Tag Archives: Media Composer

Avid at IBC with new post workflows based on MediaCentral 

At IBC2017, Avid introduced new MediaCentral solutions for post production. Dubbed MediaCentral for Post, the solutions integrate Media Composer video editing software with a new collaborative asset management module, new video I/O hardware and Avid Nexis software-defined storage.

MediaCentral for Post is a scalable solution for small and mid-sized creative teams to enhance collaboration and deliver their best work faster, as well as to work more efficiently with 4K and other demanding formats. Avid collected feedback from working editors while developing a collaborative workflow that goes beyond bin locking and project sharing to include integrated storage, editing, I/O acceleration and media management.

Besides Media Composer, MediaCentral solutions for post integrate Avid’s products in a single, open platform that includes:

• MediaCentral Editorial Management is new media asset management tool that enables everyone in a creative organization to collaborate in secure, reliable and simply configured media workflows from a web browser. MediaCentral Editorial Management gives a view into an entire organization’s media assets. Without needing a an NLE, assistants and producers can ingest files, create bins, add locators and metadata, create subclips and perform other asset management tasks — all from a simple browser interface. Users can collaborate using the new MediaCentral Panel for Media Composer, which provides direct access to MediaCentral content right in the Media Composer interface.

• MediaCentral Cloud UX, is an easy-to-use and task-oriented graphical user interface that runs on any OS or mobile device, and is available to everyone connected to the platform. Creative team members can easily collaborate with each other from wherever they are.

• The Artist DNxIVvideo interface offers a wide range of analog and digital I/O to plug into diverse media productions. It works with a broad spectrum of Avid and third-party video editing, audio, visual effects and graphics software.

• The MediaCentral Panel for Media Composer within the Media Composer user interface enables users to see media outside of their active project as well as drag and drop assets from MediaCentral directly into any Media Composer project, bin or sequence.

• Avid Nexis Pro now scales to 160 terabytes – twice its previous capacity – to give small post facilities the ease-of-use, security and performance advantages that larger Avid Nexis customers have access to. Avid Nexis E2 now supports SSD drives to deliver the extreme performance required when working with multiple streams of ultra-high-resolution media in real time. Additionally, Avid Nexis Enterprise now leverages 100 terabyte media packs to scale up to 4.8 petabytes.

Kabir Akhtar: Editing The CW series ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’

By Randi Altman

When Kabir Akhtar, ACE, who cut season one of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, got the itch to start editing, he didn’t even know that what he was doing was actually editing… he was just having some fun. In high school, Akhtar would use his computer, multiple tape decks and stereos to record and mix different songs, creating mash-ups, remixes and even musical voicemail messages. An editor was born!

After moving out to LA and paying his dues working on unscripted and music video shows, Akhtar went on to earn one Emmy nomination for editing the Billy Crystal opening sequence from the 2012 Academy Awards broadcast and another (along with frequent collaborator AJ Dickerson) for his work on Netflix’s Arrested Development in 2013.

With an editing resume that now also includes New Girl, The Daily Show and Behind the Music, Akhtar took on directing (the pilot episode of the MTV series 8th & Ocean, Unsolved Mysteries, the Billy Crystal/Melissa McCarthy opening for the 2012 Oscars, and the TV Diaries pilot for Fox) and garnered an associate producer title on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.

This Penn graduate, who went on to film school at the University of Miami, knew all along that he wanted to work in scripted television. “I moved out here to get involved in narrative filmmaking and storytelling, and I felt very strongly that until I got a job doing that, I wasn’t going to stay at another job very long.”

Akhtar also knew he didn’t want to do the same job for years at a time. He was young and wanted to have different experiences that allowed him to meet different people. “I think I intentionally avoided having a steady gig for a very long time because as I moved from one job to another, I continued to build a network of contacts and people that I liked working with. I got more experience and more credits, which I think served me well in those early years. Others like the financial security that comes with having a steady job. I know my path is not for everybody.”

Akhtar still works freelance, too. In fact, while on hiatus from The CW’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, he cut the pilot for Speechless for ABC, which just got picked up.

