Archive for the ‘Rants and Raves’ Category

UK Filmmaker Uses Twitter and Paypal to Fund Independent Horror Film

Saturday, April 3rd, 2010

Antony “AD” Lane has employed a truly 21st century method in fuding his latest project, Invasion of the Not Quite Dead.  He is using Twitter and Paypal.

Since May 2009, Lane has been on Twitter everyday promoting and pleading for people to help produce his film.

So far, he has raised over £19,005 (approx $29,000) from 550 “pre-order producers” from 19 countries.  His goal is to raise £100,000

Lane has employed a levels approach, where different levels of donations will get you a higher level of producer package.

There are packages as small as £10, a “Download Producer” and up to a £1000.00 “Profit Share Producer”.

According to his website,, “The project has received an incredible amount of press which has included a BBC FOUR documentary, the front cover of REVENANT MAGAZINE, horror sites FANGORIA & DREAD CENTRAL & in May 2010 the teaser promo will be opening a star studded HIGH PROFILE event at hte LONDON IMAX.”

Top names have signed on to the project including, actors FRANK JAKEMAN (Breathe), LESLIE SIMPSON (Dog Soldiers, The Descent, Doomsday), TERRY STONE (Doghouse, Rise Of The Footsoldier), VICTORIA BROOM (Umbrage, Dead Cert), AJAY NAYYAR (24, NCIS), JAMES FISHER (Umbrage, Zombie Diaries) and the OFFICIAL LARA CROFT model Alison Carrol.

Perks of the different producer levels include signed BLU Rays, posters, t-shirts, spots in the film, producer credit on the film and digital photo zombie makeovers.

Lane can be found on

Currently Lane is running a 25% off producers packages promotion (offer ends April 12) to get the number of producers up.  Also by mentioning “Eric Harnden” in the notes of one’s paypal payment, it’s possible can help yours truly rise in producer status through the refer a friend special!

See for more details and to see the pre-trailer for the movie.

“Where The Real Money Is” or “Why You Don’t Need To Buy All That”

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

Entertainment in the world is probably the biggest money making proposition there is. (At least for what’s legal, ethical or moral! [Although there are elements of evil in any industry!])

Some of the world’s wealthiest people are entertainers. People can rise to fame in an instant. Talent doesn’t necessarily define what you can earn, either. We’ve all heard music and thought “I know better sounding musicians than that!” and wondered how did they get a record deal. We’ve seen some pretty bad movies at the theaters too, movies that cost millions of dollars to make. We’ve seen no-budget entertainers make the most beautiful pieces of art and thought, “They need to be discovered!” Some of us have even told the artists that.

That’s part of the glamour or intrigue to this whole industry, there are Cinderella stories out there! You can become a millionaire overnight. After all, “You could do THAT!”

Some, a whole lot, actually, feel they can do better or, at least, well enough and try to make a living at entertainment. So many, in fact, that whole industries spring up, feeding on that desire people have to “make it!”

Some easy examples to witness are actors and musicians. A Google search for “acting schools” gave me 4,790,000 results. “Music schools” gave me 84,900,000 results! Whereas “mechanic schools” only returned 589,000 results.

I’m an aspiring film editor and filmmaker but I’ve had other artistic interests before. One of them was music. I’ve “done it all” (on a small scale) in the music business. I’ve played bass in a band, was a lead singer in a band, managed bands, been a college radio DJ, booked bands and even ran a blues magazine.

One of the best educations I got during that time was from a home study course on the business of music. The name escapes me (that was a whole “‘nother” lifetime ago. But, I’ll grab it out of the garage later and fill in the name).

There the instructor (again, I’ll fill this in later) explained that in the music business, you needed to concentrate on one thing: being a musician! Of course there was the “business” side of things but that you didn’t need to build a studio in your bedroom, garage or what have you, like all the music stores were trying to tell you that you did. He went on to explain that there was a whole industry built around selling you on the idea that you just needed that one more extra piece to the puzzle and you could then “make it!” When the fact was, you just needed to learn how to be the best musician you could be and there were other people who were trained in recording, etc. that could do the other jobs.

I hope you’re having an “ah-ha” moment right about now. If you aren’t, I haven’t conveyed the idea well enough or perhaps you’ve been sold that idea too hard as well.

