(mistakenly) thought that Wendy's class was the first to use digital video (DV)
but they're actually the third to do so. One issue that has come up recently
(this week) is that of students posting their films on the Net. Since DV
can (easily) be encoded to a compact size (few megabytes), which makes it
easy for broadband users (Cable, DSL) to download & view on their PCs, it's not
difficult to post a 5-minute movie on the Net.
played around with various video encoders. The smaller we make the file,
the easier it is to download, but the poorer the quality. Biggest
files offer best quality, but at the expense of modem-choking sizes that
(can) take forever to download. Files small enough for dial-up users
(small pipe) to stream, look & sound horrible. programs. Windows media player got
into the game late, but is making up ground fast. We like RealPlayer best. It seems to be the closest thing there is to a standard. Quicktime is the
standard for Macs. But both RealPlayer & Quicktime operate on either
RealPlayer & Quicktime are the two big video encoding
programs. Windows media player got into the game late, but is making up ground fast. We like RealPlayer best. It seems to be the closest thing there is to a standard. Quicktime is the standard for Macs. But both RealPlayer & Quicktime operate on either platform.
We've already been encoding several of Wendy's (home) movies to RealVideo, & posted them on our FTP server (home PC). Many of our broadband friends have already downloaded & viewed.
USC owns the rights to
student films because they supply the equipment that students use to make the
films. But Wendy has all her own equipment & doesn't need to use USC's
equipment. So, technically, she owns thwe copyright to her movies. Some of her movies use soundtracks with
parts of copyrighted
music (Seal, Sting, the Beatles, etc.). This is a gray area, cuz students
aren't looking to make money from their movies. They merely want exposure.
Wendy says many of the films in her class are excellent, & would be enjoyed by the public. She also thinks some of the local coffee houses might benefit from having one night a week of 'student films' - playing on a large screen - in lieu of a musician or more traditional forms of entertainment. But since USC owns the rights to most student films, they are legally responsible, & figuring out how to best deal with this new situation, created by digital video & the internet.
loves the people in her class. Says they're becoming a
little family, & you know how much Wendy enjoys family. They have lunch together
& things like that.
that USC *does* have some Windows-based PCs after all (in addition to
Mac's), but these are reserved for 'advanced' students, to use Adobe After
Effects, a program for creating special effects. We've got AfterFX recently, but
haven't had a chance to explore it much. After Effects is a
'compositing' prgm. Most agree it's best at what it does.
Wendy's main advantage is that she's already familiar with the editing prgm used USC: Adobe Premiere. She's been editing at home with Premiere for ~ a year now. It's not the easiest program to master. Editing at home gives her the ability to spend whatever time necessary on her projects, & not have to stop & go home when the editing room (the 'bullpen') closes for the evening (10PM).
She's also become proficient at using an audio/sound-editing prgm named Vegas Pro (by Sonic Foundry). The audio-editing portion of Adobe Premiere sux. She exports the audio component out of Premiere, builds & edits it separately in Vegas, then imports back it into Premiere. Better controls & capabilities than Premiere's audio-editing.
said many people (at USC) were having problems with the batch capture function
(getting video files from camera to hard drive). I found this comforting, knowing
that I'm not the only
one who has had problems with editing video on a computer. Been frustrating at times, cuz the technology is
new, & video files, which are huge compared to most other computer files, can be
difficult for a computer to handle. Once the quirks have been worked out,
editing video is a beautiful thing. But until then, it cab be quite painful.
She has most of her classes in a new Zemeckis bldg. It's still under construction (off campus on Figueroa). Neither the floors of walls are finished. Men walking around with construction hardhats.
loves her classes - comes home all fired up,
telling me the new stuff she's learning - talking a mile a minute, can hardly keep up with her.
She especially likes showing & watching films. 'That's the juice!' she says.
She also loves her class
on Acting & Directing Actors, & the Sound class.
The 10 units she
now carries are twice the work of the 16 units she carried
as an undergrad. Sometimes she feels intimidated by her classmates, who she
refers to as 'mental wizards'.
went to the class party last weekend. I had the chest crud that's going around
& couldn't go. Apparently word had gotten out that she was gonna attempt a
scene from Dante. She got lots of encouragement & ideas - had a great
time. Getting to know her classmates better.
shot the Dante piece last weekend & was pleased with the results. Jonathan
played Dante. He's a gifted high-school actor (Laguna Beach) who already
has an agent. She calls him 'one-take Jonathan', cuz
she tells him what she wants, and, boom, he's there, first take. She'll upload the
footage to the PC tomorrow & edit this weekend.
been impressed with the quality of many of the (student) films in her production
class. And these are only their first films .. 3 mins, no audio. Some have
been more like experiments, learning the camera, but most have been surprisingly clever
and technically well done. She learned many camera tricks from watching other
The better films seem to get more response/criticism. There's only so much you can say about a poor film. Most of her classmates have experience with a camera.
stayed in LA Monday night, at the Beverly Hills Marriott. She has a late
class Monday night (out at 10:30) & an early one Tuesday morning (9AM). This kicked her butt
the last couple of weeks. Last year, as an undergrad, she stayed at the Dog's place
(in Hollywood) one night per week. But the Dog has since moved to San Jose. She gets an employee discount
Marriott, cuz Marriott bought out the Ritz & she works at the Ritz
it was the first time she was actually awake for the Tuesday morning class.
Otherwise she gets home after midnight, & has to get up at 5:30 - not
was surprised to see that some of her classmates didn't make a morning class when
it rained this week. Prof said, "I see who the real filmmakers
are. If you can't make a 9AM class, you'll never make a 6AM shoot." Wendy
never misses class. Even when
her brother died, she was in class the next morning.
Next -> Week 4
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