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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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ScopeBox 3.3: Affordable and customizable video scopes

And with the new ScopeLink feature maybe one less computer required to implement it

By Scott Simmons | June 03, 2013

Video scopes are one of those things we often take for granted. Most all NLEs have video scopes somewhere in the software. They are very important when it comes to the color grading / color correction process but many of those working in post-production don’t really know how to properly use them (I say partially raising my own hand). Sometimes it’s a matter of making the right window arrangements to use an app’s built-in scopes but if you don’t save that window configuration then you’ll be less prone to use them when the time comes. Enter a product like ScopeBox which is $100 stand-alone video scope software. Video scope software, for the most part, requires its own computer and hardware to run, but ScopeBox 3.3 breaks that tradition with a new feature called ScopeLink.

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Ice Cold Gold editor tweets a ton of Avid tips

It's only 140 characters but you can make some good tips in a small space if you try

By Scott Simmons | May 23, 2013

Twitter is always a good place to chat about film and video post-production. It’s also a great place to pick up tips and tricks. Recently editor David Michael Maurer spent his Twitter day tweeting a slew of Avid Media Composer tips and tricks. It’s often tricky to distil a complex editing tip into 140 characters but Mr. Maurer did a good job. Since not everyone who would like to see some good Avid tips is on Twitter I’ve reposted those here, with permission.

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I miss digitizing footage from video tape

In today's way-too-much-footage file-based world that realtime capture feels like an old school luxury

By Scott Simmons | May 21, 2013

Ok, I’m going to just come right out an admit it … I miss digitizing. For those young ‘uns unfamiliar with the term that would be the process of actually having to take a video tape and capture that into the computer for editing. Some folks call it ingest, others do use the term capture but I’ve always referred to it as digitizing. I used to hate it but now I miss it. Sometimes I miss it a lot. Is that crazy?

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Premiere Pro (and all the Adobe apps) are going cloud only

No more software boxes or 4 figure purchase either for that matter

By Scott Simmons | May 09, 2013

It’s been an eventful few days in and around the general world of film and video post-production. If you haven’t heard (but of course you have) Adobe made the decision to move all of their software licensing to the cloud, their Creative Cloud, and charge $50 a month to access to everything they make. No more paying some $1,500 up front for the Production Premium and having a box shipped to your door. While it would be nice to have a less expensive monthly access to only those video-centric apps (I’m never going to use Dreamweaver, InDesign or Muse among others) you really do get a lot for that $50 (check out the pricing page for other price options that could lower your monthly bill to Adobe). 

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Useful Tools for Editors: After NAB Edition

Another round-up of useful tools you may or may not know about

By Scott Simmons | May 05, 2013

Another NAB has come and gone so things can begin to get back to normal. With that end to NAB let’s have a new entry into the Useful Tools for Editors category with our After NAB Edition. We talk PCs, relinking, keyboard emulators, slideshows and (of course) FxFactory.

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Visualizing hard drive speeds with the Blackmagic Disk Speed Test

A few images for those new to editing to see the extreme differences in drive speed

By Scott Simmons | May 03, 2013

I was having a discussion with some students recently about hard drive speeds and why it’s important to have a fast drive for editing. All the discussion of data rates and different types of connections can only go so far as students new to editing need to see that speed in action. The Blackmagic Disk Speed Test (Mac App Store link) is a good way to visualize drive speed but we didn’t have that handy so here’s those big speedometers scaling from USB up to a very fast Thunderbolt connection.

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NAB 2013: X-Keys

They're just a bunch of buttons but boy do they look handy.

By Scott Simmons | April 18, 2013

I know I probably shouldn’t get excited by something as simple as a bunch of buttons but I have to say that one of my favorite things that I saw at the 2013 NAB show were the X-keys Sticks from P.I. Engineering. These things are just a strip of 4, 8, or 16 buttons that I envisioned as an extra set of function keys. I know it seems silly but boy did I immediately see a big use for something like that. I’ve tried so many different input devices over the years but nothing seems quite a nice as buttons.

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NAB 2013: The TitaniumZ-5 from Small Tree

Need portable network storage for up to 6 editors?

By Scott Simmons | April 17, 2013

Not everyone in post-production has the need for shared storage and probably even less of those need portable shared storage but if you’re one of those that do look no further than the TitaniumZ–5 from Small Tree. It’s got some impressive specs and an eye-catching, yet useful form factor. It looks like it would be the perfect fit for certain editing situations.

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NAB 2013: The ProMAX ONE and ProMAX ONE+ powerhouse PCs

They're not MacPros though the look like one and are probably much faster

By Scott Simmons | April 16, 2013

One thing I noticed when walking the South Hall of the 2013 NAB show was there are quite a new more PCs in the various booths running various software demos. There were also quite a new vendors offering fast, customizable PC workstations. One of those vendors is ProMAX and their very MacPro looking machines are called the ProMAX ONE and One+. I loved the description of the machine from the ProMAX rep I talked to: It’s like a “higher end MacPro … it doesn’t run OSX.”

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NAB 2013: Avid Media Composer 7 and Lightworks for Mac

I took a few minutes and actually played with Lightworks Mac!

