"A Foreign Shore": YouTube Video
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    "A Foreign Shore": YouTube Video

    While I am waiting for my fantasy novel, "A Foreign Shore," to ferment in the publisher's slush pile, I decided to do up the illustrations, by Liz Clarke, as a YouTube video, set Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade. Comments welcome.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=290vb3vaeAc

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    I hope I am not violating any rules by replying to my own message, but I wanted to point out a couple things before it scrolls off:

    This video is based on the pan-and-zoom techniques pioneered by Ken Burns in his famous Civil War documentary. They have since become rather common. Pan-and-zoom is a rather simple technique for adding motion to still pictures. A good YouTube video can attract a lot more attention than just a still. The drawback is that you need a lot of art, and it has to be well detailed.

    In this case, I started with the 30 illos I had commissioned from Liz Clarke and added 4 pieces of title art I stole from Maxfield Parrish (who is long dead and won't object). This was enough for an 11-minute video. As a rule, I didn't want to linger more than 30 seconds on any one piece of art. The minimum was 10 seconds. Transitions were a bit tricky: I tried to focus on some common motif: a face or an object which repeats itself. This helps to preserve a sense of continuity.

    Now I'll shut up for awhile.

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    If you want critique on these illustrations, it would be better if you had the original artist post these here in image form and not as a video. And if you want critique for the video... well this place isn't very good for that either.

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    My initial reaction is that the video is waaaay toooo loooong and moves waaaay tooooo sloooowly. If it were me, I'd keep it down around two minutes.

    The larger problem is that while pan-and-zoom is a fine technique, I'm not getting any sense of the story at all. I'm not sure if you just like cropping in so tight on the figures that any sense of context is lost, or that the art just doesn't lend itself to this kind of treatment. You might do well to start from scratch--and this time, be relentless about asking yourself, "is the narrative clear here?" If it isn't, go back and redo it until it is clear.

    The use of the Parrish illustrations at the beginning feels very clip-art-ish--especially since they depict characters and events which (presumably) are not in your novel. I'd lose them. (FYI: just because the guy's dead doesn't necessarily mean his work is in the public domain...his estate may retain copyright to the work.)

    As always, just my two cents.

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