Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Marketing Brilliance

The right way and wrong way to market a new product:

Panasonic doesn't get it.

Canon does.




I'm probably the only person who would use it, but I would find an Excel-like auto-fill function handy today.

I am logging a bin of a couple hundred clips and find myself entering the same kind of information over and over. While I can cut and paste if I have a series of clips in a row, a random group that needs the same six descriptions gets tiresome. The auto fill would speed things up.

I know, yet another thing to bog down the Avid software.


Monday, April 27, 2009


Today I recaptured a project I worked on two years ago, and I was struck immediately how foreign my work looks. It's a fine project by itself, but it just looks so different from what I made last week in a general sense.

It's easy to get wrapped into a bubble of the moment, so it is good to see that my work is evolving into something that I think is better.

This comes a few days after watching the effects demo reel for a local production house, and feeling that I have no bloody idea how to create effects outside of your basic green screen gag. It was really humbling, and further confirmation that my experience and skills cover a very narrow slice of the production universe. You can only know so much, I suppose, and the only way to gain new skills is to work on projects that take you in new directions. It's a bit of a chicken/egg situation.


Monday, April 20, 2009

AE options

AfterEffects can be insanely handy for some jobs that can be otherwise clumsy. Today I had to do a simple resize of some QT files that were produced by a third party, but were delivered incorrectly.

Resizing each in AE was straightforward: Create a project at the resolution you wish to output, inport the bad file, and run some scaling tests until you find the result you need. Our issue was a bad square/round pixel relationship.

My discovery of the day? Once AE works on something in the render queue, if you need to make a small adjustment to one of the settings so you can run it again, simply highlight the render in question and duplicate- you get a nice fresh item in the queue, ready to be adjusted. Nice.

This fixed a problem another editor had been banging his head over for a few days. It's fun being the hero rather than the goat.

Stay busy.



Thursday, April 16, 2009

Avid Naming

I did a major housekeeping of the Avid that is not on shared storage, and thus not on Interplay, so media deletion is a more manual affair.

As I was digging about the media folders looking for orphaned clips I was glad that Avid added less cryptic naming conventions to their software. I am old enough to remember the time when every file in the media folder would be named something like:


At least now the files are named something like:


It's the little things.


Friday, April 3, 2009

Catch It While You Can

A few months ago I sampled Guiding Light, which had switched from the traditional soap production format to a handheld, small format, shoot everything in the field kind of storytelling. I thought it looked underlit, and, well, cheap. (Note: I would only attempt this with a DVR. Catch it while you can.

Unfortunately, the producers didn't really exploit the small cameras by radically evolving their style- the show still cut like your traditional soap. Perhaps they were limited in what they could try by the unions, writers, producers, or the fear of losing the 35 viewers they had left. Perhaps it was a decision made by an accountant who picked up a "Broadcast Quality at 10% of the price!" brochure at Best Buy.

Whatever margins the lower production costs drove were not enough to save the series from cancellation.

I hate seeing folks lose their jobs, but I am relieved that the strategy of making your show look worse than the competition, with no benefit for the viewer, was not rewarded.