Make of

Once in awhile I like to go into excessive detail, the making of a video…

After/during “True North”, my harddrive crashed, my motherboard was fried, and 11 rides++ of footage piled up.

I was also inspired by Natalie Portman who came by my office to promote her site, devoted to inspiring film makers and who said “emoticons are not cool” :slight_smile:

This video will take 2 weeks to make, and I encourage you to influence it.

aw man that sucks, id hate to lose all my stuff even if its not video worthy… id like to look back at it one day to see my imoprovements. this makes me wanna go out and get an external hd

Sorry about the overly large picture.

Its a pain, but I do backup my original video clips. So I mostly lost music, which I need to re-rip and ‘movie projects’. My car was broken into and the only thing stolen were CD’s… erg.
Its been about 6 weeks without a computer, so I accumulated a lot of footage… I count 11 rides.
kits beach trials
greenlake skate park - broke my seatpost
andy livingstone fountain trials - it was a splash :slight_smile:
pipeline muni - noli visits canada
st edwards muni - john moriarti visits from florida
Granville island giraffe - 12’ giraffe
toms feed & ride muni - irene visits seattle
ravena muni - preston, noli and I go for evening muni
cypress muni - anso breaks arm jumping log
north shore skills park - last ride with dori from hungary
lonsdale trials - yves & dori explore new waterfront trials / trail
Good grief! Theres probably an hour of footage, and more to come this weekend.
The final video will be 3 minutes, so that only allows 16 seconds from each ride. I’ll look for each riders most memorable moment.
So first step I collect all the clips from other people as well. Yves and Dori filmed a bit, and James took a picture of a lego unicycle. We use dropbox to share files. I highly recommend dropbox - its fast, portable and easy to use.

Individually, the only ride really worth a video on its own is pipeline muni, but I’ve made about 4 pipeline videos, so the collage of highlight clips should make it interesting.


A few people asked me about the AnSo broken arm incident. The short version is that she tried to jump a fallen tree, had an unlucky fall, and I’ve got some photos. Its a hairline fracture… she’ll be ok. But it may be the worst ever female muni accident ever? I feel compelled to put it in the video.

music pick
imho music is the single most important element in a video.
I review the source video, and then pick a song that will fit.
After that, the video will be edited to match the music.
Since this video involves 16 seconds per ride, the pace will be fast.
The length of the song will be the length of the video, unless I edit the music, so longer tends to be easier to edit.
A song with a variety of fast/slow allows the clips to be sequenced.

I usually give 3 days to picking the audio. I listen to radio, review my CD’s, watch what songs we’re using here, and pick something timely.
so for this video, I’ve narrowed it to 3 songs.

  1. one is the theme to Bones by Crystal Method. I like the technical sound, and the varience in pace. The short version for the TV show is great, but the long version becomes repetitive.

  2. 2 tracks by Teddy Bears are great; Thanks to Tom on the muni competition: Different Sound is one, which is techno and makes sense for unicycling, cuz we march to a different drummer.

  3. Automatic lover by Teddy Bears I think is the best overall song, but makes the least sense to this video. The best reasons are implied relationships with the girls and my new friends in seattle. But even there, the key relationship I’ll want to convey is with Dori from Hungary, and I think the ‘Sound different’ theme conceptually makes the most sense.

I’m okay with any of these, so if any of you have a preference lemme know.

Course Edit
After gathering all the footage, dropping it into a movie tool, the first pass over the clips is to delete all the cruft.
If the goal is a 3 minute video, I’d aim to get it down to about 6 minutes.
clips that are filmed poorly, or blatant mistakes
mediocre bits that are boring to watch.
mainly you want to keep the spectacular successes and failures for each rider.
duplicates of the same location or trick. just pick the single most interesting one.
keep at least one long clip, that you can use during credits.

lately I do less course edit, keeping more clips, but using less from each.
I’ve got 60 minutes of footage and will aim at 20 minutes after the first pass. Even semi boring bits can be used can be used in titles and transitions.

For such a long video, its going to take a long time to edit it down.
So I took the opportunity to upgrade to iMovie09.
I considered Final Cut, which gets great reviews for being powerful, but iMovie is basically movies for dummies, and thats what I need… something that will speed up the process.
So far I’m liking it. I’ve put together a test clip, and it took less than 30 minutes to producing something semi-cool. The edit is nice and fast, but the export is a bit slow. Internally its 1080p, but I exported 720p and it took more than 2 hours. The file is 1.2 GB and unfortunately neither vimeo or youtube would take it. I’m gonna bug youtube about that tomorrow. So it’ll be another hours to produce a smaller version, and roughly 3 hours for youtube to transcode it… so sometime tomorrow.

