Assignment: Sync external audio

Due February 28 – March 1, as

  • a HandBraked m4v and
  • as an iMovie (we’ll plug your machine directly into the projector)

The basic job is to produce a 2-minute film for which you record the audio with two devices at the same time:

  1. camera (maybe, laptop), recording video and audio
  2. separate device (iPhone/Touch*/Android/second laptop with or without eternal mic), recording just audio

Use a lav mic/boom mic/desk mic or place theclapperboard second device very near the subject to get the best possible audio.

When you’re done, sync the second audio to the video as shown in this YouTube tutorial. She has the subject clap his hands instead of using a clapperboard:

After you have a good sync,  export the new video+audio interview out, then re-import it so that you never lose the sync.

The best results will

  1. be shot at 1080 (maybe), so you can
    1. crop in post for close-ups and medium close-ups, and
    2. use a very slow push in during longish clips
  2. use the Rule of Thirds for framing
    1. with the subject looking at the interviewer, not the camera,
    2. generally with the interviewee facing into the 2/3 section, eyeline across the larger part of the frame
  3. beware of having the subject be too close to a wall behind them – makes them seem trapped/stuck
  4. maybe use green screen, not for stupid effect, but going for “real”
  5. maybe use a camera with a good zoom/telephoto, to shrink the depth of field to the subject’s face +/- a foot or so
  6. edit out the interviewer’s question(s),
    1. ask your interviewee in advance to re-state your question in their answer; if they don’t do it, remind them and ask the question again
  7. have a caption/title in the frame at the beginning of the interview telling us who the person is,
  8. have a mix of shots (mostly close-ups and medium close-ups),
  9. have several edits in the interview
    1. which shows that you’ve figured out how to edit both audio and video and re-sync them,
    2. some of which are covered by b-roll, and
    3. at least one of them covered by a seamless jump cut (!) with a change of framing (e.g, close-up to medium close-up)
  10. have adjusted all audio so that the volume levels are consistent, and
  11. perhaps be interesting or funny (although that’s not the point — your interview can just be dumb, as long as you get the technical stuff right),
  12. have considered the possibility of introducing the interviewee with their words before we see their face, either in a voiceover over black or title or over b-roll,
  13. have quite high production values – the whole thing as “professional” as you can make it look. Not kid stuff. Think through the framing, the background, the lighting.

The assignment is played in iMovie, so we can watch how you did it.

Some of this is covered in this Vimeo about filming an interview.