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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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Baseline is a very visual and very clever way to manage disk space

But it's still a bit buggy. Here's hoping for continued updates.

By Scott Simmons | October 04, 2009

As editors and media content creators we can often accumulate tons of large video and audio files as well as hundreds of thousands of tiny little (and sometimes not so tiny and little) supporting files. Be they QuickTime movies, graphics, audio files, render files, edit project files, autosaves ... the list is pretty much endless. What if there was a way to visually look at all of the files on a hard disk and get a big picture overview of all those files on the disk. There is, it's called Baseline. And while it's far from perfect it's a nice start. Read More

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From Wired magazine: The Good Enough Revolution

From Wired magazine: The Good Enough Revolution

The idea of a production being Good Enough is happening in professional media production today

By Scott Simmons | September 20, 2009

Continuing with the links to other good articles that are great reads for our particular industry comes a link to a Wired article called The Good Enough Revolution: When Cheap and Simple Is Just Fine. That kinds of sums up a lot of what is going on in film and video production today wouldn't you say? That Flip camera footage that comprises a large part of your program would have been flat out rejected on broadcast television at one point in the past but today ... it is good enough. Read More

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You can refuse to do a freebie edit and not be a dick

You can refuse to do a freebie edit and not be a dick

Or how we can all learn a thing or two from the article I Will Not Read Your Fucking Script

By Scott Simmons | September 13, 2009

There's a great article on the Village Voice blogs by A History of Violence screenwriter Josh Olson titled I Will Not Read Your Fucking Script. It's a must read for any editor who has spent a good portion of their career editing professionally and has an extended group of family and friends who know what he or she does for a living. I say this because if you fall into that aforementioned category then you've been asked, possibly many times, to edit the occasional wedding video, baby video, memorial tribute, work video etc. etc. etc. for a friend and family member or (perhaps worse) some friend of a friend who heard you were an editor. Read More

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My first Sticky Pod test

My first Sticky Pod test

Test video from an affordable camera mount

By Scott Simmons | September 07, 2009

Sticky Pod test from Scott Simmons on Vimeo.

Just about one year ago I joined my brother-in-law up in the Pocono mountains to shoot video for his website The Garage Blog at the International Motor Press Association's test days. This is an event where automotive journalists converge on the Split Rock Resort and the Pocono Raceway for two days of driving, testing and writing about cars. In the case of The Garage Blog, we shot video as well. This year we are doing more of the same. I'll be taking my trusty HV20 camera (probably minus the 35mm lens adapter in the interest of traveling light and saving time) and pretty much all the same gear I took last year with one addition: a Sticky Pod. Read More

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Editor’s Guild magazine back issues online

Editor’s Guild magazine back issues online

A fantastic web resource

By Scott Simmons | September 05, 2009

Every now and then a web resource comes online and you just have to say WOW! That's exactly what I said after seeing a recent Twitter from Norman Hollyn that said: "For some fantastic articles on editing go to the Editors Guild Magazine site. Interviews, tips and more. " It was followed by this link: http://snipurl.com/rmai5. That link takes you to the Motion Picture Editors Guild webpage of current and past issues of Editors Guild magazine. There's currently issues going as far back as when the mag was just a newsletter in 1994. Click the cover to get a list of contents and then click the link to read the article, that simple. There's no fee and not even a sign-up process. Read More

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Kicking the tires on Snow Leopard and doing some edit work too

Kicking the tires on Snow Leopard and doing some edit work too

Install goes well, Final Cut Pro hums right along, QuickTime X .... meh

By Scott Simmons | August 31, 2009

Over the weekend I installed Mac OSX 10.6 (Snow Leopard!) and crossed my fingers as I booted up Final Cut Pro for a number of quick edit tasks I had to complete. Install was lightning fast (relatively speaking to other OS updates) at under an hour and claimed an extra 10 gigs or so of hard drive space (though that might not be totally accurate) when all was said and done. This install was on my edit machine at home, the machine that is often the guinea pig for mad scientist-type software experimentation, so I chose to do the quickest and simplest upgrade option and not a "clean install" as I usually do when a new OS rolls around. In fact a clean install isn't a simple option with Snow Leopard but apparently it can be done by rebooting and formatting your hard drive with Disk Utility and then installing. I'll do that on the office machine at some point. But here's the usual warning, do not upgrade to Snow Leopard if you are in the middle of a job or don't have the time to devote to working out problems that can arise from such an update. And always make a bootable back-up before performing any upgrade. Read More

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Video storage space calculators round-up

