Archive for May, 2010

Painting with Light

Friday, May 28th, 2010

Hi. Came across this neat lighting tip (and what looks to be a YouTube page with lots of other tips).

Review of Vancouver Film School

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

Is Film School Worth it?

I was searching for video production companies in Vancouver and through the power of google and a few links later, came across this review about the Vancouver Film School (VFS). The point that really resonated with me was this comment by the reviewer in talking about a one year film program at VFS:

“This is not enough time to get a comprehensive education in film production. You merely skim the surface of each department. I could have learned all of this by simply moving to Vancouver and volunteering on a few independent film set.”

Now, I never attended VFS, and I also want to clearly state I have nothing against film programs or education. What I would debate as worthwhile is the price of the education vs. what you get out of it. According to the article, programs at VFS can range from $30,000 – $60,000. That’s a lot of money. You won’t get the same education volunteering for indie films that you would at a school. In some ways I think you would get more practical education and learn the reality of making a movie and in other ways you may miss out on the theoretical and the big picture

I myself took one course at the Art Institute. This was after I bought my own little handy cam and computer set up – which back in ’98 cost around $5,000 whereas today you could seriously put something together for $1,000 – and had been shooting for around a year working on my own little projects. At the Art Institute, I found I was helping out other students more than I was learning. Now this was an intro course, I already had experience shooting, and I did learn a few things, but I didn’t see the value in spending more time and money to see if the program would give me more as I went on.

I also have the experience of hiring a VFS student. I was honestly dismayed at what that individual could produce. I thought that with a film education he would certainly be better than I. Unfortunately it wasn’t so.

I will once again state that I think education is a wonderful thing and that I myself have a Bachelors Degree in Business from Simon Fraser University. It disheartens me a bit to hear a story like the girl who posted the review of VFS who had to learn very expensively that it wasn’t cut out for her. There are other art school reviews at, and I haven’t spent time checking it out, so there could also be many glowing reviews up there about VFS and other local Vancouver film schools.

After looking this post over I noticed that I sound quite negative towards film education. What I really was trying to get across is that I totally understand where the reviewer was coming from and I would advocate to anyone looking to get into a film / digital arts / multimedia program is to see what you really want out of it in the end, talk to people who have been through the program, and see if it is really what you want.

Spending $5,000 and a year on something that may not work out is one thing, but $50,000 and a year is a different thing.

How to Register, Submit, Subscribe, and Discuss on the BCPVA Web Site

Friday, May 21st, 2010

If you missed the initial video on the BCPVA website, please check it out here.

After talking through the 9 1/2 minutes, I realized I could also just write it down here. So, choose your poison by either looking at the video (make sure to hit it up to 720P and full screen it) or seeing the written tutorial below the video. Actually, the video tutorial explains more, so do try to watch it.

As mentioned in the “Why the new BCPVA Site and how to Active in it” post, we need participation in order for this web site to work. To participate, you’ll want to do a few things:


Registering for the site takes less than a minute and it automatically subscribes you to receive by email updates on all the posts written on the site. I would like all members to do this.

Click this link and register.

Subscribing to New Posts

You can subscribe to the site in two ways, Email and RSS. However, if you’ve already registered, you don’t need to email subscribe as you are automatically upon registration. To email subscribe, you would fill out the box to the right of this column. This is more for people who are not BCPVA members but want to keep in the loop.

To subscribe by RSS, find the RSS Feed button in the right column – or the one right here RSS Feed for BCPVA.

Subscribing to Comments

What, another thing to subscribe to? Yes, and this is different than subscribing to the posts. Subscribing to the comments of a posts lets you see all the comments made by people to a post. This is handy when you have a post regarding a discussion topic where there would be a lot of back and forth. How do you do it? Easy! You have to leave a comment, and when doing so, check off the box saying “Subscribe to all comments by email”.

Remember, you have to do this for each post that you are interested in. This works out well, as generally people comment on posts that they are interested in and don’t want to see comments from posts they are not interested in.

Creating a New Post

Now this is VERY easy. So don’t be shy. We need all the posts we can get. Have a new video, post it as a news item. A question about what kind of equipment to use on a shoot, post it in the videography discussion section, etc…

To create a new post, visit here. But it is not like you have to remember to go this page. The link to submitting a post is on the bottom of every page. You can create a new post without registering for the site, so it is easy and accessible for anyone. However, if you do register, you will be able to create a profile with a picture/logo, bio/description of who you are, and a link back to your site. This is a great way to get links to yourself.

Any questions? Please leave a comment below!

