December 30 at 6PM. 6PM Eastern I believe…because when I posted the Mexican American War airdate the time wasn’t right for the west coast. But, December 30th is the date, so look for it on your guide…or TV guide. Don’t miss it. This is our Emmy shot.

Currently the show is being “onlined.” What that entails is upconverting all the SD footage to DVCPRO HD, then color correcting. Right now the show is in my partner Dan Wolfmeyer’s capable hands. But I did get to prep some footage for upconverting via a Terranex. It was pretty slick actually. Let me get into that a little.

The source footage from one company arrived on BetaSP. They sent the FULL TAPES, not just selects, so I had to go thru the show and note all the timecodes so that we only captured what we needed…with handles. The first thing I did was download the Excel file from and use it to type in the tape and timecode information. It has very clear instructions on what to do. I’d like to THANK VERY MUCH the kind soul that created that file and provided it free of charge. Wonderful community of collaborators we have here.

OK, so I had a LOT of this stock footage in the project, but how do we find it all? And it a timely and organized manner. Well, this is pretty slick. I created a new project to have a clean place to store things. I opened up my sequence (I went act by act to do it in small chunks), typed APPLE-F and searched for “ITN,” since we labelled all the clips with the company that provided them (ITN, ABC, AETN, etc) and then clicked FIND ALL. This highlighed all the clips containing that name. I then dragged one clip (the rest followed) and then they all neatly appeared in the Browser as separate clips. I deleted the audio clips and transitions and was left with a list of clips. I opened them and in the viewer went to the IN point, typed in the information into the Excel file including the tape number and IN and out point information (adding 1 second handles on either end). I did this for every act until I ended up with 216 clips.

I exported the files as a tab deliniated file, imported that back into the project and all the clips appeared, ready to be captured. I captured them at uncompressed 8-bit SD, strung them out in a timeline (deleting duplicates). We slowed many of the clips down in the offline cut, so Dan had the brilliant idea to slow them down in the 8-bit timeline BEFORE we output and upconverted.

Then we had the footage upconverted at a post facility with a Terranex box (center extraction) and transferred to DVCPRO HD tape, captured the result and were impressed with the results. A few clips we captured initially at 8-bit uncompressed needed reframing towards the top and bottom of the frame, so the center extraction wouldn’t work. For those clips we use Compressor to convert to DVCPRO HD.

OH…Dan fixed the bad math I had in the droplet. And he made droplets for center, upper and lower extractions. See? Collaborative community. I love it. They are available at

Now, after a short break I am onto the next History Channel project, ANDREW JACKSON.