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Create a Video Project's Scope and Workflow



This tutorial describes how to clearly define and present a video project's potential scope and workflow to a client. Watch more at http://www.lynda.com/course-tutorials... This specific tutorial is just a single movie from chapter three of the Budgeting Video Projects course presented by lynda.com author Rich Harrington. The complete course has a total duration of 2 hours and 18 minutes, and explores the world of video-project budgeting including how to set your rate, scope your project, create a quote, and bill your client.

Start a 7-day free trial to lynda.com 
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Project management tutorial: Managing a project with Facebook

Discover how to use Facebook groups as a project management tool. Watch more at http://www.lynda.com/Video-tutorials/.... This tutorial is a single movie from the Practical Project Management for Creative Projects course presented by lynda.com author Rich Harrington. The complete course duration is 2 hours and 30 minutes long and shows how to manage a project and balance the goals, schedule, team members, and clients involved in a creative endeavor
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How to Determine Rates for Video Projects


This video production tutorial shows how to determine your freelance rates for the services you are providing during a video project. Watch more at http://www.lynda.com/course-tutorials... This specific tutorial is just a single movie from chapter two of the Budgeting Video Projects course presented by lynda.com author Rich Harrington. The complete course has a total duration of 2 hours and 18 minutes, and explores the world of video-project budgeting including how to set your rate, scope your project, create a quote, and bill your client

Start a 7-day free trial to lynda.com 
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A Great Article on Learning Online and Offline

ldquote

Lynda Weinman (yes the creator of Lynda.com) recently posted a very interesting article. She looks at the strengths and weaknesses of online learning. She also raises important questions and concerns about the skills that are being lost as face to face educational opportunities decrease.

The article will take about 10 minutes to read and is highly recommended.
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Photofocus Podcast with Olympic Photographer Dave Black

Join Rich and Scott as they discuss the recent decision by the Chicago Sun Times to lay off their entire photography staff.  They made the decision to train their reporting staff to shoot with iPhones and to focus more on video.  Rich and Scott analyze what this means to the photo community.

The second half of the show will inspire you as we hear from
Dave Black.  Dave is a freelance photographer for over 30 years.  His   work has primarily centered on the sports industry for such publications as Sports Illustrated, Time, Newsweek and the award-winning TV show Sports Century on ESPN. He’s covered events like the Masters, Kentucky Derby, National Football League, NASCAR and extensive work regarding the United States Olympic Committee, Olympic athletes and coverage of twelve Olympic Games.

Rich and Dave discuss:
  • How Dave broke int sports photography
  • What is it like working in the field and at sporting events
  • How Dave prepares for a sports shoot by studying the sport and the athletes
  • Practical advice for shooting indoor and outdoor sporting events
  • How Dave got into the Olympics
  • Advice about Light Painting
  • Where to Find Dave — Check out his blog: http://www.daveblackphotography.com

Download  — http://photofocuspodcast.libsyn.com/webpage
Hosted by Rich Harrington & Scott Bourne
Please post a review for the Podcast on iTunes —
 http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/photofocus/id512223214
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An In-Depth Interview About My Post Workflow and NAB

ThatPostShow_v5

This week Kanen sits down with Richard Harrington. The two discuss everything from Post Production World, held annually at NAB, to self publishing and the world of new media online.


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New Class on Apple Keynote Released

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Those who know me… know I'm a big fan of Apple Keynote… In fact I just completed a new in-depth class to help you become a presentation master. It was released today on Lynda.com.

Having a killer Keynote deck isn't enough on its own. This course shows you how to wow your audience with a well-planned presentation. Author Rich Harrington shows you how to successfully export a Keynote deck once it's created and deliver the presentation. He also covers rehearsing your talking points, connecting to a screen, and creating handouts to accompany your slideshow.


  1. Getting Organized
  2. Rehearsing Your Presentation
  3. Using the Keynote Remote App
  4. Connecting Keynote to a Screen
  5. Alternate Presentation Techniques
  6. Creating Handouts
  7. Creating Movies and Graphics from Keynote

Take the class for free here

Get 7 days of free unlimited access to lynda.com.
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My Interview on "Crossing the 180"

daredreamermag

I was recently a guest on
Ron Dawson's “Crossing the 180” podcast.

Apparently I let loose a few pearl's including this one:

“If you don’t practice your craft at least 20 minutes a day, you’re going to become a dinosaur.” ~ Richard Harrington



Here's the official blurb:

Today on the show we have world renown instructor, author, successful businessman, social media master and award-winning visual communicator, Richard Harrington of RHED Pixel. From CreativeCow to a #1 iTunes podcast, Richard brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the scene. Today on the show we learn about how Richard got his start in communications, his company processes for working with clients, his philosophy on how to deal with criticism (constructive and otherwise), as well as how he chooses the technology he uses. You’re going to want to take notes for this episode.

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Site Surveys Tutorial: The Reason We Do Site Surveys

Watch more at http://www.lynda.com/Photography-Vide.... Learn the benefits of doing a site survey before a photo or video shoot. This tutorial is a single movie from the Effective Site Surveys for Video and Photo Projects course presented by lynda.com author Rich Harrington.

  • Introduction
  • 1. The Importance of the Site Survey
  • 2. The Purpose of a Site Survey
  • 3. What to Plan for, Creatively
  • 4. Location Scouting
  • 5. Who Should Go on the Site Survey or Scout?
  • 6. Gear to Bring on a Site Survey
  • 7. What to Accomplish on a Site Survey
  • Conclusion


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Social Media Tutorial: What to Post

Watch more at http://www.lynda.com/Facebook-tutoria.... This tutorial explores how to write for social media and provides pointers for posting to social media outlets. This tutorial is a single movie from the Social Media for Photo and Video Pros course presented by lynda.com author Rich Harrington. The complete course duration is 1 hour and 19 minutes long and shows how to use social media to its full potential and leverage the unique benefits it offers photographers and filmmakers. Introduction 1. What Is Social Media? 2. The State of the Internet 3. Social Media Growth 4. Becoming an Enlightened Social Media User 5. Posting Strategies 6. Monitoring Your Social Identity Conclusion

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A Great Read About Star Wars/Disney Deal

For a great article about the business behind the Star Wars/Disney deal take a look at the video and article from Bloomberg.
An inspired read for those working in the creative fields and interested in the value of intellectual property.
At first Lucas wouldn’t even turn over his rough sketches of the next three Star Wars films. When Disney executives asked to see them, he assured them they would be great and said they should just trust him. “Ultimately you have to say, ‘Look, I know what I’m doing. Buying my stories is part of what the deal is.’ I’ve worked at this for 40 years, and I’ve been pretty successful,” Lucas says. “I mean, I could have said, ‘Fine, well, I’ll just sell the company to somebody else.’


And on a different note… a little humor as a reward.
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Did Adobe Discontinue Creative Suite?

Adobe_CC


There's been a lot of hullabaloo on the Internet about Adobe discontinuing the Creative Suite. Many sites are reporting that Adobe is getting rid of Creative Suite altogether.
Here's the official statement from Adobe's FAQ about the discontinuation of physical media (aka shiny discs).
Why is Adobe discontinuing boxed copies of Creative Suite and Acrobat?
As Adobe continues to focus on delivering world-class innovation through Creative Cloud and digital fulfillment, we will be phasing out shrink-wrapped, boxed versions of Creative Suite and Acrobat. Electronic downloads for Creative Suite products will continue to be available – as they are today – from both Adobe.com, as well as reseller and retail partners.

So the real deal is that physical media is being discontinued.  Same thing Apple did to all of its software packages.  The Creative Suite is not discontinued.  This is a misunderstanding (and one that I personally verified with Scott Morris, the Senior Marketing Director, Creative Cloud & Creative Suite). Morris assured me that CS6 will continue to be sold with a perpetual license.

“Adobe is not discontinuing CS6. We are just discontinuing the shipment of physical boxes with physical DVDs, and will instead offer the products as ESD (electronic software download) only, or through Creative Cloud," said Morris.  “This change does not affect the availability of Adobe's perpetual products, just the delivery medium – in the same way that most music is delivered online now, instead of via a physical CD.”
So there you have it...  you can still buy Creative Suite... if you want to.  Though I personally think the Creative Cloud is a much better deal.

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The Rise in Business Use of Social Media

Watch more at http://www.lynda.com/Facebook-tutoria.... This tutorial explains how businesses engage with social media outlets. This tutorial is a single movie from the Social Media for Photo and Video Pros course presented by lynda.com author Rich Harrington. The complete course duration is 1 hour and 19 minutes long and shows how to use social media to its full potential and leverage the unique benefits it offers photographers and filmmakers.

  • Introduction
  • 1. What Is Social Media?
  • 2. The State of the Internet
  • 3. Social Media Growth
  • 4. Becoming an Enlightened Social Media User
  • 5. Posting Strategies
  • 6. Monitoring Your Social Identity
  • Conclusion

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Project Management Tutorial: Understanding Your Capabilities

Watch more at http://www.lynda.com/Video-tutorials/.... This tutorial shows how to analyze your business to know what you can complete in-house versus with contractors or vendors, and how to achieve a competitive advantage. This tutorial is a single movie from the Practical Project Management for Creative Projects course presented by lynda.com author Rich Harrington.

  • Introduction
  • 1. The "Whats" and "Whys" of Project Management
  • 2. Understanding Services Offered
  • 3. Project Management Core Concepts
  • 4. Scoping the Project
  • 5. Estimating Time
  • 6. Client Communication
  • 7. Project Control Cycle
  • 8. Managing Employees and Contractors
  • 9. Effective Teams
  • 10. Keeping Clients Happy
  • Conclusion

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Avid — Has the Ship Sailed (or Even Sunk)?

avidsink

Mark my words… Avid will make a desperate announcement at this year's NAB (if not sooner). Their 'we're focussing on the pro market' strategy is too little and too late. The pros they want to keep are moving on in records numbers (let alone dwindling).

My favorite quote from a
Boston Globe Article

"‎To fight back against Apple and Adobe, Avid spent more than $600 million buying two companies in 2004 and 2005 that sold audio and video editing products aimed at consumers. Instead, Avid wound up selling its consumer businesses last year for just $17 million."


Sounds a little desperate to me…..


