Thursday, October 25, 2012

Hoping to get back to editing soon

I've been pretty busy and need to start looking at starting to edit the next video. I've been busy doing astronomy, going to a couple of concerts locally and involved with family medical issues and errands. Above you can see a photo I took of Gungor in concert locally. This is a 3d cross eyed photo. It was a very interesting concert. It's difficult to describe this group without describing the variety of styles they play. It's like a mix between contemporary Christian Praise music, a movie soundtrack from a modern movie, Rock, and all kinds of other influences. The music is excellent. Most of the songs at the concert were from their Creation Liturgy album. You never know what to expect. There is some short times in some pieces where a critical musician might feel that the songs or even the orchestration fall a little flat, almost going to a simple praise worship set, or perhaps the overuse of xylophones like percussion. But these are very few and brief, and the extra variety of music probably makes it more appealing, than less appealing. I heard a quote by someone who "attended 30 ooncerts" who said this was the best show they ever saw. (Perhaps they were young, as I've attended many more concerts. In rating the concert, for the shear variety and stage setup they get something extra. The light show was pretty good, matching a low budget Petra light show I've seen, pretty cool with the new LCD programmable lights what they can do at these events. The light show was awesome. I arrived a little late and missed part of the first song, so much to do. How would I rate this concert. It's difficult to say because I've been to a lot of great concerts. For a local concert at a hall, not compared with outdoor festival concerts, this has to be way up there in the ratings. I'd have to give it a rating of 9 out of 10. What would be "ten" as far as the pinnacle of Christian concerts. Well I'd say it's a concert that I haven't seen in a long time, I'm not talking a typical Petra concert, because this rates up there perhaps above that. It to me rates as good or as high or higher than the top level concerts I've seen, this would include Amy Grant and Michael W Smith, which have far more equipment and budget than Gungor. I can only recall one local (Metro detroit area) concert that I would rate higher and that would be The 2nd Chapter of Acts. I saw a concert of The 2nd Chapter of Acts, which was near the end of their touring career at U of M Dearborn. That concert was a definate ten out of ten and probably the best concert I've seen. That only slightly edges out the Gungor concert. Why? Well the Second Chapter of Acts created songs that were all praise worship hits, in their own right. They had harmonies and vocals that were unmatched by most and excellent band support with awesome synth lines. They lacked the variety of the Gungor concert however, even with the synths that they had. I believe the Second Chapter of Acts toured with a Fairlight synthesizer during the concert I saw at U of M and I'm really taken back by some of those patches and what they could add to a concert. Gungor is more evolved in some ways than the Second Chapter Of Acts. It's difficult to top Matthew Ward and his sisters or even approach their level of concert performance quality. Gungor actually is in some ways more evolved as they have more instrument variety and fuse different musical styles in a way that can likely keep everyone interested and at times guessing as to what will come next. How would I improve the group? I don't know if I could honestly say there is a way to improve much, because they are doing so much right and to move them in any one direction might not really improve them much. Some of the songs and song writing fall a little flat, but only in spots, they resemble some of the failures of modern praise and worship music, but only in small spots of some songs, not in a sustained fashion that would kill off even one song or cause me to drop it from the play list. There is so much positive with their approach and the way they blend the songs together I can't really think of a way I would approach and suggest a change. When you're hitting mostly home runs out of the ballpark, there is no need to change. The songs have a positive feel to them. They have enough variety to keep the most Attention Deficit Disordered fan, alert and attentive. I also like the way the songs build up and build up. I saw one song that the Farewell drifters sang that was not a typical structured song, but it had a "building and building" as if it was going to soar higher and higher, and it kept rising as the song developed. I really liked that Farewell drifters song. Gungor's songs all have a build up path, they tend to just keep soaring higher and higher. Could a show have songs that were more even and had more slow lower performance levels, giving the "highlights" more contrast. That might be one theoretical argument you could make against the show if you're splitting hairs looking for ways to improve their performance. But actually each song standing alone and having a nice steady buildup, seems very enjoyable, and I really wouldn't change that. I can remember MXPX having many short songs, built for radio play. They were all explosive. They could have tried to craft a song that was longer, but the energy they built in a concert, was sustained and it was really great to keep their shows moving forward. Gungor does the same thing really with their songs, they keep building and building. It's really difficult to put into words the effects of that concert. When I listen to their music it's very exciting. I only bought their Live album. I can't go to sleep listening to that album, it gets me moving and motivated. One evening after a late night astronomy session at the observatory I played the album to relax and go to sleep, it had the opposite effect. I was so inspired and motivated, I took the CD and laptop to the observatory to hook it up and do more observing. I ended up listening to the album over and over again while observing and looking up at the heavens, taking photographs of M42 and Jupiter much of the morning until sunrise. The observatory was my own private cathedral for observing during that time. The background of Gungor added to my observing session and kept me going. Most of the time we don't play music while observing, when others are there we don't want to change their experience of looking up and allow it to be a personal one, not one of a message or style of music being mixed with their observing impressions. But I was alone, so I had the music blaring up while looking up. At times I wondered if this would be the example of a pinnacle of music you might send out into space in a space probe. They sent an album on a space craft hurling out of the solar system, it had some kind of scientific greetings, and samples from the earth. If I was to send out a spacecraft right now, I'd probably prefer to send out the Gungor album to that. If you had a chance to send out a time capsule and say, this is what Christian praise music can be, a representation of the "best praise music to the creator". Gungor would fit the bill. . . . for an evolved music, that is current and represents many current trends of the last 100 years. The Gungor album pretty much says it all. I think I've written enough about this band. I really wish I could have shot a video of them and had the times, equipment and crew to throw together a concert video for them. That venue they were in in Canton was pretty good as well. My biggest criticism of the concert was, it was to short. . . left me wanting more. . .maybe I'll see them next time.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

After a late night editing last night really enjoying tonight's concert in The Metro Detroit area.

Watching The 77s right now, it's awesome.

Check out the painted wall featuring artwork from their albums.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Link to Jeff Summers video, one of them.

Link to one of Jeff Summers videos from Cornerstone.

I didn't put a link in the last post and a friend of mine said he could not locate the video on YouTube. His YouTube name is a little different from his name.

Having so much video per day, shows that he really worked at gathering a lot of video. Impressive.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Went out to see Charlie Peacock last week in e Detroit area.

I'm editing the Violet Burning video just for my own fun. Have about fifteen minutes of the show done already. I sent them raw video unedited, and they should have the video by now.

I'm going to likely see The 77s in the Detroit area Sunday night. I almost wish I had my video stuff and crew ready to tape their local show. I haven't edited the video I shot of them at Cornerstone yet, there is a major technical problem with the video I shot the first night and I'm dreading even thinking about the post processing required to try to salvage that video. The first night at Cornerstone I only had two cameras plus handheld. But used a Stedicam for my main front camera, and that was a BIG MISTAKE.

I'm going to get the Violet Burning edit ripped out probably before the Concert Tomorrow night. It can be a rough edit as there may be an official better edit that they can do.

Then I have to decide which band to edit next.

I had an interesting request for video from a guy who taped a lot of Cstone 2012. I said I can't release video yet and have to ask permission before I release much. I looked at his video. He is producing a YouTube documentary which is his view of Cornerstone. It's actually very nice and I really want to get some of the video I shot to him so he can drop it in and improve his video later. I wish I had more bands edited together and was in a position to start asking for permission, but I have to be patient.

If you look up Jeff Summers on YouTube, you van find his documentary of Cornerstone 2012. It's really nice and it's the kind of Extra and wandering around footage I'd hope to get as video for a documentary. He did a really nice job. I had to focus on what I could do best which was try to get the best concert video I could with my limited resources. The heat and my age, prevented me from being able to go out and gather the kinds of video that Jeff gathered. That is the strange and wonderful thing about Cornerstone, it was so big there are so many variations of experience you could get at e festival, one could never experience more than ten percent of the festival in a year. It's one of the great things about that festival, hmm. . .hard to think about it in a past tense. It was great because of the variety of activities. I remember one year back before they moved it from Grays lake fairgrounds, when I saw a lot of seminars and fewer bands, that was a great thing about that festival, there was always something special that you could discover and new friends to meet.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Stills show three main camera angles - Violet Burning video edit

