Monday, September 28, 2009

And Now For Something Completely Different...

by Libby Hellmann

I’ve been fooling around with my webcam, mostly to prepare for the Poisoned Pen Virtual Webcon, (on October 24, for those who are interested – it promises to be a grand experiment, with Lee Child, Dana Stabenow, and more!) In the process I’ve discovered some interesting things. First off, know that I am NOT a techie. I’m barely computer literate. I’m the kind who just wants to know the time, not how the watch works.

So… I learned the webcam I bought – though it promised I could be Martin Scorsese -- didn’t come through. It records me out of sync, and it was only because a good friend took pity on me that it even approaches normalcy.

The other thing I learned has to do with performance. You’d think after working in TV news and video production for decades, I’d realize you do repeated takes for a reason. But no. I forgot, and it took at least a dozen takes to get a three minute video recorded. It’s still not perfect: you can catch a few instants of panic where I totally forget what’s coming next.

However, the main thing I learned is that this stuff is awesome! I’ve had Skype for a while, but now I have Skype video calls. I’ve had a way to record audio, but now I can record video. It really makes me want to go back to doing post-production, which was always the most creative and satisfying part of the video/film process for me. I’m leery of doing that, because knowing me, I’d spend all my time editing video and laying in special effects instead of writing. (sigh…) But it’s there, if I want it. Tantalizing and teasing me.

I’m about to go on tour in a week. Btw, those of you in Chicagoland are cordially invited to my launch party:

Sunday, October 11
3 PM
Hanson Brothers Tavern
Shermer and Willow Rds.
Northbrook, IL

OK. now that you're primed, here’s the video I recorded. It's about the ideas that triggered Doubleback.

If anyone has suggestions on what kind of webcam to get, or anything else, let’s hear them.