Saturday, July 09, 2011

Lighting Resources

Learning to Light Better | Lowel
Lowel makes a wide range of lighting products, and their website has a great Lighting Resource Center with "Lessons" and lighting examples.

Acting School Showreel - Lighting notes | Ed Moore | “... Camera set.”
Cinematographer Ed Moore helped shoot a series of scenes for students at the Birmingham School of Acting and in this post explains the techniques used to achieve some of the results:
For this particular scene I gelled the HMI with peacock blue and added a warm fill (justified by a desk light I got props to place on the desk) which was a dimmed 650W bouncing off the white lastolite which was placed at a fairly low angle. The cyan/orange contrast was what I was after as it’s such a popular look in Hollywood stuff at the moment and whilst it’s usually applied in the grade I thought it would be fun to get in camera.

Using Popular Television to Boost Your Knowledge of Classic Lighting | Luke Townsend | Digital Photography School
Shows examples of different lighting, though not necessarily how to achieve the result.
Classic lighting patterns that photographers of all experience should know have trickled down through world of ancient art, since the days of Michelangelo, Rembrandt and Leonardo Da Vinci. As we move through the popular TV shows House M.D., Mad Men, and an a blast from the past, Cheers, keep on the look out for the four classic lighting styles: Short Light, Broad Light, Split Light, and Rembrandt Light.

Creative Live with Vincent Laforet Making a Documentary | John Cornicello | It Figures
John was gaffer on Vincent Laforet's video workshop and explains how he did the lighting for it.
We augmented the daylight with two additional lights. In the upper left corner you can see an Bron DW 800 watt HMI focusing spot light going through a 4'x4' opal diffusion screen as our key light. And over on the right side you can see a Stellar fluorescent light bank giving an edge light. These are both daylight color balanced lights, and we added 1/4 CTO warming gels to each to warm up the light a little bit. The Stellar had a diffusion sock on it, along with the warming gels.
B & H: Bron DW 800 watt HMI

Book Review: Set Lighting Technician’s Handbook, 4th Edition | Review by Lee Clements | MicroFilmmaker
Paperback: 615 pages Publisher: Focal Press; 4 edition (August 16, 2010)
After reading the 3rd edition, Lee decided to get the 4th edition and says "this book is a reference book for professionals, and should be in your grip bag no matter where you go."
The 4th edition of Set Lighting Technician’s Handbook is a great improvement on the 3rd, including a lot of higher end stuff with DMX and networking controls, and it’s nice to know that you have it on reference.
Amazon: Set Lighting Technician's Handbook, Fourth Edition: Film Lighting Equipment, Practice, and Electrical Distribution

Designing the Visual Landscape of “KIN” | Shane Hurlbut | Hurlbut Blog
A post from Shane's blog talks about the lighting used for a shoot. This includes an extensive light package list (in a Microsoft Excel file.) This is big movie production stuff!
Many of you asked to see my lighting list for this film so I would like to share some of this information with you. As a cinematographer, your biggest asset is your pre-rigs. Thinking through the lighting of each location and passing that information on to your Gaffer and Rigging Gaffer so that they can prepare this before you show up is paramount. Inspiration on the day is always still possible but at least you have the building blocks in place to get you up quickly.

Video Lighting Terms and Definitions | Julie Babcock | Videomaker
A list of some of the most common video lighting terms: Fresnel, Floodlight, Spotlight, Softbox and more..

Ten Lighting Setups | John Note | Vimeo
Here John has posted a video from his lighting class. He also includes a description of each scene:
1. A three-quarter or waist-high silhouette of 1 or 2 people perfectly exposed for the background with the foreground figure(s) completely dark. There should be enough distance between foreground and background that the spill of one area does not interfere with the other.

Still Lighting Techniques | Rick Sammon | Rick Sammon's Digital Imaging Diaries
Rick Sammon is a still photographer, and looking through his images will provide you with a lot of inspiration. He also has a few posts about lighting which may be helpful (though you won't want to use Speedlites for videography!):
Try This Simple and Cool, Two-Speedlite Portrait
A "Baker's Dozen" of New Lighting Tips in 24/7 Photo Buffet Help You Master Your Flash and Other Studio Lighting Techniques

DV101: The Covered Wagon | Jay Holben |
In an excerpt from his book, A Shot in the Dark: A Creative DIY Guide to Digital Video Lighting on (Almost) No Budget, Jay explains how to build a low-cost lighting fixture.
Just wrapping diffusion around the fixture would be a bad idea. Even the professional diffusion material, if it comes in direct contact with a hot bulb, will melt and possibly burn. Inexpensive alternatives will definitely melt and probably burn. So you need to create a structure that will support diffusion around this fixture while keeping the material away from the bulbs themselves.
Amazon: A Shot in the Dark: A Creative DIY Guide to Digital Video Lighting on (Almost) No Budget

Online Lighting Diagram Creator for photographers |
Create your own lighting setup diagrams (it can be used by videographers as well as photographers!)

Lighting Tips for Shooting HD Video with SLR Cameras |
Different lighting techniques explained:
Softening a hard light through the use of an umbrella has long been a tradition for photographers and has recently become a staple approach for videographers and those shooting with SLRs with HD video capability. The umbrella helps to create a much broader and softer light that is much more natural looking than the light created by a bare light head.

20 Lighting Tutorials for Film and Video |
101 DIY Lighting
FilmmakerIQ has also collected together a lot of lighting resources.
Quality lighting is one of the most important elements of any professional looking project. Lighting contributes considerably to the emotional response an audience has watching a motion picture. Today we rounded up 20 Lighting Tutorials to help you go beyond basic exposure into the essence of visual storytelling.

Manipulating Hard Light | Harry Box |
Some tips on getting cleaner shadows:
Light can be manipulated as it travels from the light source to the subject. Let’s discuss the manipulation of hard light into shapes and patterns.

Tutorial 8 - Ring Lights / Filmmaking / Cinematography / DIY | TLA Productions | Vimeo
A tutorial showing how to build a ring-light (a large one using 12 40-watt regular light bulbs!)

News From Here & There

Letter from Pixar Animation Studios Animator, Austin Madison | Willie Downs | Animator Letters Project
PERSIST on telling your story. PERSIST on reaching your audience. PERSIST on staying true to your vision. Remember what Peter Jackson said, "Pain is temporary. Film is forever."
The text of the letter is also reproduced here:
Persist | Letters of Note

Video Space – A Tool for Video Editors | Chadwick Paul | Chadwick
A video size calculation widget:
One of those great tools is a Mac OSX widget called VideoSpace, made by Digital Heaven. This little widget app is an ideal calculator for determining the amount of storage you need for almost ANY popular video format, frame rate, and resolution.

Infographic: The 3D breakthrough | Quantel
A graphic showing 3D ticket sales around the world.  Doesn't show trends though...

