Acolytes of Boo, your faithful narrator has been ill. The last several days have been a flurry of mucus and imbalance. I lost 2 days worth of work, so some of my recent extracurricular paid work is now filling the gap of everyday responsibility. I have written my 2nd paid article for VIDEOMAKER MAGAZINE. Now I have to shoot an accompanying video. Luckily, my new job has afforded me my own HD camera to shoot with. I am the proud new owner of a Canon HV20 camcorder. It’s my new home VCR for MiniDV, but also a decent enough “B” camera for several types of HD shooting. I can do true 24P 1920×1080 HD shooting with this and it even includes HDMI output. I will shoot the newest VIDEOMAKER video solely with this camera to put it through the ringer and really try it out.
The Canon HV20 is pretty much a consumer camera, but the 24P mode in full HD as well as the “CineMode” color that makes that more cinematic look – all conspire to make this camera a well sought after, sub-$1,000 acquisition. I’ve been aware of this camera for over 8 months. I debated over getting another $159 camcorder to use solely as a VCR at home since my last $159 camcorder was stolen. I did not want to spend the same money for the same thing. Fate intertwined with my decision and I was able to get the Canon HV20 for $699 and a huge part of it was picked up by the new job.
The camera came in last night, so I hooked it up, shot some very quick footage and also digitized it. The techie stuff to say is that I’m using the Cineform Aspect HD codec with Adobe Premiere for my High Definition projects. I had to use the 1080i 60i settings because of the 3:2 pulldown, but I have no delusions about ever going to a film print, so I don’t care about the extra frames. I’ll have more to say about the camera when I do more than aim the lens at “V” and “Cousette”.
I got my HD-DVD player in last Monday. Two DVD’s were in the box, 300 and the Bourne Identity. I went to Microcenter to buy an HDMI to DVI cable; it was $50. I specifically asked the salesperson – will this work going in an unorthodox direction? My 30″ does NOT have HDMI input – only component, S-video, composite, and computer DVI. I was going to go HDMI out of the HD-DVD player and DVI input on the monitor. He said it would work – I get home, hook it up and NO it does not work. Depressingly, I plug the component red, green, blue analog cables in. I was expecting this to basically be the same or very slightly better than a regular DVD player. HELL NO. The 30″ monitor immediately registered a 1080i signal coming in and I got to see color, detail, and depth I’ve never seen on my own monitor before. I was floored. Damn, this looks good. I immediately upgraded my Netflix account to take HD-DVD’s and ordered a few titles to see in style.
Futurama Returned. The DVD of Bender’s Big Score hit and I am in heaven. All of the original voices and writers are back. I always felt it was unfair that Family Guy got renewed, but Futurama did not, even though both shows were neck to neck in the ratings when they moved over to Cartoon Networks Adult Swim. It seems the “jokes per minute” has slowed down slightly from the original series – but you know what? It was extremely high, so the new pace works fine. It’s now in widescreen and also – playing it via my HD-DVD player in full surround sound looked freakin’ amazing on the big screen. I can’t imagine and HD version of this looking any better since there was no artifacting or loss in detail.
I’m finishing off my first edition copy of Stephen Colbert’s “I AM AMERICA, AND SO CAN YOU!” which makes me chuckle a lot. I think you have to have a certain sense of humor to go through a few hundred pages of sarcasm, but I certainly love it.
Nothing much new to report on the new features. I’m in a holding pattern while I try to carve out the time to work on screenplays. Being sick does not help. It gives me time, but unfocused, irrational, needy, and dehydrated – not conducive to trying to work out bugs in a script.
Editing progresses on ETERNAL. The Derek has made his way over to Rossdonia to check up on a few scenes and give some input. Mostly, I want to get the assembly completed ASAP. Then we can narrow down our focus to The Derek and me working to fine tune and finesse the whole thing together. We’re no where near that point yet. ETERNAL is one of the best looking HD features I’ve seen so far. Alex Esber, Adam White, and Aaron Smith did some exceptional work.
I can’t focus. Being sick sucks. I used to love it when I was a kid because it meant I’d be home watching TV or movies all day. Now, I hate it because I love what I do, so work isn’t a bad thing. The one thing of interest about being sick today is that my little terrorist, “V”, has been doting on me. He knows I’m not well, and he looks after me. He curls up at my feet like he’s protecting me. Vster sleeps on my legs all night and sometimes burrows in on my shoulder to make sure I’m okay. Cousette basically stays away from me when I’m sick, much like My Sexy Fiancé Veronica ™, who got me sick by the way.
– Peter John Ross