Monday, December 31, 2012

Top Ten DV Fanatics Blogs of 2012

The most popular DV Fanatics blogs of 2012.
The end of the year is always the time to look back on the previous year and reflect. The DV Fanatics blog started in May of 2012 and has been a lot of fun to write. The blog on freelance video editor rates remains the most popular blog to date and hopefully we can continue the discussion in the coming year.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Video Editing Systems Wish List for 2013

My video editing systems wish list for the coming year.
My video editing systems wish list for the coming year.
In the spirit of the holidays, today's blog is a 'wish list' of things I'd like to see in the coming year. Although a recovered economy and world peace would be great, this is the DV Fanatics blog, so we'll keep the list limited to video editing.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Dissecting the Video: MGM-Style Film Open (Part 3)

The final composite of the MGM-style film open in Adobe After Effects.
The final composite of the dog film open in After Effects
For the last three weeks we have been discussing creating an MGM-style film open in Adobe After Effects. In "Dissecting the Video: MGM-Style Film Open (Part 1)" we covered preparing the video element. Last week in "Dissecting the Video: MGM-Style Film Open (Part 2)", we covered the preparation of the photo elements.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Dissecting the Video: MGM-Style Film Open (Part 2)

Adobe After Effects composite with both the Leash and Collar comps.
After Effects comp with both the Leash and Collar comps.
Last week, in a blog called "Dissecting the Video: MGM-Style Film Open (Part 1)", we began the process of building an MGM-style film open in Adobe After Effects. We gathered the elements needed, and began the process of preparing each element for the final composite.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Dissecting the Video: MGM-Style Film Open (Part 1)

Building an MGM-style film open in Adobe After Effects.
Building an MGM-style film open in After Effects.
I recently built my own version of the MGM lion using my dog, Max. It was a quick project to produce, a lot of fun to make and I think Max nailed it. It's a very short piece and would be a good start on what I expect may turn into a series of blogs - Dissecting the Video. I will discuss what was required to build this clip at each stage of the project.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Video and Rock & Roll

Stephen Powell, Paul Bettencourt, Mike Katz and Mark Cherone - Flesh
An early publicity shot for the band Flesh.
When I was fresh out of college and working in Local Access TV, I had a side job for a Boston band called Flesh. I was the official photographer/videographer for the band. During the late 80's and early 90s live rock & roll was huge in Boston. Flesh had a large following and made the rounds in Boston and then later in Los Angeles.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Avid Editing Tips and Tricks - Part II

Creating transition effects to either hide or stylize the transition.
The Avid Effects Editing window.
This past summer I did a blog on Avid Editing Tips and Tricks which was quite popular, so I thought it would be good to do another blog on helpful tricks. This week we'll talk about constructing different transition effects, in the Avid Media Composer, either to hide the transition or to stylize it.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Photoshop Panoramas Revisited

The powerful toolset in Photoshop for creating panoramic photos.
The Photoshop toolset for creating panoramic photos.
A while back I wrote about Building Photo Panoramas in Photoshop. When I wrote that blog I was working in Photoshop CS3. These days I'm working in Photoshop CS6 and let me tell you, the Photomerge feature has come a long way. I used to use Photomerge to reposition my photos only and then I would go back and manually blend the images together. I no longer subscribe to that workflow.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Streamlining Your iPhoto Library

Streamlining iPhoto to make back-ups more efficient.
iPhoto is a great place to manage digital assets.
As a Mac user, I use iPhoto for organizing all of my digital assets (photos and iPhone videos at least). I also use Time Machine to back up my Mac on a regular basis. Here is where a problem arises - by default, the iPhoto library is seen as a single file - in my case a 50GB single file.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Is the Make-Up Effects Artist a Fading Craft?

Make-up effects may be a fading craft as technology advances.
An ape make-up I created while in high school.
I recently saw the movie Argo. A great movie, by the way, but after seeing John Goodman playing John Chambers, it got me to thinking: was John Chambers part of a fading craft?

Monday, October 22, 2012

Discovering Screenwriting

Locating screenwriting resources in your area.
Getting your script ideas fleshed out in writing.
Last year around this time, I was looking for a way to get some of my screenplay ideas fleshed out and written down. I have always kept a journal of ideas for films, but for the longest time they have remained just that - ideas. I wanted to be able to take some of those ideas and begin developing the storylines and characters.

