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Can Random Clips Be Interesting?
345 22 2020-6-1
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Raymacke
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Flight distance : 1481995 ft
United States
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I believe the conventional wisdom is a video needs to tell a story. But often after a shoot, I end up with a bunch of mediocre clips - unworthy of using - but maybe one keeper. I am thinking if the clips are interesting AND short they might be strung into a decent video. So I'm testing the theory.  Here is a video of numerous unrelated clips edited to where I think it works. But does it?

Looking for honest opinions - the good, the bad and the ugly.


2020-6-1
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22340179
First Officer
Flight distance : 1623507 ft
Australia
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I like the concept. Some nice shots there.
2020-6-1
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m80116
Captain
Flight distance : 3264131 ft
Italy
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The idea is a good one to showcase the kind of shooting we do (drone, aerial), but it's like a picture postcard: nobody in their photography mind would like to receive a compliment like that.

I like your shots, but the challenge I think it's finding a topic, and make that one interesting and complete within itself. So for example, it can also be unrelated scenes but with one common factor like low lights, big lakes, cityscapes...

If you don't mind me critique I do believe your video could greatly benefit of even shorter cuts. See official DJI cuts on their Mavic Mini intro video for example. That said... I enjoyed your video, thanks for sharing it
2020-6-1
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DAFlys
Captain
Flight distance : 1175745 ft
United Kingdom
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Nicely done.    
2020-6-2
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Montfrooij
Captain
Flight distance : 1934931 ft
Netherlands
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Some call it a 'showreel'
2020-6-2
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Montfrooij
Captain
Flight distance : 1934931 ft
Netherlands
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Looks nice though.
As a matter of fact, most drone only videos lack a story.
Drone footage is (in my humble opinion) most suitable for certain shots (establishing, b roll etc.) and not for a complete video.
You need more variations to get really interesting.
Having said that, if the video is short enough, it still can be interesting.
2020-6-2
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Zbip57
Second Officer

Canada
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I liked that very much.  It's the variety in the shots that makes it so appealing. My eyes get pulled to different sides of the screen with each jump to the next shot.  In some shots my eyes are drawn to focus on one spot, then boom the next shot forces my eyes to move across the screen tracking the next object as it slides across.  I particularly liked the lawnmower, because in that shot my eyes remain in the middle of the screen watching the lawnmower as the entire landscape instead slides across the screen.  It's all timed nicely to the music as well.

I like these showreel-type videos highlighting the many different cool things that can be done with the Mini, especially without the frenetic pace of much-too-short one-second clips.  You are fortunate to have access to such variety in your flights.
2020-6-2
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JodyB
Captain
Flight distance : 68645 ft
United States
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I think it works well to show case ideas, we have montages of other things. I do not see why drone footage would not fit in that category. I rather enjoyed your video Raymacke. Especially the man mowing the grass and the American flag shots. Well done in my book!!
2020-6-2
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Woe
Captain
Flight distance : 4129268 ft
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United States
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I like it
2020-6-2
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Sean-newbie
First Officer
Flight distance : 6053 ft
United Kingdom
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I see more point to your video than say some of the videos on youtube 'advertising' somewhere or something where the video jumps about all over the area/subject with many repeated shots.
Nicely done.
1:45 was surprising
2020-6-2
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Zbip57
Second Officer

Canada
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Another thing I really like about your video is how continuously smooth all the clips are.  Even the shots looking straight down rotate smoothly.  It's not easy maintaining such a constant smooth rate of yaw.

In the second clip staring at 0:14 flying over the solar panels, I wouldn't have been able to resist the urge to yaw left and right panning the camera to track the flock of birds.  But that movement would have ruined the shot.  Sticking to flying a straight line, while the birds flew through the shot, is far more effective.

It's only because I was studying how perfectly smooth all the other clips are that I noticed one small blip in the shot starting at 1:27 flying over the pond with the lily pads.  The camera is yawing slowly left while flying forward across the pond.  But the yaw pauses momentarily and then starts up again.  It's barely noticeable, but it's there.

Your closing shot is awesome.  I'm guessing that you recorded that flying up and away from you, then reversed the video.  Or did you actually fly that toward you?  In either case, what impressed me most with that shot is that it's flown in a perfectly straight line with no detectable lateral or yaw corrections whatsoever.  Even on a calm day with no wind, that's not easy.


2020-6-2
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Raymacke
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Flight distance : 1481995 ft
United States
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Thanks to all for the compliments and the input. Still trying to sort through what works.  I have seen many drone videos that are just a series of long flyovers and honestly, they bore me to death.  The countryside may be beautiful but for me, it gets old fast. Trying to avoid a similar result. But as they say, different strokes for different folks.

I agree about flying in a straight line. To my eye, it just looks better. But yea, I caved on the clip at 1:27.   I did not realize how amazing the cloud reflection looked until I was back at home looking at the footage. I kicked myself for not holding heading but I was really just knocking around flying - not trying to make a shot.

And yes, the last clip was reversed. No way my flying skills are good enough to hold a straight line and hit the slot between the orange trees from a high altitude.
2020-6-2
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jonny007
First Officer
Germany
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Raymacke Posted at 6-2 19:34
Thanks to all for the compliments and the input. Still trying to sort through what works.  I have seen many drone videos that are just a series of long flyovers and honestly, they bore me to death.  The countryside may be beautiful but for me, it gets old fast. Trying to avoid a similar result. But as they say, different strokes for different folks.

