RSS Scott Simmons

The Editblog on PVC

by Scott Simmons

Scott Simmons was born in rural West Tennessee and didn't really realize that movies and tv had to be made by actual people until he went to college. After getting degrees in both Television Production and Graphic Design he was in one of the early graduating classes at the Watkins Film School in Nashville, Tennessee. During that time at Watkins he discovered editing. While most of his classmates in film school wanted to be directors, Scott saw real career opportunities in post production and took a job as an assistant editor after completing fi...

Read More
Review: Get - Phonetic searching for Final Cut Pro

Review: Get - Phonetic searching for Final Cut Pro

If you need to search your FCP media via words and spoken content then Get is for you.

By Scott Simmons | August 31, 2010

One of the big hits at NAB 2010 was a little program set up in a tiny booth at the plug-in pavilion called 'Get', from a company called AV3 Software. Get isn't really a plug-in at all but rather a stand alone application that works in conjunction with Final Cut Pro to phonetically index media and allow the editor to search for words within that indexed media. In its simplest terms, if you have an interview with a subject that's talking about resumes, you can search for the word "resume" and Get will return results of all the clips that it indexed with the word "resume" including markers on each clip where the word appears. Since Get is a standalone application you then send the search results to Final Cut Pro where the clips will import with markers intact. Many editors will instantly see where this might come in handy. Read More


Wes’ Home Depot How-To

As in how they made a Home Depot spot with a bit of post behind the scenes

By Scott Simmons | August 23, 2010

Home Depot How-To from Wes Plate on Vimeo.

Back in the late 90s I edited a few national Home Depot commercials, and after this was one was produced I made this fun little video explaining the process.

I love a good behind the scenes / how-to / how we did it piece that breaks down a complex shot or goes into some detail on how a visual effects sequence was created. There's always more to learn for anyone in production or post. When you've decided that you've learned all you need to know in this business then that's when others will eclipse you in both creative abilities and technical prowess.There's a nice 8 minute how-to that was recently posted on Vimeo that takes you through the creation of rather cool television spot for Home Depot. Read More


avid bitc burn-in edit editing fcp filter final cut pro footage timecode

Burn-in timecode will make your client happy

You can add BITC in both Media Composer and FCP (Premiere Pro too) but one is better than the other

By Scott Simmons | August 19, 2010

If you've ever had to send out a copy of an edit for client review (and really, what editor doesn't do this on a very regular basis) then you may have very well been asked to provide a BITC. BITC stands for burn-in timecode and is as old as editing itself. Dylan Reeve noted right after this post went up that in some countries it's called TCIP for Timecode in Picture. The numbers running on a BITC give the client an exact number to provide back to the editor when commenting on specific points in an edit. That timecode references the master sequence timecode of the edit. Back in the "old days" of editing you often had to output a cut to videotape and then make a dub of that tape using the super-output of the deck. But today's non-linear editors provide a filter that you can throw on a cut to produce the BITC. Media Composer and Final Cut Pro both have this effect but they operate in a very different way. Read More


education links news reading

Bill Warner, Walter Murch multi-part stories, links galore

A few great time-sucks from around the web

By Scott Simmons | August 15, 2010

There's a couple of really good multi-part interviews that have been airing incrementally around the Internet that I wanted to point to. If you haven't been following them then you're in for a real treat as you catch up. Hollywood Reinvented is currently in part 5 of an interview with Bill Warner, the man who created Avid. Flickering Myth is taking an extended look at the career of Walter Murch. Read More


VFX GUY VS. PRODUCER. Yep another xtranormal animation.

Will they ever stop? (Maybe not if they're funny)

By Scott Simmons | August 06, 2010

And here is yet another NSFW animation from the xtranormal movie site that this time puts the vfx guy against the producer. It's 4:31. I wonder what will be next: craft services vs. producer? Read More


SO, YOU’RE AN EDITOR… video diversion

And yet another Xtranormal video. This time about editing.

