Wow. It’s been a really long week, but the weekend is just about here.
I saw the notice on the WordPress blog about the “Giving Thanks” contest earlier this week and knew that it was just the right kick-in-the-pants to get me to try out the MiniDV camera that I recently purchased on eBay. So I grabbed a few of my friends, asked them what they’re thankful for, and cut it all together into a short video. Thirty seconds isn’t that much time, especially when your friends are so voluble!
I wasn’t really sure how this film would turn out. I shot a lot of footage, but as I only had 30 seconds for the final cut I had to really pare things down to make sure that I could include a clip of each person.
Filming each person was fun. Pure and simple. Each person had their own unique quirks and mannerisms that really came out when they were put in front of a camera lens. Percy with the sheep, Alex with a ping pong ball, and a highly-caffeinated Nida all presented unique challenges when filming (such as keeping the subject in frame!) and offered not only different answers to “For what are you thankful?”, but even took different approaches to answering the questions.
Okay, enough chatter from me. Here’s the meat of this post, the video:
I actually have about 20 minutes of source footage, so I might make a couple more videos of more reasonable length later this week. I still have a lot to learn about video editing, but I’ve got some good teachers!
Truth be told, I actually bought the camera for conversion of VHS home video to digital format. Because the Canon zr100 has an analog-to-digital-via-firewire passthrough capability, I can play VHS tapes in a VCR, then hook up video/audio out to the camera, then pipe that into to my Ubuntu laptop. Many modern camcorders connect to computers via USB and do not support this kind of digital pass-through capability, at least not reliably on the Linux kernel.
The camera was about $80; 5 tapes were $12. Under $100 and I’m shooting video and converting all of my VHS tapes that are gathering dust. Pretty big bang for the buck.
Although I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into, shooting this turned out to be rather fun. For my first movie, I think this turned out pretty darn well!
A big thanks to all of the friends that participated. To all those friends who I didn’t nab for this project, rest assured that I’ll show up, camera in hand, to draft you for one of my next videos. I’m thinking of either some kind of surrealist montage or a lighthearted horror flick.