I was recently sent the following Machinima video: "Among Fables and Men".
What is so interesting about this video is that it was created without screen video capture technology (at least, it could have been done without capturing motion). This means that even if you don't have a fancy bit of screen recording software, you could make a movie like this one with nothing more than "Print Screen" (Windows) or "Grab" (Apple).
Once again, and if you didn't notice "Among Fables and Men" won for best Drama video, if you learn to use the tools you have you can make absolutely fantastic movies. This reminder comes at a good time for me. Last night I was on the phone with one of my mentees trying to trouble shoot his new Adobe CS3 Production Suite. Since I don't own the software yet myself, it's really hard to troubleshoot. I had no problem fixing his other issues while sitting in front of his computer, but on the phone it is nearly impossible. I was frustrated because I felt like the tools I recommended for him were letting him down.
However, what I told him was true as well: Learning new software takes time. Editing (filmmaking, as well as most other technical endeavors) requires that you learn your tools. Once you know what you're doing, no matter what tool it is, you can fly. Sure, certain things (like customizable hotkeys) can make things even faster, but you first have to know what you're doing.
Which reminds me: I need to write up a tutorial on how to make a movie without a camera. "Among Fables and Men" may be the perfect impetus to get me to do that. I think I'll start working on that now.
Your Media Production Mentor