By Scott Simmons | August 04, 2010

Well here's another little NSFW video (4:38) that someone made from the Xtranormal "movie" generation website that's make its way around Twitter (thanks for finding it Shane). This one is titled SO, YOU'RE AN EDITOR.... You can just imagine the subject matter as an editor talks to a .... well I won't spoil the ending. Read More


auto collapse edit editing fcp final cut pro organization software tools utilities

Clean up a sloppy FCP timeline with Auto Collapse

Edit Mule's handy utility can save a lot of time and frustration

By Scott Simmons | August 02, 2010

When I was teaching the Music Video Workflow class at NAB this year, one part of the discussion centered on the editing timeline and how, if you're not careful, it can become a multi-layered, sloppy mess. Everyone has their own way of housekeeping within the editing timeline but one thing you should never do is turn over a sloppy, unorganized timeline to another editor. I got an email from one of the attendees after the class that pointed me to a program called Auto Collapse that can automate timeline cleanup in Final Cut Pro. Read More


CINEMATOGRAPHER VS. PRODUCER video as an afternoon diversion

Sure, we've all had this conversation haven't we?

By Scott Simmons | July 28, 2010

Here's a fun little 2:48 video that's been making the Twitter rounds (NSFW as there's some language so be warned) so for those readers who aren't on Twitter, the embed is after the jump. It's called CINEMATOGRAPHER VS. PRODUCER, (make with the xtranormal animation website) is a fictional discussion of the lovely DSLR world we live in and even has a nice laugh in there for editors too! Sadly, it's kinda based in reality. Read More


Amazing Guy Walks Across America video

It's a DSLR extravaganza with behind the scenes

By Scott Simmons | July 26, 2010

There's been a great new "viral" video making rounds recently, Guy Walks Across America. It's currently at over a half million views on You Tube and will likely continue to rise as it's buzz grows. It's kind of like a stop motion / time lapse and is quite an amazing accomplishment technically. There's a behind the scenes video as well that offers a glimpse into how they achieved the effect. It's embed after the jump. Read More


color color correction color grading colorista fcp grading magic bullet plugins red giant software software

Review: Magic Bullet Colorista II

This new version of the old favorite Colorista packs quite a punch, makes Apple Color tremble in its boots

By Scott Simmons | July 22, 2010

Colorista. It's one of those indispensable tools for those doing serious Final Cut Pro work. If you're color correcting and finishing in your FCP box then the built-in 3-Way Color Corrector becomes merely adequate in comparison to the image quality you can crank out of Colorista. And Colorista has always worked in your other host applications as well (Adobe Premiere Pro, After Effects, Avid Media Composer) so that rounds out its usefulness. But one thing that has always been missing from Colorista is secondaries, something you'd often find yourself wishing for. With Magic Bullet Colorista II, from Red Giant Software, that wish has been answered ... in a big way. Read More


5.0 avid edit editing mc soft mc5 media composer software

Avid Media Composer 5.0, one month later

Over a month and a few jobs later, it's still a great upgrade

By Scott Simmons | July 19, 2010

Okay, let's get one thing out of the way first: the new Drap and Drop timeline in Avid Media Composer 5.0 isn't a direct rip-off of Final Cut Pro's timeline. Nor will an FCP editor sit down in front of MC5 and instantly be able to rip into the timeline via mousing in the same way they do with FCP. Nor will an Avid editor sit down in front of MC5 for the first time, turn on the new Smart Tool, and instantly have their editing world changed. Avid's implementation of the open, Drag and Drop timeline is complex, well thought out and will take some time to master. Like most big change / feature implementations in Avid's Media Composer product, it often takes some time for things to get added to the software but when it happens these features are usually feature rich and often leap-frog the competition. Read More


adobe after effects avid edit effects final cut pro graphics guides shortcuts video

Handy, useful pdfs for post production

Thanks to Zak Ray for putting these free guides together

By Scott Simmons | July 17, 2010

I found a link via Twitter the other day that is worth sharing. It's to a number of downloadable PDF files that were produced (and licensed under Creative Commons) by director/editor Zak Ray of Worldwide Studios. There's quite the list and many of them might come in handy for the editors of the world. Read More


camera camp children filmmaking kids mac

Parents, take your kids to Apple’s filmmaking camp

That is if you want to introduce them to this world and maybe ruin them for life!

