Inspired by Viewfinder Column

Mr. York – Wow! That article you wrote for the September issue sounded very “inspired.” I always read what you have to say before delving into the magazine. I’ve seen some times when you’ve been disgruntled by “YouTube” videography and the absurdity of some of the postings there – mainly, other people’s misfortunes. I appreciate how you tried to lend the idea of getting back on track to the readers and focus on good video.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with keeping up in video – and that’s everything: new cameras, lighting techniques, cinematography, editing platforms, new media, you name it. I work a full time day job and run a part time video business with friends. We make a little – enough to keep buying new equipment but that’s about it, and we don’t actually WANT to work two full time jobs and not have lives. I really appreciate the way you “think” and I’m glad to hear your inspirations. This was one time I thought I’d send you a little feedback.

Robert Livingston


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Separation of Editorial Coverage versus Advertising

As a former art director to several special interest magazines, I found it joyful to read and share your angst with the tensions of politics involved in the production of such a magazine. (“Between Editorial and Advertising”, Viewfinder column, November 2008 ). It seemed to be a response to something or a venting exercise, but I hear you loud and clear and I’m glad you clarified that your magazine does not give in so much to the point of changing its editorial voice to sway towards the advertisers. I subscribed to several magazines in the areas of video/film production and have let all the others lapse. I will always look forward to my issues of Videomaker. Power on!

George Stoll

Sound Needs Consideration, Too.

It’s like coming upon water in the desert to find a review of sound acquisition equipment, in this case the RODE NTG-3 Shotgun Mic, in a digital video magazine, to say nothing of such a technically sophisticated and nuanced article. As the author points out, sound is just as important, if not more important, than picture. And further, we are indeed awash, especially in magazines and reviews, in endless opinions of the ever-proliferating camera flavors of the month. There are certainly as many microphones in the world as camcorders, but this remains a mostly secret world. This review is only missing some comparisons to the other RODE shotguns and maybe even other shotguns in the same price range. Maybe that’s another article. To say nothing of mixers, windscreens, XLR adapter boxes, headphones, and booms.

And in my humble opinion the rock-core microphones are a wired lavalier and a cardioid, not a wireless and a shotgun. But that’s just me.

Thanks to Videomaker for including at least one review of a microphone in the October issue. Would that this could become a regular feature and sound acquisition could assume a larger and more balanced profile amidst the image acquisition discourse.
Keep up the good work,

Robert Withers

The World is Reading Videomaker

I would like to compliment you and your team on your great magazine! I am a British filmmaker that is based in Hong Kong. Magazines like yours are extremely helpful to guys like me, who sometimes struggle to stay abreast of the latest developments in production. Thanks for keeping us informed, you are doing great work!

I have a question for you regarding the August 2008Viewfinder . Who were this OEM’s you were describing? Please let me know. I would like to approach some of these companies to assess their products (HD video cameras) and possibly do a deal. I find it ironic that I and many of my colleagues had no idea of this manufacturing situation. Some of my contacts are extremely knowledgeable in this field; they are running big companies. There is a climate in Hong Kong where people do not share interesting information to protect their own interests. Sadly, I and many others find this slightly counterproductive. It’s a funny world. Thanks to you and your team we are now a little bit wiser.

Name Withheld by Request

There are a number of contract manufacturers in Asian countries that will build camcorders for any distributor if the price is right. For a few leads (this is a somewhat dynamic list), check out .

-The Editors

The World is Getting Smaller

Like many Brits who no longer have anything approaching a magazine like Videomaker, I find the internet version very informative and interesting. However, may I through you draw the editor’s attention to the fact that certain articles, e.g. the one on copyright in the current issue (Oct, 2008) , are seriously misleading for readers other than those working in the US jurisdiction.

For example European law is very much more restrictive regarding photographing people in public places – in France especially visitors are likely to be accosted for money.

Another example refers to the final recommendation – to copyright your own productions. In the UK every publication or creation, (though not an idea or draft), is automatically the copyright of the producer. Nothing has to be registered or lodged. Generally the only action which an individual like most of those reading your magazine need do is to mail a copy of the item to themselves by registered post and then store it unopened. That device is generally accepted by the Court as proof of the date of origination if the fact is ever challenged.
Philip Howells

You’re right, Phillip, with the world getting more connected, many of our U.S. readers look outside the States for video and we have many readers worldwide. We will try to keep that in mind when we’re stating legal facts that affect our country only. Thank you for pointing this out.

-The Editors

Muddy Happy Birthday Waters

I have a comment about the Quick Focus column story “Sing Happy Birthday…for a Fee” in the October 2008 issue. ABC News did a similar story in July 2008 regarding this issue.

The gentleman they mention has his article here:

It seems there are questions regarding the validity of the extensions and even the true author(s) of the lyrics. There are claims of failure to properly renew the copyright in the 1960s according to the news story. Various arrangements were renewed but not the standard (well-known) version.

Most prefer to pay the royalty fee instead of the legal costs to fight the court battle to challenge the copyright claim.

Barbara B., Rural Minnesota

The Videomaker Editors are dedicated to bringing you the information you need to produce and share better video.