Archive for the ‘Workshop’ Category

Graduate Students as Media Producers: Using Smartphones to Produce Educational Video Content

December 9, 2015

S A M P L E  T E X T

At first when phones became “smart” and suddenly we had so many capabilities in the palms of our hands, I was still skeptical about the quality of both the photos and the videos produced by these small gadgets.  As time went by and the technology improved, I began to notice just how far we’ve come and began to experiment with mobile devices.

S A M P L E  T E X T

As a professional videographer, I’m use to having certain controls and features on a video camera.  Mobile devices didn’t have these functions built into the hardware like mainstream camera equipment, but rather through filters that could be downloaded and installed… many for free while others had a price tag.  Again, technology took a major leap forward offering quality lenses, better chips and sensors.  Granted they had limitations, but the quality of the images had greatly improved.  Video, too, had shown how it’s grown as well.  We can now have full Hi-Definition (HD) video at full frame rate.  My experiments continued.  This time around I wanted to produce a small series of content completely shot by mobile devices and see if anyone would really notice the significance in quality.  Mind you, this series of experiments lead to some interesting findings about the technology.

S A M P L E  T E X T

– – – to be continued – – –


Tapeless Video Workshop

February 19, 2012

I’m currently designing a Video Workshop for Educators. And although I have done many video workshops in the past, this one is a bit different. Why?

It will be tapeless – 100% tapeless.
Yes, we have done tapeless before using Memory Cards, but this one also brings both new and old technology into the spotlight.

My background has been in the field of TV/Video & Film for more than two decades and along the way, newer technological advances have steered me toward exploring new venues for producing and distributing content. With that said, I know there are entire processes for how to complete the mulitple phases of video production – Planning, Pre-Production, Production, Post-Production, and Distribution. We can add, Audio Engineering and Sweetening, Public Relations, Marketing, Advertising and now Social Media Networks to the mix – but, I’m going to simplify things for this workshop and just give the broad strokes.

First, The Set-Up –

To give old video cameras a second life. We have already brought back Mini-DV cameras by connecting them via Firewire to laptops running Ubuntu 11.04. Yes, Linux, is the key to bringing existing technology back to life. Using a Video Editor known as KDEnlive, we can set up the camera without any videotape. Since raw video footage will take up much of the laptops’ hard drive, a USB to an external hard drive with as much storage capacity as possible is required. A portable terabyte drive is relatively inexpensive and is recommended. With one laptop per camera, we can now have isolated (or “iso”) multi-camera set-ups available – at least within a classroom environment.

Next, The Shoot –

Now connecting secondary monitors to these laptops via VGA ports, will provide the instructor (or the class) the exact same view as seen through the cameras viewfinder. This in turn allows the instructor to direct a cameraperson to zoom-in or out of a shot for the purposes of editing the footage at a later time.

Finally, The Editing –

Without going too far back into the history of videotape – when videotape was the norm, there was analog editing. This form of editing video involved swapping tapes back-and-forth and recording a clip-at-a-time from the “source” tapes to a “master” tape. The end result was a product that was already one-generation down from the original raw footage. The “master” served to create copies or duplicates (a.k.a. “dubs”), which were a second-generation down from the original.

With the age of digital video editing technology, however, there is no generation loss. But, when working with videotape, there was a new issue that needed to be dealt with prior to actually editing the footage. This was the converting phase – the digitizing of the raw video footage (a.k.a. “source video” or “source footage”) in order to edit with this new technology.

What this workshop emphasises is that while the cameras were recording, the footage was already being digitized to the portable hard drives, therefore, saving you the additional step to convert the footage. Hence, we have tapeless.

Although we began with Linux, now that the footage is on the portable hard drive(s), we can use any platform to edit the footage. Whether you are running Windows or Mac, editing in Avid, Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere, or Vegas Pro, the footage is ready to go. On a side note: Editing in Linux can be done and is slowly making milestones in many industries.

I hope that everyone can see how we can take existing technology, in this case, salvaging old Mini-DV cameras and bring them into the tapeless environment. My next objective is to so see if I can replicate all this with VHS-C cameras. I am curious as to what the quality of the picture and sound are once it digitizes the content as it records it.

Til next time….You’ve been Teknolized!


SMART Board Training

September 7, 2011

Currently Designing and Developing a series of hands-on workshops around the SMART Board. SMART Boards are a HOT topic in K-12 schools, so it’s only right to have some resources on how-to utilize this technology in the classroom.

First workshop will be in a few weeks. We hope to address issues and concerns from those who have little or no experience with the boards. We also want to know what more experienced individuals are doing to bring this highly innovative technology into their classrooms.

We are going to provide an overview, a brief demonstration, then escort the participants to their classrooms with our own student/teachers to assist (and learn) in this workshop. I will be bringing in some newer technology to showcase within the SMART Boards interface.

I will also set-up an on-line environment similar to Facebook, but only accessible by the participants of the workshop.

Additional details as the dates get closer.

Til then…