LAFCPUG Supermeet in Europe – Go Early, Go Often

2 09 2008

For those of you who don’t live in the Labor Day oriented United States, but live in Europe instead, here’s a tip for you.

What do you get when you combine the Los Angeles Final Cut Pro Users Group (the largest group of FCP users in the world, with really great monthly meetings in Los Angeles, and members around the world) with IBC, the media technology industry’s biggest international marketplace in the Netherlands? You get the First Annual IBC FCPUG SuperMeet. What is a supermeet? Simply, it is a gathering of FCP fans, who listen to a group of fantastic speakers, and compete for raffle prizes.

There is an annual supermeet at NAB in Las Vegas every year. But this year, organizer Michael Horton is taking the Supermeet on the road to Amsterdam.  On September 14 the inaugural edition of the IBC FCPUG Supermeet will debut. If you’re anywhere in the neighborhood you should, without a doubt, drop in and listen to some great speakers (such as Paul Saccone from Apple and TRAITOR editor Billy Fox) and put your tickets in for a raffle to win a bunch of prizes. Here is an excerpt from a note about who will be speaking there:

Jeffrey Nachmanoff (subject to availability) and editor Billy Fox will discuss how Final Cut Studio helped bring this taut international thriller to life.

From Spain, Director of Photography, Miguel de Olaso will show clips from his work utilizing the Red Digital Cinema Camera and talk briefly on workflow with Final Cut Pro.

Adobe’s Simon Hayhurst and Jason Levine will show how Adobe Production Premium’s suite of applications can compliment the Final Cut Pro workflow.

Final Cut Pro Guru and filmmaker Rick Young, who is editor of Macvideo.tv and founder of the UK FCP User Group will share his “Top Ten FCP Tips and Tricks.”

And that’s only part of it.

I’ve got no dog in the race. I’m not speaking there and I won’t make a penny from your attendance. But Michael Horton is a great and giving guy and, for anyone interested in editing, this is a great place to spend some time, meet some new friends, and learn learn learn.

Go to the LAFCPUG IBC Supermeet page for more details.





Coolest Final Cut Pro trick!!

8 07 2008

Larry Jordan\'s tip about patching tracksOne of the reasons why I read Editwell and virtually anything that Larry Jordan is a part of (here is a link to Larry’s website) is that the man not only has the smoothest voice of any tutorial host/radio host, but that he is among the clearest (and most enthusiastic) FCP teachers around.

That puts him in some incredible company, by the way. I learned an amazing amount from a three day workshop that Diana Weynand taught a year or so back. And her books, along with Michael Wohl’s, are an invaluable addition to my library.

But Larry is amazing. Check out his tip from a recent posting on “Larry Jordan’s Tip of the Day” from his engaging web site. It gives a great way to repatch the track assignments from the Patch Panel at the left of the timeline (see the image at the right).





I’ll Be At LAFCPUG

15 06 2008

Whatever that means.

Actually, I’m assuming that most of you do. For those who don’t, it’s the Los Angeles Final Cut Pro Users Group, the largest users group in the world, as far as I know. It’s celebrating it’s 8th anniversary and I’ll be speaking there this coming Wednesday night, in my attempt to dampen the enthusiasm of these great users.

Not really. Mike Horton was kind enough, after my appearance on the show that he does with fellow LAFCPUG maven, Larry Jordan, to invite me to speak about the Craft of Editing. Here’s the general announcement (you can see it, and more details on all of the guests at the LAFCPUG Meeting Page.

Join us as we celebrate the eighth anniversary of the lafcpug. Scheduled to appear will be veteran film editor and Associate Professor and Head of the Editing Track at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, Norman Hollyn. Plus, the brand new soon to be shipping Video Recorder/D.264 encoder from BlackMagic Design will make it’s LA debut. Plus, the brand new Focus FS-5 Portable DTE Recorder from Focus Enhancements will wow all of you who hate tape. Plus the FCP Tip/Trick of the Month, Stump The Gurus, Show and Tells and, if budget allows, Balloons, Circus Clowns and Pony Rides. And of course, World Famous Raffle. And MORE!.

A $5.00 donation will be requested at the door. Doors open at 6PM. lafcpug meetings are open to the public. First come, best seat.

Here is their description of my talk:

9:00PM – 9:35PM – The Craft of Editing – Norman Hollyn
It isn’t enough to just know the tool. Anyone can learn Non Linear Editing tools. But can one learn the craft of editing? Can one be taught how to edit? Most editors when asked the question, “How do you edit” generally reply with the answer, “I dunno. I just uh, do it. When it feels right I make the cut.” Then there are the editors who can articulate the craft of editing.
Norman Hollyn is one of few editors who can do just that.

