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Automatic cutting of boring parts from long videos

Automatic cutting of boring parts from long videos

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Sanditon happenings…

pemberleydigital:

Domino, begin recording:

Hey all.  We wanted to fill you in on a few things happening in the world of Sanditon:

“Welcome To Sanditon” Reel:

You may have seen the short LBD Reel that we put together last year. It’s become a very useful tool for giving an overview of what the show was all about to people who didn’t see it.

So we went ahead and made something similar for Welcome To Sanditon.

RP Wiki:

Did you know that over a year later, there are hundreds of active Sanditon RP accounts?  Now, some of the RPers have put together a wiki to document who’s who in town these days. Check it out, and see what’s been going on.

Storium:

Thanks to everybody who backed the Storium Kickstarter. We’re dotting the Tees and crossing the Eyes on that, after which we’ll begin putting together the materials that will go into the Storium world.  No concrete timelines as of yet, but we’re hoping to get it done in time for a September release. If that changes, we’ll let you know.

Jay & Margaret

How the Domino compilation videos are made

Here’s a peek at how the bi-weekly UGC compilation videos come together:

We get hundreds of submissions uploaded to the Domino portal each week, and we track all of them. The spreadsheet is huge.

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On the Monday before the episode will be posted, I go through the submissions from the previous two weeks. I watch every video and look for connections between them, lines or moments where multiple people are discussing similar topics, or where there is some connection between the video and the main story line. 

This is where it gets a bit tricky. During our first shoot day a few months ago we filmed Alison’s intros for these videos, guessing where we thought the conversation might be at that point. In many cases, our guesses didn’t pan out.  So we’ve had to shuffle the intros around a bit – you may notice that the previous episode’s Next Video clip doesn’t always match up with the intro we end up using. 

The challenge is to find connections in the Domino videos that relate to 1) each other 2) the current state of the main story line and 3) one of the Gigi intros that we have in the can. 

These connections can sometime be oblique. For example, the opening of Ep 12: Domino Feels features a sequence of people talking about their artistic pursuits. Sometimes they can be more direct: the end of that episode has a line from Sanditon Paranormal about the spirits being upset, which is a good match for the video submitted by the Friendly Ghost of Sanditon. It entirely depends on the video submission we’ve received over the previous two weeks.

The other major factor is the quality of the recording. There are sometimes great pieces of content submitted that we can’t use becuase the lighting is too low, or the sound quality is to quiet or too noisy.  We try really hard to not be too stringent with this quality line, since we don’t want the availability of expensive gear to be a determining factor in who gets to participate or who doesn’t.  One more tip – if you use music in your video that you didn’t create yourself, we can’t use it since we don’t have a license for it.

If many different people are talking about the same topic, that will ususally increase the likelihood of that topic making it into the compilation video. For instance, there was the creation of “L’il Jawsica,” whose story was weighed in on by so many different people and went in so many different directions – an investigation, school closures, the naming of the local hockey team (I still want a Sanditon Shark Attack t-shirt) – that it gave us a wealth of material to work from. You guys are creating some awesome stuff, and we’re always thrilled to see how creatively you’re expanding the town. 

Last week, we added another element by using the Theatrics “Call To Action” function – you’ll notice there’s now a tab on the front page that will take you to the latest Message from the Domino Development Team. The Call To Action is a suggestion for a potential topic of conversation. These are also tricky to craft, as they need to be rooted in the most recent episode and also encourage responses that will be used two weeks in the future.

Our current plan is to add new Calls To Action (or CTAs, as they’re known in the biz) on the Monday or Tuesday after a compliation episode.  These should be considered general conversation starters, jumping off points for your descriptions of what your life in Sanditon is like.  

So, we take all of these factors into account when choosing clips that make it into the compilation videos.  By the end of Monday, I’ll have a list to send to our editors, who assemble a first cut and add the intro and title cards. We look at that cut and make adjustments where needed, usually for time – we try to keep these videos under five minutes, including the intro.

The last part is choosing an episode title, which always comes from something a person in the video says. Then we upload the video to YouTube and add descriptions; if you click More Info, we include the names of everybody who is in the epsiode.  At first we included their twitter handles, but not everybody had one so instead we changed to including links to the full video from where we got the clip.

I know there is a segment of the audience that doesn’t like these videos, and that’s their prerogative  It’s not my place to tell them they’re right or wrong.  I would however like to clarify one misapprehension: we are not producing these videos instead of other videos with our main actors. If we didn’t make these compilations, there would be no video every other Thursday. There were many factors that went into this plan, but now is not the right time to go into them – perhaps after the series is over.

These videos are a lot of fun to put together. I’m constantly amazed at the creativity that gets put into the stories being creating in our shared little town.

EDIT:  I forgot to mention – wherever possible we try to include a clip from Sarah Richard-Preston, as a part of the Kickstarter perk that she purchased.

aeternamente asked: What are your thoughts on Gigi using the company channel to talk about personal/private issues?

By request, here’s a rebloggable version of this answer:

aeternamente asked: What are your thoughts on Gigi using the company channel to talk about personal/private issues? How is that similar to/different from Lizzie and Lydia talking about personal/private issues on their vlogs?

I’m not going to comment or speculate on that- it’s up to you guys to decide how you feel about it.  But what I will do is give you a little bit of backstory on how the Gigi spinoff came to be.

As some of you may know, up until recently I worked for Fourth Wall Studios, a transmedia studio creating original online content.  At Fourth Wall, I helped to create the series Dirty Work, which won an Emmy last year for original interactive content. I also created and wrote the pilot for a show called Airship Dracula, an animated steampunk reimagining of a section of Stoker’s novel, voiced by Alan Tudyk and Tammin Sursok.

Both of these shows were built on a proprietary platform called RIDES, that synchronized web video with your mobile phone through calls, email and text messages.  Later on, there was a companion app that handled synced content in a single place, so it wasn’t at the mercy of the phone networks or text services and offered us greater control of the experience.

When I first came on board the LBD, I brought Bernie in to meet with Fourth Wall to see if there was a way to work together. (And also, honestly, because I had been already pitching a P&P adaptation internally and it wasn’t getting much traction.)  They passed on it, but more importantly I got their blessing to join the project outside of work. 

Cut to a few months later, and the show is now, y’know, THE SHOW. And we we’re looking ahead to the Lydia downfall arc and thinking of some of the adaptation issues inherent in novel vs. dramatic story structures.  It seemed that we needed to see at least something of what Darcy was up to, rather than just having him completely offscreen for the whole time and then finding out later.  Something that we’re constantly wrestling with in this adaptation is the agency of the main characters.  We want things to turn out well, and we want to stay true to the source material, but we also want our characters to be modern and believable. And let’s face it, all the problems in Pride and Prejudice are solved by really rich men fixing things with their money.  So finding a way to make all of these conflicting requirements work is a continuing challenge. Sometimes it seems impossible. Which is why I’ve started referring to this story problem as the “Patriarchy Maru.” You’ll let us know if we end up finding a way to make it work. 

Anyway, I brought Bernie into Fourth Wall again, and this time we pitched them on a Gigi spinoff that – rather than YouTube – would be seen on the RIDES platform.  It would feature Gigi vlogging, and then you would receive phone calls from Darcy and text messages from Fitz, etc.  We were pretty close to nailing that down when Fourth Wall hit a rocky patch and ended up halting new production.

So the idea of a Gigi-centric Ride was dead. But out of the ashes came the Domino concept.