Moving Pictures

Doesn’t everyone wanna make movies? Doesn’t everyone dream cinematic-ally?

Apparently, not everyone. Talk to long-time still photographers, and they’ll express no small amount of concern over the move towards DSLR video. “My camera was designed to shoot pictures, not movies,” is a curmudgeonly statement you’ll hear quite a bit.

The more progressive shooters will say, “I’ll shoot ’em, but I won’t edit them. My place is behind the camera, not behind a screen doing post.”

And then there’s the rest of us.

A couple of years ago, I picked up a Nikon D90 right after it’s buzz as the first DSLR to shoot HD video had died down, and other players with admittedly superior sensors (and competitive prices) hit the market in it’s wake. I was fascinated with the power I held in my hands: RAW still images, and HD clips, all “capturable” with the twist of a knob and a press of a couple of buttons. And the best thing, was that I could flip back n’ forth at will, and change exposures for both with (almost) reckless abandon.

I pointed my lens, and it’s curiously-open aperture (shooting minutes instead of fractions of a second still amazes me) towards the racket outside: my own sons and their neighborhood peers immersed in wiffleball outside in the street.

2 months of footage later (that’s over 500 individual clips) I had the makings of my first DSLR film: The Alabaster Bears Play Quickball.

It’s been a crash course in learning, and I love it: Final Cut Pro versions 6 and the new X, After Effects, Audition, the amazing noise reduction software Neat Video, Compressor, color grading, media management, audio capture, a new workflow.

It’s a whole new world.

And yet, one that is swimming in familiarity. Nearly 3 decades in advertising means I’ve been in and around these disciplines and those who specialize in them for a host of clients. That’s a lot of stories with varying clientele and audiences. It’s just that my role was limited, and I wasn’t doing as much of the “doing.”

It’s so much more fun, actually getting one’s hands digitally dirty.


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