Archives for category: Video Tips

Let’s go back to the summer of 2004.  This brings us to Los Angeles, California in USC’s Cinema production division.  I decided to take a summer documentary course taught by Wendy Apple.  It was a lot of fun, meeting students from all over the world, and I ended up with this video on a 6’7″ German surfer, The Alchemy Hour.  It was definitely a video I created many years ago as its hopefully obvious.

I remember our professor mentioning how she was directing a documentary on editing.  I’ve always had an interest in editing, ever since the beginning.  From in-camera editing when I was probably 10 years old to being able to edit in high school in our TV production class, taught by the wonderful Mr. Profeta, a.k.a. Pro.  I love editing.  It’s magic, that simple.  Why?  Just by the choices you make when cutting, where you place various shots & audio, for how long… you have the control to create completely different worlds.  I wish I could edit life!

Wendy Apple’s documentary on editing always stuck in the back of my mind, curious how I could watch it.  Thanks to another student in the class, I recently found it!  The Cutting Edge: The Magic of Movie Editing can be bought or rented!  It’s rather intriguing and enjoyable to hear directors, actors, and other successful people in the film industry talking about editing.

Believe it or not, in the early days editors were mostly women as cutting film could be compared to sewing.  Today, as I’ve read here, only 18% of movie editors are women.  I believe we were the last class at USC to be able to edit our 16mm black & white shorts using a flatbed.  Quite the experience!  It helps put things in perspective.  Thank goodness for non-linear editing.  I hope you can check out this documentary, I definitely recommend it.

Over five years ago Brian and I moved from Los Angeles to Denver.  It was a huge move and we decided to turn the move into an gigantic road trip which we documented and called Milk Run.  Once we officially moved, our road trip started in Denver and ended a month later traveling through 9 states and Canada.  We camped the majority of the time and saw gorgeous places such as Glacier National Park, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, and Yosemite.  I thought it would be clever to stop at every state sign along the way wearing our American Apparel outfits and dance.  It seemed obvious of course.  The trip was a blast and I can’t believe how much time has passed since then.  It’s time for another road trip…

I was just reminded of this music video I made years ago featuring our bad dance moves when my brother recently posted it on  Thanks to Douglas my videos get more plays because he posts them to reddit, which is user-generated news links where votes promote stories to the front page.  Another site like this is Digg.  So take that as a marketing tip from my brother: a free way to try and get more views, post & share your work.  Just be prepared for positive and negative comments.  The public will always decide if it’s interesting.

Milk Run Music Video

Two exciting sites that may help you in your productions…

A huge thanks to Jen Myronuk for introducing to me, Free Music Archive (FMA) an interactive library of high-quality, legal audio downloads.  The Free Music Archive is directed by WFMU, the most renowned freeform radio station in America.  So if you’re looking to get your music out there or to find music for your video projects, check out FMA.  FMA artists give their permission through licenses.  Each song has different copyright rules so make sure to see what license the artist allows and of course always give credit.

Doing a lot with a little:
Last night I attended my first Filmmaking incubator session at Boulder Digital Arts and two of the guys from DV Rebellion were there.  This is where I learned about their website, an incredible resource on how to accomplish your vision with video regardless of your budget.  I’m excited to see more of your posts!

Here is a video DV Rebellion made on building a 10-foot jib

I’ve finally made the jump and am uploading some of my videos to YouTube as well as Vimeo.  So you can find my work in those two places or here on my website.  Hope something in there makes you smile.

Here are a few videos I’ve uploaded there.

Caitlin Shey introduced me to this summer.  We printed mini cards for TechStars “The Founders” web series.  I recently printed mini business cards for myself using different color headsets (below).  Moo allows you to upload several images or you can use Moo designs.  You can also make postcards, sticker books, greeting cards, & more. For the next 72 hours Moo is offering 30% off printed products!  I love Moo & think you will too.  Check out more on Moo Printfinity.

Logo designed by Anthony Dimitre

This is my sister, Alexa, on the right.  I’m the one on the left.  Today is Alexa’s 12th birthday so Happy happy happy Birthday!  I love these two photos because it shows us both swinging around the same age but in different generations.  It doesn’t matter that we are 17 years apart, I’m the luckiest sister in the world!  One thing that remains the same in these photos, besides the swings, is that both photographs were taken with film, not digital.  Doesn’t seem like much but I like it.

Over the many years of filming anything I can, I’ve acquired some pretty priceless footage.  My recommendation is to take some time each month and film/photograph something, anything, don’t worry if you don’t think it’s important enough.  You will most likely appreciate having it years later.  A huge thank you to my family for letting me film.  I know it can be annoying.

This video is for Alexa
Love Megan, Brian, & Owen

Happy Birthday Alexa! This video contains footage from 2005-2008

Face A Face

This past July Brian and I found ourselves in Avignon, France.  We were invited to film our friends’ wedding in Annecy and traveled a bit after to Cannes, Avignon, & Geneva.  In Avignon every July, we discovered that there is a massive theatre festival, Festival d’Avignon.  There were hundreds of people wondering around Avignon performing and promoting their groups for the evening shows.  We spotted a French dance group, Face A Face, from our hotel window and so I filmed some of their dance moves.

I’m starting to make more of an effort to archive any footage I shoot, meaning I do something with even the small random stuff I capture.  This video is a good example of “archiving”.  It took me a hour to put it together and now I have a fun video from our week in France.  Please note that this does not replace the process of really archiving your footage by backing it up.  The ironic part of this video is while we were exploring Avignon & filming wild French theatre enthusiasts, our plane was leaving Switzerland back for the U.S.  We missed our flight, thinking it departed on a different day!  Five days later and a good chunk of money we finally got home with a story to tell.

Please share any random travel videos and stories you have!

I’ve been meaning to write about Panasonic for a while.  My good friend/talented cinematographer, Gene Park, told me about a competition Panasonic is having, good timing.  It’s called Shoot it | Share it and submissions end tomorrow (Friday 5pm EST). Please vote and submit!

HD Videos I submitted:
Do More Faster
The Founders Trailer
A Homerun
Tom & Laura Get Married Trailer
Fall Colors

Between the two most recent Panasonic cameras I’ve owned (DVX & HPX) I have shot from helicopters, boats, hot air balloons, to startups… a wide variety of subjects.  Not to say you can’t do this with other cameras but I have greatly enjoyed the results from Panasonic. A few months ago I was in the process of buying an HD camera.  I chose the Panasonic HPX170 for several reasons.  Compared to the other cameras out there in the same category, the HPX was the most affordable, light-weight, user-friendly, & still great quality.  To make the big leap from SD to HD was easy.  I’ve fallen in love with my HPX and bring it most everywhere I go, documenting as much as I can.

Helicopter Shots

I couldn’t control myself.  Today is Owen’s birthday so here’s a little bit of love.  My friend, Gene, showed me a trick on my Panasonic HPX.  Instead of slowing down a shot in post, set it up to record in slow motion in your camera.  This gives you a better result.  So I overcranked, shooting at 24pn & 60fps.  In my menu option, I clicked Scene File, Frame Rate, & chose an extremely slow frame rate.  Every camera is different.

I decided to film Owen chasing water in slow motion as an example.  I think you might be amazed at how high Owen can jump.  The key in life is to figure out what you love, and do it forever.

Owen’s Love in Slow Motion