Why I Love Clip Colors

ClipColorI love the clip colors feature in Avid Media Composer. It is so helpful. If you haven’t ever used it to its advantage, check it out.

From the hamburger menu in the bottom left corner of the timeline, select clip color. You have several options. The ones I use the most are HD/SD and offline.

I have this sample project open. It’s an SD project so I changed the settings to 1080 (HD) and then I turn on the HD/SD setting in the clip color. I can now see all of the titles stay one color and the clips become highlighted in yellow.

Shots I’d Use: The Killers Live at the Royal Albert Hall

In the off chance that a DP asks me before he goes off to a shoot what kind of footage I would like, I always answer lots of coverage and points of view that I wouldn’t be able to see with my own eyes. I think this is the difference between a DP that can bring quality to your video and one that can’t. It’s easy to shoot what we can see with our own eyes, but the ones that can find something else, something we don’t see or normally notice, those are the ones I love to work with.

An example I will use is from The Killers new Blu-Ray/DVD from the 2nd track “This is Your Life.” The video is directed by Dick Carruthers, who has a great background of live concert DVDs. It is a fantastic live concert, I’d highly recommend in for your HDTV setup and Blu Ray collection. Some of the shots are a tad fast for me, I end up wanting more. That may be because I’ve been to a couple of The Killers shows though.

Growing Up Hockey

I was the associate producer and editor of a new documentary, Growing Up Hockey. Garrett Smith, our awesome motion graphics artist, gave it a great look. Our premier sound designer and sweetener Nathan Hoffman touched it up as well.

The documentary goes through several factors in the hockey world such as getting over criticism from coaches, parents and others, making the cut, getting to the next level, adding mental toughness and more. It features interviews from Olympians, NHL All Stars, Stanley Cup Champions, NCAA championship coaches, NHL psychologists and NHL broadcasters.

An Experience with Final Cut Pro, After Effects and Gamma Issues

I’ve put off writing this entry for about three weeks because it was such an awful experience for me. I just finished a documentary and for the SEO sake of it I will refer to it as Hockey Doc. Overall it was a great experience. I finished the edit, locked picture and sent it off to Technicolor to get colored. It comes back, looks great and I plug in the newly colored version into my sequence. While editing the project I created these left or right third graphics that gave biographic information on each of the players, coaches and the others interviewed. So I took the raw file (before color correction mind you) from Final Cut Pro, exported the 7-10 second clip, imported it into After Effects, animated the clip in and out (see the example below) and then spit it back into my Final Cut Pro project.

It all seemed to work really well. That wasn’t the case though.

I got my colored version back, spit the new color corrected versions back into my After Effects compositions and then exported again. I rendered for DVD output using compressor. I burned a master DVD of the project in DVD Studio Pro. It should have just worked, right? Well it didn’t. The color of the After Effects clips would change slightly, becoming a little darker. The graphics also did not slide smoothly across the screen either way. Now normally I would spend a lot more time trying to fix the problem, but I had a deadline. This was on a Tuesday and it needed to be back in Valencia, California on a Thursday morning at the latest. I ended up staying awake until 4 AM trying to figure the issues. Here are a few steps I tried.

Don’t Think I Don’t Watch My Footage

Bryce: Every once in a while I find myself a tad bored in a project, so I look through my footage for an answer. And then there is a clip. A fun clip. Not because of the footage, but because I listen to the hilarious off-camera conversation between the DP, director, and/or other people involved on set. While freelancing on a recent project, I caught our director talking with Cole Webley (our DP) about another editor on the show. That editor is Mark Gillins, our production manager and editor with Post Fifth Pictures.

Mark is joining me on this post to give us some background. Tell us a little bit about the background context of this conversation and a little bit about the director.

Mark:

I Will Judge You By Your Sequence

This is the sequence that inspired my post. It isn't the worst I have ever seen, but you get the idea.
This is the sequence that inspired my post. I should add that there is no compositing on this timeline and most of the titles are included in the after effects rendered movie files. It isn't the worst I have ever seen, but you get the idea.

As a freelance business, I visit many offices from which I have received a problematic phone call. “Our in house editor is sick/vacation/doesn’t work here anymore/gave up/ran away and we need someone to come fix, um, I meant finish our production/broadcast/video for us.”

Learning on Avid and Final Cut Pro nearly at the same time taught me a very important lesson about video tracks. Get rid of them. If your show is going to color correction especially you don’t want to send an EDL to the colorist with 6 tracks of video with 70% clips that don’t need color. It’s a bad habit.

Death Row Dogs

Approached by Brandon McMillian, host of NIGHT on Animal Planet, Bryce Randle cut a small demo for a new show aimed at documentary friendly networks. The demo was shown to full scale production companies and because of the work with Post Fifth Pictures, Brandon succeeded at getting a pilot created for a new show, Death Row Dogs.

Death Row Dogs from Post Fifth Pictures on Vimeo.