Thursday, May 3, 2012

Down, But Not Out


Can't Kill Me That Easy

i weathered the main storm but it looks like they are still out to capsize the boat. Most of my time now is spent in job searching mode. And that takes a lot of time and effort. So much so that I'm usually too tired to vid.

I just hope that I can find something new and exciting soon. SOmething where I don't feel like I have to look over my shoulder constantly.

I still have a lot of ideas rattling around in my brain. Just no real I really need to vid kinda moments. But it will come back - soon I hope...

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

You Got To Be Kidding...


Really Taking A Break

There's been a disaster at work. What I thought was a safe haven has turned into a tar pit that will drown me soon. And if I don't get out soon I'll be doomed to a slow death.

Given that I'm putting my efforts into finding a brand new job. That means I won't have quite as much time for the more fun things in life - like vidding.

But as soon as the virtual shitstorm is over I'll be back doing what I love. So please bear with me. Anyone who's unemployed understands it's not fun. And if I can jump he hurtle to a new job before that happens I'll be happy.

Wish me luck...

Friday, April 20, 2012

Charade, The Series

neverApologizeSpy thrillers were so much less complicated back then...

Charade, The Series

Well I finally got around to using Charade. It wasn't for lack of trying. I just didn't have a clear idea what I wanted to do with it.


It was another long bout on Audionetwork. Originally I was looking for something that reminded me of the Charade theme. But finding a Henry Mancini sound alike was too much to ask. So I began thinking of other avenues. Charade was a sort of Romantic-Comedy. Possibly I could take that route. But after an unproductive search I gave up that line. So I decided to look into the spy type theme. Previously I had found a few which I had labeled as a James Bond style theme. Charade wasn't an actual spy movie but maybe attaching a spy theme to it could take it in that direction.

Action vs. Talking

Though there's murder and some gunplay in the movie it mostly consists of people talking. Seems to be true of most movies. That was going to reflect the style of the opening I would do. Cary Grant had a reasonable amount of action shots but the only real action I found from Audrey Hepburn was her running. Okay, like it or not, she would have to just be the "pretty one" of the team.

And as usual finding clips of the stars posing in a closeup without talking is difficult. I found a great one of Hepburn but found none for Grant and Marlin. Oh well...


I wanted some bumpers to place between certain sections. I decided to use some still images from the movie. Although I planned on using many of them only two ended up in the final product, The Embassy plaque and the sunglasses.

The other bumper I did use, although not really as a bumper, was the stamp motif. There were a few quickcuts of stamps toward the end of the movie. I had clipped them the first time through figuring I would use them somewhere. Then after the sequences were nearly complete I found I had no place to put them. Since they are so important to the overall theme of the movie I had to make room. So I interspersed them between the running scenes at the end. They actually fit in well and made that sequence move better.

The Beginning Clip

After deciding to place the resort scene at the beginning I knew I'd have to go find another piece of music. Couldn't use Mancini's music.


Wanted a font which bespoke the era. Cooper Black is one identified with the 60s. Too bad it's identified with a show from the 70s, The Odd Couple. But that's close enough. Anyway the font was originally designed in 1921.

The Quinn Martin Style

I love the Quinn Martin openings especially The Streets of San Francisco. Unfortunately I don't have a good voice for a voiceover. I wanted to do something akin to the guest star thing segment since there were some excellent actors doing the bad guys. I decided to created a circle shape to place the pictures. But that meant I needed a long clip for the background. Luckily there was just such a clip with the ferry. It only needed extended a few seconds to reach the end of the guest star shots.

When Vaunda saw that segment with the guests in the rondel and the ship in the background she commented it reminded her of the Love Boat opening. Guess everything we do comes from somewhere, doesn't it.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Well This Is Annoying...

screwUp, Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Never Figured This One Out Yet

FOr as long as I've been vidding I've never quite got a handle on why certain video clips don't run smoothly in Final Cut. All the specs look correct but the clip runs jerky. It's happened before and I know it will happen again in the future.


Project is set to 23.98 fps / square pixels
Clip is 23.98 fps / square pixels

When it's run in Final Cut there's a noticeable jerkiness to the motion. Very annoying. So far I have found nothing which will solve this little problem. I've gone back and exported the clip again in various formats. All give the same results.

Grrr, Arghhh...

