Linking up with Rob while he’s in the field is no easy task- As you can tell, he’s got more cameras than hands, and numerous important deadlines to meet. Luckily I caught him while traveling slowly in rainy interstate traffic for a few minutes of his time. Enjoy a look at some of the prototype lenses and extended life batteries that power his vision.
We also spoke for a few minutes, off the record, about his unconventional video workflow, which includes compressing with iMovie.
“iMovie is a really good compressor, you just have to trick it into being good.”
Rob’s technique involves laying both HD and SD footage (a typical mix in his edits) in an HD timeline, and exporting from Final Cut, uncompressed, in two minute segments. He swears that he can achieve far superior image quality if he exports with increments not exceeding 120 seconds. These segments are then imported to iMovie and compressed with normal HD settings, utilizing the popular H.264 codec. He then pieces the segments back together in Final Cut, and exports uncompressed. Obviously he bumps up the “fun” filter about five or six points, then uploads to Vimeo.
His self-proclaimed magnum opus of standard definition is the No Peg Left Behind Campaign Ad he created for 14th Division Street Controller Nominee Damian Racut.
Rob insists that Cali’s Patrick Taber had used the HD timeline technique in an SD edit many years ago, prompting his own research into negating Vimeo’s backend compression.