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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...

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Take the Adobe Non-Linear Editing Software Survey

Take the Adobe Non-Linear Editing Software Survey

By Scott Simmons | June 19, 2009

Adobe has recently posted an online survey about non-linear editing software. The link was floating around Twitter and it's a great survey to share with the rest of the editing community. There's a lot of questions focusing on 64-bit support and workflow. It's great to see Adobe reaching out to the community and hopefully they will take the information to heart as they continue to further improve their video editing offerings. I wish they would have asked about Adobe help and documentation. As I try to learn more about After Effects and actually use Premiere Pro I get so frustrated when you go to the help menu for help and instead of getting a searchable pdf it takes you their website. Rarely do I ever quickly find an answer to a question there without a lot of searching. Read More

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Twitter find: The future of video editing?

Twitter find: The future of video editing?

Super LoiLoScope is a unique NLE interface

By Scott Simmons | June 19, 2009

Twitter user renatoghio posted a tweet earlier today with a link. He asked this simple question: The future of video editing?When I first watched this video of Super LoiLoScope in action I thought ... woah! That's crazy. The creators of this unique editing product look to be taking something that today has an established paradigm, video editing and its timeline based way of working, and turning it on its ear. Most all editors we use today utilize the clips in a bin, preview and edit monitor, timeline way of working. This was established long ago and has served the video editing industry well for many year now but it's nice to see someone thinking way outside the box when creating a new editor. Read More

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Avid has their own pan and zoom tools as well

Avid has their own pan and zoom tools as well

There's not as many options as FCP but one of the two are included

By Scott Simmons | June 16, 2009

I recently pointed out three plug-in tools for performing "Ken Burns" style pan and zoom effects on still images in Final Cut Pro. Avid Media Composer has options for doing the same thing. While there aren't as many options (and one of them is the same as Final Cut Pro) there is one that is part of the software package.

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Web video: The Top-Ten Things I Wish I Knew About Final Cut Pro…Ten Years Ago.

Great video full of good tips for the new Final Cut Pro user

By Scott Simmons | June 15, 2009

I don't know how I missed this video when it was posted back in March at the great editing blog Suite Take ... but I'm glad I found it now! The Top-Ten Things I Wish I Knew About Final Cut Pro…Ten Years Ago Read More

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3 tools for panning and zooming in Final Cut Pro

3 tools for panning and zooming in Final Cut Pro

The Ken Burns effect isn't just for iMovie

By Scott Simmons | June 11, 2009

Today a friend asked me what's the best option for creating the Ken Burns style effect for panning and zooming around a still image in Final Cut Pro. Of course iMovie actually has the Ken Burns effect that can be applied but in FCP you need a third party plug-in to do this properly. Sure you can import a still image and use the built-in Scaling via the Motion tab but if you've ever tried to have nice smooth ramps into and out of moves then you know it's a pain. There are alternatives. Here's 3 of varying price and complexity.

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WWDC keynote coverage for video pros around the web

It's all been covered and discussed very well so here's some links.

By Scott Simmons | June 09, 2009

The Apple keynote at the World Wide Developers Conference is soon to be a day old. If you are a pro-video user and you've been out of the loop today here's a quick round-up from around the web as to some good blog posts and discussions on what went down today ... or the lack thereof. Read More

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Feature Reminder: Content Aware Scaling in Photoshop CS4

Feature Reminder: Content Aware Scaling in Photoshop CS4

Every now and then it's nice to have a reminder of a cool feature

By Scott Simmons | June 05, 2009

Every now and then it's nice to have a reminder of a cool new feature in a recent software update. That's what I want to do with this reminder of content aware scaling that was added in Photoshop CS4. The other day I had been struggling for a little while trying to scale down an image to fit in the corner of the video screen while still maintaining a good focus on the subject, a car. I tried all of the usual ways of removing the car, adding it to another layer, blending the background and all sort of things. None of them produced an acceptable transformation. Just about the time the client walked in I had ventured under Photoshop's Edit menu and there it was, a feature I had used in the past but completely forgotten about content aware scaling: Read More

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Petition:  Apple, give us Blu-ray support in DVD Studio Pro!

Petition:  Apple, give us Blu-ray support in DVD Studio Pro!

It probably won't happen but at least we can sign a petition and try

By Scott Simmons | June 02, 2009

Apple's opinions on Blu-ray have been well documented and even their general thoughts on regular DVDs isn't all that strong these days. But no matter what Steve Jobs believes, out in the real world DVDs are still very popular and a lot of people do want Blu-ray options on their Macintosh and Blu-ray authoring in DVD Studio Pro. Adobe has added affordable Blu-ray support in Encore but that's not as affordable as it being added into something you already own - DVD Studio Pro.A Tweet began circulating this morning to sign an online petition called Apple, give us Blu-ray support in DVD Studio Pro! Who knows if Apple will listen but it doesn't cost anything to sign. When you do sign the petition it asks for you to set up an account or sign in with Twitter. I didn't do either, just supplied my name and my junk email, and it took my signature, creating a new account for me. The goal is 10,000 and it's only at 24 at the time of this writing so please sign up and send the message to Apple that we want Blu-ray in DVD Studio Pro ... and by that we would get Blu-ray support on the Mac OS as well an upgrade to DVD Studio Pro! Read More

