Creative Storytelling in web, iOS, and Film

Flipping for Little Cameras

By on Oct 5, 2009 in Blog, Video | 1 comment

from the Flip website, the Flip Ultra HD, their top-of-the-line camera.

from the Flip website, the Flip Ultra HD, their top-of-the-line camera.

We’ve recently started principal photography on a new documentary called Harmony: The Story of Rock Our World. I could go on and on about how wonderful this program is and how exceptional the teacher is who started it five years ago, but I think it’s probably better if I just let you hear directly from her in this short we produced last spring about the program.

Yeah, she’s amazing, isn’t she?

This production is going to take us around the world interacting with teachers and classrooms that are lucky to have one computer and a dial up connection, let alone high tech digital tools in each students’ hands. However, in order to produce a feature-length documentary about the program, we need each classroom to videotape their Rock Our World efforts. And since we’re making a film in 1080i, it would be really nice if they were videotaping their efforts in HD. Hence, our conundrum. Well, one of our conundrums.

from their website, the Kodak Zi8, which shoots 1080p.

from their website, the Kodak Zi8, which shoots 1080p.

What small camera should we get into the hands of the Rock Our World classes around the world, that’s easy to use, that allows for VERY SIMPLE file upload to iDisks, but that still produces a picture we can use in post production? Oh yeah, and it has to be INCREDIBLY CHEAP.

You’re thinking Flip, aren’t you? We were too. The best Flip out there shoots “Video: 16:9 widescreen, HD 720p (1280 x 720) at 30 frames per second (fps) progressive scan; recorded as MP4 files,” according to their website, and that will work just fine with our production. It won’t be great, since we’re shooting 1080i and the Flip shoots 720p, but I’m willing to convert in Final Cut Pro, even though I rage at the conversion time each time I hit the render button.

But this lovely teacher who runs Rock Our World, told me about the new Kodak competition to the Flip. Have you heard about the Kodak Zi8? It shoots in 1080p and is $20/unit cheaper.

I need to get to a local Best Buy and check these two little darlings out. I also plan to steal Carol Anne’s Kodak and my sister’s Flip at an event in Nebraska the weekend of October 16th. I hope have more for you when I return.