Garden Movie

Richard Bell's Wild West Yorkshire Nature Diary, Tuesday, 13th April 2010

Olympus 3000WHEN I told my friend John Gardner that I'd bought myself a little Olympus µ Tough 3000 he challenged me to make a 5 minute film for this evening's Wakefield Naturalists' Society members' night. So, for the past month, I've been setting up the camera on a tripod by the pond and the bird table and just leaving it in the hope of recording some action.

Movie Maker

movie makerWindows Live Movie Maker, which is available as a free download from Microsoft, proved easy to use; what took me some time was selecting a couple of minutes of action from the couple of hours that I'd recorded. The trim tool enables you to set start and end points with a slider control, alternatively, for frame-by-frame accuracy, you can set the time in seconds, or even milliseconds. As you change the values the preview by typing or by using the arrows updates so that you can select something as fleeting as the blue tit flying out of frame.

I like the Auto Movie feature which adds cross-fades and titles at the click of a button. I was still able to go back and tweak the results.

Across the Clearing

One peculiarity of my Oympus Tough is that if you opt to use the optical zoom when you're filming a movie, you can't record sound. While frogs croaking and birds singing featured on the non-telephoto shots I decided that my mini-movie would benefit from background music. After trying some film music (too dramatic), a funky disco track (too fast-paced) and Debussy's Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune which proved too sensually langerous for the knockabout antics of frogs in the pond.

Across the Clearing seems just about right in mood and pace. The title is appropriate and the length of the piece is precisely the length of my movie. My thanks to the Ray Kelley Band for making the track available.

Link: Ray Kelley at Resort Music