1 Word = 1000 Pictures

The word I got is “dance”. I thought of the traditional meaning of dance, which is someone or something moving to a certain rhythm. Instead of my usual start of a production, which is by drawing a mind-map, I decided to do it differently this time. I went on a long walk with my DSLR camera, I always find the darkness of the night very comforting, shooting seems less awkward at night time.

I went along the Charles River and the enlessly long bridge that connects Boston and Cambridge. The night light was something that attracted my eyes gradually throughout the night. The amount of light movement in the breeze was more than I could imagine. The light reflection on the surface of the water, the flag torn in between the directions of the wind, and the blurry busy lights that danced to the city’s rythmn. I got home and reviewed the footage, and started to draw my story board.

I was happy with my new findings, but the videos seemed a bit shaky becuase I didn’t have a tripod. My presence was more than I intended.

So I got a tripod and planned a second night walk along the river. Because it was the second time shooting, I didn’t just want to repeat myself. I tried my best to notice small things that I would ignore that can be interpreted as “dance”. For example, I saw a kid roller blading on the street with glowing-in -the-dark wheels. I also manually adjusted the lenses so it would create a bukeh effect that abstracted the light.

Out of my self-serving purpose, I want this video to be a documentation of my time Boston. So I could review it in maybe 30 years and find it personal. I wanted to capture the Citgo sign as it is a landmark of Boston.

The editing part was the most fun. I tried different techniques and I found the dissolve and cross fade suited the nature of the subject matter very well. The challenge is to transition naturally from frame to frame. Make it effortless but intentional with the way the light moves.

I focused mostly on the sequence of the video instead of visual effects. Just building the structure of the video. The first draft was pretty rough with the lines and transitions.

The second draft was much better with more of a smooth transition. However, there were still places that needed more attention to make it as smooth as possible. The feathering feature on Premier Pro was key to hide the split screen to merge two scenes into one cohesive, abstract background.

The final edit of the video contains more play with opacity and zooming, cutting out the part that seemed shaky. Also considering how the video loops itself, I added the ending overlay to the beginning so it feels complete.

I really enjoyed filming and looking for little signs of dance all around Boston. Video editing is therapeutic and intuitive. I like my twist to the meaning of the original word. I look forward to sharing this with everyone.