Alright so it's been well over a year since I made an entry. Work got in the way and most of the things I wanted to say became outdated with new versions of software. So for now I'm retiring the blog. Feel free to email me with questions or suggestions and check out my work section to see what I've been up to. Thanks for reading.
We've gotten some great reviews and are currently rated Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes so check out our movie and give us a rating!
And special shout-out to Haley Thompson who cuts an excellent trailer! Hire her for all your editing needs!
Current status: cutting a movie.
Coming soon, Fits And Starts is a comedy about a struggling writer dealing with his wife's literary success (and all the characters that come along with it). The film stars Wyatt Cenac, Greta Lee, Maria Dizzia, and Alex Karpovsky. The movie is written and directed by Laura Terruso who recently co-wrote the film Hello, My Name Is Doris with Michael Showalter based on her short film Doris And The Intern.
Here's the trailer for Laura's movie, coming March 2016. Go see it, and look for Fits And Starts soooooon.
Okay so several things have happened in the last several months since I posted. Here are some quick hits... Halt And Catch Fire Season 2 premiered on AMC! I was an assistant editor again this season. I love the team and the show. Plus it has 94% on Rotten Tomatoes!
Scumbag, a short film I cut in 2014 directed by Luke Spears, had its premiere at the 2015 Newport Beach Film Festival and won Best Student Film at the Vail Film Festival. Luke recently graduated from Columbia University's MFA Film Producing Program.
Overheads, another short film I cut in 2014, premiered online. You can view it below! Directed by the great Jesse Rosen.
And lastly, I had started up on HBO's Lewis & Clark miniseries, but unfortunately production shut down due to "creative differences." So now I'm back out and looking for good projects.
https://vimeo.com/71365171 I worked on this back in the spring of 2013 but I totally lost track of the fact that I never posted it when it was first published. I got called in to help an awesome editor Cass Vanini edit this series of :30 loopable living portraits of different athletes. It was a super awesome job thanks to the good people at Psyop.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVG3k3lWIrs This past January I was interviewed about my work on Dig, the short film directed by Toby Halbrooks. In it, I described how I used Adobe Premiere to help improve my workflows and simplify many of the steps in the editorial process. Check it out!
http://youtu.be/gCXQrDqic1s We're fighting for first place in the Youtube Award contest. Every view counts! Please watch!
For the summer of 2013, I was the Assistant Editor for Kevin Tent ACE on a project few ever get to do. Martin Scorsese was directing a commercial campaign for Dolce & Gabbana, and we were brought in to do it. "But why not Thelma?" you ask... Well she was busy working around the clock on a certain Oscar-nominated movie you might've heard of, so she wasn't available. By some act of God, Kevin got the call. Here is the complete director's cut that we made and used for the entire campaign's different edits (twenty-six different finished spots!). Enjoy! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YO2fTlldqds
Recently, In Lieu Of Flowers, a feature film I edited premiered at the 2013 Newport Beach Film Festival. It was directed by my good friend Bill Savage and starred Josh Pence (Gangster Squad) and Spencer Grammar (Greek). I wanted to drop a few reviews here and show some of the things people have been saying about the movie.
"Savage shows some real potential as a filmmaker with a soft and intimate touch."
In Lieu Of Flowers is a remarkably touching story, filled with strong portrayals of emotion and most importantly, the advent of friendship. Its real success is that it does not fall prey to genre conventions or force unrealistic goals upon its protagonists. Eric and Rachel are not going to solve all of their problems by sharing a cup of coffee; nor are they going to fall madly in love one night and forget the pain and sadness that has consumed their lives over a given period of time. There is hope, though, and In Lieu Of Flowersnever allows its viewer to forget that essential fact.
Hopefully I am getting across that there are a few flaws but at the same time, some many beautiful powerful moments that help this movie stand above others. [...] It definitely left a feeling of emotion for me, which to me is a successful film.
There are many moments in the movie where there are clever witty lines by the characters as the two lean on each other for support through this painful time in their lives. Their relationship with one another slowly evolves but it seems that neither one of them are fully ready to move on to a new relationship.
In my travels, I’ve had to do a fair number of Automatic Duck project conversions. While I was learning this process, I found that there wasn’t much good information containing tips and tricks about making this process smooth. Especially now with the exodus from Apple because of FCPX, streamlining this process is more essential now than ever. I don’t propose to know all the answers, but I thought it was high time somebody started putting down their experiences so that we can start working towards some kind of a “Best Practices” document. I’m humble about my experience here, but I will say that I’ve done it a fair amount and I think my tips are good. I’d love to hear what you think. Please leave a note in the Comments section and tell me what I got right or wrong. Quick note: What I’ll talk about here is transferring between Avid and Final Cut Pro, because that’s what I have experience doing. However, since Adobe After Effects workflows are prevalent nowadays as well, I’d love to hear about your experiences there. Please, leave comments.
