Media Production Mentoring

Free online film school designed with beginning filmmakers in mind.


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Today was the first time that I realized video technology may actually be changing since I started college.

Granted, when I was a Freshmen, DVDs were still coming onto the scene, HDV didn't exist, RealPlayer had the best video compression for web, and no one was talking about 4K. So, as I've said before: things have changed. But for all the format talk, for all the hype around h.264 and P2, for all the new cameras, I have been very convinced that for the young filmmaker who is thinking about making movies, MiniDV is where you want to start.

MiniDV is superior to the other options out there for several reasons: Backup, quality, ease of editing, and fairly ubiquitous equipment. It is absolutely the format to start with. I realize there are arguments against all of these points, especially in more expensive/newer cameras, but I still hold that for all of these to be true you need to use MiniDV.

But after telling another kid today to get himself a MiniDV camera, I started thinking: Is that really the best advice?

Yes... for now. But times, they are a-changing. And that feels odd because, for all the talk of technological advances, the actually viable and accepted technology changes very slowly. Blu-ray's rather pathetic advance is good evidence of this. But two things are converging to make me wonder if the best introductory format is shifting to a flash/hard drive format.

Something like the...


Because of YouTube.

Well, more accurately, web delivery.

See, for the past decade, the question for filmmakers has been, "How will I make my video available? How will I keep copies of it?" Over these years the answer has been DVD with backups on tape. But now, with digital delivery really taking off, that answer--at least for amateur/student filmmakers--is quickly becoming: YouTube/Vimeo/Your-Video-Site-Of-Choice. Now we have an instant mechanism for people to see our videos, a backup system like none other (Google servers, anyone?), and even redundancy across multiple sites. And there is no longer a need, or even a desire, to go back and re-edit something in the future... so a system for backing up footage is also slipping into the past.

This hit me personally this evening as I considered shooting a quick vlog post of me eating toast: How should I do it?

Well, with my current MiniDV system, I need to get my camera set up, find a tape, shoot the video, capture the footage into an NLE, add fade in and out, export and then upload.

If I had a "YouTube enabled" camera, like the one above, I would pull it out, shoot, copy and post.

Thankfully, my wife is supportive of me and suggested we go out and get just such a camera. I will let you know if/when I do... probably via a vlog post.

 ~Luke Holzmann
Your Media Production Mentor

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