Tuesday, April 17, 2007

#21 Wk13 - Training at NAB

There's lots of training on Flash video, HD cameras and workflow, Audio production, compression and color correction in FCP. I'll give you the highlights.

Of course there's classes on After Effects, 3D software, Adobe suite, Final Cut Pro suite, Avid, HD DVD production. There's tons of stuff to learn and hard choices to make.

Once the exhibition show opened on Monday April 15 I fought the crowds to find out stuff about Apple and Adobes new offerings. I've got a little news, more to come in the next episode.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

#21 Wk12- Las Vegas and NAB

I try to cover my harrowing adventures to the show and the past 3 days of training seminars I've attended.

#20 Wk12 - Errol Morris

The night before I took off for Las Vegas, which I know you're really tired of hearing about. I promise. I'll stop mentioning that soon. Anyway, on Wednesday April 11 I joined some of my classmates for a screening at Brandeis University by Errol Morris of a work in progress film about Abu Graib. He showed pieces of the film, rough cuts, talked briefly about the genesis of the project and that because of previous visits to the campus, felt the University community would have provide some valuable feedback to what he presented.

He was a quiet unassuming personality who took his work seriously, but in a self deprecating way. I was surprised by his demeanor. Considering the seriousness of the works I've seen, not everything certainly, I expected him to be more severe. Not complaining. Really, it's one of the reasons I attended.

There were a lot of interesting questions about the source material, how it was available, how he got the people who took the photos to be interviewed and whether they were being honest or trying to cast themselves as victims.

He made it clear that this was not an anti governement movie, but that it was about the banality of war, and the sheer stupidity. It was grim viewing, but also breathtakingly absorbing. He said it should be coming out later this year. Watch for it.

#19 Wk12 - Documentary and Interview

Another show recorded at Logan Airport, complete with guest ambient speakers. Any suggestions on how to eliminate them would be greatly appreciated. By the way, I did finally get to Vegas, about 1am local time. I got to my room and collapsed at 3:30. Maybe I'll fill you in on my exciting trip in another episode. I was very happy to stop.

So this episode covers Tuesday nights class. Howard Phillips, who taught a previous class on lighting, filled in for Franco who was out sick. We reviewed some video people shot the previous week using the camera handheld. As I mention in the podcast I appreciate having multiple teachers in a single class, although not at the expense of the health of anyone. Even if they recover information or techniques, I feel I can benefit from their differing experiences and perspectives.

Currently I'm attending seminars. I'll be posting episodes shortly. The trade show hasn't started yet. I'm really loving all the information. There are about 8 different tracks on video production, software and hardware and I can only choose one at a time. Come Monday I'll have to skip some classes altogether to see the booths on the floor. And it's a big floor.

Following right on the heels of this post is one about a screening I attended of a work in progress by Errol Morris, the guy who produced The Fog of War and other great documentaries. Coming right up.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

#18 Wk11 - Documentary and Interview

You going to hear the cuts in this episode. I recorded this podcast from Logan Airport in Boston, waiting for my plane to Las Vegas. Lots of background noise. There just doesn't seem to be quiet rooms at this airport. I thought the Men's room would be a little obvious. I'm also editing in Adobe Audition instead of Soundtrack pro and Garageband, so the production values are going to suffer from my limited experience with that program. I think it's quite the capable piece of software, I'm just unfamiliar with it.

We watched the first 15 minutes of an excellent documentary called Children Underground, by Edet Belzberg about the lives of a group of children who live in the subways of Bucharest Roumania. From that we took a number of lessons about shooting cinema verite with a handheld camera.

The assignment for the class was to take multiple shots of an individual working at a computer. All different angles and perspectives, from above, over the shoulder, in front, close-ups of hands on keyboards and mouse, the monitor, the desk, etc. It was all about coverage, getting every shot you could need to demonstrate the detailed actions of someone working on a computer, probably with the intention of using it as B-roll for a voice-over, or over dubbed interview. Shooting handheld for even 15 minutes is very fatiguing.

We didn't get time to look at the video, but we did discuss our experiences while we were waiting for everyone to get back. In the next week we'll review them and take on another assignment.

In the meantime I'm still waiting for the plane. Heavy winds in Nevada they say.

Friday, April 13, 2007

#17 Wk10 - Documentary and Interview pt2

The ummm, ah episode. I'm trying really hard to streamline and shorten the production process for podcasting. That means working off of short notes, instead of a finished script and not spending so much time editing, removing annoying ahs and spaces. And as much as I've tried, I've still spent too much time editing the audio. I can't stand listening to me stumbling along, why should you. Still it's a little rougher that usual. Let me know what you think.

This episode includes notes about a documentary preview, So Much | So Fast, and Q&A with the filmmaker, Steven Asher. His comments on how to make a living as a documentary filmmaker were interesting.

Thursday and Saturday we prepared and shot an interview which I describe as well as give up some pointers on how to conduct an interview.

Finally I talk about the RED One camera. It's the one to watch at NAB this year.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

#16 Wk10 - Documentary and Interview pt1

Another quick set of notes for this podcast.

This week begins the class on documentary and interview. This podcast is only about Tuesday night's class. I'm going to put out a second podcast covering Thursday nights special topic where we screen a just released documentary and get to question the filmmaker, and then Saturday's class where we set up lighting for an interview and then interview someone we don't know.

I also take the time to bleed all the humor out of David Brenner's jokes with my sad delivery

I discuss the sad lot of Julie Amero

Check out Errol Morris' films, and the commercials on his site. He's the one who did the original Apple ads about switchers.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.