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twin peaks: cooper

bwenner in fanvidders


Hi guys! I'm new to this community and still somewhat new to vidding in general. I was looking around for a community where I could talk with other vidders and share some tips, techniques, and general advice. When I say I'm new to vidding, it's somewhat misleading because I am a general creative type and can do advanced work with programs like Photoshop and Flash. I know my way around Sony Vegas fairly well and I expect no less of the aesthetics of my videos than I do of my art. Here are some of my videos. (Spoiler alert: Don't watch the Twin Peaks one if you haven't seen the show! The whole plot is: "Who killed Laura Palmer?", and that will be spoiled within the first 5 seconds of that video if you click it.)

My questions for you guys are:

1. Do you have any advice for how you plan out your videos, and how do you keep track of and organize your footage?

Any given Vegas project file for me has two parts: the actual, organized footage of the video that I'm set and happy with, and a huge chaotic mess way off to the right, full of footage and clips and soundbites I stuck there because I might use them. The problem with that is, I can't ever find anything when I need it. I'm working on a Twin Peaks vid now and I tried keeping a separate file to keep footage from the prequel film Fire Walk With Me organized and available so that I could just cut and paste from it. I went through and separated scenes I knew I wanted and cut footage I knew I wouldn't use and generally tried to break the whole thing apart, but it's a time consuming process and the end result is still difficult to navigate. It somewhat worked for the movie, but to do this for the whole series would be plain impractical.
Some stuff you know by heart as a fan, but for the rest, do you guys just rewatch the shows and write down timestamps of particular footage so you know where to grab it from, or do you spend the time digging through the episodes for the clips? I've also tried referencing screencap galleries so I can track down what episode a particular scene was from and quickly find where to grab it. I'm just wondering if there are more efficient methods than these because it just gets to be so time-consuming.

2. What do you do when you feel stuck?
With some songs, I see what I want perfectly at different parts. I know how I want that intro to look, I've got a perfect vision for this chorus, that footage is meant for that part and those lyrics, etc., etc. But then you get to those bits inbetween where it's not so clear what should go there. Do you guys plan ahead and storyboard the song you're using or do you try to keep it organic and figure it out as you go along? Sometimes I feel like I'd know what to do if I rewatched the whole show, but, again, that's a lot of time to set aside to get one video done. I just find that once I get together the parts that I see clearly in my head, I'm left with these gaps inbetween and an unfinished video with a dauntingly unlcear or vague vision. Other times, the song is too long or too short and I struggle to either cut certain footage I'm in love with or to come up with filler since the lyrics of some of those parts feels integral to the video as a whole.

Thanks so much for reading and I appreciate any feedback you guys are willing to give!


Hi there,

always great to meet other vidders. I just wanted to let you know that this community: http://vidding.livejournal.com/ is more active than fanvidders and it might be useful to post there as well :)
Thank you very much! I'll cross-post it over there now.

Clipping is a very time consuming process and it is my least favorite part of the vidding process.
I think it depends on what source you vid. There are vidders who pretty much never vid the same source twice and vidders who only ever vid for one fandom.
Personally, I mostly vid for one fandom, but I've made vids for 5 different fandoms altogether (which I know is very few).

And as for the fandom I make lots of vids for: The more vids you make for a fandom, the easier it gets finding clips, because you know the show and the source so well. As you said, "Some stuff you know by heart as a fan" -- and the better you know the source, the more ideas for a vid you have. So yeah, I think rewatching the source is important. But it's not just "rewatching", but looking out for which scenes are important for the vid you're making. In this regard, rewatching without the sound off is a good idea to go looking for which clips you could use.

If you vid different/new sources: Depending on the vid idea, usually there are only certain scenes relevant anyway. Say you make a vid about character A and B -- then you can leave out all the scenes with C or D or whoever in the clipping process. I usually go through every episode (which, yeah, is a very tedious process, but like I said, you can skip lots of scenes) while listening to the song I want to vid to, and cut the scenes I think I might use.

Which already brings us to question number 2:

I start off with a brainstorming phase, in which I create a spreadsheet and write down the things I already know I want to include and where I want to include them. After the clipping process I just described, I then work on the spreadsheet some more, now including the new scenes I found while clipping. This also helps keep things in order, because I find out that I clipped more than I need (which is almost always the case, but it's also a good thing because better too many scenes than too few) and I can already decide which are the more important clips and which ones I can leave out before I even import the clips into the timeline.

Also, you don't have to rewatch the whole show, which would indeed take way too much time -- you just have to rewatch the relevant scenes and skip over the parts that you don't need for the vid.
First of all, thank you for your time and the lengthy response. It would be nice if there were some trick to clipping, but I am somewhat glad to hear it's a generally time-consuming thing and it's not just me or the way I'm going about it. I like the idea of going through the episodes while playing the song I'm going to use. I'll have to give that a try. Also a spreadsheet would be pretty useful. The closest thing I've done is jot down notes of time stamps and episode numbers of certain scenes.

When you're making a spreadsheet for a vid, how do you match your clips to particular places in your song? Do you just go by lyrics?
I also write down the instrumental interludes/intros/outros and how long they take. But I don't plan exactly from which frame to which each clip will last, that's what I do once I imported the clips into the time line. (Someone once said it's like doing a puzzle and I like that analogy because you have to work out exactly where to put the clip and that's very hard to do on paper and much easier to just try out in the file of the vidding project itself).
I think vidding instrumental pieces can be helpful to learn how to work with bits without lyrics. You have to pay way more attention to storytelling then. Just think of what the vid is about and then think of how you can get from A to B storytelling-wise and don't think so much about the lyrics. Instrumental interludes also give you an opportunity to include clips that are important to the vid but that don't really fit anywhere else.

Edited at 2014-05-04 10:37 pm (UTC)

April 2014

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