I just hope I can find a solution. I'd rather not leave it like that.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Ahhh, The Weekend

Pumpkin Pi

It's Break Time

In every project you need to step back and take a break. Going down to work on finishing up the raised garden which means I'm putting the Charade vid on hiatus for the weekend. I'll be picking it back up Sunday night. Maybe after a break I'll have a better idea what type of theme I'll want to do.

Why The Public Domain Project?

clarus-dogcowA few of my vidding friends wonder why I abandoned my previous vidding fandoms in favor of this public domain path. It's not because I don't love them anymore. It's cause I was tired of the hassle I was receiving.

What is The Public Domain Project?

It's an idea which popped up after I kept getting ContentID warnings from YouTube. It really started to get annoying when in the matter of two weeks I received 15 ContentID warnings. I wanted to try to do something that YouTube couldn't touch. Public Domain material seemed like the natural way to go.

There can't be that much Public Domain material around. What do you have to work with, a couple of silent movies?

In the beginning that's what I thought might be the case. But I was surprised as I found more and more that was classed public domain. Tings become public domain for a variety of reasons. If the copyright was posted incorrectly the material automatically fell into the public domain. And other times the owners just forgot to renew it.

Still, there can't be that much to work with. It has to be a somewhat limited pool.

That's true. Nothing produced today will ever fall into the public domain in our lifetime [unless the creator wants it that way]. But I'm more and more surprised at what is available.

But what about any Good Music

True that there are many a Songhai would love to use. There's not more using any Mike Post music. And for a while I thought I wouldn't find anything good. But I was turned onto the Audionetwork site which has quite a few excellent composers. Seem of these composers are professional musicians who place part of their portfolio on-line for purchase at a reseat able price.

So what's reasonable?

I've picked up stuff from for a donation of $5/song and picked up a few at Audionetwork for the price of $1.35/song. I'd say that's a pretty reasonable price.

And this music is good?

Yes, and mostof it is performed by live musicians, not a one-man synthesizer band. There's a distinct difference between synth instruments and real instruments. A few of the songs I've purchased were performed by philharmonic orchestras.

So what's the biggest lure of public domain?

Between working with unfamiliar video material and searching for new songs I'd say it's the boost it's given my creative spirit. Working with copyrighted shows and themes I was doing far more copying than creating.

What are the pros?

The best thing is the thrill of the chase. Tying to track down whether something I've found is public domain. And after that the fun of clipping something that hasn't been done before. Also, the amount of new music I've been listening to. Many of these composers I wouldn't have never found had it not been for this project.

What are the cons?

The cons are more than the pros. The biggest one is the quality of the footage I find. Sometimes the only footage I can find of something is a copy of an old rip. since it's public domain there's not much incentive to produce a good copy from the original masters. The other one, and perhaps the worst one, is the lack of recognizable themes. That was usually the best hook I had previously. All the openings I do now are mostly originals.

What's next?

I have decided to not hold back on any idea. I used to attempt to cater to certain fandoms in order to get more views. I loved the vids I did but found that the little odds and ends one were more satisfying. With this project it allows me to take it to the next level. Anything I find that's in the public domain can, and will, be remixed.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Vidding With Blinders On

drawingBoard, Scanned picture from a publication issued by the company S.K.F. (SKF) around 1940-45.

And I Said The Music Was Tough

Yeah, finding the right music is tough. But another tough part is starting to clip a movie before you actually know what direction it's going in. Sure, there are some standard scenes that I know will be in any opening credits but without a theme song some of the more subtler clips won't be perceived until later. Which means another trip or two through the whole movie.

So I'm continuing to clip Charade and pulling out the standard material in-between listening to a whole lot of new music on I've found a few but nothing that really screams that it would be the perfect fit for Charade.

The problem is I'm not sure what style I want to take this movie. My first thought was to do it as a spy thriller. Sure there was a lot of spy sort of stuff going on but it was also a romantic comedy of sorts. So that means it could go in that direction also. Then again, I could take it in a direction nothing like the original movie plot.

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions...

As I said, these types of remixes are much more difficult than when I was working with all copyrighted material. Then I had a some video from a show and I knew exactly which musical theme I was going to match it up with. But then again, those used to only take a day or two. And the satisfaction level was not quite as exciting as when I started vidding. The Public Domain Project takes me into areas which demand a lot more thought and a lot more work. Sometimes the projects take one to two weeks to complete. But when they're done I notice a higher level of elation than before.

