iPhone Filmmaking

Recently I have paid attention on those websites and tutorials about “How to shoot and edit nice videos with your iPhone?" Well, this is one of them I’d say “fantastic". The guy shot and edited a short film with his iPhone 4S, and it looks pretty good in my opinion. There’s another video on how he shot and what did he use for the post-production. Check’em out people.

Remember, the key to make a good video is not on the tools, it’s indeed on the skills.

Merry Christmas Everyone! Here Comes My Little Christmas Gift

Today is Christmas Day, I’m here to wish everyone a warm, sweet and merry Christmas. Well, on this most wonderful day of the year, I have a little gift for everyone of you. What is that? It’s my another finished video project – “Free Muni Service In San Francisco On New Year’s Eve". This is a series of motion graphics PSA that I created and designed, the message is very simple and clear – to inform everyone in San Francisco that there will be free transportation on this New Year’s Eve night, also to encourage them to take public transportation instead of driving.

What makes so special to me is that this is my first time working on a PSA like this, on the other hand, this is also my very first time (trust me, it’s really my first time) to make a video for a specific group of community. As you can see, besides the English version of the PSAs, I made a Chinese version, too. You know, the Chinese community is a large ethnicity group in San Francisco, even our current Mayor is also a Chinese American. Today, many instructions, documentation, announcements, etc., are now available in Chinese here in San Francisco. You can now hear people speaking Chinese on the bus, the announcement on the bus is also available in Chinese, so Chinese language has almost become an unofficial language of San Francisco.

Making a PSA or video in Chinese language means a lot to me. First, I’m a Chinese American, so I feel proud to serve my group of community. Second, it’s a good way to proof that I still have the proficiency on my mother tongue, even I have not studied Chinese for many years.

Again, merry Christmas everyone, and enjoy the PSAs.


MV “Holiday Spirit In San Francisco 2011″ Available On YT Now

Everyone, I’ve made the promise. The music video that I shot and edited is now available on my Youtube channel! (Just scroll down your browser a little bit to watch it) As you are (or will be) watching the video, let me tell you briefly on my idea and the concept of it.

The music video title “Holiday Spirit In San Francisco 2011″, as the name suggests, the video is about to showcase the holiday spirit around the City of San Francisco, with warm and joyful holiday music leading the mood and pace. The locations that I were showcasing the holiday spirit include: Union Square Ice Rink, Embarcadero Center Ice Rink, Pier 39, Stonestown Galleria, Financial District, Ghirardelli Square and Powell Street Cable Cars. Most of the locations are well known by tourists, and some of the locations are very important for people in San Francisco and its vicinities. You can see on most of the video – Christmas trees, Christmas decorations, with people having smile on their face, taking pictures under the Christmas trees, and skating at the ice rinks with lots of fun. So this is the Christmas in San Francisco.

My idea of this video is to show everyone the best of holiday season in San Francisco. And I also want all people, whether they’re local San Franciscans or tourists, to feel the joy and festive atmosphere. I know, I know it’s a tough economic time for people here in San Francisco and even the entire country, but at this most wonderful time of the year, we should temporarily forget sorrow, enjoy the Christmas holiday with your friends and families. More importantly I brought out a message at end of the video, “Holiday Spirit Is Everywhere In The City".

I’m here to wish everyone have a safe, warm and joyful Christmas holiday. Happy Holidays!

Major Part Of Holiday MV Is Finished – Ready To Release This Tuesday

All right, after spending nearly a week of editing and implementing visual effects, the major part of my holiday season theme music video “Holiday Spirit In San Francisco 2011″ is now finished. Yay! What I mean “finished" is that everything besides the “Bars & Tone", “Slate" and “Ending Credits" is finished, but those things are actually needed for TV broadcasting, you won’t actually see those when I put my video on the Youtube.

Speaking of the release of the music video, like I said at the beginning, the video is mostly ready, but I have scheduled the release date on this Tuesday, December 20, which is five days before Christmas. I believe it should be the best time to release such holiday season theme music video, you know, the holiday spirit and Christmas atmosphere are usually the strongest a few days before Christmas. When you see the video, you’ll feel that atmosphere.

Again, my video will be available on my Youtube channel www.youtube.com/leivictor, and you can also visit my Facebook page www.facebook.com/victorleivideo and follow me on twitter @victorleivideo to get all latest news about my upcoming video projects and new videos.

Now, I have some still shots of the music video for you to “sneak a peek", enjoy! Happy Holidays everyone!

Media Composer Quick Tip

Film and Video Editor San Francisco

Quick Transitions Bin. Not the most used trick in my workflow, but it turns heads every time. Create a new bin. Put it anywhere, who cares. Name it (very specifically, and case-sensitive) “Quick Transitions“. Let’s say you are Alfonso Cuaron and really dig your black, soft-edged elipse wipes. Create one, and drag the effect into this bin. Now, EVERY time you hit the dissolve key on your keyboard, your fancy, custom effect is listed in the standard dissolve dialog!!!