I agree about flying in a straight line. To my eye, it just looks better. But yea, I caved on the clip at 1:27.   I did not realize how amazing the cloud reflection looked until I was back at home looking at the footage. I kicked myself for not holding heading but I was really just knocking around flying - not trying to make a shot.

I have seen many drone videos that are just a series of long flyovers and honestly, they bore me to death

What I notice again and again is that the vast majority of clips are recorded in forward flight. I don't understand that, because right from the start the viewer sees the entire scene. It is much more interesting and exciting when you see the scene grow and only see everything at the end. The clip at the beginning and the one from 1:01 are typical examples of how it looks boring (but for 3 to 5 seconds its still ok). Of course you should really fly backwards and not flip the video so that people run backwards ;-) But as a demo ... just take the 2 clips and flip them and you will see that this is a completely different perception.

A video should have a topic, otherwise it looks like a big mess. Or you give him the topic "The art of droning" ;-)

And I think a good video is about 3 minutes long (or the duration of 1 avarage song) and contains 20 to 30 clips.

Remember : Thats MY statement, not the one from all
2020-6-3
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Raymacke
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Excellent thought about the rear-facing clips. It makes total sense.  Shooting that way from the start would be the best but with the ease of software manipulation, many can be reversed without the viewer being aware and provide the improved effect.   In this case,  the clipvat 1:01 can't be because of obvious movement but the first one can.  I believe it would make the entire opening better. Going back and re-render it that way and see.

Thanks!
2020-6-3
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Zbip57
Second Officer

Canada
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"I was really just knocking around flying - not trying to make a shot."

So true.  Pretty much every one of my flights is done that way.  I'm just flying around with no real plan in mind, letting the camera run the whole time and hoping there will be a few seconds of useful footage after all the dross has been weeded out.

My neighbour is a long distance swimmer and he swims a lap around our lake every couple of days just to keep himself in shape.  He asked if I could shoot some aerial footage of him with the background fall foliage at its best.  This was in late October and the water was c-c-c-cold.

We didn't have any particular plan or script in mind.  He'd just do his thing while I try to follow him around the lake with my drone.  I flew one whole battery's worth of flight time using my Phantom-3, but when I came back to swap in a second battery I realized I had completely forgotten (yet again) to press the button to start the video recording. D'oh!


I thought he'd call me an idiot and be mad at me, but he just laughed and jumped right back in to do a second full lap of the lake.  The video is not perfect, but he was happy enough with the result.




2020-6-3
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jonny007
First Officer
Germany
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Raymacke Posted at 6-3 12:26
Excellent thought about the rear-facing clips. It makes total sense.  Shooting that way from the start would be the best but with the ease of software manipulation, many can be reversed without the viewer being aware and provide the improved effect.   In this case,  the clipvat 1:01 can't be because of obvious movement but the first one can.  I believe it would make the entire opening better. Going back and re-render it that way and see.

Thanks!

the clip at 1:01 can't be because of obvious movement but the first one can

In the first clip, the cars in the background also drive backwards, but that wouldn't be so noticeable because they are so small, you can't see where the front and back are ;-) But that's not the point ... it's all about it to examine the upside-down perspective, uninteresting whether people and cars are moving backwards.

My principle: if possible let more objects come into the picture instead of letting them go out of the picture, because: the viewer has already seen everything that disappears from the picture, it does not make him curious anymore.
2020-6-5
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Raymacke
lvl.4
Flight distance : 1481995 ft
United States
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That's a great explanation as to why the rear facing clip work so well. Yes, the first clip does have cars moving but I also thought because they are so small it would be hard to determine the direction.

But for me,  obvious reverse movement of people or vehicles draws my eye to it and while I study it I tend to miss the effect of the overall scene. In longer clips it would probably be OK as there is time to refocus on the subject but short clips, not so much.

But then again I'm working with a 68 year old brain that doesn't tend to react at lightning speed  anymore. Thoughts used to flow like water but now more like syrup!
2020-6-5
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DJI Stephen
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Hello there Raymacke. Thank you for reaching out and for sharing this wonderful video you have captured. Great work and thank you for your support.
2020-6-8
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virtual
First Officer
Flight distance : 2595246 ft
Czechia
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I found these random clips interesting (as well as advices from jonny007).
2020-6-9
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Daniella3d
Second Officer
Canada
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I liked it just the way it is. It's surely interesting to watch.
2020-6-9
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bvdijk
lvl.2
Netherlands
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I kept watching it till the end, definitely some nice shots and some inspired me to try similar shots as well. I'm currently in the process of shooting a lot of footage in my home town and stitch it all together later. Thanks again for sharing!
2020-6-10
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Raymacke
lvl.4
Flight distance : 1481995 ft
United States
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As per the above suggestion, I reversed the opening clip. Here is that version and I do like it better.



Also, I live in a rural area with SLOW internet access. On a good day, I get less than 6 Mbps.  When I render these clips in Resolve they look very good but when viewing from Youtube the quality is very disappointing.  For example, I see the first clip is decent but the second one blows.  Are those of you with faster connections seeing decent quality with these?
2020-6-10
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WayneSnr
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Flight distance : 26667 ft
United Kingdom
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Nice video
2020-6-10
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