Category Archives: eileen mignoni

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Video for Arpark, a New Travel App

We made this. Everything was planned out in advance. Instead of letting things happen and running after them, focusing on the fly and all that goodness, we told our actor, the very talented Sam Mignoni, where to stand and what to do. We also used some lighting and bounce. Controlling everything is fun, and I wish I’d had even more control and we’d had another go at the zip line coverage – I’d like a different lens from the ground, but all in all, a strong video. Visually strong, quick, engaging. Go team Nacho and Eileen.

After effects was used to get the app information in there.

Terra Andina

Terra Andina – A Motion Graphic Capturing the Spirit of South America

We produced this short motion graphic for the Terra Andina brand of wine from Santa Rita Vinyards. The goal was to capture the youth spirit and energy that South America in order to introduce this new line of wines to the US market.

Eileen was in charge of the After Effects portion of the project, Nacho oversaw the project and wrote the script. Much of the kinetic type was sourced from templates, and the camara movements on the illustrations was done by Eileen. The illustrations were created by Andrea Bascuñan under the direction of Nacho Corbella.

Problems with PluralEyes Synced Tracks in Premiere

Ramon Navarro, 3rd best big wave surfer in the world with the host of Juego de Roles, Elena Dressel.

These syncing problems and project collapse seem to be resolved with the combination of CS6 and Pluraleyes 3. Things are much better now.

We have now just finished our very first television show. 13 episodes of 23-25 minutes apiece for 13 consecutive weeks. If you want to check it out, our favorite episodes are Ramon Navarro, surfer, and Caterin Bravo, fencer.

It was brutal. Concurrently, Nacho was teaching, working his full time job at the Universidad de los Andes and also had to disappear to Colombia and Cordoba. We worked in hotel rooms and many hard drives. We did a serious computer upgrade because all of the footage made my trusty iMac want to weep, rendering it useless.

Fencer Caterin Bravo during the challenge with Juego de Roles host, Elena Dressel.

We used Adobe Premiere because it meant we wouldn’t have to transcode the 75-100gb of material we had for each show. We could throw whatever footage we wanted in there, and we could see it immediately. As noted before, our show was composed of 5d, 7d, GoPro, iPhone and externally recorded audio.

Premiere plays very nice, except where PluralEyes is concerned. What I think is at the root of the problem is that PluralEyes deals with stereo clips in a variety of ways, not always in a consistent manner, and not in a manner Premiere always recognizes.

We were using PluralEyes 2 for Premiere. To use this, one must export a Final Cut XML file from premiere and then find the desired sequence to sync within PluralEyes. These sequences would have to be made into new XML files that had to be reimported into the Premiere program.

When we reimported the new, synced sequences to Premiere, the audio we recorded on the 5d, 7d would be split into separate tracks. We had split our externally recorded audio into two separate tracks prior to syncing.

5d audio tracks before syncing. One stereo clip on one track.

5d audio tracks after syncing. Two mono audio clips on different tracks.

These things messed with Premiere, terribly. We were working on two machines – Nacho editing separately, and passing his sequences back to me. (With Premiere, you can only open one project at a time, which means to bring anything into a project, you must import, and then select sequences to import.)

Our externally audio, recorded on a Zoom H4. We would split the audio into two different tracks. There are two methods of doing this. One can choose audio channels from the modify button in the clip menu. Or one can use Audio Options in the Clip menu and choose Breakout to Mono. Neither of these made better the problems listed below.

One way of separating stereo tracks using the modify option in the clip menu, or by right clicking.

Step two of separating stereo audio tracks into mono - choosing mono (instead of the default stereo.)

2nd way of separating out Zoom stereo clips to mono.

When Nacho would pass sequences back to me, although the audio – two distinct tracks, would be perfect on his computer, on mine, they were a mess. With our separately recorded audio, many times, instead of two separate tracks, there would be one the same one, duplicated. Audios from our Canon videos, which we needed for ambient, or because someone wasn’t mic-ed, would disappear entirely. I would try to replace the footage missing with the same clip, only to have the program, crash and crash and crash.

Oh, error.

This is the error that came up a lot before the crashing ensued. It could be ignored, unless audio was missing.

2 very different tracks from the stereo recordings of the Zoom from 2 lav mics. This is how the Zoom tracks would look when Nacho received them.

Instead of two different audio clips, I have the same one repeated. This is how the separated stereo tracks would look (sometimes, often, but not always) when Nacho would pass me back sequences he had worked on.

