Anime World Chicago 2012 Interviews

I edited and uploaded the video that Mixed Visuals and I collaborated on for Anime World Chicago 2012. This video consists of 13 interviews with mostly cosplayers, but there are a few extras in there. The video will be cross posted on both Youtube channels and I plan on writing unique articles for each site (this site for the technical, and the other for a convention focus).

You can see a more general article on the video at cvfta.blogspot.com located here.

Here is the video link on my Photography Banzai Youtube channel:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLy41DYU3gw

With 13 interviews of varying length, the video ended up pretty long at over 18 minutes. The CVFTA Youtube channel is new, so it had a 15 minute cap on it, but Google has an option to verify the account with a cellphone to allow for longer length content.

Sound:
I brought along the Zoom H1 Handy Recorder to act as a secondary separate source of audio. I’ve never tried recording interviews before, so I thought it would be a good idea to cover all bases. In retrospect, my method of holding out the recorder and recording the video myself doesn’t work well with how I used the recorder. I should have moved the recorder back and forth so that my voice would be picked up when I asked a question. This has the potential to achieve improved sound quality. The camera audio turned out much better than I anticipated, so I just went with that. The one negative is that background noise was somewhat louder, but voices picked up well and were always understandable. I also added some background music in the form of a song I have licensed from danosongs.com.

Future audio improvements:
– Get a foam MIC cap or something for the recorder. That way when the mic is moved around it wouldn’t pick up on that.
– Figure out how to use the recorder so that both questions and answers are always picked up well in the audio.
– Do more research on syncing separate audio to the video clips. I’m not sure the editor I am using has the resolution needed to get a perfect sync. It would almost need sub-frame resolution.

Video:
I used the Pentax K-01 camera and Pentax DA 10-17mm f3.5-4.5 Fisheye lens exclusively for video at the convention. While the fisheye look doesn’t appeal to everyone, I feel that it allows for a nice full frame and it is especially good considering I can stay close to the subject of the video. The closer I am to the subject, the better on-camera audio will be. Being close is also a necessity most of the time in cramped convention hallway situations. I added one of the stock songs I licensed from danosongs.com

Future video improvements:
– I need a video light. In dark situations, even with a good sensor, the camera and slower lens like that will result in dark videos with high image grain. I’ll have to look around for a nice LED video light and see if I can swing one from a financial standpoint.
– I like the fisheye lens for video. It’s unique and allows me to easily accomplish what I’m after. I’ll consider using the Fisheye again in the future, but I might try a few other lenses so I can put more emphasis on photography.

Content:
The video consists of 13 interviews. All but two of them are cosplayers who constructed their costumes. The questions Mixed Visuals and I uses were completely random and improvised on the spot. Even so, I’m really happy with how things turned out. The biggest challenge we were having was finding people who actually made their own costumes, but I think that was partly the short amount of time we spent with a focus on getting interviews as well as the smaller nature of the convention.

Future content improvements:
– Come up with a list of quality questions and print them out for quick access. I had the intention of asking why people cosplayed a given character, but the question never came to my mind out in the field.
– Put more time into getting interviews. The more the better.
– Think of various fun aspects I could add to this formula. Make them more exciting and visual pleasing.
– Have the people interviewing write down their character as well as their website. Some of the interviews I can’t understand what they said for attribution.

Source Material and editing:
I recorded the video. The photos were taken by me, most of them from AWC, but a few I had to put from my earlier conventions because I didn’t take a photo of them at AWC. As I mentioned before, the audio is from the camera this time and the background music is from danosongs.com. The overlays were mostly done with the editor I used called Kdenlive excluding the main overlay with the cvfta.blogspot.com site and this site shown in the lower area of the video.

Overall, it was a fun experience and I think it adds in a positive way to the convention scene. I plan on doing more interviews in the future.

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