Video storage space calculators round-up

These handy utilities can never be more than a click or tap away

By Scott Simmons | August 24, 2009

It's one of the questions I get asked more often than most: How much drive space do I need to hold [insert media format and time here]? At one point I tried to keep some rough numbers in my head, as in way back when DV25 was about the only format and resolution to worry about, but these days with all of the different resolutions and frame rates it's way more information than I care to remember. But fear not as there's many different places in which to find video storage space calculators. Web based, widget based and iPhone based ... read on for a round-up. Read More

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Enlightening interview about distribution with Maverick Entertainment founder and president

Enlightening interview about distribution with Maverick Entertainment founder and president

Filmmaking Central podcast from July is a must listen for the serious filmmaker

By Scott Simmons | August 21, 2009

I was catching up on podcasts recently and I got to the July 16 episode of Filmmaking Central. On this episode host Dave Basulto spends an hour interviewing Doug Schwab, President and Founder of Maverick Entertainment. This is one of the most honest and informative discussions on feature film distribution that I've heard in a long time and is a great listen for anyone making movies. Blogs and podcasts often discuss the technology and craft of filmmaking ad nauseam so the good distribution discussion is often few and far between. Maverick Entertainment is a direct to video distribution company and though you as a filmmaker may be shooting for theatrical distribution the reality is that very few films see the big screen. Schwab engages in a very thorough and very honest discussion about the reality of feature film distribution. There's a lot of great tips within the show about what distribution companies are looking for as well as tips to get your film in front of a distributor or buyer. You can listen to the episode right off of the BlogTalkRadio webpage or subscribe to the Filmmaking Central podcast (iTunes link) and look back into July for the episode. Read More

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Battle of the audio track deletion batchers

Battle of the audio track deletion batchers

A batch utility can delete unused audio tracks from a QuickTime file

By Scott Simmons | August 19, 2009

Just the other day I posted links to VideoToolshed, a resource for a number of handy software utilities gear toward the video editor. One of those tools was QtTools, which has been rebranded as qtChange02. I posed the question asking if it could batch extract empty audio channels from QuickTime files. Bouke, the proprietor behind VideoToolshed, said he would add the feature and he did. In the comments David Heidelberger posted and said that he had already written an application to do just that. Audio Track Batcher. Let's see how these tools might work to correct a capture problem where you media has too many audio tracks. Read More

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VideoToolshed releases FcpReconnect to aid in media management

VideoToolshed releases FcpReconnect to aid in media management

Plus they have lots of other handy tools

By Scott Simmons | August 17, 2009

We all know Final Cut Pro's media management capabilities aren't its strongest feature. The guys over at VideoToolshed have released a utility that tries to make up for some of those shortcomings. Plus, if you've never browsed through the products they offer then take a few minutes to do so as you might find one that meets a specific need you might have.VideoToolshed is a small post-production house in the Netherlands that has quite an impressive collection of little applications and utilities, available for both Mac and PC, that address a lot of small but often quite pressing needs in the post-production world. Their website is rather sparse, their English sometimes fragmented and their software isn't particularly pretty but from just looking at the volume of products they have produced over the years and how they have addressed specific needs you can tell someone has put some thought into these products. I often wish that I knew how to write Mac applications (I once tried to learn and it didn't go very well) so I could do something similar to what Bouke and his team does (that's assuming he has a team!): They see a need they have in their post-production workflow and then write an app to address it. The most reason one to catch the eye is FcpReconnect. Read More

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Kicking the tires on Final Cut Pro 7

Kicking the tires on Final Cut Pro 7

The new FCP update is a very nice, though small, evolution forward for the app

By Scott Simmons | July 27, 2009

By now anyone who has ever heard of Final Cut Pro has heard that Apple shipped Final Cut Pro 7 as part of the new Final Cut Studio on July 23. It wasn't the total FCP reboot that many had hoped and consists mainly tacked on new features. The early word was that it probably should have been called Final Cut Pro 6.5 (and I agree) but you can't make a splashy new release with only half a number advancement can you? I had some time over the weekend to kick the tires on FCP 7 there are some very nice features that have been added to this release. The true test will come when I install at the office and pound it hard for days on end (which won't be for a while as I won't be between projects for a couple of weeks) but for the little project I'm working on at home it's working well thus far. Here's an early observation on some select features where I was able to kick the tires. Read More

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CineForm CineDDR is an HDCAM SR for the masses?

CineForm CineDDR is an HDCAM SR for the masses?

By Scott Simmons | July 22, 2009

CineForm recently announced its new CineDDR product. What exactly is CineDDR? I'm still trying to wrap my head around exactly what all the CineDDR system might bring to a post-house but basically it looks like it is being position as a somewhat "software" based alternative to an HDCAM SR deck. A software based anything alternative to an expensive hardware product will almost always have a substantial cost savings and CineDDR vs. HDCAM SR is no exception. Read More

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Subtleties of the Slate video

Subtleties of the Slate video

It's nice to see some people are still using slates!

