Creating a Watchable Video

With smart phones and a few guidelines

TSS (The Short Story)

  • Framing – in Landscape mode
    If Interview – Rule of thirds.
    If Presentation (Like the news) Subject in middle, eyes on top rule of thirds horizontal line
    Use some space around the subject top, right, bottom, left and back and front.
  • Stability – not handheld
  • Lighting – subject faces the light, shoot near a window
    [ Subject   <- Camera (between light and subject, but not blocking light)  <- Light]
    Do not shoot into the light
  • Audio – get close
  • Set / Sound – quiet
  • Make a test video

Presenters

Be yourself. Your knowledge and enthusiasm make the video interesting.
Be aware of your sound quality. Speak loudly and clearly.  Enunciate every word and use variety in your pitch and inflections.
Use clear, concise sentences.
Use videos to enhance, rather than repeat, material about your topic that is already in a brochure or web pages.
Practice a couple of times.
Put some pizazz in your presentation — this is no time to be shy — you’re a pro gangdammit.
Show Some Enthusiasm!  Channel your inner movie star!
KISS
http://www.westwindcos.com/22-tips-on-what-to-wear-for-a-tv-interview/

Camera Operators

Get to know your equipment!   Press all the buttons. My Nexus 5x  video camera screen has 3 icons on the right and a menu on the left.  Far right is the setting for  flash, on or off.  Next to that is the setting for lighting, auto and 4 other types of lighting, Cloudy, Sunny, Fluorescent and Tungsten, and next to that the selector for what type of grid (see rule of thirds below). After you start up either your photo or video camera, tap the screen, this sets your focus and exposure level for the shot (autofocus). Depending on your version of Android, you may get a slide control that lets you manually change the exposure level.

Where is the microphone for the rear camera?
On my Nexus 5x its is the tiny hole in between the USB port and the Aux ports at the bottom of the device. I get better audio when I take my phone out of its case.

MicNexus5x

Your smartphone camera is an amazing device.  A child can make a make a pretty good video.  With a little practice, so can you.  I am an android smartphone user.  These tips are mostly not iPhone or Android specific. This link https://wistia.com/library/shooting-video-with-an-iphone talks about using exposure lock and not using digital zoom, other than that, it has the same tips as in this article.

Sunny Lenarduzzi has some short, to the point videos

How to Make Videos with your Phone
https://youtu.be/j685NaMDVYE

How to Get Comfortable on Camera
https://youtu.be/ymyVwx4xNNQ


MAKE SOME VIDEOS.  Use these tips and find out what works for you!

More Tips and Tricks

Chose a good location. Determine if the background is appropriate to your topic.
An office background is fine; however,  make sure there is no movement or distracting items.  You want the focus on the subject. You do not want something in the background drawing the viewer’s attention.

Record in a quiet place and use the best quality microphone available.
If you’re not using a mic, get as close to the subject as possible.
If you shoot outside, or inside in a public area, a microphone is critical.
Close all windows and doors. Turn off any fans, heaters or other noises in the room.

Try and have a nice natural light shine on your subject.
The subjects should face the light (the window, etc.)!

Shoot a test video.

View it to determine if there is wind or any other noise. Do a soundcheck! Check for reflections and shadows, glare, etc.  If your test video is too dark, try using a lamp off to the to side, and shining down on subject

The Rule of Thirds and The Golden Ratio

What are those Grid Lines on your camera’s viewfinder?  When shooting a single speaker, it is fine to frame your subject in the center, with the eyes along the top line of the rule of thirds grid.  For other landscape scenes, take a look at the next 3 links.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rule_of_thirds
Rule of third examples
The golden ratio examples

File Formats

If multiple people are making videos, make sure they all shoot in landscape!
The video format standard to use, or save as, or convert to is Container mp4,  Video Codec H.264. Youtube will convert a lot of formats when you upload to a decent streaming format.

Video Stability

Use a tripod or some kind of fixed stand.

SmartPhone Tripod Adapter

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Czbj4i59u4U
http://www.gearbest.com/mount-holder/pp_24409.html $1.62
Amazon and Best Buy are pricey, try Walmart and Ebay.

Homemade Tripods

A couple of really easy do- it-yourself tripods can be found here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTtJovKtujo My favorite:

sipandstand

Does the camera have to move? Let me google smartphone dolly for you.

Example Mic

https://www.amazon.com/Rode-VideoMic-Directional-Microphone-Phones/dp/B018KIJGU8/ref=cm_sw_em_r_d_dp_dc_O.iHzb9XKME7N_lm

Older microphones use the TRS plug standard. It has 2 rings. Mikes that plugin to your phone use the 3 ring TRRS standard. On android, you need to use Open Camera to select the microphone as the audio input.  Let me google “microphone for iPhone” for you http://lmgtfy.com/?q=microphone+for+iPhone.