Let’s dig in a bit deeper with Akhtar and find out more about what led him to this quirky TV series, which is a one-hour musical comedy.

When did you get involved on the show, and what’s your workflow like?
I edited the pilot, which was a half-hour show, in the fall of 2014. We thought we made a great show, but Showtime passed. The good news was it was shopped around to other networks and got a pick-up at The CW. They turned it into a one-hour show, which was such a unique thing because nobody was making a one-hour musical comedy.

You have cut traditional half-hour comedies in the past, how was this different?
When the show became a one-hour, it gave us the opportunity to do more dramatic storytelling in addition to the comedy. In half-hours, you’re moving really fast to try to tell a story and land jokes, but with a one-hour you have time to dig into supporting characters’ stories and have more built-out emotional scenes. We can take the time to land emotions instead of just being in a race to get X number of jokes out every minute.

How does that affect the way that you edit? Do you let a reaction go a little bit longer? Do you let a joke sit longer?
The thing that helps the most is that our writers don’t overwrite the show. My first cut will usually only be a few minutes over, and at the end we’re rarely stuck with a show that’s more than a minute over, which is great. It’s the worst when you get a show down to the end, to a deadline, and you’re still 30 seconds over and you have to take out a joke that everybody likes.

Doing Arrested Development for Netflix, we didn’t have those parameters. With a network show, you have to deliver a show exactly to time, but for Netflix (like some cable networks), we didn’t have to hit a specific runtime per episode, so we never had to lose a joke or a story point “for time.”

Kabir Akhtar and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend star Rachel Bloom the day after she won her Golden Globe.

How much footage do you have for one episode?
For each one-hour episode, we shoot seven days. That includes two or three musical numbers, which are essentially music videos. Like all scripted shows, we have one day of editing for every day of footage that comes in, plus another two or three days to get a first cut together (but with us it’s typically been two).

Because we’re a one-hour show, the directors come in after my first cut, and they get four days. We work with our producers, and then we go to the studio, then to the network, then we lock the show.

What about cutting the musical numbers?
I switched to a standing desk a few years ago, and that makes it a lot easier to cut music, because I will inevitably end up dancing along as I’m cutting. I’m convinced that it helps. I started my career cutting so much music, so I’ve always loved doing it. To have the opportunity to be cutting musical numbers, comedy scenes and some dramatic scenes for one show is so much fun.

Would you like to share your philosophy of editing?
Attitude-wise, it’s about protecting the show, I really believe that’s job one.

What about technically?
I have a workflow that I believe is different than most editors. I think many editors do a first cut of each scene as it comes in. Then, at the end of dailies, they glue the show together. I am not good at that at all.

What’s your process?
When I get a scene, my assistant editor Kyla Plewes and I will work with the Script Windows in Avid Media Composer — it allows you to very quickly pick through takes and performances, and it’s opened up the amount of options you have in the limited time that you have. I’ll go through a scene left to right and start to frame it out to get it shaped right. As I’m going through, I feel like I’m too close to it. My eyes are right up against every detail in the frame, like continuity issues and the smallest nuances of performance.

I’ll start with a clean take for line one and then have a different take for the second line, and then I’ll realize it didn’t work so I’ll try that first take again and try another take for that second line — I’m intentionally making mistakes over and over to stay open to finding something great by riffing, and I just keep making copies in a sequence. I don’t delete any of the stuff I’m doing, I keep making a giant mess, like putting all the Legos together, except I have a copy of each Lego. Eventually, I find pieces that click together a way that feels right and work my way across the whole scene that way.

When I get to the end, I’ve figured out the connective tissue and I have many copies of all of the individual pieces, but I’ve no idea how they go together. I have piles of connected Legos, alt versions of selected takes, but not a finished sequence. Again, because I feel I’m too close to it, having just done it, I put it away and start the next scene. Then I come back to it at the end of dailies, about a week later, and it all makes perfect sense… the pieces that want to be in the show flow and stand out immediately. By then I’ve seen all the footage for the whole show and I can gauge accurately how best to tell the story we’re trying to tell.

