A few things had to be done this year for Polly Tikkle Productions to stay afloat and in the game.
Upgrading to a Second Hand Apple MacBookPro.
Why this is a good decision?
My 2007 darling finally died. As most things that leave me, it did so with an explosion. No melting away into oblivion. The battery blew up. It was a little poop, but still as far as laptops go I should not dismiss the event as anything but an extraordinary goodbye.
I was delighted to discover that Apple is cheaper in Australia due to Australian dollar being quite weak in comparison to the English pound.
The new MacBookPros cannot run older operating systems and the new operating system will not run FCP 7 smoothly, and I am not interested in learning FCP X from scratch. I would rather learn Premier. The fact that FCP X is an entirely different program to which an FCP 7 project file cannot be upgraded to is the deal breaker, or ball breaker if one possesses them. If Apple can do this to its consumers, than I no longer feel safe being professionally shackled to Apple.
In London, the Apple FCP experts at the mega store in Covent Garden, assured me that FCP 7 would run smoothly on the new 10.9 operating system, but after reading countless forums suggesting that it doesn’t, I wanted to test run it. In line with the general decline of customer services, that are relentlessly plummeting in unison, globally, no Apple store on the planet will allow you to test run the ancient hobbling obsolete (err not!) FCP 7 on their new operating systems. The mere suggestion of test running a product, before dishing out £2500 - £3000, is considered at best, a joke.
So I bought myself a second hand 2012 MacBookPro with 10.7.3 installed on it. It’s 2.6GHz Intel Core i7 with 8GB of RAM for $AU1400. So far so good.
In the next few months I must remember to do any small projects that come my way on Premier so I can increase my skill level in this application, the reputation of which has been steadily on the increase for years now. With two long form films in FCP 7, now is not the time to do any drastic changes to their work flow.
I was transcribing for 6 weeks from Jan 03 to Feb 15, pretty much full time. This is the work I did while in Oz. I had wasted so much time trying to find ways around transcribing systematically, to ‘save time’, that now that I have bitten the bullet so to speak, I am daunted by the long ride ahead and disappointed in myself that I did not take my need to make this film more seriously sooner.
For some years now I have used Excel. I divide the A4 vertical page into three columns. In the first column I write the timecode, the second the details and/or dialogue and the third I usually leave blank for me to write notes in while I read the work and formulate the film.
I am looking forward to that moment.
I would like to hear how you transcribe. What programs do you use? Have you discovered an automated way of doing it yet? Dragon Speech does not help us yet does it?
To transcribe I usually have two computers working at once. On one I have the Final Cut Pro project file open, the browser of which I use to open the clips by right clicking them and opening them up in Quicktime 7 so I can play them at half speed and record the true time code intermittently. If I could find a way to play clips in FCP at half speed I would not need to open them in Quicktime.
I struggled to think how I would collate the footage. Eventually I settled on transcribing it in time consecutiveness.
On the other computer I type like crazy. I now type at around 35 words a minute which is still pretty slow but I hope to get faster. It takes me about 4-5 hours to do one hour of interview.
Each worksheet is a full tape and labelled by date and key words. I amalgamate the worksheets into monthly workbooks. I have completed November 2011 and have started on December 2011. It is hard to admit that I do not have any footage from October 2011 when the Occupation started but I do not. Transcribing is gruelling work but it is imperative. To be honest I am going through it quicker than I thought. Making on the fly decisions can be problematic so I am very conservative with that although at times it is obvious that I will not use certain bits of footage so I skip out on transcribing that.
Atomos Ninja 2 troubleshoot
Visiting the Atomos headquarters in South Melbourne was a treat. The customer service was impeccable. I was taken into a meeting room where a technician David allowed me to speak at length about the issues I had with it.
My Ninja would stop recording quite randomly even when it was static on a table in a sit down interview,
Dave did numerous tests and discovered that it was getting confused with the double triggering. I had chosen the option of Sony for the HDMI trigger and something is wrong with that apparently. I should have chosen the No Trigger! GO figure trigger! I explained to Dave that the interface is quite confusing. Little about it is intuitive. I suggested that two battery icons instead of floating numerals :1 2, would help users know that touching the screen there would lead to battery usage. I gave a few more suggestions that I cannot remember. I also emphatically disagreed with the apparent choice Atomos made to make deleting files on the Ninja 2 impossible. I was satisfied with the thought that it was somehow a cost cutting necessity but to discover that it was a choice so that the film makers does not accidently delete any footage (err make it a three step procedure?) led to rambling reasons why that is not a good idea – at all.
Wall Street Film
Watching capitalism gun down democracy
The 99% film from Occupy Wall Street has been completed already and is doing the film festival circuits and it is quite fantastic. The video quality is really extraordinary and when one sees the small army of post production personal one can accept how that could be.
Where is my army? Where can I get one from?
The variety of folk interviewed in The 99%, including a police officer who chose to get arrested, and the unforgiving Naomi Wolfe, and, the clear footage of voluminous protests and significant violent against peaceful protest make this film what it is. Bloody brilliant! It is none other than an in depth expose on the attack of the right to protest in America. Ani Di Franco’s lyrics “Watching capitalism gun down democracy” come to mind. It got Sundance Film Festival funding. Mine will be the London version.
OK that is all for now folks. I will show you my disastrous home made steadi cams next time....
Until then... if you are selling a house I have just moved into porperty video making. £200 a pop is what i say!
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