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.