» Posts Tagged ‘editing’

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Cutting Edge Tour

Here at No Film School, we love us some Saturday Night Live, and we’ve had the privilege of speaking with folks from the film unit who have generously showed us the inner workings of the show, from Academy Award-nominated DP Alex Buono’s cinematographic breakdown of the Wes Anderson spoof The Midnight Coterie of Sinister Intruders to the very talented editor Adam Epstein revealing the insane process of editing SNL shorts. As you might know, Adam is currently touring around the U.S. giving editing seminars that show editors how to go from empty timeline to broadcast-ready, including how to set up a workflow that really works for you, the basics of sound editing, grading, and delivery, and how to do all of this at breakneck speed. We got the chance to attend his Cutting Edge Tour during its stop in San Francisco, where we were able to pick his brain about all sorts of things, like what the SNL workflow looks like, which programs he uses, as well as what editors can do to grow and succeed as an artist. More »

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ThelmaMartyOf all our modern directors, there is perhaps none with a more eidetic memory than Martin Scorsese; defined as an ability to recall precise images, sounds and objects, three of the main elements of motion pictures, Scorsese seems to remember every shot in every film he has ever seen, and probably some films he hasn’t seen yet. It’s what makes him such a complete filmmaker; he’s a master of technique, able to conjure any cinematic effect he likes, and yet he never makes a film that feels less than his. Of course, this is to ignore the efforts of his editor, Thelma Schoonmaker, with whom he has worked for nearly his whole career. Check out this (of course, incomplete) list of key editing moves in Scorsese films, as well as a look at the power of influence in film. More »

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Inside the Edit Paddy Bird

A few months ago, we shared an excellent short animation that detailed the ins and outs of what exactly an experienced editor does. Although we only briefly mentioned it at the time, that video was an advertisement for Inside the Edit, a soon-to-be-released online creative editing course. Yesterday marked the official release of Inside the Edit, and we here at No Film School couldn’t be more excited about the tremendous potential value that this course offers to aspiring editors wishing to break into the industry. I recently had the opportunity to chat with Paddy Bird, the founder of Inside the Edit, about what sets this course apart from any other editing course on the market today. More »

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Disney Automatic EditingWe all know that editing is an incredibly complex craft, one that requires not only an immaculate sense of timing, but also an in-depth knowledge of narrative structure. The edit is, after all, the final re-writing of the script. With that said, editing can also be, well, a pain in the ass, with hours on end spent making minuscule changes. But what if an edit, or at least a competent rough cut, could be done with an algorithm designed to choose the best shots and string them together with continuity? Well, a group of engineers with Disney Research have done just that, and they’ve put together a brief video explanation of how it all works. More »

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Resolve 11 EditingAt NAB 2014, Blackmagic Design announced DaVinci Resolve 11, and it not only contained a handful of fantastic new color correction and organization features, but also upwards of 70 new editing features that brought Resolve’s timeline trimming functionality into line with many of today’s popular NLEs. After a month and a half in public beta testing, the final release version of DaVinci Resolve 11 was made available today. More »

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Walter Murch - Movies in Your Brain- The Science of Cinematic PerceptionEditor and sound designer Walter Murch has some incredibly fascinating ideas on films and editing, most of which he outlines in his book In the Blink of an Eye. In it he proposes the idea that human blinks are actually a very natural cut point, and he goes on to discuss the theory of editing and the importance of certain elements in relation to the entire cut of the movie. Murch and actor/director Jon Favreau recently got together to discuss these ideas and the real science that happens during filmmaking at an event called “Movies in Your Brain: The Science of Cinematic Perception.” More »

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ADR Adobe AuditionIn theory, ADR is a relatively simple process. You bring your actors into a vocal booth, show them their original performance, then record a clean take of them mimicking that original performance. Easy right? Well once you start replacing the production sound with the newly-recorded audio, things can start to get tricky. Oftentimes minuscule variations in performance can lead to ADR that just doesn’t work because of barely-perceptible sync issues. This can be fixed in most audio post production programs by subtly warping the audio file to match the original clip, but that process is tedious and time-consuming, and often the results still aren’t up to par. Luckily, there’s a feature in Adobe Audition that will do all of that work for you with a few clicks. It’s called “Automated Speech Alignment” and the good folks at PeachpitTV have a tutorial to show you how it’s done. More »

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rear-window-12Editing is one of the most mysterious aspects of filmmaking. Through skillful manipulations of still images, it’s possible to create illusions of unity in time and space, and what’s more, make these illusions elicit emotion from an audience, whether tears, laughs, or screams (and sometimes all three at once). Alfred Hitchcock was a master of editing (and everything else in the realm of cinema), and nowhere is his editing skill, as well as that of editor George Tomasini, more on display than in his classic, Rear Window. Watch this video and see Hitch explain (in his inimitable and entertaining way) the key element of film editing that he turned into much more than a technical device in his 1954 classic. More »

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Masking & Tracking Adobe PremiereIn the month since Adobe released the 2014 updates to all of their Creative Cloud video applications, we’ve covered many of the significant new features in Premiere, After Effects, SpeedGrade, and Audition. However, we still have not covered one of the most significant time-saving features that was included in Premiere Pro 2014. I’m talking of course about “Masking and Tracking,” something which used to require timely round-trips between Premiere and After Effects. For all of your effects-based tracking, that round-tripping is no longer necessary, as it can all be accomplished directly inside of Premiere Pro. Here’s Larry Jordan to show you just how simple it is. More »

