More on workflow…

In the last post I did an overview of workflow…in some areas too detailed and in other areas not enough detail.

Workflow is critical to VJs in both print, broadcast, and online media because it defines how quickly they can post their stories.

An idea workflow would be shoot, capture, edit, post. However with the many cameras and formats available today and the quirkiness between formats and editing programs, it can become complicated.

JVC has a fairly new three chip memory camera which shoots in native Quicktime and imports right into the newest version of Final Cut Pro. But not into Final Cut Express.

My Canon HV20 slides right into my MacBook with Final Cut Express but freezes up when I try to send video to the school computers with iMovie 6.

It should be obvious that before you purchase a computer, camera, or editing program you have some research to do.

Tape, generally, is a no-brainer. The issue with tape is the real time capture…and the occasional problem when you import high-def. I’ve watched my laptop struggle with incoming high-def form the HV20…lagging minutes behind. I’ll watch the laptop and the LCD on the camera, and the laptop will be as much as five to eight minutes behind in processing the incoming video.

Standard def comes in with no problems.

AVCHD, a format supported by Sony and Panasonic, is used by both hard drive and memory card cameras. According to Wikipedia, transfer time from camera to computer can be as little as eight minutes for an hour of video. Wowser – a real time saver.

But you if have Final Cut, you have additional hurdles to jump. Your video has to be reformated to work with your editing program, which can add significantly to your capture time. (Note: apparently with the newest version of FCP and the newest MacBook Pro this is minimized – IF you use the right type of camera.)

I’d like to hear comments from those of you using memory and hard drive camcorders and how you handle your workflow. I’m going to make the leap later this year…considering selling my JVC GY-DV300u and getting a memory card camera (thinking of sticking with the JVC). Tell me your disasters and your triumphs.

6 thoughts on “More on workflow…

  1. Hey Ms. Cindy, You and I are on the same cosmic plane tonight with HD Technology issues. I just posted a bit on my facebook page about my galaxy size vertical learning curve regarding HD P2 knowhow. Here’s my bit from my facebook page…
    “I’ve spent the last 5 days immersed in, what I call “sink or swim,” P2 technology. Thursday around noon (after driving 6 hours): 30 minutes to learn the camera. Then two days of non-stop shooting. Saturday night: How to get it into FCP– somewhat successful. Today: How to coordinate edit settings with the folks you are working for and how to send projects via internet. And I absolutely LOVE IT.”
    Bottom line is that I am doing Post Production 400 miles away from my client… I came home with a tiny hard drive of video I shot and we send Track and scripts and the final product via the internet. It’s amazing.

  2. Newell
    You are a prime example of the virtual worker. You work where you can with what you have and you make it work. The workplace has expanded and now includes the world.

  3. Hello Cindy,

    one part of the workflow I miss. Decision!

    When do I have to make the decision. If the technique makes everything fast, easy and you have enough place, it doesn’t mean, that you are faster, than the old tv-workers.

    I think, so earlier you make your decisions, what you really need, so faster you are. In times, when the editors have really to cut the film, they really have no possiblity to play. How fast we young VJs could be, if we work with the new techniques with the old workflow.

  4. Decisions are based on experience – which may take time. That’s why I posted an oversimplified formula for shooting.
    Check out https://cyndygreen.wordpress.com/2009/03/18/part-two-a-theory-of-storytelling/ parts one and two (two will link back to one).
    The way to learn is to work with folks with more experience – as you work with them, you learn. This is the basis for the apprenticeship/intern system.
    Unfortunately there is no real formula for creating a story…there are many and each situation requires you to look at all possibilities as you approach the story, while you shoot the story, and while you write and edit it.
    Your decisions should be based on your perception of what the strong elements are in your (potential) story. The reality is that elements change as you approach a story and begin to shoot, so you always have to be ready to shift with the information.
    Hope this helps.

  5. As I look at my response above, I realize I may have made it too complex.
    First – find a story that does not change.
    A parade.
    It is visually driven … and also driven by the sounds/the audio.
    Shoot the parade, focusing on the sounds and visuals.
    Simple.

    Now move up to something more complex.
    A story about a protest.
    If there is a demonstration, it is event or news driven.
    Cover the event…making sure you track down and interview the opposite side.

    Maybe it is best to over-simplify in the beginning and move on to complex stories as you gain experience and oerspective.

  6. Tossing this out there. — posted originally from my facebook page in regards to wanting high end gear, especially lens, so I’m competitive.
    I miss having expensive pro stuff. Prosumer gear is time consuming. For example, my new Canon XHA1s HD camera is not behaving… can’t get it to load into FCP 5… taking the long road and converting through imovie HD… I’ve tried several different firewire settings on the preferences… just not getting it right. I’m using HD 16×9 1080 30f setting on camera because my video is mostly for internet. Also use HD 16×9 1080i60 for broadcast. The manual is worthless. Not finding a solution on message boards either. I may have something in the camera menu set wrong — although it exports to imovie HD just fine.

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