Tag Archives: video editing
May 21, 2009

Peru Roughcuts

Crouching Arlo, hidden Inca

As you may know, I took a little trip down to Peru last winter with a group of college students. I carried along my camcorder, shot 14 tapes worth of footage, and brought it all home for editing. Back in Alaska, I sat down with a few of the students and asked them to tell me some stories about their trip. I currently have 17 interview tapes, and I’m holding out hope for more.

Editing this together is a massive project. I started with a 500GB drive, then upgraded to 1TB. With all the videos, photos, audio, and preview files I’m currently working with, it’s already 93% full.

There’s just no easy way to edit the memories and experiences of 20 people on a month-long trip across Peru. I didn’t want to start any editing at all until I’d collected all the interviews, because as tough as it is to puzzle together eight stories about hiking the Inca Trail, it’d be even harder to try to shoehorn in a ninth after the fact. But then I realized I had everything I needed to start editing a certain part of the trip — a five-day jungle expedition – because it involved only Megan, Alison, and me, and I’ve already shot both of their interviews…

So, I dove in. And right now, I’m taking it just one little story at a time.

I shared some of these vignettes with Alison and Megan and seeing their reactions inspired me to keep going. For now, those two work well as my muses, but with a project this daunting, I can use all the motivation I can get. I thought creating a little podcast and sharing the stories with a wider audience as they’re completed would be fun. (With the students’ permission, of course — These video clips are eventually destined for a DVD that will only go out to those that went on the trip.)

It’ll be a bit before I get to the rest of the students. Later, we’ll visit Cusco, the Inca Trail, Lake Titicaca, Machu Picchu, Lima, etc., but for now, these two girls have a lot to say about the Amazon Basin. It’ll probably seem like the “Megan and Alison Show” for a while, but that’s okay; they’re quite entertaining.

So, here you are. A quick little blog – nothing fancy – where I can post the rough edits of my grandisimo Peru DVD. They’ll be quarter-screen video, in an iPod-ready format, and posted once or twice a week. All you need is the free Quicktime player. Definitely subscribe to the podcast (or at least to the email updates) if you want to catch every episode.

Like what you see? Want to give me some feedback on the editing (Not too much criticism on the audio, please — acoustic sweetening will come much later in the process!) or leave a note for the students? Comment away!

And I do hope you enjoy watching these little clips half as much as I enjoyed creating them!

The first video is right this way…

December 25, 2004


Arlo as Darth MaulIf you’ve been wondering why I haven’t posted an entry to my site in over 6 weeks, wonder no more. Ever since I started up this blog, I’ve wanted to write about the Halloween where I dressed up as Darth Maul… and here it is. It’s out of control, off the hook, up in your grill. If the MS Word stats are to be believed, this entry contains slightly more than 12,000 words typed out over 1,000+ minutes. With two drafts I made well over 1,000 “revisions.” If you figure a “page” is anywhere from 200 to 250 words – this entry somewhere between 48 and 60 pages of text. As they say at Idlewords: Brevity is for the weak!

I wouldn’t expect anyone to sit in front of their monitor long enough to read this in one sitting; therefore, I’ve put in “chapter breaks” at convenient stopping points. Good luck!

I’ve never been much of a fan of Halloween. Oh, sure, as a kid I looked forward to amassing large piles of candy through the implementation of the normal traditions, but it was never really one of those holidays that I anticipated with fervor. Despite a general lack of enthusiasm on my part, I have nonetheless had many memorable experiences on All Saints’ Eve.

My earliest memory of Halloween wasn’t exactly a good one. I must have been about four years old, living in an apartment in Morehead City, North Carolina. My younger brother had not yet been born, though a quick mental calculation tells me that my parents must have already expected his imminent arrival. I bring this up only as a frame of reference – at four years of age, I was still too young to be trick or treating without adult supervision. Furthermore, I lacked the placebo security afforded by a sibling companion.

Our apartment complex, if I can trust some of my earliest memories, was laid out in a square. The front door to each of maybe 9 or 10 units faced inward to a small, shared courtyard. A sidewalk conveniently rimmed the courtyard, allowing easy access into each home while simultaneously providing a finite, circuitous pathway for young children who did not yet have the rampant Halloween candy ambition of older Americans.

I only remember one scene from that particular Halloween night; everything else I have reasoned out. Either my mother or father was escorting me door-to-door; of that, I am fairly certain. I probably had one of those hollow plastic orange pumpkins into which I could stash my treats, who knows? What I do know is that when we reached the fourth or fifth door and rang the doorbell, something bad happened.