Nutcracker is Over, Long Live Nutcracker
Nutcracker is Over, Long Live Nutcracker! Part 1
For me, anyway.
Yes, this year’s Peoria Ballet production of The Nutcracker finished its run Sunday, but exhausting as tech week and performances was, for me the real work is just beginning.
A Job, A Paying Job!
That’s because this is my third year as the Ballet’s videographer, so I have video to edit and DVD’s to make. And this year they had two different casts, so I had recorded both casts and get to make two DVDs (because no, you can’t just replace the parts where they have the different dancers). I have done a little better preparing this year, in that I have DVDs & cases on hand; I joined Amazon Prime two years ago when I was done creating the files and realized I still needed the media & cases, and needed them quickly. So I’m a little ahead of the game, and have hopes of getting things done fairly quickly.
OK, I always have hopes of getting things done fairly quickly, and it rarely works out that way, but I’m determined that this year … well … may be different.
And So It Begins
My confidence was not completely misplaced. This post is only getting finished now because in the midst of recovering from Nutcracker and guests, I’ve been busily creating a first cut of the first show. And it did go fairly smoothly, but not without some moments of frustration and downright panic early on.
Mmm, Video Footage
The process of moving digital video from the camera to the computer is often called ingesting. This is usually the easiest and most straightforward part, although it can take awhile if you have the software analyze your footage and make proxy media for easier editing, which experience has taught me to do. I use Final Cut Pro X for my video work (and we can have a debate on that later if you want), and the process began well and normally enough, except for the struggle to free up enough hard drive space to do the work.
— Steven Marx (@stevenmarx) December 20, 2014
I Got It … I Got It … I Don’t Got It! But Then I Did
I do two camera shoots, with one camera (the lesser video camera, Sony NEX-6) a constant wide shot and the other, better camera (Panasonic HMC-150) for closer shots and the occasional pan/zoom shot. The first set of footage, for both shows from the Sony, came in just fine; it all fit on one brand spanking new 64GB SD card.
And then the fun, as in panic, began. The Panasonic footage, the more important footage, was on two different cards, and when I began importing the three clips from the first card (Acts 1 & 2 from the first show, Act 1 from the second), I began to get errors. And while the footage appeard to show up, it was only showing up if the card was still mounted; if I unmounted the card, the footage disappeared.
After trying the traditional method again, with the same results, it was time to try something else. Some people prefer simply copying the files from the card to the computer and then importing it into their editing software, and some software works better that way. So I tried that, and lo & behold it worked! After several tests to make sure the footage was really there and really working properly, my panic subsided and I finished importing the footage from the other card, and I was ready to get to the real work of video editing.
But I think I’ll leave that story for another day.