YMCA Oldham County Days 5k Video!

I did it!   I’ve edited together yet another 5k race video!

Yet Another Caption


This time, my workflow:

  • Don’t pick and choose, stabilize ALL the running camera video.   I carved them up into 2 minute sections, and spent several days clicking stabilize, and walking away.   Some day I should figure out some batch automation for this.
  • Use a 720p format, so I get an automatic clip of the 1080p stabilized footage. 
  • I did not go dual screen this time.  I got everybody on camera as they left, rather than as they came in.  Side effect: less work!
  • Strategic use of “cross” vs “dip” to hint at when a story line was changing.
  • I had some problems with picking a consistent font.   Some day, I’ll find a font I like.
  • Once the music started, I was able to cut/trim/fit the running video to the music. 

I only had two stories I could really tell in interview style:

  • History of the race (thank you Bill!)
  • Hot.

But I managed to fit in some little tidbits:

  • Downtown LaGrange.. Oldham County days.. band playing, etc.
  • The 1 mile is a different route than the 5k for this race.  Which means, you can see the 1 mile winners on their way back!
  • The interrupting Tra…  “Toot Tooot” …ain. 

Guest appearances:

  • The guy in the golf cart is Corey, he runs the indoor soccer program for the Y.
  • Shannon runs Oldham County Physical Therapy, they are wonderful.  They fixed me up after ITBand’11.
  • Bill the sign guy helps with signage at almost all the local races.  Including the PPJ10mi.
  • 1st place winner lady = last year’s overall winner.
  • 1st place winner guy Sean R = former soccer teammate of my stepson’s.
  • A bunch of the winners are related to each other.   There’s a family who is in to running.   I should interview them some time.

It’s a bit harder with the camera on the front.  If I run hard, my hands get in the way.  On the other hand, with the camera on my head, stabilizing the footage is much harder.   I wonder If I can find a nice person with a running stroller for the next race, put the camera on the stroller.. Hmmm..

The next one up is Fastline 5k.  I know almost nothing about Fastline (the printing company) .. I guess I’ll get to find out!

The Color Run (Louisville, KY 2013)

It took a while (life) but I finally got the video trimmed and uploaded:

Ye Ole Caption


Yay! I joined one of.. 4000+ results?    Everybody had a video.    And I joined late, so all the people searching for it, have already chosen their favorites and moved on.    Down, Ego, Down..  Pop original motive:  To represent “what I love” about the races I’m running this year.  And give an outlet for my video create/organize/edit urge.

For this video, I had one camera on my forehead, and another on a chest strap / reversed / pointing backwards.  This had some challenges:

  • Chest strap was not made to be worn backwards, and so it rubbed up against my front neck/chest area uncomfortably.
  • Because I could not see where the camera was pointing, and it was at chest level, and the race was mostly populated by women, I got some footage that was, possibly invasive of the person’s space.  This mostly happened at the start.. and at the finish when everybody was throwing color in the air.   I tried to ensure I cut out anything that would be embarrassing, but I wonder if I missed something.   Solution: cut out the backward pointing video as necessary.  
  • Battery life!   Hero 3 chews through it like crazy, compared to the Hero 960.   Observe when the camera got turned off for a bit (not sure why) in the middle of the video.
  • Presentation:  I went the easy way out; I didn’t try to choose front vs back, I just showed the whole thing.  Which actually is accurate – it really is that chaotic there.
  • Stabilization:  Chest moves left/right a lot when I run.   However, that’s easily handled by Warp Stabilizer.. at the cost of 1 hour per 5 minutes of video or so.    On the flip side, Warp Stabilizer against the head-mounted camera didn’t work, the camera view angle moves around too much.

About the race itself:

  • Its not a race.  It’s a casual walk / jog with a bunch of screaming, yodeling, skipping, and general goofing off.
  • Go with goofy friends.  I was in good company.
  • Protect your phone!
  • The color won’t last.  Even if you try to save it with vinegar etc.  So don’t worry about staining stuff too much.  (well, it might give a hint of a shade)
  • There are multiple waves.  I was in Wave 5?   Somebody else I met was in Wave 14, I think they said. 

About the video edit:

  • I tried to keep everybody who waved at the camera in the final edit.
  • Original was 1 hour and 15 minutes of video.  Cut down to 8 minutes.  Yeah baby.

Good fun.  Highly recommend the race to anybody who even considers it .. yes you can walk it!

The Oldham County Grand Slam #1: Roman Road 5k

This race holds a dear place in my heart, because it was the first 5k I ever aspired to run.  I trained for months leading up to it, and in 2010, I finished it in an impressive (for me) 36 minutes!   This year, after a year off from running, I return, with video camera on head.. to pay homage, tribute, fan love, to my favorite series of races: the Oldham County Grand Slam.


*skreetchinHalt* Hey this is a geeky blog.  Get to the geek, boy-o!

