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I'm not well enough versed in the differences between ffmpeg & mencoder to know which one is better.
I've used this a number of times troubleshooting user permissions. Instead of just 'su - user' you can throw another hyphen and stay in the original directory.
This has helped me numerous times trying to find either log files or tmp files that get created after execution of a command. And really eye opening as to how active a given process really is. Play around with -anewer, -cnewer & -newerXY