Archive for the ‘User groups & meetings’ Category

Art of the Film Score

October 17th, 2015

Vertigo posterDid you ever want to… Know the relationship between Pinocchio and the music in Close Encounters of the Third Kind? … Appreciate the genius of Bernard Herrmann, the composer for Vertigo and other memorable Hitchcock films? … Understand what goes into creating the music for films that so enraptures us?

Marcia BaumanFilm composer, professor, and friend Marcia Bauman will delve into the world of cinema music in the Art of the Film Score. It’s a four-week workshop that starts November 7 at CMCM (Center for Media in the County of Marin). Here’s the musically enticing trailer that Marcia and CMCM created for the class.

Marcia helped me on my latest film book, Cut by Cut: Editing Your Film or Video 2nd Edition and I’ve been wanting to take one of her classes for a long time. I will be there and hope to see you.

Time: 1-4 PM
Dates: Saturdays, November 7-28
Place: 819 A St. San Rafael, CA (CMCM)

Click here for more info about the class and its registration page.

Announcements, History/research, Sound & music editing, User groups & meetings

Free Feedback Workshop for Filmmakers

August 24th, 2015

Announcement of CMCM workshopIf you live near San Rafael and have a film in progress, starting September 2, I’ll be leading a feedback group, “Work-in-Progress Wednesdays” at CMCM (Center for Media, County of Marin).

The workshop is free and will meet every other month.

If you’re working on an 8–10 minute short piece, you can show your entire piece. If you’re editing a long form project, you can run up to 20 minutes of your cut.

Time: 6:30-8:30 PM
Date: Wednesday, September 2
Place: 819 A St. San Rafael, CA (CMCM)

In a safe, collegial space, you’ll hear feedback from fellow filmmakers as well as from me. I will enforce stated guidelines that will allow you to hear comments in a supportive atmosphere. Think of it as a free focus group.

To enter a clip, email a brief description of your project no later than Wednesday, August 26 to Otherwise, just show up and learn from watching others’ work and giving feedback. Learn more here.

Now look at this promo for “Work-in-Progress Wednesdays.” It gives you the information but it could use some feedback itself!

Announcements, Editing practices, User groups & meetings

A Veteran Sound Editor Sounds Off and
Imparts a Terabyte of Filmmaking Knowledge from Development to the Mix

August 6th, 2012

Sound editor Vickie Sampson was the featured speaker at LAFPUG* recently which has posted her edited talk. This 34-minute video is a must see for anyone entering the biz, wishing to make their own film, or wanting to learn more about planning for sound and editing it. Vickie is a long time sound editor on many illustrious films, starting with New York, New York and continuing through both Sex in the City movies. (How’s that for getting caught between the moon and NYC!)

What Vickie knows about sound and filmmaking is worth listening to.

She’s human, entertaining, and instructional as she’s done it all: Directed and written her own films, commercials, and shorts in addition to her sound work. She also is a consummate teacher, giving regular sources at Video Symphony in Burbank. But this lecture is free. And worth your time.

The last thing I want to say before turning you over to the video: Vickie has been a long time friend and resource for both editions of Cut by Cut: Editing Your Film or Video books. She kindly wrote the Foreword to the current (second) edition.

So I am very happy to introduce you the intrepid, inimitable Vickie!

*Los Angeles Final Cut Pro Users Group

Editing & life, Editing & screenwriting, Editing practices, Editor’s role, Sound & music editing, User groups & meetings, Visual FX editing

“I the ProRes Maker,” an Assistant Editor’s Ode

February 10th, 2011

One last goody from the SF SuperMeet of editors and  FCP users on January 28th. Two assistants made this rap video, “I the Pro Res Maker” about their work lives. “We’re always making SD, rarely HD,” they lamented.  And this video is no exception. Feel their pain.

Editing practices, Editor’s role, Technical & process, User groups & meetings

SF SuperMeet Part II

February 3rd, 2011

SuperMeetIt was a gloomy day in SF and I dragged myself over the GG bridge but I was glad I did.

Cost of the SuperMeet: $11.34

Parking: $24 or $0 if you walked 2 long blocks and were lucky find a space like me.

Value: Up to you, but most would say, “Yeah, totally worth it.” And if you won anything in the $50K raffle, even more worth it.

