Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Don’t discount the old skills…
I work in Video Production in my day job, when I’m not writing my fantastic mystery series, and feeding Big Willy.
It’s a fun career, where I get to play with lots of interesting toys, including High Definition Cameras and Green Screens.
Sounds cool and futuristic, right?
Well, Gentle Reader, let me throw back the curtain and reveal a long held secret. All the new and cool toys, they are just a better mousetrap. They are cool to look at and play with, but all the skills that you need to know, are pretty much the same skills that were used back when everything was shot on film and the cameras were wound by hand.
Don’t believe me? Let me break it down for you:
High Definition, or HD as everyone in their Mom knows about it, is a high-tech way to capture an image digitally. Most of the time, the image is either stored on tape or on the camera, and is transferred to a computer for editing.
However, image wise, HD has still not been able to achieve the beauty of film, a process where film (obviously) is exposed to an image using light, and that image is burned onto the film strip in sequential images. (This is the HIGHLY CONDENSED version). And yes, it’s exactly the same process as your camera.
Because there’s only so many ways to invent the wheel.
Green Screen, or that technology that you use when you’re a weatherman. Also used to pretty much do anything you want in TV or movies. I mean, literally anything. Watch this video and have your mind blown! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKZio1NA15I
But here in lies the rub! The basic concept of a green screen, ore more specifically matte screen: Using a flat screen of one color, shooting actors against it and separating them from the background, and then marrying that image to a separate image. Yeah, its been around since at least the 1930s. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chroma_key#History
Don’t get me wrong, computers make Matte shooting a heck of a lot easier, but the basic concept is still there.
Which, the long and short of what I’m saying is, don’t discount the old skills just because we’re living in the 21st Century. A wheel is still a wheel, there are only so many ways to frame a shot when you’re using a camera, and when you’re writing don’t forget that above all, your readers want is to be told a good story!
So go tell a good story! And win one for the Gipper!