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From the BBC: Secrets of a top TV editor

From the BBC: Secrets of a top TV editor

... you also wonder how editors don't end up shackled in padded cells more often

By Scott Simmons | June 01, 2009

I recently got an email from filmmaker and journalist Gavin Rees pointing to a video on the BBC website called Secrets of a top TV editor. It's about BBC World News America's Bill McKenna who was named 'Editor of the Year" by the White House News Photographers Association. He was congratulated by President Obama and, according to the BBC website, was asked to edit a video to be shown at a an awards dinner about "what inspires a top TV picture editor." It's kind of a rare thing to see an editor have to edit his own piece about his own work. It's nearly 3 minutes long is definitely worth a viewing, especially if you have ever done any news editing.My favorite line is: "When it comes down to it, you also wonder how editors don't end up shackled in padded cells more often." Amen to that. Thanks to Gavin for sending the link over. Read More

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Very funny and true video on Edit Etiquette

If you spend time in an edit suite then watch this 7 minutes please

By Scott Simmons | May 27, 2009

Joy Moeller - EditQuette from Art+Copy Club of Kansas City on Vimeo.

Shane over at Little Frog in Hi-Def has posted a very funny video from editor Joy Mueller of a "lecture" about etiquette in the edit suite ... EditQuette ... get it? And as Shane said in his post, since the video is embedable I'm gonna stick it here as it's too funny/good for editors not to see! I've got a big post on this that has rattled around in my head for a long while but this video really sums it up well. It's 21 things that all clients should know before they step into an edit suite to work with an editor. After viewing this video it reminded me of links to an old 10 Commandments of Editing list that popped up a long time ago and a few commandments that I added myself.Shane found the video from the art + copy club blog so click over there for a number of other good videos as well. Thanks to Shane for finding it as well as Joy of 19 Below and the Art + Copy Club of Kansas City for posting it. Now if all the ad agencies and directors of the world could see it .... Read More

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Science of the Movies premieres tonight on Science Channel

Science of the Movies premieres tonight on Science Channel

The Science Channel brings on a show for the tech movie geek in all of us

By Scott Simmons | May 26, 2009

If you're a movie fan then tune in to the Science Channel tonight or (more likely) set your DVRs accordingly as tonight premieres the show Science of the Movies.What is the show about? From the Science Channel website:Science Channel invites you on a geektastic journey to the cinematic intersection of art and science in the all-new "Science of the Movies", Tuesdays at 9 PM (ET/PT).Appealing to the movie junkie in us all, the new series explores the remarkable - yet rarely celebrated - scientific world that exists behind the screen, spotlighting the visionary artists, entrepreneurial spirit, innovative technology and remarkable techniques responsible for creating unforgettable, edge-of-your-seat moments in blockbuster films.In tonight's episode titled Spider Man Motion Control we get "Host Nar Williams explores the motion-control technology behind cloning and the famous "Spidey-sense" shot from "Spider-Man"; Nar rides a CG elephant created by the creature special-effects team behind "300"; Nar embarks on a chase scene using wireless camera mounts." There's a complete episode guide over on the Science Channel website. Man I hope it's not too cheesy. Read More

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Shooting Indy Cars with the GT35pro

Shooting Indy Cars with the GT35pro

Back in April I took my HV20 and 35mm lens adapter to shoot Indy cars

By Scott Simmons | May 22, 2009

Indy Racing League test at Barber Motorsport Park from Scott Simmons on Vimeo.

Back in April the Indy Racing League took their cars to the beautiful Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham Alabama. It wasn't an actual race but rather an open test, meaning teams could run throughout the weekend and tweak their cars until their heart's content. It was the only road course that the IRL was testing on this season and from reports around the Internet the league was very happy with the fan support as there was a huge turnout, especially for a test. The hope is that the IRL will return to the track for a fully sanctioned race very soon. A test day is great in that for a small fee you can get up close to the action around the track and in the pits. I took my trusty Canon HV20 and the GT35pro lens adapter and head down for a day of shooting Indy cars. Read More

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You CAN have a large timecode display in Final Cut Pro

You CAN have a large timecode display in Final Cut Pro

If only through a hack or some money spent

By Scott Simmons | May 19, 2009

Avid Media Composer has long had a handy little tool called the Timecode Window. Accessed via Tools > Timecode Window it is a floating pallette with great customization capability. You can resize the font, position the window anywhere you want and most importantly, add many different types of data to each of the lines. You can also add line after line after line of info. I don't know how many you actually add but when I got to 20 lines I stopped adding them. You are able to add information like the Master Timecode of the edit sequence, source timecode of any of your video layer, In to Out durations, time remaining, as well as footage and frames in any number of frame rates. It's a very powerful tool that Final Cut Pro doesn't have the equivalent to. But there are a couple of way to at least get a window with the running master timecode of the edit sequence. Read More

