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Long Time...No Blog

It has been a busy Q1. We have several private label projects going that are taking a lot of time and energy.

One of the best things about new projects is it gives us a chance to think up new creative ways to do what we do best.

Back in December we started visiting a particular hospital on an almost weekly basis to record a variety of surgical procedures. Surgical Video is of course one of our specialties, and this project made good use of the recently acquired Sony HVR-Z5U HDV camera.

What's that you say? Why are we still shooting HDV? Well, we determined that to go to XDCAM EX would be cool, but when we send one guy to shoot for upwards of 8 to 12 hours with few breaks, that would mean a lot of SxS cards and extra gear to carry. And quite honestly the HDV recording looks just great.

That being said, we have added to our gear list a Canon 7d DSLR. On one of the shoots that I attended, I captured a full 36gigs of stills and 1920x1080 video. A few shots ended up in the final edit.

As mentioned previously, we captured about 1000 stills with the 7d for a soon to be published textbook for surgical technologists. About 250 images found their way into the final layout along with a handful of Illustrator graphics.

Then in February we took our bi-annual trip out to Colorado for a weekend of shooting nursing training videos. We had 3 guys and three cameras plus the 7d floating between setups as an extra HD camera angle. The shots we have used so far cut nicely with the HDV, and in some cases look even nicer thanks to the shallow DOF. Kind of makes me want to get two more 7d's and shoot everything with them! The price is right.

Fast forward a week and it was on to the next installment of the top secret project. For this round we got the greenlight 24 hours in advance of the shoot date. We got three top surgeons together for a lively panel discussion and commentary on some of the previously shot and edited surgical cases. The end result, 80 hours of editing later, is a Meet the Press style show featuring over 2 hours of in-depth discussion on a particular topic in surgery.

For a big shoot like this, we rent some Kino Flo kits for nice even studio lighting - as studio-esque as we can get in a hospital conference room that is - and extra HDV cameras.

During this same time frame we have had a number of smaller editing jobs and shoots and some multimedia jobs. lately clients have been taking delivery of not just DVD copies but also 2 gig USB thumb drives, usually printed with a company logo and a lanyard printed with the name of the meeting. If you copy the contents of a CD or DVD containing a self-contained Flash player, along with an autorun.ini file, the USB drive acts like a self-running CD-ROM when inserted into a PC. On a Mac, assuming you include the right files, it shows up as an icon on the desktop.

All this activity means one has to be extra organized, nourished and did I mention organized? A weekly desk cleaning session, plenty of snacks and coffee pods, bi-weekly staff meetings, frequent communication with the business office, phone calls with clients, managing outside resources such as designers or illustrators and of course account management to keep customers happy. The best customer is a return customer!

So life is busy - and it's a good kind of busy - Summer is here (yep, in April) - got a new road bike and some nice rail trails here in Central CT...

Thanks for reading.

Mike Cohen

Posted by: Mike Cohen on Apr 7, 2010 at 9:50:43 pm travel production planning teamwork

I have a passion for my job, which entails training for medical professionals such as surgeons, nurses and administrators, not to mention various industries.

Technology is great, but how you apply your skills is what pays the bills.

Years ago I canceled my Media 100 support contract upon discovering what a treasure trove of helpful advice can be found on the Creative COW website. I am proud to be a part of this fantastic community.

In my blog I talk a little about media production, a lot about travel and workflow, and occasionally about cooking, nature and my four-legged friends.

Follow me on Twitter: med_ed_mike

I'm also on LinkedIn if you can't get enough of me!


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