Wednesday, February 21, 2018

New Media Trends Today Make For Fond Memories Tomorrow

Photographing with a Mamiya C 330

Rick Smith with Mamiya C 330

I’m in Florida this week where I just attended my 40-year high school reunion. It’s events like these that really make you realize how times have changed, especially in the technology of the media industry that I’m in.

So allow me to journey down memory lane…

In preparing for this event, I pulled out my old photo album and came across this photo of me as a young photographer at age 20. That’s a 2-1/4″ Mamiya C-330 twin lens reflex camera in my hands. For those of you who have only known 35mm and digital cameras, let me explain that with a twin lens reflex, the image you see in the viewfinder was not only flipped, but due to parallax (there are probably some of you who have shot with this type of camera and remember what I’m describing here), you couldn’t really tell exactly what would be in the final image, i.e. “did you cut off anyone’s head or feet?” Plus it used roll film and was HEAVY!

It was manual focus only and had no built in exposure meter. My boss would send me out without a light meter. The upshot was that I got pretty darn good at gauging the exposure visually, with and without flash, determining the correct shutter speed and f-stop based on the film (ASA) speed, lighting conditions and distance to the subject. After a while it became automatic to make those calculations on the run and I got pretty darned good at it.

Looking back, I’m amazed at how well my photos turned out! I also owned a Super 8 film camera with which you had to do the same. (I have no photo of me with that camera unfortunately.) And I spent way too many hours in the darkroom processing film and making prints, which I why I absolutely love Photoshop software now.

Canon t2i in Rick's hands

Rick with Canon t2i, August 2010

Today, I have one camera that shoots both huge stills and high definition, 1080p video, my Canon T2i HDSLR. Now my camera does those complex exposure calculations in a blink. Now my challenge is having to figure out how to get the type of image I want using the extensive menu controls.

Even though what I love best is that I can see my image seconds after I push the button, the added complexity is sometimes a pain and I long for the old days when I could trust my own intuition and experience with the camera.

The technology today is so beyond what we even imagined back then. We didn’t have cordless phones, much less cell phones. Heck, the push-button phone was the newfangled gadget.

Living near Cape Canaveral in the late 1960s, I saw every Apollo space launch, and it was exciting. Not only that, the technology used to do this was state-of-the-art. At the reunion, people were using their cell phone cameras and uploading their photos to the internet. Do you realize that the average cell phone has far more computing power than the computer aboard the Apollo missions that guided men to the moon, and those computers kept crashing because they couldn’t handle the data.

At the reunion I shot video with my Flip camera, uploaded it through my laptop computer through a free wi-fi connection to the reunion’s Facebook account on the internet. These devices and services weren’t even on the drawing board when my class graduated in 1970, yet we now have a generation that has never known a time without them.  It still “blows my mind” to borrow a phrase from my youth.

So what is my point with all of this reminiscing? Simply to point out that we are on a technological magic carpet ride, where the wildest dream of today becomes commonplace tomorrow. The one thing that I hope will never change is the joy of seeing old friends IN PERSON from years past, and the knot in the throat when you have to hug them goodbye.

Making Special Interest Videos

by Heidi Mueller, H Mueller Design


Making Special Interest Videos: A Great Income Opportunity

(This is a post I read on Earl Chessher’s blog E.C. Come, E.C. Go written by an associate of his. This is her take on special interest videos and I’d like to share it with you.)

Making special interest videos is another high income business opportunity based on the principle of shoot once, sell many times!

It is different from How To videos in that they do not give step by step instructions on how to do something. However they do address a specific topic that someone could be interested in. Topics could be quite varied: Butterflies of the Amazon, The History of the VW Beetle in Canada, The Role of Railways in Apartheid South Africa, The Contribution of the Holocaust to Music, etc.

How are special interest videos different?
How do special interest videos differ from How To videos? For one, they require a lot more research before you can start on the storyboard phase. In general the video shoots are more complicated, possibly with many shoots involving different locations, interviews, and exterior video shoots. This takes a lot more time than the one week I suggested for How To videos.

In many cases the topics are broader and take more time to address fully, sometimes even requiring more than one DVD.

Producing Special Interest Videos: The Financial Challenge
So rather than one month, you may need to allow several months before your DVD hits the market. If money is no object for you, this is not a problem. But for many it may be a limiting factor as we could not afford to spend several months without an income. There are two approaches to address this need for financial support while you develop the DVD.

One is to do other projects that earn you money, while you work on the special interest video on the side. This is quite feasible but frustrating and often the special interest video never gets done!

Another approach is to look for sponsorship to give you some financial support while you work on your special interest video. This is not much different from shooting a documentary but as it is a special interest video, there typically are companies, organizations and individuals who have a specific interest in your topic and would be more willing to give you financial support. You can offer these organizations and individuals exposure in return for making a contribution. And we are not talking about millions as with making feature films, but typically several thousand dollars.

Getting Sponsors
For a special interest DVD project, you would eventually create a website to promote it. If you are looking for sponsorships, you can offer sponsors exposure on your project website, on the back cover of the DVD case, and in the credits at the end of the DVD. The key is to make potential sponsors aware of your special interest DVD project. You MUST create the website even before you start the project – if you cannot afford to do a website, you are clearly not serious.

In addition to promoting your project on the website, you must explain what sponsors can expect and how they can contribute. Follow this up with posts on relevant blogs dealing with your subject, as well direct emails to interested parties, describing your project and directing them to your website.

If most of the potential sponsors are in your local area, you should consider hosting a sponsor party! It would be money well spent. At the party, you can do a presentation about the project and show some sample clips that would be included in the full DVD. Of course you will be on hand to answer any questions – and to receive the many welcome cheques!

Selling your DVDs

Be sure to offer your sponsors free copies of the final DVDs, several for the big sponsors and fewer for the smaller amount sponsors. The DVD copies cost you only a few dollars, but with the sponsors handing them out to their clients, it is valuable, free promotion for you!

Otherwise, marketing and selling Special Interest DVDs is similar to How To DVDs. But that is a topic for another blog post.

Heidi Mueller is the owner-operator of HMueller Design in New Westminster, BC. The author is also an associate of Video StoryTellers!™ an international video services and branding program, and a guest writer for E.C. Come, E.C. Go, a video marketing and production blog by Earl Chessher.

Earl is a moderator and writer for Videomaker Magazine and forums, owner and developer for Video StoryTellers!™ (click link for info on participating in VST) and owner/operator of CorElAnn Video Productions in Southern California.

Remember: If you market, you will make it! © 2010 Earl Chessher

Computer Backup Plan: A Foolproof & Affordable System

August 25, 2010 by  
Filed under All Posts, Video Production

External Hard Drive For Backup Plan

Rick’s Computer Backup Plan: Affordable Software Combined With 2 External Hard Drives

I don’t know if I’m paranoid or not, but I often wonder if my computer backup plan is adequate. That’s one of the reasons I recently bought tape based camcorders in the ago of solid state memory was so that I could store the tapes and retrieve my footage in the future. This type of access was recently brought home to me because I now need to go back to some tapes I shot over 5 years ago to produce a new video. Also tapes are very inexpensive for the amount of data they hold. Click here to continue reading

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