I had last covered a Flash mob three years ago, when dancing ban at public places in Bangalore was making fresh headlines. It had got some of the city’s dancing enthusiasts to assemble at a public square with music quietly streaming from their portable players. The confused security guards at the square were struggling to disperse the crowd. But, the dancers ended the show on their own as per a plan, and merged with the crowd.
Dancing ban continues to make news in the local media. But, people are also beginning to openly talk about the emerging movement of Slut walk. The walk is a protest march against the idea of blaming the case of rape to a victim’s appearance. Slut Walk originated in Canada early this year, but has rapidly spread across the world in few months. Recently, the first Slut walk in India took place at New Delhi. It was popularly called as the ‘Besharmi Morcha’.
There is a Slut Walk planned in Bangalore towards the end of this year. As a run up to Slutwalk Bangalore, its organisers have planned a series of activities. The first of these activities was a Flash Mob held at two places, Brigade Road and UB City, on Sunday, 25th September 2011. I was there to cover the Flash Mob held at Brigade Road that caught most people by surprise.
This time, I covered this as a video assignment. The full HD video was shot on my Canon 5D mark2 DSLR camera. And I recorded the Stereo audio on a Zoom H1 handy recorder. This project was also part of the larger idea of exploring low-cost alternatives to expensive Video Editing Suites. Investing on Final Cut Pro (FCP) or Adobe Premier Pro is an expensive affair for independent photographers like me.
My first step to multimedia production was through Soundslides. I recommend this low-cost software for any photographers making the transition to multimedia. It enables quick multimedia production of audio slide-shows involving photographs. My project Fistful Of Dreams was a Soundslides production.
Limitation of soundslides arises when video footage is also part of any multimedia project. This is where the dilemma for video recording arises. Most photographers today own DSLR cameras with HD video recording capability. But, default video editing software packaged with operating systems fail to handle the video files from these cameras. And hence cost barriers to professional video editing suites makes most photographers ignore videos in their story-telling projects.
I began this year trying out various alternatives for video editing. Some couldn’t handle the video directly and needed conversion to an intermediate format. Some handled the files by creating proxy files. Finally, I stumbled upon Pinnacle Studio Ultimate 15 which claimed to edit DSLR video directly. So, I spent a day downloading the 30 day trial version (heavy installation file. nearly 2.5 GB!) of the software from the internet. And then I spent a morning going through its interactive web tutorials.
Bingo! I had made a sample project by then. A promo to a fictitious movie starring me, my beard, and an imaginary cast (nobody would want to see this movie!), was quickly rendered and directly uploaded to YouTube by the software itself.
Then came the real test. A real project – Flash Mob of Slutwalk Bangalore. I am relatively happy with how this software handled my 5D video. I feel this is enough for small or independent projects that I need to edit by myself. At $99, this is worth every bit of the money. I might consider buying it. But, I finished only day 1 of the 30-day free trial this software provides. I’ll wait and see how this evolves. Also, meanwhile I’ll explore other low-cost alternatives or open-source Video Editing software. (If anyone has other alternatives, then please do suggest me some)
For now, watch the Flash Mob (Slutwalk Bangalore) video below and see how a quick post production of a 5D video project can be done in an evening.
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