Version 2.5 of Apple‘s Quicktime multimedia architecture will support the increasingly
popular Motion-JPEG video CODEC. This will allow video editors and others involved in the creative
process to view M-JPEG compressed files on any Power Macintosh with no additional hardware required.
Also supported in Quicktime 2.5: the ability to render 3D objects in real-time within a Quicktime movie,
and support for high-end professional multiprocessing hardware such as the Genesis MP from
DayStar Digital. The Beta version of Quicktime 2.5 will be available for free download from
Apple’s Web site (http://www.apple.com) sometime this spring.
To facilitate the launch of Quicktime 2.5 in cyberspace, Apple has made two important maneuvers:
they’ve granted Web developers an open license to embed Quicktime technology in their applications free
of charge; and they’ve made an agreement with Netscape to provide a Quicktime plug-in that
will ship with version 3.0 of the popular Navigator Web browser.
Corporation has recently announced that its VDOLive personal video server software
will be bundled with Adobe’s popular Premiere 4.2 nonlinear editor for Windows. “Until now, developers
have lacked an easy way to produce and deliver real-time video on the Web,” said Asaf Mohr, VDOnet’s
president. “Now, Adobe and VDOnet have combined to give web designers and video producers an end-to-
end Internet video production and delivery solution.”
VDOnet also recently announced intentions to offer its Internet video streaming services in the form of
an Internet videophone. The new device, appropriately named the VDOPhone, will be available both in a
stand-alone model and as an enhancement for America Online‘s Virtual Places live chat
environment. With the VDOPhone, users will be able to hold two-way audio/video conversations over the
Internet anywhere in the world for the price of a local phone call.
Among Hitachi‘s 1996 camcorder introductions are three models with flip-out LCD monitors:
the 8mm VME625LA ($999), and two Hi8 units, the VMH725LA ($999) and VMH825LA ($1299). This
confirms what we’ve expected since Sharp introduced the concept a few years back: the portable
built-in viewfinder is a welcome trend that camcorder enthusiasts will continue to support.
Back from the edge of bankruptcy in 1995, Zenith touched off a stock market frenzy when it
announced in early May that it was working with U.S. Robotics on a new cable-modem set top
box. In one week, the company’s stock tripled in value, making investors wonder whether the aged
television manufacturer should be re-classified as an Internet startup. Cable modems, which make use of
existing cable TV wiring to deliver super-fast Internet access, could provide Web surfers with enough
bandwidth to watch high-quality digital video with no delays.
A recent survey of at-home information and entertainment reveals that consumers are embracing
alternatives to traditional television. In addition to competing with cable television and pay-per-view
services, traditional TV is now competing with direct broadcast satellite (DBS), VCRs, personal computers,
multimedia CD-ROM, online services and other technologies for delivering entertainment and information.
The survey, conducted by Odyssey, Inc., suggests that people are more and more willing to abandon
traditional commercial-driven television for alternative video programming sources–good news for
videomakers in search of an audience.
NAB Virtual Marketplace
This site, presented by the National Association of Broadcasters, offers a wealth of data about the
broadcasting industry. Includes an impressive directory of products, services and industry contacts.
Sharp has added a second DV ViewCam to its camcorder lineup, the VL-DC1U. 41%
smaller and 26% lighter than its analog counterpart, the unit sports a 4″ LCD monitor, 16-bit PCM stereo
audio, 30:1 digital zoom and manual iris control. The VL-DC1U will sell for $3500.
Hitachi, meanwhile, has converted its VHS factory in Tokai to DV production. No details are
available on any specific models yet, but the plant will have the ability to produce 10,000 DV camcorders
per month for the Japanese market.
Another Expo Success Story
Continuing a tradition established in 1994, the Third Annual Videomaker East Coast Expo
arrived in Secaucus, New Jersey this past May. On the show floor and in the seminar rooms, the
Videomaker staff, distinguished panelists, industry leaders and several thousand camcorder
enthusiasts devoted the entire weekend to furthering the cause of consumer-level video.
If you missed out on the action, don’t fret: there’s another Expo coming in January, this time on the
sunny West Coast. For up-to-date information on this and other Videomaker events, point your
Web browser at http://www.videomaker.com.
Camcorders on the Battlefield
General George Joulwan, the top U.S. military commander for the Bosnia mission, was interested in
inspecting a site where his combat engineers were building a bridge connecting Croatia and Bosnia. Instead
of flying from his headquarters in Heidelberg, Germany, to the bridge near Zupanja, Croatia, soldiers at the
location shot three minutes of video, then transmitted it back to the General in a few short seconds–without
leaving the site of the operation.
