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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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First Cut Pro is a handy, dandy online review and approval system

And every editor needs an easy way for clients to review and comment on cuts

By Scott Simmons | March 22, 2013

The review, commenting and approval process is certainly an important one when it comes to getting a client to sign off on an edit and get the job out the door. How exactly you go about this task so that it is painless for both editor and client can be a very big question. If time and proximity permits having a client sit in on the session that is a great way to go. If you’re separated by distance you might choose something like First Cut Pro.

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Timeline: A History of Editing goes digital with lots of new material

This amazing book about the history of editing is even better on iPad

By Scott Simmons | March 14, 2013

Timeline: A History of Editing is an amazingly detailed book about just what the subtitle says, a history of editing. Written by John Buck, Timeline is something we’ve spoken about before but it recently got even better with the release of Timeline: Digital Edition One. This iPad specific book is updated for iBooks on the iPad with “photographs, video material, original brochures and animated patents, as well as audio clips and exclusive interviews that document the lives of editors and the craft of editing from the very beginning.”

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WooWave - the automated syncing software with the funny name

While affordable and simple to use, my syncing results weren't very encouraging

By Scott Simmons | March 11, 2013

I’ve made no secret of my love for PluralEyes, the auto-syncing tool that came to market a few years ago. It has saved me countless hours in the edit suite doing that most menial of tasks: syncing. A competitor popped up a while back (not counting Final Cut Pro X’s built-in option) called WooWave. It’s certainly a quirky name that fits this quirky tool. But the most important question is this: how well does WooWave sync? I put it through my usual battery of syncing tests to find out. The results weren’t so great.

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What’s on the agenda for NAB 2013

The big conference is coming up fast. I'll be teaching some classes again this year.

By Scott Simmons | March 06, 2013

It’s that time of year again and we are only a month away (or less) from the 2013 National Association of Broadcasters convention. I’m sure this year will be another big year with lots of new hardware, software, toys and gizmos introduced for everyone to fondle and ogle over. In year’s past I’ve tried to catalog some of the happenings in a blog post so here is the NAB 2013 edition, though not as detailed as 2012. I’m happy to again be leading several classes at the Post|Production World conference. This year includes sitting on end of day Hot Panels where we’ll discuss all aspects of editing and post-production. Oh, and there’s those evening parties and gatherings to look forward to as well. If anyone has any events to add post them in the comments below or email me and I'll add them here.

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Useful Tools for Editors: After Oscars Edition

If you're editing the next Oscar-worthy project then some of these tools might come in handy

By Scott Simmons | February 25, 2013

It’s time once again for a little roundup of Useful Tools for Editors. This is the second one I’ve done since moving this category of posts back home to the Editblog. Today we’ll see a new book about Avid Media Composer, a handy tool to get clips out of Final Cut Pro X, a mask plugin for FCPX, a YouTube downloader and some cool dust particles for all your compositing needs.

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Hands-on with the new TouchEdit NLE for iPad

A retro interface, lots of editing tools and the app's creator Dan Lebental answering some questions

By Scott Simmons | February 17, 2013

There’s a brand new iPad app that we’ve been following for some time that has finally made its way onto the app store. TouchEdit is a $50 app that comes from ACE editor Dan Lebental who is no stranger to editing as he cut a tiny feature film called Iron Man (among others). As soon as you read the description “Go Retro, Go Pro” off of TouchEdit’s website you might think you’re in for something a bit different. When you launch TouchEdit you immediately see that’s the case.

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Hands on with the PROCUTX app for Final Cut Pro X

It's nice to look at but doesn't offer any significant speed improvements ... yet

By Scott Simmons | February 07, 2013

If you’ve been around the internet (or social media) in the last few days then you’ve probably heard of PROCUTX. This is an iPad app (iTunes link) that is designed as a control surface for Final Cut Pro X. It’s a gorgeous app that is very well designed. There’s lot of little buttons all over the interface to perform any number of FCPX tasks. There’s also a big jog wheel that dominates the center. At $25 it isn’t a cheap iPad app as iPad apps go. Is it worth it? Probably not for me in its current form so I doubt I'll use it very much but it sounds like there is some real potential for the future.

