Dusting down my filming and editing skills

I’ve been busy reminding myself the ins and outs of video editing, after a bit of time away from the subject. While the technology has galloped ahead, the basics of the craft remain the same.

I’m using Avid Media Composer as an editing platform, though could have chosen Apple’s Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere. The last has picked up a lot of traction lately, though Avid remains an industry standard.

GoPro test drive in 1080p
Watch this video on YouTube.
You’ve got to start somewhere.

Before heading off for our skiing/patient repatriation experience I picked up a second hand GoPro on eBay. They’re easy things to learn. I thought a timelapse drive around the local streets could be a decent test subject and set off.

Since there was only one clip I set myself a challenge to blur or pixelate any road signs I could see. Good grief, there was a lot to process, but it was an effective refresher.

I might yet tweak the audio a little as the vocal level seems a touch high. I used an audio levelling plugin that I probably didn’t need. And the vocal track was not laid down in a treated booth but recorded into a sensitive mic on the desk.

So, in future videos I need to experiment a little with different mics and positions. Also to come: multi-camera shoots, framing shots and lighting!

From a land where axes are for chops, not chopping

Giving my daughter’s guitar the once over.

I am as attached to guitars as my wife is to fashion.

The nice thing about ‘vintage’ Strats is the value they keep as they age. Even a middle-of-the-road model from a non-vintage year, like this one, would fetch on eBay more than it originally cost. Granted, it’s hardly a relic and no, Eric Clapton didn’t play it, touch it or even look at it. But at least its value won’t approach zero as time goes by, though it might be eroded by inflation.

If anyone does have a guitar once owned by Clappers, Jeff Beck, Jimi H or Jimmy P(age), then by all means, feel free to donate it to me. I promise I’ll look after it. 😊🎸👍

#guitar #guitarist #guitaristsofinstagram #fender #stratocaster

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Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be

We were watching the first film in the Lord of the Rings trilogy from Peter Jackson’s ‘rubber Orc’ period, before computer graphics removed the need to glue latex prosthetics onto extras.

The lone Ranger. Tonto not pictured.

Daughter 1 piped up, “It’s really good – for something that’s more than 11 years old.”

I’d better not tell her it was released an epoch earlier in 2001, before recorded time (the first iPhone).

#retro #analogue #cinemascope #keystonekops

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Every day, and in every way, we’re getting better and better

Oh dear, my poor little girl.

Her spectacular accident on the last day of our holiday has cast a long shadow. The angular tricksiness of the break and the hospital’s reluctance to get heavy with the leg has resulted in a long layoff: weeks of tentative and slow recovery, in the hope that The Leg sees reason and knits together tidily. I’ve had to compile a dossier of evidence to satisfy her school that she’s not still skiing down a mountain somewhere. And the fact that my posts here have been brief since that time is a clue that yours truly has been carer #1 up to now.

Oh, the effort it took to get to this point.

The first couple of weeks were spent confined almost completely to the sofa. Movement was minimal and uncomfortable. The last week has seen a marked uptick in my daughter’s customary artsiness. Bored with her enforced confinement she’s started hopping around the house, easing herself up the stairs one at a time to see her bedroom (she and I are based on the ground floor to keep most movement on the level) and play her guitar – or, more precisely, plug her guitar into the girls’ mini Marshall stack and let rip.

The downside, from my daughter’s perspective, is that her increased mobility means there’s little excuse not to tackle a bit of schoolwork.

So, here she is, deep in thought over comprehension homework about Mesolithic man. The Leg is propped up, a little awkwardly, on the adjacent chair.

#quiettime #homework #brokenleg #poorthing

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A parting on the left is now a parting on the right…

Returning from more than three decades away from the Labour fold, Derek Hatton (left) must have been surprised to discover his place had been taken by his stunt double Keir Starmer (right).

Degsy does doubles.

Could they be, in any way, related?

#separatedatbirth #stuntdouble #lookalike #militant #brexit #brexshit

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It’s the cottage industry that everyone wants to get in on

Fairies might not frolic at the bottom of your garden, but you could still stumble upon a pot of gold.

It’s a garage, Mr Planning Officer. No, really.

A low rise dwelling takes shape in a neighbouring street.

Our neighbourhood has many streets where the gardens are decidedly old school. They’re very long, big enough to allow for a patio and lawn with space left over at the end to rise prize radishes, giant marrows and massed ranks of rhubarb. The home I grew up in was the same, though our vegetable patch was never that productive, yielding some giant cooking apples and a few pies’ worth of stringy rhubarb.

