Thursday, October 15, 2009

Free Webinar TONIGHT 15th Oct 7pm

A final reminder that current 'Out of Vision' podcast star Peter Wiggins, FCP masterchef, plug-in writer and friend of the wefcpug, stars in his own Apple webinar tonight at 7pm.

It's free, open to all, but you must register in advance - read more and register here.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

RTS meeting in Bristol - Tuesday 20th Oct

RTS 'meet the expert' talk next week - exclusive to RTS Bristol Centre.

Mandy Rose, who was co-founder and producer of BBC2's Video Nation project, and Creative Director of multiplatform BBC Wales, will be exploring what's now possible in the arena of collaborative film making.

She'll show some examples of past productions as an introduction to her forthcoming project (with the Digital Cultures research centre at UWE) on what happens when web 2.0 meets documentary production. Her current research explores the role of the documentary director working online with remote collaborators, as former documentary subjects now become co-creators.

The meeting is open to members and guests*, and there's no charge. It's at the BBC conference centre in Whiteladies Rd, usual tradesmen's entrance at the back: Prompt start at 7.30pm on Tuesday 20th October.

*wefcpug please note: If you're not an RTS member and you'd like to come, email me ( to get 'on the list' as a guest.

What we learned in Oct 09

Greetings, blog readers. This month's links and a snapshot of what went on at the wefcpug this week.

Timelord Richard demonstrated the all-new way to change clip speeds without (at first) the use of a keyframe timeline. Hey folks, it now works the way we all thought it ought to when we first tried it (and messed up our timelines!).

Phil plugged in to noise reduction on video and demo'd the Neat Video plug-in for same. I liked it so much I bought the filter! A longer review with some frame-grabs will follow, when I've grabbed the frames (and the time to do it). In a nutshell though - it worked really well for me, on what was admittedly ideal subject matter, a locked-off shot - but at a price of $49.90 for the home edition, comes highly recommended.*

I also gave a very quick round-up of free software/services that I've grown into using over the Summer, all of which are tied in to cloud / network use, and in particular the challenge of keeping multiple systems in sync with each other.

These are Xmarks for bookmarks sync across browsers/machines
and Evernote for 'stuff'. I particularly like the OCR aspect of evernote - alas the 3G network in our meeting room was non-existent, so I couldn't demo it. But it's a great party trick using the iSight camera built into your laptop to record hand-written notes, which are then computer-read and filed once they're uploaded.
Plus a reminder that iCal now supports the CalDav format - meaning that Google Calendars can now be read/written in iCal. Info here.
And not forgetting Dropbox for files generally.

All of these are 'Freemium' services - it's a new business model, whereby you are enticed in with a free offer, upgradable (usually meaning extra storage) on payment of a monthly fee.

Two caveats: as Nick reminded us at the meeting, you may not wish to share all your confidential emails/data with companies whom you don't really know much about. And, as happened just this last week, data stored 'in the cloud' might disappear one day, thanks to someone else's mistakes, or a company going down the tubes. So always keep your own local backups.

*For the benefit of US readers, who are (sensibly) beginning to mandate full disclosures, the writer of this blog has no connection with the companies and products mentioned, has (alas) not been paid anything by the companies to promote the products, nor has he been given any products or services without fee, excepting the trial downloads available to all on the websites of those companies.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Podcast resumes

I've just put up the latest and newest 'Out of Vision' podcast. If you're already subscribing through iTunes, it's there already when you hit 'refresh'. If you aren't so doing, visit and follow the easy links.

'A day at the races' is the account of my day's visit to the ITV4 Tour de France production company, V Squared TV, for Sunset&Vine. Hear all about 4 FCP suites all on a fibre network, turning round a daily 1 hour show, airing some 90 minutes after the race finishes in France.

How do they do it? Producer James Venner and chief editor Peter Wiggins (one of last year's notable visiting speakers at the wefcpug) explain all.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Year 6 kicks off

Yes, we made it to the sunny uplands of our sixth glorious year with a birthday inaugural meeting at the most comfortable and well equipped venue we've ever know - the preview cinema at Aardman in Bristol, to whom many thanks.

As the picture evidence shows, the audience were (mostly) able to keep awake despite the comfy chairs.

Following extensive discussions with our new technical advisor (see above) Phil (he's the one on the left) and Richard (on the right) are pleased to announce the next meeting, business as usual at the BBC club-room on the BBC site in Whiteladies Rd, Bristol.

That'll be Monday next, 12th October - meet at 7pm in the bar. I'll be demo'ing a new (to me) plugin that so impressed me I bought it, plus a review of umpteen new ways of syncing your macs for free (thought that'd get you interested). And who knows, if we ask nicely, the Chippenham Mac Fan-boy might reprise his recent Amsterdam presentation? Plus loads more of your problems solved. Quite Possibly.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Next meeting - 12th October

We're making valiant efforts to stick to the '2nd Monday in the month' rule that we follow, oh at least 3 times in the year. So the next meeting will be 12th October, not as may have been previously pre-announced in a speculative sense.

What, where, to follow in a later posting. Plus pictures of the 5th birthday meet.