film internet media sailing

Video storytelling – plain sailing?

Below you’ll find a short vid I put together for the Irish Sailing Assocation’s Annual Conference, which kicked off today. I spoke at 11am on promoting your club and at the dinner tonight, the Youth Sailor of the Year award gets given out. The two candidates are profiled in this vid: Finn Lynch who sails a Topper, and Philip Doran who sails a Laser Radial. The video is being used to announce them to the audience at the dinner.

ISA Youth Awards Intro from Markham Nolan on Vimeo.

Rory, who works for the ISA and features in the video, had seen the aul social media guru vid from last September and wanted some of the animation used at the start. The remaining 80%  was cut together from training videos of Philip that Rory had shot on the water. All we had to work with was pics of Finn so they had to be made work to tell his story. I edited the whole thing in iMovie. This was my first editing job ever, so I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.

On the whole, this was low-budget, low-tech. Rory was sitting on a kitchen chair in my garden shed office. I hung a black sheet behind him and sat him with a window on his left (camera right) so we had nice soft, natural light.  On advice from Adam Westbrook, I had splashed out on a Kodak Zi8 HD Pocket Video Camera to record the interviews with Rory (a whopping €130). The Zi8 has a microphone line in, so I nabbed a cheap lapel mic, and the sound quality is great as a result. (I’ve worked with the Flip HD too, the Kodak is nicer, but a little bigger in the hand).

I coached Rory through what I wanted from him, and we taped his notes (scribbled in marker on the back of a plane ticket) to the tripod just below the camera so that he had something to cog from. I downloaded a free converter to convert Rory’s .wmv and other Windows-format videos, and nabbed a song from Mr Scruff.  All in all, we recorded three minutes of chat with Rory, which was more than enough.

There are some things I’d like to be able to do that iMovie won’t permit, like layer audio from one slide over another, but for free software it’s remarkably easy to use, and the end results are great if you put some thought into it.


  1. I grabbed myself a Zi8 too. Quality stuff, when you add a compressor mic and use a stable tripod with 1080px setting it’s damn close to TV quality.

    When setting was the interview recorded in?

  2. Wow … that’s amazing you did that with a little camera! What clip on did you use? It looks professionally lit as well. I’m a bit stunned!

  3. Hi Markham
    Great video and I’m sure that it went down well at the ISA conference.
    Well done.
    Just thought that I’s drop you a line in relation to your last comments on iMovie.
    It can layer audio as much as you wish – you can “Detach Audio” form clips and manipulate. I was looking for a good video to explain and I found this one :-
    Happy editing!

  4. @Noel, thanks for the tip, must check that out

    @mark & duckrabbit, had camera on 1080p but in landscape when it should have been macro, Rory was v close to the tripod. Face recognition seemed to set the exposure to the face, so the black background worked a treat. And yeah only natural light. Mic was a €15 Hama lapel mic bought on Amazon.

    Thanks for the kind words!

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