Why the new BCPVA Web Site and How to be Active in it

Friday, May 21st, 2010

Hooray! The new site is up. What does it all mean? What now? Greg helps answer those daunting questions in the youtube video that is 3 minutes but literally took him hours to figure out (screen capture program doesn’t like my dv cam and youtube doesn’t like screen capture codec).

This is part 1 of 2, or mabye more. Enjoy!

By the way, you can full screen it as it was captured at a resolution of 1280×720.

Multiclip Editing in Final Cut Pro

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

This is a variation on the basics of multiclip setup and editing in FCP. Normally, it’s just a simple matter of selecting two or more video clips, syncing them using T/C, audio or video hits common to all the tracks, then creating a multiclip. The trouble with this is that during the editing process every time you change video angles the audio source will change as well because the “audio follows the video”. You can choose to change only the video angle and leave the audio unchanged to a track previously selected but this still leaves only one track of audio in your completed multiclip edit. This is not good if you want to have the audio mixed from all your different cameras that you used at your original shoot. This is a huge advantage for wedding and dance recital videographers who need all the audio for the final mix. Here’s how to do it:

In the FCP sequence I drag the media from all the cameras into their own dedicated video and audio tracks and sync them all using a common audio hit or a camera flash, whatever you have available. Each time one of the cameras changes a tape it’s another sync job with the other two cameras in the FCP timeline. Once everything is synced then go back to the beginning of the sequence and match frame each camera one at a time. Each time you do a match frame the master clip for that particular camera comes up in the viewer. Mark your in point in the viewer and do this for all the cameras. Once you have all the in points Cmd-select those master clips in the browser to highlight them all. Then go to the Modify menu and choose: make multiclip.

All this time while you’re doing the match frame for the cameras the playhead shouldn’t have moved at all in the timeline. Create a new track for video and 2 new audio tracks and drag the new multiclip from the browser (change the track destination first) into the canvas and choose Overwrite. Now you have a perfectly synched multiclip on top of the other camera tracks. Mute the multiclip audio and in multiclip preferences set it up so that each time you change angles the audio changes angles as well.

The other advantage of doing it this way is that you also have the audio tracks from all your cameras available. Edit your multiclip until you get to the next camera break (tape change) and then repeat the match frame workflow and create the next multiclip. And so on until your edit is complete.

Happy multiclipping!

How to capture 4 channel camera audio in Final Cut Pro

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Go to Audio/Video settings in the Final Cut Pro Menu. Click the capture presets tab, highlight the one you usually use, duplicate it then click on “edit”. In the capture preset editor window rename the preset and make sure you have something like “32K” audio instead of “48K” so you can keep track of it. In the Quicktime Audio settings you can choose “first 2 channels” and “second 2 channels”. Leave it as first 2 channels for now. Change the format to 32 Khz 16bit 2 channels. Click OK to close the Capture Preset Editor window and click on the A/V Devices tab. Click the Options tab to the right of the Audio drop down menu. Change the settings from 48Khz to 32 Khz, 16 bit to 12 bit and 2 channels to 4 channels.

Make your first video/audio capture to get the first 2 channels. Rewind the tape and open up the Capture Preset Editor window again. Change the audio to second 2 channels and do another pass, this time disabling the video capture in the log and capture window so you only capture the audio this time.

NOTE: if you’re monitoring your audio with firewire only you’ll still hear just the first 2 channels in your speakers even though you’re capturing the second 2 channels. Rest assured that when you’re done the 2nd pass you’ll have your audio from channels 3 and 4.

What do You Think About the New BCPVA Site?

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

After promising this site for months, we finally have it up.

So, a simple question. What do you think?

AVinhouse Event Videography

Friday, May 7th, 2010

AVinhouse Event Videography is a professional award winning video production company that provides a creative and high quality state of the art digital video.Turning every dream into a reality and creating an everlasting memory makes AVinhouse the perfect solution for restoring and producing family heirlooms (old photos & videos), tributes (birthdays, weddings, documentaries, anniversaries & memorials) and corporate events.

