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How to make a good family vacation video: II

In part I, I offered some tips on shooting the video. After you are back home, with all those tapes, it’s really important to edit the shots in a way that captures the essence of the vacation without getting too boring for your friends and relatives. There are different ways of editing and I cannot really list down rules for it. There is just one tip for newbies: don’t fall for the temptation to include every thing that you shot. Yes, shuru shuru me, you don’t feel like removing any scene at all. But believe me, you HAVE to let that feeling go. Retain only the relevant scenes (the funny ones, the lively ones etc.). That’s all! Editing is more about experimenting than anything else, with just one bottomline alway in mind: the final results should be as interesting and as captivating as possible with possibly a flow, a direction and a story.

What I will do now is ask you guys to go through the raw video below, which is about five minutes long. The scene begins where we are approaching the Havelock island in Andaman and ends when finally the hotel has been found. Following the raw clipping, is a list of all the shots that the video consists of. Go through them and then see for yourself, how the shots are rearranged, removed, muted etc. to lead to the edited version, which was posted in the previous post. I leave it to you to figure out the nitti-gritties of editing, by comparing the unedited version with the edited version (I used Windows Movie Maker to edit this).

These are roughly the fifty shots that this video consists of:

1. steady shots through the moving boat window (notice how it has not been shot continuously but in breaks)

2. steady shot of guys climbing up the boat stair

3. steady shot of family with luggage together

4. steady shot showing boat from outside in which Ankit jumps like a monkey and conveys the needed information, which kind of sets the story.

5. moving shot, covering many passengers standing in the jetti

6. steady shot of a signboard saying “Welcome to Havelock” (newbies will alway use zoom in or zoom out for such shots, so please avoid the temptation. First zoom in or zoom out, set the frame, then click on record).

7. slightly jerky shot of a small dungi in the shore (I am not sure who took this or whether I can use this)

8. up-down shot of dad walking with his suitcase (I was too close to him to shoot a full profile; at the same time I wanted to show him walking with suitcase so that the story looked better when edited)

9. Zoom-in shot of Ankit, Ankita walking towards me, with luggage (notice how fast the zoom in is, it provides pace to the shot and was thought of in advance)

10. steady shot of road from inside the zeep with me narrating (ideally I should have made someone else speak, or even better, shot the zeep before boarding it)

11. a very weak shot of myself and monu (I wanted to show passengers traveling inside a zeep , but sitting on the back seat full of luggage, it was difficult; this shot is a waste)

12. follow up shot of monu, driver saab and Ankit (from behind) going inside one of the hut resorts (i should not have spoken much or interrupted Ankit, I accept my mistake, my voice will go off in editing)

13. confused shot of Ankit with loads of jerk

14. proper follow up shot of Ankit (mostly from front), where he tells that huts are closed (once again, my narration after he ends his lines was totally not needed; but I said so because at that point I felt that those words were needed and Ankit didn’t mention them)

15. pan shot between a signboard and myself, where I make a guess about how this new resort could be like (it might have looked better had the board been shot separately and my reaction separately; but couple of shots like this are okay because they bring more energy; try keeping such shots more steady unlike how Ankit has done with this one)

16. steady and follow up shots of me (from behind) (notice they are not continuous)

17. pan shot between two edges of the pathway inside the resort

18. pan between huts and us where I tell how the huts look from outside

19. down-up smooth shot of a hut front

20. steady long shot showing coconut trees inside

21. a stupid shot to show the temple inside (I am sure Ankit will start doing a better job after reading these lessons)

22. amateur shot of the dining table (too much jerk; I should have done a simple zoom out instead of walking away from the table)

23. another steady long shot of the hut

24. follow up shot of what lies inside hut (you can hardly see anything; I guess you get the importance of lighting from this shot; this shot is totally useless though it was so necessary)

25. steady angle shot of the hut

26. steady long shot of guys walking back towards the main road

27. pan shot from another hotel structure to me and monu walking

28. a jerky and bad shot of the same as above

29. steady long shot of dad entering the gate of the new resort

30. steady shot of the road, and then roadside, taken from the front seat of the moving zeep

31. Steady shot of the sighnboard which said ‘Welcome to Radhanagar beach’

32. random steady shot of people walking on road (the road was began from this gate over which the sighnboard had been put up)

33. steady long shot of the zeep

34. steady close-up shot of a tent

35. a nice steady shot of the beach with silhouette of trees

36. a follow-up shot of a dog (would have looked nicer if the camera position had been changed to a lower level)

37. steady long shot of the tent (I already know that this shot and the previous close up shot of the tent shall go together)

38. a steady long shot of a bike lying nearby

39. self-shot follow up shot where Ankit tells whats happening there at the beach and takes ahead the story explaining why everyone is at the beach

40. couple of steady as well jerky shots of the beach

41. steady long shot of a hut near the beach

42. follow up shot of dad inquiring about hotels to folks present at the beach

43. yet another steady shot of the beach (beach having gotten darker now; this shot should have been longer by few more seconds)

44. signboard of a guest house, which we went next

45. a follow-up shot of the room in the guest house

46. a 360 degree shot establishing the room’s inside (though with too many jerks and ups and downs; should have been more smooth)

47. a badly lit shot which I don’t understand

48. a bad shot where Ankit does the mistake of first pressing record and then searching for objects to shoot (I am definitely not using this one)

49. approaching shot of ma and myself lying in a bed in the hotel that we finally settled in (whatever Ankit is speaking has to be removed)

50. slow close up, zoom out shot of myself, where I speak enough to finish the story of the search, giving idea about what are things that will follow the next day

phew!!

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