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'Deconstruction' of short video - Blue Angels: Fleet Week 2010

This weekend marks the annual 'Fleet Week', a tradition where elements of the U.S. Navy pay a visit to the city by the bay (San Francisco).  The ships enter under the Golden Gate Bridge and then there is an airshow, the highlight of which is a show by the Blue Angels.

I was able to take an hour out of the office yesterday and catch the Blue Angels in their flight/show practice. I ended up capturing some 14-minutes of video on my Sony HDV camcorder and edited it on my Casablanca. Here is the short (1:58) video I produced:

I thought it would be fun to share some about the process of producing this video which was edited on my Casablanca Renomee Plus. I mentioned I shot about 14-minutes of video, which were split into 17 different scenes.

I ended up using 11 of these scenes in the final edit - 1 of them I trimmed out the back end and used it for the opening title sequence.  I used Wild Effects Small for the opening title effect.  And used only Crossfades - mostly 2-second but a couple of 1-second transitions between scenes.

I wanted to keep the Nat. Sound (Natural Sound/Ambient audio/camera track) for this piece as I felt the roaring of the jet engines was so important for the viewer experience.  But I also wanted to embellish that audio with appropriate music. I was looking for a piece of music and clicked on the official Blue Angels website and when you click the enter link (at bottom of front page) there is this really cool recording of the pilots and the control tower.  I loved it so much I decided to incorporate that into the video. 

To get this audio into my Casablanca - I connected a 1/8" mini plug to RCA/Phono pair cable from the headphone output on my computer to the front audio input on my Casablanca then simply recorded the audio and trimmed it down to the portion I desired.  I also ended up selecting the Navy theme song (Anchors Aweigh) which I found on a website, and downloaded via the same cable.  This is a quick & easy method to move audio from computer to Casablanca.

And here is a look at my Audio Mix menu for the start of this video...


You can see the 'tx Takeoff' is the audio from the pilot/control tower and the m Anchors Away is the theme music. I started the music at the end of the Takeoff sound with a 2-second fade-in.  And if you're wondering (those of you with keen eyesight) the 'fx' icon on the two added tracks is the 'mono' effect. I added this as the audio I recorded was heavy on the right channel and I wanted to even it out.

When I was complete, I took the video - made a Scene of the entire storyboard; ran it through the 'Black Border' effect (to mask the effect black aberration) and then ran that through the 'Movie Mode' (to de-interlace for online video websites).  Then I put that finished scene into another project (empty storyboard) and used the Storyboard Archives (found in Project Settings menu) and burned onto DVD.  Popped that DVD into my computer and uploaded to my websites.


Tips & Tutorials by the Casablanca Expert, Chet Davis