Reader's Letters - Young Video Producers; Upgrading the Reader on the Changing Technologies; Double Credit; Shooting Steadier Handheld Shots.
Thank You, Mr. York
Sir, I will first start by saying Thank You. I'm 26 years old, and I have been an amateur in film for 14 years. The first day of my freshman year, my teacher told me I was going to be in his class for all four years. At first, I took offense to his statement. I misunderstood what he was saying, and now I realize what he meant. I have been at it for years just goofing off, but after reading your Viewfinder column, I'm finished procrastinating. I'm ready to go to school in about 10 days, impulsively.
Your perspective is exactly how I feel about the subject. It's not just the potential financial success that I'm interested in, it's the passion for combining arts and entertainment through a very powerful medium. I just served four years in the U.S. Air Force, and I earned the Montgomery G.I. Bill. I'm going to use every last penny to be sure I can learn as much as my time will allow me to do.
I have a great start, and I haven't stopped making short videos since high school. I've come a along way, and I actually just bought a used Sony VX100 camera and kit for $1,000, and already I have made 4 short music videos that have been praised on and on. I'm on my way!
I am going to cut your column out and post it on my desk. Thanks for the great words.
Kenny Paddock, Jr.
Port Hueneme, CA
What a nice letter - thank you. Kenny is referring to a column Matthew York wrote some time back on the subject of making compelling video. Videomaker is proud to be a supporter of young video producers, and all of our staff work within the ideals of teaching others our skills. Good luck to you, Kenny.
We'd love to see some of your work some day.
I found Heath McKnight's article on State of Imaging in the August issue to be very informative. Upgrading the reader on the changing technologies is a very valuable service. How about an article on "AVCHD"? Thanks!
We are adding some new things to the 2008 Videomaker calendar, Ernie, and have articles on AVCHD and other new technology like Blu-ray and HD DVD already in the works. Meanwhile, you can search our forums; they're quite informative and interactive. www.videomaker.com/forums.
- The Editors
I was perplexed to read the latest edition of your magazine's In Box reader's letters to find a submission titled Giving Credit [September 2007] which looked suspiciously like the previous month's submission titled Viewfinder Credit [October 2007]. Remarkably, only a few sentences were reworded with only 1 new sentence being added in the Sept. issue. Surely you have more folks trying to contribute, right? If not, let me know and I'll write more often.
Oops! Caught again! You are correct, Mister Marble. We compile the letters for our In Box on a continuing basis, and have to delete, edit, change or move letters from one issue to another, and must have forgotten to check the previous issue's submission
- The Editors
Steady As She Goes
I'm a local TV guy, and I've got a Glidecam smooth shooter which works pretty well, but I'm wondering how shows like This Old House keep their camera work so steady if they're using a shoulder-mount camera. I have a Sony VX-2100 and it's good, but I'd like to go the shoulder-mount way so I can get away from using the stabilizer device (hard on the back). Thanks, any advice greatly appreciated.
Actually, Anthony, the stabilizing devices do pretty well, but you can also find shoulder mounts that are a lot lighter in weight from companies like VariZoom and PAG. Over the years, we've found many ways to shoot steadier handheld shots, and our January 2008 issue has some good tips in a feature called, Hands On! Handheld Shooting Tips, by Michael Reff, as well as our vidcast's Tips & Tricks segments in episodes 58 and 69. Another tip we can offer is try to get as close to your subject as you can, and shoot at the widest angle possible. This lessens the obvious shake a lot. Try not to shoot straight-on at anything that has strong horizontal lines, like a roofline or window ledge, because this will make the handheld shot more obvious. Instead, shoot the edge at an angle - it's actually a more interesting shot, too. As for the VX2100 or any camera that has a stabilization option, you might have to turn that option off if you are doing handheld pans, because the lag time for the correction might make your video look blocky.
Don't forget to go to our forums and our new social network, Videomaker's Lounge. They have many readers like you who have all sorts of tricks of their own they're willing to share.
- The Editors