We devised a number of work arounds – I would resync based on audio clips I had with the originals in Premiere. Once, Nacho exported the audios from his computer and we replaced the bad audios. We never, never shut down the computer mid-project because we never knew what disaster we would find when we opened it.

Towards the end, my crash comments deteriorated. They became, things like, “PluralEyes, boo” & “Fix, bad, crash, angry” and things of the sort.

I presume this will get worked out over time, more on the part of PluralEyes. I have no solutions. The one that seemed most probable – changing the mode of splitting a stereo track (see the two methods above) gave nothing. One thing I often did was create a copy of my original zoom track in my finder, then replace the audio footage with the duplicated clip. This often worked with audio only clips. With the 5 and 7d, the computer would crash.

We’ve just started trying with PluralEyes 3. Prettier interface, more work, more frequent Premiere crashes. We got the show out, and we’re proud and happy and satisfied and have achieved something. We’ll update Premiere to 6.0 and hope for improvements with both along the way. We’re sticking with Premiere, and we have no choice but to wait.

Adobe Premiere: Pasting Effects

This week we turned in 4 video projects. In one project, we only had to subtitle 2 finished videos. In another, we staged office scenes, and integrated earlier office footage to tell the story of how a Kimberly-Clark product line can be implemented in an office for better health and productivity. And, finally, today, we turned in the first episode of Juego de Roles.

We used Final Cut Pro for the first 3 videos because they were short and simple and we do feel a kinship with the program. For the television program, we used Adobe Premiere 5.5. We’ll be upgrading to 6.0 soon. The show is 25 minutes long and we record between 60 and 100gb per episode. We don’t have the memory space to transcode it all.

We’re in Colombia right now. Nacho is teaching a workshop for lots of newspapers throughout the country. This week Bogota gets to learn from the Nacho. Tomorrow, the second Bogota group starts editing. So, we have 4 PC laptops sitting in our hotel room while Nacho looks for a version of Premiere that will work with Vista. (Another Premiere benefit – no one is bound to a Mac. Great for cash strapped newsrooms and journalists. Nacho wouldn’t be able to teach multimedia editing if he demanded Macs.)

As you can see we’re shifting toward Premiere. I’ve been moving toward it for a while. I learned it to coach a project with the Universidad de Desarrollo. At La Tercera, they gave me a hardy PC with Premiere. And now, with the Juego de Roles, Premiere makes life easier.

I’m seeing others slowly making the move. Given the disaster that Final Cut X is reputed to be, I expect to see more converts in the future.

There are little different things that can seem enormously frustrating, so here I’d like to explain a few time saving measures.

Today: pasting filters over many clips.

Nacho has read you can’t do this. He has read wrong.

Select the filter you want within the effects panel of the properly adjusted clip. You can select multiple filters or motion (which will give you all location and size aspects.) Hit command+c. Or you can right click, copy.

Select all of the clips on which you want to paste the effect.

Hit Command+V. You know you’ve done it correctly if the yellow bar, indicating a render preview changes to red, which means it needs to be rendered.

Listo. So easy.

The only way this doesn’t work is if you accidentally double click on the clip that needs the filter or effect and it gets opened in the display panel. In that case, you have to open the effects panel and paste the filter there, but that only works one at a time. You also can’t paste the attributes with a right click. That doesn’t work.

Photoediting: Brian Storm messes with my mind

I’ve been working with the Alexia Foundation. They just launched a new site and they brought me in to get their 21 years of archives into the site. In terms of titles, I’m photo editor/content manager of their material. As well, I am their social media manager.

They have beautiful, beautiful work on a huge variety of important social justice issues. It’s been tremendous to me immersed in these vast archives. Particularly thrilling to me has been seeing so much film work. A 21 year span of work naturally includes at least 10 years of work on film. When I first reached that point in the archives, I fell in love again – with photojournalism and grain. So much beautiful grain. Go look at their site. It is wonderful.

As photo editor, my job was to select 10 images out of what the photographer had submitted. The film candidates tended to have smaller selections – 12 maximum. The digital projects – some as many as 100, and an average of 16-20. Of these, I had to select 10. That was hard.

For the home page, the Alexia Foundation’s photo advisory board weighed in on what the representative images should be for the most recent projects. Brian Storm selected an image for each. This is where he messes with my mind.

A number of the images, I hadn’t even included in my edit. I was looking to tell a story. I was looking for the image to say something, to explain something. To be in focus and have a clear focal point and hopefully have some layers. He selected fuzzy, blurry photos. I don’t know what to do with these. I don’t know how to deal with abstract, fuzzy, grainy images. I don’t know how to say they are good or bad. Is intention important?

