Stefan’s Giveaway:

A Tale of Two Cameras

Published On: 03/19/13 03:03:38 PM

Stefan Sargent

Remember last month’s Production Diary? I wrote that I put my two Sony HVR-V1U camcorders on eBay. What a fiasco!


Gee, I was only trying to sell a camera.

Winner of camera #1 complains that it is broken; the cassette mechanism is jammed open. Would I sell a broken camera? Of course not.

I pay for the UPS return and refund his money. And guess what? It really IS broken. Hmmm… No choice but to send it away to be repaired. Two lots of UPS shipping charges plus a $550 repair bill. Can it get worse? You bet…

Worse and Worser
The winner of camera #2 thought he could buy now—pay later. No dice. Then he asks his mum. Nope, she won’t lend him money either.

I click an eBay button saying something like “buyer didn’t pay” and he goes BALLISTIC. His e-mails are in CAPITALS accusing me of VENGANCE and THREATING (his spelling, not mine).

From Hate to Halo
Fate steps in. An e-mail from Peter Meyers, my first U.S. client, from ’99.

“Stef.”—He always calls me Stef. I hate it.—“Stef., Lucas wants a video camera—tell me what to buy him.”

Lucas is 12 and as smart as a tack. In ’99, he simply didn’t exist. Weird.
“Oh Peter, have I got a camera for Lucas!”

Future movie director with his Sony HVR-V1U camera

I wait until Peter’s Christmas party. Lucas can’t believe his eyes. He’s so happy.

We sit on the floor and I do a quick run-through of the camera. Here’s the auto/manual switch. Use the ND filter for exterior shooting. You can drop the shutter speed in low-light conditions. All meaningless mumbo jumbo, he’s just too excited to listen.

“Thank you! Thank you.”

He’s thrilled—so am I.

Final Cut Pro X
It’s a month since Lucas received his camera. I’ll swing around this Saturday.

“How’s it going?” “The camera doesn’t appear on the desktop, I can’t drag and drop.”

I’m about to explain that he has to use Apple FCP X, but he already knows. In fact, he’s shot and edited a dramatic short complete with actors. The timeline has added gunshot flashes and sound effects.

“Should I use library music or compose my own?”

My Giveaway to You
I still have that other camera. It came back from the repairers looking like new, with a six-month guarantee.

The Sony V1U comes in this nifty case—with all accessories, battery, charger, tape stock and owner manual.

Will it be you? I’m looking for another Herzog, Rodriguez or Tarantino. When fame and fortune eventually strikes, just say you owe it all to me.
How to Win

Simply e-mail Cristina, our beloved editor, a few lines about why you should win my camera and what you want to do with it. No more than 250 words. The e-mail subject line must be GIVEAWAY. Entries to be in by May 1, 2013. The winner will be announced in the July 2013 issue. Here’s the e-mail address:

Not So Fine Print
Your name and the winning e-mail will be published. I want to see some amazing videos from you on YouTube.

Dare to sell the camera on aarrgghhBay: you will have your subscription to Digital Video magazine canceled, a horse’s head placed on your pillow, and the bad fairies will come and get you.

Now write that winning e-mail. Good luck

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