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Rick LoDico
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Hey Rick. That's a similar question to, "How long does a woodworking project take?" There really isn't one right answer since you have two sets of variables: project complexity, skill level, and detail, and video complexity, skill level, and detail. But if you keep things simple, you can just film various steps of a project, going light on the details, and spend a weekend editing. But the same project, with lots of detail, could take 5 times as long.....

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Hey Rick. That's a similar question to, "How long does a woodworking project take?" There really isn't one right answer since you have two sets of variables: project complexity, skill level, and detail, and video complexity, skill level, and detail. But if you keep things simple, you can just film various steps of a project, going light on the details, and spend a weekend editing. But the same project, with lots of detail, could take 5 times as long.....

Yea...I keep thinking about video..but, I think I'll just stick to blogging. It's hard enough. Plus, I'd hate to scare too many little kids.

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Certainly there is the investment of equipment to capture the video and sound. Most people will tell you lower quality video res is fine but bad audio won't cut it. I am still shooting for Spagnuolo quality video so I spend a lot of time editing, usually at least as much as I spend in the shop. Is this truly necessary? Probably not, but I find that a variety of shots both wide angle and detail are necessary to really convey the process being shown. This means that you either need a second camera or need to do the detailed stuff twice. I usually do the later. Or for repeated tasks you have to stop and reset your camera. ie: cutting dovetails will be shot as a wide angle to show body positioning, and allow me to talk to the camera but I will only cut 2 or 3 pins/tails on the board then reset for a close up and cut the last pin/tail so everyone can see what I'm seeing. This take time. I have found the biggest element is planning and even going so far as scripting. Now scripting is probably more like an outline, but I need to have some kind of story board in my head or on paper so I get the shots I need and don't ramble too much while filming. This is a different take on the process of building a piece and you need a director's eye to figure out how a shot will look and flow from one to the next. Now that I have been doing this for a while and I have done my prep work with scripting and such I figure filming a project takes 2 to 3 times as long (maybe more as Marc alludes to above) as just building alone.

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When I was younger, I was involved in an extra curricular group through high school that put on performances. For both large and small performances (this group did a combination of juggling shows and large magic shows coupled to juggling shows), they had a required set of "patter." This involved memorizing what you were going to say, along with some humorous comments thrown into moments that were missing something, and a timely delivery. This was memorized so it would be seamless, and you could do it along with whatever routine you were doing at the time. (Juggling takes attention and coordination, you know.)

While some of the projects being done do not require this same level of patter, I'd think that some of the processes could benefit from a little of it. For example, mortise and tenon joinery, or dovetails, are almost always constructed in the same manner. A basic patter about them while you are cutting them out, or laying them out, can fill some of those "blank" moments.

The problem with patter is that it requires things to be identical from "show to show," which is not very conducive to woodworking. Sure, it works from one side to the other, if you are doing symmetrical projects. But once that project is done, then what?

The question I have, for those who do produce video, is in relation to your close ups. (I'm doing my best to refrain from a DeMille comment... Oops.) Do you have marks taped out on your shop floor (or bench) showing preferred locations for the camera, or do you set up the camera in a different spot every time and then adjust the focal point? Shannon, with your shop being smaller, does that make it easier to locate the camera for shots, or do you often find your shoulder (for example) is blocking a particular shot? Marc, with having a larger shop, do you tend to leave the camera in one location and turn it on the tripod, or do you have multiple locations that get in the way if you need to work on other aspects of the project?

And what are the lighting requirements (basically, not asking for uber-technical details here) for video? Does this impact your woodworking? Is there any disruption to the feng shui of the shop?

And how do you decide what background you like for videography? I'd love to paint my shop a lighter color so I could see, but at what point do you skip the light colors and go to something darker?

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There are some shots that I do routinely that wind up having the same position every time, like the tablesaw and the opening monologue at the workbench. Everything else is done on the fly. As much as I'd like to have set positions, that would just be too restrictive and would likely create more work for me. After 5 years and hundreds of videos worth of practice, I have a decent eye for framing a shot in a way most folks find pleasing and interesting. Well, at least I hope! :)

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There are some shots that I do routinely that wind up having the same position every time, like the tablesaw and the opening monologue at the workbench. Everything else is done on the fly. As much as I'd like to have set positions, that would just be too restrictive and would likely create more work for me. After 5 years and hundreds of videos worth of practice, I have a decent eye for framing a shot in a way most folks find pleasing and interesting. Well, at least I hope! :)

Hope gratified Marc

Pete

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