An EXPLOSIVE, once in a lifetime Final Cut Pro X tutorial!

*Special thanks to FCP.co for posting the tutorial on their site!

This tutorial marks the beginning of kind of a crazy, exciting, and fun month for me. I’ll be on a bit of a homespun FCP X roadshow. I promise to make announcements as they occur.

In this video, you’ll learn about some of my logging techniques that I’ve employed on commercials and corporate documentaries. From building radio cuts to making sure scenes and takes are properly logged for an edit session, much of what you’ll see can also be applied to other types of projects. My hope is that you’ll learn a few tips and tricks and integrate these methods into your own work.

I look forward to the next few weeks and letting you all know what’s going on here at the hallowed halls of Garbershop. In the meantime, sit back, relax, and enjoy the FCP X tutorial goodness.

I Need an FCPX Editor!

I Need An FCPX Editor

Full disclosure: *I* actually don’t need an FCPX Editor. But my hope and guess is that there are lots of people out there who need a talented editor who knows FCP X but don’t really know where to look. So, I created two groups on Facebook: “I Need an FCPX Editor” and “I Need an FCPX Editor (Los Angeles)“.

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been privy to some very negative reactions to my mentioning that I use FCP X. These conversations were not heated and I just casually mentioned that I was working in X. Each conversation ended on the same abrupt note: the other person chose not to use X and their feelings were resolute. These conversations fueled my desire to create a place where people can post real work for editors.

My hope is that these two groups will begin to attract talent on both sides of the edit desk – producers, directors, coordinators, supervisors, editors, etc…  But, this only works if you are someone who is offering legitimate work and if you are a legitimate editor with real chops. I don’t want this to turn into a Craigslist jobs post site.

For now, the pages are set to private. That means anyone can join via request. Once the member list gets large enough, I’ll most likely change it to a secret group. But first, the group needs members. If you are a looking for an editor or are a skilled and talented editor using FCP X with broadcast, film, or corporate experience, please head over to FB and join the groups. We need your support!

The difference between frustration and creativity.

It’s been a busy month and I’m happy to be working on a couple of projects, one corporate and one in news. On the news front, I’m now doing something that I think all editors should take the time to do: have a pre-pro conversation with the D.P. / cameraperson.

I’ve shied way from doing this for any of the news stories I edit since there was always a division between the shooters in the field and post. Also, in the days of tape, there were rarely any questions to ask as everything was shot on digibeta.

As you all know by now, I’m an advocate for merging the two worlds that are production and post-production. I finally put my money where my mouth is.

No matter how much I think I know about cameras and post, I’m always reminded that there are so many codecs, cameras, drives and connectors out there. The pipeline can be a pretty complicated system. What you don’t know is the thing that will add a roadblock to getting your work done.

The best thing that came out of the conversation was realizing that my edit system was not the only important step in the data chain. We also need to consider the system that the producer uses. Knowing that means that they will not shoot at 1080 instead of 4K since the producer’s computer won’t support it. This is just another reminder that we editors need to get outside our suites every once in awhile and talk to the folks in the field.

Considering and determining your workflow before you hit record is the difference between frustration and creativity. I’m now looking forward to the upcoming edit with confidence in what the crew will deliver.

A broadcast commercial workflow that will make you go “Snausages!”

S’nerd (super nerd) that I am, I find this workflow to be really exciting. This method allows you to merge jam-synced second-source audio metadata (logged on-set by the sound recordist) with your video footage. If timecode is properly synchronized between sources, you can sync the sound to the picture AND merge the metadata in under 15 minutes. In this tutorial, I’m also making multiclips from the day’s shoot.

3rd party apps used in this vid, which I highly recommend for use with FCP X:

Intelligent Assistance Sync-N-Link X

X2Pro Audio Convert

Sound Devices Wave Agent (free)

One app I didn’t use in this workflow that I also recommend is Shot Notes X. It’s a really smart new utility that allows you to merge script notes with your shot footage. We tested using Shot Notes in conjunction with Sync N Link at NAB and, I’m happy to say, they all works brilliantly together.