Example Winsock for Shooting Outdoors

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M2VP8T5/ref=pd_luc_rh_sbs_03_03_t_img_lh?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

One of the real pains in shooting outdoors is wind noise.  A winsock aka dead cat (let me google that for you http://lmgtfy.com/?q=dead+cat+wind+sock ) really cuts down and this problem.

Homemade Winsocks

spongewinsockhttps://youtu.be/E9Qo7dGtiMU Trim it with scissors, and color it black , it does the trick
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Am3bxXGe72A&feature=youtu.be

Example Video with Tips on Making Types of Promotional Videos

https://youtu.be/bzJUuamNTNY I have included this link as an example of how to present in a video.  Notice the gentlemen’s style. Relaxed, yet enthusiastic.

More on Lighting

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwrGLPi6qb4Inexpensive LED Lights.
A nice LED light for $25 LED that you can mount on a tripod.
https://www.slideshare.net/shanovitz/lighting-in-film
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XoS86EOkojI  nice tip on white balance.

Video Editing

You need an opening credits and closing credits,  Sprinkle in some slides.
I use NCH Videopad.  Learn how to trim clips, add transitions and add music.  Overlay text to make important points.

Use Some Public Domain Music

http://nocopyrightsounds.co.uk/
https://www.youtube.com/audiolibrary/music
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Audio_files_of_music
http://freemusicarchive.org/curator/video

Video Hosting

Use Youtube or another suitable streaming video platform to host your video.
https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/1722171?hl=en
Container mp4,  Video Codec H.264.

Learn about your Smartphone’s Video Assistant Capabilities.

I use an Android Nexus 5x with Google Project Fi.  I go to https://photos.google.com. I click on assitant, and I can create animations, collages and a number of other cool things. The capabilities on my phone are even more amazing.  I can create a movie using up to 50 pictures.

Making a video can get out of control, hopefully, this this will help put things in perspective:

The Millennial Marriage Proposal : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wTIpt65Ns24

Taking it to the next step, the Upgrade

https://www.podcastgarage.org/field-kit-rentals-faq
In Boston, you can rent really nice equipment to make videos.

http://www.robbmontgomery.com/p/gear.html More gear.

My Youtube Account  SCEH Youtube page

Other Resources

https://video.stackexchange.com/

https://vimeo.com/blog/category/video-school

https://blog.bufferapp.com/facebook-video

Meetups https://www.meetup.com
Boston Film and Video Production

https://www.videomaker.com

Android users may find it a little more difficult to get more detailed information about their devices. There are many more manufacturers for Android devices. Luckily, you do not need much more than what’s here to make a good video.

There is way, way, way more to photography and video than these tips.   Take for instance this very short tip on Depth Of Field:

The first rule for understanding aperture and depth of field is very simple: the larger the aperture, the shallower your depth of field will be, meaning a smaller portion of your image will be in focus. The smaller the aperture, the deeper your depth of field will be, resulting in more of your image being in focus. Now here’s the tricky part: aperture size is denoted by a number, and the smaller the number, the larger the aperture. Setting your aperture setting to f2.8 will yield shallower depth of field than setting it to f11. Another way to think of it is that a smaller number means less depth of field.

A more comprehensive tutorial on the subject http://photography.bastardsbook.com/toc/ has, not all kinds of light are equal, Overexposure, underexposure, iso shutter speed, etc.

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Smoke Detector Battery Rage

We have 7 smoke detectors, 2 carbon monoxide detectors, in hallways.  The acoustics in the hallways are such that it is difficult to determine which smoke detector is beeping.  Standing on a ladder with your ear next to the detector can take up to 3 attempts before locating the ringing detector.  Not the world’s most pressing problem, but aggravating enough.  The common workaround is to replace all batteries once a year (daylight savings start is an oft suggested time).  I do not like to throw about stuff before it is used up, so I wait for the alarms to beep.

First, a little background.  If you want to skip to the idea for making this easier, scroll down past the horizontal line.

Why do smoke detectors beep so infrequently when their batteries are low, making the sound impossible to localize?

https://www.quora.com/Why-do-smoke-detectors-beep-so-infrequently-when-their-batteries-are-low-making-the-sound-impossible-to-localize

Here a take on solving the problem, in the case where you have a mix of hardwired and battery operated alarms:

http://ask.metafilter.com/274485/Which-smoke-detectors-battery-of-6-is-defective

Code in our area requires hard-wired smoke detectors with battery backup for multi unit dwellings.  You can’t just turn these off like the above article does for battery only alarms.

This article hints at another problem.