Meanwhile, I’ve been shopping and I’ll show a picture of the new toys

  1. a cd for the music track
  2. ilife for editting. I used it for the photo too
  3. 5.1 speakers. I was hoping to edit 5.1 audio, which final cut can do, but ilife can’t :frowning: The speakers plug into a creative labs X-Fi usb audio device. speakers $100+XFi $50.
    Another option would be mac has optical output to a ‘home theatre’. philips has one for $179 and you need a cable. Slightly more expensive, but more powerful, has remote. I may yet go thru route.
    The cheapest option is $39 usb dongle for virtual 5.1 head phones.


Making Of Clip 1 - Granville Island

I did this clip to just play around with the new imovie09.
Its just the raw clips with nothing deleted.
A comic book ‘theme’ gives it titles and transitions.
The music doesnt match well, but I wanted to try music editting anyway. It uses ‘duck’, so the music is quiet when the guy talks… which is pretty much the whole thing.
I loved the laughter of the crowd, but for the final video it’ll have to go.
With almost no effort its easy to get a kinda cool, but overly long video (8 minutes).
Most people, especially non-riders, would prefer a shorter video with just the highlites. So in the first pass rough cut I’ll keep about 36 seconds… the superman, the riding thru the tree and the ‘throw the baby’ scenes.
Later I’ll fine edit that to match the music and transitions will overlap a few seconds.

editing only took about 45 minutes, but 6 hours of compression and 8 hours to upload.

We did a ride tonight at GasWorks, with visitors from Florida: Will, Isaac and John.
After rough edit, including Granville Island, its 2 min 36 seconds.

Making Of Clip 2 - Gasworks

Added footage from Gasworks with course edit.
Theme for placeholder title/transitions.

This was from a trials ride last night with Tim and Isaac visiting from Florida.

Making of Clip 3 - St Edwards

Added footage with from John Moriarty ride. He visited Seattle from Florida, and the most notable achievement was riding from the lake, up a horrendously long/steep trail to the Seminary. Only a few people have done it.

I had trouble keeping up running with KH24 in one hand and camera in the other.
The iMovie09 stabilization on top of my optical stabilized lens were no match for my jittery hand.
I was falling behind, when the camera ran out of memory, but he really did make it.

Making of Clip 4 - Tom’s Ride n Feed

The catalyst for this ride was Irene visiting Seattle.
AnSo also came down from Vancouver, and John Childs from Portland.
Bruce shows us a 20" can keep up with a coker.
I’ll likely keep 4 scenes - Irenes tricks, Bruce racing coker, AnSo hopping a log, and the crowd of unicycles on the street.

I had some photos, but its a pain getting them into iMovie, and in the end, I’d likely edit them out, or just use them for titles, so I gave up on this one.

I’d hoped y’all would get more involved in the making of this video. i’d enjoy more feedback on what clips you like etc.

So that last clip brings up a delicate topic. filming girls
Although I’ve never had a complaint, I do censor the clips when it crosses a certain line. Why?
So heres the thing: If you film everything, things will happen. In particular, when girls prehop, they jiggle. So tip to everyone - dont prehop.
Most the time, its no big deal. But sometimes it is. I’ll point to Irene, cuz shes a big girl… in this last footage, I would actually censor it, because there is a part that has no technical merit and takes away from her trust of me to make her look good. It wasnt like porn, but if I included it in the final vid, what would be the point?
Well the point would be rating, and that girls ride. Viewers would love to see women riding around naked. So its a balance between what the trust and what the people in the video want, and what the viewers want.
So an example where I pushed the limit a little is in the muni video contest, there is a scene where AnSo jiggles a bit doing a prehop. Theres lots of other scenes where she is just naturally photogenic and female, but in this scene, it I could easily have editted that out, the she was jiggling. Why didnt I? Why did I explicitely add this second or so of tintelation?
In short, ratings. I knew viewers would like seeing women in muni, and I’d built up enough trust with AnSo, that she would forgive me, if not like that she is the epitome of female muni. In traditional film, an actress would do compromising scene, when it contributes to the overall picture. Or if it contributes to her ego. The story here was the real nature of north shore muni, and she contributed alot, having organized the rides. We’ve been lucky enough to have some great women riders come out - Jeanine, Dori, AnSo, Irene…
I was actually a little taken aback in the muni contest, when James said ‘whats not to like in sexy french women doing muni’ And although that was exactly how I intended to edit it, it was like, wait a second: This is our friend were talking about. Shes like my sister, we have to ride with her, and dont be dising her. But ya, shes hot.
2 other cases off the top of my head were at north bend, where some female students were kinda compromised and I edited it out, because I thought it was just pointless and wrong. And there was a critical mass involving naked people, and i decided to remove those clips. What would be the point?
Maybe I’m being immature. I went to show Kris put on, and his slides included naked women, tastefully presented, with him doing awesome tricks. Which is art. Its not a cut and dry line.
I dont care much what the viewers think. I need the trust of the riders, both male and female, that I’ll make them look good. Or they just won’t come out. I know I’m doing it right, when they ask me to take their picture.

