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Old October 7th, 2001, 03:00 PM   #1
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Howdy from Austin, Texas

Greetings from Austin, Texas!

I came to the XL1 in sort of a roundabout way---while working on a novel, I ended up converting the novel into a screenplay. While working on the screenplay, the DV world was exploding around me and I thought, why don't I try to make this myself, as a bare bones, low-tech movie?

Plunging into potential camera choices was overwhelming. The Watchdog site helped me make my decision: an XL1 it was. Never mind the fact that I had no prior experience shooting, other than home videos, where the same shot stretched into 45 seconds (gee, I guess nothing interesting's happening. Maybe I should film something else.) For some crazy reason, the idea above seemed feasible. Now I see how completely deluded I was. Ah well, live and learn...)

A year and a half later, I have found myself teaching *children* how to make movies. Last year I worked on a movie for 65 hours with my daughter's fourth grade class. We colloborated on the storyline, storyboarded every shot, and they each took turns filming. Long story short: the story was magnificent; surprisingly complex and engaging. The acting was great, the images were beautiful, (despite filming everything on the automatic setting.) And the sound sucked.

So now I'm trying to REALLY figure out this camera. I'm working on a second movie, and we'd like to do the story justice technologically. ESP. sound-wise. It's no fun having to sit close to the ear of someone in the audience so you can interpret dialogue... :-)

I'm so relieved to have found this site -- it already looks like an incredible resource.

Thanks to Chris Hurd for putting it together!

Looking forward to it,
Jennifer M.
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Old May 3rd, 2003, 04:40 PM   #2
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Austin Texas?

Hiya!

Wondering if there are any XL1 experts in Austin, Texas willing to do a 1-on-1 workshop with a newbie eager to learn. Compensatation for time and expertise of course. Email me if you're interest.



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Old May 7th, 2003, 01:18 PM   #3
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Austin XL1 expert

Hi...a good friend of mine lives there and runs her own biz. Contact Ramona Finos at www.momentousvideo.com She has an XL1 and would help you I'm sure. Let me know how it goes. Ramona is a good egg.
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Old May 9th, 2003, 12:53 AM   #4
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Also contact Kevin Triplett at www.mopacmedia.com. If he isn't up for doing a training class, he'll know who you can help you.
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Old May 9th, 2003, 08:18 AM   #5
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Thanks for the replies! I'll check them out.
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Old May 9th, 2003, 09:16 AM   #6
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Thanks for the recommendation, Chris! I know Ramona well, she's an event videographer and yes, she's a good egg. I also recommend contacting Mike Nicholson (mike@pictureboxproductions.com) (512) 467-7298 -- Mike is the cinematographer on my BLAZE FOLEY documentary (shameless plug alert!) and has shot a bunch of narrative fiction shorts, interviews, corporate videos and television commercials. He's also a graduate of the "Jim Eastburn" school for the XL1 and operates both an XL1 and XL1s (sometimes at the same time!).
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Old May 17th, 2003, 10:53 PM   #7
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Howdy from Austin, TX

Hello everyone,

I'd recently joined this BB and have been participating on other lists. I just noticed this category and thought I should introduce myself. I'm going to borrow shamelessly from a bio I wrote for a recent presentation on pre-production to a local DV group.

"I'm a jack of all trades and master at none. In my haphazard career path, I have been: a recording studio engineer; theme park audio/visual engineer; database programmer; architectural modeler; writer, director, and animator for computer games; animated short writer/director; and some-time narrative film maker. I currently pay the bills as a senior artist and project manager for a Lord of the Rings based game project for Universal Interactive. If life were perfect, I would be working in narrative film full time."

Blah, blah blah. :-) All right. Seriously, ain't the Internet grand? It's so cool to be able to turn to a virtual community of like-minded and talented artists and technicians, and be able to both learn from and offer insights to others.

Let's see... I got a GY-DV500 and XL-1 along with a bit of lighting, grip, and a nice field audio setup... and I haven't gotten to do jack with it in the last three months!

A script! A script! My services for a script!

Actually, I've got three short scripts in the works (one meant for animation) and am always looking to collaborate with talented writers.

The last project I worked on was DP'ing for one of the teams in the Austin 48-hour Film Project. That was just a gas -- especially since our team got Film Noir as our genre. I love shadows! Give me black any time -- the easier to hide cheap production values!