By Scott Simmons | July 12, 2010

Apple has made great use of their retail stores as place of learning. Many of the locations have small theaters where pros lead classes on everything from Photoshop to Mac troubleshooting. Another fun thing they do is offer a number of youth programs. One of those upcoming programs is Apple Camp - Lights. Camera. Camp. It's a "fun, free workshop where kids become filmmakers." This 3-day even takes kids from 8 - 12 basically through the pre-production, production, post-production and exhibition of a mini-movie. How great it would have been to have such a thing when I was a kid! And speaking of that, a little story ... Read More


advertising commercials filmmaking old spice web video

Another amazing, probably mostly practical Old Spice commercial

Great advertising will get you to actually watch the ads, over and over

By Scott Simmons | July 01, 2010

It was just after the Super Bowl that I posted a piece about the amazing Old Spice commercial that was all the rage of this year's Super Bowl ads. The discussion about how it was made was equally fascinating. Today a new one was release and while there's no making of just yet that I could find this one is fun to watch. It wasn't all a practical shoot as there has to be some wire removal. Watch frame by frame on the sky splitting apart as it's fun to see the set just starting to move. It's creative advertising like this that will get people to watch advertising. The other two ads in this series are embed after the jump. Read More


5d 7d avid canon digital dslr edit editing fcp final cut pro

DSLR Post Webinar available On Demand, extra questions answered

We answered a few questions in the podcast ... here's a few more.

By Scott Simmons | June 29, 2010

Last week I had the privilege of conducting a webniar with called DSLR Filmmaking Post Workflows. That webinar is now available on-demand from New Media Webinars for $25. That gets you the entire 90 minute webinar in HD, an audio podcast where we answered some questions from those attending, several Canon 7D video files for your own workflow tests and some useful links. There were a lot more questions asked by attendees than we had time to answer so I jotted down some quick answers to most of them and have posted below. Read More


apple avid edit editing fcp final cut pro tape tapeless

Should Apple really drop Log and Capture from the next FCP?

It's an interesting discussion courtesy of Philip Hodgetts

By Scott Simmons | June 27, 2010

Just a few days ago Philip Hodgetts posted an intriguing article over on his blog The present and future of post production business and technology. It was titled Why Apple should drop Log and Capture from FCP and has generated some interesting discussion in the comments afterward. Read More


apple avid event supermeet

Last chance to get free tickets to Friday’s SuperMeet

If you're in Boston then you're almost there

By Scott Simmons | June 24, 2010

Tomorrow is the 1st Ever 1st Annual Boston SuperMeet. If you haven't gotten your tickets already you're almost too late but apparently (as of this writing) there's about 50 or so left so if you want to attend Friday's event then you might want to reserve your tickets now. Doors open at 4:30 and the location is the John Hancock Hall of the Back Bay Event Center. There's a full rundown of the agenda as well as a list of all the prizes to be given away in the world famous raffle at the official SuperMeet website. If you'd like to snap one of the remaining tickets for free then enter the code editblogvip in the Discount Code link on the ticket purchasing page. Read More


5d 7d avid canon dslr final cut pro hdslr video

Join me for a free DSLR Post-production webinar this Tuesday

You can't make use of that DSLR's video capability without the post production.

By Scott Simmons | June 20, 2010

This coming Tuesday, June 22, I'll be hosting a free webinar discussing DSLR post-production. The program will kick off at 10:00 AM Pacific, Noon Central time and run for approximately 90 minutes. It's free to attend the event, all you have to do is register.UPDATE: This webinar is now available On Demand for $25. Click here to purchase the webinar and other supporting materials. Read More


ama avid edit editing fcp mac mc5.0 media composer software video

A tour around Avid Media Composer 5.0’s interface changes

Veteran Avid editors will notice quite a few new things with this upgrade

By Scott Simmons | June 08, 2010

With any big software upgrade there's going to be changes. Some visible, some not so visible. Personally, I love those changes ... as long as they add new or needed functionality without getting in the way. One of the big things we often worry about with big upgrades are interface changes that might clutter up a clean design or impart on the editor additions or subtractions that might seem more like a step backwards. Of course much of this type of thing is subjective. One editor's productivity enhancement is another editor's unnecessary feature. With that said, here's a look at some of the bigger interface enhancements that I noticed upon first working with Avid Media Composer 5.0. Read More


5d 7d canon dslr edit fcp final cut pro grinder magic bullet software

Magic Bullet Grinder grinds your DSLR footage into a more editable format

While Grinder may seem redundant it's fast, cheap and easy to use

By Scott Simmons | May 28, 2010

Red Giant Software has just dropped a new tool into the family of Magic Bullet products and it might be of great interest to the DSLR shooter. Magic Bullet Grinder is a simple application tasked with transcoding your Canon 5D/7D/1D files out of their H.264 native state and into something a bit more usable. It also can create lower resolution offline versions of the same clips for editorial should you be in an offline to online position. While simple, Magic Bullet Grinder works quite well and has a few tricks up its sleeve. Read More