See, it isn’t just in the music industry. I mentioned actors before and acting schools. I also said that an artist should perfect his craft. You might be saying, “well then acting schools are a needed thing”. They very well could be. Then again, maybe not. I’m all for taking classes. After all, I’m a 42 year-old community college student! I think people should continue to educate themselves in some form or another, throughout their lives. What I’m trying to explain here today is that “the path need not be long! (nor expensive!)”

I guess in any endeavor one undertakes, there are expenses. There are millions of ways to tackle any goal in life. There are nearly 6.7 billion people on Earth all with their own tact on survival, eh? Money or no money, we’re all heading to the same end. We just each have our own flare about it, good or bad.

Let me get back to the movies and filmmaking, in particular, since that is my chosen path at this time in my life. Do I need to own a full movie studio and know how to run every part of it to make a movie? No. Do I need to even own a camera, a computer, a light kit and boom mic? No. These are what seem the basic tools of the craft. But, do I need to own them? No. Do I need to learn how to use them? No. Not even that! Does knowing how to use them help me with my craft? Yes! Would owning a studio enable me to create more within my craft? Yes! But, they are not necessary. And that is my point.

You are being bombarded with MARKETING constantly. “If you want ‘A’ you need ‘B’!”, “In order to make your movie, you need to buy camera ‘Z’!” “To be the best filmmaker out there, you need to learn how to edit on a MAC!” (Nothing against Macs, I own four!) Marketing has been defined as “creating want”. If you want something, more than probably, it’s been marketed to you!

I am a firm believer that anything can be done on any budget. (I was going to say within certain means but I re-thought that and stand by what I said.) Now, you may need others to join you who have the equipment or money or what have you, but it can be done. Filmmaking, they say, is a collaborative effort. It can or cannot be but, mostly, I’d say it is. It’s also a dynamic effort. Things change constantly, when making a film, just like life. It’s almost a living, breathing entity on its own! (Cue the Frankenstein clip, “It’s alive!”)

You are being sold gazillions of dollars of stuff (as the late, great George Carlin would say), all the time. You don’t need all that stuff!

Take a look at what’s being sold to you everyday as you pursue your filmmaking career. I took a class with producer Jim Lindsay, who had some great mantras. The main one was “Want vs. Need”. In other words, do I need this or do I just want it? Asking yourself this question every time you’re making a financial decision will save you a LOT of money down the line!

“That being said” (*Curb Your Enthusiasm reference), I’m entering a phase of my filmmaking career where I am heading a filmmaking enthusiasts group. One of the “benefits” of such a group is showing off the latest and the greatest products to help you “become a better filmmaker”. That’s all nice and fancy but I’ll be the first to point out that YOU probably don’t need that [name item here].

To learn more about the new group go here:

A reference book that shares the concept that you don’t need to own anything to start (highly recommended!):
The Shut Up and Shoot Documentary Guide

What I Learned Last Night about Mocha, AJA KiPro and The New Now

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

I attended two events last night: Mocha training by Imagineer at New Media Hollywood and the Los Angeles Post Production Group meeting.

I happened to be only one of two that attended that particular session of Mocha training.  I guess people don’t like to go outside in the rain!

New Media Hollywood seems like a chill place.  They have a foosball table in the front waiting area, if that is any indication.  They are your basic post production provider/reseller.  You can get systems, software, editing bay rentals, etc.  After an decent hands-on Mocha class, I decided to tell others about their discounts and took some flyers to LAPPG.

I’ve been impressed with Mocha and Shape ever since they demoed at LAFCPUG a while back.  Mocha is a planar tracker, so it’s very accurate.  It is more accurate if you define more areas to track.  Then you can adjust the “surface” for a clean export of tracker layer data.  It seriously has a lot of “smarts”.

I also learned about another Imagineer product, Mokey.  This one actually tracks and replaces the hole with what should be there.  Pretty cool.  We went through removing a sign from a yard, as a car drives by.

Props to Ross Shain for an excellent training session.


Later, at LAPPG, I met some nice “new” people including a photographer who proclaimed “Stills are dead… Be prepared for millions of new video people.”  I posted that claim on Twitter and it inspired this post:

Being early to the meeting I was one of the lucky ones who got a $5 gift card to Showbiz Store & Cafe.  I also partook in some coffee, cookies, a piece of pizza and some brownies.