A few "things" to keep in mind

  • The company has reported a net loss each year since 2006, from $198 million in 2008 to nearly $21 million in 2011.
  • Avid indefinitely delayed reporting its 2012 earnings and refuses to say when they will (a HUGE no no for a publicly traded company)
  • Stock prices are in a tail spin.
  • Avid has cut out all of the bundled software like Boris, leading you to essentially have to install Adobe's suite. I'm hearing conflicting reports on this one… looking into. Latest info is that Boris Continuum Complete was only product pulled.
  • I can tell you a WHOLE lot of broadcast stations are switching to Adobe Premiere Pro.
  • Apple seems to actually be trying to woo back it's "pro" market as well. Both Apple and Adobe are rapidly starving Avid to death.

Articles you need to read



If you run your shops on Avid... it's time to start thinking about a transition strategy.

I'd like to be wrong… but encourage my fellow pros to start thinking critically if they run their businesses based on Avid workflows.



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A Working Definition of Social Media


Watch more at http://www.lynda.com/Facebook-tutoria.... This tutorial defines social media and explores a few social media outlets. This tutorial is a single movie from the Social Media for Photo and Video Pros course presented by lynda.com author Rich Harrington. The complete course duration is 1 hour and 19 minutes long and shows how to use social media to its full potential and leverage the unique benefits it offers photographers and filmmakers.

  • Introduction
  • 1. What Is Social Media?
  • 2. The State of the Internet
  • 3. Social Media Growth
  • 4. Becoming an Enlightened Social Media User
  • 5. Posting Strategies
  • 6. Monitoring Your Social Identity
  • Conclusion

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Project Management Tutorial: Managing a Project with Facebook

Watch more at http://www.lynda.com/Video-tutorials/.... Discover how to use Facebook groups as a project management tool. This tutorial is a single movie from the Practical Project Management for Creative Projects course presented by lynda.com author Rich Harrington.

  • Introduction
  • 1. The "Whats" and "Whys" of Project Management
  • 2. Understanding Services Offered
  • 3. Project Management Core Concepts
  • 4. Scoping the Project
  • 5. Estimating Time
  • 6. Client Communication
  • 7. Project Control Cycle
  • 8. Managing Employees and Contractors
  • 9. Effective Teams
  • 10. Keeping Clients Happy
  • Conclusion

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Creating Videos People Want to Watch


There’s a lot to making a great video… one that connect with an audience and drives them to action. Of course video can be both expensive and time consuming. In this session, web video expert Rich Harrington shares practical advice that won’t break the bank.

You’ll learn industry secrets like:

  • What’s the right length to keep someone watching?
  • How can you ensure your audio doesn’t suck?
  • When should you use graphics to inform the viewer?
  • How do the pros create messages that stick in the viewer’s brain?
  • What role does music play in a successful video?



For more great content like this… come see me at the TAP!2013 conference in Las Vegas —
www.TAP2013.com
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The Workflow of a Professional Film and Video Colorist

I recently had a chance to write a detailed article about the workflow of my colleague Robbie Carman. Rob is a professional colorist (who works on films and television shows).

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Our recent guest Robbie Carman of Amigo Media shared a lot  of insight into the world of professional film and video.  He also wanted to give you an idea of what his work environment looks like.“Well I like gear!  In reality my gear is separated into several categories,” said Carman.  “A decade ago, the color correction systems that were in use were between half a million to a million dollars.”

Fortunately the prices have fallen significantly.  There's still a lot of gear, but things have gotten a lot more affordable.

Here's the whole article.
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My Presentation from the National Press Club on Podcasting


What is a podcast and how can it help my organization reach people online?

At this month's "Get It Online" lunch discussion, learn what a podcast is and why both communicators and journalists are increasingly using them to successful reach niche audiences. This informative session will share secrets on creating professional looking video for podcasting and other video-sharing technologies.

Podcasting is another name for audio and video blogging. The general idea is that you post audio or video content that someone can subscribe to. You are essentially creating a channel, one that you add audio, video, or print content to so it can be automatically downloaded to a subscribers’ computer or media player. All of this can occur without the need for email blasts, people logging onto websites, or expensive shipping bills.

Additionally, podcasting is much more affordable than streaming and web video options. Podcasting uses a distributed model, so instead of everyone coming to your website and clicking (then wanting to watch the video at the same time), podcasts download in the background automatically. This means that podcasts are there, waiting to be watched whenever and wherever the consumer wants them.
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Project Management Tutorial: The Characteristics of a Project


Watch more at http://www.lynda.com/Video-tutorials/.... Explore the characteristics of a project, including its purpose, constraints, interdependencies, and more. This tutorial is a single movie from the Practical Project Management for Creative Projects course presented by lynda.com author Rich Harrington.

  • Introduction
  • 1. The "Whats" and "Whys" of Project Management
  • 2. Understanding Services Offered
  • 3. Project Management Core Concepts
  • 4. Scoping the Project
  • 5. Estimating Time
  • 6. Client Communication
  • 7. Project Control Cycle
  • 8. Managing Employees and Contractors
  • 9. Effective Teams
  • 10. Keeping Clients Happy
  • Conclusion

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Essential Questions to Ask at the Start of a Project


essentialquestions
Through the years, we’ve learned many lessons the hard way. While every project is unique, it often seems the problems remain the same. Here are a few questions we always ask at the start of a project:

  • Who is our customer? Projects often have many parties involved. Know who you are responsible to keep happy.
  • What is the purpose? Establish what the video is trying to accomplish.
  • How will we measure success? Determine which factors will be used to judge the success of the project.
  • What do we want to say? Identify the goal of the piece and the message that the audience should walk away with.
  • What resources do we have? Decide who will be assigned to the project. Establish if there are any assets or resources available to the project that should be utilized.
  • What is the budget? Never discuss approach without having an idea of your financial constraints. Creative types often get swept up into big ideas without knowing what the project can support.
  • What are the deadlines? Equally as important as budget is schedule. You need to understand any major milestones so you can schedule work and adjust your approach to match the available time.
  • Are there any customer requirements? Never make assumptions. It’s always a good idea to ask the clients if they have any specific needs or requirements for the end product. You’ll often be surprised how important details can go unspoken until the very end of the project.

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Twitter or Facebook
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Creating a Multi-camera Music Video: Field Production



The following is from a new project I'm involved in called The Power To Create.

Join us this week, as we go on location with rising country music star Tyler Toliver. Have you ever wondered how music videos are created? In this episode, Host Richard Harrington and special guest, Director of Photography, Kevin Bradley will take you behind the scenes of a multi-camera set. From camera selection to lighting, you will learn the tools to produce a multi-camera music video.

In this show you’ll learn:

  • The tools needed to set up a multi-camera production.
  • Why it is beneficial to use a multi-camera setup. 
  • The importance of capturing audio from multiple sources.
  • The advantages and disadvantages of using zoom lenses and prime lenses.
  • How to use fog and practical elements  to add depth to your scene.
  • How to have a cost effective multi-camera setup.
  • How to manage footage securely on set.

Be sure to subscribe today (
iTunes or YouTube) to not miss the next free episode.

We'll be back with episodes on editing in Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro soon.

Don't forget to enter our monthly contest for a free Drobo!

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Creating a shot list and shooting order for Photo & Video Projects


This tutorial shows how to plan for a photo or video shoot by building a shot list that addresses factors such as talent limitations, continuity issues, and location availability.

This tutorial is a single movie from the
Effective Site Surveys for Video and Photo Projects course presented by lynda.com author Rich Harrington.

  • Introduction
  • 1. The Importance of the Site Survey
  • 2. The Purpose of a Site Survey
  • 3. What to Plan for, Creatively
  • 4. Location Scouting
  • 5. Who Should Go on the Site Survey or Scout?
  • 6. Gear to Bring on a Site Survey
  • 7. What to Accomplish on a Site Survey
  • Conclusion

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Lynda.com Gets Bigger

lynda_banner

As many of you know, I distribute several online classes through Lynda.com. This news just broke and I wanted to share it with you. It means that the Lynda library gets even bigger (with no price change to you). It also opens a bunch of additional languages of learning to more folks (which makes the teacher in me happy).

Here's the edited down press release.

lynda.com announced its acquisition of video2brain, a European-based online video training company that specializes in German-, French-, Spanish- and English-language courses. Now a branded division of lynda.com with a team of more than 60 people, video2brain provides an extensive multi-lingual library of 1,700 video courses covering many of the same categories as lynda.com. Based in Graz, Austria, the video2brain brand has over 400,000 subscribers who purchase access to the library either through individual and multi-user subscriptions, or through DVD and single-course downloads.

“Having video2brain become part of lynda.com creates a powerful fulfillment of some of our company’s most strategic goals,” said Lynda Weinman, co-founder and Executive Chair of lynda.com. “We welcome the video2brain staff into our family and I am confident in our ability to create an impact on education–and on people’s lives–with more reach, momentum and relevance than ever before.”

Founded in 1995, lynda.com provides software, technology, creative and business skills training to more than two million people worldwide through its comprehensive library of over 87,000 high-quality instructional videos taught by 250 recognized industry experts. In 2012, the company earned more than $100 million in revenue. video2brain, founded in 2002, has also successfully delivered outstanding instructional content created by industry experts in multi language online course libraries and on DVD.

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Why Linked In Still Matters

LI_matters


I was recently trying to explain LinkedIn to a few family members and friends… in this economy, people are definitely thinking about what comes next or how to protect themselves. But I think this is wrong. Business networking and your professional network can't just be resuscitated when you need it… you need to keep it healthy year round.

I recently came across my business card rolodex book, and I realized what an antique it truly was. Sure I have some pretty cards that are little bastions of miniature design… but they instantly go out of date. Here are ten reasons why I use LinkedIn… the paid version which offers more features.

  1. People move around. People are constantly getting new jobs or switching employers. I need to be able to keep track of them. Once we're connected on LinkedIn, I can find them wherever they end up.
  2. References matter. People have left some nice references and lots of endorsements on my profile. Nothing goes further than references… people really respond well to thoughtful opinions left about your work and character.
  3. Great groups. I belong to several group on LinkedIn. These let me interact with peers in a high-quality forum environment.
  4. Two or Three degrees of separation. Whenever I need a connection into a company for business… I can usually find a connection. It may be a connection that knows one of my connections, but this is an easy way to get the inside track and make a proper engagement.
  5. Targeted business news. I get some great articles from my network… and why I enjoy Facebook and Twitter… there's very little talking dogs, dancing babies, and spammy ads.
  6. A great app. The app of LinkedIn makes it really easy to browse the site and my connections. It also keeps my phone up to date with contact information for my network.
  7. Geographic awareness. Whether I am traveling for business and want to connect (check out Here on Biz) or to filter my lists on the site to find crew and freelancers in my network, I use the site all the time to connect with other professionals.
  8. It's not just resumes. You'll find videos, articles, slideshows, photos, and posts. The site is as rich as any other social media site, but a clearer focus.
  9. Search for jobs or candidates. If you need to look for a job, there's lots of those. If I need to advertise a position, I can go headhunting based on lots of criteria.
  10. See who's thinking bout doing business with you. Depending on privacy settings, I can see anything from their full bio to info about industry and location. This is a great way to see what's on some of your colleagues minds or to spot potential business opportunities.