Hope to learn (and to teach) many things here.

Michael
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Old May 18th, 2003, 12:00 AM   #8
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Glad to have another Austinite aboard, Michael. Austin is still officially my hometown, even though I've been living overseas for awhile.

Your videography link on your site looks very interesting. Keep us posted as you add things.

See you on the boards... and have margarita at Baby A's for me sometime (if it's still there).
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Old May 20th, 2003, 04:01 PM   #9
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Welcome aboard Michael! Good to have you with us. It looks like
you have done a lot indeed. I like those people! A virtual community
is indeed great and I hope you will find this one to your pleasing.

See you around!
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Old May 22nd, 2003, 10:12 PM   #10
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Thanks guys. John. I didn't go by Baby Acapulco, but I did have a margarita at Trudy's Northstar for ya.
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Old May 22nd, 2003, 10:48 PM   #11
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Trudy's'll do. Thanks!
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Old November 23rd, 2003, 05:22 PM   #12
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Buenos Dias from Austin, Texas!

Hi everyone.

I live in the great state of Texas, and have spent the majority of my career (about the past 20 years) doing things that I don't really like, but making a lot of money. I think it may be time for a career change, and for the past year or so I've gotten very interested in Digital Video. I don't need to make any money right away, but I hope to do so eventually. Right now, I'd be happy just playing any role at all in any phase of film production. Even if it is loading / unloading equipment, I figure I'd get the opportunity to ask some questions, and there is only so much you can learn from reading a book. I've read about 5-6 books on digital video, and I'm ready to work on some aspect of a real project. I am no stranger to hard work.

I've got a little 1 CCD consumer camera that I've been playing with, but I hope to move up to an XL1s in the not too distant future. In addition, I have: 2.4GHz Pentium, 512MB memory, ATI Radeon video card, external TV monitor, 3 500W softbox lights, and a fluid head tripod. My NLE is Vegas Video. I was attracted to it for its cult following that it seems to have.

To date, I've produced 5-6 videos, primarily highlights of sporting events, but each one that I've shown to groups elicits rave reviews. Everyone has told me "why don't you do that for a living?" That tells me they are either:
A. Being truthful, giving an honest assessment, and helping me make a career decision,
B. Embarrassed by the quality, and they don't know what else to say,
C. Don't know any better, or
D. Horribly intoxicated.

I like to think that it is "A", but we'll see. One thing that I have found in my research is that I don't even know how much I don't know at this point, but I do know that I'm at the tip of the iceberg.

I have been offered a gig to do a wedding, but I turned it down as I don't have the equipment (and I didn't think I would be able to learn it in the necessary timeframe), plus weddings just don't interest me.

I have some ideas for some documentaries, but everything I have right now is in the early planning stages. It is interesting to watch my friends as I go through this change -- my creative friends are encouraging me, and my friends from previous career are saying "what, are you nuts?" I figure life is too short going through doing things you don't enjoy.

Anyone in Austin know where I can start to get involved in the video community? Thanks.
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Old November 23rd, 2003, 08:39 PM   #13
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Welcome James!

Austin has a big community for DV. Alamo Drafthouse does contests and such, and there's the Austin Film Festival and several other contests, etc. If you don't have enough equipment there are lots of places to rent. Kevin at Mopac Media is a great guy and an invaluable source of information. Jump right in and shoot every chance you get. I am just getting started and have found out that there is more information out there than I ever dreamed. I am doing my best to learn as much as possible. It sounds like you are doing the same. You might try just doing it on the side to get started instead of quitting your job just yet. See what it yeilds! I work everyday so I can do video on the side. Good Luck to you and keep us posted...

Clay
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Old November 24th, 2003, 05:26 AM   #14
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Thanks for the comments. Right now, I'm between jobs, so the question is: do I do what I did before, or branch out and do something that I want to do. If I do what I did before, I have found that there is very little time left for anything on the side. However, that is probably the most sensible option.
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Old November 24th, 2003, 01:51 PM   #15
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Welcome James! You've probably hit the nail on its head. The
toughest question. Should I do what I love or do the other thing
and make money and not have much time for the other thing.

I don't think there is a clear answer to that. It all depends on
your situation, family, other incomes etc. etc. Difficult it is,
nontheless.

I wish you luck with your decision!
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