WHAT IS AUTODUCK?
Automatic Duck is shorthand for a number of programs developed by Wes Plate as a way to move editor sequences between Avid/Apple/Adobe products. Now that Wes has joined Adobe, his programs are now thankfully free to download. The apps are basically plugins for Final Cut Pro 7 and Adobe After Effects, so you’ll need one of these apps (as well as Avid Media Composer, if that’s part of your workflow) in order to transfer your footage.
HOW AUTODUCK WORKS:
- You can only send footage between different programs via sequences. There is no way to transfer whole projects at one time.
- Automatic Duck will take your sequence (and if you choose, your media) and convert it into files to import into another editing application. It can retain many simple effect information and titles, but everything must be checked to ensure accuracy.
- You can send media as either sequence information alone (where you’ll import/relink media after), or you can have Automatic Duck convert your media during the export/conversion process.
- When it comes to exporting media, you should figure what stage you’re at in the post process. If you’re still in offline, you should maintain the resolution of something like DNx36/ProRes(LT), if you’re editing in 23.98 FPS. If you are ready to finish your project, I’d transfer at DNx220X/ProRes4444.
- Remember that for every sequence you send, you create new copies of the clips in that sequence. Your new clips will not reference any clip from other imported sequences, even if it's the same clip. So, if you add a locator to one copy of the clip, it won’t appear in another matching clip if it was brought in from a different sequence.
MAKING THE SMOOTH TRANSITION:
- Key to successful transfer: tape names and timecode. Make sure your clips ALL have proper tape names assigned. There is really no substitute for this. Your project HAS TO BE well-logged. The safest way to reconnected media is using the tape name and timecode metadata. This way, you will also associate new media you create with a tape name, so it becomes easier to relink to new imported sequences.
- If you have audio from a separate source, be sure that the proper tape name for the sound roll is assigned to those clips as well.
DEALING WITH SYNCED/MULTICLIPS/GROUP CLIPS:
- Multiclips aka Avid Multigroups are NOT supported via AutoDuck Pro Import FCP or Pro Export FCP. That means you must collapse/remove your multigroups in your sequence before you export your sequence.
- PROTIP: assign locators to the slate mark frames and sync points for multigroups. Locators will transfer over between sequences, so it will be easier to see where your sync points are for re-grouping everything. At least you won't have to actually resync everything.
DEALING WITH BINS OF MEDIA:
- If you are trying to send scene bins, you should take your synced clips and string them out in a sequence. If you have multi-clips, you should take your video with synced audio for EACH CAMERA and drop it into the timeline. Once you bring the media into your other editor, you’ll need to rebuild your group clips, so act as if you never had them in the first place.
ONE WORKFLOW THAT MAY WORK FOR YOU:
- Make a duplicate of your current sequence edit.
- At the tail end of that sequence, add a stringout of all clips from the scenes referenced in your cut. By sending all your clips in one sequence, you can maintain the links between the clips you sort into scene bins and the clips in your sequence. Your sequence will be hours and hours long, but then you’ll have clips that link to each other. Now, editorial tools like Match Frame will work.
- Don’t convert your media with AutoDuck. Just batch import the Quicktimes for your shots in Avid. Too many times I’ve found that AutoDuck crashed overnight while trying to move clips from FCP<->Avid.
- If you’re moving your project from Avid->FCP, you have three choices depending on how your media was imported. If your media was captured to tape, your best bet is to recapture. If your media was imported tapelessly into Avid via AMA, I’d probably suggest just using FCP’s Log & Transfer to convert your media to FCP-friendly flavors, then relink those clips to the clips brought in via AutoDuck. Lastly, if your media was simply imported from Quicktime into Avid, just relink to the original media files!
BONUS: EXPORT AAFS FROM FINAL CUT PRO 7!
- For a long time, FCP7's support for normal ProTools workflows havs been sub-par. But by using AutoDuck's Pro Export FCP, you can now export new modern AAFs for your sound finishing needs. Since Pro Export FCP exports AAFs for Avid to import, and you have all the normal AAF export options available (consolidate whole clips, consolidate to folder, link to media, etc), you are now free from FCP's OMF 2.0 export function. Yay!
- In my experience, transferring projects from FCP->Avid and relinking via AMA has rarely worked. Maybe you’ll get lucky, but I find that it just doesn’t always see the right clips. Your best bet is to batch import, since you can force Avid to recognize a certain clip as coming from a certain movie file.
