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Are you new to video?

People might disagree with me about this, but my opinion is that if you’re new to video, you should NOT get caught up in the highly technical aspects of video.

I see video as being two things at the same time: technical and artistic.

The problem with focusing on the technical aspect of video is that it could stop you from shooting. As an example, sometimes people get “analysis paralysis” as they try to research (to death) what codec they should use while shooting.

I say don’t worry about the codec when you’re new. Just shoot video. The act of shooting will help you learn what technical aspects you need to know. In fact, after shooting for a while, it’s highly possible that you’ll find out what situations you like (or need) to shoot the most, and often that will help you determine a good codec.

And that’s the thing: many of the technical questions are answered by the situations you find yourself in. But you can’t be in shooting situations unless you’re shooting. Do you see my logic?

What frame rates do you need?
Should you use Long GOP or I-Frames?
How do you optimize for the web?

All of these are good questions…for later. Right now, if you’re new to video, just pick up a camera and shoot.

Will you make mistakes? Sure. But that’s exactly the best way to learn.

My Izzy Video Members know that I focus mostly on the fundamentals of video. My goal is to help you understand what you need to know when you’re starting. I cover technical stuff too, but it’s not the priority. Why? Because a lot of my audience is new to video.

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This is the result.

As I write this, there are 113 comments on my previous blog post where I asked you to vote for which course I should produce next.

I just did a quick count, and it looks like the Advanced Final Cut Express course is barely beating the micro-documentary course. Motion is a pretty distant third.

Because the top two courses are so close in the number of votes, I’m thinking I’ll do both. But because I only have time to do one right now, I’ll start with Advanced Final Cut Express. Also, I have the outline completed for this one already, so I should be able to get started on it more quickly.

I’m really looking forward to doing these courses. I’ll begin the Advanced FCE course this week. The basic FCE course took under three weeks to complete, so I’m hoping this new one should be about the same.

And after that’s done, I’ll start on the micro-documentary course. I’ve got some BIG ideas for this one. (More on this later…)

Thanks for the votes, and for helping me determine the direction I should head!

And if you voted for Motion, don’t worry. I have ideas for that too. I just can’t get to it quite yet. :-)

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What course should I create next?

I’m about to create a brand new course. I only have time to work on one right now, but I have three different ideas. I’d like to get your vote for which one I should create.

Here are the three ideas:

  1. Advanced Final Cut Express — This course would cover a series of advanced techniques in Final Cut Express. I’ve made a long list of different segments I would include. I know many of you are Final Cut Express users, so I thought this might be a helpful course and a good supplement to the beginners one I’ve already created.
  2. Micro-documentaries — This course would cover the elements of documentaries and help you create miniature documentaries. I’ve been calling them micro-documentaries, or motion scrapbooking. These are personal in nature, ways to tell your own stories.
  3. Motion – I’m certainly not an expert with motion graphics, but I’m pretty good with Apple’s Motion, so I’ve been thinking about creating a course to help beginners get up and running with it.

Which do you prefer? Is there a different topic I didn’t post here that you’d rather see?

I only have time to make one right now, so I want to make sure I start with the right one. Please cast your vote in the comments.

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I need to clarify a few things about DSLR cameras.

My post yesterday received several interesting comments, so I decided to clarify a few things.

  • Right now might not be the best time to buy a Canon 5D Mark II. As Joseph Nasto pointed out in the comments, the model is getting old, so it might make sense to wait until the next generation is released.
  • The new firmware update improves the audio from the Canon 5D Mark II, so it isn’t as bad as it used to be — as Ted Vandell pointed out in the comments. But in my opinion the audio still isn’t that great. I use the Zoom H4n to capture audio separately whenever I can. My thinking is that the camera is an amazing video-capturing device, and the Zoom H4n is an amazing audio-capturing device, so they make an incredible combination.
  • Matt asked in the comments about accessories I use with my Canon 5D Mark II. This is a question that, in my opinion, requires visuals. I’m planning a video that will answer this for those of you who are interested.

Brian Alves from The DV Show (great show — everyone should subscribe to it) answered a question where someone asked when this “DSLR fad” would go away. Brian said that even though he doesn’t own a DSLR, he doesn’t think it’s a fad. I agree with Brian; I don’t think they’re a fad either. They might not be “the” distant future of video cameras, but they produce amazing imagery. And that’s why they’re so popular.

When I was at the NAB Show a couple weeks ago, DSLR-related information was everywhere. It wasn’t as popular as 3D, but it was very close. I chose to spend several hours in the Canon booth, watching cinematographers talk about how they’re using DSLR cameras to shoot video. It was inspiring and revealing.

If you don’t want to use DSLR’s to shoot video, of course that’s okay. They’re not for everyone. They have technical challenges associated with them (as I mentioned previously), but for many situations, I think they make a lot of sense.

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Our Two Godaddy Contest Entries

I don’t usually do this, but I have a couple videos I worked on that I want to share with you. I shot and edited two Godaddy contest commercials written and directed by Kevin Frei.

(Please be aware that they contain innuendo, so you might want to skip them if you’re offended by that kind of content.)

…and the other one…

I was the Director of Photography and editor on these projects.

Do you like them? Which do you prefer? If you have a moment, will you please vote for them here.