Trust me… Using Linked In and taking the time to post updates and gather references… really makes a difference. Build your professional network so its strong and vibrant when you need it most.

I guess it's working… I got this in the mail today…. looks like LinkedIn just hit 200 million users…

Li_top

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The Power To Create Podcast Launches

PTC_Banner
Joining us this week is professional colorist Robbie Carman (www.amigomediallc.com) as he shares practical advice and inspirational techniques. Robbie's job is to enhance the visual appearance of television programs and films. He refines the visual appearance of images for both aesthetic and technical reasons. In this episode you'll learn about professional video, color theory, and client relationships.




On this show you'll learn:

  • What is a colorist
  • How do you train to enter the high end of the video market
  • The impact of color and contrast on the human brain
  • What tools and technology are useful for pro video workflows
  • How to keep large volumes of digital assets safe
  • What software is useful for coloring video and photos
  • How to recharge your creative batteries and find inspiration
  • The link between music and visuals
  • Lessons learned

Be sure to
subscribe and get every free episode. Get it on iTunes

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Why You Should Attend SCU — Skip Cohen University in March


Looking for a great event to recharge your creative batteries and give you new insight into photography and DSLR Video? I'm teaching at SCU — Skip Cohen University. The first program: a day-and-a-half live workshop and launch event in Las Vegas, March 8-9. Registration information and extra details are here.

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Photofocus Podcast February 5 with Syl Arena

photofocuslogo

Here is the new feed: feed://feeds.feedburner.com/photofocuspodcast Download episode here…   or get it on iTunes
Rich is joined by special guest Syl Arena to discuss a range of topics to help photographers of all levels.
Syl Arena is known around the world more for his “colorful” hair or the colorful words and photos he shared in his best-selling Speedliter’s Handbook. Either way, he has a memorable persona.

Discussed on the show:
  • Portrait posing techniques
  •  Working with your subject
  • Lighting on location
  •  Studio work
  • The latest offerings from Canon
  •  Why self-publish and use a blog
  • Syl’s upcoming workshops
  • Favorite shooting places

Download the episode here…

Hosted by Rich Harrington and
Syl Arena.
_______
This Post Sponsored by:
  • lynda.com Learn photography anytime, anywhere, and at your own pace—from bite-sized tutorials to comprehensive courses. Try lynda.com free for 10 days by visiting lynda.com/ Photofocus.
  • Skip Cohen University Professional photo education for wedding & portrait photographers. Sign up for SCU THRIVE in Vegas, March 8, 9 – 2013
  • ShootProof – Use code BOURNE20 to save 20% off the first year of any level plan – even monthly
  • Drobo - Not only is Drobo 5D fast, but it’s easy-to-use, expandable, flexible, and protected.
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Try All My Lynda.com Training for Free

lynda_harrington_classes

You probably know I have a ton of classes over at Lynda.com on photography, video, and business. What you may not realize is that you can try them all for free (or even watch them all if you want to give up bad network TV for a week or so). Over at my photo blog (Photofocus) we have a unique offer.
Get TEN free days of Lynda.com with a membership trial. That deal is available know where else. Here's a direct link.

The fine print:
You’ll get 10 days of free unlimited access to lynda.com. We’ll ask for your billing information, but you won’t be charged unless you continue with a paid membership after the trial. Your membership will include access to all 1,601 lynda.com courses. Choose a premium membership for downloadable exercise files that let you work along with the instructors.

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Guy Kawasaki Keynote from TAP2013

guy_keynote

We were pleased to host Guy Kawasaki as the opening keynote at the TAP! 2013 Conference. Guy is the author of What the Plus!, Enchantment, and ten other books. Guy is also the co-founder of Alltop.com, an online magazine rack of popular topics on the web. Previously, he was the chief evangelist of Apple.

Guy presented on his new book APE — Author • Publisher • Entrepreneur. He’ll share his vision on how the publishing process has changed – and what opportunities lie ahead.

Here is Guy's inspirational keynote. And it's ready to share, republish, and spread. Help get out message out.

Direct Link — https://soundcloud.com/rich-harrington/guy-kawasaki-tap2013
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Free Webinar to Master Adobe Digital Publishing Suite This Wednesday

tapbatesweb

TAP!2013 is about a month away. How'd you like a free taste? Join President of Bates Creative, Debbie Bates-Schrott as she shares important strategies about integrating apps into your pipeline. If your digital strategy for 2013 include a tablet app the you should check out Adobe Digital Publishing Suite. In this weboinar you'll learn how to plan your first app and folio.

Planning before action will win you praise from your readers and your internal audiences. Learn from President of Bates Creative Group and TAP! 2013 Keynote Speaker Debbie Bates-Schrott on how to be strategic in planning for this flexible and fluid medium.

A free event — Join us on Wednesday, December 5th at 2:00PM EST!
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Start with a Compelling Title

compeltitle

The title of your eBook, app, or web video series needs to instantly capture the attention of your audience. Your title is most likely the first exposure someone will have to your digital content. There truly is something to the saying “You only have one chance to make a good first impression.” Your  title has only a few seconds to attract your target audience, grab their attention, and make them want to read, purchase, or watch.
A good title instantly tells people what your digital content is about.  Avoid “clever” puns that people have to think about. I find that being short and to the point works best. Many websites, online stores, and web video directories have character limits as to how many letters can be displayed.
Get to the point and hammer it in.

tapbanneriaepubbottompostbw1


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How Rough is it Getting to Be a Filmmaker?

Freelance Filmmaking PSA from Matthew McDonald on Vimeo.



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My Schedule at GV Expo

GVE12_WebHeader4

I'll be speaking at GV Expo this week. The conference is held in Washington, DC. I hope to see some of you there. There's also a vibrant trade show filled with video gear you should check out.

Tuesday


Wednesday


Thursday

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Go Figure by the Family Online Safety Institute


Some facts about how youth use technology to access information. This video is a collection of interesting facts about the state of the net as well as usage of portable media players and mobile devices. This video was art directed by me and produced by my company RHED Pixel.

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Amazon Wins EU Battle Over E-Book Pricing

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It looks like  European Union regulators will end the antitrust probe over e-book pricing.  Apple and four publishers made an offer which Amazon accepted to ease price restrictions.  This agreement allows Amazon to sell books cheaper than other outlets if they choose (even below cost as a loss leader).
For the full story,
head over to Reuters.
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Using Twitter To Build An Audience

Using Twitter To Build An Audience from Richard Harrington on Vimeo.


Twitter is one of the most powerful marketing tools on the planet, and it’s absolutely free. But knowing how to make it work to your benefit while still attracting and holding an audience takes work. In this free TAP! webinar, Social media experts Scott Bourne and Rich Harrington will discuss the best practices for attracting, building and maintaining your Twitter audience and how to market to them without sounding like a constant commercial. They’ll also talk about how to data mine Twitter for leads.

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Finding Your Tribe Online

TAP 2013 FindingTribes from Richard Harrington on Vimeo.


This is a preview of TAP!2013 — A conference I am helping organize about digital publishing and content.

The widespread use of social networks has fundamentally changed how human beings connect and communicate. In this session, TAP! speaker Alexandra Gebhardt will help you learn how to find your audience ‘tribes’ so you can maximize the impact and exposure of your content and connect with your readers.

We will review the differences in behavior, language, and culture across various social networks including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and others. You will leave understanding how to fine-tune your content to appeal to the passion and tribe of each audience, the inherent traits that make us ‘human’ and encourage us to help, create conversations, and take action.
You will also learn how to think differently about your target audience and find creative ways to attract new readers who are excited about your content.

Want to save $15 off the con
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Free Webinar from the Smartest Person I Know on Twitter

twitterwebinarbanner
I'm one of the organizer's for a brand new conference called TAP!2013. It's all about digital publishing, social media, app development, and thriving in the new world of digital content creation. To give you a free taste, I'm hosting a webinar with the super savvy Scott Bourne.

Plus if you register for the webinar, you'll get a discount code for the webinar that will add up to $300 off the registration price (nearly half off!).

TAP! 2013 FREE WEBINAR: Using Twitter to Build an Audience: How to Attract an Audience for your Digital Publication or Mobile App


Wedenesday, November 14th, 12:00pm EST

Twitter is one of the most powerful marketing tools on the planet, and it’s absolutely free. But knowing how to make it work to your benefit while still attracting and holding an audience takes work. In this free TAP! webinar, Podcasting experts Scott Bourne and Rich Harrington will discuss the best practices for attracting, building and maintaining your Twitter audience and how to market to them without sounding like a constant commercial. They’ll also talk about how to datamine Twitter for leads.

Join us Wednesday, November 14, at 12:00pm EST!
Sign up for free HERE
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Free Webinar – Finding Your Audience Tribes in a Hyper-Social Digital World

webinar2

The widespread use of social networks has fundamentally changed how human beings connect and communicate.

In this free webinar, TAP! speaker Alexandra Gebhardt will help you learn how to find your audience ‘tribes’ so you can maximize the impact and exposure of your content and connect with your readers.

We will review the differences in behavior, language, and culture across various social networks including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and others. You will leave understanding how to fine-tune your content to appeal to the passion and tribe of each audience, the inherent traits that make us ‘human’ and encourage us to help, create conversations, and take action.

You will also learn how to think differently about your target audience and find creative ways to attract new readers who are excited about your content.

Register for FREE here.

Check out the whole TAP!2013 conference.
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When it Comes to Video… Keep it Short

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I have never met a video that wouldn’t benefit from some editing. The whole purpose of video is to compress time and distill a message to its essence. It is important that you refine a project by continuing to strip away its unneeded parts. Never have I heard an audience complain that a video was too short. There is a reason to edit and it becomes increasingly clear when you actually watch people as they watch your project. Do your best to strip a project down to its essence and only add what is needed.