Woody who founded LAPPG said he’s on a panel for “” which sounds cool.  Check that out.

Jeffrey Way from AJA went on to talk about the AJA KiPro.  I’ve already been aquainted with the KiPro but I did learn some new things.  One, is that the Sony V1U is a small camera, small like JVC GY-HM100 small.  I learned this because one of the LAPPG members brought one and they used it to hook up to the AJA KiPro.

I also learned that Apple’s Pro Res (HD) is 220Mbits/sec.  Random fact, I know, but here’s some more: The AJA Xena card is the same as the Kona card but it’s for a PC and it just uses different drivers.  So I guess that means if you want to use your Kona card on a PC, all you have to do is download the Xena PC drivers.  There are also some ports on the AJA KiPro that aren’t usable yet.  They are for future upgrades.  You can also use your KiPro like an IO HD.  It’s basically the next gen of that product.  Cross, up and down convert to your heart’s content with this little unit.  It also works as a monitoring unit.  By that I mean a hook-up-your-monitor-to-see-your-footage, type of monitoring unit.  (I’m really not hip to that whole side of things yet but those of you that are should appreciate that.)

Then, the best for last, I learned that Philip Hodgetts wrote a book called The New Now.  And in this book, there are lots of pieces of information on how to grow your video business.  His talk was very inspirational, at least I know it was to two people for sure, myself and one friend, Chris, who sends out a newsletter-type email every month or so.  We talked about how we are going to use information from Philip’s talk in our own businesses, after the meeting.

Chris’ website is here: Hey! He’s done a comedy short that’s winning lots of awards that has that kid from Glee in it!

Philip talked about some things: the clue train manifesto, H.A.R.O. (Help a Reporter Out), caring about the customer and to install Google Analytics on to your site.  I know I’m being random with this post and my facts, I think I’ve been on Twitter too much lately!

If you get a chance to see Philip Hodgetts, do it.  And if you like what he has to say, maybe you’d want to buy his book. It’s available here: and I’ll be reviewing it here later.

The New Now by Philip Hodgets

The First 48 (part 2)

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

What Worked and What Didn’t
There were a lot of things that worked. There were a lot of plans that we were able to make ahead of time to make things easier. There were things we should have done but didn’t. There were a lot of things that could have been improved. And, actually doing the things we planned to do, would have helped out a lot!

I think we learned what to do next time and everyone seemed excited about doing it again.

First Official Meeting. Only 3 people from this picture continued on.

Pre-event Meetings
As I mentioned before, I started having meetings in June. I think we had 8 – 10 meetings total, including meetups and one field trip. The field trip was a seminar on DIY micro-budget filmmaking by John Putch. That was part of the Pizza & Post series given by Video Symphony, a post production school in Burbank. From those meetings we did three “two-hour film projects”. These weren’t completed in their totality in two hours but some portion of the process was completed in two hours (or so!)

This worked because it gave us a view into what our weak points were. We were able to plan more accurately the schedule that would be the 48 hours. It also worked to flush out “bad” attitudes or people or views that I didn’t want to work with on this project. It was good to see what were at first suspicions, grow into actuality and prove to me that if I ever detect those things in the future, that I am right and to just get them off the team right then and there and don’t waste time dealing with them.

People intimate with the team and its progress will know who I’m referring to but I just want to talk about the particulars so that others reading this can form their own opinions. I’m not saying that those “bad” attitudes are necessarily bad, I’m just saying they didn’t agree with my desires and as such were better off doing their own thing and not butting heads with me.

So this is how that all went down:

First person I met (other than people I already knew, who would work on the project) was a lawyer who had experience creating his own pilot home improvement show. Great guy. Very motivated. But, when first exchanging emails with him, I thought to myself, “I don’t think this is going to work out.” As any successful business person is, he was very passionate and very “right” in his opinion of how things should run. He was also a very creative guy and wanted very much to contribute to the creative side of things, writing and shooting, etc. We met the day before my official first meeting and face to face we had a lot of similar interests and creative contacts even.

Being a bit pushy and slightly over-bearing, I immediately thought of him as a good production manager, someone who could get people motivated or “pushed” to complete their intended project, on time. This I figured I was weak in, so I thought he’d fit the bill for that part.

