Archive for the ‘Post-Production’ Category


Now You Don’t Need Editors – 21. September, 2011

So someone created a website where you can upload clips and it’ll edit them into a video for you.

Um, why isn’t this a bigger story? Why aren’t more people FREAKING OUT?!

Apparently they churn out a montage set to music but the company claims their algorithms can analyze your footage and pick out the most interesting parts.

Am I the only person that feels like we’re one step closer to Judgment Day?

Posted in Post-Production

Don’t Retreat, Reengage – 26. January, 2011

So last year I set some goals for myself. I failed miserably. I wrote nothing. I didn’t direct anything. I…

Okay, it wasn’t all doom and gloom. I did manage to lock picture on my film, LAST NIGHT, but I still need to go back and tweak a few shots. And I need to finish it so I can move on to the next project. I also traveled to Europe. These are good things, but overall 2010 was a wash. Why? Well, without getting into it, things just sucked.

So how can I turn 2011 around? It took me a while but I realized it while I was about to fall asleep last night. I can’t take on anything new. No, that’s too much. I can simply look back at the things I liked in my life and reengage. This means working on my film, writing a new feature, writing those long overdue FRINGE and CHUCK specs, playing the guitar, etc.

That’s it. It’s simple but it’s a good way to get back on track (which needs to happen before I can move forward).

The Agony of Playing LAST NIGHT in HD on my PS3 – 8. November, 2010

Christ, there are so many damn festival deadlines approaching/passing. The Sundance deadline was just a few weeks ago but recently there’s been the Berlinale, Slamdance, the Miami International Film Festival, the San Francisco International Film Festival, SXSW and Tribeca. By the end of the month I’m looking to submit to the Cleveland International Film Festival, the Independent Film Festival of Boston, the Dallas International Film Festival, Rooftop Films, the Seattle International Film Festival, the Sarasota Film Festival and the Los Angeles Film Festival.

Lucky for me, I have a locked cut of my film to submit.

Still, being the neurotic perfectionist that I am, I want to hold a few screening before proceeding with the sound edit/mix and color correction. Now, I could just screen my SD DVD but I shot high-def, I have a nice TV and a PS3, why the Hell shouldn’t I screen the best possible version I can? Really, what’s stopping me?

Well, nothing but time, technology and storage space.

Warning: I’m about to peg the geek/nerd/techie meter.

I shot my film with the Panasonic HVX200 so my footage is all 1080p/23.98 DVCproHD. I color corrected my locked, festival submission cut in After Effects with Colorista and Looks. So far, so good.

Now, the PS3 can handle H.264 but wants that in an MPEG-4 wrapper. That’s straightforward, right?

Yes… and no. After Effects won’t output a multi-pass codec so I needed to create an intermediary version. I went with ProRes. Why not the Animation codec or ProRes HQ? While those codecs deliver a higher quality image, the trade off in time is crippling. My After Effects ProRes output of a five reel film took 60 hours! ProRes HQ is roughly 20% larger than the vanilla ProRes I used, so that would have taken 72 hours. I couldn’t afford to tie up my computer for three full days. The Animation codec is lossless so God only knows how long that would have taken.

With my ProRes version in hand the next step was to create an H.264 version with AAC audio in Compressor. I think that took about a day, can’t really be sure because I farmed this work out to another computer; like I said, I have other work to complete, work that requires the use of my MacBook Pro.

After that it’s an easy passthrough in QTPro to wrap the file as MPEG-4 (thank you Stu for this tip).

Done.  Next, I had to transfer the film to my PS3 and I’m done. Not quite. My film is about 30GB but I only have 20GB left on my PS3 HDD. Solution: buy a new HDD (thank God the PS3 makes swapping the HDD easy). After hours/days of research I learned that I needed to purchase a 2.5″ 5400rpm 500GB SATA II HDD with a 16MB cache. I found a nice Hitachi on Amazon and I’m golden.

Well, no. See, they send me a drive with a 8MB cache. I send the drive back but in the meantime I do a bit more research. It looks like no one makes a 2.5″ 5400rpm 500GB SATA II HDD with a 16MB cache. You either get a 5400rpm with an 8MB cache or a 7200rpm HDD with a 16MB cache. I’m thinking I really could use the 16MB cache in regards to the heft of my file’s data rate but boards suggest that some folk have had issues with the 7200rpm drives in their PS3s. Ugh. Fine, I’ll go with an 8MB cache HDD.

The new HDD arrives and I immediately make 2 backups of my PS3 HDD before swapping it out for my new one. I pray this will go without a hitch. It almost does. I had to have the PS3 OS on a USB stick in order to properly format my new 500GB HDD. I then restored my original PS3 files but that took close to 5 hours. Once I verified that all my files were restored and worked, it’s finally time to transfer my file to my PS3. I can’t use my 30GB USB stick (formatted, it’s less than 30GB and we’re all experienced that pain/agony) but I have some space on the external HDD I use to back up my PS3. I hook that drive up to my MBP and…

Failure?! Yup. See, the HDD I use to backup my PS3 is formatted FAT 32, which restricts file size to 4GB or less. What’s worse, the PS3 won’t recognize a drive formatted any other way. FUCK! How the hell am I supposed to move this 30GB H.264 file from a Mac formatted HDD to my PS3?