Be sure to join me at the
TAP 2013 conference where I’ll share best strategies for keeping your videos watchable.
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Preparing For Going In Front of a Video Camera

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In your quest to create digital content, video is a likely medium you’ll work with.  Going in front of a video camera can be very stressful.  Here are a few tips so you (or your subject) looks their best.
  • Bring at least one alternate set of clothing so you can change as needed if the clothes don’t look flattering on camera.
  • For those who are prone to sweat (especially under hot lights) revisit the old days and wear an undershirt
  • Herringbone, stripes, or small patterns do not look good on camera.
  • Keep your jewelry simple.
  • Do not wear bright white. Cream, eggshell, or a light gray is preferred for proper contrast on camera.
  • Consider wearing a light coat of makeup (typically a foundation or light cream). This is to help you look and feel your best. You can choose not to wear it, but all the top network folks do (even the guys).
  • Avoid enumeration or the phrase “Like I said before.” This can avoid lots of problems when the video is edited.
  • Don’t be afraid to stop and start over. If you feel uncomfortable or would like a moment to gather your thoughts, please take your time.
  • Relax. it will help you look and sound your best.

Be sure to join me at the TAP 2013 conference where I’ll share best strategies for keeping your videos watchable.
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A Bigger Video Network

videonet

While major sites like YouTube and Vimeo remain important, here are a few additional sites to keep in mind as you build your video distribution network:
  • 5min (www.5min.com)—Tutorial videos shorter than five minutes in duration.
  • Bing (www.bing.com)—Microsoft’s new search engine has a video directory.
  • Brightcove (www.brightcove.com)—A paid service that lets you target many outlets including mobile phones.
  • Dailymotion (www.dailymotion.com)—A broad interest site that also has distribution to many mobile devices.
  • GrindTV (www.grindtv.com)—A site for extreme sports videos.
  • Howcast (www.howcast.com)—The site specializes in educational videos and offers applications for both the Android and
  • iFood.TV (www.ifood.tv)—A site all about food.
  • Sclipo (www.sclipo.com)—A paid site that offers e-learnin systems.
  • Streetfire (www.streetfire.com)—A site for automobile enthusiasts.
  • StupidVideos (www.stupidvideos.com)—A site for humorous videos.
  • Videojug (www.videojug.com)—The site only offers “factual” content rather than entertainment.

For more news like this, be sure to read the
IAEPUB SiteYou also won't want to miss the TAP!2013 conference for Digital Content Creators.
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Photofocus Podcast October 5, 2012


Download episode here…  or get it on iTunes
Host Rich Harrington has two guests on this week’s show
First we talk to photographer and photo educator
Jan Kabili.
  • How she switched from being a lawyer to fine art photography
  • What’s new in Photoshop Elements 11
  • Strategies for organizing a photo library
  • How to choose between Elements, Lightroom. and Photoshop

Then we head back to Photoshop World to catch up with wedding photographer and educator
David Ziser.
  • The challenging market of wedding photography
  • How do price yourself to make a living
  • Avoiding sticker shock with your clients
  • How to market yourself to new clients
  • Forging a relationship with your clients through social media
  • How he went from engineering to photography – ‘Dad, I have a real job’
  • Choosing what to sell, including digital copies
  • Taking the leap from amateur to pro


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Thunderbolt and Lightning… Very, Very Frightening...

adapters

This morning I started to think about the little things as I packed my bag for work…. "Dang, I sure have a lot of cables and dongles in here."

Apple seems to be leading the way in "innovation" on this front. If you want a smaller, thinner device, then those old bulky cords must go. After all, the whole world is wireless… right?

  • DVI + VGA — If I want to hook up to a projector, I'm carrying two adapters. One for DVI and one for VGA. While I'm happy HDMI is built-in… I still need to carry adapters to connect to 90% of the conference rooms and projectors out there. $29 + $29
  • FireWire — Remember FireWire? That connector that Apple told us for years stomped USB. Well I need to carry an adapter for that too. Except when you plug it in to the Thunderbolt port on the Mac, it doesn't put out enough bus power for most of my FireWire drives… meaning I also have to carry a power supply (and find another outlet) for my G-Tech portable drives. $29
  • Ethernet — Still relevant. Go to any hotel and the WiFi networks are often slower than a swamp in December. Want Ethernet… there's an adapter for that. $29
  • MagSafe — If I want to use any of the numerous power supplies I have, there's a $10 adapter for that. $10
  • iPod Cables – Why didn't I buy the iPhone 5? Well besides that fact that as a 4S owner it would cost me nearly full price (and the bump wasn't very big) I'd have to get all new cables. I'd need one for the car, work, laptop bag, and home. Add in the wife and suddenly that's 7 to 8 cables at $20 a pop. Want to adapt all those devices you have that use the old connector (from my heart rate monitor to a speaker dock)? Well those adapters cost $29 and $39. Yes the adapters cost twice as much as the new cables…. huh!?! Of course I still need to carry the old ones for the iPad since they won't make an adapter that goes the other direction. $19 + $19 + $19 + $19 + $29 + $39
  • Thunderbolt — This has been total vaporware. Try to buy a dock or port extender... nope. The cables are $50. The drives cost $100 more for the chassis. All for a 10% speed boost over USB3 for standard hard drives. Sure there are some desktop solutions that rock on the high end… but as a "universal" adapter that's "perfect" for drives, adapters, and displays… it just sucks. $150
  • Optical Drive – Need to get a DVD to install something (or burn a backup?) Nope. Gotta remember to pack the external drive and bring that too. $79

Oh… and what's really missing? The fact that I can't even connect a security cable to the laptop. There is no slot to attach a Kensington or other style lock to the device. So if you're on the road and need to walk away from the machine… don't.

Apple seems to be on a quest for thinner and lighter… but we're to the point where this means sacrificing core features. I'd like to be thinner and lighter too, but I can't think of any limbs or appendages I'd be willing to chop off so save some ounces and fit into a smaller space. Just like camera manufacturers are getting silly with the megapixel wars… Apple needs to slow down and actually look at what their customers need to do to get their jobs done.

Those cables and adapters I mentioned above add up to $500+. None come in the box… that's all extra cost. And if you do what I did, drop your adapter bag at home before you go on a business trip… prepared to be screwed. Even the Apple retail stores can't keep these things in stock. Apple you're missing the mark… start listening to what customers need and stop "saving us from ourselves."
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The Most Useful Report for Media Pros

The Infinite Dial Report is one of the most important documents released each year. There are tons of facts about the consumption of TV, radio, Internet and more. It is a great report that will emphasize your communications strategy.

TID2012

THE INFINITE DIAL 2012: NAVIGATING DIGITAL PLATFORMS

Get Your Free Copy of the 2012 Study

  • Facebook, the dominant social media platform in America, increased its penetration in 2012. Today 54% of Americans 12+ have a personal profile on the service, up from 51% in 2011.
  • As observed in 2011, much of that growth stemmed from increased usage by older demographics (45+) while the service continues to be nearly ubiquitous among online Americans aged 18-44.
  • America’s increasing adoption of smartphones
  • A doubling in ownership of Apple iOS devices
  • The ongoing growth of social media, especially among adult demographics

A must read report for all digital content creators – The Infinite Dial 2012: Navigating Digital Platforms
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Come to DV Expo in LA this Week

dvexpo2012
I'll be speaking at DV Expo 2012 in Los Angeles this week – http://www.dvexpo.com

Use code
ASMP for free exhibit pass and 15% off classes (enter at Step 3 of registration) http://www.dvexpo.com/content/dvexpo/packages_and_pricing.php. There's some great deals for students too.

I'll be teaching:
  • More than an Editor: Learning to be a Preditor
  • 10 Great New Reasons to use Adobe Production Premium
  • Building Budgets for Video Projects
  • Time Floats By: Creative use of Time-Lapse and Stop Motion
  • Innovation in Motion: What's new in After Effects CS6
  • Motion Control 3D: Bringing Your Photos to Life in Three-Dimensions
  • Hypersyndication: How to Publish Your Content on the Maximum Number of Screens and Devices

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Cloud Computing Confusion

A new survey by Citrix find that most folks have little to no understanding of cloud computing. For those reading, the cloud in this case refers to a network that allows for data to be accessed from a variety of devices. Here are some highlights of the survey.


  • 95% of those who think they’re not using the cloud, actually are
  • 3 in 5 (59%) believe the “workplace of the future” will exist entirely in the cloud
  • 40% believe accessing work information at home in their “birthday suit” would be an advantage
  • More than 1/3 agree that the cloud allows them to share information with people they’d rather not be interacting with in person
  • After being provided with the definition of the cloud, 68% recognized its economic benefits
  • 14% have pretended to know what the cloud is during a job interview
  • 51% of respondents, including a majority of Millennials, believe stormy weather can interfere with cloud computing.
  • When asked what “the cloud” is, a majority responded it’s either an actual cloud (specifically a “fluffy white thing”), the sky or something related to the weather (29 percent).

Citrix-Cloud-Infographic-507px

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Getting the InBox Under Control

Missed messages, slow responses, lack of courtesy. All of these lead to a loss of business and a hit on our professionalism. But the deluge of email is overwhelming and keeping up on it (plus all the social media messages) seems like a full-time job.

Here’s a few tricks I use to keep things manageable.

Make Rules – Your email application should have a function called rules. You can now have messages flagged, colored, bolded etc. Add your best clients and existing business to a rule and make sure you see it. While you’re at it make a rule for employees or key contractors since it seems like the only way people under 30 deliver time sensitive and project impacting news is via an email.

rules

Write Good Subjects – Try to make the subject of any emails you generate descriptive. Proposal attached or Invoice are not nearly as helpful when you need to find something. Proposal for Johnson Family Shoot – 2012 or Invoice #432 Due 10/15/12 are much more useful to the recipient (and you when you start searching).

sanebox

Try Sanebox – I am in love with this service. You have to bless it with some powerful access, but its worth it. It builds an initial screening list based on your social media connections like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn to have a white list. You then get options for several other email boxes for things like social media notifications and mailing lists that auto sort those out. The best feature, add someone to the black hole and they are zapped. Much more effective than trying to unsubscribe to all those junk lists you’ve been added to and spam marketers. You can also move people into the SaneLater box, which will automatically prioritize all messages to be read when you have the time from that person. The best thing? It works on my mobile phone and tablet as it happens at the server level every 5 minutes.I’ve cut my clutter by 2/3rds and its made a huge difference. To get a free trial – http://sanebox.com/t/85vww.

Three simple things…. see if they can gain you back some productivity and professionalism.

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Video is a Team Sport


team

This is the hardest message for most photographers to accept. You cannot truly make a professional video in isolation. Am I saying that one person can’t do everything? No. But can they do it well? Consider the following.

