Building A Community Dedicated to Better Video

Who Are We?

Thank you for the Viewfinder article titled Who Are We? I like the message of a community of people that want to make a better video. When working around university students or grade school kids, they all have something important to share. With a little direction, along with the knowledge that one is not alone, something produced and shared can be a wonderfully changing event.

Dave Meichtry

We agree, Dave. Teaching video is our passion, not just our mission here at Videomaker. Every young person who picks up a camcorder for the first time shares in a universal collective experience of story-telling using images that transcends age and socioeconomic status. We are connecting all the way to the first cave-dwelling artists. It’s a powerful feeling.

– The Editors


8 Tips for Making a Stellar First Video

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8 Tips for Making a Stellar First Video

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DIY Light Kit

Just wanted to express my delight in reading Do It Yourself Light Kit by Terry O’Rourke. As an avid DIY’er and being particularly interested in lighting, this was one truly inspiring piece. Using an eye-bolt as a barndoor hinge – that was great! Nice thing about “Home Brew” eq. is that if it breaks, you know exactly how to fix it and where to get parts. If it’s beyond repair, just toss it and build another one. No research or waiting for some far off company to send you expensive replacement parts. Now if Terry can show me how to build a fully adjustable fresnel? Hmmmm… Keep ’em coming, The DYI articles are among my favorites!

Dean R. Rohleder

Nice article. I hope to see more do-it-yourself articles in the future. Just a couple of ideas: include a list of the required parts… and pricing estimates would be also nice.

Ricardo Remis

Thanks Ricardo and Dean, we like doing DIY projects, too. We hope to present you with more in the future. Watch for that. Meanwhile, below is a list of parts for that Light Kit DIY story, and the final cost was: $62.25 – $67.25.

DIY Light Kit Parts List:

Light from box store -$14.95

Manfrotto Rapid-Adapter B+H Photo/ Video – $13.95

Eye bolts for barn doors from Box Store – Box of 8 – $4.95

Locking Nuts x 8 – $2.50

1/2″ to 1″ electrical ground clamp for plumbing pipe from Box Store – $3.95

1/4″ knob for electrical clamp

Tire Chains from yard sales – $5.00 to $10.00 each set.

Ballistic Nylon Bag from Big Box Store – $5.95 each.

Carabiner clamp to attach bag to stands from Big Box Store – $1.00

Roll of aluminum sheet for roof flashing from box store – $10.00

Learning from Videomaker and Story Suggestions

I always enjoy reading your magazine. As a creator of a new comedy web site, , I need as much help as possible. Your articles always give me ideas on how to take my limited resources and make the most out of my stupid videos for the site.

You have some great information in the What the Heck is a Codec story. I suffered for months trying to figure out how to get the H.264 format to look good on YouTube. First of all, I upgraded to Adobe’s CS4 and life was better with AVCHD formats. I also had to upgrade to 8GB RAM to get the job done. 2GB on a laptop PC is painful. But let’s talk about CODECs!

The only way to go from the AVCHD files to H.264 is to always render in the progressive mode. I wish someone would have made that clear to me. The jagged edges were driving me crazy. And for all those using CS4, make sure you see the dark gray scroll bar in the video tab to see that setting which lives lower in the panel.

In the future, you might want to discuss the difference between square and round pixels. When shooting in protocols that create and save in round pixels, then we attempt to render in square pixels for things like Flash (YouTube) you get some strange aberrations. We don’t need a detailed discussion, but maybe a way to get from a Canon HF-10, to master shots, to editing, to rendering and then where you land the final. Keep up the good work. Love the input.

Dwight Douglas

Thanks for your comments, Dwight. Regarding your story suggestion, we’re working on plans for the 2011 issues already and we will take your suggestion to heart. We are (or will have as of the date of this letter,) be sending a survey to all of our readers, asking them about stories they’d like to read about. Please make sure you fill the survey out and return it to us right away.

– The Editors

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