Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Learned a lot today

I'm so proud of myself...

Today I learned a bunch of stuff about video editing. Here's a list:

1) I can import .mov files (or almost ANY type of movie file) into DVD format using "DVD Santa" (thanks, Gazza!), then can upload it directly from the temporary directory to my Pinnacle video program, without having to burn a DVD first.

2) Learned how to split a clip, insert something else entirely, but keep the sound track of the original clip.

3) Inserted a video clip, and added old film-like effects and B&W movie look.

4) I can now make titles scroll from bottom to top of the screen.

Here's my video, entitled "Mr. Lamont Goes to Washington", with Ned Lamont being substituted for Jimmy Stewart's character in the original Frank Capra classic "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington".

Monday, May 29, 2006

My new external drive is here!

I just received my new external drive.

You see, I do all my editing on a 2 year old Toshiba notebook, with a tiny little 40GB drive. Besides all the regular programs I have on it, I need some space for my video footage.

An hour of mini-DV tape usually takes up about 15GB, and on my best day, when I've dumped all the episodes of "The Sopranos" off of it, I rarely have more than 18GB available. So I ordered this new drive.

Isn't it sexy? A 250GB, 7200 rpm, combo Firewire and USB external drive; delivered from Torrence, CA got here in two days, for $159 total. I found it by Googling "external drive firewire", and by sifting throught the results I got that killer price on it.

(Gee, I wonder if anybody will notice the copy and paste construction of this post?)

Anyway, today I was trying to load DV footage, but it kept cutting off the file size at 4GB, which is about 18 minutes. I did a little research, and figured out that the drive was formatted for FAT32, which limits total file size to 4GB.

So I'm reformatting it with NTFS, which I hope will resolve the issue. I'll know later today, 'cause I'm going sailing right now. Wheee!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

At some point I'll get around to this

Things have been crazy busy for me lately...I'm heavily involved in the Ned Lamont campaign for U.S. Senate, and this coming weekend I'll be covering and taping the State Democratic Convention for the blogs, including "Connecticut Bob". But there's a project I've been wanting to get to for a while.

Milford, the town in which I live, has a long and interesting history, dating back to it's founding in 1639. Part of that history is documented in paintings, drawings, and photographs, many of which are included in the collections of local historical societies.

Some of the landmarks featured in the old pictures are still around, and I've been wanting to take my camera and capture modern pictures of them, from the same point of view as the original photo. Then I'd work that into a historical documentary about my town.

Here's an example:

This is the Memorial Bridge downtown, photographed in the late nineteenth or early twentieth century.

Here's the bridge from roughly the same perspective, this morning. The rushing water is a result of the record rainfall we've been having in New England this week. The sun came out today, so I detoured from an errand and took this photo.

I'm thinking of using maps, reproductions, the new and old photos, interviews with historians, and period music to tell the story. It's an idea that I'd really enjoy doing.

All I need to do this is a little research, an interview or two, and some spare time.

That last bit is the tricky part...

Thursday, May 11, 2006

A quick video from last week

Here's a short (97 seconds, about 2.7MB) video clip showing the Wooster Square Cherry Blossom Festival, where Ned Lamont supporters Edward Anderson, Keith Crane, and myself turned out to help collect petition signatures, along with future Peabody Award-winner Spazeboy, who filled in as interviewer for our "man on the street" interviews, and did a fine job at that.

We stuck to a simple topic: Lieberman's support of the massive energy bill which gives oil companies huge tax breaks while they're making record profits. Check out the video, and remember if it starts playing choppy, hit the PAUSE button on the window and give it a minute to download.

I know this is all kinds of political and stuff, but it was fun to make, and was good experience for doing on-the-fly interviews. From one of my other blogs, "Connecticut Bob".

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Our "Rail Trail" Documentary is online

As I discussed previously on this blog (HERE and HERE), we made a 13:45 documentary about the Air Line Rail Trail in upstate Connecticut. Joyce and I took a day off back in late October and brought our bikes and video camera to East Hampton, where we rode about 13 miles on the trail.

We taped a lot of very scenic fall foliage, with awesome views of the hills and rivers in the area. Then I collected the best footage, added titles, music, old photos, and archived films to create this documentary about the trail.

UPDATE: The entire 13:45 documentary is now in a single video. Remember, if the video gets choppy be sure to hit the pause button on the window and give it a minute or two to load, then hit play to continue.

UPDATE 2: I've recently (Sept. 2008) uploaded a higher resolution version of the video.

You can view the regular quality video below, or click on this Youtube Link and then immediately under the video player window you can click on the "full screen" button for an exceptional viewing experience (so says me!)