Video Equipment, Technology, Linux & Documentary Links

I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ll be working on a film documentary this summer. I’ll be providing details over time. Here are some links I’ve been accumulating. I’ll be periodically updating this. BTW, if any surfers have good video links to suggest, feel free (though nothing about via$$a, te##as h##dem or other silly things!). I’m trying to do video editing on a linux platform only although I’m not married to the idea.

I’m not going to talk too much about my project (so much of it is up in the air), but my video is going to be about my father’s family growing up in New York City in the 1940’s and 1950’s. Although I’ll probably have a DVD version, the primary distribution method will be online (via file sharing) and an interactive website. The video will be an important part of it, but web portions will also have a lot of photos and sound.

It’s sort of a “learning project,” one produced primarily for the experience more than for the end result. I haven’t settled on a budget or time frame, but I’m leaning towards filming it in high-definition (HD) as a result of the declining prices of HD recorders. My hope is to do the editing on a linux box, although I haven’t thought that through or had a chance to test that yet. If all goes well, I plan to film it in Summer 2005, probably on location in New York.

Choice of Camera and Equipment/Transferring Equipment
HD For Indies , a weblog run by an Austinite and SXSW panelist Mike Curtis that reviews HD cameras with an eye toward budget-minded producers.
Videoguys Blog , a fantastic review site/weblog.
dv reviews , a magazine site that reviews latest gadgets and software. Free membership required.
Sony HD forum site
Sony Vegas software forum
Camcorderinfo forum
HD FAQ , a really good set of questions. More faq on HDFor Indies (May 2005)

David Pogue’s review of the Sony HDR-FX1 camcorder, a camcorder review site
EFF reviews of videocapture cards without broadcast flags (see the linux hdtv card ).

HD Production Process
pre and post production ]

freshdv , good brief update about what’s new in DV (and HD).
My fave podcasts . Yes, I’m too lazy to itemize them here until I’ve listened more and sorted them out.

Choice of Linux Nonlinear Editing and PC
Robin Rowe’s linux NLE listings
Slashdot forum on PC and NLE
Slashdot forum on NLE
Kino .

HD Tutorials/Core Concepts
Understanding Core HD Concepts
Deinterlacing basics
Slashdot forum on HDTV
what tape to use

Choosing an HDTV
hdblog , a blog about HDTV technology.

Video forums
Wikepedia Glossary of Video Terms
cybercollege online video production textbook

Texas Resources
Swamp AIVF Forum

Sound Editing
Sound in the Story, a 20 page pdf about doing interviews and handling sound. Not too technical, but full of ideas.
transom, a sound recording site. good content and technical links.

General Resources for Film Documentaries
How to Do Video for the Web


Rocketboom , atomfilms
Ant Video RSS Aggregator and Videora, a video bit torrent finder. Don’t forget

Book Recommendations

  • Digital Video Hacks by Joshua Paul (the most current, the handiest). Particularly good stuff on improvising and lighting.
  • Directing the Documentary by Michael Rabiger (good on aesthetics, camera technique & project management). He also has another book, Directing: Film Techniques and Aesthetics, Third Edition. Both books are very academic and erudite approaches to the subject.
  • Digital Video Pocket Guide by Derrick Story (reference)
  • Lighting for Digital Video & Television, Second Edition John Jackman. I just received this book in the mail, and it looks terrific! Update: very practical guide with just about anything you want to know.
  • Extreme Dv at Used-Car Prices: How to Write, Direct, Shoot, Edit, and Produce a Digital Video Feature for Less Than $3000, Ray Carney (Foreword), Rick Schmidt (good at running a project, legal, budgets). Update: probably a bit dated.
  • Transitions: Voices on the Craft of Digital Editing [Paperback] by Erik Andersen. Old Book but probably excellent (I’m adding it on the basis of the chapter titles–haven’t read it yet). Film editing is more of an art than a science, so I expect it to still be relevant and useful.
  • Producing Great Sound for Digital Video [Paperback] by Jay Rose
  • On film editing : an introduction to the art of film construction by Edward Dmytryk (1984 classic text on film editing). Update: this book is outstanding.
  • Vegas 6 Editing Workshop by Douglas Spotted EagleProbably a book for using Vegas 6 nonlinear video editor which I have yet to buy.
  • Walter Murch, In the Blink of an Eye, succinct thoughts on video editing. Great book, though more about art than production.

Preservation Links
My links to how to scan and preserve old photos safely