The Cold Sea's Embrace

Several months ago I bought a Canon HV20 on clearance. I had heard and seen a lot of good things about this little camera. One afternoon last September, as my wife and I strolled along the beach in Ft. Walton Beach, Florida, I took about 30 minutes of handheld video with the HV20. That evening I ingested it into Final Cut and was blown away by what this little guy captured.

As I watched the clip, a narrative started taking life. So, I started placing clips and trimming them a bit to see what would happen. Patrick O'Hearn's song The Cold Sea's Embrace from So Flows The Current fit the mood. The melancholy mood of the cello performance was just the emotional foundation needed to bring the narrative to life. I imported the track into the timeline and started fine-tuning the clips further.

Such a little camera - even on a heavy monopod - reveals a lot of shake. Motion's SmoothCam does a great job taking a clip that has some movement in it and smoothing it out. Also, I wanted to slow the pace a bit, and so the clips went into Motion for a little slo-mo treatment with it's superb optical flow retiming algorithm. Round-tripped back into FCP, I duplicated each clip, applied just a smidgen of blur and blended the blurred layer ever so slightly by cutting the opacity way back on the blurred layer. That added just a bit of dreaminess to video. As beautiful as that evening was, I could have left the blur out and it would have been just as good. However, it was fun to do.