When I started in photography, way back in my Chicago days, one of my earliest projects was a series of double negatives. I didn’t plan them out. I liked the chance element of them. I liked my mistakes and I liked what would happen when I had way too much red or green or blue in one of my color prints.

But photojournalism has these rules and structure ingrained in my mind. I don’t know how to let the chance element in. It does take guts to put something that seems technically wrong in one’s selection. Is that where personal vision comes in?

For Brian, maybe he has already seen all of the perfect images. Thus, the ones that are different and abstract appeal to him. They represent something unique that he hasn’t seen before. I don’t know how to get to this point in seeing and I feel a little inadequate for not being able to see this way.

Commercial Video Work – La Salud está en tus Manos

I read Clients from Hell a lot. It’s one of my default procrastination sites. It’s hilarious.

But, our clients are good. Really good. And often times they push us to make a better video than we knew we could, or that we hadn’t conceived of.

In this instance, Kimberly-Clark, the client, had a vision of a fast paced, timelapse type commute to work. MDB* the branding agency, with whom we worked on this, asked us to work on this video because I had shown them my Powering a Nation video, Down the Lines.

We made a mock-up on New Year’s Eve day using my brother Sam as the commuter. Nacho also made an appearance in the film. I’ll be honest – we kind of thought it was spot on.

The client wanted more. They wanted it faster, quicker paced, more like a music video. We wrote up a script, in collaboration with the client and the branding agency. The client did initially want to show the commuters with their families, but we cut that because of time and budget. If the video was to be short, the people couldn’t be dawdling in their houses making their kids breakfast and kissing them goodbye.

This collaboration on all aspects of the filming made our work better, undoubtedly. The client was able able to effectively communicate what they wanted, and we were able to put their vision (with ours) into this fun little video warning the viewers about the germ dangers of their city.

As far as we know, the video is being used internally, and as a piece to show to their clients to explain to them the benefits of implementing La Salud está en tus Manos, a system of sanitizer and cleansing products to keep work stations clean and workers healthy.

Fun behind the scenes fact (Stop – watch the video before reading) the female commuter had only driven about 5 times in her whole life. She was starting to try to learn, but there was a good deal of stalling and I had a terrifying drive around a Santiago block. Most of her driving shots are simulations.

Construction Photos

I adore construction sites. I suppose it’s because so much of my hometown of Ubly, Michigan works in construction (road and house). Nacho and I have been hired by an engineering firm here, in Santiago, to photograph their work. This was our first go. Nacho had the 70-200 2.8 on the 7d. I had the 16-35 on the 5d. They’ll be a prize for whomever manages to properly identify whose photos are whose, without looking at the exif data.

What have we been doing?

What have we been doing? Where have we been?

I left La Tercera in June. I spent the US summer/ the Chilean winter in New York, New York. Responding to a call from Mohawk Street and The Daily’s Mike Schmidt, I went to shoot and edit a video documenting the experience of a group of interns at a health care consulting firm in New York.

I’m now back in Santiago, in time for the spring. I’m wrapping up the editing of a pair of UNC annual fund videos, a wordpress website for the Chilean magazine Hacer Familia, and Iam preparing for an intense week of video coaching with the Universidad del Desarrollo while I contemplate my next professional steps.

Nacho has too been out and about, teaching and workshopping up a storm.

Nacho in Chicago. Photo by Juan Andrés Muñoz

He led two workshops for the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) one in Los Angeles and the other in Chicago, where he taught 35 latino Journalists rom all around the US how to do multimedia narratives.

Happy Students in UCLA at the ICFJ Bootcamp. Photo by Yezmin Thomas

He conducted a weeklong intensive project for Uandes students in Vaparaiso, Chile, which will soon be unveiled. He spent nearly 3 weeks in Colombia teaching video and multimedia to journalists at 3 different papers in the country. (Medellin, Bogotá and Manizales). He accompanied the 4 Uandes winners of an El Mercurio challenge to New York for a week to meet with professionals at the New York Times, The Daily and Good Morning America.

All the while, teaching photography and multimedia to the journalism students at the Universidad de los Andes.

Lima before the first speech. Photo by Pedro Acuña.

And this past weekend he went to Peru to participate in a seminar at Universidad San Martín de Porres where, addressing two groups of 400 people, he spoke about succesful multimedia experiences.

Nacho on the big screen. Photo by Pedro Acuña.

Busy, busy.


