Comments and links to recent Videomaker Magazine Articles written to help people create better video.
Reader Tip for Titles
As a director on a small budget, I often weigh time and cost of things. Like would it benefit me to hire someone to edit my video for me for $3,000... but I digress. What I found was that making a movie on my own is a challenging endeavor. When I was finishing off my movie - creating movie credits - I tried to use FCP with Livetype and motion and found the process frustrating! Until a friend recommended that I try VideoTagger. VideoTagger really made the whole process of making the movie credits extremely simple - the way it should be. I highly recommend it to all movie makers! Keep up the good work on the magazine.
Outsourcing Tech-Support Woes
In-country support is not too bad; at least I can understand them. Unfortunately, the support people, in the past, have not had good training. For example: two years ago I called Gateway support to ask, "How much memory does my machine support?" I actually received four different answers.
In the last six months, I contacted DLink support. I was kicked up two levels and still didn't get a fix. Now, when I call HP, DLink or whoever:
a. they are very hard to understand.
b. they don't understand the question.
c. I seem to know more than the support staff, even if they send it to the next level. (I'm not a professional; I'm just a long-time user.)
d. they never call back.
e. they tell us to do step 1 thru 10 (or 50), do this, do that and then repeat.
f. when they get frustrated, the connection is broken.
g. the current status is unimportant as well as the steps which we have taken to correct the problem.
h. they appear to be reading from a chart: if this, then do that, with no understanding of what it says.
When they can't help us fix something, we have to pay shipping both ways and then usually we are told:
a. there's nothing wrong it; we are returning it at your expense.
b. we will send a replacement in a month or two. (Of course we find out later the replacement is a refurb, not new as our product was.)
c. we never hear from them.
d. customer service can't find it.
e. we sent it - didn't you get it?
f. the replacement doesn't function and we can start all over again.
Some of the professionals can't make a product work and neither can the support staff.
Can Videomaker do a story on customer technical support?
From computers to cell phones and websites to even credit card concerns, many tech support services are now outsourced outside the U.S., and it leaves us with not only technical frustrations but a worrisome concern about all the private data we are releasing to complete strangers overseas. A story on this might be a good idea, but it would most likely be a rather long, boring novel. Our best suggestion, then, is to try to rely on one of your own local computer stores for support. We've found the local comp guys know more about our systems than a disembodied voice overseas ever will.
On a recent trip to England, I was armed with VCDs and DVD+Rs, all recorded on the U.S. NTSC system, so I was skeptical whether they would play on UK DVD players. They all played to perfection and without a hitch. They were home movies that I was anxious to show off to my family. "How clever," "how brilliant," I heard many times over.
My niece's son, who knows far more about technology than I will ever know, said quite aloofly, "The technology is moving so fast it is hard to keep up. You can play DVDs pretty much any where." He said the press and the techies are moving very fast and they should coordinate more. So, I thought my favorite magazine should know.
This is something that we've not been able to play around with too much. Pretty much all of the commercial titles available here are Region 1 (instead of Region 2 that covers most of Europe), and the majority of the non-commercial titles have been sent to us in NTSC instead of PAL.
Multi-standard equipment is more common in the rest of the world than it is in North America; however, the transition to digital television has indirectly eased the pain of performing standards conversion. If your disc player is connected to your TV via HDMI, everything stays in the digital domain. That means that it's much more likely that any disc that you put into your player will be able to be played on your TV with the correct color and frame rate.
Thank You, Videomaker!
I just received my October issue and enjoyed your audio editing tutorial and the dynamic versus condenser mics story. I've been puzzled about the sound aspect of my videos and need to fine-tune my audio better. The issue couldn't have come at a better time.