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Little Frog in High Def

Adventures in Editing
Little Frog In High Def


Archive for December, 2009

The ninteenth episode of THE EDIT BAY is now available for download.  This one is about assistant editors…the unsung technical heroes.  Oh, and I eat a cookie.

I post this mainly for the people who don’t download the show through iTunes, so to play in your browser or download direct, click here.  To subscribe to this podcast in iTunes,CLICK HERE.

One argument I hear against tapeless formats OVER AND OVER again is, to paraphrase, “tapes are infallible.  You can’t accidentally delete a clip from a tape.  Having a PHYSICAL tape in your hand makes you sure you have the footage and it is there, and usable, and I can see it YEARS from now.”

Or something to that effect.

Some people think that if the footage is on a tape it is in good condition.  After all, this is TAPE we are talking about, right?  Well…

You can’t accidentally delete a clip from a tape?  SURE you can.  You can accidentally record OVER a part of the tape if you rewind it to review and not play it all the way, or forget to push in the RECORD INHIBIT tab, or forget to do that AND label the tape, so you think it is a blank tape.  There are many steps you use to make sure that you don’t record over that tape.  Because at one you did, or heard of someone who did, or know that it CAN happen, so work to avoid it.

“Having a tape in hand assures you that you have the footage and that it is good and useable…” HA!  To that I LAUGH.  I LOL out loud!  Show of hands…how many people worked with UMATIC 3/4″? BetaSP? You were BOUND to have hits or dropouts of some sort.  And not just small pixels, but HUGE 1/5th screen gashes for 1-5 frames.

And now…the whole reason behind this blog post… HDV.  I have this one tape that when playing footage near the end of the tape…staggers.  It freezes, then picks up 2-4 seconds later.  Audio might continue, might not.  ON the deck screen the image freezes, but in FCP I have a big black hole.  And we tried playing this on two decks and the camera in which it was shot…same issue.

And what makes it WORSE…this is the most important interview for the show.  This is the son of a major serial killer (featured in more than one feature film) who talks about his dad’s confession to him…has TAPE of the confession.  This is THE interview of the show…and the tape it was shot on doesn’t play back properly.

So the next person who tells me that tapeless blows because with tape you are secure in knowing that you have your footage… will have me me laughing in their face.  A painful laugh.

The Post Fifth Pictures blog has a great post about how to NOT organize your sequence. This might be fine as a WORKING sequence… but not as a final sequence. This, unfortunately, was a FINAL sequence.


Stolen from this thread, on the Creative Cow.  Credit MARK SUSZKO

On the twelfth hour of editing, my client brought to me:

12 Different versions
11 Logo updates
10 Tapes of B-Roll
9 File transfers
8 Art Directors
7 Crummy JPEGs
6 Liquid lunches
5 Notes from legal
4 Past-due bills
3 New tracks
2 Updated fonts
…and a deadline of quarter to threeeee…….

A guy I follow on Twitter, Dylan Reeve (who also was nice enough to send me PAL footage for use in my Avid Mix and Match demo), has a great little discussion going on over on his blog.  Avid vs FCP… he asked why people like one over the other, and I tell you, the platform war is really dying out.  In terms of people yelling “AVID RULES, FCP SUCKS!” or “FCP DOES IT ALL!  AVID BLOWS!”  That seems to have gone away as more and more people use both systems.

That or the zealots on both sides are not creeping out of their caves and screaming through their megaphones anymore.

Read THIS THREAD on the Apple FCP forums about this handy feature.   Apparently Tom Wolsky (whom I learned A LOT from in the past…and apparently keep learning from) knew about this…but didn’t let us in on the discovery. EDIT: YES HE DID, IN A BOOK ON FCP 3.o THAT HE WROTE QUITE A WHILE BACK. A few people in this thread discovered this feature by accident…because they don’t do the standard editing this of putting IN and OUT points when replacing footage.  So this works because of doing something you shouldn’t normally be doing.

What is it?  Transition preservation…replacing a shot sandwiched between two other shots, with dissolves between all of them.  This DOES NOT work with Overwrite…only REPLACE…and only under certain circumstances.  Instead of typing this all out, I am going to show you:


EDIT: OK, apparently this is nothing new.  This has been a feature for a while (the “no IN OUT required thing), and I only now just stumbled upon it.  I have always worked under the assumption that IN and OUT points were required for this task, and they really hadn’t.

The eighteenth episode of THE EDIT BAY is now available for download.  This one is about edit bay diplomacy.

I post this mainly for the people who don’t download the show through iTunes, so to play in your browser or download direct, click here.  To subscribe to this podcast in iTunes,CLICK HERE.

Starting today, new rules are in effect for those of us in “new media” (blogs, twitter, etc.). Those “who write online reviews or endorse products using new media must disclose it when they receive free merchandise or payment for writing about an item.”

I’m here to tell you that I will adhere to this rule completely.  And I applaud it.  Because it helps keep integrity in this process of reviews.

So…to start off, I will say that I have recieved a copy of Avid Media Composer 4.0 for free, but I have not been paid for the praise I have given it, nor for my appearance at LAFCPUG showing off AMA and Mix and Match.  I did get to keep the Matrox MXO that I reviewed, and I was paid for the review.  I still really believe in that product and still recommend it for people with certain needs.  I did not keep the AJA Kona 3 and HD10AVA that I wrote an article about, and was still paid for the review.  I reviewed the HDPro for the Cow (paid), but did not keep the test unit.  And here on my blog I did a head to head with the GRAID-3 and the CalDigitVR, and returned both units (review was unpaid).  I also glowed about the Flanders Scientific 1760W monitor, but returned the monitor to FSI.

I try to be honest with my reviews, as I wouldn’t want to be lead astray by others.  If I receive a product for review, and my review ends up on the Creative Cow, my review has been paid for by the Cow.  This is typical of many sites like that.  And while I don’t get to keep most of the stuff I review, there are times I do.  So when that happens, I’ll be sure to let you know.

EDIT: The main link to the actual FTC rules can be found here (thanks Rob)


Man…every day Avid is surprising me with something.  First they are listening to the customers and implimenting changes that we want to see.  Then they begin updating the Media Composer software every few weeks and add great new features.

NOW…they post a list of the best combinations of Media Composer, operating system, and Quicktime version.  For both PC and Mac.  Find it here.

How sweet is that?