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Thread: Helping the Blind (beginner questions)

  1. #1

    Question Helping the Blind (beginner questions)

    Hi, I am very new at this, and have two big questions. I really do feel as lost as a blind person in a room of unfamiliar objects. I am not lazy, and can group around learning what's what as I go, but it is always a faster path to learning when someone can point you in the right direction.

    That brings me to question #1: What reading material would anyone suggest for the beginner in video production? (I have only the most basic understanding of, lighting, rules of camera position, and basic pre /post production.)

    I became interested in this forum, and gaining better video production skills, after shooting a few indoor videos with a web cam. I know a web cam is about as much like a real camera as a wiffle ball bat is like a hand turned piece of major league ash, but for making indoor videos of a monolog, I have found a web cam to work pretty well when I have the lighting right. Though not high quality, I have found the sound to be a bigger challenge than the video.

    I have just tried to shoot a few outdoor shots, relying on a still digital camera with motion capabilities.

    Question #2: What should I look for in a used camera of some quality, and what do I need to figure on spending. (I am on disability so my budget is very limited.) (Also a friend has told me that a high quality non-digital camcorder could be used, and the media be converted to digital? Is that a short term answer? Can the media be converted with out too much loss of quality? Or could the camcorder video be feed directly into a digital converter/possessor and saved to a HD?)

    Thanks for any advice you can offer.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    London, England


    1) As you're on the Internet, study the many Tutorials on YouTube, they can be variable quality, let's say. - but maybe first you need to decide on an Editor. This means you can focus on those Tutorials that are going to help improve the Edit - and that's where many films are made (or not!).
    Vegas Studio (now called Movie Studio) is popular here and Sony-Creative Website has many Tutorials - of a high standard>
    +If you have abilities in Sound, then go for the Production Suite version. v10 PS is about 20 and v12PS about 50 (Amazon). Note that v10 only Edits "interlaced" footage, whereas v11,12 accept "progressive" as well. v12has some animated text features and improved file handling, but I'm still happy with v10PS.
    The PS version comes with DVD Architect, which allow menu-based DVD's and BlueRays to be created - and importantly has a nifty Audio-Editor . . . . I was using my copy almost all day do a couple of Voiceovers, mainly adjusting levels so all words were "of one voice".

    Go with Digital, it's hassle using Analogue and even fairly basic (modern) cameras have Video-mode. Look for "HD=1080" - avoid cheapo pistol-grip camcorders.
    - Not knowing yr circumstances it's difficult to advise but so-called Bridge-cameras move their specifications rapidly, so you may be able to pick-up one cheaply . . . if possible go for one of the Panasonics with a microphone input skt. . . . although my own Stills camera Sony NEX5 has none . . . and it's never been an issue . . . my VO's are done using a SDHC Recorder and a tie-clip mic. but I have a bad habit of starting a sentence with full lungs (loud) and finishing empty (quiet) - hence the need to "adjust" .
    As you can tell I think you should drop any analogue option, unless you have a top of the range pro-camcorder to hand - but the footage needs to be converted . . . . DON'T. Furthermore such camcorder are bulky and batteries are difficult to source.

    Now a Q for you: - what budget is available? . . . Editing HD footage requires a powerful computer, my own dual-core is not particularly fast, needing a x5 factor to render. (so 3min film takes 15min ). Such computers running WIn7 should be reasonably cheap, but try for more cores if you can. Also, a dedicated Graphics card - NOT "integrated graphics" - so this probably excludes a Laptop, unless expensive and that money is better spent on other things, unless you need portability.

    Most tutorials are on Software, or Hardware . . . . things like "lighting" maybe too, but if you can - join a video/film-making Club where you can learn by watching . . . this may also assist in any Hardware/software choices.....

    Good luck, it's an interesting pastime....
    Last edited by vidmanners; 04-30-2013 at 12:17 AM.

  3. #3


    Hi VM, I must apologize for not getting back to you before now, I have had some real world obligations that have kept me away from the computer. I'm sorry.

    As to the editor, I have been using, the free version of Video Pad from NCH. The only other editor I have any experience with is Movie Maker, and I like Video Pad loads better. Right now they are running a discount until the 15th for the full master version for $69.95 which is more than I really would like to pay, and right now the free version is technically more advanced than my skill level.

    The tiny bit of editing I have any knowledge of is from when I worked for a short time as a cam operator with a public access show in Austin Tx. That show had been running for 6 years at the time and had won many awards. The lady who produced the show seemed to always be at the studio, and when I commented on that once, she said, that the reason why the show was so successful was because she spent so much time editing, so I totally get the idea of editing making a huge difference.

    On the budget to get a capable computer, I am now trying to save for a new faster computer and dedicated video card. Realistically, I will have to get one then the other a month or two later. I once built my own computer, and was very happy with both the result and the savings, though I think that option is not as attractive as it was 15 years ago, with the price savings being negligible, if at all? (This is only my perception, and may not be accurate?) I defiantly do need to get a better possessor, but will probably cut corners on things like hard drive capacity, and other things I can upgrade, or go external on later, so I can get a better/faster possessor/s to start with. Basically my disability is under $1000 and a month, and rent takes more than half of that, so there's not a lot there, but I'm a hustler if there is something I want. I have in the past, and can again, sell things online to put together extra money. I really have gone no further than to know I need a new computer, and have not looked a price in a few years, so I guess I need to start doing a little window shopping so I'll have some idea of what to shoot for.

    I do appreciate the reply, and your thoughts, - I feel they are very accurate, and some good basic things for me to think about. I am sorry for the slow response time on my part and will be a bit more expeditions in the future.


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