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Evolution of Video Editor User Communities

Video editor user communities like the Avid User Groups are valuable to all involved.
The crowd at a Boston Avid Users Group Meeting.
Back in 1992 Avid had its first Annual International Avid Users Group Meeting. The meeting was a great chance for Avid editors from all over the world to get together and talk shop. Not to mention, it was a few days of workshops where an editor could learn anything from digital media management to compositing and effects.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Adding An Audio Mixer to Your Edit System

Using a mixer to route the inputs and outputs of your video editing system.
I use a 12-channel, 4-bus mixer in my edit suite.
Although these days a lot of what you're ingesting into you edit system is digital and doesn't require analog inputs. There are some cases in which you may want to ingest source from a BetaCAM, VHS or other format that predates DV. This week we'll discuss wiring a mixer into your edit system for analog I/O in a way that doesn't induce feedback.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Converting an SD Video Demo Reel to HD

A motion graphics clip that was produced in SD rebuilt as HD.
A motion FX clip, produced in SD rebuilt as HD.
A couple of weeks ago we discussed posting your sample reel online, which is very important when trying to show off your skills. This week we'll discuss showing off your editing/production skills properly.

Monday, September 24, 2012

My Start Using Nonlinear Editing Systems

Filming a scene from a spy movie I shot while in high school.
Filming a scene from "One Last Chance".
Since Avid recently celebrated it's 25th anniversary, I thought it would an appropriate time to share my introduction to the nonlinear editing (NLE) system.

I made my first short film in the early 70's when I was still in grade school. From that point on, I was hooked on film.

Monday, September 17, 2012

What Format is Your Video Sample Reel?

Putting your demo video on the Internet.
Is your demo video online?
As the internet gets increasingly faster, it's a great time for editors so show off their work on the web. There's no reason these days for creative video people not to have their work posted on the web, whether it's YouTube, Vimeo, some other video hosting website or even your own website. For those editors who still resist posting material online,

Monday, September 10, 2012

Text-to-Speech Ringtone Voices for Your iPhone

Using Text to Speech for ringtones on your iPhone.
Using Text to Speech for a ringtone on your iPhone.
Now that I can no longer read without a pair of glasses, I find it necessary to come up with another strategy to let me know who's calling when I don't have my glasses on. I didn't want to use an obnoxious music clip as a ringtone to identify a caller, so instead I figured I'd use an obnoxious voice that announces the name of the caller.

Monday, September 3, 2012

A Great Tripod for Travel

The Sirui tripod folds up to a very compact size.
The Sirui tripod folds up to a very compact size.
Recently while preparing for a trip to the Grand Canyon, I decided to re-evaluate the tripod I had been using for travel - a small Velbon DF Mini tripod. It was very compact and pretty light but it's maximum height is about 3 feet. When traveling, I generally leave my HDV camera at home - any video I shoot is shot with my Apple iPhone.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Avid Editing Tips and Tricks

Avid keycaps on the keyboard of an Avid editing system.
Avid keycaps with the classic scissors
I thought it might be a good time to share a handful of the Avid editing tips I've picked up over the years. These are in no particular order. Some may be new to you and some may be obvious, I hope if there are any that I have missed you will share them as comments. If this turns out to be a popular subject I will do future blogs with additional Avid Tips and Tricks.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Converting Vinyl LPs for use on Your iPod

Converting old records (LPs) to digital files for playing back on your iPod.
Convert those old LPs
Like some of you out there, I have a lot of music on old vinyl LPs. I'm assuming that even if some of you have never seen an LP, you know what it is. LPs were albums or "Long Play" plastic discs. These discs had grooves that a needle would follow. The needle would pick up vibrations in the groove and convert those vibrations into sound.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Post Production Workflow: Output From Edit System

Archiving your digital elements is the final step in the post production workflow.
An analog film archive.
Throughout the digital post-production workflow, we’ve taken the care to make sure that the organization of our digital video was optimal from the early stage of input through editing. Now it’s time to prepare the media for saving into an archive system and to make space for new projects on our local storage. This is especially important for clips that can be used on any future projects.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Post Production Workflow: Editing Your Video

