done).

I have fourteen that are basically ready to shoot:  these range from 15-30 second quickies, to 2-3 minute micro-shorts, to one or two that would be 3-5 minutes.


And then four that I've shot the footage -- three of which I need to edit into narratives, and one that I did about a year ago, but I want to adjust the colors and record some music to go behind it (currently there's no audio). One of these four is the footage of two hourglasses and a metronome, which I shot last night.

Hoping to wrap up two from the "3_Shot" folder over the next few days, and post one of them tonight or tomorrow -- and the other Friday or on the weekend.  Just silly little things -- but they amuse me -- which is the point.  ;) 


Anyhow:  more ideas than I currently have time to shoot (and edit)... which -- like my songwriting, where I have a backlog of songs to record -- is better than having lots of time and no projects to do....   ;)


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Tuesday, March 09, 2021

I am a filmmaker

 I am a film-maker.

A novice -- but still, a film-maker.

I spent about an hour and a half tonight setting up lighting and recording footage of a metronome and two hourglasses -- because I had an idea.  

And this weekend I shot footage for two micro-shorts:  probably each about 30 seconds.  

And on the train yesterday morning, I sketched out an idea for a silent movie type of micro-short, about two men in two boxes (you'll see).

I'm not in film school, so these aren't "assignments" or "exercises":  just converting my ideas into reality.

Having fun.  :)