Life In A Day – Entering Post, or Technical Assistance Requests #lifeinaday

Yesterday, I took part in the Life In A Day project. Proposed by filmmaker Kevin MacDonald (THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND, TOUCHING THE VOID, ONE DAY IN SEPTEMBER) and executive produced by Ridley Scott (Do you really need a credits list?), asked people around the world to film their day. The next step is sending your footage on to the filmmakers (via YouTube, which along with its parent Google, is also supporting the project). Eventually, MacDonald will take all the footage and create a documentary that encapsulates what it was like to be alive on “Life In A Day Day,” or July 24, 2010.

The project asked its participants to consider four things while they filmed their footage:

  1. What do you love the most?
  2. What do you fear the most?
  3. What makes you laugh?
  4. What is in your pocket?

 My first impulse was to do talking-head style narration – and to be fair, a certain amount of that did creep in – but MacDonald was smart enough to include a reminder: that it’s more powerful to show the answers to the questions than to talk about them.

For me, yesterday wasn’t an exciting day. I spent most of it focusing on this film, on capturing images of what it was like to be alive, for me, yesterday. I was using a variety of cameras – a Panasonic PV-DV910 PalmSight that I borrowed from a co-worker and picked up at 11am on Saturday morning (that’s right, my filming day was only about 13 hours long), the webcam on my Kodak EasyShare DX4530 (which, I realized when I went back to play my videos, my Toshiba laptop won’t play), my LG Chocolate (which I haven’t looked at yet but I bet is going to be a pain to edit) and a cool program I found called Easy Screen Capture Video that does screen captures of video, which I’m tempted to buy because it’s so cool.

So now I enter the hazy post-production phase of my little documentary:

  1. Reviewing the footage and figuring out what I have. I limited the total footage – I doubt I have more than three hours – so I’m hoping that I’ll be able to stitch this together.
    1. Requires being able to watch the videos from the Kodak EasyShare, which means I

                                                               i.      Probably need an updated codec. Suggestions for URLs?

  1. Figuring out how to transfer the tape from the mini DV onto my laptop, which has no internal CD or DVD drive but plenty of USB ports, and no fire wire.
  2. Finding some kind of free editing software that can handle all the above types of video (or finding a way to convert between types).
    1. On this, at least, I think I might be able to use the Easy Screen Capture Video in order to standardize both the resolutions and the file types of all the videos…still doesn’t get me around the major issue, which is the DV tape.


If you read this and can suggest solutions to the above problems – my preference would be to hand the DV tape over to someone, have them digitize it, then get the file back either as a download .avi or as information on a USB – that would be much appreciated. Or, if you’re a filmmaker in NYC who doesn’t have much on their hands at the moment and would like to work on this with me for a bit out of the goodness of your heart, drop me a line? Either way, this crowdsourced filmmaker is hoping to crowdsource some technical filmmaking help, and quick!

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