PPVA March 2014 Meeting

Posted March 20, 2014 by sandersvideo
Categories: Monthly Meetings

PPVA videographers:
Baby Alex is really keeping us on our toes now! Sorry I had to bug out a bit early from the meeting, but I’m really glad I could be there. Despite this month’s CES leader having to back out at the last minute due to work commitments we had a very productive and informative meeting.

March’s PPVA meeting took to an “open discussion” format. Please see the following:


 1. Alex Litz from Gippos Studio demo’ed 2 of his new Panasonic cameras.Panasonic AG-AF100a with interchangeable lenses –
Panasonic AG-AC160a with improved autofocus

2. 2014-2015 yearly dues will be due next meeting – April 21. $100 for the year, $75 for the officers. Please bring a check made payable to “PPVA”.

3. Next meeting we will draw months from a hat which will determine the month that each member will lead the CES/meeting. If there is a month that you know you will not be attending then please inform us ahead of time.

4. PPVA has a new website! Thank you to Alex Litz for heading up this “operation”! It looks amazing. If you haven’t already, please email Alex at gipposvideo@gmail.com to update your contact information. You may also email him a headshot photo and company logo to insert on the Membership page of the site. www.PPVA.org will still take you directly to the site. Also, if you have industry appropriate links or articles feel free to send those to Alex as well for consideration for including on the website.

5. Eric Pensenstadler from Video Horizons lead a brief discussion on 4K and 8K cameras. The bottom line, as presented by Eric, is that 4K cameras are currently way overkill and not needed nor worth the money. BluRays are not 4K, neither is cable, satellite, computer monitors, broadcast, etc. However, James Sanders and Tom Herm made very good points that in videos such as dance recitals and sports videos 4K or 8K would allow you to zoom in and/or highlight a particular person while not losing quality. Also 4K cameras are actually comparable in price now.

6. James Sanders from Sanders Video gave an excellent presentation on the latest effects from Digital Juice. Go to www.digitaljuice.com for more info!

7. 2014 PPVA Video Awards!! We have settled on Friday April 25 at 6pm. Location will be in the comfort of Anne Marie and Tom Herm’s abode. This year there will be NO FEE for video submissions, however, the DVD(s) or BluRay(s) must be submitted at the April 21 meeting. At the meeting we will also pass around a food-sign up sheet as we ask each company attending to bring one food or drink item, preferably in the Italian theme.

8. Mike Weis from Live Graphic Services volunteered to take headshots during the awards of each member for use on the new PPVA website, so dress nice – at least your top half!

9.  Movie Time!  We wrapped up the meeting with James Sanders showing a portion of his latest sports video making use of Digital Juice effects. Eric Pensenstadler shared a recent marketing video for a school in Ligonier. Dave Malinaric played a recent 60 Minutes piece that discussed the growing drone, or radio controlled, aerial camera use.

10. April’s CES and meeting will be lead by Tom Herm.

Thank you all!

Eric Pensenstadler, Video Horizons, LLC
Secretary, PPVA


PPVA January 2014 Meeting

Posted February 17, 2014 by sandersvideo
Categories: Monthly Meetings

Meeting called to order by Eric Pensenstadler at 7:15PM.
We welcomed Mike Weis from Live Graphic Services LLC and James Hillen from Texolve as first time guests.
New Business:  PPVA Video Awards will be held at the residence of Tom and Anne Marie Herm from Ambiance Video Services.  Date is TBD but choices are Saturday April 5, Sunday April 6, or Sunday April 27.  Easter is April 20.  We only received a few email responses for date preference and the responses we got were split.
PPVA year renews in April, so officer nominations need to be in this month or by beginning of the March meeting.  Appointments or voting will be held during the April 2014 meeting.
CES Continuing Education Series presented by Eric Pensenstadler of Video Horizons.  We discussed how to achieve professional and modern looking interview lighting in tight spaces, as well as optimization for obtaining shallow depth of field.
Matt Puskarich gave a demo of his jib camera support from Glidecam.