The next day, I had my first meeting. He attended and brought his secretary, an actress. She couldn’t stay the whole meeting but I figured that since her boss was going to be running the show, I didn’t have to worry about whether or not she’d flake out on me.

Also at this meeting was one person from the 20 projects project (a filmmaking group I co-founded), whom I wanted for my 1st assistant director. He of course stayed until the end of the project.

The couple that would eventually quit to start their own team where there. They were very motivated and seemed willing to take on any role. They were also musicians and it’s always good to have a stall of musicians around. More on why they quit later.

Also, there was one classmate from my Intro to Telecommunication class at RCC and one classmate from an Intro to Pro HD class I took at Citrus College. Two more classmates from my Intro to Pro HD class would eventually be on my team but the first one had to quit because of health reasons.

We had a few general meetings; organizing, talking about genres, trying to figure out who wanted to do what, getting to know each other, going to the 48 Hour Film Project meet-ups, etc. These meetings really just served the purpose of “we’re a group, let’s see if we can stick together.”

Of the 10 actors and 9 crew/actors that ended up staying on the team, they came from these areas:
5, myself included, from my side filmmaking group, the 20 projects project – Roles: Producer/Actor, Director, Assistant Director/Actor, Actor and Actor.
5 from local bands (friends and family of ours) or friend of one of the bands (All actors)
4 from classmates of mine (Two soundmen/actors, one Writer and one Cameraman/Editor)
1 from Twitter friend of mine (Editor)
4 from craigslist ads or as a result of someone they knew reading the craigslist ad (Writer, Actor, Grip/Actor and Actor.)

Not everyone made the meetings on a regular basis, especially the band members and friends thereof but we had a core 6-7 that did. This built a solid foundation of “the group”.

Three of the core members at Pizza & Post

To be continued…

Free Magazine Subscriptions or How To Fill Your Inbox and/or Mailbox Every Week

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

I remember a poem from the E. Joseph Cossman marketing course that quipped something to the effect of, “I’m a very important person… I’ll live on forever… I’m on a mailing list!”

For those who want such a feeling, I have a solution for you. You, of course, have to be in business in the related field but whatever field that is, I recommend getting at least a subscription to it’s relevant trade publication.

This applies to any field, whether it be manufacturing, electrical subcontracting, musical instrument retailer or whatever field you’re in. If you aren’t sure of what trade magazines there are for your chosen profession, check the library for the Standard Rate and Data. It gives the rates for advertising in magazines as well as for TV stations, there are multiple volumes that cover different media but one of them covers trade publications. I think that one is called the business publication advertising source. You could also look up direct marketing list sources with this publication. This tip alone is worth a lot. Feel free to donate via paypal to: if you feel you should!

Believe it or not, I did not use the above reference for the following list; I just built it up over the past year by lots of searching and subscribing and referrals.

Here are the magazines (mostly free) that I subscribe to currently:
* Creative Cow Magazine
* Creative Screenwriting <- paid subscription, not free
* Digital Content Producer
* Digital Signage Magazine
* DV (Digital Video)
* DVXUser Monthly
* Event DV <- they are moving to paid subscription and I will not be subscribing to them anymore.
* Home Media Magazine <- this one is overkill, weekly or bi-weekly, I think I’m going to cancel.
* Government Video
* Millimeter
* MovieMaker Magazine
* Post Magazine
* Pro Audio Review
* Streaming Media Magazine
* TVB Television Broadcast
* TV Technology
* Videography

In addition to the paper mailings, most of the above magazines offer digital subscriptions, so, you can “go green”, if you prefer. They also send you tons of email so you can hear from their advertisers, etc. It’s a lot to go through, but for me there are some tidbits here and there that I DO find interesting and some of them I even tweet about.

Whew! or How Seminars, Expos, User Group Meetings and the Internet Add Value to Your Edit Suite.

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

Okay so I was just on the Digital Production Buzz with Larry Jordan and Michael Horton.

It’ll be archived for anyone that wants to listen to it here:

Here’s what I wanted to say but couldn’t quite get out in six minutes:

How do we find bargains for our editing studio equipment?

That’s a great question!

Well Larry, I want to discuss how Seminars, expos, user group meetings and the Internet add value to your edit suite.

The first thing is Knowledge.  The more you know about the items you need or want to buy the better able you are to make wise decisions when it comes time to actually make a purchase.  

