Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Typewriter Video Series: Part Two


Post-Script: I left the iPad to upload the video, late yesterday evening, and went to bed. This morning I checked the results and upon initial playback on YouTube the video was stuttering and lip sync was terribly off (by several seconds at least), which considerably disheartened me, as that implied I'd have to delete the video and start over from scratch. But then I had the good sense to check it on my laptop PC, and much to my relief it played fine. The problem appears to be the iPad itself, a continuation of the same sort of problems I was having while performing the edit yesterday.

So afterwards, I hard-booted the iPad and it subsequently played the video just fine. I realize now what caused the problems. Prior to yesterday's edit, I deleted from the iPad all the video footage, audio clips, project files and finalized video from last week's introductory episode (which I normally do, to make room for the new project), but failed to hard-boot the tablet afterwards. As such, it must have still allocated memory space for those now deleted files, so once I loaded onto it the new files for this week's video, it was running out of temporary work space in memory. Just another lesson learned, something I'll have to add to my document on how to edit video on an iPad.

I'm not certain if I like the video style I applied to the footage in-camera. It's called a "high dynamic" feature, which renders the highlights and shadows with more detail in the kinds of high-contrast lighting that often creates harsh tones on video cameras. It certainly does render the scene with more detail in what would otherwise be harsh, overly dense shadows, helpful in that I was wearing a hat and my face would otherwise have been partially obscured in shadow; and the highlights don't appear to be blown out, but the color is a bit too vivid for my taste. Unfortunately, the iMovie software for the iOS platform doesn't provide for adjustment of video properties like color saturation and contrast, so I may have to do more experimentation with in-camera adjustments.

I know I made some mistakes in my dialog, and should have re-shot some of the scenes. In particular, at one point I confused the "half-space" feature with "half-line advancement". And I didn't mention the middle, mimeograph stencil position on the ribbon selectors, nor did I make mention of the platen clutch button on the left platen knob of the Olivetti. Then there's the whole subject of segment shift versus carriage shift, which explains the difference in the ribbon color selector switch positions between those four machines. But I have opportunity to cover those features in a subsequent episode involving how to load paper and type.

As indicated in the typecast above, I had initially included scenes that detailed how to use the half-space feature, enabling the insertion of a missing letter into an already typed line, but it got deleted from the project in an effort to shorten the running time to below the 15 minute limit, required by iMovie and YouTube. I'll just have to make an even more detailed episode at a later date, dedicated to this feature; which will also reinforce my desire to have shorter-length segments, easier for me to edit and probably easier for you to watch, as well.

I've found it a challenge wearing two hats at once, involving both technical production and creative content, as on the one hand I have to concentrate on dialog once in front of the lens, but otherwise have to focus on setup of the camera and audio recorder, and review of the results between takes, all the while trying to ignore passersby in the park who might want to strike up a conversation or otherwise distract me. But this is the fun of being a one-man video shop, certainly challenging but also rewarding when it does work.

Typecast via Olympia SM9.

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Blogger Ted said...

Nicely done! (:
The color looks fine, I didn't find it distracting at all.

10:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful video! I love the colors. Your delivery is so polished and the production so professional-looking. This video is chock-full of great operational information for people getting into typewriters.

I send a "care and feeding" document out with the typewriters that I foster. I plan include a link to your video in my list of "helpful links".

7:41 PM  

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