He is a long-time film, television and music editor (HEATHERS, THE COTTON CLUB, SOPHIE’S CHOICE, Oliver Stone’s WILD PALMS), and is Associate Professor and Head of the Editing Track at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. He is an author of nearly 100 articles and his book, THE FILM EDITING ROOM HANDBOOK, has been internationally translated. His new book, THE LEAN FORWARD MOMENT, comes out from Peachpit Press/Pearson in December. lafcpug is honored to have him take the time to teach us a bit of what we need to know.

The good news if I have to finish by 9:35, so I can’t be too long winded, can I?





Amazing Amazing Amazing

13 06 2008

If this is true then there is proof that there is a God.

Wes Plate, the innovative maven behind Automatic Duck, did a demo of the soon-to-released Pro Export FCP 4 (due, according to the video, sometime this summer). In the video, which you can see at the Film & Video web page where I found it, actually shows ProExport 4 changing FCP media into MXF files that the Avid can actually read. In addition, with the effects that are in the demo, the program translated the FCP effects into Avid effects, and translated an FCP marker into an Avid locator. This is in addition to the already valuable function that the program performs in version 3 of translating project files.

Once again, if this is true — there is a God. Or, at least, the Holy Grail. For years, that unattainable goal was to easily move a project and its media from FCP into Avid, because most people felt that the finishing tools there were better. Or, perhaps, you’re moving from one facility to another.

Wes Plate, you are a God!!





Fun Red One Demo

12 06 2008

Red One cameraTed Schilowitz, public face of the RED CINEMA Digital Camera, knows how to put on a show. He, and Michael Cioni (Plaster City Digital Post), put on a short demo of shooting with the RED, and playing it right on a Final Cut Pro system.

There’s nothing really special about that.  FCP can do that with the P2 cameras. Avid can too. But the way that Ted does the demo is really fun. He and Michael have two red cameras (take THAT, Red Camera fanatics) and shoot a little mini show called “Mythbusters.”  While still rolling both cameras, they walk into the next room, which has a spiffy 27 foot screen, plug one of the cameras into a second Mac (eight-core) system, and immediately project the footage onto the screen.  Frankly, it’s a demo that Sony and Panasonic could do as well, with their technology.  The cool thing is that Mike is demonstrating it using the 2K movie files right out of FCP (something that Ted advises you not to do, by the way). And there are some occasionally funny titles laid over the picture.

There are 4K and 2K versions of the film posted on the Red Cinema bulletin board.





Great Do-It-Yourself Podcast Tips

10 06 2008

There are two really great sites that I like to tour around to get tips and technique tricks for FCP and Avid.

First, David Forsyth, over at Amber Technology in Australia, does a podcast called “Avid Tips and Techniques” which has featured discussions about the Audio Mixer, Animatte, the Super Bin, and more.

One or two Final Cut sites. My favorite are the series of tutorials about the entire Final Cut Suite from VASST, a company that does training videos. If you look up their store using the company name RHed Pixel in iTunes you’ll be treated to a great series of excerpts from those videos. I like the one called “Total Training for Final Cut Help – Final Cut Studio.” A warning — VASST’s free tutorial website hasn’t been updated in a very long time.

Another good FCP podcast, though it hasn’t been updated since early March, is Creative Cow’s podcast “Creative Cow Final Cut Studio Tutorials Podcast.” Creative Cow runs those great web forums on practically every production and post technology known to mankind (and womankind too).

A cool series of short tips and tricks from the people at Digital Heaven, who make some really neat plug-ins for Final Cut (including a large timecode window, for all of you Avid editors who miss throwing that up during music or sound spotting sessions). Their podcast of video tutorials for FCP can be found on YouTube or at this address in iTunes.





What Being An Assistant Really Means

28 05 2008

Tim Leavitt, over at the ever valuable blog View From The Cutting Room Floor, has a great definition of what an assistant editor’s job is on a blog post:

“Anything that goes into or comes out of the Avid is my responsibility: digitizing footage; importing graphics; making tapes, DVD’s, and EDL’s; etc. I am also responsible for helping the editor locate or organize any of the material already in the Avid to make his or her job easier.”

He then goes on to say that organization is what makes this all possible and goes on, in a three-part blog entry (part one is over here, part two is over here, and part three is over here).

Among students who want to be editors (and filmmakers who want to be editors) it is often too easy to ignore just how easy it is to get caught up in red tape if you’re not organized. Yet, that aspect of film editing is often dismissed as non-creative and not worth studying. Take it from Tim — it’s worth its weight in trim bins (hmmmm, old joke there; let me know if it’s too ancient-film for you).

Thanks to Tim for codifying this all.