Advice for Shooting/Editing A Retirement Video

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by mikeyPotg, Feb 28, 2008.

  1. mikeyPotg macrumors 6502

    Mar 20, 2006
    Hey guys,

    So being the "TV teacher" at this high school, I'm in charge of shooting/editing a retirement video for the superintendant. It's a pretty big deal because I'll be going to every school in the district (8 schools in the largest city in NJ, land wise) over 3 days. I'm going to wait until I see what type of footage/responses I get from the schools before I plan out how it'll end up. I assume it'll be basic, quick clips of people saying things with some sort of transitions (pictures/quotes/music) in between here and there.

    I just bought a Canon HV20 which I love and I've used it a few times already on my Mac with FCP at home. I have the option to use my "some what glitchy" equipment at school and edit there as well using PC's and Adobe Premiere Pro 2.0. I'd rather use my own camera and put the hours on it, but I was worried about the downconversion from HD to SD since I dont have a bluray burner yet. Is it hard, or is it just a matter of dropping the entire edited clip (likely over 10 gigs) into iMovie and it'll convert it to fit on a DVD? Hows the overall quality? Should I just switch my cam to record in SD mode?

    I trust my HV20 more than the school cameras because the wear & tear from the students just wears down the play heads quickly & we've run into plenty a dirty tape/playhead after recording - regardless of how often I run a tape head cleaner through them.

    Also, I'll have to edit it at home, but I figure it'll give me a reason to not have to stay at school and edit there and take time away from students. On the flip side, if I edit at school, I would be able to work on it during my spare time at there instead of doing it at home. To an extent I still feel more comfortable with Adobe, but I don't know how my HV20 will work with it.

    So what do you think? Should I use my HV20 & edit at home? Any advice before I go around and record at the schools?

    Sorry for the long winded post! Any advice is more than welcome!
  2. seany916 macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2006
    Southern California

    I certainly hope you didn't volunteer for this assignment. If it got dumped on you and you feel you're in over your head, then pass it off. If you're stuck, then just soldier on...

    Shoot with YOUR equipment and clean your heads BEFORE you begin shooting. Don't risk dropouts with iffy equipment.

    HV20 is a WONDERFUL camera. BUT... it requires quite a bit of ambient light to capture "good looking" footage.

    Have a LONG list of questions and have each person answer ALL the questions to give you more footage to edit from.

    If you decide to go forward with your HV20, then change the settings from HDV to DV (or SD). Standard definition will be MUCH easier for your computer to work with and encoding/compression will happen in a MUCH shorter amount of time. 16:9 NOT 4:3!!!

    Bring some sort of lighting with you. Given that you're in a school environment, expect to do some color correcting. Shoot with the equipment you know best. Use a tripod whenever you can. Work really hard NOT to do moving shots. If possible get a decent mic to connect to the HV20. The onboard mic is pretty good for an onboard mic, but I never use onboard mics. In a quiet room, the onboard mic will be fine, but it'll pick up ANY other sound as well as your subject.

    Given that this is the super's retirement video, I hope you're tenured.

    One last bit of advice:
    Start shooting early and DO NOT tell anyone you're done shooting. As soon as you're "done shooting", everyone will expect to the DVD within a week. Spread your last 25% of interviews out, but finish 75% of your interviews early and begin building your foundation for the video with that 75%. Start early, as everything will take 5x longer than you think. Get to work designing a DVD cover as well (and get that printed).

    You've got your work cut out for you...
  3. mikeyPotg thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 20, 2006
    Thanks for all the great advice! Yes, it was dumped on me, but I'm really the only person in the district that can handle it. I'm not too nervous since I know they don't expect much. I did a retirement video for a vice principal the other month that my students shot (not the best footage) and they were amazed by it.

    I won't be bringing around a light kit unfortunately, but I'll certainly have a tripod, mic, many tapes, and headphones. I'll definitely take your advice and shoot in SD mode. I was just nervous since I haven't done that with my HV20 yet, but I'm sure it'll work well and it'll save me a TON of room on my computer.

    Thankfully the Director of Education sent out an email to all the Principals to inform them that my time is limited and they should do their best to be short and creative.

    I'm not tenured yet. Its only my 2nd year in the district, but so far they really love me and my supervisors says I have nothing to worry about. We'll see! haha. But the support I've gotten from the administration & superintendent has really been awesome, especially compared to another school district where I used to teach - so I want to make it really good for him.

    Thanks again!

  4. Galapp macrumors regular

    Jan 27, 2008
    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    look, first of all, you should film with your equipment... why? because it is always good to use equipment that you trust rather than other peoples equipment... if you know and used your equipment before, it is better for you to shoot it with your camera... I hope that you know that it is gonna be a serious nightmare... anyways, you should really use your equipment... trust me, last time I used schools equipment / friends equipments, I paid the price... (take was bugged, the camera randomly turned off, and than the HD just randomly erased itself, etc)
  5. mikeyPotg thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 20, 2006
    Thanks for all the advice. One last thing. I'm thinking of shooting it all in SD mode since I'm exporting it to a DVD anyway and I'd rather not take up all the room with HD footage.

    Just so I'm sure of how it works before I start shooting it all, please let me know if theres something I'm missing.

    I'll just put the HV20 in SD (widescreen) mode.
    I'll be editing with FCP 6, but lately I've been editing 24p with the HDV 1060i easy setup.
    Do I just set FCP easy setup to:
    Format: NTSC
    Use: Cinema Tools - DV NTSC NDF

    Or is it supposed to be a different setting for standard widescreen Mini DV footage? Or do you think it would be wiser to shoot in HD mode and down convert?
  6. Lunja macrumors 6502


    May 15, 2005
    Lincoln UK
    Hi - I apologise if you already know this, but it may be of use to anyone else in a similar situation-

    I always find that having a decent shooting plan will help your final product. If you can at least visualise the style and form that your piece will take, then you're onto something good. Try to decide what mix of GV's and IV's you will use, the kinds of shots you will use for IV's (ie. close ups+ static, wider with slight zooming/panning, crash zooms etc)

    With this shooting plan written down, you'll be able to hopefully number your shots and log them while you're shooting. For instance, you may want to open your video with an interview with the retiring person, so when you get this shot, note your timecodes in and out on a piece of paper, along with a quick description of the shot, and its number, ie "00:01:00:00 - 00:02:30:00 - CU IV Mr Smith - Shot 1" (Or better still, get a runner to do this for you- they can then help carry equipment, hold mics etc). Having this list will really help to speed things up when you go to digitise your footage, whilst also making your rough assembly quick and easy.

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