Can you talk about assistant editors and how they fit into the mix?
When you have a good AE, it’s really important to give them opportunities to get better at cutting or at working with people. I don’t know how you’re going to learn otherwise. I think everyone is looking for someone above us to give us an opportunity. I can’t tell you how much easier it makes working on a show when you’ve got a great assistant. I think I had years of working on shows with no AEs at all.

Our lead assistant editor on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Kyla, works on the side editing online content, which I think is the way to go these days in terms of growing your editing skills.

If you want to keep learning your craft you have to find things to edit, right?
Yeah, I went the path of editing, editing, editing, editing. The only two jobs I’ve ever had are editing and directing. Going the AE route, you might get an episode to edit on a show that you’ve been working on. But that can also be tough, because the people you’re working for still see you as an assistant editor. It can be difficult to change people’s perceptions of you if you’re staying at one job for a long time. Also, if that’s your first editing credit, it can be a lot of pressure and there’s not a lot of room to fail without consequences.

I feel pretty fortunate that my first jobs were lower profile projects. I certainly made large mistakes, like delivering a show out of phase once. But I was working for such a small company, luckily I didn’t get fired.

You have to make mistakes to learn as you go, I imagine?
You work your way up to these bigger things. It’s bad to deliver a show out of phase, but it’s way worse to do that if your first one of those is on a big multi-million-dollar episode. Everybody fails; you have to fail to grow. I’m still doing both — but hopefully more growing than failing.

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Main Image: Kabir Akhtar and Rachel Bloom after hearing about her Golden Globe nomination for her performance on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.

Boris FX’s BCC 10 for Avid Media Composer

By Brady Betzel

I love plug-ins — Video CoPilot’s Element 3D, Red Giant’s Universe, Neat Video’s Noise Reduction and many more. There are some pros who like to pretend that they are too good for plug-ins or consider the use of plug-ins a crutch, but not this guy. I love them! Plug-ins make my job easier and more efficient.

Time is money and when you are doing something by hand that can be done faster by using a plug-in, you are wasting time and money — your client’s money and your time, which could be spent with family and friends.

I don’t always love the products I review, but I do love this one, so prepare yourself — I’m going to rave over Boris FX’s latest update to their BCC collection: Boris Continuum Complete v10. It even had an update to v10.01 last week, offering improved 4K handling, overall render speed improvements and — an important one for me —optimization of Avid project size when BCC AVX filters are applied.

Mocha Within Avid
The BCC v10 update is the biggest and most complete update to BCC that I have seen. I say that because in 2014 Boris FX acquired Imagineer Systems, the maker of the magical Mocha planar tracking software. When I first heard this news I almost jumped out of my skin, mainly because tracking inside of Avid’s Media Composer is lacking. And while Media Composer’s point tracker is appropriate for some circumstances, one thing it does not have is backwards tracking. Luckily for us Avid users, Mocha is now integrated into Avid via the BCC 10 highway… streamers and confetti should pop out of your computer after reading that sentence.

So what does Mocha mean for the everyday editor? Well, it allows for a much tighter tracker inside of Media Composer. Furthermore, if you use effects like Gaussian blur or the new BCC Beauty Studio, you can apply the Mocha tracking data inside of each effect in the effects editor. For example, if you are editing an interview featuring a person with less-than-perfect skin and the producer or director wants to fix that, you can… and pretty quickly. Yes, I know there are ways to do this for free using some sweet luminance mattes and maybe a slight blur on certain color channels, but, let’s be real, that might take hours, not to mention trying to track the facial movements, as well as erasing the teeth and eyes from the aforementioned stack of effects.

Once you apply Beauty Studio you can launch Mocha from within the effects editor inside of Media Composer, track the entire head shape with X Splines (or B Splines), track the eyes and possibly mouth to create your subtract (erase) layers, CTRL + Q or Command + Q on a Mac to quit Mocha, see your settings applied in Media Composer and, magically, you have a subject with smooth and appealing skin.

