In-process- Anansi with Parchment Figures, Doubles, Doppelgängers, Clones

In-process- Anansi with Parchment Figures, Doubles, Doppelgängers, Clones from Brenda Clews on Vimeo.

This bit of fun needs a poem! I'm thinking something with Anansi, the trickster African spider god...

I'd like to handwrite the poem onto the video, if I can figure out how, but won't be able to animate it.

I'm working on a longer videopoem with more of this footage, close-ups and so on, but thought to see what a small section might look like. I'm finding editing in FCE laborious and difficult since the tracks won't run in unlimited RT or lower resolution and only play when fully rendered and that's taking upwards of 2-6 hours for each tiny change! Not sure why.

If I can get to a point where I can see what effects are producing what then maybe I can work by imagining how it might be turning out (since I can't get even a sense in low res if it won't play)?

While the clips are mostly shot with my Canon Vixia HFS100, the curtain hanging by an outdoor patio is an iPhone clip. I did go back a few nights later with the Canon, but in a Winter cold snap I was in a long, hooded black coat and huge Sorrel boots and held my camera over the fence and freaked the owner of the house who turned off the light and sent their dog out to bark at me. I may try again in a few nights, or not- the grainy iPhone clip has its own charm.

Background music, a tiny section of 'Bodydrama at The Nave,' by ARTSomerville:​en/​album/​53543

Painting, still unfinished, is mine:​brenda.clews/​ParchmentFiguresDoublesDoppelgangersClones

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Working on a video of a talk (that I videotaped in 2004 for a conference), and need to add some visual interest to it. Found some old exposed film, scratched on some of it, scanned, and then laboriously added images of my paintings, drawings, photos, feathering the edges, one at a time as I found them scattered amidst my computer files. It's on a transparent background, which I hope Final Cut Express picks up on even if Blogspot didn't. And I do hope scrolling these interesting framing of images slowly in the video will hold the viewer's attention through the 18 minutes of the talk. This little bit has taken hours to do. The rest of the images will take at least a week to prepare. Click for a larger version.

A few hours later: the .jpg had a white background, so I opened the .psd file. All the layers were there! I saved them all as a 'freeze frame' and added that as a track in my video. It is unbelievable, but the background is, indeed, transparent.

Here's a QT still, not as good as Apple's Grab application, but I seem to have inadvertently deleted the latter.

You can see I am treating the video frame like a canvas - the coloration, the different layers. When I've finished the video, I will show 'before' and 'after' photos, promise.

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Rendering, rendering...

Rendering, oh my life is rendering... what you see here only a small bit -  2 hours before I can watch it 'to see.' I hover over my work like a worrisome hen. And only at 50% resolution (any higher resolution and I'd be waiting days for every little bit to render).

What I'm working on has taken days, and will take days to render when it's finished, something like 30 hours, and the videopoem is sooooo boring! Oh, not the music. The solo piano of Jose Travieso is incredible. I decided not to interrupt his ecstatic playing with voice but to have words you can't quite read float over the screen. Of course I'll tell you what they are when I upload the video, if, if that day ever comes! The footage of me dancercizing in the living room leaves a lot to be desired, for sure. Originally I liked the funk of the ordinariness of it. My house shorts, dog-walking Summer clothes, baggy, unglamorous. But it all bores me now. My apartment is small and overstuffed. I've layered way too many filters. I am finickity, perfectionist, long, long hours without stopping. What is this strange obsession to finish what is dull?

click image for larger

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Videopoem (1:56min): Solstician Rain

Direct link to YouTube video: Solstician Rain

The light was beautiful, but ripe, fruity, dense, as if walking through a film in technicolour. Light swimming to us through veils of vapour high up, some particles clear, others refracted. Colour magnified. Air, rich. The streets a vision under a distant roar of stratospheric surf. Then it poured.

The woman I passed saw the light, its ominous hush, picked up an umbrella on her way out. I didn't.

We, my dog and I, stood under a tree cover while thunder broke its drums.

We weren't slicked and soaked by the time we reached home, only dampened with large drops: she, smelling of happy wet dog; me with my khaki green long soft Indian cotton skirt, spotted, juiced.


'Solstician Rain' is a description of my walk yesterday evening. An hour or so after getting caught in the rain, I went out and recorded the video. It was dark by then but with various filters I was able to achieve something resembling the feel of the atmosphere earlier. Holding a microphone out of the window, I recorded the rain and thunder. Working in Final Cut Express, I layered video and audio tracks to form this videopoem. I love the rich fertility of this time of year.

The music under the thunder is by AlFa. It's approximately the first two minutes of an eighteen minute piece, 'Poème de la forêt,' from their album, Nuance Khaki, Fiber Lily, which carries a Creative Commons license and may be found here:

Here is a screen capture of this video in Final Cut Express.
Click for a larger size.
Comments (6)

DVE Course trailer assignment

Looks innocent. Yet this little 2 minute 'trailer' for my Digital Video Editing course took, well, an all-nighter and then some. First I spent many hours cutting it up into tiny 'best shots' sub-clips, 35 in all. Then I took some still photos of backgrounds to try. Then I started to put it all together. I think I got into bed at 6am for about 2 hours. And it wasn't finished.

In class last Monday, where we got an extension of 2 weeks, whew, I realized that what I was doing was a 'mini' version of the story, and that's not what's required in the 'trailer' assignment.

So, begin again... (or finish this and begin again)

Final Cut Pro (in class) and Express (what I work in at home) is drag and drop, and ooh la! I think trying to line up a snippet of a scene with the layers I like to work with and with dissolves in and out would take minutes rather than an hour if it were all done with a time line, with numbers. But I am told once I get used to the drag & drop interface that I'll find it very easy to work with. I haven't crossed that threshold yet, still being stuck somewhere on the learning curve like Sisyphus.

An FCE Apple... :)

The footage comes from October 2nd, when I videotaped a 'poetry reading,' and it's taken this long to figure out how to import it from the DV camera into Final Cut Express, and then to take one tiny 37 second clip from the 16 minute video and freeze frame either end and add titles - a process of probably 5 hours after "capturing" the video itself. It would be so easy to do this in iMovie but I am determined to learn FCE since one can do vastly more with it. Last night, desperate, I spent an hour searching on-line for an affordable course on FCE in Toronto, finally emailing a friend who'd taken one through Continuing Ed at a local college last Winter, and he emailed back el pronto with the details and so I shall enroll for the January session. I can't imagine I'll manage to learn that much between now and then since my main source for learning is You Tube FCE tutorials. This entire silly little clip, which I post to let you know I am still flailing away here, was done following the directions of a few kindly You Tube posters.

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