Cutting Neil’s Puppet Dreams

Today I wanted to eat up some time by writing about my experience cutting Neil’s Puppet Dreams for the Nerdist channel and Henson Alternative. So here goes nothing. I have been curious about how other people get their jobs, how they work to cut their pieces and how it all comes together as I have been learning and cutting more and more so I hope this does someone a benefit.

Getting the job to edit Neil’s Puppet Dreams started about a year before I got the footage on a drive. That’s because it started with a connection I already had. My producer from Yo Gabba Gabba! felt that because of my experience in cutting notes with directors over e-mail, having my own system (I cut at home for YGG now so I could come home and put my kids to bed) and my “OCD” nature with handing shots off to VFX people (I kind of went over the top and made a google doc for each episode, treating each shot respectively and while it was over the top, we got the job done)..(take a breath sorry for this huge sentence)… that I would be a good fit for this project. While we had Neil Patrick Harris, it wasn’t a large blockbuster project. While it wasn’t a free project, it wasn’t a union project, but I like to do projects for the experience and because they are fun when I can pay the bills.

Rita sent me the scripts to the shorts without telling me who was attached to the project and I read them through to make sure it was a project I was interested in doing. I think she did this to see if I could do it for passion over profit. I accepted and we moved forward. It was when I read the scripts that I finally figured out that it was Neil Patrick Harris so I then decided to go for it and commit, as it would help my reel in terms of “star power” and cutting narrative shorts with a good amount of VFX.

Fitdesk Review

I recently was sent the FitDesk to review. I love biking and have some how let it get away from me as I have found myself getting glued to the computer and stuck in the edit bay, whether it be at home or at the office. When I got the bike, I put it together immediately. It didn’t take long and it was pretty easy. So I wouldn’t be concerned with that.

After the bike was put together I put my big 17″ laptop on it and got some gym shorts on (not necessarily in that

Sending a FCP Sequence to After Effects Free

One of the great perks of working with a new group of people is learning a new set of tricks. Many thanks to Jordan Kim who showed me this wonderful After Effects script called Popcorn Island that I can use as an alternative to Boris Transfer or Automatic Duck. Here is a video on how I have used Popcorn Island. It’s pretty simple. Popcorn Island (download and learn the rest here) will show you how to use their After Effects script (it’s a lengthy video, so I have provided my own if you can install the script file yourself).

 

 

“I haven’t seen that shot yet” and other problems with a bad assistant editor

A little while ago, I was going through some footage of a really cool scene with some guest stars and a really cool set. I cut the scene together and something felt kind of lop-sided. The director came in and took a look at the footage and right away noticed that only one angle of the scene was being used in the edit.

On this show, it was not uncommon for the crew to shoot some takes with both angles and only camera on others, so at first it didn’t alarm me. However, if I had looked at the lined script more closely, I would have noticed right away that the footage was missing it’s equal pair.

We checked the on site and off site backups. It was gone.

Sticking to the “old”

For the past few months I have been working at “Yo Gabba Gabba!” on Season 4 as one of the in house editors. It’s been very interesting to be on the show. One thing that you forget about while being on staff at a place is what is going on in “the outside world.” I just realized today that Avid has their big announcement/webcast tomorrow and just signed up.

We are using Mac Pros that are a few years old; they work just fine.

Some of our machines are using FCP 6; it works just fine.

Ditch the Hype

One of my biggest gripes with the industry is hype.

While hype can motivate an individual to do a good job, to take action or to do something noteworthy, in my opinion, hype causes a lot more stress in the workplace than it is worth.

On most of the projects I have been on, when we have a deadline and we aren’t sure what kind of footage we will get from production, there tends to be a lot of hype. When I say hype, I mean the worrying, the stressing and the emotional disaster that comes from the fear of the unknown.

I’m guilty of this myself, but I notice when I tell myself “whatever it is, it will be fine” we usually get out at a decent hour and we have good results. Too much hype can lead to rushing, doing work improperly and not backing up correctly. Building your editorial staff’s confidence by going over workflows in downtime, experimenting ideas or running tests is what should be going on, not overthinking the amount of work.