Friday, January 2, 2009

2009 - New Year and Viewfinder keeps going strong!

I backed back into this thing. Video Production. (smile)

If you have been a reader of In The Viewfinder you know I started making movies as a kid with a 8mm and super 8 film camera. I was a Spielberg shooting SciFi in my bedroom and garage. Then in the 80's a new revolution began, the video revolution. I got a video camera (VHS) and started making movies again. Later I shot weddings, pageants and plays. I made some extra money but to really go at it big time I needed better equipment. The things I wanted to do simply couldn't be done yet. At least not without spending tons of money and even then you'd need a network.
Video had not caught up with me yet.

In the early 2000's I was editing on a PC. The video world was catching up with me. Non Linear Editing had fully arrived.
This is when I went searching for a monster. No really, a monster.
A friend and I got this bright idea that we wanted to produce a documentary on the Honey Island Swamp Monster in Louisiana. So with camera in hand we went monster hunting.

We found the monster. It was a plastic cast glued to the bottom of a shoe that some pranksters were using to make tracks in the swamp. So we filmed it, exposed it and that little 15 minute documentary was shown world wide.

That 15 minutes of fame backed me back into video production. I had been a broadcaster for 19 years and then went into printing so I knew a thing or two about the media. And I had been making video for some time too, all the way back to my teen years. I figured if one documentary did well then perhaps another would too.

Four DVD's later and a ton of marketing experience brings me to 2009. A couple of years ago I produced a series of little webisodes on that paranormal subject and then started work on the Mastering Movie Edit Pro series. Volume Three is due out this month.

So here I am, making video. Its a passion and a dream. And as I look forward to 2009 I'm exploring new directions and looking for yet another subject to focus some production time on. In 2008 I started the MMEP tutorial series and began organizing my footage into some stock footage DVDs. I have four volumes online now and a fifth coming out any day now. I partnered with Phoenix Clips and it is a growing business too. I also run the MEP users group hopefully helping others make better video.

I have plenty of ideas but I've had this one idea for some time now and perhaps 2009 is the year I will make it happen. I believe I have the technology now. I can make it better, stronger, faster... but I don't have 6 million dollars. LOL

However that is where this crazy brain of mine kicks in. You don't need 6 million dollars! You don't even need a half million. You just need to get creative and make it happen with what you got! This is where people get bogged down. They think they need money to make something. I did too.

I made my first two documentaries with zero budget. And the others with very little budget. You don't need money to tell a story. You need a story. You don't need the most expensive camcorder to make a video, you just need a camcorder. If the story is interesting then people will watch it. They don't care if you shot it with a whiz bang camcorder or a cheap consumer model. Its what you do with what you got that matters. I had to learn this the hard way. You don't have too.

If you have a camcorder and a video editor you can make a movie. It's as simple as that. The key is the movie, not the equipment. What will it be about? Can you tell a story? Can you put one scene after another and have a beginning, middle and end? If so, you can make a movie or a documentary. You can entertain a few or a million. It is all inside you, not your equipment!
You are the most important video tool you have.

But this article is all about ME! LOL. I have a story and I've wanted to tell it for some time. It isn't anything that happened to me but I was around when it did happen. And as far as I know, this story has never been adequately told. I think I can pull it off. So perhaps 2009 will be the year I tell this story.

Plus In The Viewfinder continues to grow. We have increased our readership continuously since I began this blog. Due in no small part to you! I have started developing the Theme packs which seem to be working well for you guys. I hope to get some more Mastering Movie Edit Pro episodes up soon. The DVD's took up most of my time I spent producing those but they will return in due time. And I may add some new surprises too. So keep checking In The Viewfinder daily!

2009. Hmmmm, what's next?


Bill Mecca said...

A big Amen to that Jay! Content is and always has been King!

Consumer camcorders available today provide better pictures than the thee tube cameras and 3/4" tape units I used back in my Broadcast TV news days, and that was "Broadcast Quality" back then.

I produced my Documentary DVD "Lost Towns of the Pine Barrens, Vol. I" with a borrowed S-VHS camcorder, a bit of Hi-8, and a Celeron 400 PC using a DC10+ capture card. Outside of the cost of gas to get me to where I had to go in the woods, it cost me very little.

it comes down to this... Fast, Good or Cheap, pick any two.

Good and Cheap is going to take more time, but will also give you an incredible education in the process.


Pastor Prince said...


I really appreciate this blog more than you know. I have been busy with many ministry projects, but I still check the site regularly.

Happy New Year!

Thank you for all that you do! I am going to send you an e-mail soon!