This is my first attempt at making a very short film.
Last Day at the Stadium
a very short film - © MMXII Chimptastic Productions
Video Editor & Producer: Chimponaughty
The Music track's license is Creative Commons:
Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 Italy
Video File Details
File: Last Day at the Stadium.wmv
Type: Windows Media Audio/Video file
Dimensions: 640 x 480
Size: 17.0 MB
Last Day at the Stadium (silent)
a very short silent film - © MMXII Chimptastic Productions
Being a life long film enthusiast and having a great fondness for chimpanzees, my creative urge was finally sparked and I decided to make a short film featuring chimps. I was inspired to create a black & white film edited together from old found footage after discovering a brilliant collage film noir on Vimeo, "Dans l'ombre", "In the shadow". Short film. by Fabrice Mathieu vimeo.com/23200726 which brought to mind one of my favourite movies, "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid" by Carl Reiner starring Steve Martin and Rachel Ward.
My little editing/story telling project was also greatly influenced by (especially the choice of title) the great music track I finally chose, "L'Ultimo Giorno Allo Stadio" by Digi G'Alessio.
MY FIRST FILM MAKING JOURNEY
I know the whole process would be much quicker and simpler with the right resources and tools but, as a personal challenge to myself, I deliberately decided to restrict myself to a zero budget and to only use freely available FREE basic tools and resources. It's amazing what one can achieve with limited resources, the most basic of tools, and a little determination, ingenuity, passion and vision.
The ideas I had for the type of film I wanted to make led me to search the internet for suitable old black & white footage of chimpanzees. At the Internet Archive archive.org, in a sub-collection called the Collectie Filmcollectief (archive.org/details/collectie_filmcollectief) I found an old Castle Films home-movie entertainment 16mm silent comedy called "Who's New at the Zoo?", which although it contained the right kind of footage I was looking for, unfortunately a lot of it was covered with large onscreen narration text/subtitles in Dutch. I downloaded the 392MB MPEG2 file so I could review the film later. (archive.org/details/news-at-the-zoo) (CREDIT to filmcollectief.nl, Cor Draijer, who did the film restoration and the transfer from 16mm to MPEG file) After carefully viewing the film quite a few times I could see there was just enough good suitable footage (that wasn't covered with large onscreen Dutch text) for me to salvage and use to create a very short film.
Information about the film "Who's New at the Zoo?" is scarce and some seems to be inaccurate and misleading, it is listed in the archive as 1930 but I think that might be incorrect. The film itself is marked as 1955 United World Films Inc. Castle Films was a home-movie distributor founded in California by former newsreel cameraman Eugene W. Castle (1897–1960) in 1924. The company originally produced business and advertising films. By 1931 it had moved its principal office to New York City. In 1937, Castle branched out into 8 mm and 16 mm home movies, buying newsreel footage and old theatrical films for home use. In 1947, United World Films, Inc., the non-theatrical division of Universal Pictures, purchased a majority stake in Castle Films. Castle subsequently became a Universal subsidiary, drawing upon the studio's library of vintage films. So the footage in the film could be from 1930, but I doubt that date. The footage in the film looks to me to be re-edited found footage that could be from either the 1930s, 1940s, or early 1950s. I am still doing research to try to find out more information and also hopefully to fully clarify the copyright status. So at the moment (17 August 2012) I am not prepared to fully share this video.
THE EDITING PROCESS
"Last Day at the Stadium" was made mainly using Windows Movie Maker 2.1 on an old laptop running Windows XP Pro sp3 (please don't laugh HAHAHA).
Windows Movie Maker 2.1 would not accept the MPEG2 file and it was too large to upload to a free online file conversion service. So, I uploaded the MPEG2 file to YouTube and used the YouTube Video Editor youtube.com/create_detail/YouTubeVideoEditor to "chop it up" online and saved all the clips I wanted to keep as multiple new videos, which I then downloaded and saved as smaller mp4 files. I then uploaded those smaller mp4 files to a free online file converter convertfiles.com to convert them into AVI files. Downloaded and saved as AVI files, the clips were then compatible with Window Movie Maker. So I was then able to re-edit, duplicate and re-arrange the video clips to create my own different and darker story. I uploaded the first rough cut onto Vimeo and started searching on Vimeo Music Store vimeo.com/musicstore for suitable music to add as the audio soundtrack. After a long search, I finally decided on "L'Ultimo Giorno Allo Stadio" by Digi G'Alessio and downloaded the mp3 track from FMA freemusicarchive.org, via the Vimeo Music Store. Then I used Windows Movie Maker to add the mp3 track to the video and to re-edit the video so that the scenes in the film would be properly in sync with the added mp3 audio soundtrack. Once that task was completed and the video had an audio track, I uploaded the FIRST EDIT version of my video onto Vimeo. I made tweaks to improve the end titles/credits a couple of times so I just replaced the uploaded file of the posted video.
A long laborious process to produce a film that only runs for just over a minute, but I enjoyed every minute of doing it, a labour of love! Anyways, I hope you like the results. - Chimponaughty
UPDATE - 17 AUGUST 2012
I am thinking about re-editing this video, new version coming soon..... maybe!
After a few days, watching it again with fresh eyes, I am thinking that the video might benefit from another re-edit. I am currently in the process of thought preparation for that task. Preparation, preparation, preparation! If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail. hahahaha ;)
I'd like to improve the video quality and slightly increase the video's current resolution size, from 640 x 480 up to 720 x 576, not just to match the resolution of the original MPEG2 video file but because I think it would be a better more optimal viewing size. So, if I decide to do a re-edit, I'm going to start again from scratch. I will find another way to convert the whole original MPEG2 file to a WMM compatible format so I can do all the editing offline on WMM. Because this time I don't want to mess about uploading then editing and then doing lots of downloading of smaller files using YouTube or any other online video editing sites only then to upload and download the files again all just to get them converted so they are compatible to import into WMM. Also, I want to leave the music track unaltered and complete in it's original state. So it's going to be a tricky editing task for me now to re-sync the scenes in the film to fit the audio soundtrack again.
UPDATE - 20 AUGUST 2012
After some online searching I found an easy FREE solution to my video converting problem. I downloaded a freeware video converter from AVCLabs called Any Video Converter
LINKS: any-video-converter.com/products/for_video_free/ OR avclabs.com/free-resource.php
The freeware converter is quite user friendly but I am still learning how to use it, especially how to adjust the settings for things like resolutions and bitrates etc. The technical stuff is all still a bit of a mystery to me but, after some quick online googling research to educate myself a little about video files, formats, codecs, bitrates, resolutions, etc. and some trial and error, I have now managed to convert the MPEG2 .mpg file to good quality .avi and .asf files. Both converted files are the higher 720x576 resolution that I wanted to upgrade the current 640x480 video and both files are compatible with Windows Movie Maker 2.1
So, I am all set to start editing again...... BUT....... I might not bother re-editing this video. I am tempted to just leave it as it is and apply everything I have learnt so far to my next project. Thanks for reading. - Chimponaughty ;)
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