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Topic: How do I make video?
Message: Posted by: Tom Bartlett (Sep 18, 2008 11:16PM)
I would like to make a short video to include with the Deacon Dan Shells I make. I need to do it as inexpensively as possible and the whole thing would not be more than 10 to 15 minutes long. If anyone has any suggestions, they would be most appreciated.

P.S. If I have posted this in the wrong place, please report it and have it moved.
Message: Posted by: JamesTong (Sep 19, 2008 03:03AM)
Most digital cameras have the video features you can use. Then do the conversion to different formats with your PC. I am not good in this too but that's how I shoot mine.
Message: Posted by: EsnRedshirt (Sep 19, 2008 09:31AM)
Tom- what tools do you have available? Although a video camera with a USB adapter would be the cleanest simple solution, it's entirely possible to record video directly to your computer with a $30-$50 webcam, and use free movie editing software to make the necessary cuts. However, the quality will not be great.

Your best solution may be to find a friend with a video camera, and have them tape and edit it for you.

If your question is about distribution, on the other hand, you can buy a CD or DVD read/write drive, and a load of cheap blank discs and a bunch of empty plastic cases, then use labeling software on a standard printer. Check the drive you buy- many come with software that will let you add DVD features like menus and chapters.

Message: Posted by: ClintonMagus (Sep 19, 2008 10:28AM)
I'm not a video expert, but I have used Windows Movie Maker (I think that's what it's called) to put together some DVDs of my daughter's gymnastics routines, and it is very simple to use. I'm not sure if the software can produce a "production-quality" DVD, though.

One suggestion I would make is that you use a lapel mike or some mike other than the mike on the camcorder for the voice over.
Message: Posted by: Father Photius (Sep 19, 2008 10:32AM)
If you scout around you probably can find a camera store or the like that will rent you a good quality digital video camera. You need good lighting, and preferably someone to operate the camera for you. They need to understand what they are supposed to be capturing on the video.
Once you have your raw digital video, you can load it to your hard drive or a DVD disk, then you can use editing software to get your final product put together. You can find video editing software varying from fairly inexpensive shareware (try tucows.com) to very expensive high end software. If you have a friend who already has experience with video editing it will prove well worth working out something with them to do the editing for you, it takes a bit to master video editing software.
Once you have your final edited video, you save it to a permanent medium like DVD so you don't loose the master. From your Hard drive , with the video editing software you can reproduce it into other mediums, such as youtube, DVD, video CD, etc.
Message: Posted by: Paul Prater (Sep 19, 2008 10:52AM)
If you are looking to buy (or borrow) a video camera, be careful which one you buy or borrow, if you plan on editing on your computer. Look on the internet and make sure the particular model records in a format that can be edited and viewed on your computer. We bought a very nice Sony video camera(I don't remember the model number off hand). The problem is that it stores the video in a format that is not compatable with computers. So, having this nice camera is great if we want to record and watch on the TV, but worthless for the computer. To say I was frustrated when I discovered this is an understatement.

I have done plenty of recording with our digital camera and the quality is decent, though not great. Personally, I wouldn't use it for anything I planned to distribute, unless it is just kind of a "bonus." I have also used Windows Movie Maker to edit the video. It has some decent features and will allow you to add titles, end credits, dissolves, fades, add music, etc... This is how I do my YouTube videos.
Message: Posted by: Tom Bartlett (Sep 19, 2008 05:00PM)
Thanks for all the info and asking question, so I know what information to provide.

What I have available is a JVC COMPACT VHS CAMCORDER MODEL GR-AXM17U with Digital Signal Processing.

What I want is a video of my shell game routine or at least the movies I have came up with and the explanation then load the video to my computer and burn a DVD. I intend to give it to those that buy the Deacon Dan shells that I make. Hopefully that way it wonít end up on you tube.
Message: Posted by: rhiro (Sep 20, 2008 12:55AM)
Hi Tom,

I wouldn't use a VHS camcorder. Buy or borrow a digital camcorder. The quality is worth it, and transfer to a computer is easy with no losses. I either capture video footage directly to my computer through its Firewire port, or capture the footage to my DVD recorder, also via Firewire. In the latter case, I can rename the .vob files to mpg and play with the footage on my computer. Once you get your video footage onto your computer, you can burn high quality footage to DVD, render lower resolution for You Tube, emailing, putting on your PDA or phone, etc.

Good lighting is really key. This is harder than it may seem if you don't know what you're doing. I didn't and had to do a LOT of experimenting before I started to get decent results. Hiring someone who knows what they're doing would probably save you a lot of time. I'd hire at least a good lighting guy, if possible.

If you must do it yourself, put your camcorder on a tripod, connect the camcorder to your TV, and position the TV in a location where you can see it from your performance table. Experiment with the lighting and camera angles with a friend until you like what you see. I once shot footage for a magician performing card sleights, and that's what we did. It worked out really well, and the magician was very pleased with the resulting DVD. It wasn't L&L quality, but it wasn't shabby, either. I've seen far worse commercial offerings.

