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Monthly Archives: April 2003

FilmHelp FilmHelp: Post-Production Films

Tip of the Day: Firewire problems with FCP

By Greg Pak
For some time, I’ve been plagued with audio glitches and gray squares of digital breakup during playback on the video monitor attached to one of my Final Cut Pro editing systems. I wasn’t getting the same problems when using the same video files on a different system. So I tried a number of things, including adding RAM, reinstalling software, and attempting to exactly match the software setup of the machine which was working to the machine which wasn’t.
Through a long process of elimination, it occurred to me that the problem might be the Firewire jack on the computer. After all, I wasn’t seeing glitches on my computer screen — only on the monitor which was connected to a deck which was connected to the Firewire jack.
So I installed a Firewire PCI card. And hooked up my deck and Firewire drives to the new Firewire jacks on the PCI card.
And now everything works brilliantly.
What makes me very happy is that I’d been fretting that the problem was that the computer (a G3 B&W upgraded to a 450MHz G4) just wasn’t fast enough to handle OS 10.2.3 and FCP 3.0.4. But now all is well and I don’t have to contemplate scrounging up a couple of grand for a new computer.

FilmHelp FilmHelp: Festivals & Distribution Films

Tip of the Day: Pass out the pads

By Greg Pak
After hitting seven festivals in three weeks, I’ve finally found a good method of building an email list of interested audience members. I used to mention at screenings of my film “Robot Stories” that I send out a newsletter about the film and would be happy to take people’s email addresses. Then, after the screening, I’d try to pass around a pad and pen to folks milling around. This was semi-successful — we built a pretty formidable list of names this way. But not everyone who’s interested in getting on a mailing list is willing to fight their way to the front of the theater after a screening to sign up.
So finally, at the Wisconsin Film Festival last weekend, I tried out a new method. During the Q&A, I didn’t just mention we have a newsletter — I physically passed a couple of small pads with pens down the aisles. About a quarter of the audience signed up, which is a pretty great ratio. My conclusion: Folks sitting in their chairs are more likely to sign up for a newsletter than folks on their way out the door, heading to the bathroom or dinner or bed.

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