Messing with iMovie

by Doc

This page was created as part of a project to explore how to take one video, informally and crudely using a simple phone and then "doctor" the outcome with overlays of stills and other movie shots. Part of the attempt was to see if the editing would permit reasonable timing of the music.I elected to be more relaxed about that at the beginning of the clip but tighten up towards the end. I think that works reasonably well and isn't slavish to the beat. I'm thinking Tango dancing here, of course!


 I have made videos on the DLR with non-live, musical soundtracks and I do think they have a better look than when accompanied by the rather scritchy track sound. My absolute favourite is one somebody made of winter steaming, slowed down because the loco was a bit tearaway and accompanied by "Going Home", a choral version of part of Dvorak's Symphony "From the New World".

YouTube Video

 That fair blew me away. In fact, it probably inspired me more than any other single thing, both to develop my own garden line and to create running atmospheric videos. Of course, later, I met the Cecil B de Bird who has a profound effect on us all. I'm not sure how the other chuffing sound effects can be added later! I'd rather like some running videos to have choral backgrounds, using music I have sung and actually in which my own voice features, if only ensemble in the mix.

I've actually invested in a vastly superior piece of sound recording kit, a Zoom H4N which has a pair of condenser mics, to gain much better sound quality video or otherwise, to develop my own line and it certainly still inspires me to produce running videos and my most recent phone, an iphone 7 could well give me better videos than even my camcorders and certainly far superior to the camera used on this video for the background shot. Having said that, considering the light quality of the inside of a church at night, it's not bad at all.

No names, no pack drill

The underlying video that I have used here, essentially providing a soundtrack, was taken by the local relatives of an American tenor whom I met while we were part of a scratch choir, assembled in foreign parts from all over the globe. Most of the video, obscured by image overlays, concerns itself with the antics of an amazingly well behaved 2 year old in his mother's arms. I pay tribute to the way the Mum kept the lad amused and quiet throughout the concert! As you will note, the camera wasn't even running in time to get the first note in its entirety! Who else has captured videos just the same?

As we packed to leave on the morning after the concert, I heard the piece of Handel we had sung, emanating from another bedroom window that faced a courtyard that acted as a sound chamber. I stuck my head out of our window and was able to speak to the fellow choir member and he kindly emailed me the file once he was home. What impressed me most was that it was taken on a simple smartphone with no consideration for how it would look or sound. It wasn't meant for publication.

Combining your hobbies

As well as being loco, I also sing as a bass in a very good choir in Leicester so I also wanted to see how I could produce a promotional video for my home choir from simply recorded snippets of music that we rehearse and perform, splicing in thoughtfully-gleaned stills to avoid upsetting some who are self conscious or who, reasonably want to vet anything before publication. This way, any objections can be got round by specific editing. The sound quality is most vital so, once a base track has been laid down, probably augmented by a second soundtrack on a wide angled full choir shot. I assume that nobody will object to such a baseline video but might not be too happy to be in close-ups. Using more than one soundtrack from different positions in the room ought to overcome positional sound bias too.

Anyway, making this video was fun as well as teaching me some newer techniques I had not hitherto appreciated.

I hope it raises a few smiles, as well as the eyebrows.