Evening program

After welcoming FCP User’s groups from across the country – Boston, LA, and DC, SF Cutters prez Claudia Trask intro’d The New Up, a B & W music video shot on the muni and streets of SF.
editing process
Next up was Tony Cacciarelli, Product Marketing Manager from AJA. “Pronounce it A-J-A, Ahjah or any way you like but call us” was his message. He went over the company’s KiPro ($3995) but concentrated on six months old more affordable KiPro mini ($1995). It’s a mini-field recorder that attaches to a video camera and helps create edit-ready video because it records Apple ProRes 422 QuickTime files on industry standard Compact Flash (CF) media. The audience appreciate this speeding up of an Apple tapeless workflow as it allows recording to be quickly imported, no log and capture necessary.

Attention students = those with .edu in their email

An Autodesk rep spoke next and he said that students can use Smoke free for 36 months by going to The rest of us can have 30-day free trial at

Voda Studios Voda Digital and Voda Studios from Seattle took the stage next, proclaiming that in the future tablets will outpace TV as stats show that more people are now online than are watching TV. Hmmm. How many are on both as the same time? They cited other stats – 96% growth in Smart phones over the past year and 20% of internet traffic during peak time in U.S. on Netflix – to underscore their point that the world of media and how we think of it is a-changing.

Don’t be ashamed of autofocus

My favorite speaker came last. Michael Blieden, DP on the Jimmy Fallon show, talked about experimenting with new cameras. “Part of the artistry [of cinematography] is being in charge of the focus,” he began. So it went against his grain to use auto-focus on last year’s opening skit of the Emmys. Blieden did a superb job of showing how he experimented with Canon’s XF305 which employs face recognition, a fairly new technique that doesn’t always maintain focus. I’ll let the results speak for themselves. Here his footage from the opening of last September’s 2010 Emmys:

All this before the 8:30 break! After which I took off, handing over my raffle tickets to a new friend who said he’d call if we won. Still waiting!

Awards, Editing practices, Editor’s role, Marketing & budgeting, Technical & process, Television, User groups & meetings, Visual FX editing

SF SuperMeet – Part I

January 31st, 2011

Friday January 28 saw approximately 600 filmmakers from San Francisco’s Bay Area show up for the SuperMeetFCPUG and SF Cutters tenth annual SuperMeet. Having relocated from LA to the North Bay last July, yours truly was on hand to glean the latest for her update of book #1 Cut by Cut: Editing Your Film or Video and meet some area filmmakers.

FCP users groups started 10 years ago when the system was in V 1.0 to share tips and techniques since Apple provided no teaching or opps to get together as other systems like Avid have routintely done (with nice hors d’oeuvres too).  For someone who started on FCP V 1.0  as a trainer (having previously trained a lot of people on Lightworks and a few on Avid) it’s been amazing to see this former Seabiscuit of systems now be the top dog with lots of enthusiastic editors and regular raffles at these get-togethers.

Here’s my rundown of the events:


  • Canon DSLR workshops = hot ticket
    • Every session filled, unlike any other workshop.
    • Skipped workshop as I’d explored DSLRs awhile ago – see May 20-June 2 blogs.
  • Sign of the times: “Avid for FCP users workshop.”
  • Adobe Premiere Pro workshop
    • A tough crowd of FCP’ers faced demoer Karl Lee Soule and co-presenter Kevin Monahan, an FCP expert. Would they meet the challenge?
    • I had worked on PP on its original PC platform so was interested to see how it worked on Mac.
    • With Soule driving, they showed how Premiere Pro makes it easy to bring files in and actually edit straight from a P2 card.
    • Also, PP makes it easy to edit different formats on the same timeline, due to its frameblending, providing you have time code.
    • You can import a timeline from FCP, work on it in PP and then export if back to FCP.
    • The other highlight for me was seeing how you could render one project and edit on another with Adobe Media Encode, if you had enough processor power, meaning sufficient RAM and GPUs.
    • Lastly Soule played a promotional piece featuring the director and the assistant editor of The Social Network that demonstrated how Adobe After Effects integrates with Premiere Pro.
    • …Conclusion: Yes, the audience was impressed. We’ll see if anyone makes the switch.

      Part II

      More in the next post about the Blackmagic design workshop on their DaVinci Resolve color grader. And highlights of the evening meeting which brought everyone together in an auditorium for talks, a music video, and demoes, not to mention the raffle of prizes totalling ___K. So stay tuned!

      Editing practices, Technical & process, User groups & meetings