Eric Pensenstadler

PPVA Secretary

September 2013 Meeting

Posted September 18, 2013 by sandersvideo
Categories: Monthly Meetings

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PPVA videographers:

Aaaaaaahh,back at a PPVA meeting! Between hectic traveling and a 4 month old bundle of energy at home, it was nice to see everybody – including our newest member John Guinane!

Tom Herm lead the meeting and the Continuing Education Series this month with a nice surmise of media formats since their conception as far back as the 1920’s, including his predictions of the next 3 years and beyond based on current and past trends, and what sounded like a whole lotta research! Please see below.


1. “Learning the Future of Media from Our Past”

A. Past Media
a. Stemming from Audio Magnetic Tape, magnetic videotape such as Quadruplex videotape, Betamax, and VHS where introduced as early as the 1950’s. As we all know, VHS became the dominant media until about 2007.
b. When Audio Optical Disc came on the market in the late 50’s, it once again was not long after that video followed in the form of Video Optical Discs, ie laserdisc, DVD, and eventually BluRay. Tom predicts, as is widely accepted, that BluRay discs may just be the last physical media made.
c. The next leap came with Digital Storage, and if you’re following the trend here, you may not be surprised that it started with audio. ipods took the market by storm in 2001 and Steve Jobs changed the market forever! With sites like YouTube and Vimeo, and uploads speed and online storage space increasing almost daily, digital video is where the industry is now… or at lease where it’s going in the not so distant future.

B. Future Media
a. If future media is not a tangible disc, but all 1’s and 0’s in cyberspace somewhere, then this presents a whole new ballgame in many ways.
b. Every created content is still subject to copyright protection, but it is infinitely more difficult in the online world (though as Tom pointed out, many U.S. companies and specifically the movie industry are darn good at it!).
c. Online video sites such as YouTube, smart phones, and software can detect copyrighted material.
d. How do we as video producers protect our own work? Alex showed us one way – password protecting videos online, then making the password available only to those you choose, or those who purchase it via PayPal for example.
e. Cloud storage is quickly becoming one of the most popular methods. Cloud is basically a connections of computers via the internet in which different amounts of storage space can be “rented”.
C. Predictions
a. Approximately 2016 CDs will no longer be produced
b. Approximately 2020 DVDs and BluRays will no longer be produced
c. Digital video and audio will remain dominant for the foreseeable future
d. What will the digital standard be? We don’t know yet
e. When we deliver a video (for example, a wedding or a dance recital) and there are no hard discs, only online viewing, who will be responsible for maintaining the online storage? Or do we send the client the file one time and they are responsible for it? These are questions yet to be answered my friends!
f. This could all be leading to computers without drives and TVs without inputs (online connection only). The new MacPro computer from Apple is already without DVD or BluRay drives.

2. Movie Time! We wrapped up the meeting with Alex Litz sharing a website he made about 5 years ago in which he makes use of the PayPal feature in Vimeo to control purchasing the password to watch and/or download video content. James Sanders showed portions from a recent lacrosse video – top notch as always!

3. October’s CES and meeting will be lead by John Tonti.

Thank you all!
Eric Pensenstadler, Video Horizons, LLC
Secretary, PPVA

April 2013 Meeting

Posted April 17, 2013 by sandersvideo
Categories: Monthly Meetings

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PPVA videographers:

April 2013 began the new year for the Pittsburgh Professional Videographers Association. The round-table discussion style meeting went very well and all members seemed to participate and enjoy the meeting.


1.  We were pleased to welcome first time guest Dan Sotak who recently graduated film school from Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA. Thank you to member Eric Pensenstadler for inviting Dan.

2.  As each member briefly introduced themselves it was nice to hear how we came up with the name of our companies… even if named after ourselves. Naming a company after your own surname means really putting yourself behind your work, and it shows that you are proud of what you do.

3. Joe Nolfi recommended http://www.monoprice.com for all computer needs at great prices. Joe purchases from this site and has never had any issues or problems.

4. Joe Nolfi discussed the increase in videographers advertising on The Knot, and that many of these “newcomers” are charging too little for their videos. Joe recommended inviting them to a PPVA meeting in order to educate them on the value of wedding videography and to possibly bring them up a level in the caliber of their productions. Joe volunteered to contact them and Eric Pensenstadler volunteered to assist.

