Sunday, January 20, 2013

Snow short films

Yesterday I challenged you to make a simple short film using the free snow that landed on some of the UK. You can read the post here if you haven't already.

And here are all the ones I've been sent so far - keep them coming, and I'll add them here:

  • Stuart Laws was so excited, he made one the day before I'd even set the challenge, proving that he's quick *and* psychic. It's a tender, heartwarming musical, and you can watch it here!

Don't forget to leave links in the comments if you want to be added here, or send them to me on Twitter.

And I didn't want to miss out on the fun, so I made a quick short too - I say "quick", it was quick to film, as there's not much to it, but it took all day to find the right additional free footage online, edit it, get the right sound effects, tweak, etc etc. But blimey it was fun. It's called "Signal Lost", and you can watch it here, on YouTube.

Update: The short has a Creative Commons License - Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share-Alike. For details on what that means, read this page. Basically, it means you can use it, remix it, do what you like with it, as long as you credit me, don't use it for anything commercial, and release what you do under the same license. I've used this license because half of the short uses existing stuff, and I want to pass it on.

Here's how it happened: I was staring out the window after breakfast, and thought "why the hell don't YOU make one, tough guy? Talking tough and telling everyone else to make one?! Go on!" So I did. I spent another ten minutes thinking what I could do, came up with a rough story that wouldn't need dialogue or actors, realised I could use free stock footage to make it work, and got to work.

I filmed for about 5 minutes in the back garden, then searched for the right sort of footage from, hunted down some appropriate sound effects from, edited it all together, and spent the day tweaking and fiddling with it, adjusting the speed of the space clips, getting the timing right, etc.

The two zooms into a city are into Munich, and the final zoom into snow is a shaky-cam shot of the back garden from my bedroom window, with a digital zoom added. I stopped the Munich zoom before it became obvious that it was, er, Munich. But yes, the galaxy is the Milky Way, I couldn't just use *any* old galaxy, after all. I was going to use some snippets from this NASA launch, but didn't need them. That website has tons of other videos you can use, too, though check their usage guidelines before you dive in.

I also threw in a tiny audio sample of me playing my new ukulele at the end, because I needed royalty free music of a specific duration and didn't want to go searching again. I finished around midnight, but it look longer to encode the video, as I'd messed up the aspect ratio and had to export it all again.

These are the videos I used parts of:

And these are all the sound effects I used:

I thoroughly enjoyed making it, and it was a great way to spend my Saturday! I'm looking forward to seeing what you all come up with.

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