Quick Focus

Quick Focus

User Groups

Existing Groups
The Quinte Videography Club
561 Victoria Ave.
Belleville, ON K8N 2G6
Contact: W. McCormick
Phone: 613-966-4517
E-mail: bill.mccormick@sympatico.ca
Meetings: First Wednesday, 7 p.m., Room P-24, Loyalist College

Cecil Amiga Users Group
P.O. Box 39
Rising Sun, MD 21911-0039
Contact: Jerimy L. Campbell
Phone: 410-658-4739
E-mail: JC@dol.net
Meetings: First Tuesdays, 7 p.m., Goodies Inc.

Group Creativity
65 Broadway
East Hampton, NY 11937
Contact: David Shepard
Phone: 516-329-2067
Meetings: Various times and locations in NYC

Seeking Group or Will Organize

Pam Solomon, Educational Svcs. Ctr.
4700 S. Yosemite St.
Englewood, CO 80111

Shirley Erickson
1041 N. Victoria Way
Salt Lake City, UT 84116

Louie F. Calderon
8371 Reims Ave.
Stockton, CA 95209

User Groups: let us know you're out there. For inclusion in our listing, submit your request to "User Groups," c/o Videomaker, P.O. Box 4591, Chico, CA 95927. Seeking a User Group? For a list of existing user groups and/or video enthusiasts seeking or willing to organize a group in your area, send an SASE to the same address.

User Group Home Pages
Expand your user group's horizons by posting your home page on the Videomaker site. For information, send e-mail to dtaylor@videomaker.com

Send for a Free User Group Startup Kit
's user group startup kit contains everything you need to start and run a successful user group: how to find members, publicize meetings and conduct screenings; sample newsletter, newspaper ad and meeting agenda; discounts off Videomaker merchandise and more. Call Customer Service at 530-891-8410, ext. 242.

Web Watch
Reel Time

An Internet film festival, held last November, is showcasing the work of independent and experimental producers and promoting the Internet medium as a forum for the exhibition of short videos. The hosts pre-screened each video and selected finalists to post on the site, where judges and "audience" members voted for their favorites. The voting is over but the films may still be viewed with a RealVideo player (downloadable from the site).

Entry Deadlines
The Fourth Brainwash Movies Festival is looking for original videos less than 13 minutes in length. Festival organizers will send a collection of the best entries to programmers at major television channels, including Bravo, BBC and MTV London for possible broadcast. Send VHS submissions, with a $15 entry fee, to Shelby Toland, P.O. Box 881911, San Francisco, CA 94188. Entries must be postmarked by May 1, 1998. Call 415-273-1545 for more information.

The Rod Serling School of Fine Arts Video Competition is open to students from kindergarten through twelfth grade and who are residents of New York State. VHS entries may be any length up to five minutes. The entry deadline is April 20. For an entry form, write to Lawrence Kassan, Rod Serling School of Fine Arts Video Festival Competition, Binghampton City Schools, 31 Main St., Binghampton, NY 13905 or call 607-762-8202.

Quick Focus

Videomaker Expo Launches New Products in Burbank
January's Videomaker Expo broke previous attendance records as videographers packed the Burbank Hilton Convention Center in California to attend keynote speeches, manufacturers' exhibits, seminars, panel discussions and social events.

Matt York kicked off the Expo with a keynote speech in which he talked about the solitary nature of video production and urged attendees to take advantage of Videomaker's user-group support network.

Eric Kloor, president of DraCo Systems, Inc., delivered a keynote address on Saturday to a standing-room-only crowd eager to hear about the evolution of a new category of video editing system--the turnkey nonlinear package.
Attendees were treated to previews of several new products. Canopus launched the DVM1 DV capture board; Datavideo premiered a video capture card for laptop computers, the Video Producer MD-1000; and Sonic Desktop showed off SmartSound for Multimedia at a hospitality event.

Truevision announced a turnkey nonlinear editing workstation at the Expo. The company has joined forces with IBM and Avid to configure IBM's IntelliStation M Pro Windows NT computer, Avid's MCXpress NT nonlinear editing software and a Targa 1000 capture card. The workstation lists for $8,500 or leases for $250 per month. Videonics demonstrated a prototype MXPro and Play showed off Trinity's features.

Edirol (a Roland Corp. subsidiary) received Videomaker's Best of Show award for the V5 Video Mix/Title Processor and the A6 Digital Multi Audio Station which Edirol debuted at the Expo.

Several manufacturers joined in three panel discussions--Camcorders/VCRs, Linear Editing and Nonlinear Editing--to debate the state of the consumer video industry. Audience members packed the theater to hear from representatives of Canon, Panasonic, Sony, FutureVideo, Pinnacle Systems, Videonics, Datavideo Technologies, TV One Multimedia, Adobe Systems, Fast, DraCo Systems, Ulead, DPS, Medea and Truevision.

The Videomaker Expo moves to the other coast in September where it will set up at the Sheraton Meadowlands Hotel in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Sony Increases Resolution, Adds Infrared
Extended video resolution, tagged "XR," was announced by Sony for its 1998 Handycam line. Instead of the 240 lines of horizontal resolution delivered by VHS, two new 8mm camcorders will provide up to 280 lines, and five Hi8 models will jump to 440 lines through video inputs in low contrast situations. The company says the improvement is achieved by expanding the luminance bandwidth an additional 0.5MHz.

Sony is also equipping all of its new Hi8 Handycams with NightShot, a built-in infrared transmitter system that, according to the company, enables the camcorder to capture images in total darkness. Images shot up to 10 feet away with no visible light will appear as monochrome images in playback mode. An optional infrared light is available to extend the NightShot range to 100 feet.

Canon Introduces New DV Camcorder
An ultra-compact model named ZR is joining the Canon family of DV camcorders. Although it's similar in size and weight to other manufacturers' passport-sized camcorders, the ZR looks more like a traditional still camera. The Mini DV camcorder sports FireWire, Control L, S-video and composite video jacks; manual focus, exposure and white balance; SP and LP recording modes; and a 2.5" LCD monitor. The ZR includes a unique Finder unit that attaches to the screen, converting it into an eyecup viewfinder. Canon expects to put ZR camcorders on store shelves in April at a list price of $1899.

Leased Access Court Battle Looms
The FCC and the National Cable Television Association (NCTA) are meeting in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to defend the agency's current leased access regulations. The case is being brought by ValueVision, a home-shopping leased access network, and is supported by low-power TV stations, consumer groups and public interest organizations.

In 1992, Congress mandated that the FCC establish maximum rates for independent programmers seeking to air their programs by leasing time from cable operators. Unfortunately, the maximum rates have been too high for most programmers. Just a year ago, the agency re-crafted the rules to allow for a new formula which operators use to determine the maximum fee they can charge leased access programmers. The FCC estimates this "average implicit fee" lessees pay should equal about $.35 per subscriber. In contrast, cable operators pay national networks like CNN and MTV a fee to carry their channels.

ValueVision wants the Court to void the leased access rules and to require the FCC to produce lower rates within 120 days.


Wed, 04/01/1998 - 12:00am