What a week…. (WEVA Wedding Event Videographer’s Association) was my first foray into the world in which I lived prior to my skydiving incident that left me with a shattered pelvis, ACL/MCL destruction, and a few inner body parts leaking into the pelvic cavity. It’s been four months since I’ve been vertical. WEVA got me off my butt, yet I hit the ground running when it came time to go to NAB Post in NYC.
Saturday brought snow and could it ever be earlier? It’s rare to see snow before Hallowe’en. I hope the ski resorts are happy, because I’ve still got to mow the lawn and drain my sprinker system. And finish getting my mobile home ready for the winter, and put away the bike and….it’s a long list of things ta-do. Everyone has one, right?
With frost on my windshield early in the morning, I set out for SLC International to fly to NYC for the NAB Post Production Conference being held at the Doubletree hotel. The frost was so bad that my windshield wipers stuck to the windshield and the wiper arms didn’t, ripped from their sockets like arms torn from a skeleton. Not exactly an auspicious beginning indeed.
I was at the least, over joyed to find wifi on my flight. Had the airlines been a little more intelligent a few years ago, I’d GRATEFULLY paid an additional 25.00-50.00 per flight for wifi. Instead, airlines chose to be stupid by penalizing travelers with 5.00, 10.00, 15.00 luggage fees (speaking of which, have you heard the latest outrage? Charging 10.00 more for flights on the “busiest days of the year.” Ummm…can you imagine Walmart charging an entry fee during Black Friday? Where do these people get their marketing education?).
Gawd, I love NYC at night. Tailwinds got me into JFK nearly two hours early, leaving me some time to explore my favorite-visit city. I walked from my hotel between 4th and 45th street all the way up to 8th and 60th. I found a delightful fondue place and I’m not a big fan of fondue. There was something decadent about putting beef into cheese. Cheeseburger on a stick?
‘Tis always fun to be part of an All-Star lineup with people like Jeff Greenberg, Rich Harrington, Yosse Tessone, and others. I had four sessions to teach, and was a little concerned about how my body was going to manage a full day of instruction. My mind was up for it, but the whole “mind over matter” thing just isn’t always reality. Between my back and the braces on my legs, plus the one-mile walk to the venue, it was touch n’ go at best.
“The Director’s Eye” led the day, a 90 minute class on how to compose shots, shot sequencing, and looking for the angle that best tells your story. “Chromakey Techniques” was the second session of the day, and it’s always a learning experience to hear the problems and challenges facing shooters in the field, and being able to help fix their problems based on a life-time of screwups and experience. In this session, not only do we put up a key, but also spend a lot of time working in post. This session was fun because I had a bunch of great Artbeats footage to put underneath my keys, putting people in ocean waves, churches, and against my favorite Artbeats library, “Code Rage.”
By lunch I was beat. Brain in motion; body not. Thank heaven for the hotdog vendor in Times Square that had a can of GoFast (that cost more at the stand than two cans at 7-ll). About that same time, Dan Berube and Keith Larsen showed up and their presence was an infusion of enthusiasm. Keith’s smile always makes one want to do their best. He’s just that kind of guy.
My favorite subject lately, “AVCHD and HD Production Workflows” started the second half of the day, and it always amazes me how many folks have been duped by HD mythology. For example, I had one student stutter for quite a while about why AVCCAM is superior to AVCHD. Marketing hype….AVCCAM is just Panasonic’s branding for AVCHD, just as they re-branded DV and called it DVCPro, initially the same 8 bit, 25Mbps video stream as every other camcorder manufacturer shot and stored.Additionally surprising in this session was the number of people considering using Canon 5 D and 7D still cameras for production. Personally, I’m interested in using the 7D for a small production, simply to see how she flies. With true 29.97 frame rates, it should be a solid production tool.
Ending the day with “Video for the Web,” it was a ball calling up various VASST and skydiving videos at fullscreen, showing folks how great web video can look delivered in Flash and MP4. The days of convergence are truly upon us. We predicted it nearly 15 years ago, and it has started to hit so fast that broadcasters don’t know how to manage it, methinks. I haven’t turned a TV on in nearly a week; hulu.com, youtube.com, and other sites hold for much more interest and channel surfing can easily become an endless vacuum much like Carroll’s rabbit hole.
And now it’s time to leave. Leaving New York City is like leaving a beautiful mistress; you don’t want to go, but know you can’t stay. It’s just simply not “home.” With the wistfulness of a teen leaving his first date on the porch…I wave goodbye to the bright lights of New York and head for the city that never sleeps.
Las Vegas, here I come.