Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Saturday, July 15, 2006

What Is A Blog? More Video Remixes And How-To

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What is a blog? Video Remixes from TheWeblogProject - remixes edited on

What is a blog? Here is a new mini-compilation (see previous one) of great video remixes that I and my micro video-editing team have created for TheWeblogProject. These have all been edited and produced collaboratively by me, Alessandro Luccardi and Nico Canali De Rossi while using the great features and facilities offered by one of our two preferred online video editing facilities: Jumpcut.

But as my young interns have discovered themselves, the process by which we are able to create this videos is nothing intuitive or that someone unguided would spontaneously perform. Nothing complex either, just the realization that great videos are the fruit of great creative methodologies to produce them and NOT only of creative jolts, moments of inspiration and cool technologies. We plan our creativity and very much believe that "strategy" still comes before "technology".

For those of you interested in improving your video editing and creative process approaches, here is, in a few simple steps the humble, rudimentary method by which we create and edit these video remixes:

Creative Video Editing and Remixing Process

Photo credit:Artzone

a) Brainstorm
Brainstorm several idea with which we could build a one-minute remix. Everyone throws in ideas, without criticizing the other people suggestions. We take lots of notes and we keep improving and spinning off from each other's thoughts. In 15 minutes we generally line up three to four basic ideas which can then be later further developed.

b) Visualize
This is normally called storyboarding, but we do it in a much simpler and speedier way. We cut up a bunch of office standard paper sheets into four pieces that are a bit larger than say a CD jacket. On each of this white paper clip, we make an icon and we write 2-3 words in large capital block letters that describes one specific scene we have selected for possible use in lour video remix. The words written on the paper clips must be very large and blocky, so that other people can easily read them even if you place this sheets on the floor and you look at them standing. They must be very readable.

c) Edit on paper
With the above arrangement of mini paper clips on a table or better yet on the floor (it depends how many scenes you have) you can do high quality creative editing like no other digital editing machine can (yet). The fact that the paper clip are directly manipulable by you via your hands, and that you can try different combinations in real-time, makes this apparently primitive solution, as valuable as having the latest video editing gear. See, in my humble view, you got to have developed in pretty good detail the right idea BEFORE going into editing or you may be in for lots of frustration, lengthy production times, and unbalanced, inconsistent results.

d) Execute online
Once you have done your "creative" editing on paper, you are ready to go to your video editing software and start executing the ideas you have chosen. Now the video editing process will be very speedy and you will still be left with open opportunities to experiment, test variants and alternatives while having already a precise track to follow.

f) Review
Now that all the edits are done, you need to call in someone else, a different set of eyes and brain, to look at your final product and to see for you what you can't see no more. Having worked too much with your material will make you blind to little errors, overlooks and opportunities which may be absolutely blind to you, as only a fresh eye can see them with ease. This is why teamwork, in my opinion, is of the essence also in this area and the more you develop your talent for working effectively with others, the more your visual communication potential will grow.

g) Publish
Publishing the video online is now a great opportunity to think and strategize intelligently what you want to do with it. The venues to publish it are now large in number, but each one differs in its capabilities, reach, performance, accessibility and audience it caters to. Will you use Google Video, Ourmedia, Brightcove, YouTube, Revver or something else to upload and publish your videos? The answer is: it depends on what you need to do and what you have in your hands, as all of the above online video publishing sites have great features and tested reliability to serve your videos to thousands without charging you a buck.

N.B.: The video quality and resolution of this new set of remixes is not as good as the previous compilation I have published a few weeks ago. Reason for this is that we are pushing the envelope each and every time. While in fact last time we downloaded all the best Eyespot remixes to then upload them again in one so-called Brightcove Lineup, this time we couldn't do so because Jumpcut doesn't yet allow for the downloading and sharing of final video remixes.

So after some heavy duty testing I decided to give a serious try to using Camtasia Studio to capture the videos directly from my screen (as played through the Jumpcut player) and then to re-output them in any standard video format for final upload to Brightcove.


Actually, Brightcove wants only .flv flash video files for now, so there is not a great deal of options to choose from, but Camtasia Studio has no problem whatsoever in doing this and creating re-usable video that is quite acceptable. Of course I can see the difference between the original Jumpcut remixes and the newly captured Camtasia recordings, but for those who get to see the remixed clips here for the first time, the overall video experience is quite acceptable. Yes, it is not as sharp and crisp as the standard NBC News, but given it wants to "look" as much as "grassroots", street-captured video, I think it has no handicaps from the relative small loss of video quality that Camtasia may impose on it.

Here the Camtasia settings we used to record all the videos above from my laptop screen:
Codec: Divx video codec
Encoding: 1-pass
Data rate: 512 kbps
Enhanced multithreading: active
Encoding mode: default
Max key frame interval: 25
all others: default setting

Camtasia Studio is freely downloadable with all of its features enabled which work for 30 days. The full product is worth every single dollar it costs at USD $ 299.

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posted by Robin Good on Saturday, July 15 2006, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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