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I hope this doesn’t become my personal blog. I thought someone would want to say something or ask a question or two.
Well, we did our first capturing (or taping for those who are not going directly to the hard drive.) In fact, we did a total of 3 services. Wednesday was a practice and we had nothing but trouble with capturing on to Final Cut Pro. Little did we know that there was a default setting that only allowed us to capture a limit of 9 min. and 59 sec. We changed that setting for 180 min. (3hrs). We discovered that the SE-800 was sending time code from the different cameras which would stop the capture process as well. The manual walked us through turning off the time code. Our audio was coming directly from the sound board and the signal was split between the CD burner and the SE-800. We had to boost the signal to get the strength that we needed. One of the cameras was dropping signal every time it panned. Apparently the 4pin FireWire was lose and truth came out when an individual explained that that cameras cord had been accidentally pulled hard and may have damaged the connection. It really is a tragedy that the folks who design FireWire didnt put some thought about making the connection more secure like BNC. Needless to say we put that camera in the back were movement is limited. Our communications devises, Eartek TD-900, were less then we had hoped for. My understanding was that these were some of the best out there for this kind of job. It wouldnt be hard to claim that prize in my opinion. The commands from the director were muffled to the point that the camera operators had to guess what he was saying. The press to talk button was more like a toggle switch so when you were done talking you had to remember to press it again to turn it off. One unit is dedicated for the director (Master) and has the ability to talk to everyone while another can talk back simultaneously. Since everyone else shares the same frequency only one can talk back at a time. However, if no one is talking back there is constant static noise hitting the directors ear. So, someone has to keep there button on to keep the director from loosing his ability to hear or he just turns the volume down so low that he no longer hears anybody if they wish to talk.
Sunday morning came and we were ready with all the bugs worked out. I dont like the button placement on the SE-800. The four camera buttons are located on top of the board and that leaves no room for your palm of your hand to rest with out setting it on buttons below. The Take and T-Bar are located on opposite ends. You Fade manually with the T-Bar with your Right hand but Take or preset Fade with your left.
Sunday night came and I had the chance to work the jib. The jib gave us great shots but it is obvious that there is a huge learning curve towards getting good shots. Picture it: Your located near the front row on the left side of the podium you want to crane down while swinging to the left into the audience while using a joystick controller for panning the camera to the right and tilting it up so as to keep your target in the shot the whole time. Its so easy to become focused on the shot that you forget that there are peoples heads that you will be knocking into if youre not paying attention. Oh, did forget to mention that you are also controlling the zoom. I must say that the GL2 does not give you a slow enough zoom control to make that creeping in and out effect that was so desperately desired. There were a few things that we learned along the way but for the most part it was a success. I gave a crash course on how to operate the cameras and tripods to folks that had never done this sort of thing and they did great.
An interesting note to share was that our guess speaker was none other then Cathy Lechner who works in the prophetic. A year and a half ago she prophesied that hour church would have a TV ministry. At that time we had only been planning it and it seemed like no matter how hard we tried putting every thing to gather we just werent ready to rock-n-roll. Here comes Cathy on another invite to speak and we are up and running the very same Sunday. God is good.