So this is the first pass at the video edition of Lighting Up The Scoreboard, as promised. I've been working on it every night since ST&NO went in the can on Monday evening, and I hope you like it. If I hit the Mega tonight, I will hire voice talent, but for now, you're stuck with me and my nasal, born-and-raised-in-Connecticut sound.
This hasn't been posted on MHR yet as I write this, (it's still about 9 hours away from that), and already I have my first ever troll comment on YouTube. Turns out the guy thinks I know nothing about the Bears, because I would know (care?) that a different scrub than I thought has been starting as FS in recent days, and that Kevin Payne is "really good." He has always looked average to me, but what do I know?
Omission - I forgot to mention in the video that the best thing to do against Cover-2 is run the ball. By doing that successfully, you eventually force an eighth man into the box, and you end up seeing more single-high man-to-man. I don't know how I forgot to mention that, but it's a key point.
Production notes follow after the jump, for anybody who is interested. Please leave feedback, and I will keep working on improving this as time goes on.
Production notes: This project encompassed probably 8-9 hours of work to produce 9 minutes and 40 seconds of content. Some of that work was structural/non-repeating, so I figure I will eventually get it down to 3-4 hours per edition, especially as I get better with the editing software, and more comfortable having my voice recorded.
Video from Madden 10 was recorded to my laptop, over S-Video cable, and run through a video distribution amplifier, using a device called a Pinnacle 500, which is no longer sold. Essentially, the same thing is now re-branded as the Dazzle. The recording I did yielded about 20 minutes (roughly 3 GB) of video, which I transferred from my laptop to the desktop machine in my office using an external hard drive.
That 20 minutes of video was cut to about 3.5 minutes, using Sony's Vegas Video Studio 9.0b. I am a longtime user of Sony's ACID Music product, going back about 10 years to when ACID was a product and invention of Sonic Foundry (Sony eventually bought SF.) Vegas Video was also a Sonic Foundry product, but I never used it until I began this project.
With the music, I was going for unobtrusive and simple, but I felt like something needed to be there behind my voice. I have dabbled for years, as I said, with using ACID as a production tool, and my plan is to create a lot of varied sounds for this package as time goes on. Maybe not entirely new stuff every week, but it will be mixed up, and eventually, I want to have 100 or more different tracks to choose from. As I watched ESPN's video packages, to get a feel for how they do it, they use the same music all the time, for branding consistency. I want to go the other way, and keeping bringing new and interesting stuff to the table, even if it is just background noise.
As far as recording the voice-over, I used another Sony (and formerly Sonic Foundry) product, Sound Forge. I am actually a very good public speaker, and I don't do a lot of "you knows" and "umms" in a live setting or on a conference call. I was not entirely comfortable this first time speaking into a mic, so I had a few umm's and misspoken words to edit out, and Sound Forge is really nice for that purpose. I recorded a total of 27 individual audio files, and trimmed them to match the video timing I was working with. I used a cheap-ish microphone, run run through a good pre-amplifier, which I have had for probably 10 years. I may upgrade the mic, or work on figuring out how to balance the sound better within Sound Forge, before I put it on the Vegas tracks.
The graphics I made were created in Microsoft PowerPoint and Publlisher 2007. Calijoefornia is working on a better title card for this package, so I put a little snark in my temporary one, since everybody loves my snark, and it's only temporary anyway.
The equipment and software I am using cost a total of probably $500, not counting the computers, XBOX 360, Madden game, or external hard drive. I dropped about $200 of that recently, for this specific purpose, on the video distribution amplifier, S-Video cable for XBOX, other cables for the Pinnacle 500, microphone, desktop mic stand, and Vegas Video and Sound Forge software. As I grow this content, and create it each week, the investment will self-amortize against the ability to continually innovate in adding something of value to the Broncos fan base, and MHR community.
Thanks for checking this out, and please leave questions about the substance, and feedback about the presentation below in the comments. Go Broncos!!