First Post

I don’t know how it is for others, but the hardest part about blogging, as far as I’m concerned, is deciding what to write about, and, by extension, what not to write about.  I’ve been meaning to start a blog for years now, but, separate from my natural inclination to give up on personal projects before I’ve seen them through, I think the reason I never tried this in the past was because I couldn’t decide exactly what my blog would be about.

When I began MotionLife Media at the end of 2009, I decided that blogging would be a key component of my work, yet I was also conscious of not feeling constrained to only write about business-related topics.  In general, I think that my posts will focus on two categories of video: production and distribution.

The production side will include my entirely subjective thoughts about cameras, equipment, software, assorted gear, and related technology.  Distribution will be the more wide-ranging (and more subjective still) of the two topics: I’ll address encoding, streaming, home entertainment options — maybe even the occasional movie review.

Here’s the gist of it: I love movies.  I’m a video producer, whose clients, for the most part, consist of small businesses and corporations, but I approach everything I do from the standpoint of a love for movies.  I love screenplays, editing, and, of course, directing.  Leaving out that part of the story would be like starting a cooking blog without mentioning my favorite foods, or chefs.

Anyway, there’s really no point in talking about a technology separate from its usage.  It’s great to read about all the cool new gadgets on the market (and believe me, I check those sites daily), but, at some point, in order for all that information to have any significance whatsoever, we need to have direct interaction with those new technologies.  It’s one thing to read reviews about products we don’t own; it’s another to shell out hard earned cash to buy those products, and then write about the experience.

Over the years, I’ve learned that it doesn’t really do me any good from a personal standpoint to turn my work process into what some people like to call a methodology.  It doesn’t make me any happier.  If I have a methodology, it’s that I’m constantly willing to adapt my methodology.  Everyone wants to feel like they’re part of a group, or a category, but holding to that rule too rigidly will inevitably lead to disappointment.  For instance, video producers are often asked whether they are Mac people, or PC people.  In the end, I’ve decided that I don’t care one way or the other, as long as the hardware and software get the job done.

Right now, I’m a Canon HDSLR person.  But if a better camera comes out next year, I’ll be happy to try it out.  I edit in Final Cut Pro, so I guess I’m a Mac person, but I also own a $350 netbook, recently upgraded to Windows 7, and I love it.  I don’t use it for editing, obviously, but I do use it for a dozen other things on a fairly regular basis.  My number one concern when it comes to any of these technologies is personal happiness.  I do this stuff for a living; why would I want to be unsatisfied with the products I use?

Another part of the equation involves technological certainty, or, in my case, lack thereof.  Let’s put it this way: I’m no genius.  I have no idea why 24 frames per second is truly superior to 30 frames, or what actually makes colors complimentary, or what is the absolute best video codec on the market today.  I feel strongly that in order to offer that kind of technical expertise, I would have to spend much more time than I already do on research, be in a position to test out competing equipment and hardware, and back up everything I say with factual data.  Yeah, that’s not really going to happen.  Please don’t expect to read equipment reviews on this site, though you can be confident that if I do use a piece of equipment, I will write about it, and, in my own indirect way, review it.  Same goes for software and process: I’ll write about my workflow, but I’ll never argue against doing it differently.

You’ll also find that I’m fairly obsessed with cost.  Am I cheap?  No, but I’m extremely selective, and I can stomach spending thousands of dollars on certain items while spending no more than a few hundred on others.  As I mentioned earlier, my opinions are purely subjective.  Feel free to comment, and I’ll do my best to respond in a timely manner and defend my point of view, or possibly even change it.

So, that’s basically it.  I’m not here to write about politics, or relationships, or somewhat related but ultimately disconnected topics such as still photography.  This is, and always will be, a blog about video.  But I hope you’ll find, as I believe, that video is a hell of an interesting topic.

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