Putting subtitles on Youtube

Last year I coached a project called Historias de Terromoto about the recovery situation 6 months after Chile’s massive Feb. 2010 earthquake. It was conducted by the Universidad del Desarrollo, bringing from Santiago location of the university to it’s Concepción location to produce the documentary project.

This year’s project is bringing the Concepción communications students to work with their peers here in Santiago, looking at innovative initiatives related to the environment, energy and sustainable development. I am back in charge of the audiovisual (video) group this year.

We had our first meeting on Thursday. Having participated in Powering a Nation, as a fellow in 2009, and as a coach in 2010, I know a number of stories in this vein. However, they are in English. Despite the fact that the majority of these students have respectable to admirable English skills, I thought it important to have subtitles on the videos, so they could focus on the work, not the language.

Thus, I learned how to put subtitles on videos in Youtube. Now, Power play: story of a start-up (above) and Roping the Wind have subtitles in Youtube. As I found the Youtube instructions confusing, I thought it would be useful to simplify them in this blog.

The basic structure of the document is this.

Power play: la cuenta de un start-up

He pasado por este tipo de proyectos y no funcionó

That’s it. There in no necessary code on the top or bottom. No other explanations to the computer what kind of file this is.

The time code goes hours:minutes:seconds:milliseconds. There are a number of programs that show the video at the same time as you enter captions, thereby making it more accurate and allowing you to be ignorant of the bolts of the subtitle document. (You can find them in the help area of Youtube concerning subtitles and captions) but, as I had already set up a document with times anticipating putting it in Youtube, I found creating my own document more efficient.

You should create this in textedit (on a mac) or blocnotes (on pc). All of these instructions are for textedit, so, pc users, you’ll have to extrapolate.

There are a few tricky bits in this.

You should not have spaces between the two time codes. Only a comma.

You also must have a double space between each subtitle block.

You cannot have any formatting on the test. Originally, I was trying to make the b-roll translations italic. After writing the text in text edit, I changed the text to plain text. It’s in the Format Menu – Make Plain Text.

I then saved the file as a rough text file (.rtf) as a plain text file (.txt) is not available.

I duplicated the file using the right click menu, and then changed the extension of the duplicate to .txt. (I also shortened the file name back to powerplay from powerplay copy).

Yes, you are sure you want to change the extension to .txt.

I then duplicated the .txt file to change the file extension to .sbv which is the subtitle file type youtube uses. Again, yes, use .sbv

Then, you go into Youtube. When you are logged into your account, and on your chosen video you are given a series of menu items above your videos. You cannot see these on other people’s videos, and you cannot add subtitles without a login for the account that uploaded it.

Click on Edit captions/subtitles.

Click on Add a new caption track.

Browse to your file.

Select the language. Give the track a name, if you like.

And hit Upload File.

If you are successful, a new caption file will be added. If not, you will receive a bunch of warnings in red, as I did before I took out my spaces between time codes, added a double space and made my text plain.

You will be able to access your captions by clicking on the CC button on the bottom of your video which will be red when captions are selected as an option.

Bubble Map Formula

There has been a great deal of protest activity surrounding the recent approval of a massive hydroelectric project in Patagonia. Hearing the crowd size numbers made me wonder how these protests compared with other massive worldwide manifestations. The largest of the protests was predicted to have 50,000 attendees. The number I had remembered reading for Tienanamen Square was 100,000 camped out in the square for more than a month. This map provides a quick way to visually compare the world’s protests.

It was suprisingly difficult to find crowd counts for the different manifestations. There were some I thought of including – the LA Riots, all of the other protests in the middle east, which I could not include because I did not have authoritative numbers. I only relyed on legacy media outlets for numbers and when there was a conflict between the organizers numbers and that of the police, I always deferred to the police.

The map itself was built by Jesús Pérez in the infographic department. Vital in the building of the map was the use of the formula put forth by Alberto Cairo in some of the sample pages of his unpublished book. It is vital to remember when using shapes to convey proportions, that it is not just the diameter that must be altered (duplicated, multiplied by 200% or something of the such), but the whole area of the item.

He gives a wonderfully useful formula for calculating the radius of a new circle based on the maximum circle size and the quantitiy it represents.

Rm is the lenth of the radius of the largest circle you want to have on the map. This will represent the largest number/quantity/value you want to express. R2 is the new radius length. The new value is the number you want to make a bubble for in relation to the largest bubble. This is all based on circle area caculations, but in a reduced, more straightforward formula. Alberto’s page has wonderful explanations with illustrations, if this was not sufficiently clear.