5. Bob Pennington invited all members to the Texolve / PTI recap of the Las Vegas NAB show from this year. The event will be held at PTI on Tuesday April 23rd at 6pm.

6. We watched and discussed highlights from a past PPVA lecture by Tim Ryan. Topics discussed included:

A. Video on homepage is helpful to get brides/clients to stay on the site, however, be cautious of auto-start and audio.
B. Same-day edits for weddings are a big thing in other markets, but in Pittsburgh they just aren’t catching on. We believe the main reason is the extra costs involved. Many brides barely want to pay for HD or other add-ons.
C. 4K cameras were discussed briefly: 4K UHD (Ultra High Definition) is a resolution of 3840 pixels × 2160 pixels (8.3 megapixels, aspect ratio 16:9) and is one of the two resolutions of ultra high definition television, the other being 8K UHD which is 7680 pixels × 4320 pixels (33.2 megapixels). Both are aimed at consumer televisions. 4K UHD has twice the horizontal and vertical resolution of the 1080p HDTV format, with four times as many pixels overall. More information can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4K_resolution .

7.  Movie Time!  We wrapped up the meeting with Alex Litz sharing video clips of recent photo/video montages that he is editing in After Effects.  James Sanders showed a unique upbeat wedding highlight montage.

8. Tom Herm shared information on the Good Samaritan Law which offers legal protection to people who give reasonable assistance to those who are injured, ill, in peril, or otherwise incapacitated. Recent CPR training for the general public includes hard compressions on the lower chest and no mouth to mouth breaths. This can apply to us as videographers because often times we are the first on the dance floor at wedding receptions and might be the only ones to notice a person in distress.
Thank you all!
Eric Pensenstadler, Video Horizons, LLC
Secretary, PPVA

PPVA August 2012 Meeting.

Posted August 28, 2012 by sandersvideo
Categories: Monthly Meetings

This month’s meeting was called to order by Gary and Becky Carmichael of AB&G Digital Productions.

Joe Nolfi introduced first-time guest and videographer, Frank Wade.

Recognition and thanks given to Anne Marie & Tom Herm as well as Becky Carmichael for their successful efforts to our Annual PPVA Picnic held in July.

The PPVA Annual Awards Competition, which was postponed in August will be rescheduled for the October meeting.  The Awards will be presented at the November meeting.

Eric Pensenstadler of Video Horizons, showed recent work featuring a car commercial and a promotional video for Excela Health.

With our Continuing Education Series (CES), presented “Video and the Cloud–What the Future May Hold and How it May Affect Your Business.”

Other discussion topics included:  David’s Bridal looking for Videographers, marketing and time-management tips by James Sanders, tips in dealing with dissatisfied customers, LED lights.

PPVA April 2012

Posted April 30, 2012 by sandersvideo
Categories: Monthly Meetings

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PPVA Meeting Minutes  Monday, April 16, 2012

Member Dave Malinaric called the April meeting to order at about 7 pm. Secretary John Tonti from Express TeleVideo read the minutes from the March meeting. James Sanders from Sanders Video Services gave the Treasurer’s Report for Tracy Sanders.

To start the meeting, Dave talked about and showed clips from his recent 3D coverage of a wedding at Heinz Chapel, where he acquired footage for Anne Marie Herm’s assignment there. He plans to edit them using either Roxio or Sony Vegas software he recently ordered and of course make clips available for Anne Marie’s use in editing that project.

Dave also showed 3D footage from an outdoor motorcycle event last summer that also included an outdoor wedding, in order to show the power of well lit and shot 3D images. His 46 inch Vizio 3D flat screen and Real3D glasses made these pictures very impressive.

The dates and locations for the summer picnic, to be coordinated by Anne Marie of Ambiance Video, were discussed. This will be at North Park or Avonworth Community Park, on either July 15, 22, or 29 depending on when a site can be booked.

James talked about using his new Roland R26 audio recorder on recent assignments, expressing how happy he is with the features it provides.

We discussed the dates and locations for the PPVA video awards meeting that will take place on August 5th or 12th, probably in Squirrel Hill in a place Alex Litz from Gippos Video will secure for us.

