Archive for the ‘HVX200 / P2’ Category

Six Years of #IFIE!

Monday, November 23rd, 2015

In the summer of 2008, I felt alone as a filmmaker, living 40 miles outside the mecca that is Hollywood. It was an interesting time. The digital revolution was beginning and I had begun in that direction with the purchase of an HVX200, after learning all about it’s virtues from History and Discovery Channel veteran, Jim Lindsay, during a 20-day intensive class on HD.

Along with digital media’s growth, social media was blooming. MySpace died but we got to see Four-Eyed Monsters come on the scene and then Twitter took over, followed by Facebook.

I spawned a project-based filmmaking group with some friends and we began to learn every aspect of filmmaking that we could. This experiment concluded with a 48-hour film project. After which everyone went their own separate way.

Again, I was alone. In the desert of the IE…

I looked for a group like the groups there were in L.A. for filmmakers. There were none. I knew I had to create one, here in the Inland Empire, where the flakes and the misfits, including myself, lived. And we must be called, “IFIE”!

And in the winter of 2009, the Independent Filmmakers of the Inland Empire was born. Six-years later, we have grown from eight members to over 1,000 registered members and a regular attendance to our monthly meetings.

We continue because of the continual comments from our members thanking us for existing and telling us that they now have a home, with kindred spirits.

We thank all of our sponsors and presenters over the years. Thank you for helping to provide a home for wayward filmmaking souls!

I look forward to what the future holds. My seven-year old son just started his filmmaking journey with his award-winning first film, Giant Land Snake vs. the Volcano, Cloud and the Farmers. My five-year old daughter acted in her first short film and wants to make a film now. I’m finishing up my last class required for four Film and Television certificates at RCC. Creativity abounds and I meet new filmmakers every month. I think it’s time for a new era of IFIE.


Find out more about our IFIE Meetups at

The First 48 (part 2)

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

What Worked and What Didn’t
There were a lot of things that worked. There were a lot of plans that we were able to make ahead of time to make things easier. There were things we should have done but didn’t. There were a lot of things that could have been improved. And, actually doing the things we planned to do, would have helped out a lot!

I think we learned what to do next time and everyone seemed excited about doing it again.

First Official Meeting. Only 3 people from this picture continued on.

Pre-event Meetings
As I mentioned before, I started having meetings in June. I think we had 8 – 10 meetings total, including meetups and one field trip. The field trip was a seminar on DIY micro-budget filmmaking by John Putch. That was part of the Pizza & Post series given by Video Symphony, a post production school in Burbank. From those meetings we did three “two-hour film projects”. These weren’t completed in their totality in two hours but some portion of the process was completed in two hours (or so!)

This worked because it gave us a view into what our weak points were. We were able to plan more accurately the schedule that would be the 48 hours. It also worked to flush out “bad” attitudes or people or views that I didn’t want to work with on this project. It was good to see what were at first suspicions, grow into actuality and prove to me that if I ever detect those things in the future, that I am right and to just get them off the team right then and there and don’t waste time dealing with them.

People intimate with the team and its progress will know who I’m referring to but I just want to talk about the particulars so that others reading this can form their own opinions. I’m not saying that those “bad” attitudes are necessarily bad, I’m just saying they didn’t agree with my desires and as such were better off doing their own thing and not butting heads with me.

So this is how that all went down:

First person I met (other than people I already knew, who would work on the project) was a lawyer who had experience creating his own pilot home improvement show. Great guy. Very motivated. But, when first exchanging emails with him, I thought to myself, “I don’t think this is going to work out.” As any successful business person is, he was very passionate and very “right” in his opinion of how things should run. He was also a very creative guy and wanted very much to contribute to the creative side of things, writing and shooting, etc. We met the day before my official first meeting and face to face we had a lot of similar interests and creative contacts even.

Being a bit pushy and slightly over-bearing, I immediately thought of him as a good production manager, someone who could get people motivated or “pushed” to complete their intended project, on time. This I figured I was weak in, so I thought he’d fit the bill for that part.

The next day, I had my first meeting. He attended and brought his secretary, an actress. She couldn’t stay the whole meeting but I figured that since her boss was going to be running the show, I didn’t have to worry about whether or not she’d flake out on me.

Also at this meeting was one person from the 20 projects project (a filmmaking group I co-founded), whom I wanted for my 1st assistant director. He of course stayed until the end of the project.

The couple that would eventually quit to start their own team where there. They were very motivated and seemed willing to take on any role. They were also musicians and it’s always good to have a stall of musicians around. More on why they quit later.

Also, there was one classmate from my Intro to Telecommunication class at RCC and one classmate from an Intro to Pro HD class I took at Citrus College. Two more classmates from my Intro to Pro HD class would eventually be on my team but the first one had to quit because of health reasons.

We had a few general meetings; organizing, talking about genres, trying to figure out who wanted to do what, getting to know each other, going to the 48 Hour Film Project meet-ups, etc. These meetings really just served the purpose of “we’re a group, let’s see if we can stick together.”