Here's a brief account and look back at the video shoot of the Violet Burning at Cornerstone. I was running low on memory or power on all three main cameras by the time they were playing. When I import the video I usually refer to the cameras (from an audience point of view) as cameras 1, 2 and 3. Camera 1 is audience left near the front of the stage. The main camera. As you can see below. This was the Sony SR11 camcorder. I had a problem which was either battery but also possibly disk space related. I realized this and did something about it to extend this viewpoint as the camera started to die.
The second camera angle for this three camera shoot was the back middle camera. Here's a sample still from that angle. I zoomed in a bit for the Violet Burning. It gives a better view of the band but we lost the Cornerstone stage posters hanging that are on most of the rear camera angles for most of the bands I shot at the Gallery stage.
Camera 3 is up near the right side of the audience. It's (stage left) audience right.
Camera 1 was running out of space or battery. So I ended up pulling camera 3 off the tripod and walked up to the same position and shot that camera angle with the back camera. I would "lose" camera 2, the establishing shot, but I gained a better closer shot for the video. Had I more batteries and memory I might have not run into this limitation during that video shoot. The cost? A long life battery for these Sony Camcorders is about $100 and a 32 gig SIMM chip was about $100. So for another $200 invested in equipment I might have at least had a longer shot from one camera to cover the concert. (The wonders of hindsight.) The other thing I could have done, but this is just guessing in hindsight, was to save a camera and shoot with that after the others ones stopped working, had I known they would all start to run out of power 40 minutes before the concert was over. But I had blown past my expense budget already for the festival in getting the third camera and more SIM chips and batteries already. I had to put some kind of limit on my expenses. In the good old days, when I had greater income, I might try to power my way past the problem with more money. Actually I'm kind of amazed what I was able to do with the money I spent in such short notice. Having previous shooting experience helped. I spent about $380 on a Sony Camcorder, then on Thursday went out and bought another one. Then also I spent money on a Tascam DR40, that being about $180. I spent a little over $1000, maybe closer to $1200 on equipment. That added with the other stuff I had, the Sony SR11 camcorder, the iphone, Fujix 3d and the Canon EOS brought me up to six cameras. On the way back from Cornerstone I actually stopped at a Best Buy and hooked up my 3d Fujix camera to play back video I shot in 3d at the festival. If you look at the 3d video on a 3d TV, you will wish that you shot the entire event using 3d and had the capability to edit and produce a 3d blue ray disk. The 3d video is amazing. . . it's a completely different level. But unfortunately the 3d video camera, that Fujix shared the same problem that some other cheap cameras at the event had. The LED lighting for the concert created a major problem in the form of a weird lighting artifact streak that appeared with two lights behind the bands. This would not have happened with older types of lighting that take more power and throw off more heat. The LED lights have more features, but they ruin some video, 3d included. I tried to get extra footage with my iphone, but I think it was running out of power or memory so I stopped that recording. One of the nights, I don't know if it was during the Violet Burning or another band, the iphone died being low on power. I was recording at that time and had to wonder if that video would be written when the power died. The iphone tried to recover the video, but lost it. So the Iphone is not a good fail safe device to get video of an event on. It's an extra device that works sometimes, if the battery goes south while you are taping something, you might lose it. One thing I learned (to late) was that the SR11 would use power more efficiently if I closed the LCD side display. When it was fixed on the tripod and I was doing handheld, I could easily shut the side while it continued to film. The newer camcorders from Sony which are rather low end ($500 list) HD camcorders rely only on the side flip screen. There is no separate viewfinder and option to close the LCD screen. So these will burn more power, to power the side display. The main problem I had with the Sony SR11 up front was I was running out of memory and i didn't have spare SIM cards, required by that camera to extend the memory. I was recording to a 60 gig drive that had some other stuff on it. I kept deleting old stuff and backing it up to try to get more space as the Cornerstone event progressed. The best thing I could have done in preparation, would have been to do the following. Backup the entire iphone photo album and erase it, giving me much more free space. Have more batteries and more memory for the camcorders involved. I'm still amazed at how much stuff I was able to tape with a relatively low budget. In the old days one ADAT recorder (that I took to Cornerstone) cost me $4,000. I was taping Cornerstone 2012 with less than $4,000 worth of equipment and that got me up to six camera angles and a nice digital audio recording. That's a lot more bang for the buck than we used to get. Greg

Farewell drifters DVD done, kind of. . .

I have a final mix of the Farewell Drifters complete. Hmm. . . It looks pretty good. There are a couple things missing that could be added.

I didn't put closing credits in the first burn. Reviewed the DVD and it looks okay. I may throw credits on the end of a second DVD I send to them later, as soon as they respond with what they want on the credits.

There is another thing missing, something videographers often never tell a client or customer. We don't usually discuss what was left on the cutting room floor, the video we didn't use. In the case of the Farewell Drifters, and other bands from day four, I had some short video clips on my iPhone as well. These offer a different over saturated and somewhat posterized look. The nice thing about the iPhone clip, one nice thing is we actually see a little bit of the tambourine on the stage being played by the bass player. I didn't capture that with the other cameras. This isn't a really good close up or something and most of that footage is not to stable also, so it isn't a big loss. But I didn't even realize that video wasn't included in my edit process until the final cut was made. I realized I didn't transfer all my iPhone video to my computer, day 4 was missing. In reviewing the clips however, they probably wouldn't add much to the overall quality of the video. There is a chance I may revisit and edit this later and put a couple cutaways from that in, but it's not really necessary. Why editors, don't talk a lot about the stuff missed? People will never know if you don't mention it.

I'm starting to get video into the system for The Violet Burning. It's been a while since the shoot and I forgot the problems I had in shooting by now. The video from my main three cameras is in the nonlinear, and I saw the video from these and was surprised that there is only about an hour really fifty minutes of there set with my main cameras. The audio recording is much longer. I looked at one song with the Wayside, basically their first encore song and it was in the iPhone, but not totally there. Then I remembered I ran out of memory or battery with the iPhone so I had to stop that angle. Time to check the Canon EOS t1i. Well that video is only one clip as well, battery limits there as well, and possibly memory limits as well. What did I get with the Canon, an earlier part of the show. Okay as a last ditch effort, let's see what is on the Fujix 3d camera recording. I have an avi file which can be 3d or 2d from the Fujix. Looking at that there was an early song in that one song clip. So believe it or not I had six cameras recording The Violet Burning and missed the last forty minutes of the concert in spite of having six cameras. Of course I could always look for footage from others, but chances are I won't be able to get that and it's probably not very good as most just had a wide view from the back or did handheld and had shaky video. And I don't know how to get in touch with these anyway.

Also once you start getting into footage swapping, people start asking for a lot of stuff in return and I won't swap without permission from the artists. It's exciting to see The Violet Burning video I took, and I guess one positive is they played a lot of their new album at first, so there may be some useable material.

Now to kind of repeat other posts, how could this happen. Well it's simple really I didn't have a crew or any real support as far as power at the event, so I had no way to recharge batteries and my limited budget kept me from purchasing as many batteries as I needed to capture all of the bands. Had I recorded 1 hour less that night earlier I might have caught the entire set.

Being cooked by the 100F heat of each evening didn't help much either. Enough excuses. It's tine to start syncing up the Violet Burning clips I have and see what I can throw together.

The Violet Burning sells videos of one of their concerts. Maybe with a little luck they will be able to sell a few of these songs off the Internet and make a little profit off that Cornerstone concert. (I guess it depends on the quality we end up with and what they want to do.). As this is a gift to them, they would be able to make a few bucks without having to give me anything. It would be cool, and since one of their current projects is sent as QuickTime encodes, it might be doable. I guess it depends on whether they would find the quality high enough. We will see what happens.

I started looking at some of the videos posted under links from occupy cornerstone on Facebook. I was surprised to see a "show" someone put out, no doubt on the web, that had the entire Iona concert on it. It was shot with one camera from the front row. I guess one camera is better than nothing. I'm kind of shocked at someone putting out an entire concert. A sign of the times I guess. I don't want to put down that video much, because we all have to start somewhere.

If you want to see really good video of Iona, the best thing to do is search the web and buy the official video that they put out, because reviews state it's awesome.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Some more progress on Farewell Drifter video

It's been a busy couple of weeks. I haven't been editing as much as I should and probably been watching to much Netflix during the past week or two. Actually was spending some time getting extra sleep due to the effects of a cold or allergies. I did a quick three camera edit of the Farewell Drifters. It was pretty rough. This was done while eating dinner, with the laptop in front of me. Later I reviewed and tightened up some of the edit points while adding in the front handheld camera shots. It's really surprising how nice the video is turning out without a lot of work doing much moving of the cutaways. When the front camera was added it added a lot to the "live mix". There is a bit of delay and stuttering with real time playback of the high resolution camera files inside Media 100. That isn't causing a problem with rendered output. I decided to render out to a large Quicktime master file, my version 3 edit of this concert. I figured I'd be able to review that and watch it casually and pick out any obvious edit changes I need to make. There were less "lighting effects" with this concert, meaning more fill white light on the band. This worked out better for the video and reduces my need to color correct the video. It may have a slightly more blue look but there is enough white light to make it acceptable. I get to deal with some family medical issues that are ongoing and can be a continued problem, kind of like dealing with long term cancer pain, or something like that, without going into details. This at times causes me to slow down my edit and productivity process as well. I was dealing with a "cold" and now other members of my family are experiencing the same symptoms. So the cold bug is moving around. This slows down progress on day to day activities and we end up letting things slide more. Haven't done really any Astronomy hobby stuff in the last week and very little video editing. It's really fun to watch this band play, it's difficult to imagine the amount of heat we had that night and during those days, now that Cornerstone is more distant and fall weather is causing cooler nights in the day to day life. It almost looks like the audience and band was having a good time. We were but the heat was intense and definately had it's effect. Other basic stuff with video, a kind of distraction happened. I was at a local astronomy event and a guy had a helicopter that took video. He may show up at the observatory and take some video of the observatory from an elevated view. Interesting flying video. While looking for a video light for that shoot I went through cases of old video tapes. I found some old public access cable shows I used to produce. This was a Christian Cable show featuring bands playing. Mostly music. I started digitizing some of those old shows from SVHS to the nonlinear. I'm playing them from an SVHS deck through a digital-8 camcorder, to convert the video to firewire, and had a problem with the audio making it through, possibly due to a wrong connector. So I recorded the audio from the shows separately into the TASCAM DR40 and brought the audio for each show into the Mac to resync it with the shows. I only have six shows on the hard drive right now. I may post these on youtube, but most of the bands were local Christian bands from this area. I have a little bit of old Cornerstone festival music on some of the shows, so I may post them on youtube. Right now the only show I have transferred is show #25 with Rez Band from 1992. The footage was very interesting to watch. It was the 20th anniversary show, and they were playing songs off their first album. There were three guys on the stage with large betacam cameras at that time (or something big) and they were filming a lot of the concert. Perhaps some of that footage was used in a better video than we shot but we had three cameras there in 1992 and taped that concert. It was interesting, and it's interesting to see Rez playing songs from their early days, and this from a concert 20 years ago. I showed a couple of young kids a bit of the Rez footage while at a local coffeehouse and asked them how old they were. Both of these "kids" were pretty young, one was 22 and the other less than 20. So they never saw Rez Band footage from 1992, those old days. . . hard to believe that the 1990's is considered old days now. . . how the years fly by. The quality of the sound is not as good as it was as I learned more about sound in later years, but it's still amazing to watch and remember. I might send copies of this show to JPUSA or links. I actually posted an "unlisted" version of that show on Youtube, but won't make it public yet. I'm working on other shows as well, that is recovering them as best as I can from those early tapes. It was interesting to see how much video I could throw together using switchers in the old days. Faster production, but with occasional flaws. It's much faster of course to shoot and do a live switch and then take some cuts from that recording and throw them into a show, than edit in a fancy "nonlinear" editing system. Nonlinear is slower, but of course allows us to get more precise video cutting. I'm hoping to get this forth video finished. And then perhaps move on to the Violet Burning. I'm not doing any of the first days bands until I'm finished with the rest of them, because I want to avoid "stedicam nightmare footage". Also I may be doing some of the other bands that are lesser known before editing The Choir footage, because I know I'm going to run into problems with that video.

