|FROM ||Ruben Safir
|SUBJECT ||Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Video Editing
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Date: Thu, 15 Jun 2006 08:32:08 -0400
From: Ruben Safir
Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Video Editing
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June 15, 2006 Camera. Action. Edit. Now, Await Reviews. By SCOTT KIRSNER
The music video for the surreal folk song "I Got a Bunny," written and
performed by Juanito Moore, is not something you will see on VH1.
But the video, shot on a rainy sidewalk in front of Mr. Moore's home
in Grand Rapids, Mich., has another distinction: it was assembled,
not in a traditional cutting room or with PC-based editing software,
but entirely on the Web, using an online service called Jumpcut.
The minute-and-a-half video was shot with a digital still camera,
which Mr. Moore occasionally swings around by its tripod as he lists
the bizarre animals in his imaginary menagerie.
While sites like YouTube and Veoh have lately become popular for allowing
users to share their self-produced videos, Jumpcut (www.jumpcut.com) is
part of a new class of sites that also offer simple tools for stringing
together video clips and then adding soundtracks, titles, transitions
and unusual visual effects.
All of the sites, which include Jumpcut, Eyespot, Grouper and VideoEgg,
have been introduced within the last year. This summer, they will be
joined by another site, Motionbox, based in New York.
Their shared objective, the founders of the sites say, is to reduce the
complexity of video editing and to reduce the cost to zero.
"We wanted to make video editing over the Internet faster than desktop
editing," said Jim Kaskade, co-founder and chief executive of Eyespot,
based in San Diego. "We think it will broaden the base of people who are
creative, but may not have thought they were, by creating this tool kit
for them. Editing video is eventually going to be as simple as sending
Mr. Kaskade refers to the process as "mixing," however, saying he
believes that the term "editing" may sound labor-intensive to the
amateur videographer. Previously, putting together a multishot video
like Mr. Moore's would have involved installing and learning to use
a piece of software like iMovie from Apple, Adobe Premiere or Studio
from Pinnacle Systems. Some of that software is packaged free with new
computers or sold for about $100.
The analyst firm Parks Associates estimated last year that only about
four million people regularly use such software for video editing â€”
far fewer than the number who capture video using camcorders, Webcams,
digital still cameras and cellphones.
But with more videos of soccer games, weddings and cruise vacations
being posted online â€” and potentially being seen by people who have
not been dragooned into the living room for a showing â€” editing gains
in importance, Mr. Kaskade says, even if it involves trimming only the
dizzying camera whirls at the beginning of a shot, or the inevitable
question, "Are you taping right now?"
People who have experience with both desktop software and the new
online editing services say the desktop software offers a wider range
of features and enables them to manipulate the video more precisely,
but they appreciate the speed and simplicity of online editing.
GK Parish-Philp, a product manager at a San Diego software company, said
that while he used Pinnacle Studio to assemble a video of his daughter's
birth a year and a half ago, he had not used it in a long time. The
birth video "came out really well, but it took forever," he said.
Instead, Mr. Parish-Philp now uses video clips taken with his digital
still camera and edited on the Eyespot site (www.eyespot.com) to provide
weekly video updates to his mother in Texas. One chronicled his family's
recent trip to the San Diego Wild Animal Park, complete with deft cuts
between close-ups and long shots, plenty of pointing at animals, and a
soundtrack by the 1980's pop group Toto. (Their hit "Africa," of course.)
Many of the early users of online video editing are new parents like
Mr. Parish-Philp, or pet owners, said Kevin Sladek, co-founder of VideoEgg
(www.videoegg.com). "We see a tremendous diversity of things," Mr. Sladek
said, "but the largest bucket of footage is baby videos."
Other users have been editing videos to support online auctions, as when
Todd Hernandez tried to sell a Nissan 350Z coupe on eBay this year,
or to stay in touch with friends back home, as when Lisa Boghosian,
who moved to San Francisco recently, made a St. Patrick's Day video
collage for her Irish friends in Massachusetts.
The number of online editors is still small, however.
"Eighty percent of our users want to watch videos, and about 20 percent
want to share videos," said Jonathan Shambroom, a vice president of
Grouper. "But only a small fraction of that 20 percent will edit their
videos first â€” maybe a quarter."
All of the sites, except Grouper, require that video clips be uploaded to
their servers before they can be manipulated. That can take a long time,
and there are limits to the size of the files that can be sent. (For
Jumpcut, the limit is 50 megabytes per clip.)
Users of Grouper (www.grouper.com) must first download a free
piece of Windows-only software that works in tandem with the
Web site. It permits users to trim and rearrange clips on their
computer and upload only the finished product, in compressed form.
The sites make possible new kinds of collaborative editing. A
group of parents attending a school play can upload all their
video, and then edit a single version of the play that makes use
of the best shots. Or a vacationer who returns with a shaky shot
of the Grand Canyon can incorporate another person's river shot
into the video â€” the home-movie equivalent of stock footage.
"Before, moviemaking was 'one computer, one author,' " said
Jumpcut's chief executive, Mike Folgner. "What we've done, on
a team level or a group level, is allow people to share these
assets. You can make a movie out of anybody's stuff."
Steven Cohen, a Hollywood editor who was in the early 1990's
one of the first in his profession to rely on a digital editing
system for making a feature film, has tinkered with Jumpcut and
Eyespot. While the current services are not as responsive or
flexible as the high-end software he is accustomed to using,
"online editing seems inevitable," he wrote in an e-mail
message. "What makes it appealing is that it gets rid of the
problem of storage, and for that reason it seems very freeing. Let
somebody else worry about where all this stuff is and how to
back it up!"
Many of the earliest users of the online editing services
report two changes in the way they capture and assemble
video. First, they tend not to use their camcorders as much,
because the tendency with a camcorder is to record long,
meandering stretches of birthday parties and parades, which
are time-consuming to import to a computer and edit. Instead,
they record more impressionistic scenes of a few seconds or a
few minutes, using a digital still camera or a cellphone.
Second, even if they have experience using more powerful, PC-based
editing software, they find themselves using the online services
more often when they are working with the shorter snippets
â€” and trying to assemble them quickly for a grandparent in a
Jan McLaughlin of North Passaic, N.J., makes three or four
short movies a week, often using her Nokia cellphone. She
spends only about 5 or 10 minutes, on average, refining her
video with Eyespot.
"It's the difference between making a gourmet meal that takes
days, or throwing something in the microwave," Ms. McLaughlin
said. "Ultimately, sometimes you just need to separate the good
footage from the bad and stick it together."
-- __________________________ Brooklyn Linux Solutions
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