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The Post Production Of My Holiday MV Project Kicks Off Today

After spending weeks for shooting video footage from different location around San Francisco, this morning I have officially started the post production of my upcoming holiday music video project. Unlike the past projects that I did, I’m using Avid Media Composer to edit this project, which involves totally different workflows and process, and that’s a challenge for me. First of all, I’ve been using Final Cut Pro for almost two years, and I can use FCP proficiently without a lot of obstacles. On the other hand, I also have experience in Avid MC, but besides I used it and worked on it in school, I rarely use it in editing my own projects or projects of others. I mean I can work on both FCP and Avid environments without any problem, however, I need to have some adaptation when I use Avid, such as review the books and materials, study the shortcuts, and more importantly, not to mess up with the process and workflows of FCP. Luckily, even though I use Avid far less than FCP, but I still have pretty good working knowledge of it.

Back to my project. This morning I started reviewing all the video footage that I shot, making notes for them, then began with the first rough cut. So far, I have finished about the first two minutes of rough cut, and it was not bad. Of there’re still lots of work to do before I can put it on the Internet, but I believe I can finish it on time and make it available for everyone just in time for the Christmas holiday. I know this will be my busiest week for months, but I think that your support is more than everything. I know some people are reading my blog, so I’m here to say thank you to them. You are my true supporters. Thank you.

I’ll keep you posted on the progress of my holiday MV project throughout the week, and you can always visit my Facebook page and follow me on Twitter @victorleivideo to get any updates about me and my projects.

Holiday Spirit SF 2011 Production Wraps Up Tomorrow, More Works To Come

This week, I went to a few more locations to shoot my holiday theme music video in the City of San Francisco for this delightful holiday season of 2011. Embarcadero Ice Rink, Stonestown, Union Square, just to name a few. This afternoon, I actually went to shoot at two more locations in SF. First I was shooting at the public area of a commercial building in the heart of the Financial District, it’s really a beautiful scene. With many tourists walking by and taking pictures, (actually it’s not a tourist spot) I think the place and the feeling really fits my purpose of making this holiday music video – showing the holiday atmosphere around the City. I shot and snapped pictures and videos there before heading to the second location.

About half an hour later, I left the first location, took the F-line, and heading toward the Pier 39, where there is a big Christmas tree. I arrived and began to shoot, at the time when I arrived, there were lots of people around the tree, most of them are tourists, (I guess) and they were taking pictures under the tree. Some people were taking pictures of their friends, some were taking pictures of their family or their love ones, I just feel so sweet. But you know what? It’s not just sweet, but it’s so cold at the Pier 39! I stood there and shot videos for almost one hour, at the time when I left I felt my hands is freezing. I should better wear a coat before getting there, it was just too cold! Anyway, I wrapped up the shoot around 4 this afternoon.

So tomorrow is the last day of my shooting of this holiday music video, I’ll be going to the Powell St Cable Car Terminal as well as the area around the San Francisco Shopping Center. All production should be wrapped up by tomorrow afternoon, then I’ll start the post-production on Monday. You know what? I should finish my post-production really fast because I’m expecting to release my video on either December 19 or 20, just in time for the Christmas holiday. So lots of work ahead, but I believe I could get it done on time. More importantly, I want to show everyone how people in San Francisco are preparing for the holiday season.

I snapped some pictures this afternoon, enjoy! Until next time. You can always check out my “Holiday Spirit In San Francisco 2011 – Production Photos" on my Facebook page www.facebook.com/victorleivideo. Remember, remember to “like" my page when you’re seeing the pictures, okay?

Top 28 Best Motion Graphics Blogs and Resources

Top 28 Best Motion Graphics Blogs and Resources.

Top 28 Best Motion Graphics Blogs and Resources

Check this out. There’re lots of great resources for the motionographers. A few websites I’d definitely recommend include “Video Copilot", “Creative Cow", “Pro Video Coalition" and “Red Giant Software Blog". Use them with your unlimited creativity!

I Have Started A New Project

Thanksgiving has passed, now it’s only about three weeks until Christmas. Every year since 2009, I have made several short videos showing the holiday spirit around the City of San Francisco. This year, I’m going to do this once again. Since last Wednesday, I have been shooting video footage at many different locations around the City, including Stonestown Galleria, Union Square, Embarcadero Center, Macy’s at Union Square, etc. Other places I’m planning to shoot video are Pier 39, along Market Street, Powell Street Cable Car Turnaround, outside the San Francisco Shopping Center… Any place that has strong holiday atmosphere will be considered.

I’ll be done with shooting by the end of this year, then I’ll start with the editing, and let me tell you, this is a music-driven video, so choosing a good music track is very important. This is a holiday theme video, holiday music is the choice of course. One other thing I should mention, I’ll edit this video with Avid Media Composer, which I call “Avid Challenge”. Honestly I haven’t edit with Avid for months, so it’ll be a challenge. I’ll also use After Effects to create some visual effects for the video.

The project is expected to be done December 20, and it’s going to be shown on my YouTube channel just in time for the holidays.

Now just sneak a peek on some of the production pictures! I will upload more pictures later this week.