What’s in a Professional Video Workflow to Convert Analog Videotapes?

Our forum is frequently used to discuss video, and a common topic is the video workflows needed to transfer old VHS, Hi8, Video8, Betamax, and even DV digital tapes. But most video hobbyists, and sometimes even pros, have never had the term “workflow” enter their vocabulary until they came here.

In fact, I think there’s a misconception about what a workflow actually is, what it’s supposed to do, and what one looks like. So let’s fix that… [Read more]

SEO, Marketing and Public Relations

Yahoo’s Work-From-Home Backlash: Vindication At Last!

For several months, all we heard from tech magazines is how Yahoo’s new CEO was going to turn the company around. She was 20th at Google, she was a mommy, she would “shake things up”, and be a “breath of fresh air”.

In other words, nobody really knew anything — the articles were all fluff.

It comes as a huge disappointment to hear that she’s just another clueless slave driver. The Yahoo plan for the future is to scale back remote work, and force everybody to come to the office.

I guess she didn’t get the memo: It’s not 1985 anymore. As far as I’m concerned, Marissa Mayer is just another clueless pretty blonde put in a position of power, and she’ll end up screwing the whole company.

Everybody from Bill Gates to Google execs have condemned it as a stupid and backwards policy — though with less harsh language, of course.

It very much reminds me of my own situation, several years ago. [Read more]

Desktops, Laptops and Servers

Hackers/Malware vs. How to Safely Use the Internet

For the past two years, I’ve been on edge when it comes to my digital world. I never know if I’ll wake up and see a website defaced, a server being DDoSed or hacked, or my own computers infected by some 0-day junk. No, I’m not paranoid — that’s the voice of experience.

Excluding spam, malicious computer activity exponentially increased in 2011. It was simply out of control, and I thought it would only get worse as the years pressed on.

Everything from very large corporations to home computers were targeted by an array of groups and individuals.

If you’ve never heard of this, or taken steps to protect yourself, I’m not surprised. It doesn’t seem to make local news coverage. Ratings-hungry cable networks long ago abandoned topics deemed too complex for the average TV nincompoop. Print news buried it. The news we do get has been sidetracked by politics or the weather.

However, for somebody who relies on the internet to run a business, this can be just as devastating as any hurricane or tornado. We’ve seen a decrease in the past year, but is it a calm before the storm? Here are some ways that you can try and protect yourself. [Read more]


Video Hobby vs. Video Profession, Part 3: The Interview

As is the case with most professional fields, a hobby can turn into a career, and video is no different. If you’re a TV show collector, the appointed family videographer, or simply interested in editing movies on your home computer — and you like doing it, and want to get paid for doing it — then having a job or career in that field is certainly possible.

In the era of Youtube and Vimeo, where anybody can upload virtually anything, you could find yourself as the next overnight meme. All you need is a camera, some video editing software, and creativity.

On the other hand, there’s a lot to know. Video is literally dozens of photos per second, with audio, and it has a steep learning curve. Those who are patient, willing to learn proper methods, and able to overcome a “get rich quick” attitude, can succeed at it long-term.

Everybody has a story of how they started in their line of work. This is mine.
[Read more]


Video Hobby vs. Video Profession, Part 2: Make Money Converting Tapes to DVDs?

Understanding the differences between hobby video projects and professional video work is, unfortunately, not the same as acknowledging it. Many novices want to treat video work as an unskilled trade, comparable to flipping burgers or operating a forklift. To these folks, it’s a make-money-fast scheme — and education, knowledge and experience is unnecessary.

For consumers, the ability to distinguish between an amateur- or hobby-based service can mean the difference between high-quality work and merely passable quality work. Or in some cases, the difference between a successful project, and a disaster (lost or damaged videos). In Part 2 of this editorial series, consumers can learn some tips on how to spot a non-professional video company.

For video enthusiasts, it’s important to know your limitations. Part 1 of this editorial series covered the most important differences between video as a hobby, and video as a field of work. Part 2 of the editorial will focus on bad advice that encourages a hobbyist to “make money” in their hobby, and give examples of what often happens when unqualified individuals start their own video editing or conversion service.

[Read more]


Video Hobby vs. Video Profession, Part 1: What’s the Difference?

At least once per month, somebody asks me how to get a job working in the video transfer/post industry. Most of them are seeking advice on how to start their own tape-to-DVD business. While this seems to be a fairly direct question, it’s really not. Most people fail to understand the complexities of video, including the many ways in which professional work differs from home-based hobby/do-it-yourself methods.

Understand that experience recording a few programs off TV, and converting a handful of your own homemade videotapes, is not an adequate background. No more than knowing how to take aspirin qualifies one to be a doctor, or being good with LEGO makes one an architect. While it’s true that such skills are basic to each profession, it’s superficial at best. For the field of video, knowing the location of the record button is simply not enough.

In Part 1 of this four-part editorial series on hobby versus profession, I’ll explain the most important differences between hobby work and professional work.

[Read more]