So even though it's a lot more work there's a lot more satisfaction in the end...

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Some Interesting Music


I don't think I can express how much I like Without it I doubt if the Public Domain Project would have even gotten started.

Four of the five projects have been completed using music purchased from this site. And at $1.35 per song that's a good bargain. Why? Because purchasing the song makes my vid free from the insanity which YouTube calls it's Copyright Infringement Policy.

Many Songs And Counting...

Currently I have 72 songs tagged for future use. And every time I go on the site that list grows. Looks like I won't have a problem finding music to use. It's only when I'm looking for specific music which is the problem [ i.e. something that sounds like Mike Post ].

Of course it's not anything people will recognize. But that doesn't lessen the quality of the music. It just means people haven't been exposed to it yet. So that too is part of this project.

Are Those Real Instruments I Hear?

And another nice feature is that many of the songs are not just synth compositions created by a single person. Many of these are played by actual orchestras playing real instruments! ANd you can really tell the difference between a real French Horn and a synth French Horn.

That's not to say there isn't synth music up there. And it's also not saying I have anything against synth music. But the theme songs I grew up listening to were all done on real instruments. It's just a matter of taste.

What's To Lose

So if you're a vidder and are looking for something to use in your next vid give this a thought. That way you won't have to sit there wondering if YouTube is going to hit you with that nasty ContentID notice. Or even worse, a CopyRight strike...

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Would I Like To Play Charades?

drawingBoard, Scanned picture from a publication issued by the company S.K.F. (SKF) around 1940-45.


Decided I needed to do something with the movie Charade. It's been one of my longtime favorite movies since it was released. Besides having one of the all time best theme songs by Henry Mancini the movie is a great Dramatic Comedy.


During the first rip a problem emerged. I noticed the movie was a bit jumpy when I watched it. This wouldn't do. Luckily I still had the original VOB files. So here goes another rip. One of the things I failed to compensate for is the aspect ratio of the rip was widescreen and I forgot to click the correct tickybox. Everyone ended up tall and skinny. This last rip seemed to have solved all the previous problems...

The Odd Couple

Cary Grant & Audrey Hepburn are a seemingly odd pair for a romantic couple. But in the end it works. But they really are cliches of their time and I'm guessing that's how the studio wanted it. At that time they weren't looking to make edgy films, not like most of the spy thrillers today.

I think there are enough good scenes with them together to put together a nice little spy theme. I would have liked to do something like The Avengers [the British TV show] but I have yet to find a piece of music that captures that feeling.


Anyway, there is definitely a lot less action shots in Charade than in the average spy movie of today. Less gunfire, less explosions, less of most all action scenes. Looks like I'll have to concentrate more on the what isn't there aspect.

There are some action scenes and some gunfire. And even some gruesome moments. Probably enough to get my point across.

Current Situation

I just got the movie re-ripped and clipping will start soon. I believe I've found a piece of music I like for it but that doesn't mean that's it. I'll continue to listen to others while I'm preparing the clips. Never know when that Avengers-like theme might just pop up...

Sunday, April 8, 2012

And Now For Something Completely Different



As you may, or may not, know most footage shot by the government is instantly in the public domain. It's been like that since, well as long as filming has been around. So that's why I've decided that I want to do something with the footage shot by NASA. There is some breath-taking footage shot for the shuttle mission and also material from the International Space Station [ISS]. As of yet I'm not sure what form the final project will take.

Previously I had done a piece with the last shuttle mission done to the tune of Space: 1999. Guess it's time to start another search on audionetwork for some type of Sci-Fi sounding theme.

The material on the space exploration is probably at the top of the list for the government footage.


I've also run across quite a bit of footage that was shot during the Viet-Nam war. Not enough to see a clear path to a vid but I'm keeping this in mind.

World War II

And it appears that the army was very keen on documenting almost everything they did during the second world war. Like the previous entries I'm not sure just what I can make with this material but I'm collecting and reviewing.

The biggest, and best produced, was a show called, "The Big Picture". Very well produced and extremely usable.


There's also many other areas of film that I have yet to scan over. I definitely won't be making a vid for every type of footage but it's nice to know that it's available.