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COW Blogs : editing
And then I moved to Los Angeles...
By: Kylee Peña on May 1, 2015 at 10:38:53 pm

So, uh, I moved to LA, you guys. ...


Editing for Social Impact: How I Saved the San Gabriel Mountains
By: Kylee Peña on Jan 11, 2015 at 1:36:12 pm

(Okay, maybe the headline is a LITTLE strong, but I HELPED.) ...


Editing a Web Series: Arson Dogs
By: Kylee Peña on Nov 24, 2014 at 1:28:34 pm

If a thing happens and nobody blogs about it, did it really happen? Of course the answer is no, which is why I'm writing a post about a project I finished editing in September. But there is some freshness to it: it's actually airing nationally(ish) this week. You could have seen it online this whole time, but there's something about a thing airing nationally(ish) that brings a new layer of legitimacy to it. ...


Remixing Cinema with Soderbergh, Spielberg, and Me
By: Kylee Peña on Sep 22, 2014 at 8:32:18 pm

Today, one of my favorite directors, Steven Soderbergh, posted a really great blog about “staging” in film, which is meant to mean how all the elements of a scene work together to tell a visual story. To illustrate his point, he took ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ and remixed it a little: converted to black and white, all music, sound and dialogue removed with a different soundtrack alongside it to help you focus on the staging — the direction, the length of each shot, how the cuts work. It’s pretty much as awesome as you might think, so you should...


How Kevin Spacey Helped Me Get Started In Editing
By: Kylee Peña on Jul 23, 2014 at 7:31:14 pm

Last weekend I was bingeing on House of Cards (as you do) and after one particularly riveting episode where blank and blank blank-out and they all blank (spoilers/adult situations) I finally noticed a familiar logo: Trigger Street Productions, Kevin Spacey's production company. Not that it's terribly widely known I guess, but the logo is burned into my brain (a folder within a folder within a folder from years ago, but it was there.) ...


Indie Essentials - VFX for Filmmakers& Editors Made Easy
By: Brian Mulligan on Apr 30, 2014 at 1:19:41 pm

In April, That Studio partnered up with Rampart Design Tools, to bring easy to use, practical visual effects and video design elements to independent filmmakers. ...


What’s missing from today’s tech based editing
By: ron sussman on Apr 11, 2014 at 5:26:17 am

(this is a re-publish of a blog article I wrote for my personal web page) ...


An Odd Delight: A Corporate Editor's Leap Into Broadcast
By: Kylee Peña on Nov 29, 2013 at 5:18:10 pm

Seeing a stack of tapes labeled and ready to gather dust on a shelf is a feeling of accomplishment I've never had before last week. ...


Music for editing events
By: Jennifer Silorey on Jul 22, 2013 at 11:23:09 am

I may spend hours or days finding the perfect song for my event. Currently I am working on a Bar Mitzvah and an in the same dilemma again. Wanting to maximize my edit time, but cannot move on or decide once I'm in the edit I need to get a different song. So I thought I would start a blog on this process and hope to build a database with others where we can go and get songs for that perfect video editing moment!!! Bar Mitzvah song idea for pre-practice pictures with family and Torah. Seal ~ Dreaming in Metaphors....


May 8, 2013
By: Bill Megalos on Jun 6, 2013 at 1:22:31 am

I probably have less to write about today than any day so far. We spent the day editing and editing is one of those things that’s more interesting in the doing than it is in the describing. The worst thing was continued power outages, plus people coming and going, in preparation for the trip we’re to take tomorrow. There were plenty of other distractions, with class members being pulled away to work on pickups for Mohamed’s film or to prepare for tomorrow: the entire class and center will be traveling two hours out of Baghdad to take part in the...


An affordable editing workstation
By: Kevin Duffey on Apr 27, 2013 at 10:35:56 am

Hi all, ...


Workflow Update: iMac, Adobe and the "X" Factor
By: walter biscardi on Dec 10, 2012 at 3:17:57 pm

Apple iMacs ...


Films Take Forever - My First Feature (The Impersonators)
By: Kylee Peña on Nov 24, 2012 at 8:23:52 pm

This is an on-going post-production diary I’m keeping while I cut my first feature film, The Impersonators , an indie comedy. ...


