Friday, July 18, 2008

Little bees of the busy variety

Been real busy around here. Last weekend we went and filmed an opera for the Casa Italiana opera company in LA. It was a 2 hour show with a 30 minute intermission. Nance had done one of these last year but it was a 3.5 hour opera and she had to do 2 shows in one day (7 hours total!). She had to stand on a chair to operate the camera and it was a really bad experience for her.

Adding to that, we had 1 day's notice for the gig and the sound gear failed so all we had was the on-camera sound. All in all, it was a terrible experience. The sound gear belonged to the guy that was supposed to do the gig but his gear was all crap.

So this time, Nance put together a little platform for herself to be able to sit and operate the camera. She used a swivel bar stool on the platform and it really worked well. We used a pair of Oktava condenser mics with the hypercardioid cartridge in them, positioned them on stands by the corners of the stage and then I operated the Tascam HD-P2 field recorder.

The results this time were excellent. Sunday, we will be doing it all again at a center out in the valley and then the following Sunday we will be in Santa Monica at a theater doing it yet again. We generally spend most of Saturday before the gig prepping and testing gear so it makes for a full weekend.

LAFCPUG bonus!

We went to the LAFCPUG meeting last month and as always we participated in the raffle. We won a copy of Shane Ross's excellent DVD "Getting Organized in FCP" that we already had a copy of so we gave that away to another attendee. We also won a portable 100GB USB drive. Nance also entered us in a drawing that was being done by Focus Enhancements where they were giving away one of their FS-5 recording systems. Well, they called Nance up today to let her know that she won the drawing.

So I will be posting an in-depth review of it as we plan to use it for the Santa Monica opera shoot (yes, we will have a backup system in place a'la tape). Check out the website and watch the demo on this. It is AMAZING!

Gas Prices.

I commute about 60 miles a day in a Camry that gets about 26MPG. Since gas prices have been going insane (they are FINALLY starting to ease up a bit now), I started considering alternatives to driving the Camry. There is a MetroLink commuter but it only runs in the morning...

Hybrid cars are expensive and the milage they get is not *that* great. Years ago, I was a hard core biker. I gave it up when traffic in the valley was just getting far too congested. We live out in the sticks now and my commute is across a couple of farm roads. Pretty mellow. So I went out tonight and bought a Suzuki DL650 that should net me about 55MPG if I drive it right. And it was a hell of a lot cheaper than a hybrid car. And, lets face it, bikes are fun :)

So, other than all of that, we have been bored.

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