Rendering out Media 100 Export of Farewell Drifter

The edit looks pretty good. What may be lacking a bit in the audio in parts of a couple of songs seems to be made up for with the overall quality. I rushed to Cornerstone to do the shoot. I didn't plan for it enough. One of the problems with my approach, which was going the last minute was I didn't gather enough equipment to actually do the shoot without a few possible problems. For example I used to use AKG C1000s microphones for audio recording. I know they aren't high end audio recording microphones, but they are good enough for most live performance recordings. Why? Well the specs tell the story. The C1000s microphones have a very transparent quality to them and are condenser microphones. Condensers are better than dynamic microphones in recording high frequencies, but often have a problem which is they cannot handle extremely high noise volumes. The C1000s microphones are not just condenser mics but also designed to handle very high DB sound levels. They are often used as drum microphones above in live concerts covering the cymbals. I usually use C1000s microphones, or I should say I used to use them. I had the C1000s microphones locked away in storage, basically buried in the back somewhere in a case with other audio equipment. I had and often used windscreens for them. The cases were buried under so much other stuff, that I couldn't locate the microphones during my last minute planning. I remember seeing them when rearranging my massive storage space, but didn't apparently put that "case" in the front of other cases, but buried it. I had hoped to tape the Cornerstone event with these microphones and always used the windscreens. I picked up a digital recorder, and it had built in microphones. The Tascam Dr40 wasn't available locally close to my house. So I ended up locating and picking up one on the road. Unfortunately, they didn't have wind screens on the microphones. I figured I might be able to take my windscreen from my Sony Condensor microphone that is on my camcorder and use that. When I was under the Gallery tent under the hot conditions it seemed that there was no wind to speak of. I forgot to try to put the wind screen over the Tascam recorder and left it on my camcorder. The recorder didn't seem to pick up any wind when I reviewed the recordings each night, but obviously I didn't review all the recordings while the event was happening. It seemed the placement of the Tascam would keep any wind pretty much away, although they were up high, there was a lot of tent covering the event and a lot of people inside. I almost bought a Zoom Windscreen kit as well when looking for the Tascam, but didn't at a closer store. So the Tascam microphones were not covered or protected from the wind. With most of the recordings I didn't have a problem, but with the Farewell drifters, I noticed some wind noise on a couple of the early songs, near the end of one of them. And also I noticed a bit of other noise which the wind screens would not have reduced later during some quite tunes. This other noise was sound from another tent or act further away, but obviously loud enough. These distractions reduced the quality of the recording a bit. Other than that the sound is pretty good and I still enjoy watching this video. The initial edit was pretty good and a few minor adjustments were added. I only have a few "soft cut" transitions that were added to reduce the harse cutting effect of a couple of "takes" and I added one "push" DVE (digital video effect) which is pretty quick. Now I'm exporting out the program to a master quicktime file. This step takes about 20 hours or so. And the early estimates were 12 hours by the Media 100 system. I'm using "multiple pass" encoding and also had to make sure the Macintosh hard drive had plenty of free space for temporary working files. If I have about 30 gigs free that's normally enough. It's interesting to leave the computer running and then look at it the next day. After nearly 12 hours the time estimates actually go up, this is due to a lag in the multiple step encoding. The status bar seems to be moving very slowely or stalled, but this is just because the process takes so long. The estimates will continue to grow until the first pass is complete, then all of a sudden the last part of the process will start to fly and take maybe 4 or 5 hours. But at this moment it looks like the render is stalled. I actually went out and purchased some Violet Burning stuff off the web. I found some old link and sent in an order and found out that the link I used was some old link from Google to a past ordering method. The price was something like $12 for a DVD and almost immediately after ordering I received a reply from The Violet Burning that this was an obsolete link and an old price that I found. They send me a prompt refund (through paypal as I was using that). And they sent me a better link. So I ordered a couple of their products. Then I found out the video was a digital download. Cool. So I get an email with the digital link in it and download a "CD/MP3" purchase first, no problem. Then I tried to download the video. It's 1.7 gigs in size. My home WIFI is pretty slow and it would take 4 or 5 hours for the download to work, so I went to a pizza place that has wifi and used to have very fast wifi. That is located in Dearborn Michigan. But their wifi is broken, yet another fairly fast wifi was working (Open Dearborn). So I started to download the video at about 1 meg per second speeds. While eating the first download failed. In Firefox on my Macintosh. So I tried it again. I spent a hour or two there and all downloads failed. So I figured I'd try it again but this time at a different location. Maybe the service or my Macintosh was to blame. I'm running an old and early version of Snow Leopard, so I don't have the most recent OS or even the highest upgraded version of Snow Leopard. I tried downloading it at a Starbucks closer to home, but that took a much longer time, a slower WIFI connection. The download was going to take 3 hours. About 90 minutes through the download the program says my download is complete, but of course it will only download part of the zip file. So I have a 1.2 gig, a 1.02 gig and something like a 700 gig download. Of course a partial zip file won't work. So I'm "saving money I guess and hassle" by getting the video digitally. I decided to try downloading it on my cheap Windows 7 laptop which I use for astronomy. A newer OS and I have Chrome installed on it. Chrome is one of the recommended browsers listed in the email from the Violet Burning (Mike). So I ended up going to another place with WIFI, Buffalo Wild Wings. The WIFI seems slower than Buddy's Pizza (open Dearborn) in Dearborn, but actually the download was much speedier. I was downloading at 1.6 megs per second (according to Chrome) but actually it was probably faster. Within 30 or 40 minutes the download was completed and I had The Violet Burning video ZIP on my hard drive. I fired up the video. It was pretty cool. I kind of wished they had more video angles in the video, but obviously they shot it with a limited budget or limited access to the environment, keeping cameras stuck at a few angles. It looks like they shot it with pretty nice cameras, but these were industrial cameras or some kind of large cameras, without image stabilization. It looks like the video was shot handheld. Some of the video moves and shakes a bit. It kind of gives it an artistic feel. The video has a bit of a homemade quality to it. It's kind of cool what they did with the coloring of the video, there is a kind of almost bleach bypass/sepia tone that is on the video, with a hint of violet color actually. It's pretty cool. Some of the cuts of that video look to be from a wide to a narrower angle inside the same shot, digitally cropped. It looks like they cut to the same camera angle. I thought for a while that they only had one camera at that shoot. I still like the video. I know it sounds like I'm critical, but it's pretty cool. It looks like it was filmed in an Orthodox church, with some items that were not moved at all, a candle holder, etc that probably could not be moved. I've actually shot videos in some churches where the camera operators were told we cannot be in certain areas of the church and must stay within a certain boundary. For example you can't go on stage in some churches with the camera. It's like your treading on holy ground, only meant for the ministers or those in the ceremony. I can remember having those limits at one church where I did a wedding, but they let us go up into the organ loft above and behind the stage. We had a camera at that wedding shooting out from the organ above and behind the stage. It looked like the Violet Burning video had those kinds of limitations on it. But I still liked it because you get a feel of the concert. I also liked the way that video sounded. It was recorded with "a few microphones" in the room, to get a live feel. It has a very "wet" live feel to it. Which is something I really like. I can tell they had a few microphones in there. Giving both the feel of the space and a clear audio track. Some video recordings that are live have a dry sterile sound, because they have so much of the "mixing board" direct sound in the mix. Other recordings, which are more like bootlegs or are bootlegs have a sound which is live, from a camera. Many times camcorders don't get enough direct sound and suffer from being to much "live sound" and are missing aspects of the event that we hear. I like the "live sound" in the Violet burning video. I think it's actually a pretty nice video. It's not as cookie cutter as some of the "produced videos" we see from the more expensive productions. The sound may be less sterile than some really expensive productions, but I like it and find it refreshing compared to the typical professionally produced video. I myself strive to have a bit of both in a video recording if possible. This comes from having a good feed from the board and also good microphones in the room. I tend to put more microphones and room sound in the recording than others might, giving it a more live sound. With the cornerstone videos from 2012 that I shot, I didn't have the luxury of planning ahead of time and wasn't permitted to get a "live feed" from the boards. There is a chance that someone (the sound guys) recorded the board feed (at least for some of the performances). That recording might have been for some other projects or perhaps just for their personal review. I'm not sure how many groups they may have recorded, or if they were just saying that to put me off. My recordings from other main stage performances at Cornerstone actually had better sound, because I had a board feed and microphones. The Tascam recorder did a good job however. it's offering a pretty good recording and there is little need for adjustments in the mixing afterwards. There's only so much you can expect. I'm hoping to really surprise the Violet Burning with the video I send them. I hope that I have something good enough that they may choose to release it. It would be nice to see that out there so people could actually download that video off their website and they might get some profit off that appearance. Ironically that may be a way that they can get a little money, from the video I send them. It looks like they have a way to digitally deliver product. I guess we'll see what happens. I'm hoping that all goes well with this export and that I can start working on the Violet Burning video next. Below is a sample screen shot of the export time estimate. I gotta post this now, because I need to get out of this browser and make sure this computer has all it's resources being used by the export.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Here is a picture of Drew at a presentation he gave to astronomy club members at the Kensington Nature center in Novi Michigan last Saturday.