You should take that last paragraph with a little grain of salt, because while it is “easy” to accomplish this with the help of Mocha and BCC 10, there is a moderate learning curve, and sometimes there will be a large render time involved. My suggestion is to watch and read everything Mary Poplin does — she is on Twitter @MaryPoplin and on Imagineer System’s website with some excellent video tutorials. One tip, even if you think a certain video is too long or might not be exactly what you are looking to learn, Mary always finds a way to drop a bazillion tips into every video.

Another personal favorite tutorial creator is Kevin P. McAuliffe; he makes all sorts of great videos, but one I saw recently was how to easily make a scrolling credit bed in Media Composer with the help of the new BCC 10 Title Studio. You can also follow him on Twitter @KPMcAuliffe.

While BCC makes it fast and relatively easy to do things like key a greenscreen or make someone beautiful, it all comes at a price, and usually that price is rendering. I typically only render things I can’t view in realtime or really need to see play out in realtime, otherwise I will save my renders for when I am sleeping.

Other Updates
So what else is new and what is still great in BCC 10 besides the amazing Mocha integration you ask? I will quickly go over my favorites in the next few paragraphs.

Under the “Still Great” category is Chroma Key Studio. While this was released in BCC 9 I can’t say enough about it. If you’ve used SpectraMatte to death and can’t quite get a great key, you need to throw on BCC Chroma Key Studio, which is under the BCC Key and Blend heading. In the Effects Editor, change the view to source, sample the green and, usually, you are halfway home. I will dial in the density and Matte Cleanup settings first — think Clip Black and Clip White from Keylight inside of After Effects — then mess with the Light Wrap and Matte Choker settings until I can get it dialed in.

When I have a particularly poorly lit or uneven greenscreen behind the subject, I sometimes use the Pre-Key Cleanup to help even out the greenscreen color to sample from. I may even jump into my secondary color correctors in Symphony — isolate the green I want to smooth out, widen my input vector’s hue width to capture all of the offending greens I can, dial in a few other settings and dial my output vector to taste. From there you are usually good to go, but if you are still having trouble with motion blur or green creeping into those dreaded fingers waving, you can jump into BCC Image Restoration and apply BCC Noise Reduction on your base layer. Be careful though because this will add a tremendous amount of render time, and you will definitely need an overnight render.

Under the “What’s New” heading, I really love Boris FX’s BCC Remover located under Image Restoration; it’s basically a clone tool with the added ability to track using Mocha for your tracking and mattes. I use this constantly.

It’s as simple as watching a few Mary Poplin tutorials on how to use Mocha’s X or B splines to draw your masks. Then track, using the Uber key to adjust your track without adjusting your keyframes — or individually adjust your keyframes if you want — then quit, save out of Mocha and, finally, adjust your clone settings inside of Media Composer’s Effect Editor. You can choose from a few different fill types like auto-fill or clone. I have actually had success by just using BCC’s auto-fill with no additional adjustments necessary.

One thing that is not as obvious as I would like is that when you use Mocha and want to feather your mask, you need to twirl down Pixel Chooser Mask/Mocha to find it.

Video Glitch

I also love the BCC Light Leaks and Video Glitch plug-ins. You can use these for transitions or just throw them over your footage to give an instant flare to your footage. If you’ve read my previous reviews, you know how much I love Rampant Design Tools. They offer some great high-quality tools, such as light leaks and grunge. If you are a light leak or grunge enthusiast and can’t find the right color or flow, then BCC 10’s Light Leaks or Video Glitch are for you. Immediately you can add the BCC Light Leaks effect (located in BCC Lights) or Video Glitch (under BCC Stylize), click on Show FX browser in the effect editor and sample different looks over the footage in your timeline.

Another warning here, while you can preview the presets over your footage in your timeline it does have to “cache,” so the first time your clip will play it will be slowly and with a stutter (think After Effects “realtime” rendering).

