Welcome to the August issue!
Olympics fever has gripped the world – and while there are no medals for personal historians, I urge you to pursue your video biography projects with the same passion shown by the athletes now gathered in London.
I hope you enjoy this issue of the Family Legacy Video® Producer’s e-Newsletter. Please e-mail me at email@example.com or phone toll-free (888.662.1294) with any questions or comments you have.
Cheers! – – Steve Pender
A video biography’s lasting legacy.
“Stephen, I have to tell you that Gram’s video is still a hit!”
Those words came from my Aunt Joyce, during a recent phone call. Her mom (my grandmother) was the subject of my very first video biography – although I wasn’t familiar with the term when I finished the video in 1998. I just wanted to create a personal documentary featuring my grandmother, Alice Pender, telling the family stories I’d grown up hearing from her. At the time I was producing and editing a lot of corporate videos, and I prevailed upon one of my good clients to let me use his camera gear and edit bay. These were the days when professional cameras routinely cost $40,000 and up, and when “computerized” editing meant computer control of multiple videotape machines, title generators and video effects units and racks filled with support equipment and monitors – stuff not easy to come by for most folks. (See the accompanying photo for a view of me in my late 1990’s corporate edit bay.) Long story short, the finished video, a high-end affair featuring lots of photos, archival films, music and graphics, became an instant keepsake and a treasured legacy within my family, particularly in light of the fact that my grandmother died shortly after its completion.
And now here we were, fourteen years later, with my aunt still so thrilled with the video that she took it to show to a group interested in personal history at her local senior center. She meant to show it only once, but the response was so great that she was asked to show the video to a number of other groups at the center as well.
I find it very fulfilling to think that my grandmother’s video biography is inspiring other folks to preserve, celebrate and share their life stories on video. Seeing the effect the video has had on my own family also allows me to speak from personal experience as I describe the benefits of video biographies, also known as legacy videos, to potential clients. And my conviction about the value of life stories as legacy is reinforced everytime I hear from my clients and their families how much their legacy videos mean to them – and what they will mean to future generations of their families – families just like yours.
And thanks to my aunt, Gram’s stories and spirit live on, even outside our family.
– – Steve Pender
FLV Webinars: An easy-to-fix security issue for Mac users.
If you have a Mac with the Mountain Lion OS X 10.8 operating system and you purchase links to Family Legacy Video Webinar recordings, you may receive the following error message: “Your security preferences allow installation of only apps from the Mac App Store and identified developers.” This is because of Mountain Lion’s default security settings, which don’t recognize the player you need to install in order to stream the Webinars. But – you can easily adjust those settings, and this post from the Computer Audiophile forum tells you how.
Ask Steve – This month: Transcripts with time code.
Denny Pederson recently purchased “Edit Prep Pt. 1,” the Webinar session that discusses transcripts with time code and creating an editing script. He wrote with the following question:
Q: Dear Steve,
I relate to your method of using time code with transcription. I typically do interviews for wedding videos. Once I have the content imported to Premiere Pro CS5 I cut “dead time” in the clips and cut and paste as I feel appropriate and do some audio mix adjustments. Of course, voice inflections can present a challenge during cut and paste. Premiere gives me some decent tools for making adjustments. Ok, so what would transcribing with time code do for me that I can’t accommodate in Premiere editing? I enjoyed how you presented the material and learning new procedures is key, so thanks for that.
– – Denny Pederson, Wayzata, Minnesota
A: Hi, Denny.
I’m glad you found the Webinar helpful. Creating interview transcriptions that contain time code references (usually at the beginning of each question and answer) for the sound bites is a critical part of my preparation for editing. It helps regardless of the editing software being used. The transcript is actually what I use as source material as I create an editing script, which is basically a representation, in a Word document or on paper, of the finished program. The script actually serves as the blueprint for the video and I follow it pretty closely as I edit. As I create the script, I essentially cut and paste the sound bite text from the transcript into it, building the chapters as I go. I transfer the time code along with the dialogue. Since I usually resequence sound bites pretty extensively, having a time code reference on the script makes it easy to find the bites I want within a long interview clip. For readers who still may be importing interviews from tape: You can use time code from the transcript or script to build a list of in-points and out-points for the clips you want to use. Once this list is complete, you can import only the clips you need, instead of entire tapes. This’ll save you storage space and also help you organize your sound bites. Since I find creating transcripts deadly dull, I hire a transcriptionist. I send her window dubs on DVDs and she transcribes from those.
Got a question about any aspect of family history video production?
Send it to Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org.