Archive for August, 2015

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

Testing a Media Assets Site: Does Motion Array Meet a Freelance Editor’s Needs?

August 8th, 2015

When you have a website you get numerous unsolicited offers to improve your SEO. These emails go straight to my Block Senders and junk mail folder. Once in a blue moon – and July 31st there was a stupendous one – you get a request that is a win- win. Kaila Williams from Motion Array emailed me asking, “In an effort to increase our membership, I was wondering if you would be willing to write up a review of the services that Motion Array has to offer. We’d like to extend a free month of full membership (NOT the trial membership) in exchange for your honest review of Motion You would have access to all of the After Effects templates, stock video, stock music, and animations that we offer, in addition to the phenomenal customer service that we pride ourselves on.”

I immediately put Jay Scherberth editor extraordinaire and my partner in Picture Your Book on the case. Jay tried out the software and reported that “There really weren’t any significant negative aspects to the site or service.” Neither he nor I get remuneration of any kind from writing and posting this except for the quid pro quo stated above. Here’s his full review:

Jay on Motion Array
Motion Array logo Like most freelance Editors and Web Designers, I often have multiple projects going on, each with a looming deadline. If I don’t have the time or the skill set to create certain media assets, I’ll look to the web for a solution. There are plenty of stock footage sites out there like iStock, Getty Images and Shutterstock which do a decent job at providing the basics like photos, illustrations, and some music. However, often times I’m looking for something more, like unique motion graphics and fresh new After Effects templates.

Motion Array graphicRecently, I tested a media asset site that provided everything I needed for a project at a very reasonable cost. That site is and on it I found just the right stock music and an easy to modify After Effects template with a tutorial. To finish it all off, I grabbed a great stock motion background piece.

Motion Array categorizes all media assets and they are easily searchable. This is important because I would rather spend time creating than searching. All stock motion graphics come in QuickTime format and are encoded in popular video codecs, making them compatible with most all popular editing software like Adobe Premiere, my NLE of choice. The video resolutions, codecs, and frame rates are all listed on the individual product pages.

Motion Array previewThe folks at have done a fine job at creating a well-organized, minimally designed (remember- less is more!) website that comes up fast. I especially like the previewing options that are built into all sections of the website. If you want just a quick look or listen, simply click the asset thumbnail and it plays almost instantly. If you discover a piece of music or an After Effect template that looks promising, click the asset name and you’re presented with a detailed product page, listing format, resolution, frame rate, etc. and a large player. I especially appreciate the “Related Products” suggestions that appear just below the asset you’re examining. This helps you to zero in on just the right piece by suggesting alternative versions. is constantly adding new material which has become an almost daily ritual for me. It’s fun to discover the new, cutting edge material they’re coming up with. The amount of motion effect flares, fractals, shimmering light streaks and swirling particles seem endless but the number and quality of their animated text effects is equally impressive.

And finally, downloading and using the material is painless due to the built-in product tutorials packaged with each asset. While browsing the website, be sure to examine their extensive library of tutorials and free downloads. There is plenty to like here, especially Motion Array’s no long-term contracts policy. Check it out!

Editing practices, Editor’s role, Technical & process, Visual FX editing