At The Edinburgh Fringe With A Ton Of Equipment

Computers Galore

I closed the lid on the Avid (HP) so you could see the hard drives & mess of wires.

I have arrived in Edinburgh with no less than ten tons of equipment.

Two 2TB hard drives, a hard drive HDV recorder, two discs for said recorder, a disc reader for those discs, a DVD burner, a 7 way USB splitter, two laptops (1 Avid, 1 Adobe) and a fistful of thumb drives.  That’s not counting the cameras (2) tripods (2) and auxillary crap (DVDs, cases, etc.)

Carrying this stuff around has been a nightmare!  I’m so glad I can finally put it down, set it up and not have it to lug up and down stairs anymore.

It looks complicated, and it is.  Basically this is how my system works:  The HP is an Avid platform on XP.  The Lenovo (on which I write this) is a Win 7 based X series with CS5.  The Avid does the editing.  The X series does the DVD authoring.

First, I shoot (with the help of my assistant) on two cameras.  One records to the Maxell iVDR, the other to HDV.  The HDV has to be loaded in the old fashioned way, with a IEEE 1394 cable plugged into a deck.  The Maxell however is plugged in like any old hard drive.  I can then tell it to import the media directly.  I have loaded PluralEyes onto the computer, but I’m not sure if it’ll work since the Avid is so old it may not be compatible.  If it all works, then I’m in luck.  PluralEyes will sync the two shots of the show (one wide, one close up) and the editing itself will just mean cutting away from the wide shot.  If PluralEyes doesn’t work, I’ll need to sync by hand (which I did last year) which is a giant pain in the ass.  Still, I’m very good at it, so it isn’t a real problem.

Once the stuff in edited and in sync, it’s a simple matter to output files for the clients (three 3-minute clips for the web or TV, in SD) and after the festival (or before if they want to pay more) a fully edited and authored DVD. 

The two 2tb hard drives are named Brabus and AMG.  Brabus is my media drive.  AMG is the output drive.  I am considering using Yousendit to send the files to clients.  If so, I may output mpgs from AMG to a thumb drive, then send them from the X series so as not to burdan the HP, since it’s doing the heavy lifting.

Either way, woohoo!  This is going to be a good August!


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