When I first started the crafting time lapse video project, I had a very specific image in my head of how it was going to go. I sat down and filmed the Shaun of the Dead piece – and that part was a lot of fun and went smoothly. Then I had to edit it – and I had no freaking clue how to do that. I’m definitely a self-learner and I thought I could wing it and figure it out in an evening. (HAHAHA!) I learned so much from putting together that first YouTube video that I still put it up on the site, even thought it isn’t the best work (and that’s putting it kindly). It stands for all the progress I’ve made, and that is crucial to remember as I continue moving forward.
Some things I learned:
1. You need to keep your left arm as still as possible. Otherwise, when you speed up the video you’re going to make people want to puke as they try to follow the progression of the work.
2. You need better lighting. I was a slave to the time of day and had to sit right next to a window, turning the work so that it got the best light. It wasn’t so bad except that it’s 110 degrees here in the desert and the heat emanating from the window was brutal after two hours of sitting there.
3. Choose your projects wisely. Yes, subject matter is important, but so is the size and difficulty of the piece. You have to keep in mind how many color changes you’ll have to pause for – which will contribute to editing time, not just film time – along with how involved with counting you’ll have to be. If you have to pause every five seconds to count the next section of stitches, that adds up to a very lengthy film. Think in terms of editing, not filming. There’s also the sheer amount of time it takes to finish the piece. Anything over two hours will make the final cut go longer than your goal length.
4. Post production is king. I probably spent 30 minutes prepping the shoot, 2-2.5 hours shooting (and actually crafting), and then 3 hours filming/editing the intro and conclusion, picking out/editing the music, editing the raw footage of the project, and putting it all together, not to mention testing the first cut, and possibly having to go back and edit some more, followed by another render.
(This does not include the time spent learning the editing software, Blender, which (if I were truly honest) took a total of 15+ hours – between the tutorial videos I watched, to trial and error, troubleshooting, and redoing. It was frustrating at times, but when it started making sense to me I felt super victorious!)
My third video (Video 2.0 – Supernatural) was the first video that I actually liked. I’m sure the tenth video will be leaps and bounds better than that third one, but it’s good to step back and reflect on how far you’ve come. Ultimately, I’ve enjoyed every minute of this project, and that’s what counts!