Merry Hotline

Merry Hotline

May I present my latest video: Merry Hotline.

The first thing to say is that I’m not using my usual Mini-DV camcorder, because it’s still in dock (and has been for a worryingly long time, considering we only sent it in to have the recording heads cleaned up). This is a normal digital snapshop camera, which can be persuaded to take video footage.

I don’t know why people seem to think that the future lies in cameras that record to SD card, Flash memory, hard drive or DVD. The industry standard has always been DV, and now it’s switching to HDV, for good reason: it’s better. But even at the amateur end of the market, an average video editing program is geared to capturing DV signals which it imports in its own native format. When you have an AVI file on an SD card, it seems simple enough to just drag the file over, but it doesn’t automatically detect scene changes, and, more to the point, the file is not in the editor’s native format. Which makes editing a very slow process.

This partly explains why this is all in one take, although for this particular sketch, that’s actually perfect.

The idea, you might be interested to know, came to me late last night as I was brushing my teeth. I’m not entirely sure what it is I am lampooning here: the commercialisation of religious festivals, technical helplines or both. Whatever it is, I’m lampooning it.

But I want my camera back. YouTube is currently running another contest to make videos for the Help Center, and I have a script ready, but it requires two cameras to make. And the entry deadline is December 10th. I guess I’m going to lose out on this round.