Alarm Battery Chirps Aren’t Pre-Programmed to Interrupt Sleep.  (Really??)

http://www.kidde.com/home-safety/en/us/news/news-article/myth_buster__alarm_battery_chirps_aren_t_pre_programmed_to_interrupt_sleep.aspx

When one of the 7 starts beeping in the middle of the night, it is really annoying.

I could replace the 9 volt battery ones I have with a new one that has a sealed 10 year battery.  But, they are not cheap to replace.

Worry Free Hardwired Inter Connectable 120-Volt Smoke Alarm with 10-Year Lithium Battery Back Up (3-Pack) $79.99

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Kidde-Worry-Free-Hardwired-Inter-Connectable-120-Volt-Smoke-Alarm-with-10-Year-Lithium-Battery-Back-Up-3-Pack-21025981/205422332

In addition, to the cost of an electrician time to swap out the old with the new.


So I had the brilliant idea of using my android phones sound meter app to help me detect which one is going off .

http://androidboy1.blogspot.com/2010/11/smart-sound-ver-10-manual.html  Sound Meter (as well as a lot of other tools) by Android boy is available on Google Play.

There is a disclaimer about the accuracy of the meter:

If the measured value of a quiet room is between 35-45db, it should be accurate.  For more accuracy, you have to compare the value with a REAL sound meter. By the way, do you have a REAL one? 🙂  Just use this app as an auxiliary tool.

Nevertheless, for measuring relative loudness, it should work just fine.

The sound meter has a very convenient logging function that tracks the decibels it records over time.

You do have a problem with background noises, so you might need to track the external none beeping noises against the every 30 second or so beeps.

Of course, I thought of this, right after I spent 15 minutes sitting in the hallway determining which smoke detectors battery I had to replace.

I will use the sound meter to locate the one going off, next time.

NOT A PAID ENDORSEMENT

 

 

 

 

 

Microwave Mucho Gusto Nachos

Zelo® unnecessary calories when combined with 6 hours of rigorous exercise per week

Preparation time: 5 minutes

≅ One 16-ounce can black beans
≅ 1/2 cup reduced-fat or regular sour cream
≅ 3/4 cup bottled salsa
≅ 1 cup shredded Cheddar or Mexican Blend cheese

Yellow corn tortilla chips (Abuelita, Tostitos Restaurant Style)

Optional – Mix minced jalapeno peppers into the beans
Optional – Mix some chili powder, cumin or garam masala into the beans

Optional – Mix 1 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro on top of the source cream

Optional – Garnish the dip with either or both 1 tablespoon cilantro and chopped scallions
Optional – Garnish the dip with hot red pepper flakes

A) With a large spoon spread out the beans in a microwave-safe 8″ x 8″ pan
Smear the sour cream and then the salsa over the beans.
Sprinkle about half of the cheese and then any of the optional garnishes above.

Microwave on high for ≅ 2 to 3 minutes.
Put a layer of chips on a plate, and sprinkle some cheese over the chip, repeat
Put the plate in the microwave and nuke on high for 1 minute, until the cheese has melted.

≅ Approximately
∝ Proportional

20 Chips == 150 Calories probably eat 40 chips with these amounts
1/2 Sour cream == 240 Calories

Playing mp3 files on a USB stick in a Honda CRV

Since 2013, I have over 2,000 views on this page, not a single comment or thanks.


Our car is a 2012 Honda CRV, AWD LX 5 Speed Automatic

The short story is that I made a FAT32 stick with a couple of hundred songs that played fine. After that, I could not get a FAT32 disk to work. Honda was no help with specs. The following sounds like tremendous perception for the obvious; however, I want to pass this on to anyone else who may have problems.


If you want your usb stick to play in your Honda CRV,  use:

FAT disks
If you use the very popular LAME MP3 Open Source encoder
use -strict ISO Compliance
do not use -bit reservoir

MP3 Tags

Use only ID3V2 tags
ID3V2 tags in Ascii only

CBR or VBR at near 256 bit (high quality)

Rip to your hard drive first, then copy folders over to the stick.

If you do this, you may run into the following error from Windows 7 when pasting onto the stick.

x80070057: the parameter is incorrect

A google search shows that this happens with a number of different products and procedures, most notably, Windows Backup and Restore. When I say skip the copy for this file, the stick has been working fine.

MediaMonkey Link
http://www.mediamonkey.com/forum/pos…&f=12&p=349934


UPDATE: Honda has a Help Line for phones and other electronic devices:

Handsfree Link

1-888-528-7876


This is the History of why I published the above snippet.  I tried a lot of options, I asked a lot of questions  and I did not get many good answers


We really liked the option to play mp3 files using a usb stick and the in dash controls. We think its a very safe option. You use a highly visible, bultin feature very similar to what we have been using for radio, cassette and CD players. Its hands free.

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