The answer is PS3 Media Server. It’s a Mac app that lets your PS3 browse your Mac for playable media. At first I was worried that I’d have to always stream the media but there’s a “Copy to PS3” function.

Did it work?

Hell yeah! My film transferred to my PS3, it plays in all its HD glory.

Now I need to organize a pair of screenings this weekend (all the while praying that work doesn’t ask me to come in Saturday or Sunday). Was this worth it? I think so but I’ll confirm after the screenings.  Meanwhile, if you’re trying to do the same thing with your Mac/PS3, feel free to shoot me your questions.

Locked Picture on LAST NIGHT – 7. September, 2010

For all intensive purposes, I think I just locked picture on my film. I might just make the Sundance deadline after all.

Anyway, after coming to that realization I took a moment to celebrate by having a cold iced tea and listening to Joe Jackson. That’s when I heard one of his songs and… well, I think it’s important for you to know that I first heard it as this cover.

Suddenly I heard a ticking in my head and the BMP was set to speed metal.


Time to get back to work on this sucker.

So You’re An Editor? – 4. August, 2010

Oh so very funny. And then I cried. And then I looked for an Avid class.  Check it out.

But seriously, we don’t need the FCP bashing. And everyone wants you to find their know-it-all nephew a job. Yeah, I got a job for him. I’ll turn his @$$ out on Santa Monica Blvd. F**k your nephew.

Posted in Post-Production

April 2010 Goal Check – 5. May, 2010

I think I can sum up this past month with one phrase:

What the fuck happened?

The month didn’t get off to a good start and then, for some unknown, after Coachella everything went straight to Hell.

Time to go at it again.

March 2010 Goal Check – 1. April, 2010

25% of the year is over so it’s time to check in on those goals again.

Finish My Feature FilmMy editor finished a cut and it looked pretty good. Obviously, I had notes but we are definitely on the same page and it feels fucking awesome to move forward. Now I just need him to export a QuickTime so I can obsessively watch it at home in High-Def. You’re asking how I’m gonna author & burn a Blu-ray from my Mac, right? Wrong. I’m gonna export the HD Quicktime to play on my PS3. Stu, you’re a hero.

Write Another TV Spec – I am WAY behind on CHUCK and FRINGE but I’m still determined write for one of these shows. I think I’m gonna take a day off, hook up the computer to the TV and just plow through the second seasons of both.

Get Hired to Direct – No bites yet.

Get My Web Series Up & Running – So I had three formal pitches and about a dozen “tell me what you’re working on” while waiting for the elevator and the response has been overwhelming. Most people love it and the rest get a right hook to their prudish sensibilities. No, seriously, one woman yelled out “oh God!” in reaction to one of our randier jokes. Awesome! Also, I’ve cut together some character vlogs and need to do more but I’ve also been writing the first season. Christ, this is really happening. Also, you’ll see that I no longer use the “T” word because it resulted in my getting spammed by those interested in this “T” word.

Write A Feature Script – I started an outline but got sidetracked by the web series and, well…

As for other goals I still don’t have a sport, a class, an acoustic guitar, a way to defy death, a way to invest and I’m still trying to finish GLUE but I did go to SXSW and I had a fucking blast so that counts for something, right?

February 2010 Goal Check – 1. March, 2010

What? The month’s already over? S**t! Time to check in with those goals I set at the start of the year.

Finish My Feature Film – No real progress here but I should be looking at a cut next month.

Write Another TV Spec – This too has taken a back seat but I am plowing through season 2 of CHUCK on my iPhone and the FRINGE season 1 Blu-ray on my PS3.

Get Hired to Direct – Um, yeah, this really isn’t happening either. Okay, by now you’re asking what the hell is wrong with me. You must think I’m a flake. I’m not, I just got hit with a one-two-punch of having a roller derby girl spurn my affections (lesson: never like them more than they like you) and then the most intense flu I’ve had since childhood. That ate up about 2-3 weeks of my life.

Get My Transmedia Project Up & Running – Good news here: I have 4 pitch meetings this week. I’ll be meeting with a creative/tech agency, a talent agent, a new media producer and a web focused production company. That means I have to get this pitch prepped ASAP.

Write a Feature Script – Nope, didn’t really push the bromance but I’m punching up this horror/thriller that a director, and friend, wants to take into a genre division. And it’s due the same week as my 4 pitches.


As for my other goals, I’m still looking for a sport, a class, a way to defy death, an acoustic guitar, a way to invest and I really gotta finish GLUE by Irvine Welsh.

Pushing Through The Pain – 16. February, 2010

Apologies that I haven’t been blogging. I got the flu and it knocked me out. Hard. Then I had to work because I was the only guy that wasn’t away for the weekend. Yup, I got no wife, no girlfriend, no significant other, so, sick as a dog, I had to trudge into work.

And then I had to prep a DVD pitch of my transmedia project. Thankfully I had a couple of colleagues step up. One put together a great PowerPoint and the other helped me slug through the 6 hours of footage in record time.

Why should you care? Because I now am much closer to having this project up and ready to share with the world. But first I’m getting back in bed so this flu can finish kicking my butt.

But I promise to blog regularly this week.

The Joy of Editing with a Client – 10. February, 2010

There is so much truth in this that it had me laughing through my tears.

Whoosh! – watch more funny videos

So, still want to be an editor?

Posted in Post-Production