Who we are – or more precisely – who I am

I am Michael Lee Wittig, the owner and operator of Alaska Video Adventures.

I like to work with video.

I’ve been operating video cameras since 1978, editing video since the late 1980s, and when the new century dawned I transitioned to computerized video editing, spending over a decade learning the intricacies of Final Cut Pro.  A few months ago I made the transition to Adobe’s Creative Suite 6, and it’s been like the realization of a dream!

Alaska Video Adventures may be a new business, but I have decades of experience in camera technique, in getting the best out of cameras and conditions, in finding the right angles and the right backdrops, in creating a good mix of raw video footage to carry forward into the editing process.

I also have extensive experience with audio equipment and sound recording.  As an amateur musician I have been recording myself since the 1980s, working with PA systems, microphones, instruments, drum machines, speakers, and all the myriad cords that linked it all together.   In 2004 I did my first multi-camera edits of a theatrical production, syncing up sound from a master audio track.  In 2009 I recorded separate digital audio tracks for Juneau Lyric Opera's production of “The Mikado” and integrated these with over forty hours of video footage to create the finished DVD.  Without good sound, it’s hard to make good video.

In the 1980s and 90s my “video editing” consisted of transferring the selected portions of video from the original footage to a master copy, from which copies could be made to distribute to family and friends.  While the end result was fairly degraded, the results were presentable.  Personally, I find it highly ironic that a lot of what passes for video on Netflix looks even worse than those third-generation VHS copies did!

Video editing changed dramatically just over a decade ago.  Computers with sufficient speed to capture video became affordable.  Software to manipulate video and audio footage became available.  I made the plunge into video editing in 2002, beginning with single camera sequences and soon thereafter moving into multi-camera edits.

When high-definition 1080 cameras became affordable I upgraded, even though consumer-level Blu-ray burners did not then exist.  I was lured by the promise of having a larger video frame within which I could pan and zoom and crop down to a DVD format, thus opening a world of post-production editing possibilities and opportunities.

Until this year I have been doing it all for fun.  It was and is fascinating to learn the processes and put new tricks and techniques to the task, adding effects, adjusting sound, and turning raw video and audio footage into something every bit as good as the sum of its parts.  Many of the recipients of my work – fellow actors – have been telling me for several years that my work is professional quality, and that I should be doing this for a living.

Now 4K camera technology is becoming affordable, and I am preparing to upgrade.  With the new cameras I will be able to pan and zoom within a much larger frame than can fit on today’s 1080 television sets, allowing the same techniques that work so well when editing 1080 footage down to 480 resolution.  The finished product will look good on Blu-Ray, or DVD, or any format at all, given the rise of today’s mobile devices.

And so it is time to take my friends to task and see if their assessment of my work is accurate.  Alaska Video Adventures has been created to provide a professional outlet for my efforts, and a chance to use my strongest talents to earn a little money for myself and my family.

I am looking forward to serving your video needs.

Michael Wittig