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These Are the People in Your Neighborhood
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Old March 17th, 2004, 03:02 AM   #46
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Location: Austin, TX USA
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<<If there are anyother Texans around be sure to post a note!>>

This could be a long thread, Patrick. You'll be surprised how many Texans there are here... including transplanted ones like myself.

Anyway... let me be the first to say howdy and welcome aboard. I went to school in Commerce for a spell, so I'm familiar with your stomping grounds.

Good luck on your project.

P.S. Cool green screen sample on your site!
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Old March 18th, 2004, 07:52 AM   #47
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Did someone call out the Texans?

welcome aboard Patrick. I'm sure you'll like it here.

I'm also a fellow Texan, from El Paso and now I'm living 3 hours south(as the bullet train flys) from John.
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Old March 18th, 2004, 08:45 AM   #48
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Hi from Fort Worth! This is a great place, lots of info and some very talented people.
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Old August 20th, 2004, 07:59 PM   #49
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Greetings from a newbee in Texas

Howdy everyone,

I'm Jim Underwood, and I live/work in the Houston, TX Clear Lake area. I'm brand new to pro or semi-pro videography, and to this site/forum. My main interest now is wedding/event videography. I apologize if this is too long -- turned out longer than I intended.

Well, I'm probably an orange (or pear) among apples. :-)

I'm a systems engineer by genetics, education, and experience. The only "talent" that I have that comes close to artistic is photography/video.

--------------------------------------
THE COLLEGE YEARS - GETTING STARTED
--------------------------------------

When I was in college (a hundred years ago) working on a degree in Aerospace Engineering, for some reason I became interested in photography -- don't really know why. Saw an inexpensive 35mm camera kit at a local store for about $200. Didn't know the first thing about cameras -- it was just an impulse purchase that I got lucky on. My family banker gave me a "long term loan" (I was a poor college student) to buy the camera. This was back in the days when banks gave real service. I called up our banker (a senior VP), and he said just write the check and I'll cover it. :-)

So I started taking pictures of everything in sight. In particular portraits, landscapes, and existing light scenes. My best shot is of a winding mountain road with a split-rail fence, printed on real canvas. To most people it looks like a painting. It was taken on a hazy Thanksgiving day in the mountains of Tennessee.

I am completely self-taught. I bought every book and mag I could find on photography, and experimented with everything. That's the key -- trial and error. The single most important thing I ever learned about photography is that for every great shot you see in a book/magazine, the photographer took at least 10 other shots that were culled. I also discovered that I had an eye for composing/framing a shot. Paid attention to detail. Learned quickly the only way I could afford all this is to use slide film. Prints were way too expensive.

This continued throughout my college career and the first 10 years after graduation. I always had a camera with me -- in the car, on the plane, everywhere. A group of my friends started kidding me -- calling me "Cecil B". Of course I was no where near that - I was just an enthusiastic amateur who always had a camera on hand. :-)

---------------------
DISCOVERING VIDEO
---------------------

Then I discovered video. Like someone said, still photography is great, and can be beautiful and dramatic, but it doesn't capture the feeling and the personality of the people like video/film. So I saved my money till I could afford a two-piece VCR. Camcorders weren't available to consumers yet, and even a VCR was very expensive. The VCR I bought had two units: the recorder and the tuner. You hand to buy a video camera (very expensive) separately. Never could afford the camera -- always rented one when I needed it.

Finally the price of camcorders and my income met so I could afford one. Bought a Hitachi VM-500A high resolution camcorder. Still have it. The battery on it is larger than the entire camcorder used by a lot of consumers today. :-)

But I had great fun with it. Nothing pro -- just family and friends stuff like vacations, parties, Christmas, etc. Learned a lot. Always tried to tell a story. Wanted to get into video editing, but the editing equipment cost thousands of dollars then -- too much for my budget.

Ten years later I upgraded to a mini-DV camcorder -- Sony DCR-TRV9. A great consumer camcorder. Experimented a lot with it, but nothing special until I was asked to produce a video for the wedding of the son of a friend. I said OK not really knowing what I was getting into.

------------------------
MY FIRST WEDDING
-----------------------

This led to an intensive research phase on production and editing. Couldn't afford what I really wanted, and had to make do with what I had. Bought a couple of cheap wireless mics (intuitively knew audio would be important) and of course a tripod, etc. Put the mic on the groom and it worked great! It picked up him and others near him quite well, and he soon forgot he was on tape. :-) Captured some very cute and funny candid moments.

