The past few nights I worked late on a moonlighting edit gig. I made some extra money, but they were some seriously long days. I took Friday off and I had one or two things in mind to do. Mostly I wanted to watch movies, but that didn’t really ever happen, which has been the norm for the past few months when I get free time. I had no Sexy Fiancé tonight, which is usually when I get to watch movies. She’s an actress who doesn’t like to watch TV or movies or plays. Weird.
I wanted to experiment with some HD footage and HD clips I have done in the past year and see what they look like coming out of the HDMI port of my camera, the Canon HV20. So I loaded up some footage on a timeline that was shot 1280×720 on the JVC HD110 camera. I needed to up-rez it to 1920×1080 because the Canon HV20 doesn’t take any form of the 1280×720 (aka 720P) variety of HD. I chose the Red Giant software called INSTANT HD and set it to the highest possible quality settings. It took 2 hours to convert all of 7 minute worth of footage.
The first clips were a title sequence to a new instructional video I did for a cable access show playing in Dayton, Cleveland, and soon to be Cincinnati. I used background shots from a recent trip to Manhattan by a friend who took my HV20. I have only ever played clips on a computer in HD, and usually highly compressed Windows Media Video (WMV) HD files. I wanted to see what the HDMI port from the camera did and how it looks.
Problem one came from the EXPORT TO TAPE when I tried to get my newly created 1920×1080 (aka 1080P) footage back out to tape. I use the CINEFORM ASPECT HD codec and plug in for Adobe Premiere Pro and it has worked flawlessly for me in the past, but today it just didn’t want to go out to tape. I had to convert them all to M2T files, the MPEG2 for HD file format. Then I used the HDLINK program to lay it out to tape.
So I finally got footage in HD (thought technically HDV) onto tape and it was now time to plug it in HDMI to the big screen and take a look….
WHOA. Staggering quality of images. It looked like the HD broadcasts I’m getting off the air it was so sharp, clear, and the text (my favorite part of high end HD footage) was crisp and perfect. This is why HD is the future. I love film and the grain of real celluloid, but this IS the future. It has arrived.
I made the right choice with this simple little camera, and I love my HV20. It will serve me well for the next few years as a BEHIND THE SCENES camera et al. The JVC HD110 camera footage up-rez’d to 1080 looked just as good. This is proof that a good piece of glass and manual controls in the right hands will create superior images.
If I had any doubts about what I am about to do with my shorts, going HD and the various formats, cameras, etc. – I do not have those doubts now.
A few other tidbits…
I judged another Dublin High School film festival last week. That was fun and the quality gets better every year. There was one standout short, one called “Delineation”. The two kids who made it knew who I was and had seen some of my stuff online. The best compliment I ever got as a judge came from them. They had had seminars and speakers all day and they told me they wished I had been one of them. They said I was the only “filmmaker” they had heard of in Columbus and that they weren’t interested in people from broadcast. That was high praise. I then proceeded to tell them that I make my real money from broadcast commercial work.
Sony Picture’s CRACKLE.COM™ came through with an interview they did with me for their site. That was cool. I love their site. They’re playing with some new things and I hope to ride their wave a bit. They did however do a server change and I lost 21 million views in the reset. It only reads 240,000 views. I never thought I would ever write “only 240,000 views” and sound disappointed. Surprisingly, YouTube™ has been the breadwinner in terms of stats. Although as I write this, Yahoo Video™ has brought me a spike of 37,000 views in one day yesterday, so maybe I shouldn’t pick a winner just yet…
I can’t think of anything else relevant to talk about. That’s all.