Share, Share, That’s Fair
A very cool thing in the new Boris FX Browser is the ability to view presets other people have made or sent you via email. This is cool, so stay with me. If you work in a networked editing environment, such as through an ISIS, then you most likely have a bunch of editors making all sorts of effects. If you’re an assistant editor, polishing editor, finishing editor, online editor or whatever title leads you to be in charge of a look of a show, the ability to share plug-ins and presets is critical.

BCC 10 has the ability to easily share and preview presets from different systems. In fact, you could have a folder of BCC presets on the ISIS that can either be copied locally or kept on the network drive to be shared by all. My suggestion would be to copy locally if you can and have someone update those presets on each system when needed, but what do I know? Anyway, you can find the presets on the system level under Program Files > Boris FX, Inc, BCC Presets 10 AVX.

Beauty Studio
The last plug-in I want to talk about was the already mentioned BCC Beauty Studio, located in BCC Image Restoration. Remember earlier when I mentioned the interview subject with less-than-perfect skin who could use a little touch up?

I especially like to use this in conjunction with Mocha to track facial movement and eliminate as much of the “beauty studio look” that I can by containing only the face or problem area. This plug-in does work with the presets, but again let’s be real, you should never accept a preset as the final version of your work — we can have the philosophical discussion of how a preset is not technically your work on Twitter if you want. Tweet me @allbetzroff.

Also, every person’s skin texture, scene lighting and even color temperature can change drastically between set-ups, so one preset might not work for another set-up. Basically, what I’m saying is you will need to learn this tool, and to do so I recommend searching through the tutorials and watching something like this. Do a little noodling and elevate your skills.

Over the years I’ve noticed that editors typically get to choose between two sets of plug-ins when working in Avid: GenArt’s Sapphire or Boris FX BCC — unless you are super lucky and get to have both. At this moment I really love what Boris FX has to offer, which is a high-end tracking solution, not to mention all the other features.

In overall value, it’s very hard to beat BCC 10 for Avid, Adobe, or any OFX-supported app like Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve. (Currently, Boris FX BCC 9 is compatible with Resolve, but 10 is supposed to be released any day now).

The multi-host license — good for Adobe, Avid, FCP X and OFX supported platforms like Resolve and Sony’s Vegas Pro — will cost $1,995 for the full install package, and $695 for just the upgrade from v9. If you want to rent the multi-host version it will cost $595/year. The individual app licenses look like this:
Avid $1,695/Full – $595/Upgrade
Adobe $995/Full – $295/Upgrade
FCPX/Motion $695/Full – $195/Upgrade
OFX (Resolve) $695/Full
OFX (Sony) $695/Full — $195/Upgrade

BCC-10_TITLESTUDIO USE

Title Studio

Summing Up
It’s hard to cover Boris FX’s BCC 10 in just 1,000 words, but to sum up, I love it! So much so that I would recommend it to everyone out there working in Media Composer and Symphony.

Heck, I didn’t even cover the awesome feature of importing Maxon Cinema 4D models into the BCC Title Studio. Of course, you need to spend some time to figure out the intricacies of Mocha tracking as well as what each parameter does inside of the Chroma Key Studio, but luckily you have a great set of tutorials on the BorisFX.com website to get you up to speed.

If I could wish for one feature request, it would be the ability to easily take any Mocha work you did in one BCC plug-in, such as a Gaussian blur, and apply it to another, such as BCC Remover or BCC Composite. At the moment you need to export/copy the data from Mocha and load it in the plug-in you want to use it in. That solution works, but it would be nice to have a seamless way to move your tracking data.

Brady Betzel is an online editor at Margarita Mix in Hollywood. Previously, he was editing The Real World at Bunim-Murray Productions. You can email Brady at bradybetzel@gmail.com, and follow him on Twitter, @allbetzroff.

Bandito Brothers: picking tools that fit their workflow

Los Angeles-based post, production and distribution company Bandito Brothers is known for its work on feature films such as Need for Speed, Act of Valor and Dust to Glory. They provide a variety of services — from shooting to post to visual effects — for spots, TV, films and other types of projects.

Lance Holte in the company’s broadcast color by working on DaVinci Resolve 12.

