Chapter 16, Notes on Music–Another Sample

I think this is a perfect example of a compilation edit done to a choice piece of music.

I got the word on a Wednesday that a video was need unexpectedly for a primary school assembly on Friday featuring the ‘Belvoir Bees’, one of the projects run by the Belvoir Castle Cricket Trust. They were very apologetic about the short notice and I told them ‘no worries’.

The first thing I did was pull every shot of the Belvoir Bees from three different venues I had shot and strung them together on the timeline. As the Belvoir Bees start with the basics of throwing and catching balls and end up playing junior cricket, I put the shots in rough order.

It then took me about an hour to find an appropriate piece of music.

As they were young children, I first starting searching on Audio Jungle for children’s music of a certain tempo and mood and for a length of about 2 minutes. That was a bust.

So I searched for ‘sports music’. That was a lot more promising. The piece I liked the most was called Anthem for Sports Heros or some such. It’s main piece was over 3 minutes, but it came with two edited sections. One was 90 seconds and that was just fine. That piece started with the fanfare, had a bit of theme in the middle and ended with the fanfare again. That took care of my 3 basic sections of footage: 1) learning catching and throwing, 2) miscellaneous fun shots, 3) shots of cricket action.

The whole thing took me a few hours.

I laid down the music track and started picking the best bits for each section of the music cutting to the beat of the music.

For those interested, all this was shot on the Sony HXR NX30 (before I got my PXW X70) in full intelligent auto mode.

The version for the school assembly had no end titles save the last animation of the Belvoir Bees Logo. (Kids don’t care about the websites)

Here’s the result:

2 responses

  1. This video is simply brilliant: a piece of art of videography, and great sample for Chapter 16 of the book. The music is really as if it has been composed for this video (as you suggested in your book). I am a musician, and I was not able to notice any hitch/trick in the music that you might apply to be able to sync the peak points of the music with the key actions (throwing or hitting) on the video. The music excellently divides the video into three sections. The last section starting at 1m17s with a upbeat sound of a bell and the little girl throwing the ball at the same moment, absolutely gorgeous. It’s eye-opener how greatly the music can improve the video. Have you adjusted the length of the video (footage) clips/edits/cuts (I don’t really know what is the correct technical term) anywhere to make synch the key actions of the video to the high peaks of the music?
    You made a lot of low-angle near the ground, I guess in order to mimic the PoV of the playing children or the ball. The faces are very nicely exposed against the bright sky, while the sky is not overblown and shows a decent structure. Have you applied any (heavy) color/tone post processing to “repaint” the image so nicely? Or, is the NX30’s automatic exposition so brilliant?

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    • It’s simply a matter of putting markers on the beats of the music track. You can then also put markers on significant parts of any particular picture you’re trying to sync up (such as the moment the little girl throws the ball, or the moment a bat contacts a ball, etc.) and match those points up to the corresponding beat of music. Sometimes you’re lucky and additional things happen–like when I synched a bat hitting a ball near the end and the music at the time went ‘swoosh, bang’. The ‘bang’ synched up with the ball being hit and the ‘swoosh’ just coincidentally synched up with the boy running into frame. Total luck! That’s why I say it’s so much fun to do this. When you happen to find a really good piece of music for whatever you’re trying to do, sometimes magic happens.
      As to exposure–there’s a wide low angle shot near the beginning with a very dramatic sky and kids and a female instructor in the foreground. That’s raw footage, untreated. Again a bit of luck that I happen to be at the right angle whereby their faces were directly lit by the low sun being filtered through wispy clouds which gave a nice exposure to foreground and background at the same time. However, on a lot of those telephoto shots, the NX30 (which has no ND filters) would give me a slightly washed out picture due to internal lens refraction at the high f stop. So I tended to shoot as much as possible against darker backgrounds (trees). Then in post I increased the contrast mainly by dropping the blacks down. Oh, and by the way–a good part of the reason for the low angles on the telephoto shots was that I was using my hand on the ground as a ‘tripod’ to be able to follow action at long distances.

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