Sony NEX-FS100 Accessories with Brian Young | Vistek | YouTube
This video includes the Canon EF mount from Birger, which is still not released as far as I know.
Brian Young, Product Manager for Video & Production Technology at Vistek Ltd., introduces some key accessories for the Sony NEX-FS100 Super 35mm, interchangeable-lens camcorder. In this video, Brian profiles the Birger Engineering Canon EF to Sony E-Mount lens adapter and remote follow focus, the Novaflex Nikon to Sony E-Mount lens adapter, and the Cameron Adjustable (1 to 8 stop) Neutral Density Filter.

Idiot’s Guide to the Sony FS100 | Rich | Crooked Path Blog
I'm not sure this is an "approved" title:
After attending the Sony F3/FS100 seminar by Doug Jensen of Vortex Media and talking with him in depth at the FS100 display…I came to realize that this camera was something special, and I was at “confidence high” in terms of finding my next camera. It passed all my tests, and also gave me a few WOW moments.

So what the heck is Cosmic Panda? | YouTube
A couple of days ago a friend asked me if YouTube looked different. I said that it didn't. "Oh, well mine does." Turns out that YouTube is redesigning their interface:
We're always trying out new things here at the Tube and Cosmic Panda is our way of letting you in on some of the fun.

Here's what to expect when you follow the cosmic panda over the double rainbow:

A new experience for watching videos and playlists
More page designs and better editing tools to customize your channel
Keep watching when moving between videos, playlists, and channels (Chrome only)
Stylish new look and feel

'How I Met Your Mother': Why are ads for new movies in old reruns? -- PHOTO | Tanner Stransky | InsideTV
Digitally inserting new product placement into old TV shows. Not too sure how I feel about that!
Turns out that 20th Television — the studio distributor behind Mother — has been selling promotional spots in syndicated episodes to wring even more money out of the sitcom’s already rich syndication deals. Specifically, the feat is accomplished by a partnership with a company, SeamBI, which stands for Seamless Brand Integration and is responsible for digitally altering old episodes with new products and brands.

4K 2:1... | Jannard |
Just when we all get to 19:8, someone wants to change the aspect ration again...when that "someone" is Jim Jannard of RED, I guess we might pay attention:
We believe this should be the future standard.

Courting Controversy: Four Tips for Documentaries on Hot-Button Topics | Tyler Weaver |
Documentary films are not soapboxes. It comes back to that slap in the face I mentioned earlier. If you use your film as a megaphone and soapbox, you’re wasting money. Just go buy a megaphone and a soapbox, pick a spot, and start screaming. A film is a storytelling mechanism – treat it as such, which wraps around to item number one…

Augmented Reality Cinema: A Movie Lovers App | Diana Adams | Bit Rebels
If you are on vacation in a city, you can hold up your iPhone to a building, in the street, or anywhere really and you will instantly be able to watch clips from movies that were filmed in that exact location. How cool is that?

It's never magical until people tell you it was magical. And you look back and you say "Well it didn't seem magical, it just seemed like a lot of hard work"
- Steven Spielberg

Another interesting clip with Spielberg recalling meeting director John Ford at 15.
Youtube: Spielberg/Grazer/Howard - "John Ford"

Friday, July 08, 2011

VideoQ&A: What Do You Think of the Canon HF G10?

I am a journalist who puts together all kinds of stories that require interviews and all kinds of shots and creativity.

I was looking at the Canon VIXIA HF G10 as well as this add-on for XLR inputs [Canon MA-300 Dual XLR Microphone Adapter & Holder for GL-2/XL-2 Camcorders]. I was wondering what you think of the video and audio quality these pieces would provide?

I was also wondering if the video files from this camera can go into Final Cut Pro easily?


I like the look of the Canon HF G10 a lot. Infact, if I was in the market for a camcorder for under $2,000, that camera would be at the top of the list (with the Sony HDR-CX700V a close second.) I've played briefly with the HF G10 at a show, and was impressed with it's professional features like focus assist (which doubles the image in the viewfinder), peaking (also helps with focus by displaying color outlines where sharp edges appear), a visual indicator for focus range, zebras and exposure waveform.

The image sensor is impressive too - for a camcorder in this price range - because it's resolution matches the HD frame resolution (1920 x 1080.) This means that the image from the sensor doesn't have to be resampled, and should have less moire in some situations. It also performs very well in low light. I think the video quality from this camera should be very good

Apart from the lack of audio inputs, it's only limitation is that you won't get the shallow depth of field you can get with DSLRs. Personally, while I like the shallow depth-of-field look, working with DSLRs requires a lot more effort, what with the 12 minute recording limit, lack of focusing features, etc. If you were choosing between a DSLR and a small-chip camera, I think it really depends on what results you want, and how hard you are willing to work for those results. I see people shooting run- and-gun interviews with DSLRs, but it doesn't appeal to me! For ease-of-use I'd rather get the HF G10 or something similar. And it's still possible to blur out the background by moving the camera further away from the subject, and then zooming in (usually, the more zoomed the lens is, the shallower the depth of field.) has reviewed both the Canon HF G10 and the Sony HDR-CX700V, and seemed to like the HF G10 better, though they also seem to like Panasonic camcorders a lot too, noting that the Panasonic HDC-TM700 [which appears to be discontinued- Ed] is a better value, but it doesn't have as many features.

The intriguing thing about the Sony HDR-CX700V is that it shoots at 60p (as does the Panasonic), which could be useful for doing slow motion effects - great for shooting fast moving subjects. I'm not sure if that's of interest to you. HOWEVER, the Sony has poorer low-light performance, and many editing applications don't handle 60p well at the moment anyway, though that will surely change.

Oh, one other note; even though these cameras are getting better and better in low light, you'll still get much better looking images out of these cameras if you use them in good lighting. If you're shooting indoors, adding one or two additional lights can really make a difference (and the advantage of these sensitive cameras is that the lights don't have to be super bright!)

All things considered, I'd probably buy the HF G10. It's only limitation is the audio inputs, but that's true of most of it's competition. Canon does sell the XA10, which comes with a handle with XLR inputs, but it's another $500 more, AND, doesn't seem to be in stock much.

The GL2 XLR handle you pointed to looks interesting, but I'm not sure if it will work with the HF G10. I tried to do some research, and couldn't find any conclusive answer, though it does say that it only works with certain cameras [this page lists the XL H1, XL2 and GL2], and it uses a "smart connection" so it doesn't just plug into the mic input of any camera.

You might be better off getting something like this from BeachTek [DXA-2T Universal Audio Adapter] which will work with pretty much any camcorder.

Editing should not be a problem in Final Cut Pro. Though I haven't used this camera with it, Final Cut Pro recognizes Canon camcorders quite happily, and I don't think you will have a problem with this camera.

Hope that helps. Let me know if you have any other questions!

See also:

Shuttle Atlantis - Last Flight

Just watched the last launch of the Shuttle Atlantis on NASA TV. The Atlantis is now in an orbit of 140 by 136 miles...

News From Here & There

Indie Filmmaking

Edward Burns is an indie director/actor who has been working hard to promote his latest film, Newlyweds. If you're in the indie film business you should follow Ed (@edward_burns) for tips and inspiration; at the moment you'll learn a lot about promotion through different mediums!