The Impersonators - My First Feature
By: Kylee Peña on Aug 18, 2012 at 9:56:33 pm

Here's one for the baby book: I'll be cutting my first feature film this fall. The Impersonators , directed by Joshua Hull, started shooting today in the central Indiana area. I attended the last full table read and production meeting last night, and this is definitely going to be an interesting film to edit. The Impersonators is about a team of superhero impersonators who normally find themselves rented out for birthday parties or other recreational activities. Their whole team is booked to spend time in a small town bringing up the morale with their presence. Soon enough, they find themselves...


Your Edit on the Big Screen: The Traumatic Experience of Baring it All
By: Kylee Peña on Jun 25, 2012 at 7:39:56 pm

When a dire situation is at hand, an cuddly little animal called the hairy frog (or even more affectionately, the horror frog) intentionally breaks its bones to form claws. Another creature called a horned lizard creates pressure in its nasal cavity so great, the blood vessels in its eyes burst, spraying attackers with blood. A possum will, uh, play possum, which includes foaming at the mouth and emitting a green anal fluid. Potato beetle larvae cover themselves in their own poop. And the poop is poisonous. An malaysian ants? They just self-destruct[1]. ...


101 Burning Questions Answered about Smoke 2013
By: Brian Mulligan on Jun 18, 2012 at 6:05:24 pm

Autodesk Smoke is now available in its first Pre-Release Trial. I am sure you have many questions, so here are a few answers. I have been a beta tester for Smoke 2013, and have been a long time user. ...


Demo Reel Debate: What's the Best Practice? MY not-a-reel strategy.
By: Kylee Peña on Jun 4, 2012 at 7:14:42 pm

A topic that always seems to create a big debate: the demo reel. Specifically, an editor demo reel. On one hand, it needs to be short right? So people will watch it? So string together some cool sequences and set it to a wicked techno track. But wait, no. You need to showcase your editing skills. Ok, so it'll be long. Grab some 2 minute sequences and slap them together. But wait, it's like 8 minutes long. Who will watch any of that? I'm doomed, DOOMED ! ...

demo reels

Using YouTube Retention Data to Edit for the Web
By: Kylee Peña on May 10, 2012 at 9:22:24 am

Today, I was checking on some video analytics for a client's YouTube account. I manage the postings for the account, and use the data to develop stronger videos as time goes on. ...


NAB 2012. The Mayans had it right. It's the year of the shift.
By: Jerry Hofmann on Apr 22, 2012 at 1:05:21 pm

This year I witnessed an honest world shaking shift. Yep, 2012 became the year of the world changing from the way we know it, and I could see it happening right before my eyes at NAB 2012 in AJA's booth. I worked in AJA's booth for the entire show, and heard from the whole post and production community there. The carpet was torn to pieces on the first day. I'm not kidding, by the end of the show on the first day, it was so balled up it looked as if it had suffered the hit of a tsunami. That...


FCP X and it's launch: Blunder or Genius?
By: Bret Williams on Apr 16, 2012 at 10:28:35 pm

In light of all the NAB announcements regarding editing, I have to ask - "WHY is it going to take time for FCPX to mature?" Apple is the biggest richest company in the world. I have to figure they've been at this piece of software for 2-3 years. They had 10 years of making FCP 1-7, Motion, etc. They own the code base for shake. They have logic. They can hire anyone they need. Why is it in the same 2 years Avid and Premiere can reinvent themselves? Adobe seems to be able crank out a limitless amount of software...

Final cut pro x

Premiere Pro - increase/decrease video and audio tracks using the keyboard
By: Michael Hancock on Apr 4, 2012 at 4:13:29 pm

In Avid, I’d often save timeline views with audio tracks massively expanded for rough audio mixing, or the audio small and the video larger for cutting and applying effects. If I wanted to adjust the track size even more I could just hit Ctrl+L to enlarge any activated tracks, and Ctrl+K to make them smaller (PC – I imagine the Mac is Cmd+L and Cmd+K). You can do it with a mouse, too, but I prefer to do as much as possible with the keyboard. I find it faster, gives me more finite control, and saves my wrist in the...