But that was another era. These days the most desirable use of generous garden space is for planting magical money trees. If your garden backs onto a rear alley or path then your luck is in. Where proud homeowners might once have advertised veneration of their car(s) with a garage extension, these days such a waste of space would attract only ridicule. The thing to do now is to get an application for planning permission in sharpish, plonk a portable toilet onto your lawn and get the builders in.

I’d do exactly the same, given half a chance.

#construction #gardenshed #goldmine #planningpermission

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Not so much a cup of good cheer, as a Nebuchadnezzar 🍾🥂

Congratulations, then, to Kane Tanaka, now the world’s oldest human. She attributes her longevity to an active mind, and grindcore.

This is the bit where the guitar solo kicks in.

She is shown here listening to the classic track ‘Forced Gender Reassignment’ by the ever-popular band Cattle Decapitation.

Update: I’d always thought a Nebuchadnezzar was the biggest, hence the post title. She does of course deserve a Melchizedek. I think Aldi stocks them.

#longevity #grindcore #thrashmetal

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This word-mash is all that’s left of a once coherent story. Sometimes AI and grammatical nuance pass like ships in the night.

Amazingly, I still get the general message.

Shape wars! Combat goes geometric in Afghanistan, as polygons collide over an air field, overseen by Johnny. Thankfully, while people run for cover we’re assured that the operators of the airfield won’t be out of pocket, which might not their top priority.

Meanwhile, the prez is living it up in the ‘province of the rich’.

Oh, auto-translate, with this balls you are really spoiling us.

#lostintranslation #colemanballs #geometry

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Hospital car parks, eh? Arrive with a child to carry and the only space is miles from the entrance.

The Leg returns to fracture land to be X-rayed, assessed, re-set. This could take a while.**

😳 Tabloid paper finds its true purpose as a cast prop. #ouch #brokenleg #skiing #borovets #ski

** This was originally a real-time Instagram post, written in full expectation of a day spent in a ward heated to around 37º.

As it happened, we sat perspiring for 10 minutes or so before a consultant hummed his way through the A&E report and post-cast X-rays. There were no further X-rays and no new cast. The learned opinion was that the leg would be given another 4 weeks to come to its senses and start rebuilding itself properly, and not in its current ramshackle alignment.

I’m no medic so can only hope that this is what happens. It seems the only alternative is to reset the leg or otherwise encourage it to straighten up using special bracing. We shall see.

The icing on the cake was the departure: we’ve had a couple of weeks away from school already and I dutifully asked whether could be issued crutches and/or a wheeled chariot to get patient A around. The answer was – no. The full cast remains, with guidance to avoid putting weight on the leg and to keep it elevated when not in use.

So, I’m posting this then heading in to school to collect a chunk of homework. Oh, and I need to provide some sort of medical note to satisfy the school office administrators that patient A is not spending her days running around on a beach in Barbados.

I was glued to this space ballet for ages

The @spacex launch showed how exploration beyond earth’s borders still has the power to enthral.

When you hear the knocking, commence the docking.

Mind you, it also reminded me that, with the exception of a half-dozen Apollo missions, not a single space expedition has mustered the technology to propel puny humans to anything greater than a low earth orbit. Those neatly choreographed Apollo trips, capping a dreadful decade and serving to prove a Cold War point and lift the spirits of a dejected nation, look increasingly anomalous to me.

Kubrick provided plenty of handy cinematography tips in 2001: A Space Odyssey. See also the film Capricorn One. I think life imitated art to some extent.

#iss #space #spacex #spacexlaunch

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Fresh from Instagram: the high risk nature trail

Rounding Muggers’ Corner in my nondescript local park, before pressing on through Flashers’ Chicane. Then up a gear into Doggers’ Alley and I’m almost home.

The lights along the path are just sparse enough to incentivise fast joggers.

#nature #outdoors #totallysafe #noreally

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Fresh (almost) from Instagram: separated at birth

I see that the Indian pilot freed by Pakistan, Abhinandan Varthaman (left) is channeling the karma of demon Aussie bowler Merv Hughes (right). Could they be, in way way, related?

Merv n’ Abhi: together at last.

#separatedatbirth #lookalike #mistakenidentity #india #australia

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