topics of my video to date have been typical home movies... 5
grands, vacations, holidays, visits to beaches and cities... dabbling in
Movie Maker and Photo Story to add neat touches. I've never written a video
script or planned one in detail. I'm in awe of Chuck being able to do such
productions... on a regular basis, and make a living at it.
One of his favorite stages for video is Venice... he'll
be staging and shooting one there at the end of February. The one shown
here and in the opening sample video are scenes from an earlier work.
Here he is writing one of his
scripts... pen and pencil on paper and yellow pads... he'll do it at home, or at
Barnes & Noble. As I write my newsletters and books on my laptop, he writes
and rewrites by hand.
Donna, being the computer
professional, has been nudging Chuck toward computers and digital,
and succeeded recently at getting him to
try e-mail... that's as far as he is at the moment...
Chuck, with 4
digital camcorders... and many more analog ones... shoots mostly hand-held, but
I plan almost nothing and
shoot most everything, using a monopod at times. With the ease of doing
non-linear editing with Movie Maker, I specialize in
making silk purses from sows' ears...
Chuck on the other
hand uses actors and rehearsals, planning every word they say...
orders Panasonic professional tapes for his digital camcorders
while I use the Maxell bulk packs from Sam's Club.
With a career in video and the
stage arts, and Donna teaching
university computer classes...
and a few computers at home, you might expect him to be using Final Cut
Pro, Vegas, maybe Premiere... or at least have tried them.
He hasn't used a computer
yet for more than email... I had seen some of his work such as Days
& Nights in Venice, with the special effects in the opening scenes,
and was intrigued by what his studio must be like. They invited us over a few
days ago to see it.
Our tour started with their
English gardens in the back... lots of statues, columns, sculptures, intriguing
things. Then to the studio downstairs, with an extra 8 feet of so added to the
height of the room when it was built with a stage in mind.... kind of link an
old English Shakespeare theme, with lots of theatrical memorabilia throughout
What would be a living room is
the main editing studio... he'll typically start with a mini-DV
tape with raw footage, and end up with the final
edited rendered video on another mini-DV tape. But between the two
digital devices are a myriad of analog black boxes with knobs... as he
started to learn Movie Maker this week, he keeps wishing my computer had an
analog knob to allow him to adjust the audio volume in real time as
the previewing happens.
By not having a professional
analog equipment setup, my adopting Movie Maker 1, followed by MM2, was an
easy move from the stopping and starting of my VCR tape to add another scene
from my camcorder. If I wanted an opening title or closing credits, I did them
manually an something, and shot a few more minutes with the camcorder aimed
at whatever it was... certainly nothing close to the professionalism
of Chuck's Days & Nights in Venice title.
He is interested enough in
digital editing to explore it... and thinking that he's an experienced
professional, I'd start him off with Premiere. Two sessions later, we
chatted a bit about the differences between Premiere and Movie Maker, and
jump-shifted to continue the lessons using Movie Maker.
I'll be beta testing Vista,
finishing my conversions of analog material to digital, and supporting the
community of Movie Maker users, while expanding my support of the digital
still picture imaging/editing software... and Photo Story.
Chuck has seen some of his
past video work dry up, and thinks it's partially due to the proliferation
of consumer camcorders and editing software... he feels it's time to learn
what's in the digital area.
Donna thinks that making a
production in segments (she thinks 3 minutes per, and Chuck feels he can't do it
in less than 5) and distributing it as a series of vodcasts... would
be one way to move into the digital future. Chuck is writing the script for
the late-February production in Venice to fit into that scheme. He's
willing to try it.
We've talked about what
he can do better and easier with the computer... but haven't found the
first little project yet. I'm encouraging him to not jump into full digital
with a production, but use it for something that can do for his production
what he can't do with his analog equipment, whatever it is. And don't do it
with a production deadline looming ahead.