Premiere Pro - open clips from the Project Panel in the Source Monitor using keyboard shortcuts
By: Michael Hancock on Apr 3, 2012 at 9:18:44 pm

Figured this one out the other day - selecting a file in the Project Panel and opening it in the Source Monitor, using only the keyboard. Pretty basic, right? Well, not with the default layout in Premiere. First, let's see what happens without mapping the keyboard. ...


Scene Breakdown: Drive
By: Glen Montgomery on Apr 2, 2012 at 9:37:48 am

I feel like I was the last person on earth to see this movie. Positive reviews were flowing all over twitter while it was in theaters and I could never seem to drag myself to the theaters, even though it seemed right up my alley. Crime drama, slow burn story, awesome actors, intense violence, fast cars, 80′s vibe. Whatever the case, I didn’t get to see this until it finally came out on blu ray, and it completely decimated me. The artistry of it is kind of hard to believe in this day and age, where the people with money...


Scene Breakdown: Mad Men “Maidenform”
By: Glen Montgomery on Mar 21, 2012 at 10:19:18 am

So I diverted from my plan a little with this post. In the last entry, I proposed that I would continue with the feature film breakdowns for a while before going to other mediums; but I lied. This week I was deep into a marathon of the second season of the exquisite AMC show, Mad Men, when one of the episodes jumped out as an excellent candidate for a breakdown. This breakdown is quite different as well, in that it looks at the opening and closing scenes of the episode. The beginning is a great little montage that really sets...


Scene Breakdown: The Dark Knight
By: Glen Montgomery on Dec 11, 2011 at 12:44:13 pm

In the second installment of my series of breakdowns, I chose something a little more modern and with a little bit more action. There were two other films that crossed my mind but I decided to hold off on them till later and went with a flick that has been sitting out on our desk for while. I knew that I wanted to look at a scene with a little bit more action motivated cutting, but at the same time didn't think I was ready for a complete action scene. I feel this scene from The Dark Knight has the...


For now, editing is a commodity and less a craft
By: walter biscardi on Dec 1, 2011 at 5:40:13 am

As has been reported recently, CNN laid off 50 staffers, primarily videographers and editors. Why? Essentially after a three year internal review, CNN has determined that professional editors are not necessary to craft news stories any longer. Instead they are expanding their iReport section allowing for more user generated content to be provided to the network, at absolutely zero cost to the network. Yep, zero cost to the network since these folks won’t be paid. I could go on about that part of the story, but Stephen Colbert explains it so well in this clip from “This Colbert Report” on...


Interview with Director Jeanne Kopeck
By: Glen Montgomery on Nov 22, 2011 at 9:28:47 am

The Human in the Machine is a continuing series of interviews with industry professionals focused on the relational aspects of the editorial process. Blog pages and bookshelves everywhere are flooded with technical information on the craft of editing, but there seems to be little out there on the human side of it all. Even though much of our work is technical based, what is at the heart of it all is spending 10-15 hours a day locked in a room, usually with other people, creating stuff. What makes those other people come back to your edit suite instead of walking...


Thanksgiving Meat With Steam
By: Mark A. Stuart on Nov 14, 2011 at 1:18:03 pm

Made a neat-o spot in AE today with write on graphics and steam over a photo of a hot turkey. ...


Interview with Editor Eric Brodeur
By: Glen Montgomery on Oct 12, 2011 at 9:39:50 am

The Human in the Machine is a continuing series of interviews with industry professionals focused on the relational aspects of the editorial process. Blog pages and bookshelves everywhere are flooded with technical information on the craft of editing, but there seems to be little out there on the human side of it all. Even though much of our work is technical based, what is at the heart of it all is spending 10-15 hours a day locked in a room, usually with other people, creating stuff. What makes those other people come back to your edit suite instead of walking...


Interview with Editor Agustin Rexach
By: Glen Montgomery on Aug 8, 2011 at 8:51:03 am

The Human in the Machine is a continuing series of interviews with industry professionals focused on the relational aspects of the editorial process. Blog pages and bookshelves everywhere are flooded with technical information on the craft of editing, but there seems to be little out there on the human side of it all. Even though much of our work is technical based, what is at the heart of it all is spending 10-15 hours a day locked in a room, usually with other people, creating stuff. What makes those other people come back to your edit suite instead of walking...


