Amplification

We received and reported incomplete information regarding the names of the winners of the 2007 Videomaker Short Video Contest’s Best Animation prize. Bacon Samurai was created by Wright Rickman and produced by Chris Davidson. We congratulate everyone involved with all of the winning videos.

A Personal Note to Matt

Your contributions to the field have been outstanding and are greatly appreciated, for personal as well as business reasons. What better way is there to interest a younger audience (my 20 grandchildren, for example) in the traditions and heritage of their family than to augment our printed family book of remembrance with vignettes on DVD video of their forebears? Videomaker‘s up-to-date introductions to technology and technique have been tremendously valuable iEditorsn helping us “tell our story” in more interesting and engaging ways than would have been possible otherwise.
Rob Dunford

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Videomaker in South America

This is to say thanks to you and your team for the priceless work shown in every issue of Videomaker. It is very educational for us. We keep duly updated in this fascinating world.

This year in Colombia, the Minister of Culture started a program named PNA (National Audiovisual Plan) in Cali City and Buenaventura (Main Port in Colombia) with hopes of going countrywide soon. Our Company “Dogg Fat Pro,” includes four members and our aim is to produce high quality movies, and we use Videomaker for our referencing.

One link to our last Musical video.

All the best to you and the staff.
Gilberto Lopez
Buenaventura – Colombia- South America

Creating Characters

I very much enjoyed your article on creating believable characters, and I found it very informative. I will definitely be doing character analysis and answering the “who, what, when, where, how” questions when I create my next storytelling film. I very much enjoy both your magazine and the website. Keep up the good work.
Dominic Hasbrouck
Hasbrouck Entertainment (HE)

Public Access is Still Alive

Good article on Public Access Television in your May issue. I would like to see an up-to-date article on Leased Access Television. The availability of use, the legal aspects, and what you need to get started. I have heard that each cable TV channel has an x amount of channels dedicated to Leased Access, but I personally see no mention of it to outside producers. I commend Videomaker magazine for bringing a myriad of subjects in an easy-reading manner to its subscribers.
DOC

Michael Moore Reactions

This is aimed at the message, not the messenger…

I’ve never taken the time to respond to any of the articles in Videomaker Magazine, and I have been reading through its pages for 10 years. But I did feel compelled to add these comments concerning your reporting on Documentarian in All of Us (Videomaker, May 2008).

Michael Moore is a very talented, creative and funny film maker, but he does not produce documentaries. His productions fall more under the title of mockumentaries, or just plain propaganda films. My dictionary defines a documentary as follows: depicting an actual event, era, life story, etc., accurately (my emphasis) and without fictional elements. Mr. Moore still proves you can fool some of the people some of the time. And by including him (IDA honors) in with many others that have labored behind a camera for years to produce a true documentary that is factual, without deception, misleading scenarios or outright falsehoods, is a slap in the face.

I labored for three full years, capturing the demolition of The Buick Motor Division auto plant here in Flint, Michigan. (The Buick employed 22,000 people in the 60s). And when Mr. Moore’s production company (West Side Productions) called wanting to use some of my video, I was very happy to tell them… NO!

It would appear that as more and more documentaries are produced, more of them end up having a political agenda (usually to the left), and end up being just mere propaganda. This is really sad for the video/film industry, especially for the viewers of these projects.

Thank you for your contribution to Videomaker Magazine.
Leonard Thygesen, producer of The Buick
36 years service


He’s No Ken Burns

If you can’t find better people than Michael Moore to write about, we must be at an all-time low.

By the way, Sicko was loaded with errors, which is a poor at best documentary. Ken Burns is a film maker, a real film maker. A few month back, Matthew York had used Ken Burns’ name in the same sentence as Michael Moore’s. I could have died. Give me a break. Ken Burns is an artist, Moore is a political hack. I still love your magazine.

