By Stephanie Ciccarelli
June 1, 2008
Does a particular brand of word processor make people better writers? Can amateur videographers make a killer music video with a simple camera phone?
In short, it's not what you have, it's what you bring to the table as a professional that truly makes the difference.
Today, I'm making a point and am writing my article (the one you're presently reading) in a word processor called TextEdit, one of the most basic, no frills processors around. Generally I write directly in Movable Type for VOX Daily, but I think you'll notice right away that my skill to communicate and hopefully entertain has not been hindered by the fact that I'm using an inferior platform to get my point across.
Once this article has been finished and edited, I'll copy and paste it into my usual platform, and add pictures and links just as I would any other article. If I hadn't told you that I was going through this process, you likely wouldn't have noticed.
Pat Fraley, a voice over coach Hollywood, might record a podcast from his bunkhouse in Studio City and you wouldn't in the least bit suspect that he is recording anywhere other than a state of the art audio recording facility. Why is that? Because Pat is a master at what he does with his voice and editing skills regardless of the tools at his disposal.
Earlier on, I made a reference to video being shot on camera phones.
Mike Hodgkinson, a highly skilled music videographer shot an absolutely spectacular, premium-grade video for Rob Dickinson's 'Oceans' using a Nokia N93 camera phone to capture the footage. He had a boom which he attached the phone to while filming and even captured underwater footage. Typically these kinds of projects can cost upwards of tens of thousands of dollars to produce when all is said and done.
Another mainstream example is the cinematographic phenomenon that was The Blair Witch Project. Made for under $22,000, the film has grossed over $248 million since January of 2008 (Source: Wikipedia).
Note that all of the people mentioned working with lower tech or minimal budgets were absolute professionals.
They used what they had and were able to make blockbusters from basic materials.
It came to my attention recently that there was some peculiar advice given out by someone working at a competing website suggesting that people consider recording in their vehicles to cut down on background noise.
The quality control manager, at said site, suggested the following as a measure to cut down on noise in audio recordings:
"Recording while sitting in a car. You would be surprised how well it works. (Just make sure your local neighborhood watch is aware of what you are doing. ha! )"
There are a number of reasons not to record in a car (ambient and external noises such as keys jingling, other cars, people, birds, extreme weather, wind etc.), but those factors aside, recording in a car will not make an unskilled individual in the realm of audio engineering and editing a professional audio engineer and producer because the inside of their car is insulated thus functioning as a rudimentary sound booth.
That's like saying if you gave me, an untrained / unskilled painter the finest brushes, oil paints and a canvas that I could be the next Michelangelo or Rembrandt. While the passion may be there along with the right materials, mark my words, the skill is not!
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