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Learn Color GradingThere are many factors that go into making a film look cinematic, like lighting, blocking, and camera settings, but creating a good color grade is certainly somewhere near the top. If you’re completely new to color grading, but are looking for an opportunity to really get a firm grasp of it (or even if you just want to learn a few new techniques), this intensive DaVinci Resolve class, which will teach you everything from the basics of the interface to advanced color control, is now 75% off  ($49) on the online learning platform Udemy. More »

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eyes-wide-shutWhen it was released in the summer of 1999, Eyes Wide Shut was easily the most anticipated film of the year. Starring the biggest movie star in the world and his wife, it was the first film in 12 years for Stanley Kubrick, who had not given an interview since 1987, on the occasion of the release of Full Metal Jacket. Kubrick, who was known to famously change his work even after its release, was rumored to be still working on the film when he died, to the point where what was released was not the film he intended. He also couldn’t supervise the marketing campaign, which sold the movie as a sexy romp, but just ended up freaking people out. Now, 15 years later, with the movie back in the public consciousness, is it time for a reappraisal, and to ask whether the Eyes Wide Shut we saw was what Kubrick intended? I dunno. Let’s see! More »

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PolyphonyFilm is often thought of as being a visual medium, but sound (especially sound and visuals together) play a huge role in storytelling. This enlightening video essay from two students from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands breaks down the concept of contrapuntal music in film, a technique used famously by Stanley Kubrick and Quentin Tarantino that arranges independent, yet harmonious musical and filmic parts, expressing a deeper narrative meaning to the tune of Sergei Eisenstein’s theory of the montage. More »

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Adam EpsteinThe Saturday Night Live Film Unit is responsible for the short films (like this Wes Anderson horror parody) that get broadcast every Saturday night. Many are written, shot, and edited in 4 days or less, which makes for a very condensed and hectic production and post schedule. Last month, we interviewed Adam Epstein, the staff editor for the SNL Film Unit, and he not only provided technical information about how he works, but also some insight into how to be creative and effective on extremely tight deadlines. But that’s not where the great info stops, because Adam is now gearing up to hit the road for his Cutting Edge Tour, in which he’ll teach you everything you need to know in order to go from an empty timeline to an effective broadcast-ready piece. More »

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Carsten Kurpanek Editor of Earth to Echo
Have you ever had that particular project come along that completely turned your career around — a break-out job after lots of hard work, that lead to more projects you loved working on? I FaceTimed recently with editor Carsten Kurpanek, who just edited his first wide-released feature Earth to Echo (in theaters now). Carsten was kind enough to provide some keen perspective from his own career thus far, some insights into the future of NLE technology, and even some recommendations and advice to those new to editing. More »

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Lawrence of Arabia EditingThere are very few things that you can learn in film school that can’t be learned online in some form or another. The only problem is that tracking down all of that information can be a bit of, well, a pain in the ass. Oftentimes you have to dig through page after page on obscure forums, or watch YouTube video after YouTube video, just to find something that is relatively helpful in your pursuit of filmmaking knowledge. Other times however, sites like IndieWire, Cinefix, (and ours, of course) bring the film school to you, without any need for absurd tuition and a lifetime of debt, and for people wondering what kind of material is taught in college editing courses, right now is one of those times. More »

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ProRes 4444 LogoApple just recently updated Final Cut Pro X, with better options for managing optimized, proxy, and rendered media, so that they can be stored anywhere outside of the library, and also all be deleted from inside Final Cut Pro X. In addition to the changes in FCPX 10.1.2, Apple updated Compressor and Motion, and they also launched a brand new codec, ProRes 4444 XQ, which promises even higher fidelity than ProRes 4444 at the cost of additional disk space. More »

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DaVinci Resolve 11 EditingIn the early days of NAB 2014, Blackmagic Design shared a few new products that made a major splash. However, even though some of these products generated some serious excitement, their biggest announcement by far was the fact that DaVinci Resolve, the legendary color correction software, was now also a fully fledged NLE with a host of new trimming and timeline tools. Although the official release date for the software is still several months out at this point, today Blackmagic released the public beta of version 11, which can now be downloaded from their website. More »

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Premiere Pro Live Text TemplatesA few days ago, Adobe released the Creative Cloud 2014 video applications, an update that included a few extremely welcomed new features throughout the entire range of video tools. Most notably, Premiere Pro and After Effects are becoming even more tightly integrated than they were previously, with new features in Premiere like masking and tracking of effects and Live Text Templates. These templates allow editors to manipulate text assets in multi-layer After Effects compositions without ever leaving Premiere Pro, something which should end the practice of incessant round-tripping between the two programs in order to make small adjustments. In a brand new Lynda tutorial, Chris Meyer shows us how exactly Live Text Templates work, and how to incorporate this exciting new feature into your editing workflow. More »

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FCPX Workshop Larry JordanCreativeLive is one of my absolute favorite educational websites. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the site, it offers educational video workshops in a variety of creative disciplines – everything from photography and filmmaking to audio production and business tips for creatives. Like most websites of this nature, the content can be purchased and viewed on your own schedule. But the thing that sets CreativeLive apart from its competitors is the fact that all of their courses play live (and for free) before they end up in the archives. So if you’re free this coming Monday through Wednesday (June 23-25). you can watch Larry Jordan teach a three-day masterclass in FCPX without spending a dime! More »

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Adobe AuditionFew things in filmmaking are as difficult or headache-inducing as getting clean production audio while you’re on set. Hence the reason that ADR is such a widespread practice throughout the narrative filmmaking industry. In almost all cases, even with the most talented boom operators and on-set mixers, there will be imperfections in the production sound. However, before scrapping the original sound for ADR (which is an incredibly time-consuming process), there are some nifty post production tricks in Adobe’s lineup of programs that could save you hours upon hours of time with just a few clicks. More »