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Fireworks DVD


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#1 Julius

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Posted 08 December 2006 - 10:06 AM

Good news coming from a meeting I had with the LDA yesterday. The video recordings that all of you made at the fireworks display on Wednesday 29th Nov will now go onto a DVD.

There were no official recordings made at the event as it was only an anniversary but because of so many requests you will now hopefully be able to see it all in the comfort of your own homes.

The address to send your tapes to is:

Julius
c/o The Crystal Palace Museum
Anerley Hill
Crystal Palace
London
SE19 2BA

#2 Gemster

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Posted 08 December 2006 - 11:41 AM

Is this serious? I am sure the fireworks were great, sadly I missed them but would anyone really watch them on DVD?

#3 Julius

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Posted 08 December 2006 - 12:27 PM

Gemster

As the firework display was such an historical event in itself some VN members were surprised that no official recording was made of the event.

With this in mind I asked the LDA about this and they have decided if anyone would like to send some of their video recordings in they will decide whether to make a DVD.

If nobody is really interested in this then it simply won't go ahead.

#4 Mantis2K

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Posted 08 December 2006 - 03:40 PM

I've already started work on a DVD project for non-commercial use only.

With 3 years experience working for a DVD company named DVD.COM (you can find my DVDs in HMV, Virgin, play.com etc), I hope to do a good job technically, even though I must admit my artistic/presentation skills are not up to scratch.

Here's what's planned for my project:

Main Features

Film
Approximately 30 minutes of footage captured by Nathaniel Hough (awaiting delivery).

Highlights
A collection of 8 videos blended together in the correct order to form 14 minutes of important highlights, captured by Mario Silva and his brother Ignacio Silva.

Special Features

History of the Crystal Palace
Even though my English is not that great, I'm considering writing a short article about the history of the crystal palace based on what I've learnt at the Crystal Palace Museum, but mainly so I can showcase some rare photos I won on Ebay.

Event Review
Short review of the Palace Dreams event with flyer.

Deleted Scenes
A selection of short clips showing "overlapping" footage filmed at different angles:
-2 videos by Ignacio Silva.
-2 videos by Joanna Brassett.

Animated Photo Gallery
66+ photos presented with Pan & Zoom, contributed by the following people:
-Craig Richardson
-Astrid Eckstein
-Mick Hough
-Claire Harvey
-Richard A Brooks
-Mario Silva

Credits
Everyone who contributed to the project will be credited on the DVD, as well as the London Development Agency and Crystal Palace Foundation for organising the event.

Handel's classical music will be accompanying all the menus and photo gallery.

If anyone else has other footage/photos they would like to contribute to my project then please get in contact ASAP. My email address is rarekfm@hotmail.com

I hope to have this DVD authored by Christmas to give out to friends/family/colleagues/contributors. However, I can also release it on the internet via BitTorrent, so that everyone will be given the opportunity to see it. Another option would be to mail out DVD copies to anyone who is interested, although I would have to charge £1 for postage & packaging.

Julius, would you be interested in working together on this project? I don't mind, as long as it stays non-commercial, so you might want to consider leaving out the LDA. Feel free to discuss it with me next time I see you.

Edited by Mantis2K, 08 December 2006 - 04:04 PM.


#5 Julius

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Posted 08 December 2006 - 06:03 PM

Mantis2k

This DVD sounds very good. I would be pleased to have a chat about this. I could drop in the Museum tomorrow or Sunday.

I'm glad you mentioned non commercial though as you could run into problems with the copyright laws.

Anyway speak to you then.

#6 Mantis2K

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Posted 08 December 2006 - 06:51 PM

This DVD sounds very good. I would be pleased to have a chat about this. I could drop in the Museum tomorrow or Sunday.

Thanks. I can meet you there in the afternoon, either day, but we will have to go outside and talk.

I'm glad you mentioned non commercial though as you could run into problems with the copyright laws.

