April 26, 2007

The Class This Week


Assignment for Next Week

Additional Material

We are going to learning about something that it took me years to learn -- looking for work. Returning to work with a number of you tonight is Janet Conn, who will be working with many of you individually, on your resumes (she will first work with those of you who submitted resumes to her and then, if there is time, the rest of you). While those with resumes to discuss will be in with her, the rest of us will be working on a number of things, including interview skills and the art of "listening."

The hardest thing in an interview is to stop thinking ahead and preparing answers. What distinguishes the good from the bad interviewees are their ability to be in the moment, really listening, and still have great contributions to the conversation. Film interviews are like no other interviews on the planet that I am aware of. I've spent an hour talking about anything but the film I was interviewing for. I've also had in-depth discussions about the positive and negative points of the script that the director was planning to shoot.

There are two things to remember when those script discussions come up:

Obviously, if film editing is more than 50% politics (the art of getting people to realize that they can trust you and your decisions) then the interview is more than 90% politics. William Goldman has a great quote in his book Adventures In The Screen Trade. "No one in the film business," he says (and I am quoting inexactly here), "ever lost their jobs by saying 'No' to a project that went on to be successful. They only lose their jobs when they say 'Yes' to a project that is not." What this means is that the business depends on having people find some reason to say "No" to you.

Your job is to give them absolutely no reason to use that word. Tonight's discussions will revolve around that.

Hard To Believe But There's really nothing to hand out this week
Be sure to check the post schedule to make sure that you're on track for next week.

Build Your DVD Menu
The structure for the DVD that we are building will be sequence centered. A main menu page will lead to your own page, which you can design however you want. While you will be able to click from one of the thirteen buttons on the main pages to play the entire movie with no stopping, the viewer will also be able to go to a page of your own. You can put whatever you want on that page -- a bio, a contact statement, or something completely SHUT AND SINGcentered. You will put one button on that page that will lead directly to the first scene in your sequence that you edited (I will connect them up, don't worry about that). If possible, I will try to create a deleted scenes area (it depends on how much room we have left on the disk). If a trailer or two have been built we will also put that on the disk under an Extras area.
Something(s) I Wish We Had Done This Semester
Could you please bring in a list of one or two (or more) things that you wish we had done in class that we didn't do -- either a subject we didn't cover, a course plan we didn't do, or a promise not kept (aside from the tour of the post facility, which I'm going to try to fit in better next semester).

Interview Techniques from "Process Guides"
This article is short and sweet but describes a few very simple rules for interviewing. One of the key ones is be courteous. Film interviews are often so informal that it's easy to forget that the other person is judging you.
Interviewing -- First Impressions Are Important
This article, from VNUNet, gives a number of hints for creating a good impression. One of the key ones here is that, from the moment you arrive at the building for the interview, act like you are an employee already. This means that you will conduct yourself accordingly, from the way you dress to the way you interact with people. If you think that walking in carrying a cup of coffee and chewing gum is the way that the producer and director want their employess to act (and we are, when all is said and done, still employees -- all of us are) then go right ahead. But it's probably better to take a better tactic when you first meet people. Filmmaking is a deceptively informal process. Don't let that fool you.
How To Export from Avid Xpress to DVD Studio Pro
This handout from the Stetson training center (which gives classes in Avid, Final Cut, DVD Studio Pro and more) describes how to easily get a sequence out of Avid Xpress DV or Pro into DVD SP2. There's also a tutorial on how to show 16x9 footage in true 16x9, rather than in a squeezed format that is the normal 4x3 video. There's also a sometimes illuminating discussion forum on DVD Studio Pro.
DVD Demystified
Jim Taylor, the author of DVD Demystified, has collected a massive group of FAQs about DVDs in general. He also published his book's glossary.
Tutorials on DVD Studio Pro
Digital Media Net has a great series of articles and tutorials on a wide variety of DV topics. This page is the general index to the tutorials on DVDs, including some excellent pieces that you can come back to when you know DVD Studio Pro better.
All About Menus
We handed this one out back in Week 11, but here's the link to remind you about it. This three part series of articles by Alex Alexzander, is also from the Creative Cow site, and is a great blow-by-blow description of some of the things that we may be working on when we get to our DVD Studio Pro work in the class. And while that day is several weeks away, this article is long enough that I wanted to give it to you tonight, while DVD creation is fresh in your mind.
How to Get A DVD To Play Like A Videotape and Loop
And why would you want your DVD to work like a video? Simply, because sometimes you just want people to slam in your DVD and watch it go, without going to through a series of menu choices. This comes in especially handy for dailies or samples.