Lights, camera – applause! How to edit great videos at home

When you assemble family and friends to see the video of your latest vacation, do they groan or fall asleep before the end? Here’s how to create an exciting video – right at home – that will make everyone sit up and watch.

“The basic concepts of how to edit video are simple,” says Anthony Pires, academic director of digital filmmaking and video production at The Art Institute of Philadelphia. “First, move recorded video from the camera to your computer. Second, use a video editing program to pull out the scenes you want and rearrange them on a timeline. Then use the program to add transitions, effects, titles, narration, music and sound effects. Finally, save the edited content as a new video file.”


Start with great video footage

It’s essential that you get to know your video camera. Read the instructions and practice so you are comfortable with its operation and features. There’s nothing worse than shooting your family at grandma’s birthday party or your child’s high school graduation, only to find that the camera was not recording.

Second, make a plan. Know beforehand what story you want to tell and plan the shots you will need.

Third, make sure the footage is interesting and tells the story. “Use a variety of shots,” recommends Alex Buffalo, department chair of digital filmmaking and video production at The Art Institute of Tampa, a branch of Miami International University of Art & Design. “Start with a shot that establishes the location – a sign or recognizable landmark. Include close, medium and wide shots. Shoot from different angles and positions, such as high and low, or the front, side and back of the subject. Include some cutaway shots, such as others reacting to the activity in the main shot. And be sure to hold each shot for at least 10 seconds.”

Other tips include minimizing the use of pan and zoom (and pan slowly if at all), getting the best natural sound possible (and don’t narrate while you shoot) and keeping the camera as still as possible, using a tripod where you can.

“Check your plan during the shoot to make sure you get everything you’ll need to tell your story,” Buffalo adds.

Edit to tell your story

Once you have your footage, you’re ready to edit. Video editing programs have become more sophisticated and more user friendly.
“Most computers come with a built-in video editing program,” says Nadia Ramoutar, faculty member in digital filmmaking and video production at The Art Institute of Jacksonville, a branch of Miami International University of Art & Design. “Go ahead and start with whatever is provided. You’ll often find Windows Movie Maker on PCs and iMovie on Macs. Both software programs are frequently included at no extra charge with your computer purchase and are easy to use. If you are not happy with the software that comes with your computer, consider purchasing PowerDirector 10 for the PC or Final Cut Pro X for the Mac. They are easier to use than the professional-grade programs we teach at The Art Institutes schools, but offer plenty of power for most home users.”

The user’s guide for your editing program can tell you how to move the video from your camera to the computer. Select your scenes using the program’s cutting tool and arrange them in sequence on a timeline. Choose your transitions and any special effects from the library offered by your editing program. You’ll also have the opportunity to create a title screen and titles for some of your shots or sections. Music can be selected and narration recorded. And if the waves crashing doesn’t sound as crisp as you’d like it? Just add in a sound effect or two.

Once you’ve previewed and saved your video into its final form, you’re ready to share it. Show your video story on the big screen TV in your home, send DVDs to family and friends or post it to YouTube – the choice is yours.To learn more about The Art Institutes schools, visit

Courtesy of BPT

Three green trends for home remodeling

For some homeowners, remodeling projects are regular occurrences to keep their homes looking fresh. Sometimes, that means smaller changes like a new coat of paint or changing a light fixture. Other times, more substantial changes are needed. Determining those changes can be a challenge, but looking at the potential return on investment is a great way to prioritize.

Bathroom remodeling offers a 68.7 percent return on investment, according to a National Association of Realtors survey. One way to add value to a bathroom remodel is to pick bathroom fixtures that are more efficient than what you currently have installed. People are going green in many areas of life, whether with more energy-efficient light bulbs, hybrid cars or by recycling more regularly. Bathroom fixtures are no different.

Here are three reasons why you should consider going green with your bathroom modeling project:

* Products may be outdated. Toilets made before 1994 use anywhere from 3.5 gallons to 8 gallons per flush (gpf), while new EPA WaterSense labeled high-efficiency toilets can work beautifully on a modest 1.28 gpf. Not sure of your toilet’s vintage? Look at the underside of the tank lid – the date of manufacture is often stamped into the porcelain. In the shower, the typical showerhead installed in California homes built after 1994 uses as much as 2.5 gallons per minute. At that rate, your eight-minute shower consumes a whopping 20 gallons of water.