Stay well,
David A. Zappardino
Fairfield, PA

No More Moore

How you could profile that sorry excuse for a human being is beyond me. I can’t think of a worse example of liar, propagandist, hatemonger, and sleaze peddler than him. He deserves nothing more than our contempt, yet your magazine chooses to praise him? Not on my dime. Who’s next, Seymour Butts? Please cancel my subscription.
Lawrence Deleski
Frisco, TX

Michael Moore always seems to bring strong reactions from our readers, but politics aside, the article was on the Academy Award nominations for best documentary, and Mr. Moore was indeed a nominee – these are facts we can all agree on. However, what exactly is a documentary is a fact not so easily established. Is anything “real” anymore, once you point a camera at it? Ken Burns sets up his interviews with nice lighting and composition; Michael Moore is a fan of the handheld camera ambush. In terms of cinema verit, Moore is the more “real,” but no one would argue that Burns is less of a filmmaker for his choice. Documentary is an umbrella that’s big enough to cover a wide range of styles, and its definitive definition remains elusive and the topic for much debate.
-The Editors

Greetings from England

RE your article about sound at weddings, I don’t do weddings but have a similar problem when trying to film people in a busy street. My solution: use a Sony Mini Disc Recorder. In the UK these recorders run at 25fps, same as PAL film. A mini disc recorder will run for 3 hours. Pop it in the pocket of the performer suitably miked up, capture film and audio into your editing system, synch up on the time line – and Bob’s your uncle.
Ray Puleston

More from Across the Water

I was delighted to read that the winner of the Short Video Contest used a Sony DCR-VX2100 camcorder. I purchased mine on e-Bay (slightly risky!) a few years ago and I still find it hard to believe how good it is in indoor and low-light situations. When I go into a dim European church or cathedral, it is as if the floodlights have been turned on. The VX2100 sees much better than my eyes and finds colors of which I wasn’t even aware. I use Vegas for my editing and I have produced a reasonably good collection of holiday films. I enjoy your magazine, which is better than anything published over here. Best wishes from Norfolk in England.
Alex Bennett


Cable Conundrum

Question: which way is the better way for preventing future loose connector problems: When hooking up or removing the RCA wire into an RCA input, is it better to twist while pushing in, or just push it in?
Ed Targonski

Whichever makes you feel better is the best way to plug in RCA cables, as long as it doesn’t damage the cord or terminal. Neither pushing in nor twisting in will hurt. The best solution for anything such as this, however, is to minimize the number of times you need to plug them in. We say plug ’em in once and leave ’em there as long as possible. Excessive plugging and unplugging will give a fair amount of wear on the terminals.

If you haven’t joined our online community, now is the time to do it and get all your technical questions answered.Your questions answered by the Videomaker Community, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at www.videomaker.com/forums.
– The Editors

Photog, Videographer… Vidtog?

Regarding a question in Matthew York’s Viewfinder column about what we, the video producers, will call ourselves some day as we no longer shoot on film, so are not photographers. I’ve got an idea, how bout calling a person who shoots on the video format a Vidtog. When I was in the Navy, I was a still photographer, I was known as a photog. Then when I starting working in news, I was call a videographer, which I hated. I considered myself a cameraman because I used many different formats of cameras. Then I started thinking about the terminology and it would make sense that Vidtog would work because, after all, we are shooting on a video format and we are also photographers.
Ramon Hernandez, Vidtog

Is That the Shock Mount?

Your May 2008 Test Bench article mentions a “shock mount” as part of the Azden smx-10 mic, but every website vendor that I have visited to purchase it, the mount doesn’t appear to be listed or shown. All they mention is a “shoe mount.” Did I miss something in the article? I also contacted Azden as well asking the same question.
Greg Michael

Although it doesn’t look like what you traditionally think of, the device that the mic is attached to in our review is a shoe mount AND a flexible shock mount.
– The Editors

Discussing Paper vs. Cyber Again

I cast my vote in favor of the paper magazine! I keep Videomakeron the front seat of my car or secured to my bicycle so that it’s always available. Sometimes I think of your magazine as my portable classroom. By the time I’ve finished studying each edition, it’s dog-eared and covered with notes. I can look up any references and view tutorials, then pass it on to a friend who is starting to seriously improve his skills.

I find that the webzine is occasionally useful as a searchable archive, but reading text on a computer screen doesn’t reproduce the tactile learning experience I get from the paper magazine. However, it is obvious that web-based media offer a valuable adjunct to printed materials. Tutorials and podcasts can add a lot of value; perhaps Videomaker will one day publish some how-to articles on the subject of “Narrated Screencasts.”
George Henderson

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