Name: David Aldrich
Cameras: Canon XH A1
Computer: Intel-based workstation, Mac mini for multitrack sound recording
Editing Platform: Adobe Premiere
Microphones: Sony UWP-V1, Sennheiser ME66, Shure SM58
Support Gear: Manfrotto 755B tripod with 501HDV head, lots of Cardellini clamps
Lighting: Interfit Softboxes.
I work as an IT Manager at the University of Washington, and my team established the first formal educational podcasting service in Washington State, in October 2005. Our pilot project was also the first fully-automated podcasting system used in the educational environment here. We then applied the same technology to video recording.
Working in the new media space inspired me to borrow a camera, shoot some footage, and post it online. The first video I did was about having a custom motorcycle seat made. I uploaded it to YouTube, and I was astonished by how many people watched it. That got me hooked on the idea of producing webisodes about motorcycling.
I didn’t know very much about modern video production. The last time I had touched a camcorder was in the late 80s while working with some artists at Hallwall’s Contemporary Arts Center in Buffalo, New York. We were shooting with VHS and 8mm camcorders, and transferring the footage to ” tape for editing. A lot has changed since then, and I needed to get up to speed quickly. That’s why I started reading Videomaker Magazine.
It was soon obvious that I’d need a tripod, a decent microphone, a video camera with real microphone inputs, and a non-linear editing program. My girlfriend and I went on a shopping spree, and then started showing up at motorcycle events with our camera. Our passion for the sport drove us to document the accomplishments of motorcycle racers, some famous, and some who are just accomplishing their personal goals. We started out producing two webisodes a month, with a run time of four to ten minutes.
This turned out to be a ton of work, but we quickly developed our skills, gaining credibility with our viewers and the people we interviewed. I believe there are revenue opportunities in web-based video in combination with social media strategies in the motorcycle industry, so we’ve broadened our format, adding product reviews, and interviews of local motorcycle industry people to the show.
We’ve done webisodes with Motorcycle Hall of Fame inductee Eddie Mulder, and Hollywood Stuntwoman Alisa Hensley-Lane. We also did a camera rigging video with Stan McClain, who’s known for his major studio work as a 2nd unit Director of Photography and Aerial Cinematographer. We’ve been fortunate to land interviews like that, and we learn something new about video production with each shoot. We’re now in our third season – with webisode number 34 in post production – and I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface on what is required to produce video. My advice to aspiring video producers is to read everything you can get your hands on, take classes, and practice your craft.
David Aldrich, Educating with Video
Sidebar: About This Series
Video creation is sometimes a singular business, but video producers are a social lot. Our curiosity about our readers has inspired us to create this new column to introduce you to your fellow video producers.
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