Digital video editing on a computer can have a steep learning curve, depending on what software you use. Windows Movie Maker works but is pretty bare bones. I've tried several inexpensive ones and was able to get great results with some low to mid end software (under $100), but only after lots of trial and error to navigate the bugs and quirks.

DVD...I intend to give it to those that buy the Deacon Dan shells that I make. Hopefully that way it wonít end up on you tube.

Sadly, many videos on You Tube are clearly ripped from DVDs... :-(

Good luck,

Ross Hironaka
Message: Posted by: Spellbinder (Sep 23, 2008 07:04AM)
Fred Goode, of Digital Production Studios can do the post editing and conversions for you if you want help: dpstudios.biz If you live in or near New Jersey, he can do it all.

The solution to the YouTube rips-offs is to combine the video instruction with a printed instruction (either paper print or e-Book). That way, one is not much use without the other. You need the text to explain, but the video shows what is difficult to explain and understand in words. In the video, you keep referring to chapter and page of the text, and in the text you refer to the chapter of the DVD.
Message: Posted by: Leland Stone (Sep 23, 2008 09:25AM)
Related question, Magi:

The little pocket video cameras are intriguing, a bill and a half or less, and completely digital. Kodak, RCA, and a coupla off brands are available, and look like they'd be fun for capturing bike rides, stupid pet tricks, whatever.

Anybody familiar with a particular brand? Worth the money, or useless junk?
Message: Posted by: mikenewman (Oct 2, 2008 09:17AM)
I have been doing video production for over 15 years. I am actually at my "freelance" job right now at a TV news station.. (paying me to respond to you!). I love this job!

Great advice from others above. Never use VHS! I recently went to the National Museum in D.C, and saw it (as well as commondore 64) there!

You can actually rent "Broadcast" quality video cameras. They're not cheap by any means.

BUT, digital video cameras are coming down in price big time. DON'T buy one just for it being HD.

Are you trying to produce a high quality DVD for sale?
If you just want a basic instructional video, than yes, Windows Movie Maker is great. However, if you're looking for high end effects/graphics/text, then NO.

On the professional side, the two top NLE (Non-Linear Editing) software used are: Avid (numerous products)and Final Cut Pro. These are VERY expensive though.

I have actually thought about doing DVD's for magicians... hmmmm.

Message: Posted by: mikenewman (Oct 2, 2008 09:21AM)

Was curious what Sony video Camera you were referring to as far as not working on your computer?

There is always a way.... Maybe I can assist?

Message: Posted by: Tom Bartlett (Oct 3, 2008 12:35AM)
Thanks again for all the information and the time you all have taken to respond to my question.

The DVD would not be for sale. Only people that order my Deacon Dan Shell from me would receive the DVD. That is the best way to keep it off you-tube.

The problem is I did not want to increase the price of the shells (although for the time invested the price is still too low) I just want to share what I have learned and developed wile using these shells with the people that think enough of them to buy them.

We have an IBM club member here in Tulsa that has turned out some amazingly professionally produced DVDs, completely indexed and all. Much better than any L&L DVD Iíve ever seen. Saying his prices are reasonable, would be an understatement. So if I could go that route he would be the one.

I will just have to come up with a low cost method of sharing this information, one that will involve just my time, and only a very small layout of cash.
Message: Posted by: John Star (Oct 4, 2008 05:34PM)
If you have the pinnacle you can creat everything.

Message: Posted by: Review King (Oct 5, 2008 06:21AM)
Flip Video Ultra Series Camcorder? How are they?
Message: Posted by: Mick Hanzlik (Oct 5, 2008 11:10AM)
Have you got a local video/film making club nearby? Why not check this out first at your local library. They could do your video as a club project, and you'll get your DVD as a finished product, which you can then copy.

I know here in the UK there are lots of movie clubs, but not sure if this happens where you are.

Also, why not try local schools or colleges?

They might look upon this as a different sort of project, and would maybe welcome doing it.

Hope this helps
Message: Posted by: mikenewman (Oct 12, 2008 03:59AM)
Flip Video recorder; that's a first for me. Looks great for posting to personal family blog websites, YouTube etc. I would not use it for any DVD release by any means. First thing that jumps out is that the focus is what they call "Fixed Focus". This is NOT good if you plan to show any close up shots. And you can't mount it to a tripod; although I you can (as I often do) use what the industry calls a godpod, meaning anything to get your camera steady (car hood, ground, books etc.)

It doesn't have an external Mic input, which is a must for a demo/explanation video.
It is basicaly a web cam/cam phone in your hand. Again, it would be great for personal web type video.

And of course if you capture anything REALLY newsworthy, you could sell it to a TV station regardless of quality...