Keeping Current with Mac
I was happy to see an edition of Vidoemaker E-news sponsored by a Mac supplier (MacMall). I have read your magazine faithfully for several years and get irritated when I see specs on older versions of Macs when more powerful versions are on the market. I do not blame Videomaker, but rather Apple Computers. I have e-mailed these feelings to Apple and suggested that the cost of giving the latest equipment to you for testing would be minuscule compared to the benefits of letting your many readers see that the Mac might just be the easiest turnkey setup for producing videos.
I went to the Apple store in my area in January to see Steve Jobs make his presentation on the new iMac, which is a videographer's dream machine. I waited patiently for your February edition to see how the new iMac tested out, but nothing. If Apple really wanted to sell this new computer, your magazine would be the ideal place to show what this little beauty can do.
You have been more than balanced in your past reports on Macs, more so than most, if not all, PC magazines. Please convince Apple that they are missing out a great opportunity to show their wares.
We have requested that Apple send us a new iMac, Bernie. We're as anxious to review it as you are to read about it. You can be sure that we'll publish a review as soon as we can get our hands on an evaluation unit.
I'd like to start off by thanking you. Vidoemaker is packed full of tools for us to use when making our videos. I started creating videos when I was in grade 11. The biggest project I did, which I recommend to anyone who is graduating, was making a graduation video. A friend and I gathered hours and hours of video footage of anything we could think of: grads in the halls, sports and parties. We interviewed everyone and taped all the special days: commencements, grand marches, banquets. When it was finally done, it was three-hours long. It took more man-hours than I can even think of, but like they say, time flies when you're having fun. So just a small tip to the young filmmakers: Make a grad video. You'll leave school in style, trust me.
Kamloops, BC, Canada
Wow, Trent! That sounds like quite a project. Congratulations on completing it. For the sake of the viewers, we recommend keeping videos as short as possible. We'd encourage you to take your three-hour project and cut it down so you have a 30-minute (or shorter) version as well. Additionally, we recommend breaking your program up into four- or five-minute segments based on theme (divide the program into sections on sports, events and interviews for instance). Keep up the good work, Trent.
Hip Ain't Happenin'
I read the "Five Video No-No's" in the Take 5 column of the May 2002 issue. It's too bad the majority of professional video camera operators don't follow the rules listed in the article. Ever watch an NFL football game? Those annoying flying titles/graphics/wipes remind me of work done by a novice who just got his first video camera and feels compelled to employ every special effect the camera offers. And what about the trend (that just won't die) towards shaky framing and unnecessary zooms?
Filmmakers also use various devices to have their films appear to be modern/hip/happening. The film Traffic comes to mind with its shaky camera work and overuse of filters. Whenever I see an older film such as Doctor Zhivago or the French Connection, I am amazed at how much better traditional motion picture/video camera techniques work compared to the newer "techniques."
Paul R. Pokorski