  • Video projects often have firm deadlines – Whether it’s an air date, a live event, a corporate meeting, or a project launch. Deadlines are standard in the world of video, having a team means bench strength and safety in numbers.

  • You’ll make more money doing what you do best – How many photographers are magazine publishers? Do they sell the advertisements and write all the stories? What about when publishing a book... do they fire up their personal printing press? The point here is that a photographer should do what they do best. That tends to be direct the talent, pick the locations for shooting, lens the project, and carry their creative vision through the editing and graphics stages. I am not saying you should avoid editing or motion graphics, but you may be pretty slow (especially when you first start). I say try anything three times… but if you find you hate the work or you are turning down other jobs... then its time to move on. You can always find people who want to do parts of the job you are weakest at… plus they’ll likely be far faster than you. This will let you shoot more and line up more business through your contacts.

  • The creative mind is like a hive – Adding additional people that you trust can really lead to a better product. I find that having other professionals around keeps me from slipping into my old habits. It also leads to creative discussions that push the envelope and lead to a better outcome.


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Apple iWork.com Shutdown Reminder



iworkcom
Remember, as of July 31, 2012, you will no longer be able to access your documents on the iWork.com public beta site or view them on the web.

We recommend that you immediately sign in to iWork.com and download all your documents to your computer. For detailed instructions on how to save a copy of your documents on your computer,
read this support article at Apple.com.

Moving forward, you can use iCloud to store your documents and make them available across your computer and your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
Learn more about iCloud.

Dear iWork.com user,

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Hear My Interview with Photographer Tamara Lackey

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Here is the new feed: feed://feeds.feedburner.com/photofocuspodcast Download episode here…
 Host Rich Harrington and co-host Scott Bourne interview Tamara Lackey about her photography and business philosophies.

  • Portrait photography techniques
  • Creating a connection with your subject
  • Common mistakes new pros make
  • How to handle photography sales
  • Effective social media techniques for marketing and sales
  • Canon 1DX Review
  • Where to meetup with Rich and Scott for training

Our Guest
Tamara Lackey is a renowned professional photographer,  author, speaker and web series host. Her authentic lifestyle photography, from children’s portraits to celebrity portraits, is praised within her industry and published internationally. Tamara’s work has been featured in dozens of media outlets including Vogue, O – The Oprah Magazine, Town & Country, Parenting Magazine, Food & Wine, Men’s Journal, Professional Photographer Magazine, Rangefinder Magazine, NBC’s The Martha Stewart Show, ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, CNN’s Anderson, PBS’ Need to Know and NBC’s The Today Show.
Tamara’s new web series,
the reDefine Show, examines the inspiring stories of top-tier creative artists who make it work.  Tamara’s interview style showcases her abiding interest in real conversations that share practical tips, innovative methods, and previews of the newest and most useful technologies on the market.
Download episode here…

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Adobe Story Plus is Now Avaialble

Story
Adobe Story Plus is Live!

This is a comprehensive screenwriting and production management tool.
It's available two ways

If you're a Creative Cloud member, here's how to get it. Just log in to Adobe Story Plus with your Adobe ID, it automatically lets you in and provisions the service.

For more info –
http://www.adobe.com/products/story-family.html#content-dotcom-en-products-story-family-jcr-content-bodycontent1-ttt_0
To get the free version of Adobe Story – which is quite full-featured too! –
http://www.adobe.com/content/dotcom/en/products/story-free.html
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The Fair-use Myth

A popular myth in academic cultures is fair use. The doctrine provides situations where copyrighted works can be used without paying. It places restrictions on:

  1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes
  2. The nature of the copyrighted work
  3. The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole
  4. The effect of the use on the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work


Students and teachers alike get caught up in exemption number one. It is true that in a classroom situation you can use virtually any image you want for practice or class exercises. However, here is the problem: As soon as a student wants to start looking for a job and builds a portfolio, those images are being used for financial gain. If you are a student, you need to build work samples that help you get a job. Use images that you have the rights to (or that you have photographed).
Fig-03_15-Copyright
The other clause that is often seen as a loophole is number four. People often think that because their project was small or personal that damage cannot be claimed. It is relatively easy for a copyright holder to claim damages or lost revenue. Even though they may not go after you, why take the chance? As a content creator, you should respect the law and the welfare of your fellow designers and photographers. For more on copyright and fair-use doctrine, visit
www.copyright.gov and www.asmp.org/content/registration-counts


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Photofocus Podcast May 25 – Richard Kelly


Richard Harrington talks with photographer and educator Richard Kelly about important trends for emerging and established professionals. Kelly is the past president of the American Society of Media Photographers and the conversation covers business advice related to pricing, marketing, social media, and contracts for creatives. He also shares a ton of useful resources to help any photographer.

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RED Cameras @ NAB 2012

ProVideo Coalition - RED Cameras - NAB 2012 from RHED Pixel on Vimeo.



Richard Harrington interviews Ted Schilowitz about the future of RED cameras at NAB 2012.
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Video-project budgeting: How to determine rates



A lynda.com tutorial describing how to determine your rates for the services you are providing during a video project.

See the whole course on Lynda.com.
http://www.lynda.com/course-tutorials/Budgeting-Video-Projects/96667-2.html

If you aren't a member, sign up for a free 7 day trial and watch the whole thing.
www.lynda.com/trial/rharrington
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Two New Video Classes on Kelby Training

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DSLR Video: Planning and Shooting

Join Rich Harrington, motion graphic artist, author, and trainer, on location at Kelby Media Studios as he takes you through every step in the process of creating a video product for a client. Learn everything involved in creating a professional quality video with your DSLR, from the initial client meeting to scouting locations, and from all the essential gear to how to conduct engaging interviews. Each step of the way Rich provides expert insights and killer tips to get you well on your way to adding video story telling to your bag of tricks.

DSLR Video: Post Processing

There’s still plenty of work to do after the cameras are stowed away. Join Rich Harrington, motion graphic artist, author, and trainer, as he guides you through the transition from post video capture to preparing for post production. The steps you take during this phase of the process, from backing up your data to gathering additional source material, are critical to the project’s overall completion and success, and are what separate the amateur from the professional.


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Create a video project's scope and workflow



A lynda.com tutorial describing how to clearly define and present a video project's potential scope and workflow to a client.

See the whole course on Lynda.com.
http://www.lynda.com/course-tutorials/Budgeting-Video-Projects/96667-2.html

If you aren't a member, sign up for a free 7 day trial and watch the whole thing.
www.lynda.com/trial/rharrington
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Adobe Media Encoder: Compressing Files for the Web


This tutorial describes how to use Adobe Media Encoder CS5 to compress large files into a standard format such as an MPEG-4 or H.264 file.

This specific tutorial is just a single movie from chapter two of the Maximizing Your Web Video and Podcast Audience with Hypersyndication lynda.com author Rich Harrington. The complete Maximizing your Web Video and Podcast Audience with Hypersyndication course has a duration time of 1 hour and 27 minutes and shows how to distribute content across all media platforms quickly and efficiently using hypersyndication.

Watch more of this course on lynda.com:
Maximizing Your Web Video and Podcast Audience with Hypersyndication

Maximizing your Web Video and Podcast Audience with Hypersyndication table of contents:

  • Introduction
  • 1. What is Hypersyndication?
  • 2. Using RSS Feeds
  • 3. Targeting Computers
  • 4. Targeting Portable Media Players
  • 5. Targeting Television Sets
  • 6. Targeting Mobile Phones
  • 7. The Importance of Branding
  • 8. Essential Tools to Keep it All Running
  • Conclusion

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Duplication vs. Replication for DVD and BD

iStock_000012707901Medium
Image by iStockphoto

When creating DVDs or BDs, you have two choices to manufacturer the optical discs. If you’re dealing with small quantities, you can use the optical burner or disc drive with your computer. These discs are easy to make, but may not be as compatible in all players.
If you need to produce discs in larger quantities, the use of replication is preferred. In this case a master disc image is created (often called the glass master). Discs can then be created using specialized hardware that can create the discs much faster and with greater accuracy to prevent errors. This process is typically used for orders above 500 discs.

This post sponsored by iStockphotoSave 10%Get a Free Audio Track



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Hypersyndicate Video and Social Media with HootSuite



Watch the whole class for free (actually all my classes). Free 7-day trial.

This tutorial describes how to connect multiple social networks together, and how to setup scheduled RSS feeds through HootSuite.

This specific tutorial is just a single movie from chapter two of the Maximizing Your Web Video and Podcast Audience with Hypersyndication lynda.com author Rich Harrington. The complete Maximizing your Web Video and Podcast Audience with Hypersyndication course has a duration time of 1 hour and 27 minutes and shows how to distribute content across all media platforms quickly and efficiently using hypersyndication.

Watch more of this course on lynda.com:
Maximizing Your Web Video and Podcast Audience with Hypersyndication

Maximizing your Web Video and Podcast Audience with Hypersyndication table of contents:

  • Introduction
  • 1. What is Hypersyndication?
  • 2. Using RSS Feeds
  • 3. Targeting Computers
  • 4. Targeting Portable Media Players
  • 5. Targeting Television Sets
  • 6. Targeting Mobile Phones
  • 7. The Importance of Branding
  • 8. Essential Tools to Keep it All Running
  • Conclusion

Watch the whole class for free (actually all my classes). Free 7-day trial.
Comments

Watch Me Download an 8 Foot Wide Photo in 2 Seconds Over 3G

Piqsure - 3G Compatability from Piqsure on Vimeo.



The panoramic photo in this video is streaming over the net at 3G connection speeds. This is a secure file, loading dynamically on an iPad with no plug-ins.
The left screen shows what was happening on the iPad and the right shows my hands. If you're at Photoshop World, I'll show you face-to-face.

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Name That Stage – Identifying the Progress of Your Edit

Plan_09

In a photography workflow, you may be used to selecting shots, then color correcting and post processing before layout occurs. With video editing, the process involves continuous improvement. It is standard to quickly assemble an initial edit, then get feedback from the team and client. Along the way, improvements are made as the video moves closer and close to a finished state.
The following stages are common for most video editing projects. Depending on budget, some projects may have additional stages added or deleted. For example a feature film goes through many more rounds of editing than a broadcast news story.