He is mentioned in a couple of recent articles:

Hollywood's Bubble Is Bound To Burst | Paul Shuttle | Huffingtonpost
Consider the career of Edward Burns, whose performances in Entourage and Saving Private Ryan have overshadowed compelling work as a writer-director of 11 films. His fourth, the well-regarded Sidewalks of New York, cost $1,000,000; Newlyweds, his latest, just $9,000. His is an example of the emerging phenomenon.

Rapid Prototyping | Scott Smith | E-Filmmaking
Scott Smith has started a new blog on filmmaking, and in this post he explains how it quickly went from idea to execution. He also talks about how "rapid prototyping" as it applies to modern filmmaking:
In filmmaking terms, it’s Edward Burns having a meeting at the end of 2010 with the Tribeca Film Festival people and coming up with an idea that he should make a feature to show for the festival’s 10th year and a few months later the film is written, cast, shot, edited and premiered. In an industry where the typical film can be in development for 3 to 5 years before it gets produced (or dies in development) Burns’ Newlyweds is definitely prototyping.

Other News

GET v.15 Coming Soon | AV3 Software
'Get' is a speech recognition tool that can be used to search dialog tracks in Final Cut Pro. AV3 has sent out an announcement that v1.5 will be upcoming soon, and have indicated a couple of coming improvements:
  • You will be able to choose which tracks Get indexes on a Watched Folder or Project basis, from directly within the application.
  • You will be able to search network attached drives and volumes.
  • Stay tuned for more info...
You can download a trial version of the current version here: Get for Final Cut Pro

Lyle Kane of Reel Lives: filmmaking education for marginalized youth
| Sara McIntyre | 25 Hour Day
A profile of Reel Lives, a twenty-four-week, intensive filmmaking workshop based in NY for marginalized and at-risk youth.
Most of the students enroll in Reel Lives with visions of Hollywood in mind, but those quickly change when they learn the power of documentary films. "I'm a believer, I think doc filmmakers are really the new journalists. I think our students see that pretty quickly."

Adapter is a Free Everything-to-Everything Transcoding App for Mac and Windows | NoFilmSchool
NoFilmSchool has a short write-up on a beta tool for video transcoding; Adapter.
NOTE: the comment that Apple Compressor is not 64-bit may be erroneous. Apple says that it is 64-bit; if the codec it is using is 64-bit, but it switches to 32-bit when it has to. It's unknown at the moment which codecs are 64-bit and which are 32-bit, and whether some of these will be updated with the release of Lion.

Canon 60D vs. Canon T3i/600D A Close Matchup
| Dave Dugdale | Learning DSLR Video
A comparison of these two very similar cameras. Personally, if you just want to to video, there's little reason to buy the 60D:
Where these two cameras differ the most from what I can tell is the shutter drive mechanics which has more to do with photography. The T3i can shoot 3.7fps while the 60D shoots 5.7. The T3i shoots up to 1/4000 of a second and the 60D at 1/8000.

DaVinci Resolve 8.0 - Review - part 1 | Nikolai Waldman |
The topics I have been going through are not the most sexy ones, but I have to say that Black Magic has done a great job to simplify the workflow. In the next part I will have a look at some more sexy new features like Curve Grading, Stabilization etc.

Investigative Colorist: Why is the PremierePro to Resolve 8 Roundtrip Broken? | Patrick Inhofer | Tao of Color Grading
Patrick explains why round-tripping to Premiere CS5.5 is broken, and how to work around it; if you have Final Cut:
Here’s the problem: Resolve is designed for FCP XML Version 5. Premiere can only import and export FCP XML Version 4 (or earlier).

Here’s the work-around: It *is* possible to move between Resolve and Premiere… but only if you own FCP which can translate up and down between FCP XML Versions 4 & 5!

Canon XF workflow with FCPX | Daniel Houghton | Houghton Multimedia
A work-around for using footage from the Canon XF100 in Final Cut Pro X...using Adobe Media Encoder! He outlines the process:
Each time you hit record on the XF100, it creates a new folder on the card that contains several files specific to each shot (as you can see below). The only one you need to edit with is the actual .mxf file. Instead of digging through each folder yourself and finding all the files, you can have automator do this for you.

101 Great Filmmaker Quotes | FilmmakerIQ
Some amusing and insightful quotes:
Drama is life with the dull bits cut out.
- Alfred Hitchcock
Nobody will ever notice that. Filmmaking is not about the tiny details. It’s about the big picture.
- Ed Wood

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Final Cut Pro X Opinion 3

The Future of Final Cut Pro X | David Frey | DAVID A. FREY Blogspot
David thinks that Final Cut Pro X will become the foundation on which third-party tools will make FCPX a professional tool:
After downloading some upgrades and spending money on additional "apps", pluggins, 3rd part software/hardware, a Pro Editor will actually have built himself a Final Cut Pro X editing station which basically resembles a FCP 7 platform, but it will be able to background render and allows editing while ingesting media.

How unclear use of language has caused two weeks of panic about FCP X | Chris Kenny | Nice Dissolve
Chris offers an explanation for why FCPX lacks certain "pro" features, then goes on to defend Apple in a following editorial:

Why Apple is worth defending | Chris Kenny | Nice Dissolve
Chris thinks the future won't be invented by Avid:
People can’t understand how someone can simultaneously admit that Final Cut Pro X is, at present, largely useless to the market segment his own company works in, but still support what Apple is doing with it. I’ve been called a “fanboy” a bunch of times, and accused of defending Apple essentially out of blind loyalty, even against my own interests.

How will Apple solve FCP X monitoring? | Philip Hodgetts |
Philip thinks Lion may bring new capabilities too:
It seems to me that Final Cut Pro X, although written on Snow Leopard and released so that it’s obvious that it runs well on Snow Leopard, is clearly designed with a look toward a Lion future. Right from AV Foundation – the underpinnings of the media engine in Final Cut Pro X – to the single window(ish) interface, to the autosaving documents.

Apple FCPX: Not what you think it is | Stefan G. Bucher |
I can almost guarantee that FCPX is not what you think it is. This is truly a case where learning everything you can about an application is one of the most valuable things you can do.

Another Threat an FCPX-powered User Base Means to Small Pro Videographers | Ron Dawson | Blade Ronner
Continuing on from his column suggesting that Final Cut Pro X was deigned for Professional Photographers, Ron now thinks it's possible that FCPX was aimed at small businesses doing the video themselves:
If this is the market Apple is going after with FCPX, you know they’ll be successful and reaching it. That means you need to start thinking NOW how you will be able to set yourself apart in such a way that makes it obvious to a potential client why they must hire you! Here are three areas where I see there are opportunities to stand out.

What if Everything Changed in Post, but no one was there to edit? | Kevin Zimmerman |
The "One Project Is One Edit" concept at the core of the new architecture is so misinformed it borders on insane. It is based on the idea that an editor is only editing for their own individual wants and needs. At the risk of sounding pedantic, that is not how the real world works.

