Adding commentary to old family films

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Undecided, Oct 11, 2012.

  1. Undecided macrumors 6502a

    Mar 4, 2005
    So my little project to digitize old films from over 40 years ago is under way - I'm just waiting to receive it. I was thinking about how best to add commentary, to describe what is going on and who is depicted. I thought of inter-scene "titles" and "lower third" labels. It's silent, so I also thought I'd sit my parents down (separately...) in front of it and record a "commentary track" like on DVDs (actors) or documentaries. This is stuff neither of my parents has seen in over 40 years. And so I also thought I wouldn't let them get a preview, so that the commentary captures their genuine reaction. Could get kind of emotional though, stirring up things from 40 years ago.

    Taking a page from Ken Burns, I guess the audio commentary is the way to go?
  2. daybreak macrumors 6502a

    Sep 4, 2009
    O.K you got a memory lane video. Now what editing software are you using?
    How long is the video. Reading from your post it is edited?????????
    It is no good them talking if it is not in the video.
    First if you are going to talk to them make sure you got the correct questions.
    Don't use sub-title. Also you could write a commentary and lay that down on your soundtrack.
    There are many ways of doing what you are asking. Go with your instincts as you have got the video vision in front of you.
  3. Zwhaler macrumors 604


    Jun 10, 2006
    Is adding commentary the way to go? I would say yes. Do you have specific questions about how to go about doing that?
  4. treatment macrumors member

    Aug 7, 2012
    Interesting...I'm about to start a similar project!

    It depends on the personality of your parents, really.
    Ultimately, you want this to be interesting/entertaining for the rest of the family, future generations, correct?

    Assuming the edits are done, this is MY plan:

    Give mom a handheld tape recorder, and let her decide what she wants to say. Even let her record it on her own time, at her leisure.
    This way, she can have "thoughtful" comments rather than "gut reactions".

    Background: I am a musician, and also an audio engineer.

    My job is to get the best performance possible from the talent, and bring it into the light.

    I wouldn't want my "gut reactions" printed in stone. I record that way only for myself. Then, I work with those gut reactions and develop them into something better.

    I would say:
    1. Setup up a mic, and record the gut reactions first. (You might get some gems, and you will get honest laughter)
    2. give mom and dad a tape recorder and let them do their own comments
    3. Get them into the studio, and have them say/perform the dialog with a good mic, after the desired dialog has been agreed upon.

    No need for subtitles, just titles depicting time and place of events.
    With a good quality mic, the dialog should be clear enough for most people to get.
    Don't forget: upload the thing to YouTube and Vimeo, so people without DVD players can see it too.
  5. 12dylan34 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 3, 2009
    I think that adding commentary is a good idea. Out of curiosity, was it originally Super 8 film or what?
  6. Undecided thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 4, 2005
    Regular 8 mm plus a little 16 mm.

    It's too bad that it's not possible for data to be embedded in the video. For example, it would be great if you could hover your pointer over a person (or click/tap on a person) and have a window pop up that would provide more info.

    Basically, it'd be neat to make it all "explorable" so the viewer can decide how much to dive into.
  7. 12dylan34 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 3, 2009
    My major requires me to take a class that uses physical Super 8 film that I have to shoot and edit. Definitely makes me appreciate how cheap, easy, and fast digital is.

    You could probably pay a Flash developer or something to make you a web app that's interactive, but it would probably be pretty expensive...
  8. daybreak macrumors 6502a

    Sep 4, 2009
    Regular 8 was know as Standard 8. It was a 16mm film which you had to turn around in camera after 25 feet.
    I think before you make up your mind what format you wish to use. You need to see the films. I bet you have no projector or editor? I suggest if that is the case go to your local video club as the old timers will have your equipment as i still have mine.
    If any other person is in the same boat regards viewing film from Standard 8 to Super 8 or Fuji Single 8 visit you video club.:rolleyes:

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