For example, before I ever bought a mac or final cut pro, I first researched what editing program I wanted to use.  I talked to filmmakers I knew, I spent many, many hours researching both Final Cut and Avid on the Internet.  Having decided what program I was going to eventually use, I still didn’t buy the program.  I looked for classes on Final Cut and found that my local community college had one and I took it.  It was in that class that I actually learned what other components I would need for a studio.  

But still I was patient.  I didn’t have the money to buy a mac, yet alone Final Cut Pro but I continued to learn more and more about each.

That’s the second point, patience.  I believe that you can get pretty much anything you want at the price you want, if you’re patient enough and you are diligent in looking.  I once bought a tape lecture called “Everything is Negotiable”.  You know what?  I never listened to the lecture.  The title was enough for me.  I just go about life with that idea.  Everything is negotiable, you can get what you want if you are patient and put yourself in the position to find it.

Did you ever look for a four-leaf clover as a kid?  You know what? You won’t find one if you don’t look.  I looked and lo, I found one.  Not everytime, but I’ve found a few and that is what finding a deal on a piece of equipment is like to me.

You gotta know what your looking for, be patient and actually look!

(A little more on knowledge: Overall knowledge of your subject can always be improved and for me, I spend a lot of time going to Expos [like HD Expo/Createasphere], Seminars, Meetups, User group meetings [like LAFCPUG], and I most always learn something new.  In fact, I was surprised that I knew more about the Silicon Images’s SI-2K camera than a Moviola camera rental rep, last night.  All because I had just seen it demoed and talked about at another event, two weeks ago. Of course he knew a LOT more about EVERY other camera out there and a TON about compression and data rates of the different cameras and so, I did learn things from him.  But the point I want to make here is raffles and door prizes!   For example, in the last year I’ve won over $1700 in software and training DVDs just by going to LAFCPUG meetings!  I buy $10-$20 worth of raffle tickets each time I go but the education I get each night is worth that alone!!!)

NOW that’s all very nice but the next obvious question is WHERE to look.

Where do we look to find bargains?

I’m going to just talk about Internet sites to go to tonight but you can expand on these to other resources in your own local areas.

First, an easy one is EBAY.  I bought a $5,000 camera with an additional $4,000 worth of accessories on ebay from a director in TX for $5670 shipped.

Directors and Independent producers buy things sometimes instead of renting and then sell off the equipment after the job is done.

Some people are affraid to buy on ebay and I understand that fear but I did an experiment once with ebay and I almost lived entirely off of it.

I found my house, store front, car, moving truck and sold stuff off of ebay as my sole income for a year.  I’ve been a power seller three times over.  I just could not find groceries on there!!!! hahaha

Sure it was still scary sending $5,000, plus, to someone I’ve never met, but I did some things before-hand to settle my mind: I called the seller, we had many conversations before I committed to the buy.

The next is This is an amazing resource.  One thing though that I’d like to mention about buying software and goods on ebay and craigslist.

Don’t buy pirated software or stolen goods.  If it’s really TOO good of a deal, then it’s probably one of the above.  Don’t do it.

That’s my third point, Ethics.  I did eventually buy my first Mac and FCP but the only way I would was if the SW was ligit.  I repeat, THE ONLY WAY I WOULD.

Call it Karma or whathaveyou but what goes around comes around and if you are out there always doing good, good things (and deals!) will come your way.  

If you’re into stealing, prepare for a tough life, Man!

Hey, I want to make my living with movies so I’ll never ever download pirated movies.  You know what I mean? That’s just Bad Juju!

Now on craigslist is where I bought my first Mac, it was a G4 but not only was it a Mac that had ligit Final Cut Pro studio ONE but I bought, practically a whole studio’s worth of equipment from an independent studio in Hollywood.  The original bill for the setup, which he had with all recepits was like $50-60,000.00
 and would you like to guess what I paid for it?  $1500.

Now that isn’t a once-in-a-lifetime deal, I’ve seen whole setups go for free.  You just have to be on the lookout for ‘em.

The thing that gets me is having to pass on deals. I passed on a NEW Mac-Pro with Final Cut Studio and 4Gs of Ram for $1000.  That one bothered me, still does.

But I know that if there was that kind of a deal once, that it can happen again.  So I bide my time, mwah-hah-ha!!!

