Making A Scripted Video

Wine bottle in hand, she walked towards the man in the low-cut flowery dress who peacefully sprawled himself out on a leopard print couch. She unscrewed the cap, tossing it, causing the man in the dress to purse his lips in ecstasy and chuckle. Noticing the man, she inched closer to him, took a gulp from the bottle, and slowly dragged her finger down his chest.

I needed more.

"We need more contact," I tell them. "Don't be afraid, pounce on him. And please don't laugh this time."

This was my Junior year at Iowa City High School and second attempt to make a great, enjoyable movie ("Pills") with some friends. I borrowed a 1998 Panasonic Digital Camcorder and used the school's editing equipment (via iMovie) to try to make the most professional-looking movie possible.

The year prior, I was amazed at the job my friend Emily (the female in the scene described above) did with editing my first movie for our school's film festival. Using iMovie, a Fire Wire connection, and a digital camcorder she could add thunderous sound effects, a professional-looking opening credit sequence, and a well-fitting soundtrack to go along with the whole movie.

I wanted to try editing my junior year.

Soon, I realized how time consuming it was to synchronize shots with music, add in sound effects, and cut clips until my eyes started to bug out from staring at the computer screen hours on end.

My main goal for my Junior year was to have the movie be in the school's film festival. The first time I made a film, I received a Best Actor and Best Screenplay award while another cast member won Best Actress; I had to do better. The popularity of the festival had increased over the years, so that only half the movies would be accepted and more than a third of the school would show up.

Everyone I knew would be watching, but there was a problem.

There was a "technical difficulty" that sprouted up19 minutes in. The computer ran out of memory while I was exporting the movie, so there was an awkward silence. I was a little weary about submitting it because of the problem, but I felt people would understand.

With almost same luck as I had my first year, the movie won Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress. While I didn't get to go up on stage and receive awards, I still had a great time and was definitely looking forward to the next year.

Deciding to stop borrowing a digital camcorder, I started looking to buy one. Coming to a very quick decision, I decided to get the cheapest available camcorder in an either Sony or Panasonic (most reliable) brand.

Slowly, I found some of the greatest things about owning a digital camera were the fun home videos. If there were any family gatherings, I could transfer it onto the computer and make a great, edited keepsake for a long time.

But I'm most looking forward to the first movie I'll be making with my own digital camcorder. I'll be able to shoot the movie without worrying about how I'll get a camera for the next day. It will not have the leopard print hot kinky, but it will surpass what I viewed as possible less than two years ago.

Editor's Note: More and more schools are incorporating video and multi-media production into their offerings, such as the school attended by the author of this article, which offers non-linear (computer based virtual) production.

In last year's digital special on Production we also profiled the Santa Clarita, California High School District which has been producing cable access shows using the linear (discrete analog equipment in-line editing from deck to deck) production process with S-VHS professional decks.

With today's "Crisis In Education" within the U.S. it is good to see schools offering high technology courses to students long before they enter college and we at Issue hope that software and hardware suppliers will seek out and donate their wares to help foster both technology and minds of our young, as school budgets are still tight and the kinds of grants obtained by Santa Clarita to purchase equipment are not easy to find or available to all school districts!

Doing Video On Your Computer | The Pinnacle Capture Card | ATA Hard Drives

Hard Drive Terms | Western Digital Drives | Producing A Scripted iMac Video

Audio For Video | Lighting For Video | Digital VHS | Removable Hard Drives

Our expanded Video and Television coverage continues with these offerings from September 2001 Issues:

Buying a Camcorder | Producing A Cable Access Show | Producing Broadcast TV

A Technical Look and History of Film, Video and TV | Stream Video and Webcasting | HDTV

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