Worked my butt off at the rehearsal dinner, wedding and reception. Had plenty of tapes and batteries, and everything pre-labeled for quick access. Asked a groomsman and bridesmaid to be MCs, and that worked out extremely well. You couldn't have written a script for them any better than what they did naturally. Everyone responded well.

Finally it came time to edit. But what software? And did my computer have enough power? A little bit of research revealed that Pinnacle Studio 8 was a decent low-end non-linear editor that is relatively easy to use. Got lucky again. Bought Studio 8 at Fry's for free after rebate. Loaded it up, and fortunately my computer swallowed it without choking. :-) It actually worked quite well. The only slow part was rendering for the DVD -- took about 8 hours.

But I produced a DVD that the B&G were very happy with. No where near the quality of a pro, but much better than you usually get with "Uncle Bob". :-)

I loved it. Especially the NLE. I was amazed what you could do. I never did get into using the darkroom in still photography but everyone always said that's where the real power is. Of course the source has to be good. But it's amazing how editing can turn a so-so video into an interesting story.

--------------------
TURNING SEMI-PRO
--------------------

Now I want to do it for real. I'm turning semi-pro (keeping my day job till I see how things go). I taking two classes this fall at the local college:
1. TV Field Production (nicknamed "Movie Makers Academy")
2. Non-Linear Video Editing

If these work out well, I'll probably take some more. If I really get into it, I might even go for a degree. I'm a great believer in the combination of formal training and hands-on experience. While you can learn with just experience, good training can greatly accelerate the learning process.

I plan on buying a Canon GL2 as my first "pro" camcorder. Everything I have read about it sounds great. Would anyone suggest another camcorder for me to start with? Please let me know if you know where I can get a good deal on a GL2 (new or used). I'm aware of the site sponsors.

I think this site and forum are really great. I've already learned a lot just by lurking in the forums.

I look forward to getting to know you all.
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Old August 25th, 2004, 05:51 AM   #50
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Welcome aboard Jim and thank you for your introduction! It was
a great read and you seem to have had an interesting experience
in both photography and videography.

Both your statements regarding trial & error and theory & practice
are very true in my opinion. I live by them!

Regarding a camera it would be best browse the Open DV
Discussion forum since it has been asked a lot already. Or if
you want to know more about what people are using for
weddings and the GL2 check out their respective forums here.

As you know our sponsors have good service and fair prices.
Please do check them out.
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Old August 25th, 2004, 05:50 PM   #51
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Thanks Rob. It's a pleasure meeting you. :-)

This is a really great community here, and I look forward to participating with everyone.
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Old September 28th, 2004, 04:15 PM   #52
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Location: Waco, TX
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Waco Texas, Shooting a Feature in March 2005

I'm located in Waco, Texas, dead in the center of the state. I've been working for the last 8 months on producing an independant horror movie called "Risen". We've got a unique script, some amazing locations secured, special assistance from the city and more. Overall preproduction is going quite well.

I'm here to learn and hopefully find someone skilled to DP "Risen".

Check out the site http://www.risenthemovie.com
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Old September 28th, 2004, 04:39 PM   #53
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You might want to contact Gary Watson at Roadster Productions in Houston. He just wrapped a feature Horror shoot this summer as DP.

www.roadsterproductions.com

He's my former boss, and a straight shooter.
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Old September 28th, 2004, 05:00 PM   #54
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Thanks for the tip

Thanks for the tip, I'll definately get into contact with him!
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Old September 29th, 2004, 03:15 AM   #55
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Welcome aboard David and good luck with your feature!
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Old February 9th, 2005, 11:00 AM   #56
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Welcome aboard DVInfo.net Rod! Good to have you with us!
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Old February 9th, 2005, 02:01 PM   #57
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Thanks Rob!
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Old May 6th, 2005, 06:29 PM   #58
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Hey Rod and everyone in the DVi Community. I am a web and video guy living in Round Rock, TX. I graduated from UT with an RTF degree last year and have been doing freelance and contract video/web design work for the past year.

Just wanted to say hello and thank everyone for all the information I have found on this site as a lurker thus far!
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Old May 6th, 2005, 06:48 PM   #59
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Hi Brooks

Great to hear from you.

Would love to meet up some time.. You can send me email to topper@xemaps.com



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Old May 6th, 2005, 07:16 PM   #60
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Location: Austin, Texas
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Hey Brooks and Rod, just wanted to say hello from a fellow Austinite.
If either of you are ever up for a drink down at Dolce Vita (or wherever you like to go) let me know.

I just frequent that place because it's quiet enough to have a conversation.
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Pitch Productions
Austin, Texas
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