Oh absolutely! The event was free. No official recording was made. All photos/footage is being contributed by the people. Many folk missed out due to lack of advertising and the fact that the event was put back (or forward) by a day (29th instead of 30th), although I know you did the best you could to inform everyone by posting leaflets/flyers among other things. Now everybody can have the chance to re-live that wonderful experience--it was more than just fireworks--with a free DVD. To make a profit out of it would be morally incorrect in my opinion--not just illegal. I am grateful to LDA, CPF, yourself and all the contributors out there for your efforts in organising and preserving a photographic record of this commemorative event.

Edited by Mantis2K, 08 December 2006 - 06:55 PM.


#7 craig_r

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Posted 08 December 2006 - 09:20 PM

No video, but my firework pictures are here:

http://www.flickr.co...gs/palacedream/

Was lucky enough to get a spot right at the front right amongst the press photographers with my tripod!

As I've said before I'm happy for people to use them as long as its not for commercial purposes and they ask for permission first! Mantis2k has already asked :-)

Kind regards,
Craig

#8 Mantis2K

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Posted 09 December 2006 - 11:34 AM

Just to show you how practical I am and that I'm really serious about this DVD Project, here's a progress report on preparation of the assets:

The Silva footage was edited together a few nights ago. It was sourced from their original high quality ASF, WMV and MOV files. The quicktime files posed quite a challenge for me, as I've never worked from that type of source before when authoring DVD compliant video. Mario's digital camera is only 4 megapixels, but it records progressively at a staggering 60 frames per second! I found the correct solution to the problem.

Here's some technical information for those interested (otherwise skip to next paragraph). I exported the files to uncompressed AVI video at 50fps. I then enlarged the clips from 640x480 to 704x576 (legal PAL resolution) using a Bicubic Resize function (best for englargement), and at the same time interlaced from 50fps down to 25fps (correct PAL DVD framerate), albeit 50 fields per second. Progressive video is generally better for playing back on computer monitors and other progressive devices, but this time I had no choice but to go interlaced in order to maintain the speed of Mario's videos. Therefore, the final DVD will look much smoother on a television. Each audio stream was synchronised with the video and normalised to maximum peaks/loudness, so that the volume is the same throughout the combined footage. Finally, each clip was merged together with transitional blending effects and encoded using the most popular MPEG encoder at maximum settings (2 pass variable bitrate; average=7000kbps).

I've uploaded a sample from the footage as a little teaser. This is my favourite part of the combined footage! Whilst Mario was generally recording at normal distance, his brother Ignacio was zooming right in close to the palace and props. Both brothers worked exceptionally well together to deliver some very unique footage between them. With this clip, you can observe:
-The quality (no YouTube ***!)
-The editing (how one scene shot at normal range blends into another close-up shot and back again)
-The volume (normalised)
-The synchronisation of the flashes and bangs
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=A0ECJR51
When playing back on computer you will need a software DVD player or other media player with built-in de-interlacer, otherwise parts of the footage will display "combing" effects.

By the way, Mario, if you are reading this, I know which camera you own without even asking you! ;) Not that you want to keep it a secret from me I hope... :D It's a Kodak LS743; am I right? :P I think I'll try and find one on Ebay, unless you want to sell me yours?

The Animated Photo Gallery is now complete and runs for 12 and a half minutes, unless of course I receive anymore additional photos for inclusion. I've organised the photos in correct order of the event with all the sky shots at the end. Astrid's photos were taken from the other side of the park, so are featured at the very end.
Astrid Eckstein (photos 46-57)
Craig Richardson (photos 3,6,11-13,16,25-29,31)
Claire Harvey (photos 5,8,18-20,32-26)
Richard A Brooks (photos 7,9-10,17,22,30,40-45)
Mario (photos 2,3,23-24,37-39)
Mick Hough (photos 14,15,21)
I've uploaded a silent sample featuring one of Craig's rather professional examples.
http://www.verzend.b...ample1.m2v.html
http://www.verzend.b...ample2.m2v.html
These clips have no audio stream, so you may need a special player like VLC Media Player in order to watch them.