- Automatic Duck is not a perfect app but it’s better than nothing. As with many “unsupported” workflows, GIVE YOURSELF TIME AND DO NOT EXPECT IT TO WORK RIGHT IMMEDIATELY. I can’t stress this enough. Run some tests. Decide what might be best. Don’t force it.LASTLY, and most importantly, please tell me about your experiences in the Comments section.
A quick note to update everyone on a "transmedia experience" I edited last month. The project is an interactive video that includes you in the story through emails, phone calls, and texts. It was a collaboration with fellow Emerson alums Landon Zakheim and Justin Gurnari the great crew at Fourth Wall Studios. It was a blast to work on and a lot of fun to experiment with the medium. Check out this LA Times article written about the company.
Click this screenshot to take you to the site.
If you want to check out the trailer for their other project Dirty Work, you can watch it below.
When I was in New York in September, I met with the amazing people at Dig For Fire. I've admired their work for years, from the fantastic live in-store performances they shoot at Other Music to an awesome Band Of Horses video and now to their relationship with Spotify. I have been wanting to work for them for a long time. Finally I had the chance. They had just gone into the studio with Iron & Wine to film the re-recording of his classic tune "Flightless Bird, American Mouth" for the new Twilight: Breaking Dawn soundtrack. To add to it, Marketa Irglova from The Swell Season came in to sing harmony on the the track. They asked if I thought I could cut the video in the two weeks I was in town. I said ABSOLUTELY!
Currenlty, Wordpress.com doesn't support VH1 embeds. So if you wanna see it there here it is. The VH1 link has over 70,000 views already!
Okay, just a quick tip I worked out yesterday while I was trying to organize dailies for a documentary I am working on. The producer/directors had organized everything I needed to build out the Avid project on a hard drive: hours and hours of Quicktimes, all sorted out by subject or location. I was going to import them in one fell swoop, but I needed some way to organize the media once it came into the Avid. As it was, all the media arrived in one big bin. This is where the UNC File Path comes in. For those who don't know, the UNC File Path is short for Universal Naming Convention and is basically a piece of metadata that tracks the folder directory location of every imported piece of media into Avid. This is how, when you go to batch import, the Avid remembers where your imported Quicktime came from. It records it in the UNC File Path.
So back to where I was. Now that I have all my Quicktimes imported, I needed a way to display the UNC File Paths so that I could organize the media into separate bins. The hard thing about this situation is the the metadata will not display in every type of Avid project. Currently, I'm working in an SD 29.97 project since most of my media is HDV and DV. When I go to my Bin Headings...
...and I try to select UNC File Path, it's not an option for me.
Ahhhh! Why, Avid, why? Why do you torment me by knowing this information and not displaying it?!?!?
Never fear, though. When it comes to the task at hand, the Avid will give me everything I need. Currently, the UNC File Path will only display in a 24p Avid Project. "But Rob, my project isn't a 24p project?" No sweat! In current versions of Avid Media Composer, you can still open and view video media of any project frame rate in any other project frame rate. That means that you can still take a copy of your bin and move it into a 24p Project, view everything, organize it into any order you want, and move it back into your native project when you're done.
Do like I do: create a 24p project with the Film radio box checked. I called mine UNC File Path, so that I can keep it forever.
Now, make a copy of your bin that has the media you want to see the UNC File Path for, and copy it into your new 24p project.
Now a quick caveat to this tip. Thus far, I have not been able to make the Avid display this bin column in every type of project. My tip is limited to bin and clip organization. If for some reason you need to create any media, do NOT do it in your 24p project. Sort the master clips into new bins and bring it back into your native resolution project. Sure, it's not perfect, but it's better than what I was doing before I figured this out. Happy Editing!
PS - Oh yeah...hey Avid! Can you fix this please? I shouldn't need a work around. Lovingly, Rob.
Okay, so three new pieces of video here, edited by yours truly. Two new, one old, but everything very cool (I think). First, "A Handy Guide For The Easily Distracted", the vignette I cut with Miranda as a promotional piece for her new film The Future. Now that I've found an embedable link for the video, I decided to repost a note about it. Check it out! Then click the link below it to visit the original site with the posting and read a great interview with her about her work.
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yc57X0j_UwM&w=480&h=300] Click here to read her interview.
Next, a music video I cut featuring Reggie Watts. This video was finished a few months ago, but I haven't had the time to write about it. The band featured in the song is Eagle And Talon, a super-awesome duo producing some great tunes. Shot by Catherine Goldschmidt and edited by me!
Lastly, the 2011 Teen Choice Awards! Yay! Harry Potter was the big winner at this year's awards, so they asked me to cut a tribute package for the film to close the show. It got a great response and even a mention in the Hollywood Reporter and other news sites. Check it out here. You can also watch the presentation from the TCA below it.
[vimeo 27507940 w=480&h=300]