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Frankenbigfoot Stalks All Who Ride in the Woods

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Video description

The plan was simple: learn how to make a short mtb video. I convinced some eager - yet foolhardy - riders from my local mountain bike club to spend a morning riding one of our favourite trails. The sun shone, the ground was in good condition and as they hit the trail sections, we got our angles angled and our sequencing sorted (actually, I didn't even know what 'sequencing' was until an hour into the shoot -and even then I didn't get it right!). We also had two different cameras, but I figured "what difference would that possibly make - they both record video!"...
So after four hours of riding, lunch beckoned and we all thought we had plenty of great footage and it'd take me a weekend to learn premiere pro (cos everyone on the internet gives the impression that's how easy it is) and craft a movie worthy of the space on anyone's shelf.... Move over Porter, let me take over...
Ha! Eleven months later and, having given up on PP and discovered some user-friendly software which didn't need a degree from film school to figure out how to drag a clip on to the timeline, the Frankenstein of home movie-making appeared... Sure, it's ugly, but it's a start...
Why/how it all happened...
The driver behind all of this was that I wanted to learn a bit about the process of filming, learn about video editing and produce something worth watching. A few of my local club riders agreed to help me out and It was fortunate that one of the club members is a TV cameraman, so he came along to give some technical advice – and he happened to have a friend who wanted to learn how to use his new pro camera (a Sony HDW-F900 or something like that).
On the day of filming, one of the cameraman's tips was to get the sequence correct, because riders passing through the view need to be in the same sequence in the next view. Sounds obvious now! Not so when you're all set up at the bottom of a trail section recording and, as the riders come into view the last thing they were thinking about is which order to be in. And we didn't have the luxury of paying them to do what we wanted (i.e. do the same shot fifty times until we were happy with it), so we needed to rely on getting it right the first time.
Anyway, they were patient enough to give us a few re-runs, but lugging a 30+ lb DH bike up and down a steep trail section gets a bit tiring - and we also had a limited time in which to record, so we got what we could. (Added to that we had all run out of Haribo, so sugar levels were a bit low).
Afterwards, in editing, I needed to cut up the footage quite a bit to make the most of what we had, in order to create a sequence which had the same rider from start to finish. Hence why there isn't much footage of riders passing in a group (but I think it kinda works). And if you're a local who knows the trail and you're thinking "hmmm, I think you'll find that that tree doesn't follow that bush", you'll now know why.
We used a canon 550d which produced nice, crisp video – albeit a bit washed out (colour correction is on my list of things to learn, but equally, better in-camera knowledge for aperture settings, not facing into the sun etc would've helped). We also used the Sony high-def video; this produced the darker, richer coloured video but I had problems importing this as high-res video (PP CS4 doesn't natively support .mov (afaia)), so I've edited the standard def version instead. It does result in more grainy, pixelated parts but for this exercise I'm content to leave it.
Music: Rudimental - 'Feel the Love' feat. John Newman
Editor: Serif Movieplus Starter

Added on 06 Feb 2017