A few years back I used to host an annual DV Day at my house. Computers everywhere…cameras, mikes, lights. It was an open-ended opportunity for like-minded folks to bring their goodies and share. Nothing formal…just ask questions and answer them. Try someone’s computer out with all their goodies, have a shootout with cameras, learn lighting tricks or just kick back and observe.
Had another one today…shorter and with only a few folks, but once again exciting and fun. Several of my old compatriots came (with requisite edible goodies). First we played show and tell – had cameras ranging from my little cheapie ZR60 to a high-end Hi-Defer worth thousands. Shot off about ten seconds of tape on each of five cameras and then popped it into my desktop w/Final Cut Express. And then the fun began. Seven people all with questions (me too) going back and forth. None of us had tried the “Replace” or “Fit to Fill” options, so we gave it a try and found out the difference (sorry if you know already…this was a “duh” moment for all of us). Replace drops the new video in and Fit to Fill takes your defined clip with in and out points and slows it down or speeds it up to fit the hole.
I learned some nifty little tricks from them (setting autosave time) and they learned some basics of media management from me (keep complex projects in files in your window). Try it – invite some video friends over and have them bring cameras/computers (whatever). Just sit and talk. Even the most experienced can learn from the least experienced if they listen. Plus, it’s a ton of fun.
We’ve decided to make this a traveling show…next one in Elk Grove (about thirty minutes north of me) sometime this summer. Then we might head for the foothills – who knows. You’re never too old to learn something new. (And thanks to buddy Larry Nance, I will be downloading Avid Free DV in PC and Mac formats along with the tutorials…which I will hand out on CDs to my students so they can have fun at home with video. If I give them .avi clips on a CD along with the program, even a Firewire free computer can but used for editing if it’s up to speed otherwise.)