CHURCHSPIN 29 “Final Cut Pro X, Conduit 3D Beta & Adobe Edge” | Hal Swift | Tech Arts Network
We discuss the controversy over FINAL CUT PRO X, take a look at awesome utility for 3D and a possible Flash replacement from Adobe called EDGE!

Open letter to Steve Jobs | Neil Evely | Fishtank News
Your decisions have an impact on the industry as a whole, you should know that by now, but it's not always positive. By discontinuing Final Cut Server and no longer supporting FCP7, you have taken a workflow that you, Apple, were proud of and about to PR and ripped the heart out of it.

Soccer Mums and FCPx | seamusvfx | Some Things I Have Done
Seamus doesn't think "Soccer Mum" is a suitable label of derision:
I’m not saying that leaving out EDL export isn’t crazy, or that the interface design language isn’t natty (and what the hell is a CNN iReport and why do I want to share it!?). I will say though that at the core FCPx is a very fast and very impressive NLE and Apple, despite cocking us all about, deserve some credit. 

Switching from Final Cut to Premiere | Matt Jeppsen | FreshDV
Matt decides to abandon Final Cut Pro, though the writing is on the wall early on:
In recent years I have been lusting over Premiere and Media Composer’s new feature additions and 64-bit speed bump, but was not willing to invest the time to switch platforms and re-learn my NLE. 

Final Cut Pro X First Impressions or “FCP, I Hope You Feel Better Soon” | Eric Maierson | MediaStorm
Apple does what Apple does. And most of the time, despite early protests like this one, we come to appreciate the rightness of their decisions. From the iPod to OSX, examples abound. A year from now, let’s hope we can say the same about Final Cut Pro X, but right now I can’t recommend using the program.

Final Cut Pro X Furore | Ben Treston |
I believe a lot of the frustration here would have been avoided if Apple simply came out and said [features would be missing] when previewed. Of course people would have been upset, but at least they would not find this out at launch and then witness the rather surprising backlash that occurred.

Free Mac App - Smart Converter

Shedworx has released a free conversion tool, Smart Converter which is available in the Mac App store. It features a drag-and-drop interface; drag the file to the tool, then choose the conversion type and click convert.

Smart Converter - ShedWorx

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Final Cut Pro X Information & Resources 13

After returning from an Apple Executive Briefing for #FCPX I feel a mixture of relief but in-trepidation. The updates will prove everything

Top 20 Requests for Final Cut Pro X | Richard Taylor | FCPX.TV
The list is currently at 24; though one of those is: "Fix Bugs"

My take on the Apple FCPX Briefing in London 6/7/11 | Peter Wiggins |
Yesterday I posted Tweets from Sam Johnson who attended an Apple event about Final Cut Pro X. Peter also attended, and has posted his take.
NOTE: There is a correction to yesterday's post; the volume licensing comment was for FCP7
Main item was FCPX demo which for the first time looked pretty good with somebody working it (apart from Randy) who knew what they were doing. Very slick compared to some of the recent 'stumblethroughs I've seen. I hope Apple put a version of that demo online.
See also: NotesOnVideo: Final Cut Pro X - sort-of news from Apple

The more I use #fcpx the more convinced I'm becoming that the Apple engineers really didn't use the thing.

FCPX Quirks | FCPX Quirks
This website is turning into a good collection of problems and issues encountered with Final Cut Pro X. Latest topics include: Scrubbing loses focus, The biggest workflow problem in Final Cut 10.0 is…

Online Resources Chronicling FCPX Bugs and What You Can Do To Help | Danny Greer |
In this post, we’ll take a look at 2 websites currently chronicling known issues with FCPX, as well as possible workarounds to circumvent these bugs.

FCP X: Resource Roundup
| Eric Wise | Splice Vine
I’ve been amazed by all of the FCP X resources that have sprung up from every corner of the web in the last couple of weeks. If you decide to make the leap (now or eventually) to FCP X you may want to bookmark these sites.

Setting for ContourDesign Shuttle | ContourDesign Shuttle Forum
Settings for Apple Final Cut Pro X. No whining. Getting work done with the new release and using my shuttle to help get it done.

Metadata Expert Published New Final Cut Pro X Book Just Days After Viewing the New Software |
A short blurb on how Philip Hodgetts put together his book so quickly.

REVIEW: Final Cut Pro X | Scott Simmons | Studio Daily
FCPX has changed so much and in such a way that making a judgment call on it is difficult. Most things in FCPX I either love or hate. There’s very little I feel so-so about. I love how FCPX can easily toggle an edit between a full-resolution ProRes edit and a low-resolution ProRes Proxy version. I hate that the option to transcode to ProRes LT is gone. I love how skimming means you’re holding down a mouse button less. I hate how there’s no real dedicated Viewer window when I skim those source clips.
Scott also adds some additional comments at his own blog on ProVideoCoalition: My Final Cut Pro X review now online

Free Final Cut Pro X effect: Alex4D Text Box | Alex Gollner | alex4d
Here’s my next Final Cut Pro X effect: a title generator of a resizable text box with various fill options.

Final Cut Pro X, Demo of Greenscreen Effect, GH2, 20mm 1.7 | Lars Peter Lueg | Vimeo
I just downloaded Final Cut Pro X from the App Store. I am really impressed of the standard keying effect. It works pretty well. Cause I found no video about it on the internet, I filmed a short demo. Just the preset with changing backgrounds.

BOSFCPUG - Final Cut Pro X Events

Steve Martin of Ripple Training is coming to Boston in July, and the Boston Final Cut Pro User Group is holding a couple of events:

July 21st Free Workflow Mixer
FINAL CUT PRO X Makes its Debut in Boston!
Featuring Apple Certified Mentor-Trainer Steve Martin
Also See the Boston Premiere of GenArts FCP X-Ready Sapphire Edge Plug-in
DATE: Thursday, July 21st
TIME: 10AM - 6PM (Check-in begins at 9AM)
VENUE: Exposure Place Studios - Studio A, EP Levine, 219 Bear Hill RoadWaltham, MA 02451
BOSFCPUG: July 21st BOSFCPUG: Boston Premiere of FINAL CUT PRO X

July 22nd $65 FCP X Workshop with Steve Martin
BOSFCPUG Final Cut Pro X $65 Workshop with Apple Certified Mentor-Trainer Steve Martin: "Final Cut Pro X: Editing on a New Foundation"
DATE: Friday, July 22nd
TIME: 10AM - 6PM (Check-in begins at 9AM)
VENUE: Exposure Place Studios - Studio A, EP Levine, 219 Bear Hill Road, Waltham, MA 02451
This one day workshop will focus on helping you get the most from Final Cut Pro X - from it’s powerful organizational intelligence to its forward-thinking editing paradigms, Apple-certified mentor-trainer and Ripple Training founder Steve Martin, will give you an in-depth look at the foundations that make Final Cut Pro X a powerful and unique editing experience.
BOSFCPUG: July 22nd $65 FCP X Workshop with Steve Martin

News From Here & There

So How Much Did it REALLY cost to make ‘Plot Device?’ | Aharon Rabinowitz | Red Giant
Red Giant produced a short movie to promote their new Magic Bullet Suite 11, and it has been quite a hit. A lot of people have asked what it cost, and now they have posted an article explaining the costs, and how others should be able to produce similar results for similar costs Hint: Rent gear. Beg, borrow and steal the rest.
But let’s say this film cost triple what we actually paid. Even that cannot explain away the incredible quality produced by Seth Worley in Plot Device. At the end of the day, a director, even on a limited budget, can produce amazing stuff if they have talent and the right set of tools – something we proved with Plot Device.

