Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Real Him

This post is both an excuse to show yet another Clay Aiken montage =D and write a little bit about my approach to montage making.

Yeah, I made the embed really small here - just click on the YouTube logo to go to the larger version.

The scene here is a one-time-only performance of "The Real Me" during Clay's Tried & True tour a few months ago. It was at Cincinnati on March 1. There was a lot going on that night, and a lot of the Clay Nation's best videographers were there to capture what I call a "Great Moment in Clay."

But I didn't use all of it for the montage. The "great moment" actually wasn't just what happened on stage, but a medical emergency that happened right in front of Clay mere moments before he was to sing something he hadn't performed more than once since recording it in 2008. Clay knew something was up, murmuring quietly, "The show must go on?" He reported to the audience that he was stalling a little because "a lady in the front row dropped her camera."

On the audio of one of the videos I used for this montage, you could hear the commotion going on, including the walky-talkies of the emergency crew who wanted to take the victim out of the theater to check her out.

For this montage, which I wanted to focus more on Clay's performance and less on the audience interaction, I chose the audio from a videographer, "GDG," who was farther away from the big ER drama. She also included more of the before-and-after footage, so the video doesn't just come to an abrupt stop when Clay stops singing. I liked that.

Ideally for editing a concert video, you want some "blank" space on which to overlay an alternate angle; since GDG herself is a montage-maker, she knew that the way she composed her scenes with Clay would be very useful in the editing process. Yay team!

The next trick is to balance close-ups and long shots, as well as left and right angles. There weren't too many views of the full stage or of full-body Clay, but there was enough three-quarter length Clays to add to the mix and make the overall image more interesting.

Because the videographers were working with different equipment, another trick was to adjust the brightness and contrast a little so that the images from one shot to the next would match better. I wasn't as successful with that as I would have liked.

Another issue for video editing is with the way some videographers add their names onto the images. Yes, everyone deserves credit for their work; I even added a credit on a video that otherwise wasn't tagged. I also include the names of the clack gatherers on the end credit. But if the videographer's tag is big and obnoxious and goes across live image, I can't use it.

The hardest part was synchronizing the various videos that I overlaid on top of the audio track from GDG's original video. The draft preview in my video editing program (Sony Vegas Platinum Studio 9) can be a little misleading. It would have been better to do a series of test renderings of a few seconds' worth of these overlays before outputting the whole finished product. I originally uploaded my first attempt to YouTube before I really sat and judged the quality, so there were some portions that were annoyingly out of synch.

Of course Clay talks so gosh-darn fast, it's really a challenge to get the video and audio matched up just right!!

Anyway, after I worked a bit more on that problem, I loaded the version you see above up to YouTube and took down the earlier one.

As Clay Aiken once said, "Perfection takes time, honey!"

love, hosaa
synching, for love alone

1 comment:

Belle said...

You did a wonderful job. It looked and sounded great. What a voice he has. I loved the song too.