I feel this DVD is too amateur for Craig's standards! His photos deserve to be sold and published in a top magazine or something, so am indebted to him for sharing them. I wonder who the other 3 cameramen were in front of the spectator's gallery?

#9 Nick

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Posted 09 December 2006 - 10:19 PM

If you let me have a copy I would be happy to duplicate some for people as well.
Nick, Forum Moderator

#10 Julius

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Posted 10 December 2006 - 04:47 PM

Mantis2k asked me if he and I could work together as he wanted to produce a commemorative non-commercial non profitable DVD of the 70th anniversary fireworks display on November 29th in Crystal Palace Park. On meeting with Mantis2k in the Crystal Palace Museum I learned that he had already received some footage, this coming from Crofty lasting some 35 minuets.

We are looking for more footage so it can be edited for the DVD so if anyone would like to send in their recordings please send it to the address below. We are also hoping to feature music very similar to the music composed specially for the event and we are sorting that out now.

I must stress as said in earlier postings these DVDs will not be sold for commercial or private profit but will be made as a photographic record of the event. I as one half of the organisation team that put on the event have looked at this very carefully so copyright laws are fully abided by.

Thanks.

Julius
c/o The Crystal Palace Museum
Anerley Hill
Crystal Palace
London SE19 2BA

#11 Mantis2K

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Posted 11 December 2006 - 12:52 AM

It was great to meet Mario and his brother today! I assumed Mario was Italian, but he's actually Spanish! Lo Siento... I was so shocked that I actually forgot to explain to them about the Alhambra Court, based on the Alhambra Palace in Spain! :wub: Mario brought along his legendary camera to show me--only a small gadget, but powerful!

I was also pleased to meet Mick/Crofty today, who brought along the footage recorded by his 14 year old son for the main feature! Mick and I had a good chat...

I'm having a bit of trouble ripping Mick's DVD transfer because there seems to be some protection added to the disc by his DVD recorder, but it's also picked up a few scratches. Unfortunately, this is a big problem with DVDs, which I know from having worked in Blockbuster video when VHS--almost dead now--had begun phasing out. I think the number of credits given out to customers must have gone up tenfold for scratched DVDs that "will not playback", instead of chewed tapes. I always keep an insurance copy of all my films solely because of this problem. With Mick's DVD, which is an interesting case, only the first VOB file is displayed in the file list, but yet I can see on the underside of the disc that over 4Gb of data has been burnt to the edge. Therefore, the other VOB files must be hidden tracks of data not visible as files. 3 of my DVD drives will not get past the 30% mark, resulting in over 1000 read errors by 40%. Fortunately, my 4th (best) drive is able to read the disc!!! This is a special external fan assisted DVD writer... The first VOB file rips fine now, but that is not enough, so I'm having to rip in IFO/ISO modes to obtain the hidden MPEG video stream.

Explosive news... At last, I've extracted the full 1 hour of video Mick recorded in XP mode for maximum bitrate; 31:36 of that is the fireworks footage recorded by Nathan! Although, Mick himself actually took control of the camera for the final wave!

Mainly thanks to Mario and Mick's effort, this DVD project is really starting to look promising, so I've now acquired 15 minutes of footage showing the real Palace burning down in 1936 as an added special feature. Or we can even have this as a main feature before the fireworks! ;) ;) ;)

#12 Silver

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Posted 11 December 2006 - 08:40 AM

This is great. We have such clever people on this forum. Well done!

#13 Crofty

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Posted 11 December 2006 - 05:38 PM

Hope you liked the firework footage. Me and my son only took the camera as it had been a while since we had used it so we thought we shall "give it a go" in the dark. We didn't even take a tripod as we thought it wasn't going to be needed - how wrong were we?

Once Mantis2K has finished with the footage I hope that you all will enjoy our, as well others, contributions to mark this historic ocassion.


Crofty.