  • Making this video was hard.  What to include? What not to?  Running the course is too many minutes.  All of the finishers is too many minutes.  The awards is too many minutes.  Do I really need to include the bit I did with the guy from Thorntons?  (I wanted to acknowledge that they provided the water).  In the end, I mixed it up a bit with picture in picture – any one thing would be boring by itself, but having multiple things going on makes it just a bit more interesting.
  • I tried using stabilization on the running video, but it was too much for my poor computer (and I ran out of time).
  • I needed to ensure nobody confuses this with something “official”, ‘cause its not. 
  • The storyline of the various teams competing against each other..  well, its interesting, except that the same teams keep winning.  And nobody is stepping up to take them on.  
  • Putting the video camera on my head was probably a bad move.  I think it might be more stable on my chest.  I’ll try that next race.
  • Had some problems with resolution – the old GoPro takes 720p video.   I might have to max-render this at 720, currently both renders are going.  (turns out, 1080i not so bad, so rolling with that)
  • The final video composition was gnarly:


Anyhow, back to the race:

  • Its cute!
  • People know me there!
  • There’s a 1 mile fun run, which is what the kids are getting medals for at the end.
  • Sliced Oranges & Bananas!

There were a lot of stories that I didn’t try to fit into the video:

  • Andrew, hasn’t run since high school, showed up at 7am (the race isn’t till 8:30).   He won first place in his age division.
  • A lady and I chatted at length about heart rate training.
  • The guy with the sign – from a running club in Louisville.  They have four signs.   He used to run, but can’t anymore, but loves to help out.  At the PPJ10M, he goes around and borrows signs from a lot of places and puts them up.
  • Mark, the guy with the microphone, came up with the idea of the grand slam 12 years ago (or so).   Mostly for the family and community of it.

Not sure what I’ll do for the next one.   Probably more of the course and the finish, but sped up a lot more.   There’s a lot more spectators as we go through downtown LaGrange.   Maybe try out the chest strap.  We shall see.

Kentucky Derby Festival Mini Marathon / CodePaLousa Day #2

“Stop calling it a Mini.  There’s nothing “Mini” about 13.1 miles.”   — somebody who probably is not a Marathoner. 

Well, the second half of the Marathon – making the video of it – Its not “over” because the video isn’t “perfect” and I’m a perfectionist, so I’m admitting defeat and uploading it as it is.   Because to succeed would involve more frustration than I pay myself for.   Maxim S1: Dial the perfection knob down to 7 unless I’m getting paid for it.

My wife’s name is Molly but that’s not for her

My hope and intention was to capture some of the “how” it works (for those folks who’ve never been to a bigger running event like this) as well as the “why” its beautiful (the people who run it, the beautiful old people along the road, the general sense of celebration, the life that happens along the way).

I planned poorly – I ran the GoPro at a frame rate (60 fps), shortening the available battery life to 50 minutes, and took too much video at the starting line, so I had to switch to the iPhone for the last bit.   I wish I could have included:

  • The girl who broke her leg, got crutches, and she, and her entire family, are walking the rest of the way to the end.  Beautiful family. 
  • The guy who broke his leg, got crutches and a wheelchair, and he, with a buddy following behind him with the wheelchair, are intent on finishing it.

Other little things that are interesting to me:

  • The lady who ran three halves this year – her shirt said “I can do it.”  
  • If my friend Todd had run 1 second per mile slower, he would not have qualified for Boston.
  • Running into just about everybody I know who runs, including Nick whom I know from Panera who is 72, race-walks Marathons, and hopes to do 6 M’s in 6 days in the North East this year.  And Steve.  And Shannon. 
  • I was able to sit with somebody by the side of the road and listen to her.  Her knee was locking up on her good leg, and she didn’t know how she could keep on going, and she told her friend not to come back for her but her friend wouldn’t listen, and she was frustrated enough to cry to me, a stranger.    Bless you little lady, I hope you did good, whether that was respecting your pain, or finishing your goal.   Please don’t injure yourself, its much more important to stay healthy than to finish one race.

Lessons learned:

  • The most comfortable place for the camera is, in fact, on my head.    On my chest, it vies for attention with the heart rate chest strap and its much harder to aim; and there’s no hope for having it “put away” on my belt.   If you skip to the end of the video, I don’t look too dorky with it.  Although why did I have to dance?
  • I can probably get a much faster time if I didn’t talk as much, or shoot as much video.  Almost everybody I talked with – if you go look up their times via their bib numbers – finished faster than me.   Go figure!
  • Don’t try to mix anything else with a half marathon day.  To whit:

CodePaLousa Day #2

No Problem.  Car is broken, I’ll just ride my scooter to the half marathon, run 13.1 miles, ride home, let the dogs out, ride back to downtown, and attend the last 3-4 sessions, having only missed a keynote and one session.

Problem Number 1.    We parked 1 mile from the start.  In the morning, that seemed like a great idea.   After the race, not so much.  Every sidewalk curb was an oww-portunity. 

Problem Number 2.   Scooter = Windchill;  Windchill against tired fatigued muscles = frozen muscles.  When I got off the scooter at home, I was locked in a “Cowboy Stance”.   I could hardly get the scooter back on its kickstand.  I could not walk up the steps (I had to crawl). 