* Savings to be had. Compared to 3.5 gpf toilets, TOTO’s Aquia One-Piece Dual Flush High-Efficiency Toilet has a flushing system that enables homeowners to select the level of water used each time the toilet is flushed – 1.6 gallons for bulk waste or .9 for liquid. The approach provides exceptional water savings paired with outstanding performance. A family of four can save more than $90 annually on their water bill, and $2,000 over the lifetime of the toilet.

If you replace a typical 2.5 gpm showerhead with a TOTO high-efficiency Trilogy Showerhead, you will experience the same luxurious shower, yet consume a responsible 14 gallons, saving 20 percent of the water used by older models.

Even something like a faucet can contribute to water savings. TOTO’s Silas Widespread Lavatory Faucet is a WaterSense labeled lavatory faucet that consumes a responsible 1.5 gallons per minute without sacrificing an ounce of performance. Its design has a classic contemporary elegance with a graceful, curved spout.  

* Be a trendy homeowner. A whopping 68 percent of builders surveyed by the National Association of Home Builders say that energy-saving technologies and features including low-E windows, energy-efficient appliances, and LED lighting will be common along with other green features like engineered wood products, and water-saving plumbing fixtures such as dual-flush toilets and low-flow faucets by 2015. Start now and you’ll be ahead of the curve.

Courtesy of BPT

Updated 4 Bedroom Home in Pine Park

Pine Park home you have been waiting for! Updated with new roof, 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, remodeled kitchen with stainless appliances, travertine countertops and backsplash, formal LR& DR, large den with high quality laminate wood floors, butler's pantry, slider trays in kitchen cabinets, double-sided glass front cabinets, masonry fireplace with gas logs, large covered patio/porch, koi pond, energy efficient skylights. The final touch: custom addition of spacious master bath 8 years ago — tile floors, separate vanities, air jetted tub, separate shower – an amazing 13×16! Fully fenced yard perfect for entertaining and relaxing complete with arbored koi pond, patio and large covered porch with ceiling fan. Attached garage and two storage rooms.
Pine Park is conveniently located off Jefferson Highway just minutes from I-10 & I-12, Bluebonnet, Airline and Essen. Neighborhood pool, CPD for security, and active Civic Association. The perfect place to call home! Call or text 225-335-5395 or 
CLICK HERE for more info.

3816 Pine Park Dr.

Baton Rouge, LA 70809


Everything you need to understand about cabinets – basic introduction to cupboards

When you think about cabinets, much more often than not, you think of kitchen cupboards. These are the hottest topics within the market these days simply because of their performance, significance, and versatility. However, there is much more to cabinets than kitchen area cupboards, as cabinetry encompasses all facets of house decoration.

Cabinets are much more than just storage. They speak of one’s personality, your taste, and your sense of style. The chances are endless, but it boils down to what your choices are. In terms of style, you will find various sorts of cabinets to select from. But they’re basically subsumed into common classifications, for example framed or frameless, inventory or custom made, conventional, country, or modern fashion, made of hardwood, wood veneers or other materials.

Inventory and Customized Cupboards

Cupboards are generally classified into stock cabinets and customized cupboards. Inventory cupboards are individuals cupboards which are pre-fabricated and could be bought “off the rack” in many cupboard shops. Customized cabinets, on the other hand ordinarily refer to cupboards that are specially built by cabinet makers to match a homeowner’s extremely comprehensive specs, and therefore are usually carried out on site (homeowner’s home).

Framed and Frameless Cabinets

A framed cabinet is a cupboard with a body connected towards the entrance edges of its physique. This is also known as traditional, face-framed or American-style cabinet. A frameless cabinet, as the title implies, is one which has no body attached to enhance its physique. This is the standard among European-style cabinets.

Conventional, Country, Or Modern Style

If one goes by custom, all kitchen area cabinets are created from hardwood and therefore are fastened to the kitchen area walls. But nowadays, completely fixed cupboards have given way to standalone mobile cabinets that might come in unconventional materials, for example glass or plastics. Traditional fashion cupboards are appealing to more people because of its ageless appearance.

Country style cupboards give a comfortable, cozy and welcoming feel to a space. Hardwood is the best material to start with in the event you choose a country feel for your cabinets, as this may blend well with florals or nature-inspired textiles or designs.