#14 Mantis2K

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 03:40 AM

The Silva Footage

Joseph Paxton
Joseph Paxton & the navvies with Palace rising
Technical hitch
Queen Victoria (1:14 small cut)
Sparkling steps & ballustrades (0:42 cut)

Catherine wheels
First wave (2:13 cut)
Palace Burning (4:20 complete)
Second wave with Palace falling down (2:40 small cut)
Tower (1:47 1st half cut)

Penultimate wave
Final wave (1:05 cut)

The Hough Footage

Joseph Paxton (4:30 complete)
Joseph Paxton & the navvies with Palace rising (2:30 small cut)
Technical hitch (1:30 cut)

Queen Victoria
Sparkling steps & ballustrades (2:30 complete)
Catherine wheels (1:30 complete)
First wave (3:40 complete)
Palace Burning (4:20 complete)
Second wave with Palace falling down (5:15 complete)
Tower (1:30 2nd half cut)

Penultimate wave
Final wave (4:20 small cut)

My judgement was right--the entire event did seem to last a good 45 minutes! The Hough footage is by no means complete, but with the Silva footage they compliment each other nicely! The Silva footage has better sound quality due to their perfect angle facing the display and speakers, but obviously camcorders are superior to digital cameras, so the Hough footage is better quality. However, I'm still shocked by the quality the Silvas were able to obtain with their small digital cameras (only 4 megapixels).

As we've established, The Houghs captured most footage on that amazing night, but I would still class it in the same league as the Silva footage. Both are highlights, but the combined efforts of all 4 gentlemen involved essentially captured the entire event (or came very close to it). I'm 90% sure there was a penultimate wave of multi-coloured fireworks before the final wave, although I could be wrong. The final wave was similar to the penultimate, albeit more complex. I remember people leaving after the penultimate wave, but again I cannot be certain there was one.

The Silvas never recorded Joseph Paxton and co, but this was only the intro... Nathan caught the technical hitch so you can see what happened there (!), but he obviously stopped the camera for the remaining 5 minutes or so rather than recording silent darkness. Nathan--missed out Queen Victoria--captured the sparkling steps, ballustrades & catherine wheels perfectly! Both parties essentially captured the palace burning and falling in it's entirety; the Hough footage is better quality, but the Silvas got a better angle--both recordings are unique in their own way. The Silva footage is shorter here, but no action was cut in-between the Mario and Ignacio transition, so is really insignificant. There will be other clips of this scene among the Deleted Scenes section of the DVD. Nathan caught the preparation and launch of the Tower prop, and Ignacio carried on where Nathan left off. Only a few seconds of the descent must be missing from the combined footage at this point. Mario had the best angle on the grand finale, but Mick captured pretty much the entire progression leading up to it. Four minutes and twenty seconds of high speed explosions is a lot of money down the drain, so I doubt Mick would have started the camera long after the wave began; I've never known a continuous wave of fireworks to last anywhere near as long as 5 minutes, and it's possible both the penultimate and final wave have been edited together. There's a tiny--almost unnoticeable--jump during some green haze. I doubt there's really a conspiracy happening here or anything, but I cannot explain the phenomenon.

To summarise: for maximum coverage and to fully appreciate this event, you will need to watch highlights from both the Hough and Silva recordings! Of course, you really needed to have been there on the night, but anyway, well done to Nathan, Mick, Mario and Ignacio for their preservation efforts. However, there's still plenty of room on the DVD for more footage, so if anyone else has a VHS tape or converted DV tape they personally captured from the event please send to Julius. Anything from memory sticks please upload to Megaupload.com and address the file to me (again, my email is rarekfm@hotmail.com)

Edited by Mantis2K, 13 December 2006 - 03:52 AM.


#15 Mantis2K

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 06:59 PM

Only 2 tracks played that night were Handel. The other tracks sound more up to date, but I've been unable to find out the artist/group responsible. Somebody suggested Kronos Quartet or Philip Glass, although Julius believes it was specially produced for the event--probably by a lesser known artist. Anyway, I will include the 2 Handel tracks in the menus, but all the other Handel stuff sounds too out of date to accompany the photo gallery etc. Therefore, I'm going to have to stick on some random New Age music with a bit more emotion. I find most of that other classical music too bland for this DVD. The stuff played on the night sounded great whatever it was... <_<