Video Editing Costs

Many people have lots and lots of home video footage they’ve shot – taking up space on their drives, piles of DVDs, even old VHS tapes you’ve been meaning to convert to digital before they disintegrate.  We are no exception.  And with the price of processing speed and data storage going down, with software programmers firmly entrenched in the consumer digital video arena, you would be amazed at the possibilities.

After some research, we settled on Cyberlink’s PowerDirector v.12 (Ultra).  You can pick it up for just under $100, and gives you a vast array of capabilities.  You could make some fairly slick home movies with this software, and it appears more than up to the task of collating and organizing the various kids’ sports events, recitals, holiday gatherings, etc. the Griswolds Beems would require.

But this capability will end up costing you in one facet – time.  Unless you’re a video editing veteran, you’re going to have to learn how to functionally operate the program.  As with many things, the greater the capabilities, the steeper the learning curve.  And while the Cyberlink user’s guide is thorough, it doesn’t include a tutorial.  Fortunately, Cyberlink hosts a number of tutorial videos on Youtube, and other users have added to this library also.  Having watched a few already, I feel a lot more confident.

That time cost, though…  It’s going to take some man-hours to get up to speed.  Any PowerDirector veterans out there – drop me a line and maybe you can provide some advice.

Supes and Bats discuss stuff over coffee

The guys at – which is worth a youtube subscription – have a new short linked below.  It’s Superman and Batman in the super cafe coffee shop discussing the new Man of Steel trailer.  This is my kind of geeky stuff.

Here’s the Supes trailer if you haven’t seen it.  And of course, it’s all funnier if you can recall last year’s trailer for Dark Knight Rises.

They’ve done a number of super cafe entries over there.  Quality stuff if you’re killing time and want a laugh.  Great dialogue and character knowledge.  Of course their more standard alternate ending videos are good fun as well.

Here’s a link to a recent compilation of older super cafe videos.  Enjoy on a Monday.

Youtubery: Do or Do Not

Do talk to your kids about Star Wars.  It’s important to them, to you.  Think about how you will approach this.  Have a game plan.  Know your sequence and your preferred editions.  And if you need assistance, consider this public service announcement…

Do use the power of cheap video editing and the inter-tubes to mash-up cool scenes that didn’t happen, but perhaps should have…

Do not mess with Chuck Norris – even on Endor…

Chuck and Yoda agree:  there is no try.

Street Bowlers & Saddest Hits

Checking in with the Sad on Vacation crew and their latest on the mean streets of Chi-town with America’s latest youth craze:  Street Bowlers.

Gotta love the weird juxtaposition of 80s Public Service Announcement/distraught documentary interview.  These guys are good.  A lot of TV show could do a lot worse than hiring Mark, George, and company to write and create for them.

Check out a recent Saddest Hits montage here for more skit comedy goodness.  If you get the chance to take in a show by these guys – in Chicago or elsewhere – don’t miss it.

More Fun with Lucasfilm

Star Wars: the franchise that will probably entertain my generation until we’re all dead and buried…  Inspiring younglings and jedi masters alike, through cheap video production and interwebs storage capacity.

Who really defines the term, interesting:


In the hood, you better come correct:


More after the bump…

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Vid Mix: Dying Bravely

Everyone can appreciate a good bit of video propaganda, especially one like this – the creation of a teenage dude with his tivo and the latest in affordable home editing software…  Especially in a World Cup year marked by such riveting melodrama…

Of course there’s nothing like some skillful editing to shape your recollections, but my theory that we’ve been routinely hosed pretty badly by the refs in this decade’s World Cups seems even more evident in Dying Bravely. The video also reinforces the fine lines between victory and defeat.  Torsten Frings arm in 2002, Reyna hitting the post in 2006, and all those chances against Ghana that could’ve gone in…

And yet this is why we love the game.

Send-off and Vids

Happy Memorial Day to you and yours.  Just take a moment at some point during your picnics, family fun, and war movie marathons to reflect…

The U.S. Soccer team is now in South Africa, having hopped the 18-hour flights yesterday afternoon.  They received a stylish send-off in Philly with more than 55,000 pro-U.S. fans in the house to witness the 2-1 comeback against Turkey.

A quick analysis of the game:  Jose Torres and Robbie Findley made big differences in the second half.  Torres with his ability to control the ball under pressure (something Ricardo Clark could not do) and pass, and Findley with his speed and tenacity.  Steve Cherundolo looks like the best option at right back as well.  In the first half, Turkey controlled the play and the U.S. looked out of rhythm with their zone marking and their passing.  How much of this was playing to avoid injury and how much was rust?  We probably won’t know until June 12, but both must be better against England.

The final installment of the One Goal: Road to South Africa documentary, details the final stop on the road to qualification – the 2-2 tie to Costa Rica at RFK Stadium in D.C.  This turned out to be a costly 48 hours or so, as Charlie Davies was in that fateful car accident and Gooch Onyewu blew out his knee in the game.  The core group of U.S. fans are awesome, though, as this clearly illustrates.  Also I love the radio feed from the Honduras announcers when Bornstein heads in that goal in stoppage time.  Jonny B. sent them to their first World Cup in 28 years…

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One Goal: RSA Parts 2 & 3

35 days and counting until the World Cup begins, and the documentary on the U.S. Soccer team’s Road to South Africa Parts 2 & 3 has been released on Youtube.  These two clips feature the road trip to Mexico City and the Azteca – a trip that would probably be fun, though I’m not sure I’m up for the danger factor.  As Grant Wahl says, one of these days we’re going to win down there and that will either be an awesome sight to behold in person or a horrifying one.  Part 3 takes us to Salt Lake City and the showdown with El Salvador.  This game was vital, and I remember feeling pretty shaky when we went down a goal in the beginning.

One thing you can’t appreciate in this clip is how many Salvadorians showed up at the stadium.  It’s one of the continuing laments that we can’t get a dominating pro-USA crowd for home games against regional rivals.  Another thing that does come through in this documentary is just how fun it is to go to these qualifiers in person.  We took some friends of friends with us to a game in Chicago – they didn’t know much about soccer – but they had a blast and told us they’d definitely go to another one.

Two Months and Counting

Just over two months until the World Cup.  Here’s a part one of a video about last summer’s road to qualification.  It sort of explains things for folks who don’t pay much attention to soccer until the Cup rolls around, and also, they shot some of that pre-game footage at the Mexico and Honduras games we were at.  You might see the wife and I marching to the stadium…