Sunday, August 31, 2008

#106 Rough Screening

Day 16 & 15

I'm quite busy using all available time editing my film. My podcasting solution is to record summaries every couple days and posting them. I'm counting down the days until I have to hand in the project and this show is the second one in the series, days 16 and 15.

Even with this clever idea I still am a little pokey posting these as I still don't have much free time to edit and even write this meager blog post. The days I'm talking about are not in sync with reality, which I think would be much more dramatic, but since I'm not getting paid to do this and my paying job doesn't subsidize my podcast, I'll cut myself some slack. Once the deadline passes and I can walk out my front door and see that big yellow circle in the sky, I'll have time to post them in short order AND finish that symphony I've always wanted to write.

How is it I have time to write this now you say? Well, here's an Avid life lesson. I'm using a G4 Mac, about 1.67 megahertz, 2 gig of RAM and a fast 500 gig Firewire 800 external drive. I'm using Avid Media Composer two. It does the job well enough, I've only been cutting up to now, but I'm dreading working with effects.

Whenever you connect your connect the drive with your media and project file infromation into another computer, Avid will reindex you media when it is launched. Sometimes, like on an Intel Mac Pro workstation with a fast SATA drive, memory, processor etc., it can index pretty fast and only keep you waiting a few minutes. Sometimes more. On a computer like mine, a lot, lot more.

I don't know what I did, since I didn't disconnect my drive and launch my project off another system, but after a taking a couple hours for lunch I turned the drive back on, relaunched Avid and voila, indexing. As long as it takes to write this, maybe post this.

Just be careful to budget time for this kind timewasting, and keep the mylanta at hand.

In this show I'm reviewing the our class screening. There were 4 films shown. Two are essentially done, one is a narrative, excellent, another is a trailer for a documentary, also very very good. One class member was MIA, turns out he never got the date for the screening. His film, a narrative, is pretty much done as well. The other person in the class showed a portion of her film, which is being edited by another class member and plans to show a trailer at graduation.

My film was not complete, I had put together about 70% of it, no really, more like half of it. Still it was 20 minutes long. I'll explain why in the show, no need to get into it here. I got a lot of constructive feedback and was raring to dig in the next day, but it didn't work out that way.

You'll have to forgive Day 15's segment. I've tried a number of things in Soundtrack to help it out, but I couldn't combat distortion which is due to wind on the mic. I argued with myself to take it out completely, but, for the sake of documenting my progress, I left it in.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

#105 Subclipping Hell

Subclipping is a necessary part of organizing your project, creating structure. Doing that will allow you to rip through your media as you pull the story together. With the deadline I have, about 3 weeks when I recorded this show, what I feel I really need to do is begin editing, but that would be disastrous and lead to chaos with the amount of footage I have to work with.

I'm using Avid over FCP. I've chosen to use Avid for this project even though I have more experience using FCP. I've discovered a few drawbacks that could negatively affect meeting the deadline.

Finally I have begun editing the footage, starting with discrete topics, keeping a general story order in my head. I find this process works for me. Once I got enough footage cut together I moved the contents of these sequences into a single timeline sequence to see how well everything pulled together to tell a cohesive story. It's still incomplete, but I'm very encouraged.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

#104 Transcribing

21 days left.

I've used my time during the past week transcribing all the interviews I recorded using a tool called MacSpeech Dictate. It does a good job of converting the spoken word to text. It's a new program that uses the dictation software engine developed by the people who created Dragon Naturally Speaking, a PC only program.

It took me a week, but I was able to do it during my hour plus commute. I still have to go back and review the text and correct any errors.

The best part of all of this is that I'm reacquainting myself with the words of my interviewees and I've fallen back in love with my story and my film. I don't know where I went, but I'm back.

So the next step is to subclip the footage based on topic and then I can use that to build my story.

Friday, August 8, 2008

#103 Wk75 DVD Authoring

Well, at last, the final week of classes. I talk about compression in DVD Studio Pro and Color Correction in Avid, including some suggestions for improvement on the DVD authoring class.

I'm finally out of my lethargic funk too. I have 30 days to complete the edit, pick up a couple shots and finish the film. I'm way behind, so I'm making plans and thinking focused.
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