Guest Ralph Keller showed clips and discussed his experiences using his Nikon DSLR as a video camera on commercial shoots, as well as shooting and testing it with family members as subjects. Several members had questions about this and similar DSLRs which Ralph happily answered.

We also saw demo footage provided by Dave Egers from Armstrong Cable, who uses the Sony F3 for certain projects requiring its capabilities. These spots get aired as commercials his company’s cable system. That demo DVD was prepared for use at a recent seminar at Viewpoint Production Services where Sony large format cameras were shown. John Tonti happened to have the disc with him since Egers used John’s CameraBridge MaXi to hand hold the F3 in several clips.

Joe Nolfi from Nolfi Video Services will present information about taxes that apply to video graphers in next month’s meeting on May 21, 2012, at Denny’s in Monroeville, PA.

Submitted by

John Tonti, Express TeleVideo

Secretary, PPVA

May 21, 2012

PPVA March 2012

Posted March 31, 2012 by sandersvideo
Categories: Monthly Meetings

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PPVA Meeting Minutes Monday, March 19, 2012

President Eric Pensenstadler of Video Horizons called the March meeting to order at about 7 pm. John Tonti from Express TeleVideo read the minutes from the February meeting.

Eric Pensenstadler outlined the agenda of topics to be covered at the meeting, including nomination of officers, membership dues, tapeless workflows, and video awards ceremony dates.

Dave Malinaric reviewed his summary of story about the importance of staying motivated and conveying that enthusiasm to people we meet that may have an interest in our services. Bob Pennington added to the information by reading an excerpt from one of Seth Godin’s blogs related to planning and marketing business services.

Joe Nolfi from Nolfi Video Services presented information about his recent experience with P2 memory cards and solid state recording on his new Panasonic 170 camcorders. He compared tape recording formats with SD cards and CF cards for field acquisition. He said that while cards are expensive, their reliability in all sorts of low or high temperature conditions, as well as the fact that the speed of file transfers for copying and editing, makes them very cost effective. Battery running times are improved, and increased reliability of the camera are other big advantages inherent in the tapeless workflow environment Joe now uses for his projects.

James Sanders from Sanders Video Services added that he got similar benefits when using the solid state audio-only recorder from Roland Systems at his last event. Eric talked about his mostly positive experiences with his Sony cameras that use solid state recording in Sony’s own format. Alex Litz from Gippos Studios mentioned the advantages he gets from the DataVideo DN 60 recorders connected to his Canon cameras.

The nominations of officers to manage the association, meetings and events was the next topic of discussion, led by Eric. He announced that he would not continue as President and suggested that coordinating the meetings should be shared by different members, starting in April, on a rolling basis. Other than President, other officers will continue for the next calendar year.

Eric reviewed his list of members who are scheduled to make presentations to the group on topics of interest in which they have particular interests or experiences to share with the group. We further discussed that each presenter could facilitate the entire meeting during his or her month.

There was further discussion of alternate meeting locations, which group members seemed to be open to, should someone make those arrangements at a suitable venue. Bob Pennington suggested that this may tend to draw more members to the meetings and even attract new members to the group to grow it.

The next meeting will be at Denny’s in Monroeville on April 16, 2012.

Submitted by
John Tonti, Express TeleVideo
Secretary, PPVA
April 11, 2012

PPVA February 2012

Posted February 29, 2012 by sandersvideo
Categories: Monthly Meetings

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PPVA Meeting Minutes February 20, 2012

President Eric Pensenstadler of Video Horizons called the meeting to order at about 7 pm. John Tonti from Express TeleVideo read the minutes from the January meeting.

Eric passed out nomination forms for elections of officers for the year beginning April 1, 2012.  Nominees will be contacted before the next meeting.  Eric passed out forms so that members could draw the month they would be expected to make a presentation on a topic of interest to the group, and collected them along with the nomination forms for officers.

New Business
Eric  reviewed the need to discuss the annual PPVA video awards. He planned to review some stories of interest to the group. He announced that Alex Litz from Gippos Studio will lead a discussion about using green screen effects in his studio. Frank George will go over the newest AV products from Roland Systems Group.
Eric led a discussion on the importance of recording room tone when shooting in the field to enable audio enhancements when editing.