Michael Rendulic

Top 10 Reasons to Hire a BCPVA Member

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

Top 10 Reasons to Hire a BCPVA Member

By Anthony Kupnicki

  1. We are professionally trained & highly motivated!
  2. We use a high quality cameras & pro audio equipment.
  3. We provide real and true audio & visual representation unattainable through still pictures.
  4. Events are experienced so quickly a video preserves the past documenting for the future and generations to come.
  5. Guests can relax and enjoy the live experience not so caught up in the moment stressed out attempting to get a shot and missing the emotions & experience.
  6. Preserve the lasting memories of the events always keeping in mind those who could not attend with interview options.
  7. We are your eyes and ears everywhere you can’t possibly be on the day during the build up at every event.
  8. A fully edited DVD is the greatest gift back to those who supported the celebration & events.
  9. Our careers depend on the smile you have when we finish – Uncle bob would just shrug his shoulders if he forgot to press record during peak moments.
  10. A good video is something that can encapsulate all the sounds, the sights, all the sense memories, and all the emotions of your event, and bring them to life every time you watch it.

*We provide the best experience possible with a true chance to revisit the past!!!

For more information about professional videography visit or email

Stage and Dance Recital Video Panel

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

Stage and Dance Recital Video Panel

By Cory Bretz

It’s Show Day and backstage the performers nervously check their costumes, mentally rehearse their moves, and visualize their hopefully stunning performances. Besides the usual pre-show jitters, they know they only have one chance to do it right when the curtain goes up.

And they’re not alone. Also waiting patiently are BCPVA videographers, cameras poised to capture the moves, the dancers, and the excitement of the entire show. But unlike a Hollywood dance number, these digital moviemakers know that they too have only one chance to get it right when they shoot this performance. The performers and their families are counting on them so they can later relive today’s performance again on TV in the comfort of their own living rooms.

The cameras roll, the MC says, “Ladies and Gentlemen…”, and these shooters get ready for several hours of active dance routines. But already the videographers notice a problem on stage.

BCPVA Dance Video Panel

Photo: Stage and Dance Recital Video Expert Panelists (L-R): John Romein, John Lenihan, Ryan Catherwood, Shawn Lam, and moderator David Cooperstone discuss how they produce high quality dance videos for their clients.

The high intensity lights pour down onto the stage floor creating a patchwork of white circles surrounded by pitch-black darkness. The first dancer stands between the pools of light, oblivious to the fact that they are almost invisible in the darkness. To an amateur video operator with a consumer camcorder, this would be a disaster and the tape would be almost black with nothing moving. But to these pros, it’s simply a matter of managing exposure controls on their professional digital video cameras. “We always use our manual controls for dance shows because the lighting can be so uneven. That way, we can still get a great shot of the dancer, even in situations where the lighting is beyond our control”, says John Romein from Techno Monkey Video.

Sound is another area where there are multiple challenges. BCPVA president Shawn Lam captures a variety of sound sources, all balance through a mixer and recorded simultaneously to ensure that performances sounds as good as they are going to look on DVD. “We even use a special microphone to pick up tap shoe sounds because others mics further back will create an out-of-synch delay effect”, says Lam. “It just won’t seem right otherwise.”

Depending on budgets, clients may opt for either single camera or multiple camera configurations. Pro videographers know that for seasoned dancers they need to capture a certain mix of wide shots that show the dance choreography and closer shots that reflect the dancer as a person. When there’s young children dancing, the parents always appreciate more close ups and BCPVA shooters adjust their style. Multi-camera pro videographer teams will have worked this out in advance and each shooter will know whether to catch the wide shot or the close ups. Single camera shooters have more pressure because they need to intuitively know when to get the wide shot and when to go in for the close up. BCPVA member John Lenihan has 25 years experience and does many single camera dance shoots. “Besides experience, the reason my dance studio clients are so happy with my work is because I love dance, I dance myself, and I when I’m shooting, I can usually anticipate a dancer’s next move so I frame up the video perfectly.”

Back at the video studio, Ryan Catherwood uses Final Cut Pro to combine the various camera angles together. Other videographers use editing solutions such as Sony Vegas, Casablanca, Adobe Premiere Pro, and Edius. These pro editing solutions are designed to handle multiple camera footage in a synchronized way so the final product looks great. Editing styles can vary from one videographer to another so BCPVA members ask clients lots of questions about how they imagine the completed video will look. Says Catherwood, a progressive new video artist, “I cut footage both to the beat of the music and the natural transition points in the performance.”

Once the video is edited, authored to DVD with a chaptered menu system, it gets duplicated, with some orders numbering in the thousands of copies. The DVDs are packaged in stylishly labelled cases and sold directly to dancers and fans or through the respective dance studio. These pro videographers know that their product is meeting their customer’s needs initially because of positive feedback and compliments and also later because satisfied dance studios will book them again for next year.

When you’ve worked your buns off getting ready for the show of your life, make sure your videographer takes their performance as seriously as you do. Get a BCPVA professional videographer. For more information about professional videography visit or email