4.143 video, theater

Sunday 04/23/2023

After my Sunday religious rituals — i.e. reading the Sunday paper, watering the plants, and doing the NYT crossword — I sat down at my beautifully clean desk to do some video editing.

I have been unhappy with the quality of the videos we make from our lecture series. (They are all available to the public on our Vimeo Channel.) Basically we have taken the recording that Zoom makes by default of the meeting, trimmed off any dead air at the ends, and threw it up on Vimeo.

Recently I found a set of options on Zoom that cause it to save multiple different video streams: one of the speaker alone, and a separate one of any shared content (e.g. powerpoint slides). So this was done for a really interesting talk last week about Artificial Intelligence. The speaker really knew his stuff and presented well, and I thought I could make a good video using the separate streams.

So I downloaded them to my big screen iMac and opened iMovie and set to work. Immediately hit a snag: I didn’t know how to get iMovie to cut back and forth between two streams. I knew this is something people do. You shoot the same interview with two (or more) cameras, and there has to be a way to smoothly cut from one camera to another, without losing sync with the sound.

Well, if you don’t know how to do something, there is only one place to go. No, not ChatGPT, not yet. I refer to YouTube. It took a little searching but I found a good YT tutorial on how to do exactly what I wanted. Then over a couple of hours, I made a video that mostly shows the speaker talking, but cuts smoothly to his slide whenever that is needed to let the viewer read the details. It isn’t up on the Vimeo channel as I write, but soon will be.

At 1:30 it was time to join the carpool of Channing House fans of the Pear Theater, to attend the Sunday matinee of “Pear Slices”. That’s an annual festival of short, new dramatic works by local authors. Not a skit show, these are serious one-acts. Of the ten (ten!) short plays, several were funny or thought-provoking. Some were duds, but that’s how it goes.

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