Drew flew on the last Hubble repair mission which is featured in the Hubble 3d movie. He also flew on the last mission of Endeavor which was STS 134. I posted a picture of that launch as I saw it in 2011 in an earlier blog post on this blog.

Below is the cross eyed 3d and cyan blue anaglyph version of the still I took with the Fujix W3 3d camera.

It was really fun to hear him talk about being an astronaut and all the things they do. He had a great slide show and presentation. I was so tired from all the volunteer activity that I actually started to fall asleep during that afternoon presentation. It was a sign I didn't get enough sleep before the second day of the Astronomy event.

I didn't spend time taking 3d photos of the event. I probably should have taken more photos and 3d shots of that event as it would have looked cool.

I was spending to much time setting up and helping out to take many pictures. I setup my solar projector Saturday which projected the sun and showed sunspots on a foam poster board screen. The sun being a 9.5 inch projected disk. I also setup my vixen binoculars telescope and showed views of Mars, the Moon and the double cluster to many visitors at the event.

Cross eye 3d above.

Anaglyph photo below.

Clicking on either photo will bring up a full sized image.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Been very busy with the Astronomy hobby during the last week and it delayed editing progress

We had solar viewing at a local community college for two days.

Then Friday and Saturday we had Astronomy at the Beach at Kensington Metro Park in Novi Michigan. Those two events took a lot of time and energy. I volunteered and was there for long hours. It was cold Saturday night and Sunday I felt sick with a sore throat and a bit tired. So I mostly rested Sunday and didn't get around to editing the video.

I ended up doing a little reviewing of photos I shot over this weekend of a helicopter flying a camera at the Astronomy event. It was a remote controlled helicopter. That helicopter might be nice to have to get a flyover of certain events, but in an outdoor concert it would be too distracting with the sound probably affected the performance as well.

I'm feeling quite a bit better today and have some errands to run some cleanup to do around here and hope to get back to editing video tonight. Want to make some more progress and bring the handheld clips into the timeline.

below is a 3d photo of Shuttle mission specialist Andrew Feustel who gave presentations and answered questions at Astronomy At the Beach. He flew in the Hubble repair mission and also flew on Sts134 which was Endeavors last mission. I saw the Endeavor launch and have a 3d photo of it going up from where I was standing on the Titusville Florida bridge.

(cyan blue) 3d anaglyph photo below.

cross eyed 3d photo below

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Finished first rough edit mix of Farewell drifters.

Just the first three cameras, no handheld yet.

Will be doing fine adjustments next.

I ran into a slight problem, a real annoyance, and that is due to my rushing out to Cornerstone and not having enough equipment. I didn't have a Wind microphone cover for my digital recorder. Forgot to purchase one before the event and didn't fabricate up something on side.

Didn't notice any wind during the event and hoped that the microphones would not catch any. But for two or three of the first songs of the Farewell drifters I can hear the wind noise being added. Obviously there was a breeze of some sort and the Tascam dr40 picked it up.

I tried some digital eq inside media 100 to cut it down, but no settings would get rid of it. Will probably have to leave it in.

(I'll have to remember that for the next Cornerstone. . . Just dreaming for a moment.)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Didn't do much edting today. Have about 25% of the video edit completed

Today I was fairly tired from a lot of Saturday observing. I was so tired, I didn't realize it was Sunday. I ended up wasting most of the day relaxing and recovering from the observing fatigue. I ate a couple of meals and napped a bit as well as ran some errnads. Decided to take a few photos and toy with them of a sunset in Belleville Michigan. I also tweaked a few photos mostly on the iPad and one photo of Jupiter in Photoshop today.

More info on my other blog about Astronomy. . .

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Mailed off the Trace Bundy DVD.

Time to do some editing today. I've been doing so much astronomy lately I feel like a "poor weather editor" . . . Seems like I edit when it's cloudy outside.

Farewell drifters video editing to be resumed tonight.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

I've been so busy observing at the observatory it's delayed my video edit project

Have the Trace Bundy DVD ready to ship, but I need to get digital assets together, meaning source video clips to include on separate media.

I've been opening up the observatory so much lately and doing star gazing so much, it's slowed down the process of editing.

For three days I observed and opened up the observatory. Last night I had it open from 3 to 6am to look at Jupiter and other objects, but mostly Jupiter and the Orion nebula. Orion rises early in the morning before the sunrise at this time of year. The nebula looked awesome early this morning. I felt like I could see faint color aspects in the gas cloud, but this after photographing it. It's difficult to say if my old eyes were really picking up color in the 14 inch telescope. I was looking at low power with the field reducer in. A c14 at f7 with low power would provide a very bright image, so hints of color may have been showing up with averted vision, but it also seemed to suggest faint color aspects with direct vision. I kind of wish I had a large dob with more light gathering power, something like a Newtonian with a 20 inch mirror to see if I could pick up direct color at 5am this morning.

I slept for a short time this morning and went to Hfcc fir "welcome back days" only to discover they may have been rescheduled. So I woke up early for no apparent reason. Ate lunch, chatted with a friend in the club then went back home to get another nap.

Here is a quick photo of the core of m42, the Orion nebula that I took through the c14 at f10 using a canon Eos t1i.

This was a fairly short exposure, perhaps 15 seconds at iso 3200. I don't recall the exact exposure length but I can look it up if someone wants to know.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

May redo the Trace Bundy DVD after reviewing it.

It looks like I forgot the title subtitle heading at the beginning of the video.

I'll review the DVD a little more to see if there are any other obvious changes that could be made.

Might delay the finished DVD being sent for a few days.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Ouch media 100 crashed during export.

I think it ran out of disk memory.

I didn't have enough free space on the internal drive. That's my guess.

Have to start the export process over again.

I'm clearing up 28 gigs of free space on the internal to start over. This will make the export delayed by another day.

I'm using very high quality exports so it takes about a day for the export.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Closer to finishing Trace Bundy video.

I'm exporting the QuickTime master file.

Next after reviewing it I'll import it then create the DVD and mail it off to Trace. Trace Bundy will be playing in Michigan near the end of the year. I hope to catch that show which will be at Trinity house, God willing.

Had a lot of delays, but not due to the video editing process. Most of them was due to other projects, hobbies, etc.

Will move on to the next artist likely one of the bands that wrote me an email.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, August 31, 2012

Getting closer to being finished with the third video

Made a little progress with the Trace Bundy video yesterday.

Was fairly busy talking to many members in the Astronomy club and opened up the observatory the fourth time in the past four days. Being so busy opening up the observatory has cut back on the video editing progress.

All the camera angles are in and most the the cuts are good enough. I'm going to review it and make some final adjustments, before burning the DVD.

The back camera is not quite level. I don't know if I will digitally level that before sending it out. I may do this, but it will add some delay in the video editing progress. It's not that noticeable in this video.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Mailed off the Kye Kye video yesterday.

I didn't have time to watch the video on to many systems. So hopefully it will be okay for the bands memory video from Cornerstone.

I put some information on the contents of data DVDs on each DVD sent that was a data DVD.

Was busy with a couple friends looking at a bunch of objects at the observatory last night, so I didn't get much editing done yesterday on the Trace Bundy video.

Here is a photo of the moon, using my iPhone. Handheld with 40mm eyepiece. Aimed iPhone through the eyepiece at a part of the moon. That 40mm eyepiece was mounted in a Celestron C14 at 3911mm focal length. So the effective power with about a 4.5 power zoom into the eyepiece was roughly 400x.

The moon actually looked better than this when we looked at it though the telescope. Usually a quick photo, looks at least four times worse than what we'd see at the eyepiece, maybe even worse depending on the photo and techniques used. I sharpened this a bit and removed a bit of red glow from the observatory lights which I inadvertently left on while taking this quick photo.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Starting to digitize and sync Trace Bundy video from Cornerstone

As you can see from the below screen capture, I'm at the stage of multi clip syncing of his performance. I have a four camera multi clip setup already.

I'm thinking this edit may not take to long. The back camera might be altered a bit digitally.

Trace has a great website with a lot of nice video and each cd he sells has a DVD video disk with it. At least last three CDs do. I bought his most recent cd from the concert and was really happy to see the DVD and video included.

He has a lot of YouTube video as well.

I'm hoping to get though this edit fairly quickly.

I had a little bit of a delay this week with other projects that are unrelated to the video edit. Also I was under the weather a bit, partly from a cold, of allergies and partly from missing some sleep with two very late night observing sessions which were almost all night observing sessions in the past week.

I have four camera angles in sync in the multi clip for this project. For some reason the import to iMovie of the front Eos camera and iPhone didn't import quickly into Media 100 and I ended up reimporting that directly into Media 100 from the source video. This means I will delete the imported camera angles from the iPhone and Canon to save space.