Review: Zacuto Z-Finder EVF (Electronic Viewfinder) Test | Sebastian Wiegärtner | Wiegaertnerfilms
The new Zacuto EVF is the winner for me. It has large HDMI in and out, possibility to upgrade the firmware via USB and upscaling function for all current DSLR‘s. Personally I want a red peaking function, which I always love to use with my Cineroid EVF. Steve Weiss of Zacuto has already indicated, that this feature will probably be part of one of the upcoming firmware updates.

The Z-Finder wasn‘t an essential tool for my work with Video DSLR‘s, but the Zacuto Z-Finder EVF has become an absolutely essential tool for me!!

Creator Q&A: Jennifer Fox on How She Raised $150k on Kickstarter | Elisabeth Holm | Kickstarter
Her latest project, My Reincarnation, found wild success on Kickstarter, raising $150,456 from 518 backers worldwide, propelling Fox into the top five most funded filmmakers on our site, paying off her film's distribution deliverables, and affording her documentary a formal theatrical release this fall.
Fox recently shared some of her thoughts on her Kickstarter experience with IndieWire, but we just had to get down to the nitty gritty ok-but-srsly-what-the-!@$%-happened? What did she do? How did she do it? And would she do it again?

How the internet is galvanising support for social justice documentaries
| Justin Kary | The Guardian
"People are putting across a strong argument through documentary. It is a very powerful medium," says Fred Grace of Fat Rat Films, who with his partner, Gemma Atkinson, has been making films for charities for 10 years, including UK Uncut, made for BBC's Newsnight in January this year. "People see the film then show it to friends, but it's nothing without the campaigning that comes after it, creating a whole world through social media, websites and grassroots campaigning that galvanises people."

The Power of Documentaries | Tom Seymour | movieScope
Over the last decade, the documentary has grown in popularity and impact, affecting social and political change, as well as introducing audiences to campaigns, ideas and individuals. But just how do the makers and distributors of these films measure their success?

Is Film School for Chumps? The Indie Film Community Talks Back to Monday’s NYT Article | Bryce J. Renninger | IndieWire
We asked a few filmmakers and professors what they thought of the piece and there’s a real sense that while the classic film-school model has changed, that shouldn’t discourage anyone who wants to be a filmmaker. (Not that it would, anyway.) “There are no guarantees from an education other than personal growth,” says director and Northwestern University professor Kyle Henry. “Anyone selling more than that might as well be shilling snake oil.”

Google Plus – Read the Fine Print BEFORE You Sign Up
| Scott Bourne | photofocus
Interesting warning about placing your images on Google Picasa or any other Google service:
If I do share images on Google services – under the current terms of service – I will risk genuine harm to my ability to earn income from those images. As a professional, I don’t see the reward of using the Google services as being worth more than the risk.


Final Cut Pro X - Adding Transitions to Titles

There's lots of little oddities - should I say differences? - in Final Cut Pro X that seem to annoy me. One of these is adding transitions to Titles.

When adding Text and Titles over video, I often like to use a transition (either a wipe or dissolve) to bring them on and take them off. In Final Cut Pro 7, it's easy; you put the title on a track above the video, and add a transition by clicking and dragging it to either end of the clip.

Try that in Final Cut Pro X, and it's a different story. Once again, you drag the title above the video. It appears to be in a "track" above the video. But try dragging a Transition to either end of the Title "track" and nothing happens.

Title added above video

Turns out that if you want to add a transition, you have to first turn it into a Storyline. That's simple enough, just right-click the clip and choose Create Storyline.

Turning Title into a Storyline

And now it's a Storyline, you can add a transition at either end of it.

Adding a transition to the beginning of a Title Storyline

Now to review; that's an extra step you have to go through (no big deal) but it's also totally non-obivous. Who would think to turn a Title into a Storyline so they could add a Transition to it; unless they were told to do so first?

electronics 468x60

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Final Cut Pro X - sort-of news from Apple

Sam Johnson, a Post-Production Engineer in London just tweeted the following about a private (but on the record) Final Cut Pro X briefing held today by Apple with some of Apple's key enterprise contracts. Lots of "coming soons," which is sort of what we thought they were saying...

1.XML in/out is coming via 3rd party FCP 6/7 support project support coming ever it seems...

2. Ability to buy FCPX licenses additional FP7 license for existing enterprise deployments coming in the next few weeks...[CORRECTION: Apple only says that they are looking into this...]

3. EDL import/export coming soon...

4. AJA plugins coming soon for tape capture and layback...capture straight into FCPX bins. [CORRECTION: Will not be a plug-in, but an an AJA application]

5. XSAN support for FCPX coming in the next few weeks...

6. Broadcast video output via Blackmagic & @AJAVideo coming soon...

7. Additional codec support via 3rd Parties coming soon...

8. Customizable sequence TC for master exports coming soon...

...within a few weeks for some updates i.e. XSAN up to a few months for 3rd party developers to get their heads around the API.

Some #FCPX updates will be free some will cost...

Sam Johnson: @aPostEngineer

[UPDATE: Corrected item number 2. The tweet was about buying additional FP7 licenses, not the volume availability of FPX licenses, which is also supposed to come soon.]

[UPDATE Jul 11: Correction items 2& 4]

"Sell Your Own Damn Movie" - book review Part II

Regular readers of NoteOnVideo (insert joke here) will remember that I started reviewing Sell Your Own Damn Movie! by Lloyd Kaufman a week or so ago. Well now I'm back with the second part; which is also the conclusion. This means:
  1. I actually finished reading it
  2. I had nothing better to do this July 4th weekend
  3. there won't be any more parts in this series; unless Lloyd does a sequel

But first, let me digress..

Years ago I read a book on Meditation, and at the beginning of the book the author essentially said "Meditation is simple; it's so simple, I could tell you what to do and how to do it in less than a page. But you won't believe it unless you have a whole book to go with it, so here's the book..."

I felt a bit like I was having a similar experience as I read Lloyd's book. Don't get me wrong, there's a lot of interesting information and tips through out the book covering the ins-and-outs of movie promotion, but I often felt that much of it could be summed up in a sentence or a paragraph or a list. The problem is; most readers aren't going to believe it unless they read all the asides and the stories.

