It seems that everywhere I turned online this weekend, somebody was flying a quadcopter with a camera through fireworks.

Leaving the wisdom of doing that out of this posting, I wanted to play with how music and special effects would affect the viewer's experience with a fireworks video shot via drone and published in May. In the original, a classical score and slow drifting shots add drama and elegance to the piece.

Then I took the same video and added a range of tracks. I started with the orginal score, then changed it to Katy Perry, Elvis, Bruce Springsteen and Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger."

I occasionally drop fireworks in, sometimes I let it run silent.

The question is how do each of these effects change the way the viewer experiences the video?

I could imagine a low bass pulse might add tension. The high opera adds elegance, while Elvis adds a flag-waving emotional high.

The speed of the edits in the Katy Perry segment picks up the energy of the flythrough.

All of this is a way of understanding the power of the edit. Editing is subjective, it is the editor's best attempt to render a story accurately and visually truthful while adding appropriate energy and visual appeal.

I usually advocate not using music on news stories, but I am not an absolutist. I think music over a fireworks display is the sort of thing a viewer would understand has been added. There is no orchestra riding on the drone through the fireworks. But it is a lot less defensible to add the fireworks sounds as I did. I just lifted that from another vido and dropped them in. Those sounds did not happen in that drone video.


Edit for clarity and accuracy. What would the viewer say about the truth of what happened if the viewer could see your raw video files? And remember that it is not just the visual truth we are after. Audio holds great truths too.