Queue it up

I enjoy editing video, it’s fun for me to see what I can do with the tools that I have at my disposal.  I need to learn a lot more about lighting and sound, and spend some money investing in equipment, but I think I do OK.

I’ve been holding off the switch to HD, however, for a couple of reasons.  First, I don’t have the money to get a decent HD camera (preferably with an audio line-in).  Second, a good many “consumer” (and even prosumer) cameras are flash memory-based.  That’s great for camera size and weight, and the lack of moving parts is a bonus, but that also has meant having to import entire clips into a video project instead of just the portions I want.  My hard drive space is always at a premium and HD video is huge.

This past Christmas I finally made the splash into HD video in the form of a Christmas present – the Kodak Playsport pocket camcorder.  It’s not perfect (no audio in like the Zi8) but it’s waterproof up to 10 feet deep so I don’t have to have any fears about taking it to the pool or lake with the kids.  For a first step, it was a good choice for me and I’ve been pleased.

Yet, I hesitated to use it for projects because of the old “import” problem.  I wanted to use portions of clips without having to pull in the whole file (the way I’m used to importing from a tape-based camera).  Then something wonderful happened.  The Mac App store opened up and I discovered a simple video editor called “Shave.”  Suddenly, I have my old work-flow back, but without the hassel of having to queue up a tape, and waiting for it to capture in real-time.  In shave I simply mark my in and out points, extract that clip, and save it to any location I want.  Importing video from a camera has never been so painless!

Shave isn’t without it’s faults (I’d like the audio to scrub along with the video when I’m searching a clip, for example), but it’s fast, simple, and elegant.  I honestly don’t know why other video editors take a similar approach!  So, if you’re on a Mac and have a flash-based camcorder, you might want to play with Shave and see if  you can save some space, and time, importing from your camera.

Accordance coming to a town near me

I really enjoy using Accordance.  Every time I turn it on it seems that I learn something new – it’s amazing.  Still, I’m basically a skilled novice so I’ve been hoping that an Accordance training seminar would be coming to the Philly area.  I figured I might as well be part of the solution, so I offered to host a training seminar at Central Baptist.

They accepted!  March 19th, the folks from Oak Tree software will be running a free training seminar for Accordance in Palmyra, NJ.  That’s 15 minutes out of Center City, Philadelphia and a 5 minute walk from the Palmyra Riverline station.  If you’re use a Mac or Accordance, or even if you’re interested in these tools, please come and make this seminar a great success!  I want the folks at Oak Tree to feel that Philly is worth their time!

Click the image see a full-size pdf of the flyer.


A New Language

In the fall of 1994 (several months after the clip below aired) I was introduced to “the Internet.”  My transport was a creaky old portable computer, my engine was a 9600 baud modem, and the highway was called “Prodigy.”

I was blown away.

It took forever to do anything, but the endless minutes I spent getting news and weather updates for Eastern’s radio station changed my life.  I realized, if computers and modems got a bit faster, this Internet thing would change the world.  In 1995 I got my faster computer, a 486 DX2 66Mhz with 8 MB of RAM.  A Several months after that I got my first modem, 14400 Baud, and signed up for a trial at AOL.  By the time my senior year rolled around Eastern had finally gotten access to the World Wide Web and e-mail for students – AOL went bye-bye and life has really never been the same.

Sometimes I have to remind myself just how much it’s changed.  I’ve gone from crawling on the fledgling World Wide Web to blazing through the greatest information network in human history in less than two decades.  Being online used to tie up our phone line, then we got broadband, then we went wireless, now we’ve dropped the computer out of the equation and are using appliances.  Whereas we used to use the phone to get on the Internet, we now use the Internet to give us a phone (and we really don’t know why we have a home phone at all any more, to be honest).

The world has changed.  It hasn’t changed all for the better, but denying that it has changed is a sure-fire path toward irrelevancy and death for any organization – Churches must take heed of this.  If you doubt that we need to re-work our language, context, and tactics for this world – just take a look at the clip below.  It’s comical to watch now, but in 1994, no one knew how to reference the Internet (or even what it WAS).  A decade and a half later it’s built in to our culture’s psyche – is it burned into the Church’s yet?