The edit stage is the most creative part of the digital post production workflow.
The editing stage is where the final video develops.
This week we’ll be discussing the editing component of the simplified digital video workflow. If the input stage is the heavy lifting stage, then the edit stage is the creative lifting stage. This is the stage where the final product begins to emerge. As in all stages, organization is the key to an efficient and speedy workflow. No matter how fast an editor is, if they can’t find the clips they need, the workflow will grind to a halt.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Post Production Workflow: Ingest Video

Inputting video in the a digital video workflow.
Proper digital video input guarantees organization.
In a past blog, we discussed maintaining raw video source, today we’ll discuss a simplified digital video workflow. The digital video workflow is split into three basic components: input, editing and output. We’ll start by discussing input, which I believe to be the most important component of the workflow.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Video Assets Embedded in a Web Page

Deploy video on your website with Youtube.
Using YouTube to deploy video on your website.
Last week, in a blog entitled “HTML5 for Video Assets”, we discussed the most universal formats of video for deployment on the web. I wrote about HTML5, as it applies to video, and discussed the pros and cons of using it instead of what was once considered the most universal format for video on the web – Adobe® Flash®.

Monday, July 16, 2012

HTML5 for Your Video Clips

HTML5 video comes in many sizes and formats.
One size fits all is very hard to find.
Like most editors these days, I need to post video samples that are accessible to prospects. If you visit my video gallery page, you can find different samples of my work. Initially, all the video on my site was Flash video. At the time I uploaded the video, Flash seemed to be the most universal format for video. Unfortunately, Apple’s mobile devices such as iPhone and iPad do not support Flash.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Building Photo Panoramas in Photoshop

Creating panoramic photos in Photoshop
Creating panoramas from a series of stills.
Last week we explored using the iPhone to create panoramic photographs, this week we'll look at the process of building panoramas in greater detail. I started shooting panoramas in college, but in those days, the only way I had to stitch the photos together was with masking tape.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Panoramic Photos with Your iPhone

The 360 Panorama app on a iPhone
Creating a panoramic image on a iPhone
A few weeks ago we discussed using your iPhone to shoot video using a Steadicam. Today we'll be talking about another use for your Apple iPhone (or iPod Touch) - building panoramas.

For me, creating photographic panoramas has always been a passion, now I can do it using only an iPhone.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Maintaining Raw Video Source While Editing

editing video on a nonlinear editing system
Video editing has come a long way
As a video editor, you learn very quickly that a lot of the heavy lifting in the editing process happens before you even start cutting video. That heavy lifting is the organization of your media. Keeping track of every shot from every tape can be quite daunting, especially when working with many hours of raw source.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Nonlinear Video Editing Depends on Metadata

A Ciro Guillotine Super-8 film editor
My very first editing system.
At one point in my career as a video editor, I was the corporate editor for Avid Technology - a pioneer in the development of nonlinear editing systems. During that time, I used to collaborate on edits with a very talented editor located in Maryland (I’m located in Massachusetts). In order to work together we had to devise a workflow where we could both edit the same video project.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Steadicam for your iPhone Video Camera

iPhone video shot from a Steadicam Smoothie
Using a Steadicam for shooting video on an iPhone
When I'm not writing this blog or working on a video, I tend to be outdoors and as far away from all computer technology as possible. That's not to say that when I'm enjoying the great outdoors, I'm completely devoid of all technology. In fact, I usually have a camera of some sort with me - I love shooting photos and video of landscapes

Monday, June 4, 2012

Encoding Video for Web Deployment and Archive

Encoding video for web deployment or for archiving.
Getting your video into a web-friendly format
When preparing a video for deployment on the web, I often hear questions about the best setting for video encoding. Often this question is answered with a series of other questions.
  • Are you being provided with any video specifications?

Monday, May 28, 2012

Freelance Video Editing: Determining Your Rate

What are the appropriate rates for freelance editors
Flickr photo by tj.blackwell
As we near the end of the college graduation season, I thought it might be an appropriate time to discuss freelance rates. As a new editor to the job market, it can be difficult to determine what rate to charge without knowing what the going rate is in the market.

Monday, May 21, 2012

The New DV Fanatics Blog

Editing video on a nonlinear editing system.
Editing on an Avid nonlinear editing system.
Welcome  to the  new DV Fanatics blog. A discussion of digital video technology and tips including video production and post production. A blog written by a DV fanatic for other DV fanatics.