Free Pass to NAB or $100 Off Conference. – Expires Febraury 19

It's almost time for NAB – The National Association of Broadcasters Conference. If you want a free NAB pass for show floor or to save $100 on any conference — then here's a great offer. Thanks to Creative Cow, visit and enter code CC01 and save — good thru February 19.


New Podcast Featured on iTunes

Our new podcast, Video Made on a Mac, is in the New and Notable section of iTunes.

Richard Harrington and Robbie Carman show you how to create professional video on the Mac. In this series, they share videos and project files using real world examples in Final Cut Studio and Adobe Creative Suite. From pre-production to post, and accomplishing it all within a tight schedule, this podcast series gives you a sample of what you can learn using their book, Video Made on the a Mac.

Be sure to visit the site to get the
free downloadable files or order the book. Be sure to use the code VMMBOOK at checkout to receive a discount.

The new podcast is brought to you by the fine folks at Peachpit Press.

Editors Retreat Returns

Recharge Your Creativity and Craft • January 28 - February 1 • Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

Now in its third year, the Editors Retreat has become an annual gathering for the post-production elite. Highly experienced editors from the worlds of film, TV and video gather to network, exchange ideas, share tips and of course, have fun!

Past keynotes and attendees have included such names as Alan Heim, Sally Menke, Stuart Bass, Chris Franklin and David Helfand as well as Apple, Adobe and Avid experts and industry power users. Attendees have included representatives from HBO, FRONTLINE, MTV, Lockheed Martin, Harpo Productions and Telemundo.

Running for 5 days and 4 nights, the Retreat offers advanced sessions on post visual and audio techniques and features valuable insight into emerging trends and technologies. An equal amount of time will be devoted to discussing the creativity, craft and business practices of successful editors.

To ensure that only the best of the best attend, participation is subject to an application and screening process. Visit for the full schedule and more details.



Important Video – Slightly Off Topic

Today is Diabetes Alert Day.

My company helped produce this video about an important public issue. Please watch.


Field Production Strategies for Video Podcasting

Podcast and New Media Expo 2007: The rules of the studio don’t apply the same in the field. In this session you will learn how to properly capture your video content outside of a controlled environment and unpredictable lighting and background noise. You also learn how to achieve the best results when encoding files for various output devices. See how the experts retain overall quality with an overview of the latest methods and technologies. This session will also share best practices for multi-camera productions.

Download mp3:
Distributing Video in Various Formats: How To Make the Right Choice (1:00:46 min 27.9 MB)


Testing the Feed

FEED Validator
There are lots of things that can break an RSS feed. A misplaced character, a misformed date, the list goes on. Fortunately testing a feed is easy. Once you have your feed and media available online, you’ll want to test it. The easiest way is to visit where you can enter the adress for your feed. If there are errors in your feed, they are clearly identified. The website also offers suggestions and links to more information on how to fix common problems. This website is invaluable and shoot be a part of your testing process.


On-Camera Considerations

Here are a few extra tips to help less-experienced on-camera talent or interviewees.
  • Bring at least one alternative set of clothing.
  • Herringbone, stripes, or small patterns do not look good on camera. Avoid vivid patterns, plaids, and geometric shapes.
  • Please keep you’re jewelry simple.
  • Do not wear bright white. Cream, eggshell, or light gray are preferred.
  • Unless told otherwise, maintain eye contact with your interviewer throughout the interview.
  • Relax.


Interviewer Tips

Becoming a good interviewer is an acquired skill that takes training and practice. For the less experienced, here are a few helpful pointers.
  • “Edit in the Camera.” Encourage short answers and come back to topics again. Better to focus on good, tight answers than trying to cobble together six takes to make your point.
  • Avoid enumeration or the phrase “Like I said before.” It is highly likely that you will use only part of the answer (such as step three, without steps one and two).
  • Ask leading, open-ended questions… being sure to ask a single question only.
  • Don’t be afraid to stop and start over. Do not let an answer ramble on. Smiles and nods encourage subjects that they are ‘on-target’ and can stop trying to talk themselves out of a corner.


Keep Two Sets of Cables Handy

A mantra that we like to repeat often is this: 90% of all problems are cable problems. A bad cable can destroy your production. From pops in the interview, to a flickering client monitor, a bad cable can do all sorts of damage.

Cables are cheap, re-shoots are not. To avoid expensive problems keep two sets of audio, video, and FireWire cables with your camera bag. And when a cable goes bad, toss it and replace it.


FireWire – A Technology with Many Names

If you are shopping for FireWire technology, you’ll often see it referenced by two additional names. Sony frequently calls the technology i.Link, while others favor the generic IEEE 1394, which refers to the number given to it by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

The technology is identical, what is at play here is a resistance to use the FireWire logo and name which is closely associate with Apple, Inc. which co-developed the technology. Adding to the confusion is that there is FireWire 400 and FireWire 800. The technology called FireWire 800 uses a 9-pin connection type and is much less common. It is generally used for higher-speed hard drives and is usually not found on cameras.