Thursday, July 30, 2009

In Praise of the Mino Flip Cam

A few months back, I purchased a Mino HD Flip Cam. If you aren't familiar with this cool little product, it's a no-frills super-user-friendly video camera that shoots direct to an internal flash-based memory. (Which means there are no moving parts and that's always a good thing when it comes to durability...more on that in a second.)

The main reason I got the Flip Cam, is because even though we already have a great little Sony mini-DV camera, I still hated to have the thing around my neck for events such as a day at the amusement park, a family outing, birthday parties, etc... Even at one pound, it's more bulk than I wanted to schlepp for a day of fun and freedom. So the reality was that I rarely shot home movies and missed capturing some good memories.

...Introduce the Mino HD Flip Cam. This thing is smaller and lighter (only 3.3oz.) than my little pocket-sized digital still camera, shoots 1280 x 720 HD video, can upload directly to YouTube, personalize the exterior design and best of all - it only cost $230.00. So it solved all of my problems. To be clear, this is NOT a camera I would use for filmmaking, except possibly for some action or hidden cam shots that would benefit from it's tiny size, but for personal use and web posts, it's great.

I have one major complaint with this product and that is that some of the motion in HD looks a little "stroby" to me, this is most noticeable in pans and walking shots. I've only looked at footage on my computer and LCD tv screen, so there could be some display issues going on too, but I think it's just the cam. Nevertheless, I've totally forgiven the camera for that flaw, because I recently was blown away by it's durability.

Get this...after a camping trip I accidentally put it in the washing machine...for the full cycle...lose, not even in a pocket. Of course, it didn't function after that. However, after 3-4 days of drying out, it still works perfectly- video, audio and stored video files.

I was sure that my flip cam and stored memories were lost forever and that I was out $230.00, but the flip cam came thru like a champ.

That is just crazy to me! What kind of camera can survive a f-ing washing machine! I'll tell you what kind- A Mino Flip Cam! Kudos to the people at FlipVideo for making a tough, practical inexpensive little camera.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Producers In All Shapes and Sizes

The title "producer" can mean many things on a production. There are multiple different kinds of producers whose duties can intertwine and overlap. If you don't know which type of producer(s) you need to pull off your vision or even which producer does what, peep out this great article from my long-time friend and Down and Dirty DV collaborator, Maxie Collier, at his website, ...

A Potpourri of Producers

Beyond the fickle world of Hollywood vanity credits, lies a real art form and the true meaning of the title producer:
1. a person who produces.
2. Economics. a person who creates economic value, or produces goods and services.
3. a person responsible for the financial and administrative aspects of a stage, film, television, or radio production; the person who exercises general supervision of a production and is responsible chiefly for raising money, hiring technicians and artists, etc., required to stage a play, make a motion picture, or the like...