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
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

1 Comments

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

6 Comments

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

17 Comments

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

3 Comments

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

3 Comments

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

0 Comments

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

2 Comments

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

9 Comments

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

10 Comments

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

3 Comments

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

18 Comments

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

1 Comments

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

13 Comments

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.

Read More

0 Comments

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

2 Comments

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.

Read More

0 Comments

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

3 Comments

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

0 Comments

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

2 Comments

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

0 Comments