There are countless other styles to choose from, enough to get you confused on your choices. To avoid this, it would be best to understand exactly where to begin your search. Browse through magazines, woodworking books, or cupboard shops. You can broaden your search to web sites on homes and furnishings. Just remember not to overlook a fashion that would naturally blend with design and architecture of one’s house.

Strong Wood, Bonded Wood, and Wood Veneers

It’s been a long time, and getting new cabinets means getting the services of a cabinet maker or getting down and dirty to make custom wood cupboards. As technologies have progressed, the opportunities have become limitless. Old and new supplies offer other various classifications of cabinets.

Solid Wood

Because of its versatility and ageless appearance and appeal, wood has become the most common material used for cabinets. It provides  a warm, homely atmosphere, and blends nicely with nearly any type of interior design and d├ęcor. The various kinds of wood species give more diverse choices, but your option would eventually depend on your personal style and spending budget. Wood is the most sought-after material for customized cabinets.

Wood supplies come from two kinds of trees: hardwoods and softwoods. Hardwood supplies come from coniferous timber, or trees which are easy to acquire. Softwood materials come from dicotyledonous or hard-to-cut trees.

Various wood species fetch different costs, relying on its availability and overall look. You will find several materials you can choose from: maple, oak, cherry, hickory, yellow birch, or pine.

Oak was the heavy favorite among cupboard builders until recently, when maple grew to become more popular within the cupboard industry. It is adaptable to any type of cabinet style due to its mild and normal grain texture. Extremely comparable to maple when it comes to flexibility, is the yellow birch selection. With its power and broad range of colors, it’s a preferred option for kitchen cupboards.

Cherry wood colors vary from pinkish to red-brown when aged and exposed to sunlight. Hickory is a light colored, to reddish brownish hardwood that is best for a staining finish. Although, pinewood will be the most inexpensive selection, it requires careful handling and preparation due to its susceptibility to bumps and scratches.

Exotic woods fetch higher prices as they are the much more uncommon types. Among those are mahogany, ebony, and walnut. Mahogany is largely derived from tropical rainforests. Its reddish brownish color and normal grain qualities make it an ideal alternative to old oak wood. Walnut colors range from darkish brown to your purplish shade of black. Ebony wood generally refers to very dark or black wood.

Bonded Wood

Bonding refers to the procedure of making large wood supplies from a number of smaller pieces of wood. Bonding processes differ. One way is cutting broad boards into narrow parts, then glued collectively to make the specified width or form. Blocks of wood might also be glued together to make up a single component of the cabinet. Another procedure entails wood chips or small wood particles combined with a gluing substance, the processed to create sturdy wood particle boards. And lastly, the process of bonding several levels of particle boards might be carried out to create plywood panels that are ideal for adding strength to softwood cabinets.

Wood Veneers

Wood veneers are thin layers of wood supplies from superior species of wood. These are glued on the surface of the cupboard materials, generally plywood or plastic board. This will be the best choice to get a more versatile wood cupboard accented with various wood patterns and textures. Wood veneers are aesthetically effective not just for raised panel cabinet doors, but also for flat or recessed cabinet doorways.

A word of caution for the spending budget: Although wood veneer as an option for wood appears to suggest that’s an inexpensive material, extremely elaborate veneering styles could end up being much more expensive work pieces.

Amy Wells 

Opportunity in Central on 2.41 Acres

Located just a few steps away from the
Frenchtown Road intersection with The Central Thruway is this house with 2.41 acres waiting for you. Currently zoned Rural, the possibilitiAes are endless. Either make this your spacious home in great condition, complete with two barns and circular driveway, or beat the rush for commercial development along Frenchtown Road at the Thruway and lock it in now! The home has covered porch areas, open floorplan, ceramic flooring, granite topped causal dining bar, outdoor kitchen pavilion, fresh baths, spacious bedrooms, workshop, two barns and more. Great potential as your residence or, commercially, as a day care, office, design center, it's up to you! You must take a look! Call or text 225-335-5395 or
CLICK HERE for more info.

