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Mahes Visvalingam
Post-retirement postings

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Film Making

All the films and verses on this website are copyrighted and are posted here for your personal enjoyment.  Unauthorised copying and use in part or whole in other compilations, commercial and non-commercial, is illegal.  The project files and original movies in 720 x 576 PAL format have been archived for use in a compilation of the author's works.





The 100th Birthday of a friend, Pollie Cooper, provided the incentive for film-making.  I took several hours of video at three celebratory events.  Unfortunately, these can be tedious to watch and I wanted to shorten the two-hour church service into a short film which could be lodged at the church for posterity.  James Ward (in Computer Science, Hull) got me past the first step of using a firewire (iLink) cable to output the raw footage from the camcorder to my laptop.  I joined the Chesterfield Film Makers in Feb 2005.  The club members were very friendly and helpful.  I was walked through the steps of putting a film together with Studio 7 by Elin Smith, the club Secretary, and Adobe Premier Elements 1 by Les Lewis.  There was also a club evening featuring editing - with Final Cut Pro (by the then Chairman Chris Lord), with Studio 7 (by Elin Smith and Doreen Williamson) and with Sony Vegas (by John Fox, current Chairman in 2006-7). 

I treated myself to a desktop PC in 2005.  The Roxio Easy Media Creator Suite, which came with the computer, seemed to be sufficient for my purposes - but I soon moved up to Roxio's Version 7 and Adobe Premier Elements 2.  I use all these software for purposes for which they seem best suited - but, to be honest, I use Windows Move Maker (free with Windows XP) more often than any of the others to edit the film and then use Roxio DVD-Builder for burning the DVD.  It took a lot of time to explore the various items of software.  So, it was almost Christmas before I completed my first film on the church service which, together with all the trimmed footage I had of the celebrations, proved to be a nice Christmas gift for Pollie's family, church and friends. 

To-date (11 Jan 07), I have shown two films at competitions and won the 2006 First Time Winner's Award for my second film on Crow Lane. This film is posted as a webcast on the internet.  My husband and I are concerned that some adjoining farm land, which offers open views and which makes this area a delightful bit of Britain, is up for sale as building land.  Crow Lane may look very different in the near future and we wanted to record the much loved walks around Chesterfield.  So, my aim is to produce succinct annotated records of people, places and events for posterity.  I do not intend to post films of people on the internet but hope that I can lodge my films with local libraries, such as the Chesterfield Library which has an excellent Local Studies section for those interested in Family History

With experience, it is possible to make satisfactory films quite quickly.  For example, I took some footage of the River Rother in flood today (11 Jan 2007) and have already completed the film record.  This is just 2 years after thinking about starting on film-making.  So, I hope that you too will start film-making (if you have not already done so) and have fun leaving your own records for posterity.   My video catalogue might give you some ideas for your own projects; it also includes pointers to useful sites.

Mahes Visvalingam, Last updated on 30/11/11