  • Assembly: The goal of the Assembly Edit is to simply strong the right clips the the right order. Initial selections are made and the goal is to quickly create an edit that can be watched. This may be called a “radio edit”, meaning that it is meant to be listened to more than actually watched. The objective is to get an idea of how long the video is running and get quick reactions from the stakeholders on how to approach the project.
  • Rough Cut: The rough cut is a stage at which many elements begin to get added. It is likely for example that music may be placed (even if it is a temporary track for reference) and supporting footage (called b-roll) is added. Many other pieces such as graphics and sound effects may be missing. The project also lacks refinements like color correction and audio mixing. The truth is that there are likely several rough cuts, and as the producer, director, and editor interact with the video, they will reach a point of confidence in which the project is shared with the client or stakeholders for feedback. When showing a rough cut, it is essential that you identify what is still missing from the piece.
  • Fine Cut: A fine cut is a video that is essentially complete. It is an attempt to achieve “picture lock” meaning that no more changes to the shot selection or the duration of the shots will be made. This version is done, but may lack some polish. The goal is to get the client to make any final requests while the editorial team begins final audio mixing and any tweaks to color correction and grading. Final graphics and other elements are generally placed. This is the cut that needs final change request made and the client’s last chance for budgeted change orders.
  • Final Cut: The Final Cut is also called the Approval copy. The goal here is that all changes and minor improvements to picture and sound have been made. It is the belief of the editorial team that this video is done. The client is merely asked to review that all changes that were requested have been made. This is not a chance to make new requests, and most professionals communicate in their contracts that changes made to the final cut are considered out of scope of their were not raised during the Fine Cut stage.

This post sponsored by iStockphotoSave 10%Get a Free Audio Track

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More About Piqsure

Piqsure - 3G Compatability from Piqsure on Vimeo.



If you can't tell, I'm pretty excited about this tech.
These are high resolution images streaming over a 3G connection.
The left image is a digital output of the iPad (it also works on computers and smartphones). The right shows the touch gestures controlling the image.
All images are totally secure.

Here's a news report –
http://www.tuaw.com/2012/03/02/piqsure-to-provide-fast-full-resolution-browsing-of-images-on-mo/

Piqsure develops high resolution image publishing and viewing tools to enhance user’s web experience on mobile devices and web browsers. The Piqsure Viewer enables publishers, authors, and photographers the freedom to showcase their portfolio in full resolution and detail in a completely secure environment protecting against piracy. Publishers of magazines, ebooks and ecommerce sites now have the capability of universally distributing their content through all online platforms with Piqsure Reader.We will be demoing the Piqsure technology at Photoshop World in Washington D.C., March 24-26 Booth #560

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Create a Form Letter with Apple Pages

Oftentimes in you’ll need to create a form letter to send to a group of people. If you’d like to personalize these letters, Pages makes it easy to insert data you’ve defined for contacts in Address Book. This can save you time because you can reuse a letter, envelope, or other document for multiple people. This feature is generally called a mail merge.

Several of Pages’ templates contain Address Book fields. Your contact data can be automatically inserted into these fields. Students can also use this Pages feature for letter writing campaigns if they are writing about issues.

  1. Launch Pages. The Template Chooser opens.
  2. Click the Word Processing category and choose Letters or Envelopes, then select a style, and click Choose. A new, untitled document opens. AppendixA_Fig08
  3. Choose File > Save; name the file and store it on your local hard drive. The letter or envelope is ready to be modified to match the and needs for your classroom.
  4. Pages has already inserted your information into the sender fields. Your name and contact information has already been entered. Pages fills sender fields using the Address Book card that’s designated My Card.
  5. Write your letter and fill in all text information as needed. The text you see on-screen is placeholder text, simply click on an area and start to type. When ready, you’ll need to set up an address group for your targeted group.
  6. Launch the Address Book application by clicking its icon in the Dock or your Applications folder.
  7. Enter the contact information for your students’ families. Create one card for each address.
  8. Create a new group for your classroom by choosing File > New Group.
  9. Drag all of your classroom cards into the group.
  10. AppendixA_Fig09
  11. Switch back to Pages. When ready, you can easily personalize your document for multiple recipients.
  12. Choose Edit > Merge Address Book Cards.
  13. Choose an Address Book group to merge from the pop-up menu.
  14. Specify where to Merge Cards to: either a New Document or to Send to Printer. AppendixA_Fig10
  15. Click OK. Pages generates multiple documents, one addressed to each recipient in the Address Book group.
  16. Save your work by choosing File > Save.



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Introducing Piqsure – A new way to view images online

I just wanted to share some new technology I discovered. It's called Piqsure and it changes the way images can be viewed online. You can upload high-resolution images, which then essentially dynamically load at whatever resolution you want. It's very fast and takes no plug-ins.

The guys behind it will be showing it at Photoshop World in Washington, DC (March 23–26).

Piqsure - Image Watermarking from Piqsure on Vimeo.



What do you think?

Comments

iBook Creatives – A new site about iBooks Author

iBCsite

I've joined a new website, it's all about Apple iBooks Author. If you missed Apple's announcement, this is the change in publishing that we've all been waiting for.
Be sure to check out
iBooksCreative.com

This is the official home of iBookCreatives.com. We’re a community for and of iBook authors.Here you’ll find tips, tools, news, reviews, and tutorials related to publishing e-books with Apple’s free publishing tool – iBook Author.We’re also available to consult with authors who want help publishing iBooks.This site is not affiliated with Apple, Inc.


The site is
iBooksCreative.com

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Progress Billing for Creative Projects

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Image by iStockphoto – Save 10%

Billing is one of those subjects that can often be an uncomfortable conversation. While you may not be comfortable talking about money, your client will be a lot happier if there are clear expectations that define the business terms. Every video or photo project should be split into progress payments.

The benefits of progress payments are many. First, it gives your client confidence that you have motivation to complete the work and show progress. Second, by splitting the financial payments across progress you ensure protection for your financial security.

Typically, I recommend the use up to five, equal payments. If a project has an extremely short timeline or does not involve a full-service production (such as shooting only) then adjust your payment schedule. This helps you by keeping your work funded and ensures that the client knows what’s going on financially.

  • Project Initiation — Once the project scope and budget is agreed upon, a deposit for 20% of the project should be submitted.
  • Preproduction — This stage encompasses the bulk of project planning. Tie a progress payment to the deliver of the script or other relevant preproduction tasks. Issue a progress payment upon delivery of final preproduction items to the client.
  • Production — I recommend the submittal of an invoice once shooting begins. This is typically the most expensive stage of a project. Be sure that you have received some form of payment before production begins. Do not hand off project footage until at least 50% of a project’s budget is in hand.
  • Postproduction — Once editing begins, another progress payment should be issued. Some choose to watermark projects until at least 66% of a project’s budget is received.
  • Closeout — A final bill that reflects any change orders should be generated at the completion of a project. Be sure that your agreement states that you retain certain rights to a production until payment is received in full.

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It's Time You Got on Twitter

Now, some of you already use Twitter... which means you probably fall into three camps. You either love it, don’t know how to use it, or haven’t gotten past the confusing gibberish to even start. Let me offer some advice to those who aren’t already benefiting.

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Start by Following. Click the Who to Follow button and then look through recommended users as well as search for people you know. Choose 50 people or brands that interest you and read them for two weeks. See what they talk about and what information you’re finding out that you’d likely have missed if you had to search actively for it.

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Complete Your Bio. Make sure you upload a photo and add a descriptive bio. You can also include your homepage which will serve as an inbound link to your site. You are missing opportunities when you don’t introduce yourself properly.

Start Posting. Many on Twitter are simply lurkers. Make sure you get involved. Post updates whenever you add new blog post to your site. Try posting quick tips or observations about photography. Share good news and accomplishments with others. You can also include links to useful articles relevant to your interests. The important thing here is to periodically engage others and comment.

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Don’t Obsess. Twitter is not your email inbox. You do not need to read every tweet that comes in (however be sure to click on the @Mentions and Messages buttons to see tweets about and to you.) You should also not log in and send out too many tweets at once.

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Go Mobile. Put a native Twitter application on your mobile pone. You’ll find Twitter a pleasant companion that lets you keep in touch with your friends and interests. The phone applications make it easy to share photos and video as well as streamline the posting and browsing process.

Switch Your View. You might enjoy your Twitter feed more if you use a helper application. Look at things like Flipboard for iPad or Pulse for Android which turn your Twitter feed into a virtual magazine.

Like all new things, Twitter takes a while to learn and even longer to master. But it does a great job of keeping you informed of important industry news and can lead to a passive intimacy with your clients and fans. This excuse to keep in touch means that you stay in people’s minds... which of course improves your chance of referrals and repeat hires.

Richard Harrington is the founder of RHED Pixel (www.RHEDPixel.com) a visual communications company in Washington, D.C. You can follow him on Twitter @rhedpixel.

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Adobe Tips & Flicks Event in DC on February 22

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Join Adobe, Government Video Magazine, and industry experts for a day of valuable information concluding with complimentary pre-release screening of the groundbreaking new film, Act of Valor. This event is targeted for those working in the government or military.

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Jacob Rosenberg, Director and CTO of Bandito Brothers will share his experience in the post production workflow and editorial process for
Act of Valor. The film Act of Valor straddles reality and fiction, military messaging, and entertainment. It features real life SEALs—not actors—strike scenes written by the SEALs themselves, and jarring live-fire footage.


This information-packed day will provide valuable knowledge you can use in all your work—from everyday government video projects to more complex productions. There will be something for government employees or contractors doing government work, followed by great entertainment. You can register here –
http://gov.adobeeventsonline.com/TipsAndFlick/2012/Feb22/registration.php?source=004.
Agenda
11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Registration and Lunch

12:00 p.m. – 12:45 p.m.
Adobe Creative Suite®5.5 Production Premium: High Performance for a
New Generation

Colin Smith
Senior Solutions Consultant, Adobe

12:45 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Beautiful Graphics for Video Editors
Rich Harrington
CEO, RHED Pixel

1:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.
Software Raffle and Break

1:45 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Join the New Digital
Video Publishing Revolution

Jerry Silverman

Adobe Solutions Consultant

2:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
Software Raffle and Break

2:45 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.
Mixing formats, frame-rates, and bullets in Act of Valor
Jacob Rosenberg
Director & CTO, Bandito Brothers

3:45 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
All Star Panel Question and Answer
Jacob Rosenberg, Rich Harrington, Christina Clapp,
Editorial Director Video for New Bay Media, and Colin Smith.

