Vizual ProductionsChallenge At Vizual Productions, husband and wife team Alicia and Troy Culver are committed to giving couples and their families a way to relive, re-experience, and reflect on the magic of their wedding day. They capture all of the sights, sounds, and emotions of the day. And for them, it’s personal—regretting to this day the fact they didn’t hire a videographer to capture the moments of their own wedding a decade ago. Their philosophy is simple: capture what the client is looking for. From a technical standpoint, each project typically involves two cameras, with five to eight hours of footage a-piece, and Troy found himself consumed with capturing and logging the tapes. He became interested in the concept of tapeless acquisition as a way to be more productive and minimize these time-consuming tasks—not to mention to allow him to dedicate more of his time to the creative editing process and produce higher-quality results for his clients. Solution After researching available solutions, Troy selected the FS-4Pro from Focus Enhancements. The FS-4 Portable DTE Recorder lets videographers record DV or HDV streams directly to disk via FireWire. It records directly in edit-ready QuickTime, Avid DV-OMF, AVI Type 2, AVI Type 2 24p, and other native NLE formats in timeline, so there’s no need to capture tape or to transfer or convert files. By eliminating these intermediate steps, footage can be ready for editing almost as soon as it’s been shot. Troy appreciates the visual feedback on the FS-4’s large LCD display. “It’s nice to be able to look down and know I’m recording. I don’t have to worry,† he explained. “I set it and forget it. The FS-4 has worked flawlessly for that.† Troy primarily records in AVI Type 2 and imports the footage directly to the Sony Vegas 7 production suite. While he uses the FS-4 as his primary source for editing, he continues to use tape for back-up purposes. “The FS-4 enables me to shoot to hard drive and keep the tape rolling. It’s added comfort to ensure that I capture each client’s memories safely.† Results “For me, the biggest advantage is the amount of time saved in my editing workflow now that I don’t have to log tape,† said Troy. “I’d estimate the FS-4 saves me about 40 minutes for each recorded hour—and with 8 to 10 hours of footage per project, that’s more than 6 hours of saved time per project. That’s a significant improvement.† And this improved workflow benefits Troy’s clients, too. “The more time you save in workflow, the more time you have to be creative,† he explained. In addition, the FS-4 has helped Vizual Productions’ own marketing efforts. Streaming video samples on the web give potential clients a glimpse into a videographer’s style and ability, and is often the key to attracting clients online. With the FS-4’s support for multiple formats, Troy can capture a file directly in QuickTime for web streaming. “With the FS-4, I can export to QuickTime without rendering,† Troy explained. “It has proved to be a great tool for updating our website.†

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