I'm going to cut the project first, choosing selects and then determine if I will digitally level that rear camera cutaway. This will save some time in rendering in Boris Red.

Other technical notes for my own diary.
(The Media 100 imported files from 720p front row cameras are quite large. I could have probably used a lower quality setting without a loss of quality in the import.)

(I need to pick up the pace of these edit sessions. Two bands in two months is way to slow.)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, August 17, 2012

DVD mius R burn is more compatible. Sony hx900 recorder disappointing

I can play the Iona test burn in my Sony RDR HX900 DVD recorder. One interesting side effect of this Macintosh burn and likely and burn that didn't originate with the Sony is the DVD video cannot be dubbed or copied to the Sony's internal hard drive. I can copy and disk burned inside the Sony back to the hard drive giving me a kiosk like selection of laserdisc movies if I want those. It would work with a disk recorded inside the Sony, but doesn't work the Macintosh disks. It's as if the iDvd disks are missing something, or the Sony only copies it's version of a DVD back to the hard drive.

I hooked up the audio of the Sony to some small speakers. Listening to the soundtrack is disturbing from this Sony DVD player. There is a lot of distortion. Although the menu says it's playing a 48k audio soundtrack it seems the audio is clipped and distorted internally.

The audio seems to distort when being played from this particular disk player, but not other DVD players. I wonder if the audio will distort from my friend, John's blue ray player. An earlier burn distorted as well from my HDR 900 Sony. I'm wondering if there is some kind of setting in the Sony or flaw in the da converter or something, that is doing something like causing a 16 bit signal to be clipped through a 12 bit signal path or something. The distortion is very distracting.

I already lowered the levels of this DVD from an earlier test burn. I'm not sure how far I may have to go of if every burn will distort. It's almost like having a high volume subwoofer frequency cause the small speakers to distort, but you can't hear the bass because it's below the response curve of the speakers. I think this is related to this particular Sony players however. I may have to rip yet another version with lower output levels from iMovie.

It may be something to do with these apple iDVD burns and this particular Sony DVD player. I'm going to check the DVD-R burn against other players in the house and then try others. I'll probably send a DVD-R burn out to the Iona contact from this version as well, just because the minus R disk is more compatible.

Things I like about this disk.

The opening menu has a song as background that is from Iona's 1996 Cornerstone concert. If I would have dropped the entire audio from the earlier concert that opening menu would have rendered the entire audio of an entire set as the opening menu music. It would play once through the entire concert before repeating as long as the menu sat there. Of course the opening menu soundtrack doesn't need to be a long selection, because you can't pause it and it's not really an extra or something that is normally done. I decided to put the entire song from that earlier concert on that opening menu so another song would be on that opening menu. It's kind of like an extra, and different. If you had the disk and wondered, where is that opening song in the performance, well it's not going to be there, because that wasn't really from the 2012 performance, it's a kind of menu extra. The other chapter menus have a sound snippet from the 2012 concert.

This DVD of course has that homemade feel to it, and there are no extras. It might be nice to have a festival summary some cutaways of the fest at the end, but I don't have that video edited and I didn't take a lot of other video of the festival. Maybe I'll burn a different version much later for Iona, once I've gone through some other band edits and sent some of these other DVDs out to the respective performers.

The brightness of the DVD burn is a little bit higher than on the QuickTime master. I'm not sure why this is the case. The stage was bright, but the video looks a lot better with less encoding mpeg artifacts with the brightness turned down 15 to 30 percent on q tv or monitor when playing the DVD. You'll see less background but a more movie like experience and the quality will kind of approach that of the QuickTime master which is at 1080i.

I'm fairly pleased with the results. Now I have to run out to the net and order a real Iona DVD concert video, because I know from reviews out there that it is excellent and even has a really great surround 5,1 mix.

I almost purchased a zoom mx2 to record these concerts. The 5.1 surround recording option it had looked promising, but that's not the same as a 5.1 mix that is professionally done from a really good recording. Actually most systems, that is home based 5.1 playback systems will not be suitable for a "real 5.1 mix audio monitor" by a professional production, because there is an auto leveling function build into home for a Dolby encode. Professionals use specially certified systems. I can recall this info from a Dolby seminar given to recording engineers by Dolby. Of course one could mix a Dolby soundtrack on a hone system if they were creating something that was ONLY going to be released direct to video. Since most players would be having the same auto level summing as your home based mixing system, the other systems wouldn't show any out of balance issues. (But a film theatre would, so you need a certified system to do a correct film mix on.) If it's not going to a theatre/film release, that pro thx monitoring might be less necessary. Thx is another subject, it's basically a certification process.

Time to play a test DVD on the computers again to verify the latest burn to minus r is distortion free.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Might use Clipwrap to rewrap and create Quicktime video

The link above shows a youtube video that shows how I can use Clip Wrap on the Macintosh to create a copy of the AVCHD video clip of each band.

(Note: One of my friends said the volume was low on the Youtube video. I may re-encode and rip that recording and upload it to youtube later. If I do that the link may change, but I'll come back and update that in the post.)

This shows how a Macintosh system would use Clip Wrap software to create MOV files and might be valuable for those who need to get selected clips and only send some of the video from a camera to a "client" or "friend". How can they edit video if they want to edit that video, unless it's in a usable format. For the Macintosh, ClipWrap is one option.

MORE DETAILS are on the video.

Some written thoughts and details are as follows.

I have a copy of "each days footage" for every camera angle in a directory structure that is a "camera archive". One of my goals was to be able to send each band or some of the bands a copy of the original footage, so they can edit or use it for any other use they might want to work on.

But I can't just send them the entire camera copy for all the bands of that night. In theory one would think they could delete the video of the other bands in the directory structure and just import the camera footage into a nonlinear editor.

On the Macintosh it's not that easy. The Macintosh needs to see a complete camera archive. Once you delete some of the bands footage, the entire archive is not recognized. So one work around would be to convert the AVCHD video files using some kind of program, and then import those into a video editing program.

There is a program called CLIPWRAP that will do this. I have tested it. It's a $50 program on the Macintosh and does a nice job. It will convert the AVCHD footage into MOV quicktime. And this can be imported into a Macintosh editing system, and some PC systems as well. The biggest drawback to this approach is the MOV files are larger than the original source and they still have to be converted by the editing software. So that would cost the bands more time or money to do those imports.

There are a lot of reasons a band might want footage, but also plenty of reasons they might not want those source camera angles. They may not want or need footage of this quality level. If they are doing a project, they may want to just shoot the video fresh and have more control and get much better scripted video. If they want to edit this it will take time. And as I don't know what formats each band would need, it's a guessing game. Do they really need the footage and would they really use it.

And how do I send them the footage, without it costing an arm and a leg. For example I could put copies of the AVCHD footage, not the entire Sony directory on a disk drive. I might buy a 320 gig USB drive for $54 or something like that and put a bunch of video on a disk, basically just the camera angles. And the bands might not need that, or have time to use it. It might just be a simple memory video with no real promotional or commercial value. So they probably would just set the footage aside and it would just gather dust. If I bought a disk drive for $54 for ten bands and sent them out never getting the drives back, then I'd be spending almost $600 just to send video to a band that will not really want to spend the time to edit the video.

It's much easier to send one copy to JPUSA, of all the video and let them gather selects and edit accordingly. But even JPUSA has to have a need and the time to do that.

So what I'll likely do is send a DVD of the mix to the band and a quicktime master file on a disk or some kind of cheap media. And if they want to look or use that master mix they can easily do that. If they want all the digital files, they can let me know and we can work out the details. Basically I'm not worried about giving them source video, I'm just concerned that this will snowball into me spending a bunch of money for hard drives that will just disappear and not be used at all.

There is no point in making a $500 or $600 investment to send video that will never be used. Many bands and even JPUSA doesn't have the time to work on or find out about video editing, especially video that has little close up or other scripted or behind the scenes value. I don't want to think that this video is worth more than it actually is and have to face the fact that it will probably be looked at as a kind of vacation memory video for each artist, and not much more.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Review of the burn of two DVD disks.

(Reviewing the latest Iona Test burn on my laptop)

I went by my friends house to check out the DVDs on his system. I had two DVDs. We put in a PLUS R Kye Kye disk first and pressed play. It looked nice. My friend has a Sony Blue Ray player, a nice large wide screen tv and a surround system. The video display said, 1080p and 48k stereo. The video looked really nice. Audio was not bad but I wish I had a better mix. With the surround system the sound seemed a lot better, than with the TV speakers, but it was a little harse on the high end of the audio spectrum.

My friend, John asked me why I used DVD +R's instead of minus R disks. No special reason, I think an older burner I used only burned plus R disks so I was in a habit of buying those. He said, minus R disks play on more players. Yes I know that.

We put the test burn I made of Iona in his player next, I wanted to see what it looked like because the Kye Kye DVD looked really good. It's possible the "line doubler" or upscaling of the Blue Ray player made the video look a lot better (1080P).

For the Iona DVD, the Sony Blue Ray player threw out an error message. It couldn't read the plus RW disk in there. This is one of my older blanks, I used for a quick test burn. It played in my Macintosh and PC but not some of the Sony players. That's okay. I'll go home and burn another one so we can screen it on John's surround system. I mentioned to John, that I just bought some minus r disks at Best Buy. Soon I left to run some errands, and decided to stop by Starbucks and burn another DVD on the laptop. So I grab the new package of "DVD-R" disks I thought I purchased and opened them up. Turns out I picked up the wrong type of blanks. After opening them, I realize I picked up PLUS R disks again.