4:30 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.
Popcorn and Snack Break

4:45 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Screening Act of Valor



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Triple Exposure Podcast #5

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Welcome to the Triple Exposure podcast.
You can direct-download the MP3 here – 
http://3exposure.podomatic.com/entry/2012-01-16T09_52_42-08_00

You can subscribe on iTunes here - 
http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/triple-exposure/id440563481

Scott & Rich talk about the Lytro camera (including its role in time-lapse) as well as the new Lightroom 4 Beta.  A good overview of where things are going in 2012 is shared.

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Adobe Clarifies Upgrade Policy for CS6

Recently, there was a lot of online static about Adobe changing its upgrade pricing. There were some conversations, overheard statements, and misinterpretations on what they were going to do. Many thought the only option to upgrade for CS6 was going to be a CS5 customer. I started digging into this a while back and have had a few conversations with folks to get clarification.

I am glad to tell you that Adobe has made an official announcement today about what user's can expect. I have put
Adobe's statement in bold and added my commentary in italics.

We’re very excited about the upcoming release of Adobe® Creative Suite® 6 software and Adobe Creative Cloud™. CS6 will be a major new release of our creative desktop tools, with huge improvements for every type of creative professional.

  • I'm excited. More than anything in the past 7 years.
  • You will be too.

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Adobe Creative Cloud will be our most comprehensive creative solution ever, giving members access to all of the CS6 desktop software plus additional services, new tools, Adobe Touch Apps, and rich community features.

I am not clear on all that is in the bundle… but what I hear sounds good. A subscription based plan that looks to be about $50 a month. With access to apps as well as many online services for publishing and collaboration. Here are more details – http://www.adobe.com/products/creativecloud.html.


In addition, Creative Cloud members will receive continuous upgrades and updates to all products and services as part of their membership.

This is the biggest news. The next thing I am going to say is a little complex, but the Sarbanes-Oxley Act prevent publicly traded companies from doing free software updates after a certain period of time. It's a convoluted law that grew out of the Enron scandal that places limits on how companies can sell products and realize revenue if they are publicly traded. This is why Apple has to charge you 99¢ for FaceTime because you licensed the OS once, but can push out free updates for the iPhone because it has monthly services fees. See these articles for more details –


What's really cool is that apps could see more frequent updates. So support for new file formats could come out as needed. Adobe could be more nimble and release new features officially (instead of trickling out public beta versions through Adobe Labs). This could really increase the pace of innovation and has a lot of potential.

Adobe’s new Creative Suite upgrade policy, which goes into effect in the first half of 2012 when Adobe Creative Cloud™ and Creative Suite 6 are released, will require customers to be on the most current version of Creative Suite in order to qualify for upgrade pricing when new versions are released. This means that customers need to be on CS5 or CS5.5 in order to receive upgrade pricing when CS6 is released.
This is why everyone freaked out… take a breath and keep reading.

With these great new releases coming in the first half of 2012, we want to make sure our customers have plenty of time to determine which offering is best for them.

YIPPEE!!!

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Therefore, we’re pleased to announce that we will offer special introductory upgrade pricing on Creative Suite 6 to customers who own CS3 or CS4. This offer will be available from the time CS6 is released until December 31, 2012. More details on this offer, as well as any introductory offers for existing customers to move to Creative Cloud membership, will be announced when CS6 and Creative Cloud are released later this year.

In other words, read between the lines.

  • Just like recent releases, you can only upgrade from 3 versions back. They are going to continue this policy for a short while longer.
  • Buy the upgrade to CS6 when its released if you want to own the software. Expect upgrade pricing to be similar to past pricing.
  • If you have CS5, CS4, or CS3, upgrade to CS6. You will not be able to upgrade after December 31, 2012, unless you are a CS5 customer (or CS5.5).
  • When CS7 rolls around (I AM NOT STARTING A RUMOR HERE) it sounds like you will need to be a CS6 customer in order to upgrade.

Read the details about our Creative Suite upgrade policy –
http://www.adobe.com/products/creativesuite/faq.html#upgrade-eligibility
Learn more about Adobe Creative Cloud –
http://www.adobe.com/products/creativecloud.html

The lesson here is:
  • Keep calm and carry on.
  • You will be able to upgrade to CS6 if you own CS3, CS4, CS5, or CS5.5.
  • Sounds like CS6 is around the corner.
  • You can already subscribe to the Creative Suite bundles here – http://www.adobe.com/products/creativesuite/cssubscription.html for between $65 and $130 a month… so the new $50 a month pricing is going to be even sweeter.

Hope this clears things up.

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Trends for the Photography Indutry

I spend part of my career speaking at industry conferences. This gives me an opportunity to see who’s exhibiting, as well as talk to vendors and photographers to see what’s on their minds. I wanted to quickly share five things that I’ve noticed popping up more and more. Consider adding these areas to your service offerings to expand business opportunity:
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3D Photography

Right now, this is actually starting as a consumer trend. We’re seeing cameras like the Sony Bloggie 3D as well as some mobile phones starting to pick things up. But 3D is on the rise and I expect things like iPad, phone, and computer displays to not be far behind. If you’re into product or location photography, give it some serious thought.
  • You should also check out lenticular printing such as Snapily.com

Video

I know for some this is old news… but interest continues to skyrocket. My dSLR classes at Photoshop World sold out in record time. I was amazed at how many people in the photography world are interested in video and have clients willing to pay.

Time-lapse Photography

A close cousin to video is the art of time-lapse photography. In this case the photographer shoots several stills sequentially using a timer or intervalometer. An exposure can be taken as often as every second, but often longer intervals are used to show the passing of time. There is high demand for time-lapse photography within the stock community and it’s a heck of a lot of fun.

Metal Printing

One of the most popular output options these days is metal printing. Whether it’s large sizes for walls to smaller panels for installations, you’ll find that many vendors are now offering this service. Two things to think of – first shop around… because this is a new service… prices are vary wildly. Second, most printers tell me to reduce the contrast and saturation a bit as the metal will intensify both.
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Know Your Oponent

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There are several reasons you might not be paid by a client (and most have little to do with a dissatisfied client, aggressive behavior, or conspiracy).  Here are a few practical strategies I employ at my office.

  • Use s systems of deposits. We will bill incrementally for work.  An initial deposit, another if substantial pre-production is required.  A bill upon initiation of shooting.  Another after post-production.  By spreading out your payments, you aren’t serving as a bank to your client.  You can also catch a flaky client before you’ve handed over assets and lost power.
  • Take credit.  While you’ll take a small hit in fees, the cash in hand is better than you paying interest towards your own debts.  Credit card fees for payments are typically less than credit card finance charges.  Take a look at easy solutions like Square to process cards with no account setup fees.
  • Ensure the final bill is accurate. Did you go through and reconcile all the changes the client made? Look though the initial quote and proposal.  Have you delivered everything you promised in writing?  Don’t get hung up because your bill has mistakes.
  • Don’t skimp on information.  Make sure the invoice has the project name, project or PO number, as well as your full details such as address and Tax ID. Make sure the Due Date is clearly visible on the invoice.
  • Ensure delivery. Make sure that your contact gets the actual bill. Send a draft as an email asking for confirmation of accuracy. Include hard copies in the mail and with deliverables (people are overloaded with email).
  • Close the loop.  Call the client a few days after sending bill to confirm receipt.  A few days later call the Accounts Payable department and confirm that they actually got the bill.
  • Run a report. Know who owes you money by generating a report in your accounting software.  Make sure you reach out within 3 days of a late payment.  Be sure all subsequent invoices are marked with the due date and point out any finance charges.
  • Pick up the phone. If you are actually owed money, pick up the phone. Call the client or the accounts payable department.  Be polite and ensure that the invoice was actually processed.  If you’ve done the previous steps, be sure to cite your previous calls where you confirmed receipt.
  • If all else fails.  If you’ve gotten to this point you either have a deadbeat client, one who is experiencing sudden economic hardships, or a dissatisfied customer.  The deadbeat client you should have spotted through the use of progress payments.  The economic hardships are a realty, but work out a payment solution and suspend rights or future work until the get caught up.  An upset client, you better get to work and resolve it.

Remember:
Be polite, but firm. You are not a bank. Accept credit cards and let someone else be the bank.

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iTunes Searching: How Will You Be Discovered?

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Whether you're publishing a podcast or an app, you'll be found in one of three ways on the iTunes store. Understanding how these methods work will improve your chances at success.

1. Search

The iTunes Store contains a search field. Results are returned based on popularity and relevance. Popularity relates to the number of new subscribers you’ve had in a given period (which is an uncontrollable factor). Relevance is due largely to your show’s description and keywords (which you have complete control over). Be sure to write an accurate description that addresses your show’s topic. You can also use keywords to address misspellings or additional search criteria.

2. Featured Content

The iTunes Store routinely features content. There are several factors that contribute to a show being featured. First and foremost, the quality of content is considered. Second, your show must have attractive artwork (which does not include Apple items like logos or iPods). The staff at the iTunes Store also favor shows with consistent content that is released regularly (e.g., weekly or daily). It should also go without saying that your feed needs to be valid, so periodically check it at www.feedvalidator.org.

3.Top Lists

On each page of the iTunes Store there is a “Top List.” These lists showcase the top shows in each category. Making these lists is based on new subscriptions. We often recommend launching a show with four episodes (simply pre-date the first three to offset their “release”). This way a new show offers visitors multiple options. This initial surge can help you make a splash. Once you are on a Top List, it is essential you maintain your release schedule and quality. Staying on a Top List is very helpful, as it makes it much easier for visitors to discover your show.


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Want to Recharge Your Video Editing Mojo? Join Me at Editor's Retreat 2012 (Discount Code)

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I have been going to the Editor's Retreat event for almost 15 years (back when it was known as the Avid Master Editor Workshop). This is a great event that lets professional editors get together for several days of learning and networking in a small intimate event. The next time its being held is February 1–5 in Austin, Texas.

Editors Retreat from Editors Retreat on Vimeo.

Now in its fifth year, the Editors Retreat has become an annual gathering for the post-production elite. Highly experienced editors from the worlds of film, TV and video come together to network, exchange ideas, share tips and of course, have fun! To ensure that only the best of the best attend, participation is subject to an application and screening process.



The Editors Retreat is an intensive, interactive environment for TV, video and film editors that fosters creativity and the exchange of ideas at the highest level.Now in its sixth year, the Editors Retreat has become an annual gathering for the post-production elite. Highly experienced editors  come together to network, exchange ideas, share tips and of course, have fun!  Running for 5 days and 4 nights, the Editors Retreat offers advanced sessions on post, visual and audio techniques and features valuable insight into emerging trends and technologies.  