By Scott Simmons | July 17, 2009

Subtleties of the Slate from Inspiration Studios on Vimeo.

Here's a fun little video from Vimeo called Subtleties of the Slate. It was made by Inspiration Studios and is quite a hoot for those who've worked the set. It makes me long for those long days of a dry erase pen with the big powder puff taped to the end. Thanks to Jason Wingrove and James Shen for spreading this around Twitter. Read More

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Short video of Ted Shilowitz talking about (and holding) a Scarlet

Short video of Ted Shilowitz talking about (and holding) a Scarlet

Did he really say "targeted for fall timeframe?

By Scott Simmons | July 15, 2009

ShotsandCuts posted a link up via Twitter tonight of RED guru Ted Shilowitz talking about the RED Scarlet. He is also holding a unit in his hand in what I believe is one of the few videos of a Scarlet in human hands for all the world to see. The video was apparently taken in Munich, Germany on July 6, 2009. The website says this is a prototype unit and it does look a lot like the ones they had under glass at NAB but who knows if this will resemble the final form factor or not. Since Ted says in this video they are "targeted for fall timeframe" then we might see it all this year! Take a look at the video here. Read More

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You’re never too old (or too smart) to learn something new

You’re never too old (or too smart) to learn something new

The new FXPHD term has started and I'm excited I finally signed up

By Scott Simmons | July 14, 2009

If you've never heard of FXPHD then you're either new to this whole film / video / production / post-production world or you just haven't been paying attention. I've been following the course offerings for quite a while now but have never signed up for a term ... until now. The July 09 term is starting this week and I am very excited. Read More

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avid fcp final cut media composer simmons

The Basics of Avid Media Composer for a Final Cut Pro Editor

With the free Avid Media Composer demo why not give it a try?

By Scott Simmons | July 02, 2009

What follows in this article is not a debate of Avid vs. Final Cut Pro or a conversion document that says you should move from Final Cut Pro to Avid Media Composer, but rather a step-by-step guide for anyone new to Avid (or curious about the software in general) to launch the software and perform a few basic functions. It will be geared more toward the FCP editor, but a lot of the basic functionality is the same in many non-linear editors. I won't compare and contrast various Avid and FCP features as that's not the focus of the article though I will point out the Avid equivalent of a number of FCP tools. And if you've never edited with a NLE application before then consider this primer a way to get your feet wet in Avid Media Composer 3.5. Read More

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Please label tapes and disks: An open letter to DPs, camera ops, DITs

Please label tapes and disks: An open letter to DPs, camera ops, DITs

Just a simple label of format and frame rate will tell the editor a lot about what is on the tape or disk

By Scott Simmons | June 26, 2009

Man, there are a lot of high definition formats out in the world today. Just to spell them out would be a dizzying array of letters and numbers. 720p, 1080i, 23.98, 30p ... this list could literally go on and on so I won't even attempt a partial list other that what I have above. Just take a look at this HD format chart. That's a lot of different formats and it doesn't even take into account the different flavors of a particular format that camera manufacturers often come up with on their own.With that in mind this PVC post is an open letter to all DPs, ACs, camera ops, DITs, anyone and everyone associated with the camera department to please label their tapes and hard drives with the usable, relevant information of shooting format and frame rates, codecs and cameras so post-production will at least have an idea of what is being handed to them. Read More

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RED announces REDCINE-X™

RED announces REDCINE-X™

Seeks to remove bad taste left behind by the original RedCine

By Scott Simmons | June 22, 2009

RED Leader Jim Jannard today announced a new version of RedCine that they hope to be shipping sometime in August called REDCINE-X. For those of you who have used, or attempted to use, RedCine then you might have watched the video (see the embeded clip after the jump {sorry about the autoplay} or watch the full-rez version here) with quite a bit of shock and awe as it really looks and feels nothing like RedCine. And this is a good thing. Read More

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The iPhone 3G S can’t really EDIT video!

The iPhone 3G S can’t really EDIT video!

But it can TRIM it and shoot some fun stuff to boot

By Scott Simmons | June 20, 2009

Okay, let's get one thing straight about the new Apple iPhone 3G S ... it can't edit the video it shoots. What it can do is trim the beginning and end of each and every clip. That may just be semantics talking but I've seen lots of stuff on the Interweb saying that you can edit the video that you shoot on the iPhone ... to me editing means that you can actually join two separate clips into one. You can't do this on the iPhone 3G S. But you indeed can trim your clips to shave off unwanted frames at the head and the tail. It's a really cool thing to be able to do, especially if you are running low on storage space on the phone. And considering you have to tap the start/stop button on the touch screen (as opposed to say a hard button on the side) you are likely to have some slop at the head and tail as you begin a shot. Read More

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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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