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Michael Kahn talks, Twitter lets us all be there

The Q and A after a recent Lincoln screening reveals some good editing advice

By Scott Simmons | January 31, 2013

Last night (January 30) there was a screening of a little movie called Lincoln. After that screening there was a question and answer session with the film's editor Michael Kahn. We all know Michael Kahn as Steven Speilberg's legendary editor but he's cut for other directors too so any chance to hear a great editor speak is bound to be filled with lots of gems other editors can use as well. Once again thanks to the magic of Twitter (and some fast thumbs from the tweeters), it's almost like we were all there!

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TouchEdit demoed live and in person at LACPUG

Thanks to the world of Twitter we can all see the presentation too

By Scott Simmons | January 24, 2013

At the January 23 Los Angeles Creative Pro User Group meeting Dan Lebental was on hand to show off his iPad editing app TouchEdit. We talked about TouchEdit a couple of weeks ago and got some interesting comments over from Dan himself. I think this will be an incredibly interesting app for editors and despite what I'm sure will be debated as a high price ($50) for an iPad app, if it can truly deliver on being an offline tool for professional editors, in addition to just a fun editor on the iPad, then it will be unique in the market. Thanks to the wonderful world of Twitter (and in particular Shane Ross) we can see an almost realtime stream of the TouchEdit presentation.

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Useful Tools for Editors: Welcome Back Home edition

After a few years away the Useful Tools column comes back home

By Scott Simmons | January 20, 2013

One of my favorite blog categories / columns has always been the ongoing Useful Tools for Editors topic that has been a part of my coverage of our little industry since I began the Editblog many, many years ago. It was a part of my original site and then I moved it over to Studio Daily for a number of years. I'm no longer blogging for Studio Daily on a regular basis so it is time to once again move the Useful Tools for Editors column and bring it back home to the Editblog on PVC. There's so many useful tools these days I'll try to do a semi-regular round-up of them ... that is unless one comes along that is so cool it can't wait. Do you have a useful tool for editors? Then contact me and tell me about it.

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Comparing two Thunderbolt capture and playback devices

The AJA Io XT and Blackmagic UltraStudio 3D go head-to-head

By Scott Simmons | January 14, 2013

With the advent of Thunderbolt a new option arrived for editors in the form of an easy to use video capture and playback interface for your editing computer that doesn’t have to sit inside a tower. Adding Thunderbolt to iMacs and laptops means portability and affordability is an option for editors like never before. Both the AJA Io XT and the Blackmagic Design UltraStudio 3D are two good options for editors needing Thunderbolt-based I/O. They both perform basically the same task only in a little different way.

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Looking ahead to 2013 in post-production

Some random bullet points about the year ahead

By Scott Simmons | January 09, 2013

The year known as 2012 is history and 2013 looms large on the horizon. It was an interesting past year in post-production with many of our tools seeing moderate to significant upgrades while others **cough MacPro cough** got virtually none. There's no sense reliving the past year since there's quite a few good places to listen to the year that was. I was working on a article about 2013 but Oliver Peter’s summed it up well in his post called Editing in 2013. Instead here are some bullet points for what we might see happen in 2013.

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Two free iBooks for your reading pleasure

You may need an iPad but there's some good stuff here.

By Scott Simmons | January 05, 2013

If you’re a fan of the iPad then you’ve probably heard of iBooks Author, Apple’s electronic book authoring application that allows anyone to author and publish an iBook. The downside is that it’s mainly limited to the Apple/iOS world but the upside is we get cool free iBooks like The Craft of The Hobbit, An Unexpected Journey iBook from fxguide and Broadcast Delivery 101 by Craig Russill-Roy.

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Will TouchEdit be the iPad NLE we’ve been waiting for?

While the design might end up being controversial, if it can export a timecoded list back to a desktop NLE then that'll be nice

By Scott Simmons | January 02, 2013

Ever since iOS came along and began allowing custom apps there have been quite a few video editing applications on Apple's mobile touch platform. Along came the iPad and then the idea of a useful NLE for the touchscreen began to take shape. We've had iMovie for a while (and a lot more lesser editing apps) but it wasn't until Avid came along with Avid Studio that we thought that something truly useful for the professional editor might be possible. Avid sold their app to Corel and my dream of an offline editing tool seemed to be dead. But that dream may still be alive with this coming iPad app called TouchEdit.

