Edmonton Eskimo defenseman Kitwana Jones, right, and Journal Crime Reporter Ben Gelinas sit and play the brand new Madden 10 for XBOX 360 in Gelinas’ living room in Edmonton on August 12, 2009. Kitwana is a fan of video games and says many players enjoy video games in the locker room to wind down. Photo by Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal
This assignment was fun. Our very talented crime reporter Ben Gelinas also runs the video game blog Button Mash for the Journal. For his review of Madden NFL 10 for XBOX 360 he asked Edmonton Eskimo Kitwana Jones to play it with him and he accepted. It made for an interesting review and a fun video.
To shoot this I placed a Canon HV20 beside the TV pointed at Ben and Kitwana. I had my Canon XH-A1 off to the side to get details and wide shots. The room was dark so I had a 300w tungsten hot light going into a shoot through umbrella to the side.
My third “camera” was my laptop. I split the video coming from the XBOX 360 to the TV and to an AV->DV converter box which basically takes composite video and audio in and then gives you a DV video stream through a firewire cable. I had Final Cut Pro set to capture the stream and then synced all three cameras up together in FCP after.
In total there was two hours of game play which resulted in six hours of footage (three cameras times two hours). The XBOX 360 signal was standard def so it was recorded in 720×480 DV video. My HV20 and XHA1 were 1080i HDV. Final Cut Pro is great at mixing DV and HDV footage so that wasn’t a problem and the SD video up-sized to HD looked pretty good in the end.
I would have liked to have captured the XBOX 360 video in HD but that would involve buying a component video splitter and a component video capture device which are super pricey. Most cards are over $1000 but Hauppauge has a new box that can convert HD component to H.264 video. Pretty cool, but then you would have to convert the H.264 video to HDV to mix in with the video cameras and that would be a lot more work = just capture in SD and no one will really care….