Well perhaps the Plus R will work on his player. Plus RW disks can be more troublesome than "write once" PLUS R DVDs. So I need to go pick up some minus r blanks. I might as well do that. If the plus r disks are rejected by the Sony players, I can use them for archiving of some data or some other movies that work on some of the other players around the house. I've put laserdisc movies we own on DVD plus r and they work in some of the Sony players that are used by my mother. They work to media shift her classic laser disk movie collection, so they won't go to waste. They are okay for archiving. And of course any DVD will likely work in the Macintosh for Handbrake rips for a home Kiosk system (WD Player).

Time to get some new glasses, or be a little more careful while I'm shopping. Looking for my Starbucks card I found a best buy gift card in the wallet that I forgot I had. (An old Christmas present.) So I can run back to best buy and get some minus r blanks.

Another thing the plus r disks can be used for is data loads. As they will likely be readable by a pc.

Well I'm writing while tired. During my little afternoon siesta/nap I was called on the phone five times by friends and relatives. My friend John is on a city council. He told me he was "very tired and in need of a nap". He was in four hours of meetings today. He has a business, and has work to do. But this small city barely pays council men and women. So he's having a long day as well, and he is going off to another meeting, and will likely be working late into the night for his business projects.

-- Iona disk sent was a Plus R burn.

The Iona disk played in most of my players at home, but might not work in all the players It was a DVD plus R disk.

Perhaps the PLUS R DVD I sent to Iona will actually work in the players they put the disk in. I'll probably want to send another minus R disk to be sure they don't have any problems watching the video.

These DVDs are created on my Macintosh, as Video_TS exports. Copied to a directory, they can be copied from plus r or minus r blanks with a pc or Macintosh. The user just has to cooy the files to a directory, then burn the new disk with the video_TS and Audio_TS folders at the root level of the new DVD.

That DVD should work if that type DVD is recognized by the video player. Back in the early day of DVD, there were two standards, PLUS R was used by some manufacturers and Minus R by others. PLUS R was used by Apple and computer manufacturers and Minus R was used by most of the video companies, like Sony. Eventually most modern players could handle both types of DVD's but Minus R's still are more universal.

The video_TS folder will have the same content. On an unprotected DVD the "video_TS" folder is all that is needed in the root of any ripped copy to create a playable copy. I'm talking about basic DVD's ripped by a home user. I'm talking about basic DVD video programs, not extra multimedia files that may exist on mixed media releases.

A typical weekday, reviewing footage of Kye Kye during "lunch".

I'm sitting here at a fast food place eating lunch. I'm having a chocolate shake with my Arby's Jr sandwiches. The shake kind of reminds me of the shakes at Cornerstone, but there's a lot less heat in here.

On the table sits a couple of small sized portable USB drives attached to the little MacBook. I'm streaming a rip of the Kye Kye video and reviewing it.

The DVD was mastered last night and I ripped a copy of it to iPad format. I'm playing that quicktime on the Macbook and looking at it. The quality is okay, but of course lower resolution than the quicktime master file. The quicktime master is about 4.1 gigs in size. Small enough to burn on a data DVD and mail it off to the band. The quicktime master should play on a PC, so the band shouldn't have a problem watching that as well.

The DVD burn went okay, but the menu is messed up a bit. Also I don't have any credits on the end of the video. I guess this is kind of a test burn and I'll probably review the audio in a few systems before the final burn for the band. I have to decide whether to add credits to the end for them I may just leave the end of the video without credits, maybe I'll just put my name on a video credit at the end. There is enough room that they can put credits on or I could send them another one with credits per their request.

The chapter menu is missing a music cut from the band. A background music sound track and also the default moving animation from Apple iDVD is missing from the chapter menu. The style is a 16:9 "revolution" setting. This provides a scrolling and rotating movie feature like opening in the menus. I'm not sure why the chapter part of the menu didn't rip, I didn't see any errors, but something was missed. Maybe I didn't construct the DVD menu correctly. I'll double check it before the next DVD master. This DVD is a quick little DVD performance. Also I have only the final audio mix on this of mine, not the raw unchanged mix from the recording. I may include that in a separate rip or rip two versions of the performance on one DVD, one after the other. I'm leaning on putting each audio mix on a different DVD, or just sending the raw recorded audio and letting the band use it if they have some kind of need or desire to tweak it. The DVD just holds a 30 minute performance.

I'm going to have to export out another DVD from iDVD. Of course I'll double check the menus. I was tempted to send Kye Kye this current rip even with the menus not totally working. They work, but the chapter one doesn't animate correctly. This DVD like the Iona one, will not play on my high level Sony DVD recorder at home for some reason. It plays on other DVD's. The Sony rejects these kinds of burns from Apple iDVD, something about the header menu perhaps is unrecognized by that Sony HDR-900 recorder.

Looks like there will be a day delay to rip another DVD and review it. For now I want to stop by my friends house and see this DVD play on his surround system. The band sounded awesome on his surround system with an earlier rip example. Kye Kye will sound better on a surround system than a standard TV. There's just something about this mix that doesn't translate well to a normal speaker system on a television.

This latest DVD rip was ripped using the "PROFESSIONAL encoding setting". The best quality possible is obtained with PROFFESSIONA compression. iDVD put the 30 minute show in a VIDEO_TS folder that ended up being around 2 gigs in size. That size is quite large for a 30 minute video. The multi-pass encode to get from iMovie to iDVD was in the four hour range. I'll have to do another four hour encode to add credits in iMovie.

iDVD must have seen the settings and length of the movie and decided to encode it at a higher bit rate, perhaps the max possible for a single sided dvd at standard resolution. That should make the DVD look better in theory and it looks pretty good compared to the usual "default setting" which iDVD often uses. The standard setting doesn't compress the video much, with a lower quality output.

The Quicktime master looks pretty good. It makes me wonder if the movie would play well on my PC and what the SRS WOW surround effect will sound like on my little Toshiba laptop. The SRS WOW effect probably won't work for the DVD, I haven't tested the DVD on my PC yet. I haven't checked the Kye Kye Master quicktime file a PC either.

Watching the slideshow that Kye Kye has out on youtube makes me wonder. Maybe I could do some kind of crop and zoom effects in some kind of quick sync with the imovie to give this a different feel. Could I produce multiple zoomed angled and a much faster paced video? Probably but I'm not going to try to make a music video out of a simple production. The band can do what they want with the video if they decide to do something with it.

I'll leave that speculation and test for later video adventures.

I also stopped by a local Best Buy and picked up another external USB drive for the next band or artist I start to edit. I was looking at portable drives with the mind of purchasing one or two to mail them to bands with all the source video on them. I'm not sure how I'll send source footage to the bands yet. USB drives seem easy, but I need to get a feel for how software can import cut down versions of the Sony AVCHD footage and camera files. In other words can I send the smaller versions of a days shoot on the drives and how much space would each show take. And how much media is involved.

In theory the AVCHD files are all less than 4 gigs in size. This means all the source video files could fit individually on DVD disks. That might be cheaper than copying files to a USB drive or external key, but then I might be burning up to ten data DVD disks and the bands would have to reconstruct the file structures perhaps to digitize the cameras and re-edit or reuse the master footage.

There's some experimentation I need to do. Also the Sony SR-11 camcorder has the video on it's drive and that is mounted as a camera. That camera has a lot of footage on it, and I can't just do an Imovie camera archive and send a digital copy of that to each band, because they'd end up getting all those other bands on the same camera angle with their footage. So I have to see if I can copy a part of that and how easy it is to get the individual band footage on a type of folder/directory and how easy that would be for a band to use. Could they use that. I'm hoping I don't have to do a backup of the entire SR-11 to disk, then delete all the other footage, reexport the sony footage for each band and reimport the original each time. That would add a lot of time, but it might be necessary in the gathering of source video for each band.

Well that's enough talking about video processing steps inside the computer.

Programmers love to talk about processes and process steps, usually about their own programming. Talking about the various steps performed in a computer by an editor is almost the same thing and useless to most blog readers.

If a person is exporting out 720p (720 horizontal resolution) footage, they might be able to get away with zooming in and out and reframing 1080i footage for their "standard" definition video. This is perhaps a benefit of shooting in 1080i. I've done a small zoom test with some video. It seemed I could zoom in, maybe reframing up to 1/3rd closer, but not to a quarter size of the screen, which seems to be the resolution limit you'd be able to zoom into in theory. Unless you're going for a pixelated effect, you wouldn't want to over zoom.

(Hmm. . . I'm a little tired, woke up early. I almost feel like taking a nap before calling my friend's house. I think my friend has a newspaper deadline to meet, and he will probably be too busy with work to see me this early in the day.)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Watching the Olympic games closing ceremony late at night.

