I’ve been working with Digital Video since QuickTime(tm) was first announced at the Apple Developer Conference in San José, in 1991.
In December that year, as product marketing manager for CED (Consumer electronic Distributors Ltd. aka ‘Apple NZ’), it was my job to introduce QuickTime in NZ. I had all the developer tools and made the first digital video, a QuickTime video of TV1 news. It was, by today’s standards, a ‘postage stamp’ (size 160×120 at 10 frames/sec – the best the capture hardware of the day could manage). The sound had to be recorded separately and then synced up with the video…
Since then I’ve actively explored and learned as much as possible about how the user can interact with and control digital video, and what techniques are required to achieve the best possible viewing experience, not only in terms of usability – but also in terms of quality.
So one day my friend Mike and I were kicking acronyms around and came up with MIKE = Multimedia Is Key Everywhere, and DAVID = Digital Audio Video Interactive Design.
Since then I got a Graduate Diploma in Computer-Based Learning to put some solid theory behind the usability experience that I find fascinating.
In 1995 I worked with Craig Meek of Terabyte Interactive fame to produce a CD-ROM of the America’s Cup 1995 – when Peter Blake won the cup for NZ. A team of 4 – I was the lead programmer and project manager – produced the CD in just over 2 months on location in San Diego, which inlcuded 40 mins of video, 63 mins of audio, over 1,000 images, and about 1200 pages of text. All in Director v 4.0 – very buggy. Fortunately there was an update just before publishing deadline that fixed most of the bugs. The rest we worked around.
Then in mid 1998 there was the DVD-video roadshow by Media Technologies, Phillips et al, pushing $100,000 starting point for authoring DVD-videos. I felt it could be done much more simply and made the very first DVD-video disk in NZ in October 1998 with my Mac and the first Pioneer DVD burner in the country, specially imported for me by Monaco. The burner cost $6,000 and the blanks were $100 each. I did the video encoding in software on my Mac and captured the video using my Radius Telecast system. At the time, a 1Gbyte drive was just under $1,000 and you had to really work at your system to keep it optimized so you could capture Standard Definition video. So it was that DAVID became DaViD… Since then I’ve kept my hardware and software up to date and have encoded and authored hundreds of individual DVD-video disks in NZ. I also authored the very first DVD-video to be commercially pressed in NZ through Media Technologies, a project for Terabyte Interactive – the America’s Cup Louis Vuitton Commemorative DVD set distributed to journalists world-wide.
In 2007 I worked again with Craig to develop the ‘Desktop TV’ online product for the Valencia America’s Cup. I developed the process from filming through keying and compression to deliver transparent background video within flash, and developed training materials for the remote production crew in Valencia.
Since then I’ve been focusing on web deployment of video, and perfected the technique of green-screen filming to produce a transparent background video that ‘floats’ over the top of web page content. This process relies on Flash, and with the rapid growth of iPhone etc in recent years Flash (which will not run on iPhone and iPad) combined with massive resistance to Flash from IT professionals because of security concerns, Flash is now practically obsolete. Especially considering that a large proportion of web viewing is now done on iPhones and iPads. So Flash and DVD use decline relegates these two technologies to the annals of history.
Now, I’m engaged in the art of story-telling, how to help people present effectively, helping people with digital transformation, and enabling them to make their own videos while preserving professional quality for their increasing online audience. Current technologies I’m working with are iPhone video making and editing, live streaming, search engine optimisation of video, wordpress websites, and online customer experience.
I believe technology can be easily harnessed by non-tech people by focusing on simple application of telling your story using the “top 10%” that’s most easily learned. I love to help people.