This man had to choose between a Think Tank roller bag and a Tamrac roller bag. His final decision will ROCK YOUR WORLD.

Tamrac or Think Tank?I want to give a special shout out and thanks to Emm from CheesyCam for recommending the bag that I eventually purchased to carry my gear to NAB. I was going back and forth between the Tamrac 5797 roller backpack and the Think Tank Airport Takeoff. Both can be used as a roller and as a backpack. I ended up purchasing both of them to test them out with different setups. Each of these are excellent bags. In the end, I returned the Think Tank.

The Tamrac won out for me because of one feature – the top loading compartment. I think that this is a smart use of space for run ‘n’ gun shooting. Because of this, you don’t need to lay the bag down in order to take your camera out. I can roll it up to location, unzip it and get my camera out quickly. When you do need to lay the bag down, the flaps are small so they don’t take up extra floor space.

Additionally, I can fit a GH3 (soon to be GH4) with a Honu Fhugen cage inside the top compartment. I had difficulty figuring out a way to fit that same setup easily into the Think Tank Takeoff due to its straightforward flat design.

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NAB 2014 Post-Wrapup-Diary or “How to Attempt to Become a Greek Demogod”

What a crazy, insane, amazing week I had at NAB. I flew in last Saturday morning. Thanks to Alexis Van Hurkman’s recommendation, I stayed at Treasure Island. While there was no pirate theme in the room (bummer!), the rooms were comfortable and the rate was really affordable. It was perfectly located for my daily walk to the FCPWORKS private demo suite, where I spent the week showing off my work in FCP X.

Once settled, I walked over to the Wynn hotel’s buffet and stuffed my gullet along with Sam Mestman and his dad Steve (hi, Steve!). A few hours later, we were off and running, setting up this slick suite on the 26th floor of the Wynn.

FCPWORKS Suite view at the Wynn

Forty-eight hours, one Quantum SAN and nine Mac Pro/iMac edit stations later, Sam, Darren Roark and I were ready to start demoing.

On Sunday, Scott Simmons from Pro Video Coalition showed up to interview us. Can you tell I was a bit awe struck?

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Sometimes, the editor gets to speak…

Huell in Poppies

Here’s an interview I did with a local radio station last weekend at the premiere of a documentary about Huell Howser. Huell is a bit of a California icon for those not from The Golden State. I edited about 500 shows with him during the 8 years we worked together. Part of what got me the job was showing off real time color correction in FCP 4.5.

Well, 10 years later, I’ll be demoing real time color correction and lots more cool stuff in FCP X for FCPWORKS next week at NAB. Hope to see some of you there! Sign up for appointments here

Come visit FCPWORKS and me at NAB!

Wynn_FCPWORKS_Las_Vegas

NAB is going to be very exciting this year with all the 4K products surely to be announced. I’ll be demoing a smörgåsbord of FCP X workflows with FCPWORKS at the Wynn next week. The sign-up info can be found HERE. http://www.fcpworks.com/nab-final-cut-pro-x-demo-suite/

Along with fellow FCP X gurus Philip Hodgetts, Sam Mestman, and Darren Roarke, we’ll be demoing broadcast, doc, news, & feature film workflows in the suite. Look forward to seeing you there!

“Amazing” documentary about Huell Howser, “A Golden State of Mind”

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Full disclosure: I had the opportunity to be interviewed for a documentary about the career of one of my clients, Huell Howser. So, if you think my review of this documentary is a little shaded, then you are completely right!

If you don’t know who Huell was (he passed away in January of 2013), then I recommend checking out the Huell Howser Archive or just by googling his name. He was a boisterous figure who interviewed countless numbers of California’s residents about their lives, history, and story. Continue reading

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