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The Friday Roundup – Magix Goes Shopping, Fake VR and Interview Lighting

Interview Lighting Tips

One of the beauties of an interview setting is the fact that it is a controlled situation as far a shooting goes.

Unlike a children’s party where nothing seems to stay still for a second, an interview offers not only a controlled setup but also the ability to retake shots and or sequences.

A lot of amatuer videographers tend not to think in terms of doing interviews because their experience with them is generally confined to watching interviews on documentaries or TV news programs.

The interview format can lend itself to some great footage and in ways that you may have never really thought of.

One of the first ones I ever did was as a closing sequence to a holiday project I was working on for my parents.

Being a realist I knew that they were not actually going to be enthralled by endless shots of me and my wife on holidays.

To them that would have been a bunch of stuff they had to sit through in order to get to the real interest in the video which of course was their grandson!

So as is the case with many “family holiday” videos it was predominantly lots of footage of holidays activities heavily featuring my son with the occasional shot of me and the wife.

Some had good sound that I could use, most didn’t because of the restrictions of an onboard microphone.

Those sections were cut together in the form of montages using background music.

However the real eye opener for me was that after I had finished it and it looked like a pretty stock standard holiday video I decided to add a section at the end for fun.

All I did was sit down with my son with a few snapshots from the holiday.

With the camera rolling I asked him to go through some of those snapshots and got him to talk about what was in it, what was happening at the time, how he felt about it etc.

Just a regular conversation.

After about 30 minutes of this I stopped shooting.

I took all that footage and cut out all the “umms” and “I know knows” and general non-answers kids give and cut it down to about three minutes of… interview.

To this day, and that was about five years ago, this is the only video my parents still talk about and the only style they ask for repeatedly.

So you see an “interview” does not necessarily have to be what you have seen already, it can be like mine or it can be preserving the memories an elderly relative or a whole range of personal things.

Getting back to the fixed setup aspect of it the interview it allows you to control the lighting setup but of course most of us don’t use lighting setups at all.

The reality is that there are some very simple lighting setups you can use that can give your videos great quality and many don’t really need some kind of professional equipment.

The article below links to a guide on some common interview setups and they a very simple to achieve.

The good part is it comes with little diagrams of each lighting arrangement so it’s very easy to visualize.

Fake Virtual Reality & First Person Look: Tutorial

So as we progress into 2016 the talk of 360 degree video and VR videos is becoming more and more frequent.

Although I am including a video on it this week I still feel this is a style of video and a development in the technology that needs to be watched and not acted upon.

Yes it is totally cool and yes it ticks all the right geeky boxes but nearly all of these emerging technologies do.

The trick is holding off until they go totally mainstream.

Right now as a person interested in video you are being bombarded with the “need” to go into 4K video.

The push on that gets louder by the day.

The reality is that unless you have a high end camera and a monster of a computer AND a really, really big TV, the benefits are quite limited at this point.

Yes, we are all going there eventually but right now we are still on the train, we have not reached that destination quite yet!

The same goes for 360 degree video and VR video.

Yes it is coming and yes when it gets here FULLY it will probably be awesome but right now it’s best to watch and wait.

Watch the development and wait for the early adopters to blow their cash so that the companies involved can recoup their development costs.

Once the dust has settled, swoop in and grab yourself a bargain!

Magix Shops Until they Drop!

So the probably the biggest news of this week would have to be the joint announcement by Sony Creative and Magix of the sale of most of Sony Creative’s software range to Magix.

The sale includes pretty much all of Sony’s video editing product line as well as the audio range.

This means that Sony Vegas, Sony Movie Studio, Sound Forge Pro and Acid Pro will be switched over to the Magix brand.

Sony Creative have said they will be holding on to the SCS Catalyst Browse and Catalyst Production Suite products and will continue development and support of them into the future.

So what does it all mean?

Well for existing Sony users it probably doesn’t really mean much at all.

Yes there will be the inevitable cries of abandonment from the masses and predictions of the end of the world but remember, both companies are public and profit driven so screwing with the bottom line is not what they want to do.

From Sony’s point of view this is probably a good move.

Their ability to move forward at the consumer end of the market has been pretty lacklustre over the years and to me it has always seemed to be a market they could never wrap their heads around.

Their top end products like Sound Forge and Vegas Pro have probably also hit a wall in development and as a company most likely felt their energy was better spent elsewhere.

This is illustrated by them retaining the SCS Catalyst products which are squarely aimed at not just the pro level but at the pro broadcast level.

From Magix point of view if they handle it right, this is potentially a great move.

Although Magix have had two great video editing products for years now, both Movie Edit Pro and Video Pro X have never really set the world on fire as far as international sales go.

Sure they have done well on their home turf of Germany and Europe but outside of that and despite their best efforts, they have never really been able to penetrate what was already a saturated market.

To outright buy three of the exact products that are responsible for keeping them at bay for years is most likely a good move.

They already Have Movie Edit Pro, Video Pro X and a range of excellent audio programs so buying the competition makes sense.

Of course all of this will depend heavily on Magix ability to keep the existing users calm and onboard and only time will tell as to how all of that will go!

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