Beginners Guide To DV Production


Disc One

Part One - Introduction

1.  How'd I Get Here?    (3 min.)   A brief description of how I got into digital video, followed by a summary of what's covered in these lessons.

2.  How Does It Work?    (5 min.)   If you're new to non-linear editing, here's an overview of the technology:  

        Two decades ago, the word-processor transformed the world of the Writer.  No more White-Out.  No more nd pasting your pages.  You could get everything "just right" on the computer screen before you printed it.  And you could shuffle those words around, grab a paragraph from down there, move it up here.

        Today, the Videographer gets the Big Break.  But instead of shuffling words, we're juggling video clips.  Push everything in your program down, stick a scene in here, pull everything back and take out the gap.

        Also, when your footage from the camera is recorded onto the Hard Drive in this digital format, the computer can manipulate those images in a thousand different ways.  You've got a first-class, post-production facility sitting right there on your desktop.  Go nuts.

        One more thing.  When you make copies of your work in the digital language, you don't lose picture-quality like we used to with "analog".  And that's nice.

3.  The Trailer    (3 min.)   Some scenes from my movie illustrate just what this little camera and computer can accomplish: Professional Editing Capabilities -- Effects, Graphics, Transitions, Sound.  And you'll get a feel for the story.  (We'll be using many of these scenes in our editing projects.  Might as well know what's going on)

Part Two - Camera & Computer

1.  Mini-DV Camcorders - The Basics 
  (5 min.)   I use two models for demonstration:  The Sony TRV-900 and Canon Optura.  There are dozens of similar cameras on the market these days, but the features, menus, settings, etc., are pretty much the same for all the Camcorders in this Mini-DV format.

2.  Camera Movement
  (4 min.)   Zoom.  Pan.  Dolly.  Close-in.  Are there any limitations with this format?  A few.  I'll illustrate with examples from the movie.

        We get the camera moving.  In a car.  On a motorcycle.  Watch a scene with hand-held.  Check out a steadi-cam.

3.  Manual Settings   (20 min.)   A detailed account of the manual adjustments for Focus, White Balance, Shutter Speed, Exposure, Aperature.  How they work.  How they affect your picture.  Lots of examples.

          Watch a Sample Clip from this project

4.  Camera Menus   (8 min.)   A quick run-down of the menus on the Sony TRV900 and Canon Optura.  Digital zoom, progressive scan, audio mix, 16 bit - 12 bit, and the rest.

5.  Check List   (7 min.)   We'll go step by step through your "checklist" (20 items) of getting everything set up, and being ready to shoot... in a hurry!

6.  Lighting   (8 min.)   Just the basics of lighting.  More examples illustrate where I went right and... where I went wrong.  Learn from my mistakes.


  (3 min.)   A look inside the computer.  I point out the main components of your system:  Processor, Memory, Hard Drives, PCI Slots.

8.  INSTALL CAPTURE CARD & MEMORY  (2 min.)   I install a capture card, and RAM chip.  You might have to do this at some point.  Don't fret, not a problem.


Part Three - Editing with Premiere Pro

1.  Project One - The Basics
  (46 min.)   Get familiar with Premiere's windows and tools.  But we can have some fun at the same time by putting together a montage from the movie.  Then you'll understand the practical applications of these editing tools.

Watch a Sample Clip from this project

2.  Project Files, Unlink, Copy   (9 min.)   We'll take a few minutes to learn about project files, how to link-and-unlink the video and audio, and copy & paste our clips from one part of the Timeline to another.

3.  Preferences, Keyboard Shortcuts   (3 min.)   Just a few more minutes of the technical stuff.  

4.  Effects & Controls   (15 min.)   You can dramatically improve the look of your shots with Premiere's video effects:  Brightness and Contrast, Hue & Saturation, etc...

(Editing with Premiere Pro continues on Disc Two)

    1-Man Studio Productions