American Sign Language:
In a message dated 5/22/2005 10:46:51 AM Pacific Daylight Time, a
Question: Where do you buy that blue fabric for the filming
Response: Wal-Mart. In the "sheets" section. About $5 or so.
(grin) I remember looking all over for professional filming
backgrounds. I went to craft stores and stores that sold cloth
for people who sew their own clothing. It was all outrageously
expensive, hard to get, and difficult to manage. Then I came
up with the idea of using a sheet and thumbtacks. You can just
tack the sheet to your wall, putting tacks every foot or so around
the perimeter. The fold wrinkles disappear as you gently
stretch the fabric with each tack you put in.
In a message dated 5/31/2005 11:57:59 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
a teacher writes:
Thank you for the money saving creative solution for finding a
blue material for filming. Exactly what color does the label
say? Navy blue, cobalt blue, aqua-blue?
Hmmm, got me there. I just picked out a "light blue" and
didn't look at or at least do not recall the name of the color on
For best results you will likely want to use a color that is not too
light and not too dark.
The absolute best color for filming (IMHO) is a light grey.
Dark colors cause me to look bleached out. Light colors don't give
much contrast with my hands.
Lately I've been using a "red" background.
In a message dated 1/22/2006 12:47:24 A.M. Pacific Standard Time, an
ASL teacher writes:
Hello Dr. Vicars,
I am placing in the mail an order today for 2 items (Sign
me up book and the how to make a decent living teaching ASL)....
but I am writing to you at present for advice and or suggestions
on something else if I may?
I am curious to know what kind of resources exist or what and
who I would need to communicate with to produce and create a
series of DVDs featuring ASL songs (various genres) as well as
theatrical productions done in ASL.
I appreciate your time and patience.
Raymont L. Anderson,
D.D. Candidate, MFA, BA, AS, AS, ASLTA-Provisional Certification
I'm down to less than 100 emails in my box, heh. Okay, here we go...
In case you are still looking for advice regarding producing DVDs:
Perhaps the easiest and best approach would be to hire a professional to
help you create the first few DVDs.
In the phone book (or on the net) you can find experts and studios
listed somewhere under or near the heading of "video." There are
quite a few cinematographers (videographers) out there who do weddings
and graduations who would be capable of helping you create an ASL DVD on
a reasonable budget. After they create the master for you, you
could burn your own copies or hire a DVD duplication outfit to make
copies for you and print cool labels for them.
You "could" try to make your own DVD's and do all the work yourself.
That is what I do. Admittedly the
video quality is "home made." I'm getting better all the time...but
still, I have a ways to go before I'll be satisfied. Much of the
issue is equipment. Actually the whole issue is equipment.
I'm just using a consumer level camcorder and have no special lighting
equipment. So I end up doing the recording in my sunroom at the
back of the house, (at certain times during the day the sun is an
incredibly good source of light for video work).
I recently bought a Pinnacle Studio 10 to do my editing and capture
work. After installing the card and loading the software I was
very disappointed and took it back to the store. Instead I
purchased Vegas Video (Sony) and a capture card by TurtleBeach. I
haven't tried out the Vegas Video software yet, but the user groups all
claim it is very solid and gets the job done.
The new capture card is "okay" but honestly I think I preferred my old
card from a company called "Matrox." Soon I will order one of
Matrox's "prosumer" level cards (half way between professional level and
consumer level) that cost about 10 times what the typical
home-user cards on the computer store shelves cost. (Shhhh, don't
tell my wife.) It is a chunk of money, but I was so impressed with the
low end version of their card that I feel comfortable going for one of
Matrox's nicer cards.
Chances are you are hooked up or have some connections at a college
somewhere. Often colleges have awesome resources available to
faculty and students who want to do video work. It is certainly worth
asking around at your college. Many colleges now have distance
education centers that do broadcasting and web conferencing. These
centers have nice wall backgrounds or green / blue screens specially
designed for video. You might simply ask to use such a studio
during unscheduled time.
One last suggestion would be to order a set of DVDs from the net that
are similar to what you are interested in creating. Then look and
see what company did the video work for that set of DVDs. Then
contact that company and ask their prices or if they might be interested
in working with you on a video project.
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