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Producing video for conventions

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David PerryProducing video for conventions
by on May 11, 2008 at 11:54:52 am

Hi,

I don't know which forum to post this on but I thought I would start here

I am shooting a convention which requires 4 cameras in four different rooms recording for 6 hours a day and producing DVD's for sale at the end of the day. On one day each 7 minute performance needs to have it's own file for burning later to individual DVD's.

The solution I have come up with is to send back the signal to 4 Sony DV Direct DVD recorders and burn the 10 files from each DVD to a hard drive using DVD copy on NERO. I will stop the recorders and restart to make individual files. Then, I can burn the DVD's with individual files later.

Question: Is there a software program for PC that will help make the organization easier. Is there a better way to do this type of work? I want to make delivery as fast as possible so that is why the Mpeg2 recorders so I don't have to encode each file.

Has anyone done this before and can shed some light on the inherent problems in dealing with conventions.

Thanks,

David Perry

David Perry
Carmen Productions


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Bill DavisRe: Producing video for conventions
by on May 12, 2008 at 3:52:41 am

Having done quite a bit of this kind of work, I think you're gonna have problems.

In an ideal world, each speaker takes their place. Starts speaking. Concludes on time. And that's that.

In the REAL world, each speaker takes their place. You hit RECORD. They realize they don't have their notes. The leave the podium to grab them. They start speaking a minute and 35 seconds after you started your RECORD leaving a LONG space of dead content to deal with. At 2 minutes into their presentation, one of the attendees stands up unexpectedly and asks a long-winded question that isn't miced and therefore isn't recorded. The presenter DOES NOT repeat the question, but goes directly into a long answer. Then gets back on track. They end 4 minutes PAST their alotted time with the the deadly phrase "any questions?" whereupon there's ANOTHER 5 minutes of audience/presenter discussion content making the 7 minute presentation more like 15 minutes.

THAT's what you start out with before you go to burn to your DVD.

The ONLY way I've ever found to do convention DVD work is to record each raw speakers presentation from BEFORE the start to AFTER the last question directly to the Hard Drive of a LAPTOP with editing software in place. Trim the footage. Edit any major messes (like the unheard audience question at 2:00) Slap a pre-built title on it. Fade to black at the end. The Author, Encode and Burn a DVD master from that timeline edit.

Anything more "automatic" simply doesn't give you the control to fix that stuff that will UNDOUBTEDLY happen in the real world of live presentations.

YMMV.

Good luck.






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David PerryRe: Producing video for conventions
by on May 12, 2008 at 12:56:18 pm

Thanks for the heads up. I know it could not be as easy as I anticipated.

David Perry
Carmen Productions


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Mark SuszkoRe: Producing video for conventions
by on May 12, 2008 at 5:48:05 pm

Well you CAN make it that simple, he's just saying you trade off quality if you don't budget time for clean-up editing because nothing runs clean at most of these kinds of events. Your situation however may just not allow it, so you may have to put up with dead times on the disks. If it was me, what I'd do is have the cameraman use a remote on the recorder and pause the recording when that junk happens. They could also use the start/top and/or chapter commands to break their sessions up for you, on the fly, in advance. That could help shorten up the dead times.

Six hours on a DVD... well, we use Panasonic brand stand-alone DVD recorders here and I tried them in 4-hour mode and was not at all impressed by the quality. Most I would record on one is in 2-hour mode. Then you can use a dubbing tower to churn out mass copies while you wait. We have a 10-drive tower here that I've clocked at 6 minutes per run doing ten 2-hour DVD's at a time. Pre-print the blank disks and you are good to go.



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Mark SuszkoRe: Producing video for conventions
by on May 12, 2008 at 5:52:38 pm

I think for the 7-minute quick-turn bits, individual DVD recorings will get you tied up with excessive times spent loading, spinning-up, and finalizing afterwards. Maybe what I'd explore for those is to record those right to a hard drive, perhaps right to a laptop, then do a quickie authoring/export/burn to make individual 7-minute masters.

But what you're covering in these sessions isn't all that clear, nor is how the final product(s) are to look and how fast they have to be ready. Do they need to be handed out to people before they leave for the day? Or can you do them overnight?


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David PerryRe: Producing video for conventions
by on May 12, 2008 at 8:57:46 pm

Thank you Mark for taking the time to respond to my post.

This is what my situation and set up will be. But since it is my first convention I was hoping to get some feedback to what I am attempting.