I'm watching the rerun of the Olympic ceremony. As cool as it can be, I'm actually surprised how boring this is to me.
Actually I realized I'd rather spend one night at the Cornerstone Gallery stage this year and see a few bands there in 100 degree heat; than be in London under perfect weather watching the closing ceremonies at the Olympics games. I'm waiting for Adele to sing. I'm kind of bored with all the British Beatle, imagine, Pink Floyd stuff. I don't even know if I will be able to stay up and watch this show.
This evening I looked at some of the video clips out there on the Internet some Iona bootleg video from their video productions and some video promotional stuff that Kye Kye has out there. There's some really nice stuff out there, it's a lot better visually and from an excitement point of view than my simple Cornerstone video footage. It's amazing what people can do with enough editing time and today's equipment.
I'm kind of shocked that so much stuff gets out on YouTube. Someone mentioned to me at the festival that all the free bootleg stuff on YouTube is hurting the music business and I can believe that to some extent. I guess the small labels and artists don't have the time to worry about this stuff or keep looking to take down bootleg video. Most people don't have a clue about copyright law and since there is so much cheap technology out there, they just throw stuff out there on the net. I try to keep true to a different more conservative way of holding video assets, knowing the music and performance copyright is supposed to limit the use that others can do with music performances.
My own gut feeling might be against some of the more conservative and traditional worries about protecting the artist and label. I feel that if the bootleg stuff gets out there people are smart enough to know that some of this is not going to be very good and it's not necessarily a bad reflection on the band product. I understand and tend to side with the record labels logic on these arguments. Over time some older video may take on more of a historical record feel to it and may not be as threatening to the profits of the label and bands. I think when people see these things they end up getting excited and decide they want to buy music and become new fans. But I understand that copies of albums or production music is just like any blatant piracy and I'm actually shocked at the amount of that type of boot legging that is out there on the Internet and YouTube.
Because I'm was a computer programmer I understand copyright restrictions on software as well. So I haven't been one to push the piracy envelop in music, video or software copies. I tend to spend more or go without rather than get a free copy of someone's album or piece of software.
I wonder how many YouTube video clips are being taken down each day due to copyright violations. That would be and interesting piece of trivia.
Why do labels look down on bootlegs? There are actually some very good reasons. A lack of talent in the shooting of the video is one thing. A lack of getting a good image of the artist is another, perhaps the video would make the artist look bad. Perhaps they are afraid of bad performances. One friend said that the labels might be afraid you are doing their job and promoting the band when that is their job. I never thought of that as being their motive and suspect it's not really a prime reason they don't like bootlegging. A good free promotion could be like a scab worker trying to take the work of those who are really doing that or being paid for that. Also there is the inability of the label or management to review the stuff that is being put out there. So they often don't want to be bothered with a bunch of submissions and simply don't have the time to sort through this.
There are a lot of good reasons that traditional conservative labels want to protect the bands, their products from customer bootlegs. This may be changing somewhat due to the proliferation of smart phones and small cameras. I went to a free concert in Detroit of a band that was an outdoor concert. I was hoping to get a quick clip of one of their songs with a camcorder. I saw signs no cameras or video, so I left the camcorder in my car. Even though I followed the rules of the signs, other young kids didn't and they taped the band with their smart phones. I'm sure they put clips out on the net. That's the nature of all this new technology now. It was amazing to see how many people on the field at the Olympic games were using smart phones and tablets to record the opening ceremonies. I wonder how many people would be doing that had Apple not pushed out the iPhone and changed the nature of phone devices some years back.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Time for dinner then later the chapter edit for Kye Kye

TIme to take a break, do some things around the house and eat dinner.

I'm missing one of the song titles. After dinner, I'll import the video into iMovie and start on the opening and chapter titles. I had a test DVD, but I'm re-burning this one, with a better compression setting and want to have correct chapter titles that match the songs. (I had no chapters on my first test DVD.)

The third song in their set was "a new song". It's not on any of their CD's so I couldn't find the title of the song.

I'm waiting for a response on the song title question from the band. This may delay the final DVD burn a day or two.

Kye Kye- screen shots from the "quicktime master"

Here's a couple of screen shots from the quicktime master.

As you can see one screen shot shows a wider view and a little bit of blurring near the edge of the video. This is because I had a wide angle lens on the Sony HD camera for the band at the beginning of the concert and realized I didn't need it during the event. So I removed it. The external lens, blurs the edge of the picture, so it's better to remove it when you don't need to see the entire stage. For bigger bands I may have used that lens more and had more out of focus edges on the wide shot.

A lot of intermediate files, and a 12 step program

I just finished the final render step for the Kye Kye video. This is just a Media 100 export step. Now I'm going back to iMovie to create titles and chapter marks for their short video. The Master export quicktime file is about 4 gigs in size for the 30 minute Kye Kye video.

There are a lot of intermediate files that exist and a lot of time rendering for these Cornerstone video edits.

I'm going to give a quick summary. Then a longer summary with numbered steps. Then last a diary. Most will want to read the FAST summary and ignore most of the other diary points of this post.

There are several input and export steps used and many intermediate files created with many steps. (The steps are: iMovie imports, Media 100 imports, Media 100 exports, iMovie Imports again, exporting from IMovie to iDVD working files and finally the DVD burn of the master file.)

These take many steps. The key is keeping enough free space on the Macintosh hard drive for working files and exporting out the external drives whenever possible.

Most will probably want to skip the rest of this blog entry.


Here’s a brief summary of steps and some file sizes in a typical large project like this. This is concert video with many cameras supplying footage.

1. Import footage into iMovie first. This creates a file about 15 gigs per hour. It’s a high resolution quicktime file.

2. Import that video from iMovie folder into Media 100. This generates an audio file, which is not very large. It will not create another video file. You’ll have the advantage of having video files imported with iMovie which seems to do a better job and almost instant use of that in Media 100.

3. Create intermediate files inside the editing process. This is done automatically by Media 100 or Boris Red Exports. For the long Iona video of 82 minutes. I had some really long renders of color FX clips that took a ton of space on an external drive. These took 186 gigs of space.

There are other files that will be created as well. This took roughly 500 gigs of space for the Iona edit. There were a lot of mistakes to correct.

5. You may have to import some of those intermediate files in Imovie if you rendered them at to high a quality. This will be imported again in Media 100 to make more corrections. This happened to me with the Boris red footage. About 160 gigs of files Red created at a setting that was way to high in resolution were reimported into iMovie and took up about 16 gigs. This for 24 minutes of footage.

6. Export the footage from Media 100 as a quicktime master file. I didn’t have any titles at this stage. This created a master file that was about 18 gigs in size.

7. Import that back into iMovie. This creates another file.

8. Export the final iDVD rip to iDVD from iMovie. For the Iona video this created a file about 19 gigs in size. This was master footage that iDVD could rip. I created titles in iMovie and used chapter markers with song titles at the start of each song.

9. Create the final DVD, which should use PROFESSIONAL or BEST setting in iDVD. Keep in mind if you don’t do this it may not fit on a single sided DVD. Iona video wouldn’t fit on a single sided DVD. But with a professional setting it did and looked better.

10. Burn the DVD. Verify the menus work and import the audio tracks or video that you may want for animated titles.

The export to DVD can be to a VIDEO_TS folder on the hard drive. All DVD’s can be burned with Toast (version 7 on my machine). This generates another 4 gigs of data on a disk somewhere for your DVD master file.

11. Archive the iDVD to an external drive. This can be an additional step, if you want to reload the iDVD project later and change menus. That can take a lot of space. I haven’t done that step.

12. Rip copies for your iphone, ipad, or home playing devices like Apple TV or Western Digital player. These can be done using Handbrake and take up more space. A nice size video file for the iPad might take up a gig in space.

-- My Personal edit diary - (More for my future review most blog readers will want to skip the rest of this.)

If I want to make a diary of sorts and say how much time and space this will take. I had a lot of really high resolution masters and working files in the middle of the Iona project. I had almost 1 TB or 1000 gigs of files at one time or another for an Iona video. This was all at 1080i resolution for the most part and footage from many cameras.

The more conservative approach (had I known better) might take up 500 gigs or less for all the working files for the Iona edit. Keep in mind there are probably less than 30 gigs of digital files for the entire Iona show to begin with. Those are mostly in AVCHD Sony compressed format. My version of Media 100 cannot use native AVCHD files even with “clip wrap” program.

The process I use, intermediate Apple Quicktime files that are often ten times larger than the source files. This due to 1080i full resolution wishes for the edit process. Had I downgraded the standard resolution throughout the production process, I would have used a lot less space and had much faster rendering. (Standard video would use something like 954 pixel wide intermediate files, instead of 1920 pixels wide full HD.)

The total time to render the Iona video project took about 3 and a half days of rendering. Not including manual editing, just the computer working away while I slept or ran errands.

The Kye Kye video is smaller and takes a lot less time, but if you make a mistake and forget to have enough “working space” in your internal drive, many programs (Media 100, iDVD, and iMovie) will create HUGE intermediate files on the internal hard drive during their rendering process. This means you may need about 30 gigs of free space for many of the steps.

For the 82 minute Iona video, the iDVD project took 18 gigs for an IDVD project file that goes to the Macintosh internal hard drive by default. The Media 100 export uses temporary work space on the hard drive. If you run out of space, the render may stall. My latest Media 100 export of Kye Kye stalled and after waiting 8 hours I finally realize I ran out of drive space on the internal hard drive. I had to stop and re-render it. The actual export at very high quality H.264 export settings took about 4 hours.

So the KEY is to keep enough free space on the internal hard drive for working and temporary files. Check before each step of the process to save time.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

How to shoot different kinds of concert video on a budget

(Above: A sample of a test file of Iona during my edit of their Cornerstone video, in Quicktime. Notice the compression rate is so low this file is really large, almost 60 gigs in size. Clearly a quicktime file that will choke most nonlinear editing systems.)

There is an old saying, which is they won't miss the video they never saw to begin with. This is a true saying basically something I heard from a wedding videographer. He figured if the video cut wasn't good enough, you might as well cut it from the final product, because the bride and groom won't know it was missing, because they never saw the shot to begin with.