How was this possible? The engineers used a digital videoconferencing system, similar to those used by
corporate executives. The main difference is in the method of transmission used by the military: a portable
satellite uplink system transfers the digitized video almost instantaneously to headquarters.
In the past, General Joulwan would have had to requisition a plane and fly to the site himself in order to
get this kind of detail. With this system in place, he can receive and transmit audio/visual information
while viewing and discussing maps and satellite photos of the site with his superiors in Washington.
By Stephanie Anne Laub
Fifty-four years after leaving everything but her family behind, Gita Kaufman is returning to her childhood
home–and with the help of DV, she’s taking us with her.
Kaufman and her family were forced to flee Vienna, Austria, as the horror of the Jewish Holocaust drew
close. Along with her parents and two brothers, Kaufman left on the day they were scheduled to be
deported to Dachau. With the help of her husband, Curt, a New York photographer, Kaufman will
videotape her poignant story, titled The Return.
In the video, the Kaufmans will search for remnants of Gita’s past, and cope with the emotions raised as
she goes back to look for the city of her youth. During their five-week trip, they will also profile current-
day Vienna, which is struggling between past victims and present political tensions. The Return
also includes the journey that Gita Kaufman never made: one to Dachau, a Nazi death camp outside
Munich, Germany. Five other sites, including Auschwitz, are also visited.
The trip was underwritten by the Bruno Kreisky Foundation, a human rights organization, and the city
of Vienna. Sony Electronics will also play a major role in the shooting of The Return, donating a
DCR-VX1000 Digital Handycam, tape and technical support for the documentary.
By Lisa Skillern
by David Brott
Film and Video Lighting Terms and Concepts
Richard K. Ferncase (1995, Focal Press, 313 Washington St., Newton, MA
02158-1626, 176 pp., $19.95)
Do you know the difference between foamcore and focal length? Dolly grip and dolly tracks? If not,
it’s time to sharpen your video vocabulary. Film and Video Lighting Terms and Concepts is a
reference book that clearly defines over 1000 commonly used terms.
The author, Richard Ferncase, is Associate Professor of Film and Television at Chapman
University in Southern California. He teaches film production, cinematography, lighting for film and
television, film editing and photography. Ferncase writes Film and Video Lighting Terms and Concepts
as a readable text, making complex instruments and concepts more accessible for beginners. For the
lighting impaired, Film and Video Lighting Terms and Concepts covers various lighting fixtures
and includes 70 different photographs and illustrations.
This book contains all the terms that lighting directors, gaffers and grips might encounter during a
typical day in the studio. Add Film and Video Lighting Terms and Concepts to your ditty bag.
Classroom in a Book: Adobe After Affects 3 For Macintosh
Adobe Systems Incorporated (1996, Hayden Books, 201 W. 103rd Street, Indianapolis, IN 46290; 240
Classroom in a Book: Adobe After Affects for Macintosh covers 10 lessons that allow users to
maximize the power of Adobe After Affects special effects and 2D animation program. The Classroom
in a Book series works either as a set of strategic lessons or as an instructor-led training program. The
included CD-ROM contains specially designed virtual training programs that guide the user through the
detailed process of creating special effects.
The Classroom in a Book series provides training materials previously tested in actual
classrooms and labs. Adobe also offers training manuals for Photoshop, Premiere and Illustrator software
applications which are used by universities and businesses around the world.
The program’s layout is excellent. Step-by-step lessons incorporated with the electronic files on
the enclosed CD-ROM teach users the techniques they need to get the most out of Adobe After Effects.
Mark Shapiro (1996, SRS Productions, 8030 La Mesa Ave. #112, La Mesa, CA 91941; 60 min.,
SRS Productions releases another YourCam instructional videotape covering camcorder basics
for the beginner. This latest work, the YourCam-Sharp videotape targets the Sharp VIEWCAM
line of camcorders. From tape to tripods to image stabilization, this tutorial covers it all. Especially
appealing for first-time camcorder users, it smartly combines verbal instruction with hands-on
demonstration and technique.
Mark Shapiro, writer and producer of the series, teaches instructional video courses at the
community-college level. He also writes video production articles for national publications. This
YourCam-Sharp instructional video features a friendly and informative approach to camcorder
functions and handling. It is an hour-long video covering the more-frequently asked questions regarding
batteries, microphones, special effects and manual and automatic camcorder controls.
YourCam-Sharp is a good tape for those timid videomakers afraid to operate their
camcorder’s more-advanced features. In fact, it promotes experimentation with the camcorder’s controls
and effects. The result? Confidence.
KEY TO RATINGS: 5-excellent, 4-very good, 3-good, 2-not so good, 1-poor