I am recording 200 High School singers one at a time for a competition. Between each student I will press stop and then record again to make separate files. If there is a long interlude I can press "pause" and keep the file going. I will be doing this simultaniously for each room.

The first day I will have four cameras using S-VHS out or component analog 480i out to 4 Sony DV Direct DVD recorders which will be in one place that I can control them. I usually go component analog into the Gefen Component extenders up to 300 feet to get a superb picture. Three of my cameras are on remote pan tilt but I may just leave them on one position.

Later I have master classes in each room which will have a longer time for each student at a professional level. THe reason I am recording to DVD and not to Hard Drives is the time it takes to encode mpeg2 files. Drives me NUTS!. So recording directly to Mpeg2 I eliminate a lengthy process. Also, After each DVD fills up I will put in a new one for each player and dump what I have recorded to a hard drive for burning later.

The final two days are concerts which I will do a multi camera live switch through a Panasonic HD Switcher directly to Final Cut through the AJA IO HD Also I will downconvert to SD on the DVD recorder to duplicate the concert on site for the participants and audience sales.

My audio mics (stereo for each room) will go into a Ramsa DA-7 and 4 stereo pairs to the separate recorders so I can control the mic levels. Also, If there is any delay in the video I can delay the audio to match.

I think this should work ok. What I don't know is if there is an adapter to take my SD Component signal down to SVHS input for the DVD recorders. That is all I need not to complete the system.



David Perry
Carmen Productions


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Mark SuszkoRe: Producing video for conventions
by on May 12, 2008 at 9:15:59 pm

You are not doing this all by yourself, are you? What kind of staffing will you have?


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David PerryRe: Producing video for conventions
by on May 13, 2008 at 11:08:40 am

I have one helper with sales but I need to pick up someone to help run cables and troubleshoot in case a camera goes down in NYC. The only thing is I hate taping cables. But I have often done concerts by myself without sales. Each camera just takes two Cat-5 cables run back to a switcher. I usually just run a stereo pair of mikes or there is an audio engineer that gives me a stereo mix.

I have a truck that has everything in it for concerts. I just run the cables back to it and all my gear is there. I can switch 5 cameras. Three on remote and two operators, one with a jib.

David Perry
Carmen Productions


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Mark SuszkoRe: Producing video for conventions
by on May 13, 2008 at 1:52:46 pm

I think you need to delegate more:-)


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David PerryRe: Producing video for conventions
by on May 14, 2008 at 2:02:46 am

Probably, I'll let you know how it goes at the end of the month.

David Perry
Carmen Productions


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Mick HaenslerRe: Producing video for conventions
by on May 14, 2008 at 1:34:26 pm

And don't forget to send us some fingerpaintings and dustcloths from your "activity therapy" at the loony bin after you try and do all that with one helper. Your sir, have some very large kahunas for such an attempt. I commend your "hoof spa"!!!

Mick Haensler
Higher Ground Media



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Mark SuszkoRe: Producing video for conventions
by on May 14, 2008 at 1:43:58 pm

"Kahunas" are a term for respected religious/tribal leaders in Hawaiian native society, roughly akin to priest or shaman.

I believe you mean to use the Spanish word, pronounced; "co-HO-nays", referring to the source of a man's virility.

Sorry for the OT, but this is a pet peeve of mine.


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Mick HaenslerRe: Producing video for conventions
by on May 16, 2008 at 2:08:24 am

[Mark Suszko] "I believe you mean to use the Spanish word, pronounced; "co-HO-nays", referring to the source of a man's virility."

Sorry Mark, you're absolutely right. In my haste I didn't check my post for grammatical accuracy, which is a pet peeve of mine. I must say I'm impressed with your restraint, I would have expected more of a harangue or screed, or perhaps even a wigging by such an indiscretion. You have bested me on my strength, and for that I am humbled.

Mick Haensler
Higher Ground Media




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Philip BorgnesRe: Producing video for conventions
by on May 24, 2008 at 1:55:32 am

Hi David,

I just got through doing something similar, but the clips where a bit longer and required nearly immediate playback for group commentary of the presentations. What I do is use a file-based camera (Sony EX-1) which has two 8GB cards installed. As each person finishes their presentation I switch to the next card and am ready to record. In the meantime I take the express card and copy the file over to two USB drives attached to my laptop (which has the express card reader). A 20 minute presentation takes about 4 minutes to copy over to the drive.
It is best to have a data wrangler to handle the file copying, but if you like to live on the edge as I do you can do both...

-Phil



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