My Background in Making Song Videos

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Title: My Background in Making Song Videos
Creator: Mary S. Van Deusen and Paul R. Kosinski
Date(s): 1996
Medium: vidding
Fandom: multi
External Links: online here; Archive
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My Background in Making Song Videos was written by Mary S. Van Deusen.

It is an article that describes her start in vidding and of the technological challenges of the day.

Also see What are Literary Music Videos? and Making Your Own Song Tapes.


It was only in 1985 that I believe I saw my first song videos - Starsky and Hutch. I never knew that any other videos existed in any other fandoms. The people that I knew were just moving from the earliest type of video making, that is, they were no longer using stop watches to time clips that were assemble edited together and then copied with the audio cable attached to an audio source. Instead, Pam Perry had purchased an RCA 800 VCR, which allowed one to lay down an audio track, and then insert edit scenes into it. I immediately went out and bought one. My husband Paul, as usual, figured out how it worked, and I made a bunch of Starsky and Hutch videos.
Most of the sophistication I developed was on these two Beta machines. My style of working is to usually begin an edit at the beginning of the word part of the music phrase, leaving the intervening music with the preceding clip. I set my in and out points on the recorder, then I did the arithmetic to discover how long the interval was. Next I went to the source machine and found the appropriate clip. I would play the video and hit pause on the fly, looking for the end point by emotion. Then I would backtime to find the in point that let the clip I inserted end when I wanted. Of course, this has to adjust to reality if your clips aren't the right size to fit, or whatever. For a slow song, moving to the beginning of the music phrase interlude, instead of starting at the words, gives you a slurring effect that works with the rhythm.
Of all the people I taught, the one that I remember picking up the most advanced ideas was DJ Driscoll. I usually didn't explain how to make a music note match with a video moment, since it was a more complicated mathematical description, but DJ was eager and open and absorbed like a sponge. (For those interested, you keep, say, the in point of the record position, but use as your out point the moment before the sound you want. Calculate that interval. Find the action on the source machine and set an out point just before. Then calculate backwards to that in point. Go back to the record machine and set the proper out point to the end of the music phrase. Recalculate. Go back to the source machine and verify that you're in a good position when you hit that interval end. Then edit.)
We're now editing with the AVID Express Pro digital editing system. I knew AVID from the day they were a tiny little corner display at NAB, so it's wonderfully exciting to be actually working on one of these now. We have it set up in the motor home and it works beautifully, unless the power drops to the unit, all the disks break down and the dog goes into nervous spasms. Needless to say, I back up constantly. It should be remembered that I'm not a professional making fan videos, I'm a fan that was able to turn my passion into a career, and you have my deepest wishes that you, too, will be able to meld your worlds together. I'm a fan. And I'm proud of it.