Videography gigs

My spare time has been taken up by editing. I’m working on the sound design for one film, and have shot a few things recently which I’m trying to edit and get out. So apologies to anyone who hasn’t heard from me.

I shot my friend Tony Wilson’s gig in Camden on Sunday April 29th. I recorded the direct line from the desk onto my audio recorder, and set up my camera. The DSLR can only record for a maximum 12 minutes at a time, so editing will always have a break. Tony’s gig was 25 minutes: I worked out that I needed a bigger CF card, as my 8GB one filled at 20 minutes.

Before the gig, I needed some gear. I managed to get a basic manfrotto tripod, cable, and headphones on Warren Street on the Sunday. I went to Currys PC World. Believe me, I don’t think the people there know much about what they’re selling. I asked a sales assistant for a 3.5mm jack cable. She didn’t know what I was after. I was standing in the audio section, and just asked her to direct me to where the cables are. She sent me to the back of the store. I got there, and saw printer cables and power cables. Asking someone else, I was taken back to where I was, just one row over. Sheesh. Anyway, I found what I needed.

The Tuesday after the gig, I was filming a 1-hour lecture at my work. So I had to get the new CF card by then. I went back to Currys, and got a 32GB one (btw, much cheaper than if I had bought it in NZ). I had to point to exactly what I wanted (“no, the CF card” “Not that one, the one next to it”).

Heading back to the tube station, I saw a camera store which had a sign of the CF card brand logo I had used. I went in, and asked how much their 16GB and 32GB CF cards were. ‘Which camera?’ 7D. ‘You’ll need a fast one then. These ones are [about £20 cheaper than what I just bought].’

Yeah, I felt silly.

Fortunately, I was able to buy that one and get a refund on the other one.

And I realised the reason for the difference in price was that the CF card the smaller store sold me was 300x, whereas the CF card from Currys was 400x (so an understandable price difference).

The customer service at the smaller store was a bit – I don’t know, stand-offish – but I was only there for a couple of minutes. I checked online later though, and saw the store is called Spectrum. And boy, do they have some bad reviews.

Either way, I had enough memory to shoot a 1 hour lecture. The lecture series which I’ve been filming at my work included 3 the first week, 2 the next week, 2 next week, and I think 1 the week after that. I’ve shot 5 so far. I’ve been shooting on my 7D and recording the audio separately on my TASCAM; I’ve had my computer at work so I can upload the data there and actually edit at work. I’ve also needed my XHD, because MAN there is a lot of data.

Imagine my frustration then when I couldn’t get some of the files off the CF card. I wasn’t sure if it was the crappy card reader I had. I wasn’t sure at all. Connecting the camera via USB to my Mac means the camera mounts in iPhoto (and is not recognised in the Finder). An error message was coming up:

iPhoto cannot process your request. Error loading image.

The image would appear as a thumbnail in iPhoto, but would not open. It would play on the camera, but there was no way of getting the files off. Gah! Also I had more lectures coming up; I didn’t want to delete the files, but I needed the space. Perhaps I could take the card back and complain; but I knew if the files were corrupted, the only option is to delete them and reformat. Gah! I was searching forums. The advice was to delete the files and reformat, or use various recovery softwares, or a different program. Photo Uploader didn’t work. I downloaded a free recovery software. It needed the disk (camera) to appear in the Finder, not only in iPhoto. I was getting frustrated – and building up lectures.

Unfortunately, for one of the lectures, I decided to reformat the card. That involved losing some of the files. It didn’t work – the card still ‘corrupted’.

Long story short, I told our IT guy on Friday. He suggested that another computer might work – one that isn’t a Mac. I managed to get the files off the camera onto a PC Laptop. On Monday I’ll be trying to transport them to my XHD so I can use them for editing.

My next problem though – which I’m still trying to sort – is syncing the audio and the video. The audio was recorded at 48kHz. The camera was filming at 23.98fps (even though the camera says 24fps – and I had to use that instead of 25fps, as I was filming a projector screen, and 24fps has less rolling). When I sync up the audio to the video in FCE, the audio gets out of sync. Forums told me to change the ratio of the audio to 48048 or 100.01% – I know how to do a time stretch by ratio easily in ProTools, but I’m using Logic Express, and I can’t work it out. I tried setting the format of the FCE Project, and tried setting the format of the Logic Project, tried syncing the video to the track in Logic – which didn’t work so well. It would all be a lot easier if I had an uncut video file, rather than multiple clips of a maximum 12 mins each. I’m still trying to work that out. Any suggestions appreciated.

Also, because there’s so much editing to do, I’m struggling with procrastination – which is my (sub-)conscious response to being overwhelmed with too much to do. I think recognising that that is my issue is a big step. I’m about to head out and edit for a few hours in a cafe without internet connectivity. Hopefully I’ll have finished most of it by my next post.

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