More Acting

I finally got around to plugging my video camera into the new PC, and downloaded clips from the play. Unfortunately I only managed to grab the tape of the last night before my battery ran out, and I can’t find the power adapter anywhere. Although the acting & make-up were a lot better than on the other tape (which was from the dress rehearsal).

Becca, who filmed it, was roped in literally at the last moment (actually once the play had started – the tape doesn’t begin until about five minutes in) and I didn’t have time to show her the set-up. For the first ten minutes or so she is struggling to fix the camera onto the tripod, unaware that I still had the vital clip stuck on the bottom of my still camera. During that period there’s a bit of following people around stage, some nice close-ups, and a lot of shots of peoples bodies, legs and feet. After ten minutes or so, she gives up and pans out to the whole stage where she remains for the rest of the play, until about halfway through the second half where the jumped up assistant theatre manager spotted her and ordered her to switch the camera off. So, all in all, not a very successful night’s filming.

But there are some very worthwhile bits on it. Watching myself act is torturously painful: I’ve got some nice moves and expressions, but my voice seems completely wrong for my role. Still, I can learn a lot from it if I can only bring myself to watch it all (I haven’t yet, not even a fraction of it).

Anyways, I got around to playing with Premiere. It’s almost as much of a pig as I remember, especially trying to export web quality video. Exporting to Quicktime, Windows Media or Real Media is now fairly straightforward, there’s oodles of presets, but if you want to do an MPEG (which I would like to as it’s still the only really cross-platform solution) then you need some kind of degree in astrophysics, or something. If I live to be 300 I will never work it out. So I copped out and tried the other formats: Real I will not touch with a bargepole because every time I let a piece of that company’s shit software come near one of my machines I end up regretting it; Quicktime for some reason gave me a 5.5Mb file for my 37 seconds of video; and Windows Media, with slightly lower quality settings, gave me a file just over 1Mb which was actually hugely better in quality than the Quicktime version. So I plumped for that one. Have a look and see what you think of my acting (I’m the funny one on the right). Oh, and given the above rambling about camera work, I’m sure you can excuse the fact that I start the clip headless. Oh, and here’s another clip from slightly further away.

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