And many probably still aren't going to get it. Because here's the thing; you probably aren't going to be a big success. You probably aren't going to make a lot of money. You probably aren't going to get picked up by the big studios. Instead, you're going to have to hustle, and sell, and hustle, and hustle, and chances are you still won't be the next Steven Spielberg. But you may get your movie seen by people who may love it. If that's enough, then keep reading.

It was at this point that I decided this review would need some help to brighten it up a bit. So taking another leaf from Lloyd's book (figuratively, not literally) I thought an interview might help.

A conversation with the long-suffering editor* of Sell Your Own Damn Movie!

MICHAEL: How did you come to be the editor for this book?
ELINOR: All of the editors at Focal Press drew straws, and I lost.

MICHAEL: It’s kind of unusual for the editor to actually make an appearance in the book they are editing. How did that come about?
ELINOR: Well, as Lloyd likes to remind me, I work for a devil-worshipping media conglomerate. A certain amount of self-loathing just comes with the territory, and I like to take that out on my authors by red-inking their work. Mercilessly. Some of the browbeating just naturally made its way into print.

MICHAEL: What was it like working with Lloyd?
ELINOR: He requires a lot of “managing,” shall we say. In fact, he was the first author who made me exercise my God-given right to censor. See page 41 of Direct Your Own Damn Movie and the charming sidebar involving Ron Jeremy and his porn directing tips.

MICHAEL: What’s the typical day of a book editor like?
ELINOR: When I’m not stifling my authors’ creative impulses, I’m reclining comfortably, sporting my velvet smoking jacket and a monocle.

MICHAEL: Have you ever written a book review?
ELINOR: I prefer to make the books and have you review them.

MICHAEL: What do you think makes for a good book review?
ELINOR: Ringing praise for Sell Your Own Damn Movie. If you get past chapter 2—and I’m counting on you, Michael!—you’ll find some real gems.

*this is for real; I did not make this interview up!

Damn! I was hoping for some amusing space filler, and I end up getting guilt tripped by the editor. And she's not even mine! These editors are all the same!

So back to the book. Here's a summary of the rest of the chapters.

Chapter 3: Piracy is Good
In this chapter, Lloyd get's his Tea Party hat on, and reconnects with the Founding Fathers, who would NOT have been happy with the way copyright law has been extended repeatedly in the past century. It was originally supposed to be 14 years! If this doesn't get you pissed off at Disney, I'm not sure what will.
Lloyd also interviews Nina Paley (Site Sings the Blues) who talks about her troubles with getting the rights to music - TIP: don't use music - and explains how she has managed to make money by giving her movie away.
TIP: You probably won't.

Chapter 4: How to Make People Want to See Your Movie
This chapter actually has useful information about rules for titles, taglines, Key Art (pictures baby) and how to confuse Grandma.This might be important stuff. You might think it's right. Or you might realize that there are lots of mistakes you can make, and luck is often involved in getting it right.
The bonus chapter looks at five movies ruined by poor marketing, complete with a rebuttal from the Producer of one of said movies.

Chapter 5: How to Make People Want to See Your Movie
Word of mouth, guerrilla marketing, press kits, trailers, social networking, conventions. Pretty much anything you can think of is covered here. BUT, while the latest things like Twitter and Facebook are covered, there's not a whole lot about how to build a following; just that it's important to do so. Is there a magic way to build a following? I'm not sure...if I find out, I will let you know. Lloyd would tell you that you have to keep at it.
Oh, and don't forget, three years from now, everyone will be on Google+ instead of Facebook - as Lloyd notes, they are already abandoning MySpace -  so watch out for that.

Cahpter 6: Film Festival Survival Guide
This chapter has some down-to-earth information on what festivals to try out for, and how to use those to get some benefit; even if that benefit is just watching your movie with strangers. And even though you probably won't get in to some of those expensive, flashy events, Lloyd still thinks you should go. I'm just not sure his recommendation of selling body parts to finance the trip is a good one.
TIP: you won't get into the big festivals, and the studios will screw you.
Uplifting stuff people!

Chapter 7: Short films
Why? Why Not?

Chapter 8: More Distribution
The studios will screw you.

Chapter 9: International Distribution
And you thought getting your movie shown locally was a problem? Overseas is worse, but it might still happen. The studios will still screw you.

Appendix A: The Best Film Festivals You Won't Get Into

So that's the book. How does it all stack up?
In addition to Lloyd's warped sense of humor, and ability to digress, this book includes a lot of interviews and stories from people who - somehow - made a bit of a success of themselves. I think these stories can be summed up by: Every failure is the same, every success is unique. The message remains: you're going to have to hustle and sell and adapt until you find your success. Or, until you decide to take that full time job managing the pizza shop.

Still haven't gotten the message?

If you were hoping for a "do this and you'll be a success" guide book, then you'll probably be disappointed. Because no one can give it to you. The ugly truth is that no one know's how to be a success. Don't believe me, look at the stories included in Lloyd's book; the chances that following their strategies exactly will work for you are small. Smaller than the chances of getting tips at that pizza job.

But this book can help you avoid some obvious disasters, and give you ideas to try. Ultimately, you have to find your own path, and the only way you will find your path is if you keep at it. And maybe that's what this book is really trying to do; to present all the problems - the hard work and the small chance of success - as something that seems fun and exciting.

So read this book, and keep trying, and maybe you will get lucky.

Part 1 of this review can be found here: "Sell Your Own Damn Movie" - a book review in multiple parts

Sony NEX-FS100 News

  • Rolling shutter: Sony NEX-FS100 vs Canon EOS 7D | YouTube
    Just a little comparison between Sony NEX-FS100 and Canon EOS 7D

  • Sony FS100 Green Sensor Example | Matthew Thomas | Vimeo
    [Video posted showing an image problem. One poster wrote:]
    The green colour is the filter in front of the sensor. It's a anti aliasing (blur) filter sandwiched with a IR cut filter, this also has anti reflective coating on.

  • Summer Days | Sony FS100 | Cody Cha | Vimeo
    Shot on Sony NEX-FS100. Lenses: Canon FD 35-105mm f/3.5, Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8, Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8, Canon EF 500mm f/4

  • Sony NEX-FS100 1080p/24 Stock Lens Test | Aaron Nanto | Vimeo
    1080p/24 test of the new Sony NEX-FS100 Cinema Camera with stock lens (Sony E-mount 18-200mm).

  • Sing Me Out | Frank Glencairn | Vimeo
    I made this, to try out my new picture profiles for the FS 100. The wobbling artifacts you see sometimes are from the image stabilization. I shot everything handheld, since it doesn´t look too good, when you show up with a crane and slider on a bone yard.

