Saturday, May 10, 2008

A Long Day's Night

I started editing video around 8am today, and it's now 10pm and I'm about to call it quits until tomorrow, or perhaps later this week. It's all very exciting, actually: I was contracted to do four slide shows for an organization, and today (along with a few hours of yesterday evening) was spent constructing, editing, rendering, and finally burning to DVD, three of the four. I did four slide shows for the same organization last year, and since I was just beginning to learn how to use Final Cut Express, and my only computer was my 1GHz eMac, it was quite an ordeal. It took a few stressful weeks, and a near-miracle hard drive crash-and-recovery (thanks again, Andy), but I ended up with a good finished product. This year, though, I have made extensive use of the MacBook I recently got from my work, as well as the knowledge I gained from previous projects, and things have gone exceptionally well. It's times like this when I realize that the Lord has me struggle through various things, at various times--so I might learn from it and be better off down the road. Not that a simple video project can be equated to a character-building personal struggle, but in some small part, I believe the lesson still holds a kernel of truth.

I have rather enjoyed this project, too. Not that it's finished entirely (I have one more slide show to go, and still have to burn 22 copies of the slide show I just finished), but it has been very interesting, though I would stop short of saying entertaining, to create these. I get to exercise some degree of creativity that I do not always get to do in my daily life, and learn even more about how to use Final Cut Express along the way.

One problem that had confounded me for several months, which was solved by my wife a few weeks ago, was the issue of DVD labels. I used to use sticker-based labels that I printed off and, literally, stuck to the top of each disc. But in preparation for this project, as well as other projects this summer, I wanted an easier way that looked more professional and resulted in a higher-quality finished product. I had a few options: invest in an InkJet or Laser printer that could print on the label-side of DVDs, invest in a LightScribe DVD burner, or find someone who knows calligraphy. But the solution my wife proposed, which has worked out extremely well, was to purchase rubber stamps and use them for the labels. Even though the stamps, at $18 each, are a bit expensive, they produce a very professional finished product. And for the project I am working on, I can re-use the stamps again next year, assuming I get contracted for the same project again. It is perhaps not as economical, in the long run as purchasing a printer, it is far less hassle, and allows me to continue to not have an InkJet printer in our household--a tradition which will continue for the term of my natural life, if I have anything to say about it.

So yeah, video editing is pretty cool. Now to play some Mario Galaxy...

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