Interesting process you’re going through here. I enjoy the fact that you’re trying to include others and share what you’re working with. The footage you have so far is quite diverse, so it will be interesting to see your final product and how you tie it all together.

Music choice for any video will always be a challenge due to most people’s diverse tastes, but if it fits in enhances the video then music tastes should not matter that much. I don’t really know the music you’re thinking of using, my taste is very different from what you propose.

About filming girls/women… After watching your last clip I didn’t see anything that would warrant any concern. Unless the woman in question is very WELL endowed and the jiggle would nearly knock herself out, I don’t think there would be too much to worry about. For your MUni contest video it was great seeing some women doing MUni, and to be perfectly honest with you I did not notice anything jiggling (perhaps if I go back and watch it again specifically looking for it I may notice something). AnSo may be upset with me for not noticing her woman-hood ?? but I was enjoying the MUni :slight_smile: I do understand your concerns about having people trust you when filming them, so it’s best to stick to that principle.

Looking forward to seeing more of the process.

I like the first video with the giraffe the most, but it was a bit long, I like how you used the comic book.

Thanks. Its as much for my benefit than yours. But when I’ve done similar things in the past people have usually said its at least interesting to see the thought process that goes into a video.

Yes, this is key, and subjective, but I’ve found a few formulas that work:
Instrumental is easier to make sense than with lyrics. Its emotional, but without distractions that its nonsense for unicycles.
Basically pop is good. About 120 to 160 beats per minute matches the tempo of unicycles.
sometimes melancholy is good. such as Green Day. Use a song like this, if you have regrets, like its your last ride with a friend.
Classical is okay too. Think in terms of what movies do. I’ve used this a few times.
I think theres potential for other genres like country, which we havent explored and I think thats exciting that someone will blow us away with the first country western unicycle video. As long as it makes sense, like the wife took everything but my unicycle.

Review the footage, pick a song, and then edit to that song.
I usually have 2 or 3 songs in mind, and try them against the footage to see what works. For this video, I have 3 great songs lined up, one of which was Crystal Method “bones” and I’ve ruled out.

Another thing I do is keep the original audio too. I like to hear the people and noises they make. Music is important, but its a supporting role.

And finally, I’ll point out a trick. Firstly I’ll try to pick a song with the right tempo and length. But if my footage doesnt agree on the length, I’ll cut out a middle part of the audio. Hopefully people dont notice the cut, but the beginning and end are right.

I’m kinda regretting I said anything, and have sent an apology to Irene. But this is a revealing process, and I wanted to illicit feedback. The reason behind things are often subtle and innuendo. The song, for example, I’ll usually have 2 if not 3 reasons behind. The obvious, and 2 innuendos.
Aside from popularity etc, the innuendos are usually topical events, comedy and sexual connotations, and I dont want to go into that last one too much, but they add a depth and edginess to a video.

Thanks Sam,
Its long, cuz I didnt edit it. Some people prefer it that way.

Theres a few reasons for making videos, but for this group, I do try to show things you’ve never seen before. This guy does a great act, and we dont see alot of this style of video and riding here.

I wish I caught his name, but act of sharing has some benefits.
y’all are being way too shy and are sending private emails and such but my friend Bruce had a story to tell:

"I saw his act at Granville Island twenty years ago, and then a year later as Helen and I were traveling across Australia we ran into him a couple more times – including juggling with him in Melbourne and watching his act in Perth. Then we saw him again back in Vancouver. He used to perform at BC Lions games as well I think.

It’s a good act, but I’m amazed that he’s kept it going for so long. The underwear stealing is a new trick – that I haven’t seen."

I would add, that I saw another act that didnt go so well, and that this guy did great… his hat was full of money and he shouted out “its not enough!”.

So thanks for the feedback… I’ll aim to keep more of this footage for the final vid. And I’m glad, this “making of” thing, allowed me to share the whole thing clip. If I were making DVD’s this would be an extra, and I’d encourage the people that are far better than me, to do the same.

Making of Clip 5 - Skills parks

This footage, although not particularily interesting, really compelled me to make the video, because its the last ride we had with Dori, who visited us for a few months from Hungary.
I would make a point of keeping her giraffe ride, since that was her first.