  • steam engine / sony nex fs100 | Lucas Kitchen | Vimeo
    Shot with sony nex fs100 and a Canon 50mm f1.4 lens

  • At Work - Sony FS100 | Sam Morgan Moore | Vimeo
    FS100 and kit lens indoor under flouros. I should have put the IS on for the longer shots. Quality is IMO great, very rich swapping between 9 and 18 DB gain. You must learn to flip up the gain when you zoom in to compensate for the losses of the lens

  • Moire Example with NEX-FS100 Sensor | Paul Antico | TwitPic
    While very rare especially compared to DSLRs, the Sony #FS100 isn't immune to Moire. (Those are fine window screens)

  • FS100 vs 7D - resolution | Sam Morgan Moore | Dslr 4 Real
    [A picture of the same subject taken with each camera]
    Just did a quick and dirty res test

  • ALIASING: 7D vs FS100 vs AF100 | Rick Burnett | DVXUser
    So, you want to know which camera is the worst and which is the best? I can tell you right now, guitar strings are one of THE hardest things to shoot.

  • FS100 in the hands - day one | Sam Morgan Moore | Dslr 4 Real
    The camera has an awesome picture and onboard sound with good monitoring and clean lowlight – everything I want from a 1080 narrow codec camera. Sony and their dealers have done everything they can to present that wonderment in a package that is difficult and non intuitive to use

  • The FS100 and Blackmagic Design's new Hyperdeck | cuervo | DVXUser
    I just received my brand new Blackmagic Hyperdeck Studio 10-bit 4:2:2 uncompressed recorder. I connected it up to my FS100 HDMI output port to see the quality of video I could get. Sadly, the Hyperdeck won't recognize the HDMI out of the NEX cams.

News From Here & There

3D Projectors and 2D Movies
Back in May there were reports that 3D projectors were messing up the projection of 2D movies, because theaters weren't switching out the 3D lens when showing 2D movies, resulting in a loss of brightness when 2D movies were being shown.
Sony came back saying it takes less than 20 minutes to switch the lens (which seemed like quite a long time anyway) but now Roger Ebert says it takes longer than that:
It takes two hours to change a 3D projector to handle 2D. So, never see a 2D movie in a 3D-capable theater. It will be dim.
I saw X-Men First Class over the weekend, and I thought that was very dim. Maybe I was seeing it on a 3D projector....
NotesOnVideo: News From Here & There: Sony says wrong about Digital Projectors

Creating a Shot List | Ron Dawson | BladeRonner
Last Friday I talked about the importance of creating policies and procedures. In that post, I talked about the value of having a written equipment check list to go through before ever shoot. There’s another list that’s pretty important if you’re a filmmaker: the shot list. This is the process I learned in filmmaking classes almost twenty years ago, and they still work great today.

For Film Graduates, an Altered Job Picture | Michael Cieply | New York Times
“It’s becoming an increasingly flooded marketplace,” said Andrew Dahm, who in May graduated from the Peter Stark producing program at U.S.C. [...] “At U.S.C. about 4,800 would-be students applied for fewer than 300 slots next fall, up from about 2,800 applicants the year before.

5 Facts About For-Profit Film Schools You Should Know | FilmmakerIQ
1. They are generally much more expensive.
In August 2010, the Government Accountability Office found that in 14 out of 15 times, the tuition at a for-profit school was more expensive than its public counterpart, and 11 out of 15 times, it was more expensive than the private counterpart.

NY Post Production Conference | October 11-13 | New York City
The New York Post Production Conference features dozens of expert training sessions for video, TV, film and new media professionals.

Statistics | YouTube
More video is uploaded to YouTube in 60 days than the 3 major US networks created in 60 years.

The Tao of Crowd-Funding: Three Ps for a Successful Film Campaign | John Trigonis | What's In My Manvelope?
The only real issue I find with crowd-funding is that many people jump into a campaign without the proper knowledge of how it all works or without a carefully planned outline. Specifically, there are things that every filmmaker should be aware of before embarking on a campaign, things that have been proven to work not just for my short film Cerise, but for many other, more recent projects as well. 

Canon performing in the Arctic | Canon
TV cameraman Phil Coates took the Canon XF100 and XA10 HD camcorders to the Arctic, in extreme temperatures that fall as low as -43ºC – and reports back with video blogs.

AVCHD Format Updated | AVCHD-Info
The AVCHD Format has been updated to Version 2.0 by adding new specificationsfor 3D and 1080/60p,50p. New trademarks; "AVCHD 3D", "AVCHD Progressive" and"AVCHD 3D/Progressive" are introduced.
Great! Now we can expect more problems from NLE's not supporting future camera formats!

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Title changed on Steve Jobs Biography

I'm only pointing out that they ditched the cutesy title "iSteve: The Book of Jobs" because I couldn't believe it in the first place!

AppleInsider: Authorized Steve Jobs biography gets 'more elegant' title

Final Cut Pro X Opinion 2

A Former Avid Employee’s Thoughts On FCPX: “Even though the FCPX rollout seemingly exposes Apple’s hubris, I’m glad they did it.” | Zac Cichy | techvessel
Zac interviews Mike Bernardo, who used to work at Avid
We worked on building “next generation” editor software. New UI, new technical foundation that would take advantage of multiple CPUs and GPUs. Unfortunately these efforts ultimately went nowhere, since the company as a whole was too timid and worried about disenfranchising the existing customer base – exactly the problem Apple is facing now.

FINAL CUT PRO X. Is it really that bad or is it a tool for a new Pro category or: How I got a refund | Shmuel Hoffman | SHMUEL HOFFMAN'S BLOG!
I think the title should be OR: Why I got a refund...
UPDATE: The software starts to disintegrate itself. More and more features are starting not to work anymore, whether its about corrupted project files that causes FCPX to crash or title effects that render only parts of the text as oppose the full text (i.e. blur in and out, title inspector doesn’t open anymore in order to make changes on the text.

Final Cut Pro X - Too Little, Too Late | Daniel Allen | Step 2 Inspire
So, Apple, we need to know what direction this is going in, so we can either get out now, or ride the FCPX wave. This Application has potential - and you really need to give it a good go. However it is missing many features that made Final Cut so popular in the first place.

Using FCPX in the field! My experience | CBlakeston | forum
Being able to work with footage as soon as it was copied from the XDCAM disc was a huge time saver, as was being able to skim through footage so quickly and have it automatically grouped into two shots and wide shots ect. I'm not saying the job couldn't have been done in FCP7 but using FCPX I was much more confident about the edit and felt I knew the material much better.

Final Cut Pro X…some thoughts | Eric Kmetz | InFocus
Video commentary, plus...
Even weeks after the software’s release, the dust still has not settled and the mere mention of the term “FCPX” draws heated debates and furor on social media sites and blogs.
Below are comments from one of Epic’s shooters and editors, Stewart Smith. He and I are on the same page when it comes to Final Cut Pro X, and I wanted to share with all of you what he has to say.

Thoughts on Final Cut Pro X (from a non-Mac owner) | Jason Konoza | 8 Frame Dissolve
Right now, in it’s current form, it seems FCPX is not worth buying a Mac for. I think I’ll take a wait-and-see approach before I pull the trigger with a new MBP. I’m sure it will happen eventually, maybe I just have buyer’s cold feet. :) Until then, the online FCPX discussions have been fun, and I look forward to Apple’s future plans with the program. I’ll be listening, but ultimately my wallet talks.