They are also known in our world for their Adobe-based workflows, using Premiere and After Effects in particular. But that’s not all they are. Recently, Bandito invested in Avid’s new Avid ISIS|1000 shared storage system to help them work more collaboratively with very large and difficult-to-play files across all editing applications. The system — part of the Avid MediaCentral Platform— allows Bandito’s creative teams to collaborate efficiently regardless of which editing application they use.

“We’ve been using Media Composer since 2009, although our workflows and infrastructure have always been built around Premiere,” explains Lance Holte, senior director of post production, Bandito Brothers. “We tend to use Media Composer for offline editorial on projects that require more than a few editors/assistants to be working in the same project since Avid bin-locking in one project is a lot simpler than breaking a feature into 200 different scene-based Premiere projects.

“That said, almost every project we cut in Avid is conformed and finished in Premiere, and many projects — that only require two or three editors/assistants, or require a really quick turnaround time, or have a lot of After Effects-specific VFX work — are cut in Premiere. The major reason that we’ve partnered with Avid on their new shared storage is because it works really well with the Adobe suite and can handle a number of different editorial workflows.”

MixStage             
Bandito’s Mix Stage                                                         Bandito’s Edit 4.

He says the ISIS | 1000 gives them the collaborative power to share projects across a wide range of tools and staff, and to complete projects in less time. “The fact that it’s software-agnostic means everyone can use the right tools for the job, and we don’t need to have several different servers with different projects and workflows,” says Holte.

Bandito Brothers’ ISIS|1000 system is accessible from three separate buildings at its Los Angeles campus — for music, post production and finishing. Editors can access plates being worked on by its on-site visual effects company, or copy over an AAF or OMF file for the sound team to open in Avid Pro Tools in their shared workspace.

“Bandito uses Pro Tools for mixing, which also makes the ISIS|1000 handy, since we can quickly movie media between mix and editorial anywhere across the campus,” concludes Holte.

Currently, Bandito Brothers is working on a documentary called EDM, as well as commercial campaigns for Audi, Budweiser and Red Bull.

Bluefish444 intros Epoch 4K Neutron Turbo cards, bundles with Scratch

Bluefish444 is offering its Epoch 4K Neutron Turbo high-bandwidth SDI video I/O card, which brings video formats to the Epoch 4K Neutron range that accommodate 4K/2K high-bandwidth workflows. Introduced at the 2015 NAB Show, Epoch 4K Neutron Turbo features Quad Link 3G SDI, 3G/1.5G/SD SDI input or output, 4K/2K/HD/SD HDMI preview, 4K/UHD high-frame-rate 50/59/60 fps SDI, tri/bilevel genlock, eight channels of AES/EBU audio input and output, two channels of analog audio monitoring output, RS422 machine control and auxiliary genlock connection.

The company has created an upgrade path for existing Epoch 4K Neutron customers who do not initially need the Turbo’s advanced 4K/2K video mode support. Those customers can buy the Epoch 4K Neutron Turbo upgrade board anytime within two years of purchasing their Epoch 4K Neutron video cards. Epoch 4K Neutron Turbo and the Epoch 4K Neutron Turbo upgrade boards are compatible with both the Bluefish444 cross-platform SDK and the Bluefish444 retail installer, which supports popular Bluefish444 and third-party software.

In related news, Bluefish444 announced the immediate availability of an Epoch 4K Neutron and Assimilate Scratch v8 software bundle.

For the bundle, Bluefish444 has redesigned the Epoch 4K Neutron card with a low-profile, half-height form factor to integrate into a wide range of chassis, from low-profile servers to small-form-factor computers to low-profile Thunderbolt expansion chassis. The full-height shield option allows for integration in more traditional workstation computers and provides additional I/O requirements, such as AES/EBU, RS422 machine control, and domestic analog audio monitoring. Epoch 4K Neutron supports 3G SDI I/O configurations for 4K SDI workflows. An HDMI mini connector provides a lower cost 4K/2K/HD/SD HDMI monitoring preview and allows for color-critical monitoring on consumer HDMI displays supporting Deep Color.

