Recently in Video Category
Hello Tokyo's had a facelift, new voiceovers and some updated details. I ended up doing the voiceovers for the transportation section while I was still stuffy. I did my best, but my voice sounds a little strange.
If you'd like to see it, all 11 minutes are available now for free via Google Video:
Despite a few remaining flaws, I premiered it to an audience of 48 newcomers at Tokyo Here and Now this morning, followed by a presentation about some other basic Tokyo bits and bobs, and a long Q & A session. The fun thing about presenting such a general topic is that I always learn something. Did you know that there's a dog taxi service in Tokyo? It's called Angel Buggy
Or that the subway wickets marked with the bright pink labels will accept two Passnet cards at once? I thought they were only for commuter passes + Passnet, but I was wrong. They let you use up the spare change on your Passnet cards, or you can insert a regular ticket and a Passnet card so you don't have to fare adjust. It works great; I tried it this afternoon.
So now I have even more updates to do on Hello Tokyo. Watch for a new version in...2009?
On location at Narita
I'm involved in a film project but this time in front of the camera instead of behind the scenes. It's really difficult not to compose the shots in my head and think about how everything will be edited together. But all I have to do in this film is act like a bossy big sister--and it's shockingly easy.
Our most recent shoot was at Narita airport. While the director did some paperwork, I grabbed the camera and went outside to try to film planes landing. She came out to see what I was up to and I chased her around the observation deck. She snapped this picture as she tried to hide.
I think the "making of" clips might be more fun than the actual film.
This week I've been reworking Hello Tokyo for a presentation that I'm giving later this month at Tokyo Here and Now, the twice-a-year orientation program hosted by the Tokyo American Club. It was high time for a Hello Tokyo update as a few things have changed since the original version.
And now that I've got a few more years of Final Cut Pro experience under my belt (Hello Tokyo was my first project after I switched from Premiere to FCP) , I can fix some of the problems that thwarted me. But one thing I can't do is reshoot the footage. So I decided to re-record sections of the audio in the studio and see if I can't improve it that way.
Have you ever tried to lip synch to yourself? It's harder than it looks. Not only it is a challenge to watch your lips move and say the same thing again, but after you're recorded the dialogue in the studio, you lose all the background sounds. No more noisy traffic, wind, or restaurant plate-clattering. The result sounds a little thin.
So I have to do some foley work to put back the sounds I got rid of and to make the voice fit into its setting. At least this time, I can control the background noises and make them quieter than in the original shot.
So that you can see and hear what I mean about synching and foley, here is a short clip showing three uncompleted versions of the same segment of Hello Tokyo.
ADR & Foley Example 2.7 MB 25" MP4
In preparation for next week's recipe--a Japanese winter stew--here's a video to show you how to do some of the decorative cuts that make nabe as lovely to look at as it is delicious to eat.
Simple Japanese Decorative Cutting 3.7 MB 1'41" MP4
A slideshow with audio captured on a brief visit to the shore of Lake Michigan in Evanston, IL.
Evanston Lakeshore 2.5 MB 24" MP4
I'm working on a film project now that represents the entire world's population - 1 pixel per person - in just under 10 and a half minutes.
To fill the time and make the pixels more interesting, I'm creating brief mini-features of facts on world population, growth, development, density and other things. It's not as dull as it sounds...
Here's a sample from the film. It compares ten seconds of the film (about 103 million people) to various groups. I was surprised at the facts I dug up. Did you know there are more AIDS orphans than there are Mexican citizens? That the number of coffee drinkers in America is equal to the number of people with Herpes worldwide?
Have a look for yourself. This is a draft version--the narration has a glaring error and will be re-recorded later. And the footage is still under review. Comments and suggestions welcome, but please be kind.
Ten Second Facts 7.5 MB 1'10" MP4
Pretty flakes all morning long. It's such a rare event that I ran around filming it and set it to music. The snow is still falling--if it keeps this up we may see a centimeter or two on the ground by nighttime. I'll have to go out to shoot snow at night.
Tokyo Snow - small 711 K 0'49" MP4
Tokyo Snow - medium 1.7 MB 0'49" MP4
Tokyo Snow - large 4.8 MB 0'49" MP4
Then it got translated by a number of non-English website in Japan, Iceland, Hungary and Sweden. The number of visits increased to more than 5 times my usual daily rate. I was having a lot of fun looking at my stats, though a bit disappointed that I wasn't being recognized for something I'd done myself. Such is the trouble with reporting on things.
On December 23rd, five days into this increase in popularity, Slashdot noticed what was going on. Tod & I had just returned from stocking up on cookie-making ingredients. While the butter was softening, I checked my mail to discover a comment from the blog: "Haha! You're getting Slashdotted!"
Oh, hell! This was going to be trouble. We host my website on a server here at home.