Couple more points, social networking.  I just bought an HV30 and Redrock M2 35mm adapter and handheld kit with a canon lens off a twitter “friend” for $1000 shipped.  That’s like getting a free HV30 and Redrock Micro micro Shoulder Mount.  Can’t complain about that!

So to review:  Knowledge (know what you’re buying), patience (be willing to wait to get it), ethics (karma, Man!), networking (Really this means communication, get to know people) combined with raffles, door prizes, SWAG and eBay and craigslist.

If I’m going to buy a book online, I look at at least three places (Amazon, ebay,, and maybe I most definitely will Google it.  Yeah, don’t forget Google is your friend, from computer problems to finding deals, use Google liberally!

On top of all of this, you’ll probably find work.  I don’t think there is anything, editing equipment-wise, that I have bought that hasn’t also lead to a conversation about what I do and an eventual contact for future work.  After all who’s selling editing equipment?  Editors! or their bosses!

Great People I Met Yesterday and the Night Before

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

I started the day by looking at a “live” event production truck. A great deal, but it’s mostly standard definition equipment. I’m still considering it but I have to justify the costs. Maybe someone will partner up with me.

Next, I met up with a twitter contact who was in town from Baltimore, I met with Charlie Anderson. He was in L.A. for a couple reasons, a shoot for Under Armour and a premiere of a feature he shot. We exchanged stories or how we got into what we’re doing and where we want to end up. Check out his work and hire him if you need a DP or RED tech.

Next I was off to Allied Post Audio in Santa Monica for their monthly LAPPG meeting. Woody there runs a top notch shop and has an awesome post production meeting. It’s by RSVP and limited seating, so you have to be quick or you won’t get a spot.

I arrived early to volunteer and help setup for the event. Jesse, an intern there, who is going into USC’s Directors Master Program, (now there’s someone you should get to know, was there and he explained what he was up to. It was nice to get a young perspective of the industry. Quite refreshing. Also there were Candice and Wendy. All great people.

Soon Wes Plate, founder of Automatic Duck arrived and I explained that I had so many of his keychains that I felt obligated to follow him on He said to check out the video on the site about how they’re made. It’s here: http// , well it’s supposed to be :(

Wes gave a great presentation on all their products. I learned a lot about Avid, FCP and AE workflows.

Before he went on, Aaron McNally from Moviola presented and I learned a LOT about compression and video capture of cameras. Really wish I would have recorded that presentation. It was that good.

Before the presentations and during the breaks and after the meeting I meet the following great people:

Von Thomas, of Digital Tech NYC/LA a new Red One owner and renter of such.
Kent Luck, independent editor
Jay Miracle, editor of Hearts of Darkness documentary — BTW, Jay is looking for a great titler for a non-profit gig, an hours work. Let me know if you’re interested….
Heather Konkoli, Producer of TV Guide Channel’s InFANity show.
and David Buller, a promo editor for Fox TV.

Tuesday night I met Marty over at Brins & Sawyer. She’s great too.  I highly recommend their store!  Service is awesome.

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

Larry Jordan Is All The Buzz At NAB and Why You Should Know Him

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

My first introduction to Larry Jordan was a just over a year ago at the March 2008 LAFCPUG Meeting when Larry gave a “Converting HDV to ProRes 422 – and why you want to” demo. It was a fantastic demonstration and communicated clearly and precisely. Larry’s communication skills carry over to a variety of media.

Larry is the quintessential FCP guru having authored a few books on the subject and countless tutorials and articles. He puts out a monthly newsletter STUFFED with Final Cut Pro and related information. (Sign up for his newsletter here: He also is the voice of the Digital Production Buzz, a weekly podcast on digital production, post production and distribution.

Larry Jordan travels the world with his Power Up with Final Cut Pro seminars and they grow every year. Luckily for us in Southern California, he spends a lot of time here and there are a lot of classes to attend. If you’re looking for a class to take on FCP, I would highly recommend you check his class schedule here: and find one to attend. In fact, if you’re not 100% satisfied, there is a money-back guarantee. You can’t beat that! If you can’t make one, maybe order a DVD or book.

The worth of the Digital Production Buzz has been noticed by NAB and they are the official podcast for NAB. You can (should be able to) get them below:

NAB News Briefs (April 18-23, 2009)

Digital Production Buzz

Add this player to your site!

