Today I tested the camera equipment I’ll be using for my Goose Village documentary. Now that my fingertips have thawed, I can blog about my high-def adventures!
I studied filmmaking in college, but back then I only worked in standard definition on miniDV tapes. Now I have access to an HD camera through the Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling here in Montreal. Having no experience with the fancy 1080i HD format, I wanted to make sure it would work with my video editing program.
With a tripod and camera bag heaved over my shoulder, I walked down Bridge Street to the parking lot and rubble yard where Goose Village once stood. I gathered footage from around the area, including some of the World War II memorial, which is practically all that is left of the neighborhood, plus some of the Black Rock. I shot until my fingers went numb from the cold, then I came back and whipped up a clip.
Here it is!
(The music is from ccMixter, a Creative Commons music database — I know it is not entirely appropriate to the memorials!)
Here’s what I learned today:
- It was a really good idea to test the process out, as I ran into strange technical hurdles from the import of raw footage into Final Cut Express to the export to Vimeo. In the end I got it working, but far better to experience catastrophic failure with test footage than after an interview I’d have only one chance to get right.
- I need to use a tripod with a pan-and-tilt head. Accidentally borrowed one without!
- To get the most out of the HD camera, I must master all of its different settings.
- There is nothing quite like a bowl of hot tomato soup.
When the days grow longer and warmer, I will return to Goose Village to shoot some more footage. (And maybe at night? Some footage of car headlights zooming by the Black Rock might be interesting.)
All said, I’m extremely happy to be making movies again!