FSI launching new affordable 21" and 23" HD Broadcast Monitors
By: walter biscardi on Aug 3, 2011 at 7:17:33 pm

EXCLUSIVE! (always wanted to say that!) ...


Spot Breakdown: “West Bank” for Sky TV
By: Glen Montgomery on Aug 2, 2011 at 9:17:17 am

This is a slight deviation from the ongoing series of Feature Scene Breakdowns that I have neglected for the last six month or so. Being apart of the advertising industry now, I am finding myself much more attentive to the ad work that seems to assault me from every screen I own these days and I thought I should include it in this personal study. One huge upside of being within agency walls is a glorious room full of demo reels from over the years for Directors, Creative Editors, DP’s, FX Houses and even Catering companies (jokes). I have been...


FILM PROS - Talk to musicians, designers and typesetters...
By: David Battistella on Jun 26, 2011 at 5:59:00 am

I thought I would turn this recent post into a BLOG post because I think it is worth exploring. With all of the discussion surrounding the FCPX app and the RABID response by users emotionally and financially tied to apple hardware and software I would ask film and video professionals to just consider one important thing. ...


Thanks Apple...Sincerely
By: David Battistella on Jun 21, 2011 at 3:15:16 pm

Look, ...


By: David Battistella on Jun 21, 2011 at 6:10:08 am

I am downloading FCP X as we speek and adding compressor and Motion as well. ...


Anatomy of an Edit Suite
By: walter biscardi on Jun 19, 2011 at 4:13:02 pm

Because so many folks have asked me "What's in your Edit Suite?" followed up by "Why do you have that?" I created a new blog entry to answer the hows and whys of what we install in our suites. ...


By: David Battistella on Jun 13, 2011 at 2:00:13 am

OK. ...

Final Cut

Post Production is NOT an afterthought. So why do so many clients treat it that way?
By: walter biscardi on May 5, 2011 at 4:32:16 am

Why is it that Producers treat Post Production as an afterthought? As in, “I need to spend all my money on Production so it looks great, but the editing we can do on the cheap.” The editor is the LAST person to touch your film. As in the person who will make or break your film by their skills to properly cut the film together making the right decisions on scenes to keep / remove, timing and a whole host of other decisions. So you hire the absolute cheapest person to do the one of the most important jobs? ...


Recent Project
By: Ken Harper on Feb 19, 2011 at 11:25:13 am

I recently finished a music video for the song Out of Many. It has been very well received and is currently on it's way to the White House. Please read the letter to President Obama below, and check out the video. ...


Recent Challenge
By: Ken Harper on Feb 11, 2011 at 10:49:14 am

Recently, I was asked to put together a demo which showed the many different interview styles we have used over the years. Traditionally you have two ways to do that, the first being a music video. Pick a track and cut together a series of examples of different shooting styles. The second choice is to string together segments from a variety of projects again showing the different shooting and lighting styles. Been there done that. ...


The Art of Editing: Sometimes we worry too much about technical things.
By: Jerry Hofmann on Jul 13, 2010 at 10:48:32 am

I rarely if ever see posts about aesthetic considerations, when they are the most important things our time and effort as storytellers should be filled with. ...

Art of Editing

Avid Media Composer in a DSLR World
By: Dylan Reeve on May 6, 2010 at 4:03:57 am

Don't know if anyone's noticed, but Canon made a little digital SLR camera called the Canon 5D Mark II and, apparently, it shoots HD video... It seems that some people are quite excited about the whole thing. Well if you had noticed that, you'd probably have also noticed that almost every mention of editing 5D footage is around Apple's Final Cut Pro. It's certainly not because other products can't cut it, it's probably just because of a massive commonality between those who've embraced the 5D and those who long ago embraced FCP. So how do the current crop of...