14912 Frenchtown Rd.

Greenwell Springs, LA 70739


One Bedroom Condo Close to LSU

Perfect home for the LSU Grad Student, Law Student, Vet Student who wants peace and quiet! Downstairs
one bedroom condo has been freshened with new laminate flooring and paint. Spacious living/dining combination opens through pass-through bar area to the kitchen. The bedroom is fit for a king-sized bed, with sliding doors to open to the front porch. A large walk-in closet has ample room for your LSU wear. Also enjoy front door parking for your added convenience. This is the perfect home away from home for the serious student. Own this for far less than rent! Call or text 225-335-5395 or
CLICK HERE for more info!

1816 S. Brightside View Unit C

Baton Rouge, LA 70820


Win the Winter Real Estate Olympics


Why were home sales down last month?  

   Three words: LACK OF INVENTORY     


National Association of Realtors revealed last week that January's inventory of homes for sale has dropped to only a 4-month supply. A normal market is between 5 and 6 months’ supply, which is where our Greater Baton Rouge real estate market stands at 5.8 months.

This is the main reason home sales have declined in certain regions and parts of our area – there are just not enough houses for sale.

Interesting Update:  A recent survey revealed that 71% of homeowners are at least considering selling their home in 2014.

If you are thinking of selling, beating this increased competition to the market before spring might make sense – and enable you to get the best price possible for your home. 

So what to do?

  • Let us consult with you on the condition of your home and make plans to properly present it to the market.
  • Let us consult with you on pricing the home properly for today's market.
  • Let us provide you with premium promotion and negotiation skills to capture the interest of today's buyer.

Beat the increased competition BEFORE spring hits – and win the Winter Real Estate Olympics!


JUST LISTED:        


2.41 Acres of Opportunity

In Central
1BR Condo Perfect for LSU Students

In Brightside Park
14912 Frenchtown Rd. 1861 Brightside View Unit C


Coming Soon…

4 Bedroom/2.5 Bath Update Home in Pine Park

2700 s.f. for $350,000





This Sunday from 2-4pm


Beautiful 6BR/5.5BA

In Southdown Gardens
3818 Blakeridge Ave.





In Jefferson Place

NOW: $207,500
7884 Jefferson Place Apt. A


Home harmonizing: Making outdoor entertaining areas as useful as indoors

(BPT) – The trend toward outdoor living spaces shows no signs of slowing, and the newest step in the trend is blurring the lines between outdoor and indoor spaces. Outdoor spaces are truly becoming an extension of indoors, mimicking the most useful and appealing elements of indoor spaces. The trend is rewriting how Americans construct, outfit and enjoy that backyard staple, the deck.

“The dividing line between indoor and outdoor living spaces is fading, and homeowners are looking for ways to make their outside environment as useful and comfortable as the inside of their homes,” says Chris Camfferman, senior product manager with Universal Forest Products, makers of Latitudes decking materials and accessories. “The trend is driving an evolution in deck styles and materials, with new designs emphasizing livability as much as durability.”

If you want to bring your outdoor and indoor spaces into alignment this summer, look to these areas of your outdoor living space:

* Outdoor kitchen – Food is a big part of entertaining, whether you’re hosting a big summer soiree to christen your new deck or an intimate pool-side dinner. Outdoor food prep and cooking require a touch more finessing than indoor cooking. Whether you use a portable grill or a built-in cooktop, gas or charcoal, it’s important that your decking can stand up to the rigors of cooking. Choose decking material that’s scratch- and stain-resistant, like Latitudes’ Captiva and Capricorn lines. Both composite lines are capped with the most durable polymer technology available, making them virtually impervious to stains from food spills, as well as highly resistant to damage from cooking implements. Log on to to learn more.

* Entertainment areas – Long gone are the days when outdoor entertainment areas consisted of a table and deck chairs, period. Homeowners now want to enjoy the same types of amenities outdoors as they have indoors. For some, that includes a hot tub, and composite decking can provide a sturdy, barefoot-friendly and water-resistant platform for hot tub entertaining. Today, you can also use wireless technology outdoors. Wireless-equipped devices such as TVs and iPod stations make it easy to enjoy electronic entertainment – such as watching the big game or a romantic comedy – while savoring the fresh air and sunshine. Even easier -hang a bed sheet and use a movie projector to watch your favorite kid’s film or action flick, turning your deck into an outdoor movie theater.

