Photo-A-Day #658 01/26/07

These are the great awards that were given to the top marketing folks today. They were huge. Our theme was the Oscars and I had to make a Red Carpet themed video.

Today was the big presentation at work. I completed the videos last night/early this morning/first thing this morning. Basically I am now running on adrenaline and the refusal to go to sleep right away. First off, my comedy of errors.

Okay, yesterday I finished up all the filming of the videos. I came home and edited all the pieces into the show and then started a final DVD burn. The DVD finished burning at 1:00am. I then reviewed the DVD. And I discovered that my anal retentive nature paid off in this case. I found that the key video cut off two minutes too early. The key video by the way was an 11:37 video of two top VPs so I could NOT screw this up whatsoever!) I was incredulous. how could this have happened? Well I guess I wasn’t so thorough. I missed a step along the way.

Basically this is how I create these big videos for work. I record all the scenes, download the raw files to my laptop and then add them all into an Adobe Premiere Elements project. Then I want till they are conformed to work with Adobe Premiere Elements. This step takes a while because the videos themselves are large, sometimes 1GB or more. And until they are all conformed they cannot be edited. So I review the videos on the Sanyo Xacti C4’s window. Once the videos are conformed I them pull them in one at a time to the time line.

I then edit and split the clips so that I get just the scenes I want. This is a tedious process but I have gotten more proficient in it. I can now do this step much faster as I learn more tricks within Adobe Premiere Elements. Once I complete a video clip I save the project and export the clip as an AVI movie. Then I work on another clip. When I am done all the clips I take the AVI clips I made and pull them into another Adobe Premiere Elements project. That way if I need to go back and edit an individual clip I can easily go to that clip and edit it and it will update the next time I open the final project.

This is what caused me the problem last night because I edited the individual clip and added a minute and 37 seconds then I went to the final project and never stretched that clip to the new size and I did not reset the DVD markers. So that is what happened.

Once I realized that I made the adjustments and double checked everything and started the DVD burn. The computer failed to recognize the DVD player. I tried again about 3 more times and got the same result. I then shut down the computer and gave it a 2 hour rest, crawled into bed and set the alarm for 3:30am.

I got up at 3:30am and tried again. The first time I tried the DVD burn Adobe Premiere Elements shut off on me. I shut down the computer again and turned it back on. This time I was successful in starting a new DVD burn. I crawled back into bed and set the alarm for 5:30am. At 5:30am I got up and went to the computer, saw that the DVD was still encoding (it has to encode on the PC first and then burn). Great, things were going great. I took a quick shower and then as I made my way back to get dressed I checked the computer and there was an ERROR MESSAGE! The computer had compiled the DVD and then when it came time to actually burn the was an error.

At this time there was no possible way I could burn another DVD in time for the presentation. So I took the DVD I made first and that would be how I would play most of the videos. I would have to play the key video through windows media player and the file I had on my PC. See, it is important to export your clips as movies before you make a final project, if I just did everything in one final project I would have been totally SOL.

I then had the idea of using my iGo Juice 70 to power my laptop as I drove in to work. DON’T DO THIS! The fluctuations of the power of the car while driving shut the computer off and I thought I shorted the whole thing out and was absolutely positively SOL.

Luckily it just got shut off and there was no permanent damage done.

So I got to work and set up everything. I explained to people what happened and we all crossed our fingers that everything would work out.

The reason we wanted a DVD rather than the file is that with a local file that large sometimes there is stuttering and stopping at inopportune and unplanned times. this would not be acceptable. As I stated, the video was of two of the VP’s at work and this was very, very, very important that it come out perfect and show cleanly. So you can understand that I was very nervous.

Well, the first video that I made with the help of a great team of people went off without a problem. Then it was time for the Key video. It started with a couple of shaky parts and it stuttered once or twice but about 3 minutes into it things settled down and played perfectly. Although when it was messing up I nearly stroked out. But the crowd loved it and laughed really hard. I also had to run the presentations for all the speakers from off stage. That went fine but I got nervous that I would mess up so I was a basket case inside.

Then the President of the company got up to talk and suddenly the door to the side of the stage opened and a very high up individual came in and told me to go out and get the CEO from the crowd for something important. There was no way I could get to the other side of the stage without going out on stage until I saw some curtains all the way back so I sidestepped along the back wall like a thief in the night and climbed the other set of stairs and came down the side and got the CEO. He just walked across the stage while the President kept talking. I ran back up the stairs shimmied across the back wall again and went back to my post. It must be good to be the guy in charge. So with that potential catastrophe averted I went back to my post.

After the presentations I was taken upstairs to the room where our CEO, Vice Chairman and President were having a meeting. I was to now show them the videos I had made. They were not at the presentation at the time of the showing of the video. I was more nervous to get called into that room than I was about the whole day of presentations that I had just completed.

Well I showed the videos and they went over well, there were lots of laughs and I was asked if I did this all myself and I gave credit to my team but also explained that I had done the Key video on my own. You know, other than the acting. They seemed pleased with the work that was done. They certainly laughed pretty hard throughout the video. Now I have to make a bunch of copies of the DVD, one for each of them. How amazing is that.

I just hope I give my computer sufficient time to recuperate before I get that project started.

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