Epoch 4K Neutron supports Scratch v8 features such as 4K 30fps HDMI monitoring, 8-bit/10-bit/12-bit SDI monitoring, 4K/2K/HD/SD mastering and monitoring, stereoscopic SDI output, 12-bit-precision color-space conversions, and many more. The Epoch 4K Neutron Turbo upgrade path enables previews of 4K 48/50/59/60 fps SDI signals and stereoscopic 2K/HD 60 fps 12-bit SDI signals.

In Related News
Also at NAB, Bluefish444 announced it has added support for greater-than-HD video formats in Avid Media Composer 8.3, enabling advanced SDI/HDMI video output with Epoch 4K Neutron Turbo, the Epoch 4K Neutron range, and the Epoch 4K Supernova/S+ range of video cards. At the same time, the company has developed support for Avid Pro Tools 12, enabling video output with Epoch 4K Neutron, Epoch Neutron, and the Epoch 4K Supernova range of video cards. SDI and HDMI video preview capability will enable audio editing with real-time, synchronized video on pro displays and projectors. A free software upgrade for Avid Media Composer 8.3 users and a free driver upgrade for Avid Pro Tools 12 users will both be available from the Bluefish444 website in the second quarter of 2015.

Finally, Bluefish444 will support the latest updates to Adobe Creative Cloud when it becomes available in spring 2015.

Review: GenArts Sapphire 8

The newest version of this suite of plug-ins and presets

By Brady Betzel

Over the past year or so we’ve seen an explosion in the preset and plug-in world, offering users a variety of options regardless of their budget. For example, there is Red Giant’s Universe and Boris FX’s BCC 9 suite — both offer tons of powerful plug-ins and presets that can take any project from mediocre to awesome with a few mouse clicks and some creative thinking.

Red Giant offers a variety of ways to use the program: there is a “light” version of Universe that’s free, or you can pay $10 monthly, $99 yearly or $399 for a lifetime of updates. Boris FX BCC 9 ranges in price from $695 to $1,995, depending on the Continue reading

Behind the Title: Fluid editor John Piccolo

NAME: John Piccolo (@editfishcook)

COMPANY:  New York City’s Fluid (@fluidny), which has offices in Los Angeles as well

CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR COMPANY?
What I love about Fluid is that we are a one-stop shop. If I’m editing a spot that needs graphics, music, sound design or visual effects, I often team up with my co-workers to bring rough cuts and final cuts to new and, sometimes, unexpected levels.

WHAT’S YOUR JOB TITLE?
Editor

WHAT DOES THAT ENTAIL?
Visual storytelling. It’s always exciting when a director or creative sees their vision pieced Continue reading

Cut+Run helps man meet rasta dog in new Dr. Pepper spot

Cut+Run’s Steve Gandolfi recently edited a commercial for Dr. Pepper out of agency Deutsch LA and directed by Imperial Woodpecker’s Simon McQuiod. Mop Dog tells the tale of unlikely love story between a Dr. Pepper delivery driver and a dreadlocked dog in need of a home.

The spot begins by giving viewers a glimpse into this dog’s lonely life on the streets. He wanders over train tracks and through a town, stopping for a minute to look at a mop in a window… something the pooch seems to relate to more than the well-groomed dogs he sees being walked on the street by their owners.

Continue reading

Jonathan Moser shares tips for Media Composer users

Long-time video editor Jonathan Moser, who has worked on such shows as Deadly Sins, American Gladiators, Dateline NBC and Making The Band, was recently kind enough to share some tips that he employs while cutting on Avid’s Media Composer. While also versed on Final Cut Pro, Moser calls Media Composer home.

1) When coloring clips in a bin for identifying, right/alt click on the color icon in the bin (which will open up the full range of the color palette rather than the measly 16 choices you get with the drop down Edit/Set Clip Color.)

2) I use an email folder called Avid to keep various iterations of clip formats with labels with all my tracks given specific names: ie: Audio 1 is NATSOT1, Audio 2 is NATSOT2, Video track 3 might Continue reading