So you want to produce a video of your magic, huh? Well, it’s not nearly as difficult as you’d think. This article will help you get started, and help you avoid the pitfalls that many avid directors fall in to. If you feel there is something I have left out of this article, please let me know with a PM, and I will add to the ariticle, giving credit to the tipster.
Alright. Let’s get started.
Step 1. Cameras: Webcams, Digital Cameras with a movie function, and, of course, Video Cameras. Your choice will no doubt reflect your budget. However, you do not, under any circumstances need a $5,000 camera to produce a sweet video. A $50 webcam will do just fine.
In terms of purchasing a "proper" video camera, you should look for one that uses Mini DV media. Be sure that your computer has firewire ports, or can support a firewire PCI expansion card. Speak to a knowledgeable salesman at a camera store for more information.
Step 2. Angles: The viewing audience likes a static shot, with no jitters. If you happen to use a video camera, a tripod would be great. The same goes for digital camera. Don’t get anybody to hold the camera for you, unless they have an arm of steel, or are braced against something solid. If you’re using a webcam, an angle slightly above, and looking down, or directly at your hands, is perfect. Check your composition before you hit record. If there’s anything that the audience can’t see that we need to see (like the cards, for example), recompose.
Step 3. Takes: The way I produce my videos is to take numerous takes of the same routine, sometimes as many as 10. This way, you’ll have plenty of choices when it comes to picking the best one.
Step 4. Choosing: Go through your takes, and immediately discard any of them that flash or expose ANYTHING, even if it’s just a little. Remember, your audience is comprised of seasoned magicians, who will watch things over and over. Don’t take any chances. Finally, take the remaining ones, and pick the smoothest performance.
Step 5. Importing: Depending on the camera you use, importing video to your computer will be different. Please follow the documentation included with your camera. Webcam footage is already saved to the hard drive once you stop recording, so don’t worry.
Step 6. Editing: This is the THE most important step. Please pay attention. My #1 pet peeve is a webclip that has no editing whatsoever. A little part of me dies every time I see someone reach for the mouse to stop recording in a “finished” webclip.
Tip: After you finish your effect, place your props onto the table and be still for three seconds. This will give you plenty of room to trim down the end of your clip, providing the concluding motions to the piece, while avoiding an abrupt cut. I recommend doing the same for the beginning of your clips as well.
In order for a webclip to be finished, it must:
1) Have the beginnings and ends clipped so there is no reaching for the mouse. This bugs me.
2) Include a text introduction to the effect, giving its name.
3) Conclude with credits, containing the name of the performer, credit to the creator of the effect demonstrated, and credit to the artist for the music played, if any.
The webclip must also contain music, fairly consistent talking, or both. Music not only makes the webclip more interesting, but also heightens what is happening on screen. A webclip without music is like going to the theatre and covering your ears. It sucks.
You do not need expensive editing software to edit a webclip. Windows Movie Maker, as limited as it is from a filmmaking standpoint, works just fine for turning webclips into works of art.
Step Seven. Saving and uploading: Save your movie file, so you have a .wmv file, or a .mpg file (for Apple users).
Tip: To do this in windows movie maker, follow these steps: Go to file, then "save movie file", or the hotkey ctrl+p. Select "my computer", then hit next. Enter a file name for your movie, and choose where you want to save it. I always choose my desktop, so it's easier to find and file away later. Hit next. Now, make sure the little check box is checked, hit next, and your file will save as a wmv. It may take several minutes, depending on the size of the file. Be patient.
Then, visit one of the popular uploading sites, such as www.putfile.com, or www.yousendit.com, and upload your videos, following their instructions. With yousendit, in order for forum members to view your file, enter your own e-mail address in “recipient e-mail address”, and include the link that is e-mailed to you in your post on Ellusionist.
Step 8. Post: All videos should be posted in this forum. However, certain performances should be kept in their respective protected forums. If you are uncertain about where something should go, PM an Elite or Moderator, and they’ll help you out.
Finally, be creative, and have fun! The members will offer their critical views on your performances, so you can improve yourself in the future. If a comment sounds harsh, please remember that they're not trying to hurt your feelings, but rather trying help you become a better performer. Good luck.
Climb the mountain because it's there.<br><br<a href="http://esupport.ellusionist.com/index.php?_m=tickets&_a=submit">Click Here</a> to submit an eSupport Ticket.
<a href="http://esupport.ellusionist.com/index.php?_m=knowledgebase&_a=view">Click Here</a> to check out our FAQ Knowledgebase.