Steve Jobs to video pros: stop whining | Ulysse Merou | Scoopetino
An amusing take on what Steve Jobs might say...
Why the uproar about Final Cut Pro X? According to Steve Jobs, you can blame “picky” pros.
Apple’s CEO took the unusual step today of posting an open letter on defending what he called “the best video editing software on the planet.”

Final Cut Pro X Information & Resources 12


Use clean title as adjustment layer in Final Cut Pro X | Tapio Haaja | Tapio Haaja's Blog
One thing I love in After Effects are adjustment layers and I just realized you can actually use titles as effects in Final Cut Pro X and they behave just like adjustment layers (actually you can go much further in Final Cut Pro X).

FCP Tip – Change Colored Markers FAST! | Chadwick Paul | Chadwick Paul Blog
One often overlooked power feature of Final Cut Pro 7 is the ability to not just make markers with the “m” key. The “m” key always gives you the same default red marker. What if you had to indicate something like script markers with one color and a select part of a take with another?

Final Cut Pro X Tips from a Final Cut Pro 7 Editor | Richard Taylor | LAFCPUG
Final Cut Pro X, FCPX, is a new V1.0 application. It is not an update to Final Cut Pro 7. To help make the transition easier for those who actually want to use FCPX, I’m assembling some of the tips that I use while editing with FCPX. I'll update this list as I continue to work with it. Keyboard shortcuts are in parenthesis.

60p to 24p in FCPX | David Chapman | davechapfilms
Conforming 60p to 24p for a slow motion effect with Final Cut Pro X -
This used to be easy with previous versions of Final Cut Studio and the bundled Cinema Tools. How do you conform your footage if you don't have Cinema Tools?

Final Cut Pro X: Three Tips from a Top Trainer | Troy Dreiler | OnlineVideo
The Manhattan Edit Workshop has been getting a lot of calls for Apple Final Cut Pro X training, says Apple Certified Trainer Ari Feldman. That’s why it’s holding its first FCPX class, a hands-on intensive, on July 9th and 10th.
[and offers these tips]
Scrub with the S Key
Reverse Your Ken Burns
Duplicating a Project

Final Cut Pro X default keyboard layout [PDF] |


FCP X Audio Tutorial Part 3: How to Create Keyframes and Use the Range Selection Tool to Adjust Sound Levels | Danny Greer |
In this third part of our series on working with audio in Final Cut Pro X, we’ll take a look at how the range selection tool automates the placement of keyframes in FCPX. Final Cut Pro X also allows you to manually keyframe audio during playback in the timeline…great for doing quick sound mixes.

12 free FCPX basic video tutorials from Dan Allen. Here are parts 1 to 4 |
I've linked to these before, but it's worth repeating...
Dan Allen, a student filmaker has published 12 free tutorials for Final Cut Pro X. We always like to feature new tutorial makers so we've posted the first four after the break.

FCPX - Quick Tip -Working In The Timeline | Kevin P. McAuliffe | CreativeCOW
When you are just starting out, navigating through your timeline in a new NLE can be tricky enough. Let these two Final Cut Pro X Quick Tips (also see Previewing Effects FCPX Quick Tips) help you speed up your workflow, so you're cuttin' like a pro in FCPX in no time flat.

FCPX Quick Tip - Previewing Effects | Kevin P. McAuliffe | CreativeCOW
Adding effects, rendering, then deciding to check out another effect can take minutes, or even hours.....well, not in FCPX. You can quickly and easily preview effects before you even apply them with the instructions in this Final Cut Pro X video tutorial.


FCPX on the iPad |
Whoa! hang on, don't spit your coffee out, this isn't a standalone Final Cut Pro X app running on an iPad, it's actually FCPX running remotely. We've seen this before but here Matts Macintosh shows us how well the GUI would work if FCPX was an iPad app. Interesting and frightening.

Final Cut Pro Feedback | Apple
Note Happy? Leave Apple a message! (though keep it constructive or they'll just ignore it!)


PluralEyes 50% off Crossgrade | Singular Software
Already own PluralEyes and thinking of switching to another NLE? Singular Software is offering a 50% off cross-grade.

Review: Sony Vegas Movie Studio Platinum 11 | Eugenia Loli-Queru | OS News
I'm tempted to get Vega just for 3D editing...of course, I don't have a 3D camera...
A few days ago Sony released the 11th version of their consumer "Movie Studio HD Platinum" version of their popular PC video editing platform, Vegas. A variety of new features can be found in it, most importantly 3D stereoscopic editing support, and a faster h.264 decoder for AVCHD/digicam/dSLR footage.

A Final Cutter Tries Out Premiere Pro | Helmut Kobler | CreativeCOW
An extensive article which starts out with a good list of reasons not to trust that Apple is putting the pro's needs first, followed by why he choose to try Premiere over Avid, and then has an extensive report on his experiences with Premiere.
But I can definitely say that First Contact with Premiere was impressive and compelling. And beyond the application itself, I have a lot more confidence in Adobe's ability to deliver professional solutions than I do Apple's. It's really very simple: If Apple's Pro apps went away tomorrow, Apple would barely feel it on its bottom line or stock price. If Adobe's Pro apps went away, so would Adobe. Pro apps is all Adobe thinks about, and after 4+ years of neglect at Apple's hands, that kind of singular focus sounds pretty compelling.

Little Things Make the Big Difference – Editing in Adobe Premiere CS 5.5 | Vashi Nedomansky | hurlblog
I was excited to see what the new Final Cut Pro X was going to give us. I won’t delve any deeper into the option of using Final Cut Pro X but to say that it does not fit into my workflow and too many professional options are missing. What I want to focus on in this blog is the little things in PP CS 5.5 that make a big difference.

Transitioning: Update on our search to replace FCP | Walter Biscardi | Biscardi Creative Blog
We’re one week into our search to transition our facility away from Apple and Final Cut Pro so I wanted to bring everyone up to date on where we stand so far. This was a very busy week as you can imagine with both production work in the shop and many MANY requests for myself to speak to national media outlets, podcasts and personal visits to our facility. So the testing will really ramp up this coming week.

Working With Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere Pro | Richard Harrighton | Scribd
An excerpt from An Editor's Guide to Adobe Premiere Pro, which you can read online. Note, this covers Final Cut Pro 7, not X.
Amazon: An Editor's Guide to Adobe Premiere Pro

5 Great Features That Might Make You Switch To Final Cut Pro X | Danny Greer |
Yes, I’ll be the first to acknowledge that Apple missed the mark on many features of the new application (on it’s release day I wrote a post here outlining many of the missing features of FCPX). And yes, at this point we can all agree that FCP X has a long way to go to satisfy the professional post production market. [...]
4. Audio Plugins: Have you used the audio filters in earlier FCP versions? If yes, then you know they are/were extremely difficult to work with.

Offer runs through September 30th: Creative Suite 5.5 Production Premium - License [Add the Full version to the cart, then in the cart, click on the "Click here to enter a promo code." text just below the details and enter "SWITCH" and the discount is applied]