Sunday, May 31, 2009

28th & B Skate Park, Sacramento CA

Now with the RAM upgrade, HDV footage was not going to be a problem, so I went out to the 28th and B Skate park, or EPIC Skate park, in Sacramento to get better footage than a YMCA soccer game (lol). Again there were a couple things I still forgot to do, but the montage was a much better video than my previous ones. Color Correction, White Balance, Sound, and better filming were areas that hurt me this time around. Even with a few obvious mistakes, the reaction I got from the video were all positive. I'm really looking forward to filming more skate videos, I just need to learn how to skate so I can film some good lines and not fall and break something. Here is the montage, be sure to follow to vimeo to view in its best quality:

28th & B Skate Park Sacramento, Ca 5/2/09 from Andrew Zaragoza on Vimeo.

Although when you watch in "HD", it still seems to lack the true "HD" feel. When I first got my Canon HV20, I wasn't planing on using HD, now that I'm using 60i, I feel that it is not good enough. So the next step is filming in 24P. Think of those daytime soap operas and the way they look. They're high produced projects, but still don't look like full on movies. They look extra clean and crisp. That is how I'm hoping my next project will look when I film in PF24 and remove whats called "pull-down" and edit in 24P. Don't worry, you don't need to understand everything, you just have to sit back and enjoy.
The next project was filmed in socal yesterday (may 30th) in PF24 so we'll see how good it turns out. Be on the look out for that video real soon. Thanks.

Friday, May 29, 2009

I guess I can edit HDV Footage - YMCA Soccer Game

After doing hours and hours of research and taking advice from other Mac users, I went ahead and tried to film and edit HDV video. I had plans on going to my nephew's soccer game, so I saw this as a great oppertunity to see what I can do. I filmed in HDV - 60i. I wasn't planing on sending this highlight reel to ESPN, so I caught some simple footage to see if my MacBook could handle the bigger, more complexed HD files.

It is said that laptops are not made for editing HD footage, who ever said that did not own a Macintosh. I was able to capture and edit the footage with ease on my stock White MacBook. Although the 1gb of RAM could not handle special effects, I could still edit the footage with out long render times, or any hiccups in between. Here is the soccer game I filmed to use as my test subject. Follow to if you want to view in its highest quality:

Asa's Soccer Game from Andrew Zaragoza on Vimeo.

After coming to the realization that I was going to have to upgrade my 1gb of RAM, I quickly ordered a pair of 2gb Memory RAM sticks and installed them. The process took me 5 minutes and cost less than $50. Post a comment if interested in where I got the hardware and how I did it.

At this point my Mac was even stronger, faster, and ready for more. The next video will again test my machine's power.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

My first Drifting Video - UFO's First Drift Event, Marina Ca

The epitome of what is known as a "bitter/sweet" moment. Although I was beyond excited to use my video equipment for the first time, knowing that I was not going to take part in a drift event was a tough pill to swallow. I guess its what old veterans feel when they're forced into retirement, they don't want to sit on the sidelines. Fortunately, I have gotten over that feeling and now I've realized I can still enjoy the motor sport that I have loved for so long, but in an equally enjoyable, and a MUCH cheaper alternative.

Let the unprepared rookie get to work. For some, the next few statements might seem a little off the wall. When I went to film this event, it was officially the first time I had ever used my Canon HV20, a Tripod, multiple lenses, an external microphone, a lens hood, and headphones to check my sound levels. I stayed pretty much in one spot the entire event, never set my white balance and completely ignored the barrel distortion I was getting with my Wide Angle lens. Live and learn. I shot the entire day in Standard Definition, not knowing I was capable of editing HD. I later found out that was not the case, but we'll leave that alone for now.

As soon as I captured all the footage onto my Mac, I was astonished at how fast and efficient my machine was for video video editing. The entire project was completed in 4 days! A project like this would normally take me weeks if not months to complete on my PC. This was also a first for me. I had just switched over to Mac from PC, and to this day, I'm still learning more and more on Final Cut Pro every day. Looking back, I see many problems filming, as well as many problems editing. I'll let you decide what you think of the video. Watch here or click the link at the bottom entitled "UFO Drift Event in Marina, Ca", you can also read the original excerpt from when it was posted:

UFO Drift Event in Marina, Ca from Andrew Zaragoza on Vimeo.

My inexperienced shined through in this gem, but I'm glad I have something to look back on as I fine tune my skills. Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Introduction - READ FIRST

Trying to get started in this foreign world of blogging. I'm using this mostly as a way to keep track of my videos and my progression through film and editing. It is by far the funnest hobby I have gotten into. Film and editing that is. I've been drifting for the past 6+ years, but I'm currently in the process of buying a house, so that has since stopped. Although it is depressing, selling car parts and saving for a house will pay dividends in the long run. Luckily, I've found something that has grabbed my attention far more than drifting.

The most enjoyable aspect of film is, it is as great as you want it to be. A mentor of mine always tells me, "Editing is what ever you make it. There is no right or wrong way to making a film, do what feels right". If someone absolutely hates a video I make, there is a great chance someone else will absolutely adore it. I've never been blessed with the skill to paint a beautiful portrait, or having a creative mind to scribble out a master piece, so being able to create art through film and video editing is amazing.

So far the tools I have acquired to create my Sistine Chapel are as follows:
Canon HV20 HDV Camcorder
Velbon Video-Mate 607 Tripod
Rode VideoMic Microphone
Tiffen Telephoto Lens
Merkury Optics Wide Angle Lens with Macro Lens
Multiple lens filters and Hoods
A home made top handle my dad and recently I made
And I just purchased a Velbon DL-11 Tripod Dolly that has not even been shipped yet
And my beloved MacBook with Final Cut Pro 6.0, the greatest thing ever invented.

I have 3 current videos I will post soon. I can already see some form of progress from the first to the most recent. If there are any question, you can ask me directly at
Hopefully this will be something you will be interested in to check back from time to time. Be ready for HD videos, as well as some photos for I
might jump into that realm someday.

Thank you,
Local Street Hero
Andrew Z.