Wednesday, May 20, 2009

((( Lesson 49 )))

So after a 7 week gap, I have uploaded my latest English lesson. This is the 49th  in my series of English videos and it is slightly different from all the rest. The main difference being its length. It runs to 33 minutes, which is quite unusual for a Youtube video, never mind one which has been made in High Definition. This lesson took me three weeks to make, in which time I wrote the script, set up the 32 scenes that would make up the lesson, and many re shoots of stuff I was unhappy with. This is also the first lesson where I have heavily used Green-Screen Chroma key effects. I had used it briefly in the 'Death' lesson, but at that time I had no real green backdrop and my lighting was pretty bad to say the least.

During May I invested in a set of professional studio lamps and a huge studio green screen backdrop. This now allows me to make 'composite' shots. This means that I can now layer many different clips of video over each other to produce a totally unique moving image. In fact the method is the same as they use in many big budget movies these days. So part of that three weeks production was taken up with getting used to using the new studio set up.

I also bought some new video editing software, which takes the number of editing tools to five. This allows me to swap and change between different features and hopefully add some interesting moments to the lesson. Music has always been an important part of my video making and now I have many more options for producing my own music. The main 'food' theme was written and produced by myself and this was the first time is had ever made a full length tune for a lesson. Filming took many days and editing took around six days to complete.

The hardest part of making these videos is the adding of screen captions and subtitles. For lesson 49, it took two days to create just the subtitles!  Of course this is a big task and there was bound to be a mistake or two. I was rather annoyed to find a spelling mistake had made it to the final edit. The word 'dessert' was spelt as 'desert', which has a completely different meaning to the word I wanted to spell. I felt quite sick in my stomach after realising it...after all I'm a perfectionist and I hate making mistakes....very much!

This is one of the dangers of running words through a spellchecker. Normally I do all checking by hand...but because the subtitles and captions text came to over 2000 words, I decided to run them through the spell check. Of course the misspelled 'desert' is a real word, so the spell check ignored it.

Of course I realised this mistake after uploading the lesson to Youtube, which had taken 14 hours!  So that error will be there to stay. This is a good lesson for me...Do not rely too much on time-saving programmes, as they can bring you more problems later.

I will begin preparing lesson 50 soon, and I have something special planned for that one. I will be off on my travels for the next instalment. (Not abroad sadly!)

Hope you enjoy the lesson....




Dina said...

it's Dina from Egypt :)
i really like your lesson i downloaded all lessons :)
it's very useful for me to improve my English :)

I will watch this lesson after finish my Exams
thanks a lot for your lessons :D

Yelizev said...

It was very interested to get serious short lecture on your merry way while I watched it. Thank you for your humane way in a teaching!

Yelizev Arthur (Kiev, Ukraine)

Irina said...

Hello, Duncan!
Thank you for your 49-lesson!
The subject of the lesson was quite easy for understanding :)
I think that the big duration of the video is not a problem. Everyone can take a break or can keep on watching it the other day. I have learned a lot of new words from this lesson.
The “food” theme was pretty good. You are the person of manifold gifts! :)
But there was something that bothered me: it’s heavily use of special effects. I understand that you have just bought your new studio equipment and wanted to show us all its potentialities. But it was too much for me.
I appreciate deeply your hard work and that you devote so much time teaching us! :)

Anonymous said...

Superb lesson! The scene with the bag "Dunk Flakes" was very funny :-) I think the special effects in the lesson are all right!

Yelizev said...

Thank you for great job that is real contribution to us.

I think that the density of visual effects is pretty big.

In time of every lectures I try to reproduce your monologue and emotion from a screen but video effects every time impedes my efforts and my emotional contact with you.

I believe that the process of copying the movement of your lips and the muscles of the face is very helpful for the development of spoken language.

I like when you say emotionally and sincerely funny. I like some video-effects between a parts or pauses in lecture.

Thank you!
Yelizev Arthur

Quyet said...

I'm Quyet from Vietnam.
I find that learning your lesson is very exciting and helpful.
I'm now trying my best to learn English, I spend more than 5 hours a day for learing English. Your lesson help me so much.
Maybe my life will change when I learn English. Thanks for all your lesson.