100th Blogiversary
By: Mike Cohen on Jan 27, 2010 at 3:58:10 pm

I know I tell a lot of stories about the old days, but this doesn't mean I'm 100 years old. Just wanted to get that cleared up for those of you keeping a tally of how many times I mention 1" tape and CMX edit controllers. Now back to our regularly scheduled program, already in progress... For those of you just joining us, welcome to the Mike Cohen Creative COW 100th Blogiversary . "100 blog posts? So what," you might be saying. Well I try to put a little bit of my personality and philosophy into every post. For me it's a big...


One Head Many Hats
By: Ken Harper on Sep 29, 2009 at 8:38:14 am

Recently, I attended an excellent HD Workshop & Mini-Expo presented by Digital CONNtent Creators at Tripeg Studios in Hamden, CT. This event was very informative and I am still amazed by how rapidly the technology in our industry evolves and grows. There is no question that in order to survive these changes you must understand and embrace them, so thanks to Keith Larsen and the rest of the crew that put this show together. This November marks my 25th anniversary in this industry and throughout my career I’ve witnessed the many changes in the tools we use to do...

video production

Apple Color and FCP deliver true Broadcast Safe for "the big boys"
By: walter biscardi on Jul 11, 2009 at 6:32:02 am

Recently a thread in the Apple Color forum had somebody remark that if you're delivering to the "Big Boys" such as Discovery and PBS you really should have external scopes in your shop. It's also been suggested that external legalizer boxes really should be used as well when delivering to the high end networks. The true fact of the matter is, the scopes in Color are very accurate, to the point that I don't see any differences on an external scope when we do have one. The Broadcast Safe in Color is good enough for "the big boys." We have...

apple color

New features for FSI monitors including EBU Gamma
By: walter biscardi on Jul 9, 2009 at 12:46:31 pm

As usual, the guys at FSI keep adding in more and more features based on user input and the latest round of updates have a couple of especially neat updates. And of course, these are free to all current owners of FSI monitors, just download the update from the website. EBU Gamma. True 2.35 EBU standard gamma setting for the monitor for anyone delivering material to european broadcasters. Yes, 2.4 is mighty darn close, but because of a request from a European user, they decided to make the monitors go exactly to the European gamma spec. Timecode Display. The...


Editor for hire, $50,000/year, Clothing Optional
By: walter biscardi on Jul 3, 2009 at 11:54:57 am

Well I don't know about the clothing optional part, but it's definitely a good gig for the right person with good Final Cut Pro skills.....

final cut pro

18% Grey Paint for less money
By: walter biscardi on Jun 12, 2009 at 5:19:07 am

Ok so the "official 18% grey paint" is something like $80 per quart and up. Thanks to this tip from Dan Desmet at Flanders Scientific, here's a really REALLY close knock off of that color for a lot less. You want Sherwin Williams SW 7071 color. The one to get is Duration Home, Extra White Matte Base, 6403-63925. The BAC code should be BAC Colorant 02 32 64 128 B1-Black - 20 1 - Y3-Deep Gold - 5 – 1 Why do you need 18% grey? Well it helps to keep your eyes neutral while you edit and color grade a scene on your monitor....


Editing Tug-of-War: PC vs MAC
By: Tim Robinson on Jun 10, 2009 at 9:34:50 am

Tim Robinson is the Corporate Video Editor for Pride Mobility Products Corp. Makers of the Jazzy Powerchair, Scooters, Lift Chairs and other mobility products! At our company we’ve been strictly a PC world. When the new head of IT asked us, “Why don’t you guys run macs? My daughter’s graphic design school runs nothing but macs!” We had to explain his predecessor strictly prohibited using macs because his IT staff could not “support” them. Before he even finished the sentence “What if we bought you guys…” we excitedly shouted ‘YES!’ The transition was not easy for both IT and later us....


True Stories
By: Mike Cohen on May 19, 2009 at 6:06:45 pm

If I am waiting for a plane or waiting for the distance between Connecticut and California to shrink, I sometimes recall past experiences. This was supposed to be the goal of this blog, but the present seems a lot more interesting. So we'll take a break from the hustle and bustle and recall a few unique experiences. One can always learn from the past. I am somewhat methodical in my, er, methods, so I'll go sequentially... 1994 My first solo shoot. Having accompanied several shooters on about a dozen trips both in the OR and other settings, it was time to be...


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