BuZZ Shows (Ongoing)

Digital Production Buzz

Add this player to your site!

RED Scarlet and Apple Final Cut Studio 3 to be released at NAB?

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

Being a So. Cal man, the closeness of Red headquarters finally got the best of me and I made a trip to Lake Forest, CA in hopes to get first-hand looks at the goings-ons.

After all, Jim Jannard stated yesterday ( that new developments for the Scarlet and the Epic were afoot and some of the details would be released at the Red User NAB party (

While I was there I stumbled upon a few secrets….

Those of you familiar with my blog and relationship with Ted from Red will understand how I was able to pierce the veil of secrecy, so tightly wrapped around the RED compound.

I’ll just cut to the chase:

First was that RED was working very closely with Apple on a new codec that would blow ProRes and Redcode out of the water and that that codec would be included in Final Cut Pro 7, the major component to Final Cut Studio 3.

Next, while there has been much talk about Apple and RED dis’ing NAB, they were both going to be in LV.  RED to be at the REDUSER Party and Apple at the Final Cut Pro User Group, where each company would unveil their much anticipated products.

As you may have deduced by now, I wasn’t supposed to come across this information and a chase soon ensued.  I don’t know why all of my dreams worth remembering include chase scenes but they always do.  With a quickened heart pulse, I awoke and realized that not only was I dreaming but that it was also…

April Fool’s Day!!!!

FCP, ‘Cause You Don’t Know How To Do Anything

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

I think the new slogan for Final Cut Pro should be, “Final Cut Pro, ‘Cause You Don’t Know How To Edit”.

Last night I heard bandied about that Final Cut Studio [2] is a great product because if you don’t know how to do something, like edit or burn a DVD or create a soundtrack or create some motion graphics then you can always do it in FCP or DVDSP or Soundtrack Pro or Motion.  It kind of hit home with me and made me laugh (as well as an auditorium full of FCP users).

It was also commented on the night before at a related event for post production types that people don’t want to learn how to do something, like how to use a piece of software, they just want to use it. 

It is so true, people buy a piece of software to solve their problem.  I can’t do my taxes or don’t want to pay an accountant to do them, so I’ll just buy “TaxBookPro” and that will take care of that.  Just fill in the lines and “Viola!”

How many people never read the manual for a piece of software or hardware for that matter and just start fiddling with it and try to figure it out as they go?  Most, I’d venture to guess.  I’ve done it many times.

I did have some life experiences though that helped me be more manual friendly.  The main one, my parents knew that problems with equipment came from a lack of understanding of that equipment and always made sure that I read the manual for any new household appliances that we got in the house, before I was allowed to use them.  You know, like for the new microwave, it’s good to know that aluminum foil arcs in a microwave or that to cook something shorter than a minute, you should turn the dial past the one minute mark and then to the number of seconds you want to cook for.  Things for the new dishwasher that were good to know: don’t use laundry detergent in it but shampoo would be okay to use or don’t open quickly while in use, wait until you don’t hear the water spinning anymore.

The more I read manuals, the less problems I had with things in general.  I could do things like fix cars, motorcycles and mopeds.  I could raise rabbits and tropical fish.  I could get along better with people.  I could hook up computer parts.

What happened with technical manuals though?  Why were they so hell-bent on being confusing rather than easy to understand?  Why did they have to be so big?  Why were they filled with so many hard-to-understand words?  Was it a technical standard to have a 1000-page manual that sounded erudite to pass as a good piece of software?  Sometimes I think so.

I was lucky in that I didn’t own Final Cut Pro before I started to “read the manual” on it.  I wanted to know how to use the software and I knew I couldn’t afford it at the time, so I took a community course on editing.  I didn’t know the first course was going to be on FCP but it was a requirement for the next which I knew would be on FCP.  Turns out the first class was taught on FCP 6 and the textbook for the class turned out to be Apple Pro Training Series: Final Cut Pro 6 by Diana Weynand. The class was very good and covered editing and camera shot principles as well as the technical use of the software. We got to practice on TV series, using scripts to edit and creating our own short. I really enjoyed the class and that’s what propelled me to do all I’ve done and all I’m doing today.

I still consider that I don’t know how to edit or do soundtracks or make DVDs, even though I’m dabbling with the software. But that won’t stop me ’cause FCP is made for people like me!