Of the 10 actors and 9 crew/actors that ended up staying on the team, they came from these areas:
5, myself included, from my side filmmaking group, the 20 projects project – Roles: Producer/Actor, Director, Assistant Director/Actor, Actor and Actor.
5 from local bands (friends and family of ours) or friend of one of the bands (All actors)
4 from classmates of mine (Two soundmen/actors, one Writer and one Cameraman/Editor)
1 from Twitter friend of mine (Editor)
4 from craigslist ads or as a result of someone they knew reading the craigslist ad (Writer, Actor, Grip/Actor and Actor.)

Not everyone made the meetings on a regular basis, especially the band members and friends thereof but we had a core 6-7 that did. This built a solid foundation of “the group”.

Three of the core members at Pizza & Post

To be continued…

“Pizza & Post” with John Putch!

Monday, July 20th, 2009

Video Symphony Presents
“Pizza & Post”

With Special Guest
Prime-Time TV Director and
Ultra-Low Budget Indie Filmmaker
John Putch
John Putch, who has directed several hit TV shows including My Name is Earl, Ugly Betty and Scrubs, and who also just finished directing “American Pie: Book Of Love,” splits his time between working for the major studios and making his own ultra-low budget “anti-Hollywood” films. John knows how to work with just about any budget but he prefers to make films on the cheap. Come hear about how and why he does it at this month’s “Pizza and Post” – Tuesday July 28th at Video Symphony. 
For anyone who’s ever shirked the studio system to make a film on their own – this Pizza and Post is for you. 

When: Tuesday, July 28th 7-9PM                

Where:  Video Symphony

             266 E. Magnolia Blvd.
             Burbank, CA 91502    

John will discuss why his filmmaking mantra is “the cheaper the better” and for you producer/editor types – his experiences working with HD formats in post production. 

 “Pizza & Post” is a great opportunity to gain new insights, ask a few questions, network with your post-production peers and as always, eat a lot of pizza.

This event is free and yes there is also free pizza. There’s free parking in the adjacent parking garage (entrance at 239 E. Palm St., one block east of Magnolia).

Seating is limited, so kindly RSVP to RSVP@VS.EDU.   Let us know how many will attend – the event is open to the public so you can bring interested friends or associates.  Your RSVP holds your seats unless you hear back from us that the event is full. 


Quintessential Studios Exclusive HD Expo P2 Camp Discount!!!

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

Okay Folks! I worked a deal for you!!

If you call the number below (818-842-6611) to register for the Los Angeles August  6th and 7th HD Expo P2 Camp and you use the promo code “Quintessential” you will save 20% off of the regular price. That means your total registration will be $480. That’s even $69 cheaper than the “Early Bird” special!

So, even if you miss the Early Bird Special, you can get this discount, if you call to register and use the promo code “Quintessential”!

Hurry and register by phone. This offer may not last that long!!!!

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Call and use the promo code Quintessential

Call and use the promo code Quintessential


To learn more about P2 Camp:

P2 Card Transfer using PC Laptop to Mac Tower

Friday, January 2nd, 2009

I originally posted this as a reply to a Creative Cow Forum post but figured I’d share this bit here as well:

I’d like to add an option that might help some people. Use a PC laptop that has a PCMCIA card slot and 1394 port and an external firewire hard drive as an intermediary between your P2 camera and your final editing Mac tower.

The workflow goes like this. Insert the P2 card into the PC’s card slot. Copy the P2 cards (in their entirety, as I’m sure is covered in Shane’s tutorials) to the laptop hard drive or the external hard drive. Copy the files from the laptop hard drive to the external hard drive (if you haven’t got them their already). Take the external HD to your tower and log and transfer or copy to your editing HD and then edit.

The rub lies in the formatting of the external hard drives used. And here is where I am happy with using MyBooks as external (transport and secondary backup copy) drives. and only here, as I don’t trust them beyond this. MyBooks come formatted as Fat32, so they are easily read on the PC automatically and they are cheap. My G-Tech isn’t recognized by my PC laptop, ’cause it’s formatted as Mac OS extended. I find that my Mac G4 tower reads them as well, formatted just as they are. So they work as the perfect transport HD from that PC laptop to my Mac tower.

I’m big on having redundant data, so I like to have multiple copies of everything around and the MyBook, while having a bad reputation, works good as an additional backup, and I stress ADDITIONAL backup. The 1TB MyBooks that I get at my Costco have USB, FW400 and eSATA for $139. Makes for handy data transfer with whatever connections you’ve got. Heck, in a pinch, you might even be able to get away with copying the data via USB!

Additional notes: I haven’t run into the file size limitation that you might run into with Fat32 formatting, so you should keep that in mind.

I’ve since moved on to a MBP and Duel adapter, but the above got me through my P2 HD class and helped a lot of other students get their data off their P2 cards as well. Plus it’s a lot cheaper than some of the other solutions. Hope this might help some others too.