Just As I Thought

The most toys

I told myself that I would allow one splurge after I sold the house, considering that the real estate bubble has brought a windfall my way. The vast majority of the sale proceeds will be going into escrow to pay for a new home in California — or at least offset that cost — but I decided to take a very small amount to spend on something I wouldn’t ordinarily be able to afford.
At first I thought I’d get myself a nice big plasma TV; but my current tube-based HDTV still produces a far superior picture, even though it’s large and heavy.
So instead, I spent a bit less money and purchased a high definition video camera. We’ll be using it this weekend for our entry in the 48 Hour Film Project, which I’ll be entered in once again. I’ve come up with a really neat idea for this year’s film (but it’s not going to be in high definition because none of the screening equipment is in HD). I’m not going to tell you what this idea is because I don’t want to tip off any competitors. Generally speaking, our team always try to put the “challenge” into the competition. Anyone can create a boring film in 48 hours; we tend to gravitate towards ideas that are very difficult to realize in that time, like our last film which had some difficult special effects finished up at the last moment.
Suffice it to say that our new film will be incredibly challenging and memorable, which is important because we want to win that coveted audience vote! You might remember that we won the audience vote last year and then went on to win Best in Show.
Anyway.
This camera, a Sony FX1, produces a gorgeous 1080i picture that simply can’t be compared to the cheap camcorders I’m used to. Here’s a shrunk down frame from the camera, shooting the orchid on my dining table.

image

Now, click here to see the full size image.

It seems like the time is ripe for HD editing on the Mac; in the past I complained that the Mac had no built-in support for the HDV format of these cameras; now the iMovie application effortlessly downloads the HD footage and even creates a movie “magically” without any intervention from the user. Next month, an update to Final Cut Pro will bring HDV editing to that professional application. Yeah! I’ve been waiting for this to happen for years. Luckily, it’s arrival coincided with my ability to pay for it.

Wish me luck this weekend. The stress of making a movie in 48 hours is just going to add to the stress of moving in a little more than a week. Anyone got a valium?

1 comment

  • I just looked up the FX1, what a great camera!

    I shoot with a Canon GL2 and edit with Final Cut Express on a Apple G-5 (My special treats from my house sale)

    However that’s where we part company as I haven’t a clue what I’m doing. I had never used any camcorder before I bought the GL2 I had never used any video editing software and I never touched a MAC till I bought the G5. So I’m learning all three at the same time!
    I hope one day to be able to put together a “movie” of some sort but for now I just make little mpg-4 video clips for family and friends.

    Good luck on the movie! I’m sure you’ll knock’em dead and stressfull or not it’s a nice diversion from everything happening with the house. When I’m shooting, regardless of how much work I do it never feels like work. It’s always FUN.

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