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HBO’s Alzheimer’s documentary

HBO’s Alzheimer’s documentary

Upcoming documentary series looks to be a unique multimedia event

By Scott Simmons | May 06, 2009

Starting this Sunday, May 10, HBO Documentary Films is going to begin air a 4 part documentary series on Alzheimer's disease called The Alzheimer's Project. Normally I probably wouldn't promote or post about an HBO film but this series looks to be a bit more important than most. Alzheimer's disease is a cruel brain disease that affects over half of all Americans and has an indirect cost estimated at more than $148 billion annually. Any disease with that kind of broad reaching impact deserves a special event like this that HBO is producing. I've personally been affected by the disease as my mother suffers from Alzheimer's and I've seen the toll it can take on both the victims and their friends and family so I've been encouraging all that I can to watch this series. Read More

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Want an ikan monitor? Enter their contest.

By Scott Simmons | May 06, 2009

If you are in need of a small external monitor for your video shoots or maybe a small supplemental monitor for your edit suite then head over to ikan corporation and enter their Wish I had an ikan contest. From the ikan website:If you can create a short narrative film either featuring an iKan product or the Ikan name, then you are eligible to win cash and prizes from Ikan.Start Date: April 27thEnd date: August 1st1st place: $2,000 cash2nd place: $1,000 and a V8000HDMI LCD Monitor3rd Place: a V8000HDMI LCD MonitorIt seems strange that the 1st place winner would get cash and no ikan monitor but with $2,000 cash you can spend it how you want! Rules are available here. Good luck! Read More

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Final Draft upgraded to version 8

Final Draft upgraded to version 8

The industry standard screenwriting app moves up a version number

By Scott Simmons | May 05, 2009

It doesn't seem to happen very often so maybe it's worth mentioning when it does .... the seminal screenwriting application Final Draft has moved to version 8!I remember getting Final Draft back in the mid-90s and pounding out a couple of feature length screenplays before I ever went to film school. I had tried writing them in a word processor but reasoned that if something would take care of the formatting for me then I would write more, jack around with margins less. It worked. Two screenplays later I went to film school, took screenwriting classes and read some screenwriting books. My writing career went downhill from there. I think it was one of those cases where the less I knew about the "proper" way to write a screenplay the more I would write! That said, lots of shorts, and half-started / half-finished / half-assed screenplays later I still use Final Draft. Read More

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I’ve grown to really like Avid’s new logo

I’ve grown to really like Avid’s new logo

By Scott Simmons | May 01, 2009

One of Avid's big announcements at NAB 09 was that they have consolidated all of their many companies into one: Avid. So Digidesign, M-Audio, Pinnnacle and Sibelius are all Avid. With this new company focus comes a new logo, which has been getting generally favorable reviews. A number of people have asked me about this new logo. According to the press release Avid Unveils New Brand Identity: The new logo forms a visual connection to iconic shapes that represent "volume up, volume down, play, pause, record and forward," signaling a unification of the company's core audio and video offerings.  The distinctive mark also spells out the company's name in abstract letterforms. Read More

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First video footage from the new Panasonic Lumix GH1 hits the web

By Scott Simmons | April 30, 2009

Panasonic Lumix GH1. First footage from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.

Super-duper camera guy Phillip Bloom has gotten his hands on a Panasonic Lumix GH1 and has posted video from the not-quite-35mm cam for all the world to see. He has also written a piece on his blog of early thoughts about using the camera. Whoo hoo! It doesn't shoot to H.264 and has some manual control! Read More

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Reflecting on the NAB 09 REDuser event

We couldn't hold the Scarlet and Epic cameras but it was fun anyway

By Scott Simmons | April 29, 2009

Another highlight of NAB 09 came in the same room that the Final Cut Pro User Group held the Tuesday night SuperMeet. It was the Wednesday REDUser event. Since RED didn't have a presence on the NAB show floor this was their NAB by presenting current Scarlet and Epic prototypes and their new prime lenses at the REDUser party. Like the Tuesday night SuperMeet before it the REDUser party featured free food and a cash bar, vendors in the outer area of the Amazon ballroom and the presentations in an adjacent room where a raffle was also held. Read More

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Reflecting on the NAB 09 FCPUG SuperMeet

It was a long evening but most came out blurry eyed and better for it.

By Scott Simmons | April 26, 2009

Two of the things I was looking most forward to at NAB 2009 were split between the Amazon ballroom at the Rio hotel and a corner of the south hall in the Las Vegas Convention Center. Those things were the Final Cut Pro User Groups SuperMeet, on Tuesday evening, and the Final Cut Pro User Groups SuperBooth that was on the show floor all week. The SuperBooth was particualrly unique among NAB booths in that it featured presentations from FCP users (incuding yours truely) at regular intervals throughout the week. Read More

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