Thanks to the efforts of Paige Counts, Hal Cauthen, and a small group of helpers from the iLife SIG, Pi members were indeed treated to a Fun, Fantastic, and Free morning at the movies. A couple of challenges that came up before the event that were almost deal breakers, but everyone soldiered through. Paige showed her resourcefulness by putting the entire content of the program, both movies and explanation, onto two DVDs that could run continuously in case Paige got called away for her daughter's impending surgery.
Pi Board members Gene Hadden and Jim Little staff the check-in table at the April General Meeting. (Photo by Hal Cauthen, taken with a Vivitar ViviCam 3735 digital camera.)
That did not happen and Paige was there, but able to relax (mostly) while the video ran. Fortunately she had a backup copy of the DVD and was able to quickly resume the show when her first copy conked out.
Vice President for Programs John Barnes (left) looks on while Pi President Pat Fauquet briefs the crowd on Pi activities at the April General Meeting. (Photo by Hal Cauthen, taken with a Vivitar ViviCam 3735 digital camera.)
Altogether there were 20 videos ranging in length from 30 seconds to 5 minutes plus. The content ran the gamut from family flicks short enough to send in e-mail to a documentary on urban living and land use. The videos showcased a great variety of techniques for enhancing the audio and video, with liberal use of the Ken Burns Effect to provide a sense of motion using still images.
Pi member Paige Counts explains the idea behind the April General Meeting program. (Photo by Hal Cauthen, taken with a Vivitar ViviCam 3735 digital camera.)
Paige contributed several short videos that focused on documenting events with friends and family. One of these fused her grandchild's first day of school with the activity elsewhere on that fateful day, September 11, 2001. Together with other events such as camping trips, vacation jaunts, and children's parties these represent a cross section of family life captured with an obvious affection and turned into enjoyable souvenirs by a finely tuned creativity.
Pi member Paige Counts, who organized the April General Meeting, enthusiastically tells everyone why they should love iMovie. (Photo by Hal Cauthen, taken with a Vivitar ViviCam 3735 digital camera.)
Hal Cauthen's short video contributions, while motivated by a wide variety of events, were especially effective in showing somewhat more advanced techniques. A Disneyland video stringing together short video clips with a continuous sound track provided one example. The titling trick used in a couple of short newsreels from Pi garage sales was also very interesting. Hal has a good knack for finding music to match the pace of his videos.
Paige Counts, on DVD, introduces one of the iMovie clips she selected for the April General Meeting. (Photo by Hal Cauthen, taken with a Vivitar ViviCam 3735 digital camera.)
Dixie Johnson contributed a short story about a hiking trip where one of the hikers fell and injured her leg. A tumble effect from the Still Life" software package mimicked the falling action and the use of a "Star Wars" style title provided a little comic relief.
Vice President for Programs John Barnes waits for tickets to be drawn at the end of the meeting door prize drawing. In the background you can see the “Raffler” program, written by the Programming SIG for the end of meeting drawings. (Photo by Hal Cauthen, taken with a Vivitar ViviCam 3735 digital camera.)
John Barnes submitted a 5 minute 19 second video that he had done for his local community to highlight the need to preserve environmental and architectural amenity in the face of ongoing mansionization. This used stills, composite stills, videos, and a voice-over script accompanied by light classical music.
President Pat Fauquet draws a number from the hat (well, bowl) for the end of meeting drawing. Regrettably, none of the numbers belonged to the photographer. (Photo by Hal Cauthen, taken with a Vivitar ViviCam 3735 digital camera.)
Paul Silverman contributed the photography and David Rubenstein contributed an original score to "Canyons and Casinos." With spectacular Canyon landscapes and Las Vegas nightlife this blending of stills and video was the most spectacular feature of the event.
Bob Mulligan contributed two works that made extensive use of the Ken Burns effect. A stunning collection of flowers and butterflies led off the show and his "Jump!" closed it out (see sidebar; the "Jump!" clip is on the iMovie SIG section of the Pi Web site at: http://www.wap.org/imovie/). [See also sidebar.]
Paige did a poignant salute to her daughter, Amanda, who was to graduate from college on the same weekend. The content consisted of pictures from childhood into young adulthood that anyone would treasure.
A scheduling snafu has us in the Faculty Dining Room in the food services building at NVCC. With only 72 chairs for about 80 members the setting got a bit cozy. We were, however, spared the usual noises that distract us in the Forum. All in all we had a most enjoyable event. Let's look forward to some more contributors the next time we schedule this.