Eric presented some information about the growing use of HTML5 and the declining use of Flash for video and audio sharing.

Eric talked about alternative dates available for the video awards program and questioned whether we should have one this year due to lack of participation by some members/companies. Others voiced opinions and compared dates and it was decided that we would move the event from April to August to allow more time to prepare entries.

Alex Litz talked about his uses of green screen techniques in his studio to meet the needs and requests of his clients. There were questions and comments from others that added to the discussion.

Frank George from Roland Systems Froup talked about the newest R-26 six channel and R-44 four channel field recorders from Edirol, and members were able to see and touch them, and ask questions about features and benefits of recording additional field audio with these solid state devices.

Frank also showed and demonstrated the VR-3 and VR-5 production switcher and SSR that easily connects to field equipment and batteries while enabling live streaming via USB, solid state memory recording and numerous monitoring options for many source inputs. There was a lot of interest in how these devices from Roland Systems, and Frank did a great job of pointing out how they could used to advantage at events that people want to send out or save to send later.

Submitted by
John Tonti, Express TeleVideo
Secretary, PPVA
March 18, 2012

PPVA January 2012 Meeting

Posted January 31, 2012 by sandersvideo
Categories: Monthly Meetings

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Draft of Minutes from PPVA Meeting on January 16, 2012

Eric called the meeting to order at about 7 pm. John Tonti read the minutes from the November 2011 meeting. There was no formal meeting in December due to the Christmas Party at Dave & Buster’s at the WaterFront.

Eric asked that Gary Ferraro of Random Acts Production introduce himself to the group, and others introduced themselves and their companies as well

New Business
We reviewed alternative meeting locations such as Panera Bread in Oakland that would be more central to the membership. Eric stated that whoever wants to make this happen should make inquiries and let everyone know so we can agree to make this change.

Dave Malinaric talked about shooting and editing wedding and event video in 3D.

The proposed Certification program was discussed by Eric, Tom and Gary, and the current application form was passed out for review. Questions came up about how equipment, work product, and policy qualifications and ground rules should be handled by the Committee. Certifying video service companies versus the individuals who actually do the work was part of the discussion. We agreed that this effort is a work in progress that would have flexibility built in to the requirements.

The logo created to distinguish a certified member or member company was discussed, including current use of the standard logo that some members use of their web sites. Drug and alcohol policy requirements of the certification application were also discussed.

Eric reminded us that nominations for next year’s chapter officers need to be made soon, so that we can elect new leadership during the April meeting. At that time we will also draw assignments for a month in which each member or member company would lead a discussion or conduct a demonstration on a topic of interest to the group.

The “membership year” was brought up so that dues, elections and schedules might be better administered, since member attendance will now be tracked in order to meet proposed requirements for Certification.

Eric talked about ThunderBolt technology developed by Intel and offered by Apple, including it features, promises and delayed availability and likely adoption. Various connector types and their backward and forward compatibility was part of this topic.

Sanders Video Services Played a short video of their Disney World vacation.
AB&G Digital played a video of South Fayette Township football highlights they created.
Video Horizons played a video of a flashmob event at Overly’s Country Christmas event.

Ambiance Video asked about the New Year’s Eve calls to some group members from Bella Pictures to cover a Pittsburgh wedding on an emergency basis.

Submitted by
John Tonti,
Secretary, PPVA
February 14, 2012

PPVA November 2011 Meeting

Posted November 22, 2011 by sandersvideo
Categories: Monthly Meetings

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There will be no meeting in December.  Our annual Christmas Party will again be at Dave & Buster’s on December 12th.

This month we finalized the new program for our members on PPVA Certification that begins in January 2012.  Gary Carmichael did a presentation on the http://www.squareup.com which is today’s more convenient and cheaper alternative way of taking credit cards rather than having a merchant account or even using some of Paypal’s services.  Inexpensive cell phone services such as http://www.republicwireless.com was also mentioned.

James Sanders did a presentation on how the use of sound fx can help create a deeper impact for viewers.  The presentation had sound fx from Digital Juice used on a High School sports video.

See you next year!  Happy editing!