In the Studio: Working With AVCHD in Sony Vegas Pro 9

eventDV by David McKnight

A recent email blast for a new Sony camcorder loudly proclaims: "A new year. A new format." It sometimes feels that way, doesn't it? For prosumer video camera codecs, the current "belle of the ball" is AVCHD (Advanced Video Codec High Definition) in all its many flavors. The signature benefit of AVCHD is its compression efficiency as an MPEG-4-based codec, which means it can store more video information at lower bitrates than HDV. But as most of who have worked with it know, AVCHD can be a bear to edit, and the challenges vary based on which NLE you use to edit it. In this article, I'm going to illustrate how our studio dealt with footage from a multiday shoot using AVCHD cameras (along with a mix of HDV and DV), resulting in a long-form DVD for '80s pop legend and General Hospital alumnus Rick Springfield.

Won't You Let Me Take You on a Sea Cruise?
In November 2009, musicians Springfield and Richard Marx, along with actors Brandon Barash and Doug Davidson-and nearly 1,000 of their fans-set sail from Miami for the second annual Rick Springfield & Friends Cruise. The cruise comprised 4 days packed with concerts, Q&A sessions, meet and greets, and photo ops between the artists and the fans. My wife and partner, Christie, and I were tasked with capturing it all on video and producing a DVD to be sold via the Rick Springfield merchandise website and at concerts across the U.S., of which Rick performs 2-3 per week.

Having learned a lesson from shooting the cruise in 2008, this year we opted not to deliver 700 DVDs while still on board. That was a neat trick last year, but it was entirely too much work on our part. And because we got bogged down in DVD production, we missed out on shooting the final event of the cruise. This year we agreed not to edit on board and, instead, delivered an expanded two-disc set within a few weeks of the cruise. read more...

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