Video for Dummies

Ta da! I’d just finished editing another of my dumb aerial video clips. This time I’d added music, thanks to a comment from a good and longtime friend of mine. We were in the service and went to Vietnam together. He complained that the videos I’d uploaded to YouTube grated on the ears because the sound track was nothing more than the sound of the multicopter motors and the relative wind of movement through the air. “You should add some music,” he said.

The thing is, using the video editing tools was a new experience for me, and truth be told, I wasn’t very good at it. My first videos were just the raw footage downloaded from the camera, but I later figured out how to cut and splice the video. Even that was kind of amateurish (and still is), perhaps I will get better as time goes by. Anyway, I originally used Quicksilver Messenger Service’s Shady Grove as my background music, but then had second thoughts about copyrights and the mindless draconianism of the MPAA and record companies and took it out. Too bad, it fit with the video really nicely.

I went searching the web for free music, that is, music released through the Creative Commons licensing. It allows people to use certain pieces without cost or requiring individual permission to use it from the author. There are a number of websites I found that offer music just for things like my videos. The remaining problem was that much of it was as bad as my videos. Tunes created with the midi facilities of their PCs and were reminiscent of the death throes of a tortured animal or that awful electronic disco crap. Ick. I spent a few hours previewing musical compositions and managed to find a few that were pretty good and gathered them into a folder on my computer. The music I ended up using is called Robot Summer, which I thought was at least appropriate.

I have three different video editors: Sony Vegas Studio, Magix Movie Edit Pro, and Movavi Video Editor. The highest quality is the Sony,  But it’s also the most complex and confusing. It assumes that its users are professionals. Magix is almost as good and it’s easier to use, but Movavi was made for dummies like me and so that’s the one I’ve been using. It doesn’t offer the many features of the others, but it makes up for it by permitting a dweeb like me to actually come away with a finished video. Here’s the latest video, dedicated to my critiquing friend Frank.



As you can see, it’s not going to rock the box offices anytime soon, but it’s fun to do and allows me to learn more and more about both the science and technology of the drones and the aerial photography and flying fun they were made for. But as the various videos play, I can pretty much see Frank’s point. Or maybe I should say hear it.