John Cannon: Hobbyist

Name: John Cannon

Cameras: Panasonic AG-DVX100BP, Panasonic AG-HMC150

Editing Platform: Adobe Premiere Elements 7 AVCHD

Microphone: Sennheiser MD46 Handheld dynamic, Sennheiser G2 110 series wireless systems (2), Sennheiser Shotgun ME-66/K6

Support Gear: Sony VGN-AW220J 4GB RAM, Miller Solo DV

I am 73 years old and delight in purchasing the latest and best video and audio equipment I can afford. Living in a Continuing Care Retirement Community, Twin Lakes in Burlington, North Carolina, I have been the unofficial videographer of small and large events as they occur on the campus for 5 years now.

Twin Lakes CCRC is one of 1500 in the US and is among 44 of them rated AAA, a fine achievement. I have recorded, edited and burned to DVDs over 160 events from short segments such as Birds at Twin Lakes to the 60 minute 25 Years of Excellence, that traces the story of Twin Lakes.

More recently with the purchase of Panasonic’s new HD Widescreen prosumer camera AG-HMC150, I created a 100-minute Dual-Layer DVD, the Ambassadors Jazz Band.

All my DVDs are donated to the three units at Twin Lakes: Assisted Living, Health Care and Memory Care (for Alzheimer’s patients). 22 of these videos can be seen and two in Widescreen HD format on YouTube I make my own music ever since I got a take-down notice some time back. I was surprised to receive an email threatening litigation over a 70 year old piece of classical music I had used in a GoogleVideo. It identified the recording and the track and demanded its immediate removal from Google. So since then, I compose, play and record all my background music tracks using a Kurzweil Mark i152 Digital Grand Piano. If you have a modicum of musical talent and can play 2 or 3 note chords on a digital keyboard, it is easy.

The Kurzweil 152i is top-of-the-line, but similar digital keyboards with built-in musical styles that can be used as a sophisticated metronome to play along with, or for fully orchestrated accompaniment with drums, bass and other background instrumental parts are available.The orchestrated accompaniment follows the tune and chords that you play on the keyboard to keep everything in the same key, so turn down the lights, relax and don’t forget to record your creation onto a CD!

If you’d like to find out more information on our program, or how to start a video project of your retirement facility, you can contact me at If you live in a retirement community such as ours that depends heavily upon resident volunteers, the management may well welcome DVD video coverage of continuing events on the campus. After all, you are recording history that will enlighten and entertain residents and even future generations. Grand parents love to have a well-produced DVD to share with grandchildren, so a small profit can be earned from your professionalism.

John Cannon, Hobbyist


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