FresHDV's Oakhurst Interview

Matt at FresHDV has been running a two-part interview this week with indie film/postproduction techie blogger Josh Oakhurst. Josh's from-the-hip style suggests what might happen if you crossed that Mad Money guy on CNBC with a video engineer. This is my way of saying Josh's energy can make some otherwise somniferous subjects (say, differences in video codecs) interesting.

Josh, if you're reading, I do have two bones to pick with you:

Small point: I'm not convinced when you argue that Panasonic's P2 technology is ready for the trash heap. (For what it's worth, I have no allegiances in the HD/HDV format wars and I own none of those competing cameras.) I think it hurts your argument when you compare P2 to Panasonic's other failed/non-adopted formats, but you don't do the same for Sony (which it sounds like you use). Remember, Sony is the originator of Betamax. Shouldn't the same logic apply to HDV? Anyway, like I said, the logic didn't seem strong. Plus, a lot of people I've talked to that have used P2 say that a) it's getting cheaper and b) once you use it you never want to go back to using tape. My $0.02.

Bigger point: I think taking punches at "film school" kids is too easy. Sure, there are lots of spoiled rich kids making movies. (As a big-time indie producer once confided to me at the Rotterdam Film Festival, "They call it independent film because you have to be independently wealthy.") But film school kids and the crowd you're griping about aren't one and the same. For my part, I went to school before the DV revolution. It was the only way for a guy growing up in East Tennessee to get his hands on the tools of production. I went, I learned, and because of teaching assistantships I incurred very little debt. I have no regrets.

Likewise, the students I have taught at Temple and University of Tennessee (as well as the students that I've met in my travels) weren't born with silver spoons in their mouths. In fact, most have pretty heavy work schedules just to pay their state-school tuitions and the rent. They've come to film school to meet fellow-travelers, to have access to computers and good cameras they couldn't afford otherwise, and maybe, just maybe, to learn some ways to challenge the system that produces the television crap that you and I both hate. Like you, they are hungry to make films, that's all.

Anyway, other than that, I liked the interview. Keep up the good work with your blog.