There are 2 parks
The first one is North Shore skills park, and its the more technical one. There are parts I can’t do, and I hoped James could, but no, its still not completely conquered. There was a bees nest under one bridge.
Then Dori and I checked out the burnaby skills park, which is a little easier and has more diverse stunts. I’ve conquered everything there, so its a little less interesting for me, but Dori said she liked it more.
I got few pictures, but imovie isnt great with pictures so what I might do is save them for the annoucement email as a collage.
Dori also took some photos of me. I hate to see myself, but there is a good one of a rolling hop onto a log.
Historically I would start a video with a slide sh

technical problems
I corrupted my imovie project by moving files around, and have to start all over. doh!
So far its just 5 clips and wont take much human time, but working with highdef is at times, slow. Like for John Moriarty’s clip, the image stabilization, which isnt even that effective and adds blur, takes 2 hours.

While/before working on a video, I’m often inspired. Most of my inspiration comes from movies and art from outside of unicycling:

audio - african rain
my father in law sent me this cool video
the intro rolls into a song I’ve always liked, but its the intro that stands out.
my father in law is a really good photographer and inspires me. my father was a professional photographer, and my brother in law is a professional videographer. I’m surrounded by people way better than me, and its good to keep in touch with them artistically.

video - hi speed camera
my photography club sent me this link
I’m joining a photography group, and I challenged them to think beyond SLR and to videography. I think almost everything in photography applies to videography, and then we take it further, to time, animation, camera motion and effects. This video blurs the line between a photo, and a video, which I like. I like to think that each clip stands on its own as a photograph.

audio sync - I cant find the link, but there was a great video about 6 weeks ago about a kid having trouble in school. It was striking how the music was in sync with the video. I turns out the video is produced by a sound company that will score music to your short vids. I’d have to say, professional scoring is on a whole different level than when you use stock audio.

An outtake is something outside the basic story line. So for our vids, it would be something non-unicycling, or bloopers.
Sometimes those clips are interesting to a video. I have a bit of velodrome footage, some climbing, 4th of july fireworks, and an event called whacky wheels. I’ll sometimes (about 10% of the time) include some of this type of footage, to break up the monotony, because someone is personally affected or its of general interest to the group.
Bloopers I consider part of the basic footage.

the video I meant to show is

high speed (2500 fps) video on sports footage. It makes everything stand still except the focus.

Making of Clip 6 - Velo

Heres a bit of footage from a Velodrome.
I happened to be there, but one of our unicyclist recommended attending, so I threw this footage together for them, and to see if it would drop into the video.
I’d say its not going to make it into the final video because theres nothing really compellng to unicyclists in it.
Whereas a photo, which is all I got, of my 10 year old, from an event called Wacky Wheels, might. But even then, probably not because its just a photo


I don’t think theres anything edgey about any of these videos, ahaaa…

Sorry, I have no constructive criticism… All I can say is… ride harder.

Hard for a guy like me(trying to make unicycling look less dorky) to critque these kinda videos…

not these ones, no. darnit. We need more women riders! but I did leave enough edginess in “true north” to get the comment ‘You can admit it, like me, you loved the hot female muni action’.

I’m not in my videos, so I wont take offense to that. I kinda agree, from a riding point of view, but disagree as a film maker.
Personally I love muni and trials, and that you’re constantly learning and pushing the limits.
But my videos are about the people and the places. I try to show you, the viewers, something you havent seen. But most of our riders are intermediate skill levels, so its challenging to keep the videos interesting.
What we do have, at a world class level, is the north shore muni, and our people. My videos will often have 10 riders, which is fairly unique when you watch videos and I try to let people see some of the emotions.

less dorky is good. When people see themselves in video, its inspiring.
Alot of the footage, I’d have to call ‘lame’. lame in that nothing dramatically bad or great happened. It may be perfectly good, but whats expected and not new. Or a lame failure, like they didn’t try. So on my first pass (course edit), I remove the blurry shots, and the lame, aiming to show the dramatic failures, and the huge successes.

My dad, who was a professional photographer, and brother-in-law, who is a professional videographer, shared a common advice - get a lot of footage, so you’ll capture the interesting moments. So I film more than most, expecting to edit it down more. I’m at roughly 1 hour 10 minutes of HD source, and plan to make a nice little 3 minute video of it. So when I show you all the raw footage, you can expect that most of it not going to be in the final cut.

My general strategy for this video, is a rapid fire collage of clips, because I have so many, which will cover a huge variety of locations, people, skills.
Nothing worthy of Guinness, unless you mean the beer, but its what happened in Seattle and Vancouver, and I’ll make it look the best I can.

As far as extreme footage, there are 2 rides that you’ll like - muni at pipeline, and trials at a water fountain. I’m leaving those til last, because I’ll keep as much as possible and it would complicate editing to add them now.

Update on music
I typically test 3 songs to a video, and leave the final decision until the ‘fine edit’. Playing my top 2 picks, my wife hated one, so I’ll likely go with the other, which is ‘different beat’… which is the one that makes sense, lyrics wise too.