Problem Number 3.  Given what my wife calls “Marathon Brain”, I very intelligently put away my scooter lock into the under-seat storage, with my keys still attached.   At that point in time, didn’t know where the spare keys were (Separate story, starring the Blinking Red Dot from my unconscious).  This makes transport difficult.

However, I did get to wave at two ‘PaLousers (wait that sounds bad) as I jogged past the Seelbach Hotel at the end of the race.    And that would be my second day of CodePaLousa. 

The good news is, my inability to attend has lead to a grassroots movement – I am dedicating the first weekend in the month to have my own mini-conference – including Pizza, and Board Games, and Microsoft’s Channel 9, and one hour sessions, and a friend or two —  to catch up on videos / presentations on various technologies.  

Papa John’s 10 Miler Video

I had some footage I took during the PPJ10Miler sitting around, that I’ve meant to do something with.

Scenes from the Papa John 10 Miler 2013
  • Stabilization is hard!  especially on iPhone video, where there isn’t a large forgiving field of view like a GoPro.  It took an hour to stabilize the 3 minutes of footage I had, on an i7 processor with 12G of RAM.
  • I scream way too loud for being a camera person.
  • I still had some moire develop on the 1080p video, so I took it down to 720p at a drastically different frame rate (25p).   I ended up doing 4 different renders trying to find something that worked.  60fps helps with the source of this problem, but is a booger on battery power.
  • I should do some test stuff with the different modes of stabilize some time.  Cool blog post about it for me to digest:   http://whoismatt.com/bestwarpstabilizersettings/  In my case, I went with “Position only” to preserve frame space, and removed cropping.   Yep, more research needed..

Anyhow.  10 miler is a fun race.  Its really nice to see the leaders of the pack – usually I only hear about them on websites and stuff like that.   And they have nice technical shirts.   Definitely recommend.

The Ali Shuffle 10k 2013

About a week ago, I participated in a 10k run.. and I happened to bring a (partially charged) camera.  Turns out they’re a small organization, so after chatting to a volunteer, I took video of the race, and put this together to help promote them:  (less than 3 minutes):

The Race

Geeky: It was challenging to put this together – I had to renew my subscription to Adobe Premiere CS6 to get access to the Warp Stabilizer effect to calm the running parts of the video down.  (It worked very well).

Some other stuff I learned:

  • The Muhammad Ali Center is downtown.  That’s where Marcell works.
  • The Muhammad Ali Institute is at U of L, and is not the same thing.  That’s where Stacy works.
  • The Institute goes in two year cycles with its scholars:
    • Researching global problems?
    • Making a trip to study solutions abroad?
    • Bringing those solutions back home in a project?
  • This was the second year of the run.

There’s a (much) longer video with all the footage I got, unedited, unstabilized, where you can learn more from the people who talked to me: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtQm5Tu7WGM

The bicycle lady.. I had dropped my GoPro, she rescued it and brought it up to me.    Thank you!

I’m thinking, this year as I do races, I’ll do little glimpses into the races .. to promote them.  Because I think they are beautiful and cool and worthy enterprises.   Especially the smaller ones.

Be good.

Video Editing Quandry

I have a Quandry.  Or a Conundrum.  (Quandaundry?  Condrumdum?)

I’m working on one of the High School Soccer Banquet videos,  the one where I interviewed the seniors, asking them various questions (in retrospect, there were so many other questions I could have asked that could have been more interesting)..

I also have the coach’s description of each of the players.  It’s a bit long.  Coach said I could probably get a few seconds from that.. well, gosh darn it, he’s a good egg, he loves the players, I want to use all of it.

One way to do it would be to go player by player.. have the coach’s version.. then have the player’s answers.  Put that way, its about 23 minutes of footage, though I’m sure I could cut it down.  However, I think its boring.

I have another version:  Where I have the title of the question, and then each of the player’s answers.  This version is down to probably 10 minutes, but it does Not include the coach’s blurb on each player.  The coach’s blurb would get repetitive.   I also have 7 players, and 5 questions, so I couldn’t spread the blurbs between the questions.  (Or could I?  5 fits into 7 pretty well if the seven goes on the outside edges)

I also have these “cute” moments that need homes.    Celebration score during a Fifa game.. Giggling when they hear the goofy question before the interview… Googly-eyeing the camera… “Is this on?” … etc. 

Another alternative is to put the coach blurbs with the “focus on Senior” video – a totally separate video with baby pictures ‘n’ stuff.    I’m thinking in that video, each senior would get their own soundtrack.  *hmm*  Yeah, that might work better.

OOOO!  Idea.  I’ll have the coach’s blurb, but I’ll duck the audio when he says their name.. and then I would switch to the player’s baby pictures, and start building up.. and when I finally get to their current action pictures, I’ll put their name in for 1 or 2 seconds (on some highlight music part).   Yep.  that’ll work

Ok.  Conundrum solved.     Thank you for listening.