For a commercial production for a client this is true. And if you shoot something and think it has some value, even with bad camera work as the guy running the camera, you may feel the temptation to leave that shot in. Even if it's badly framed, or a bit out of focus. This may make the end product a little less professional looking and show the flaws of your shooting technique. When your shooting history and want to preserve it and perhaps some aspect of the event, you may make the decision to purposely weaken the end product a little and make it a little worse. It will show flaws in your camera performance for the sake of showing a shot you took of the event. This becomes a great temptation. And it's a temptation toward showing a little bit more or erring on the side of showing to many camera angles. This is the approach I took with the Iona Video edit, or at least the early versions and the one I just mailed out to them.

I took a "more camera angles" is better approach and tried to put in a few more handheld shots than I would if I was trying to show only the best and most steady and in focus shots. From a classical editing perspective this is a mistake and shows a weaker video. I took this path anyway, to show more of the band, even if a few shots were out of focus. I cut more to the music and tried to show all the band members. This made the overall video a little weaker. And I might make another edit a more final edit and remove some of these shots and also remove some of the camera shake from some of the shots that are in the current released DVD that was mailed to Iona's booking agent.

With that disclaimer stated on the blog. I'm going to continue a bit and talk about ways people shoot or approach video.

Ideally you'll have camera operators on each camera. I didn't have that luxury at Cornerstone 2012. I was shooting alone, so I had a lot of fixed camcorders on tripods.

From a classical perspective and approach, a director will have people that will follow commands from a director. And the director will have expensive communication equipment and headsets for the camera operators who act almost like slaves to the will of the director. They listen for a shot that is called and try to provide that. The director will also tell a switcher operator what camera they should cut to for a live video mix or live switched video.

Another approach is one I would take. I wanted camera operators who could think independently and operate without any direction at all. They would know their main targets ahead of time. And keep the target and task that they are responsible for.

The classical cable studio approach requires more equipment and communication equipment. It often has substandard operators and they don't need to know much about music, they just listen and respond to commands on a headset.
The "cable access" approach a crew of somewhat untrained operators will try to use some cable access equipment. They may have limited skills and you'll end up with a very standard shoot.

Also a well planned video event for commercial release will have a lot of expert camera operators and expensive equipment. I don't have that setup and never did for Christian music video stuff that I did. So this more expert approach was not something we attempted.

My goal of course was to shoot bands (in the past) with limited quality equipment that was affordable. This was a compromise on equipment quality and made the gathering of video difficult. I used a very standard way and very boring way of taping most bands at first and I'm more drawn to a standard and safe way to shoot video, for example having many cameras with "safe shots all the time" so I have something to cut to and something that is a backup to cut to. I don't like close ups from operators that pan all over and have a lot of dead video on the screen so I have nothing to cut to. If you have more cameras then you can take more wild footage that has a lot less usable footage. The more cameras you use, the more junk you may acquire at times.

It's more important to have people who can think for themselves and understand music and can follow the band, that to have an operator who thinks he's a great camera operator and creative, but knows nothing about music and won't listen to the band. This is my opinion.

The creative and perhaps ADD like shooter who is focusing on taking little creative snippets for the really unusual odd stuff can be the forth or fifth camera operator. That camera operator is shooting for their own enjoyment most of the time and most of their footage is unusable. They may have an almost photographic quality to the approach, they are looking for the perfect shot, and may move like they are taking a photograph. I'm not saying there is no room for that kind of independent approach, but it's way down on the pecking order for what I was looking for.

Perhaps at times I was too conservative. Sometimes young camera operators who were in a band would get creative shots of the band and this would seem far from safe, but these shots gave a new fresh perspective and they were cut into the "live video feed" creatively. And these made the video seem like a live music video, something more than a normal Palacevision kind of live feed. We had people tell us our video was better than Palacevision in giant venues, because of creative and strobe affects we had in our live video at times. The video became an integral part of the show and provided added value.

There are a few ways you can approach video.

If you are shooting it as a documentary of the event, you will want more wide shots from the back. Something to give establishing shots of the band. This to show the viewers the overall look of the event and document the event. At least that is what I feel. But for a live event feed. The audience in the back isn't interested in the wide long shot, because most of them are already far away from the stage. They want to see close ups and more of the up front action. You are providing a binocular or telescope to the audience. So when you're doing live video you want to use a video mixer and mix in more up front shots and unusual perspectives and perhaps use more effects than you would for a finished documentary like video.

With "ISO CAMERA" recording, meaning recording with tapes in each camera, not just a recording of the video mix, you can go back and edit the event and get a more general edit of the event to show others as the "memory video" or documentary video of the event.

With a crew that works together and gets used to shooting video, here is the secret we used, not really much of a secret, but it worked out that way. . . to shoot bands without any communication at all to the camera operators.

We assigned targets and priorities for each camera operator. One camera operator would have the goal of getting the lead video clip. This meant the lead part of most important part of the musical event at that time. Close your eyes and listen to a part of a song. What is going on? What is the lead at this moment as you listen to that sample selection? Whatever that is, that is the lead video shot and what most people are interested in most of the time. The lead camera operator must get that shot and stay safe. It's a boring job, but someone has to do it. So that is their assigned task. If they can do that well you have lead coverage and can always go to it most of the time.

Then there is the secondary musical event. This is the target of the second camera operator. The lead operator often has to focus on the lead singer, as most songs involve singing and that may be where they are. What is the secondary part that is most important. At times it's another perspective shot of the lead, a second view, but most of the time it's focusing on the second most important thing that is happening musically. It might be a hot guitarist or a hot bass lick or some other instrument. Maybe a saxophone lead. Whatever that is, that is the job of the secondary camera operator. And both of course have to be positioned well in order to get those shots. They may have to be aware of where the other operator is and if they can get their shot. If the other operator can't get that shot, the two might make creative decisions to switch targets. This can result in a difficult mix or edit, but if they play it safe and make sure there is some kind of target in the viewfinder all the time, at least the switcher operator can select the best target at that time.

Then there is the third most important shot. Which in a three camera shoot conservatively - is often the back camera establishing shot. If you have the luxury of a camera operator on that back camera shot, then that will be at times zoomed in and maybe show a two shot or three shot of the band, a little closer but perhaps with less than the entire stage. If you have a more powerful and advanced camera it might even zoom in to the lead singer and show a shot of them from the back of the auditorium, but that is rare and really rare for budget shooting and budget prosumer or industrial camera equipment.

Then there is the fourth or fifth camera or a roving camera. That person may be on stage and behind the drummer or focusing on unusual cutaways and shots from behind the band. Hopefully showing the audience as well. This becomes the forth most important part. Then of course there are times when perhaps the number one and two camera operators are dealing with a dualing part between a couple of instruments that are playing together. This becomes another challenge, but if you have the back cutaway to the entire band you can recover from any mistake the others make and cut to the back camera at any time. So the goal is to have at least two safe cameras and perhaps have one or two camera operators take risks.

If you have an inexperienced crew, or someone with attention deficit disorder, in the way they work, they will not have the patience to stay on their assigned target and the video will suffer.

It's better to have two really good camera operators at an event that four or five people who are completely clueless and not following the music at all. I've had video with a lot of volunteers and many of them were very poor in their quality of shooting skills and those five cameras will an absolute nightmare to mix or edit. With virtually no usable video. And I've had two camera shoots where both camera operators knew what they were doing and that video looked much better, even if the back establishing camera was missing.

It becomes less of a "directing role" for the director of these kinds of events, and more of a "selecting role". In other words the director is looking at the feeds that the camera operators are providing and saying to himself, "what is the best shot and most musical shot, that the audience wants to see at this time?" So the camera operators become more of an independent operator who can think for themselves, not a servant listening for the next command from the "director". There is less control over the camera operators and more trust. Sometimes you get a little more chaos, but sometimes more creative shots that way.

AVOID ROOKIE SWITCHER OPERATORS. As a director of a live shoot using my budget technique, you have to beware and avoid pretenders who don't know much about video but think they do. They may want to run the video mixer, but not have a good sense of video production or film. I told one "concert photographer" volunteer. he could run a video mixer and that he should have fun with it and "just select the best shot". I said, "it's kind of like a video game" remarking about the mixer and how easy it was to select video. I meant this for an ease of use perspective, not as a creative user perspective. I promptly went out and took one of the cameras to provide video to the event and left him at the switcher. I couldn't see the switched video from my location on a giant screen. I didn't realize what he was doing and he was inexperienced. Later I saw the video mix and it made me sick, meaning it was dizzying. It had way to many cuts that made no sense, constantly cutting from one camera to another and using buss effects that made no sense at all. It was horrible. The expert photographer thought he did a great job and said he had a lot of fun switching and it really was like a video game. I felt sorry for the audience who had to endure looking at that dizzying display of a mess. Needless to say I was very careful on who I would allow on a switcher again. I'd have to make sure they knew a little something about video and weren't playing a "video game" for their own enjoyment. This doesn't mean they cannot learn how to switch, just don't let them switch and learn on a live event without direction and some training. I want to moderate this remark a little and also say that band members or some can bring new interesting perspectives at times by accident and create something new and different for the live mix. We had a band member do a switch from camera 1 to camera 1, yes the same camera. He did this by accident switching from the same buss to the same selected source and had one of the busses strobed. This with a slow half dissolve created a strobe effect that followed the live video feed of the same angle. It was a very interesting special effect and we used this at times in our live events. It was something done by accident and discovery in a house when we were playing with the switcher and a band in the living room somewhere. So rookie mistakes or creativity can lead to some interesting effects that might be usable.

It's more important to know and follow the music on a concert video shoot than pretend to be an expert camera operator. That's my humble opinion.

Also, this advice is for low budget documentary like shooting and some live shooting. It doesn't cover very high level or quality shooting that is planned scripted or has very high level professional talent. That would be the subject of a different topic and since I rarely shoot those kinds of videos, I will leave that to other writers.