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Avid Media Composer 6.5.2 adds some very nice (and needed) features

With this point release it just might be worth that $500 to move from 6.0

By Scott Simmons | December 21, 2012

When Avid released Media Composer 6.5 it did so with a $500 price tag and that rubbed a lot of users the wrong way as they didn't think the update was worth that price. I kicked the tires on Media Composer 6.5 and while there were a lot of nice new additions to the update we chose not to upgrade at that time. Now comes word that the 6.5.2 update is out and it looks like there's some really nice things in this update that might make it worth that $500 cost since you'll get those 6.5 features as well. To be clear I haven't used 6.5.2 yet (though I have requested an upgrade Mr. Boss) but thanks to Wim Van den Broeck we've got a good idea of what's in there. 

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Editing video on a previous generation Apple iMac

... when you're used to a MacPro and you're worried there may not ever be another one.

By Scott Simmons | December 16, 2012

As Apple’s big, expandable, workhorse towers - the Mac Pro - has been seemingly left withering on the vine the last couple of years and a lot of professional editors with it. Many of those editors have moved to a laptop or an iMac as their primary edit machines rather than purchase a new tower. I’ve been somewhat critical of an iMac as a primary edit machine but the inclusion of Thunderbolt is really one of those “game-changers” for the dedicated editor. A conversation with Apple around the time of NAB led to a loaner iMac (this was before the new super-thin iMac was introduced) as well as a Promise Pegasus RAID showing up on my doorstep for evaluation and testing. Apple is confident an iMac can make a great primary edit system. I’ll be the first to admit I was pleasantly surprised at the editing experience though it might not be perfect for everyone.

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Christmas Gift Ideas for the Editor - 2012 Edition

Here's a few ideas for that hard to buy for editor. Or for yourself

By Scott Simmons | December 10, 2012

Christmas is just a couple of weeks away (maybe less depending on when you read this). If you’ve got an editor in your life that you need to buy gifts for here’s a few things that he or she might appreciate. If you can’t find anything good here then check out some previous versions of this topic as there’s still some good stuff on the 2011 and 2010 list.

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Early Media Composer and Final Cut Pro promo videos

And one from Media 100. See how far you NLE software has come.

By Scott Simmons | December 08, 2012

I got taken down into one of those You Tube time sucks the other day. It came courtesy of a couple of tweets by Rob G Wilson that pointed to some very old Avid Media Composer and Final Cut Pro promo videos. If you want to realize just how far your NLE software has advanced then give yourself 20 minutes to check these things out. They are full of bad music, cheesy video effects and plenty of bad hair. Those two videos as well as a an early promo for Media 100 are embedded after the jump. 

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Timecode calculators in the Mac App store, free but not great

It's hard to complain when apps are free though.

By Scott Simmons | December 06, 2012

I've recently moved back into good old Final Cut Pro 7 for an lengthy edit and I've found myself missing a handy dandy timecode calculator. The timecode calculator has long been a part of Avid Media Composer and it's useful to have around. Where's the first place you think to look for a Mac app these days? Why the Mac App store of course. A search for the word timecode reveals a couple of free options. NLA Timecode Calculator (both of these are Mac App Store links) and another called FrameCalculator. It's hard to criticize a free tool but a couple of simple tweaks could make both of these things quite a bit more usable.

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Two great new training resources for DaVinci Resolve now available

Both Ripple Training and Tao of Color have extensive new options to learn Resolve 9 and the craft of color grading

By Scott Simmons | November 30, 2012

Ever since Blackmagic Design bought DaVinci Resolve and made it affordable and/or free, there's been no shortage of training available to learn the application. While the You Tube videos are a dime a dozen, the fast forward FXPHD training has been one of the best options in the new Resolve's relatively short life. Two new options are now available concentrating on Resolve 9 and they are both great options taking different paths toward training. Ripple Training has released their DaVinci Resolve 9 Core Training. There's also the brand new Tao of Color Horror Dead Man's Lake: The Grade Along option. I recently took a look around both of them and it really made me wish I had a lot more time to learn Resolve!

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