* Furnishings – If your idea of outdoor seating is a few plastic Adirondack-style chairs and a plastic table, it’s time to look indoors for inspiration. The styles and materials you enjoy indoors are making their way into outdoor furniture design. Plush cushions in designer hues evoke the same comfort and style as fine upholstered furniture indoors. Demand is growing for built-ins that can fulfill seating and workspace needs. Composite decking material makes built-in benches both durable and beautiful. Homeowners are using furnishings and accessories to turn the decks into statements of their personal style.

* Decorator touches – Many of the decorator tricks that designers use to spice up the interior of homes are moving outdoors, too. Deck stains and exterior paints now come in vibrant colors – not just dirt-hiding browns. Composite decking is also popping with color, with hues that mimic some of the richest, most enticing tones found in natural woods. Lighting is another design element that’s no longer relegated to the realm of “utilitarian” in outdoor environments. Whether you opt for decorative sconces on exterior walls of your home, twinkling LED lights on a deck railing, or Tiffany-inspired solar-powered postcaps, lighting is an opportunity to make a design statement in your outdoor living space.

“For many Americans, outdoor living spaces have become every bit as important as indoors,” Camfferman says. “With advances in decking technology and outdoor decor, every homeowner can create an outdoor environment that’s as appealing and harmonious as the inside of their homes.”

Courtesy of BPT

More beauty, less beast in your lawn and garden

(BPT) – A tale as old as time, true as it can be … insects, weeds and poor fertilization are the beasts that take away from the beauty of plants and flowers in our lawns, gardens and even homes. To maintain a home and landscape your neighbors envy, interiors and exteriors should remain pest-free, and plants should be fed with the proper nutrients to stay healthy all-season-long.

Given the many things to consider when it comes to sustaining a lush landscape, homeowners are seeking new ways to simplify their lawn and garden maintenance techniques.

Trusted brands Amdro and Pennington have developed five quick tips that take the guesswork out of warm weather chores and make any home flourish with “more beauty, less beasts.”

1. Decoding soil DNA: The best gauge for fertilization requirements of your landscape is through a soil test. These tests are used to evaluate the condition and levels of nutrients in the soil, especially pH, which determines how well plants are able to draw the nutrients they need from the soil. Home soil test kits are available at most lawn and garden retailers or homeowners can contact their local Department of Agriculture for more information.

2. Fertilizer frequency factors: During periods of drought, it is important not to over-fertilize as this can result in unhealthy or burnt-looking plants. The frequency of fertilization depends on climate, plant type and the fertilizer. A pre-measured, ready-to-use fertilizer, such as the Pennington Smart Feed Sprayer System, ensures efficient feeding, proper nutrition and vigorous plant growth. The benefit: better results with bigger blooms and produce, when compared to unfed plants. The system also saves time, minimizes water usage and removes guesswork.

3. Select the right plants: One of the best defenses against problem insects is a strong, well-maintained plant. When designing your landscape, select plants that are less prone to insect problems. For example, native plants tend to be more pest-resistant, if planted where the sun and soil are right for them.

4. Go on the offensive: While weeds grow year-round, pest activity in many ways correlates with temperature. In general, as temperatures increase, so does insect feeding and insect populations in and around the home. Combat insects and weeds with a simple, versatile tool, such as the Amdro PowerFlex Pest & Weed System. With no mixing, measuring or cleaning required, this all-in-one system allows homeowners to reclaim their properties, both indoors and outdoors.

5. Protect beneficial species: Within every landscape and garden are pest predators that are beneficial to the health of plants – either by feeding on problem pests or by helping with soil aeration and drainage. Examples include earthworms, spiders, ladybugs and praying mantises. Attract beneficial insects to your landscape with plants that provide nectar, pollen and other food sources.

For more information and additional helpful hints, visit or

Courtesy of BPT

Two Bedroom Townhome Close to LSU

Priced right, this
two bedroom townhome is convenient to LSU and Essen/Bluebonnet corridors. Wood flooring covers the downstairs living & dining combination, offering a pass-through bar to the kitchen for entertaining and convenience. Washer/dryer and refrigerator remain – move in ready! A half bath is off the kitchen for your guests and convenience. Upstairs are two private bedrooms and baths, each with new carpeting. Outside is a decked patio area that welcomes outdoor grilling and relaxing. For low maintenance living and affordability, this is the one!

Call or text 225-335-5395 for more info or

8091 Bayou Fountain #503

Baton Rouge, LA 70820