By Scott Simmons | April 11, 2013

We’ve already talked about Adobe and their next version of Premiere Pro but the other NLEs on the show floor creating buzz were Avid Media Composer 7 (here’s my take from their press conference) and … wait for it … Lightworks for Mac. That’s just an early alpha of the Lightworks Mac but it was running and I played with it. It’ll be fun to watch how the biz takes to it when the Mac version finally ships which should be later this year.

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NAB 2013: G-Technology and CalDigit

You can never have enough hard drives huh?

By Scott Simmons | April 11, 2013

Trying to get an idea of what’s new in storage we stopped by both the G-Technology booth as well as CalDigit. There were a lot of storage companies on the floor but these two are the brands that I use the most. G-Tech’s new G-DOCK ev is a very interesting product for the USB3 / Thunderbolt we live in.

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NAB 2013: Red Giant’s BulletProof and Digital Rebellion

A data wrangling tool and a new online review, approval and "Kollaboration" system

By Scott Simmons | April 11, 2013

While roaming the NAB 2013 show floor with the FreshDV guys we stopped by the Red Giant Software booth to get an up-close look at the new data wrangling tool BulletProof. And the it was waaaay down to the back of the South Hall to visit Digital Rebellion and see their new online collaboration review and approval tool Kollaborate.tv.

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Velarium is a new entry into the DIT data wrangling tool

A small developer launches a new tool into a crowded space

By Scott Simmons | April 09, 2013

While not tool in a booth on the NAB show floor Elklight Software’s Velarium is another DIT -centric tool for the offload and transcoding of file-based, mainly DSLR, media. It takes a different approach than Red Giant Software’s BulletProof. Velarium is a more focused tool that presents a single-window approach to its task. The developer is based in my hometown of Nashville and I’ve been having a number of discussions about the tool and what I, as an editor, would expect in the files I receive for editorial. It looks like a promising product that’s going to be trying to find its way in the growing DIT offloading tools.

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NAB 2013: The new Blackmagic Cinema Cameras

I nosed my way in and asked a few post-production related questions

By Scott Simmons | April 09, 2013

While helping the FreshDV guys with their NAB 2013 coverage I took the time to poke my nose in on their interview with Blackmagic Design about their  new Pocket Cinema Camera and Production Camera 4K. That little Pocket Cinema Camera is we very neat little tool. Will it be the death of the DSLR No. Will we get lots more footage in the edit suite since everyone will have one? Yes.

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NAB 2013: Blackmagic Design and DaVinci Resolve 10

And a really cool new hardware video scopes product

By Scott Simmons | April 08, 2013

Finally, on Monday of NAB 2013 that is, I stopped by the Blackmagic Design booth with the FreshDV crew in tow to see what BMD had for us in the way of post-production. DaVinci Resolve 10 will add things like more advanced online tools, that ability to grade live signals and more plug-in support. We’ll let Tim explain it.

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NAB 2013: Baselight Editions and Rampant Design Tools

Two different companies but both with cool products

By Scott Simmons | April 08, 2013

While hosting the post-production coverage for FreshDV for NAB2013 we dropped by the Filmlight booth to have a look at what’s new with their Baselight plug-in for the leading NLEs. Then it was a chat with the guy behind Rampant Design Tools.

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NAB 2013: Slice X powered by Mocha, Beauty Box and NewBlueFX’s Titler Pro.

A walk around some of the vendors in the plug-in pavilion.

By Scott Simmons | April 08, 2013

I hooked up with my friends at FreshDV to help out with their outstanding yearly NAB coverage to help them on the post-production side of things by interviewing a number of developers of post-centric products. The NAB show floor is full of things everywhere you look, some flashy, some not so flashy. Some useful, others not so useful. Our first batch of interviews began with the partnership between Imagineer Systems and Coremelt to bring us Slice X powered by Mocha.

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NAB 2013: A chat with Adobe about the next Premiere Pro

We don't know when it's shipping but we know what it's going to be like

By Scott Simmons | April 08, 2013

As part of covering NAB 2013 with the FreshDV crew, I sat down with Adobe’s Al Mooney to discuss the recently announced next version of Adobe Premiere Pro. This was a long one so it’s a two parter.

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A look at Red Giant’s new BulletProof

Data wrangling your digital media just got a lot easier

By Scott Simmons | April 08, 2013

NAB 2013 sees a brand new product release from Red Giant Software. We usually associate the name Red Giant with plug-ins for our NLEs and our After Effects but BulletProof is a workflow tool, designed primarily to get footage off of your camera’s media cards and into a post-production pipeline. In between the beginning and the end of BulletProof’s use you’re presented with a very organized and very structured way to offload, backup, log and transcode your media. BulletProof isn’t shipping this week but you can sign up for a public beta and try it out yourself (as well as help improve the product) once the beta period begins.

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Sorenson Squeeze 9 updates the old encoding standby

A subtle interface change and quite a few new features

By Scott Simmons | April 08, 2013

NAB 2013 has seen another update to the do-all encoding application Sorenson Squeeze. This release takes the app to version 9. Some of the signature new features include an enhanced interface, pre-roll and post-roll, optimized encoding for HTML5 and closed captioning support. It’s also worth noting that the Squeeze interface gets a bit of a refresh as well. Don’t expect a Final Cut Pro X level of radical redesign but rather a refresh that feels newer but keeps overall use of the application the same. Here’s a few of the features I noted as I was working with a beta version of Squeeze 9.

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