Keynote attendees have included such names as Alan Heim, Sally Menke, Geoffrey Richman, Dan Lebental and Maysie Hoy.  Retreat attendees are known to walk away with incredible raffle prizes and swag, often worth more than cost of attending!


For more info visit : 
EditorsRetreat.com
Special 10% Discount Code  :  ERRH12


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Online Safety Infographics

I'd like to share with you two videos RHED Pixel produced for the Family Online Safety Institute. Lot's of information about what kids do online and some fun motion graphics too.






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The Impact of the Camera Phone and Citizen Journalism

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photo – istockphoto

While much justifiable criticism has been levied against the evolution of cellphone cameras, there is a tremendous beneficiary… journalism.  We now have a literal global network of camera operators with the ability to capture newsworthy events and transmit usable photos.

Many photographers dismiss this technological shift. After all, how can a point-and-shoot (especially a low quality one at that) take the place of a modern DSLR with a selection of lenses? The answer is easy… speed and mobility.

Let’s accept that a modern smartphone has a camera that is technically capable of producing an image that is usable by most news and editorial outlets. Here’s what smartphones have that most DSLRs do not.  Hopefully camera manufacturers and others can push the evolution forward (and yes, evolution these days happens in the consumer space far quicker and more often than the pro equipment segment).

  • Data network. First and foremost is the ability to publish on demand.  First often matters when it comes to news… the ability to shoot and tweet/Facebook/share is the key factor here.  Why are WiFi connections in pro cameras so far between and so “stapled-on?”
  • Geotagging. Photos from mobile devices are tagged with essential metadata right in camera.  No need for another adapter plugged into your camera.  GPS data as well as relevant date info is automatically captured. This makes it easier to search and discover new images by those interested in finding them.  Location-based search is already throughly integrated into both the Google and Bing search engines.
  • Compelling and optimized software. Nearly every top software company has some amazing offerings in the app space.  Whether it’s Adobe Photoshop Express (or the newer Touch), nik’s Snapseed, or Photogene… full-featured editing apps allow for cropping, adjusting, toning, and repairing of digital photos immediately.
  • Location-aware updates. The fact that those in a breaking news situation can actually read updates is critical.  The real-time feedback of services like Twitter help those concerned with documenting events find the story and often interact with others.
  • Helper applications. From maps, to sun tables, to weather guides… it’s all there.  How a modern photographer could shoot without a smartphone is a valid question.

So…  will professional digital photography evolve?  Why not allow the tethering of your smart phone to your camera.  Couldn’t Nikon, Canon and others offer intelligent apps that tie your phone to your camera?  Couldn’t journalists and others push to a tablet for basic touchup then publish without having to lug a laptop?

As we move closer and closer to digital only delivery for our news and periodicals… the DSLR may go the way of the designer.  The quick and the agile will evolve and survive while the rest become extinct.

Want to see the impact on video journalists? Read this –
http://www.theatlanticwire.com/business/2011/11/cnn-photojournalists-lose-jobs-cheaper-better-cameras/44906/

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Putting the Fun Back Into Work

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image by AnthiaCumming/iStockphoto

For most of us, we got into photography or video because it was fun.  Sure the prospect of making a living off something we enjoyed was exciting; it was a dream job. But then reality set in… what was once fun increasingly became work.

I liken the entire dynamic to that of a marriage.  I started dating my wife almost 15 years ago. What started as young romance, turned into newlywed bliss.  Add in two jobs, two kids, and other pressures and its easy to find yourself sleeping next to a stranger.

What we figured out a few years back is that we were better parents the more we were in love with each other.  Hence our standing tradition of having our own date night at least every two weeks.  We step away from all the parts of the relationship that are work and instead work on our relationship. We’re happy, we’re in sync, and we’re a better family.

What’s the lesson here? Are you married to your job or do you love your job?  By taking the time to make photography fun again and giving you a chance to grow and explore that relationship, you will be far better off.

Take on some personal projects.  Do something because you want to and not because you have to.

For me, that’s time-lapse photography.  Capturing scenic views and letting the passage of time get recorded.

  • I walk out with two camera bodies and two tripods.
  • The process of finding the shot (which often involves the quiet of a sunrise or sunset) relaxes me.
  • I find a good view and set the cameras up.
  • After carefully composing both shots, I meditate.  If I’m not feeling introspective, then I read comic books on my iPad.  Both help me relax.
  • I then get some fun time in Adobe Camera raw and After Effects to make beautiful images that others enjoy.

I’ve started sharing my techniques through
Triple Exposure, which has been socially fun and let me meet some great colleagues.  I find the end result and the creative process beautiful and rewarding.  Photography is fun… the images I’m creating cause a reaction.  I am proud of the work, but the only person I need to make happy is me.

Just as my family is stronger because my wife and I love each other… so is my work.  I enjoy what I do and on those days when there’s a gap in work it doesn’t seem so depressing and worrisome.  Even if I’m busy and I’m on the road for clients, I still find myself getting up early to catch the sunrise.  Worst case scenario… I can even just set the camera on a timer to shoot out my hotel window.

But I’m having fun and making time for me… and my client work is all the better for it.

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Request for Feedback on New Branding

We're tweaking the branding at my company… RHED Pixel. Would love to get some feedback on the new look and feel.

The ad below is a sample of the direction we're going. Thanks!

StudioAd_sm

Please post comments below or
send me an email.
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Media and Social Media Symposium by RHED Pixel – Day 2









Stream videos at Ustream

My company, RHED Pixel is offering a two day Media and Social Media Symposium. The event will be streaming live for two days (we have several 45 minute sessions). Below is the schedule for day two, Wednesday, October 26. We'll stream these only once… so if you want to catch these live you can watch below or at this link –
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/rhed-pixel-open-house-day-1


10:00 AM EST
Video on the Go: Producing Video for Smart Phones, Apple iOS and Google Droid
Richard Harrington & Mark Weiser — RHED Pixel

11:00 AM EST
Measuring Social Media Results: Real World Metrics
Amy DeLouise

12:00 PM EST
More than 140 Characters: Enriching Twitter and Facebook with Photos, Video, and More
Richard Harrington— RHED Pixel

2:00 PM EST
You Can Hear the Difference: The Benefit of Audio Sweetening
Cheryl Ottenritter –Ott House Audio

3:00 PM EST
Color Grading your Video Project: When You Really Want to Fix it in Post
Robbie Carman — Amigo Media

4:00 PM EST
Fix it in Post: Rescuing Footage from Production Disasters
Brenda Spevak and Adam Martray — RHED Pixel

4:45 PM EST
The Perfect Key: What You Need to Know About Green Screen
Richard Harrington & Xi Lin —RHED Pixel



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Media and Social Media Symposium by RHED Pixel – Day 1









Stream videos at Ustream

My company, RHED Pixel is offering a two day Media and Social Media Symposium. The event will be streaming live for two days (we have several 45 minute sessions). Below is the schedule for day one, Tuesday, October 25. We'll stream these only once… so if you want to catch these live you can watch below or at this link –
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/rhed-pixel-open-house-day-1


10:00 AM EST
Hypersyndication: How to Get Your Social Media and Video More Eyeballs
Richard Harrington — RHED Pixel

11:00 AM EST
Nobody Cares What You Had for Lunch: Practical Writing Tips for Social Media
Mary Fletcher — Fletcher Prince Marketing

12:00 PM EST
DSLR Video: Hollywood Style – DC Budgets
Rich Harrington & Mark Weiser — RHED Pixel

2:00 PM EST
Why 3D Matters: How your Brain Sees 3D Video
Chris Mayhew — V3 Imaging

3:00 PM EST
Hard Drives and Your Media: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You
Mark Fuccio

4:00 PM EST
Five Innovations in Video Editing: How to Work Faster and Smarter
Richard Harrington & Adam Martray — RHED Pixel

5:00 PM EST
From Inspiration to Animation: Motion Graphics Design Showcase
Xi Lin & Esin Ozdag — RHED Pixel

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I've Never Met a Video That Couldn't Be Shorter

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iStockphoto/adventtr


I have never met a video that wouldn’t benefit from some editing. The whole purpose of video is to compress time and distill a message to its essence. It is important that you refine a project by continuing to strip away its unneeded parts. Never have I heard an audience complain that a video was too short. There is a reason to edit and it becomes increasingly clear when you actually watch people as they watch your project. Do your best to strip a project down to its essence and only add what is needed.

You can download the free eBook "From Still to Motion – The Business Manifesto" to get practical advice for professionals working in video and new media



This post sponsored by iStockphotoSave 10%Get a Free Audio Track

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Delivering Video to Mobile Audiences



A presentation I gave on delivering video to mobile audiences. From a recent RHED Pixel open house.

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Billing for the Video Industry

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Every video project should be split into progress payments. By splitting the financial payments across progress you ensure protection for your financial security. Typically, I recommend the use up to five, equal payments. If project’s have extremely short timelines or do not involve a full-service production (such as shooting only) then adjust your payment schedule.

  • Project Initiation — Once the project scope and budget is agreed upon, a deposit for 20% of the project should be submitted.

  • Preproduction — This stage encompasses the bulk of project planning. Tie a progress payment to the delivery of the script or other relevant preproduction tasks. Issue a progress payment upon delivery of final preproduction items to the client.

  • Production — I recommend the submittal of an invoice once shooting begins. This is typically the most expensive stage of a project. Be sure that you have received some form of payment before production begins. Do not hand off project footage until at least 50% of a project’s budget is in hand.

  • Postproduction — Once editing begins, another progress payment should be issued. Some choose to watermark projects until at least 66% of a project’s budget is received.

  • Closeout — A final bill that reflects any change orders should be generated at the completion of a project. Be sure that your agreement states that you retain certain rights to a production until payment is received in full.


You can download the free eBook "From Still to Motion – The Business Manifesto" to get practical advice for professionals working in video and new media

This post sponsored by iStockphotoSave 10%Get a Free Audio Track

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Rendering Synthetic Objects into Legacy Photographs

Rendering Synthetic Objects into Legacy Photographs from Kevin Karsch on Vimeo.

Supplementary material video for our 2011 SIGGRAPH Asia paper (see the project page here: http://kevinkarsch.com/publications/sa11.html). 3D objects are rendered using LuxRender (http://www.luxrender.net).



Authors: Kevin Karsch, Varsha Hedau, David Forsyth, Derek Hoiem



Abstract: We propose a method to realistically insert synthetic objects into existing photographs without requiring access to the scene or any additional scene measurements. With a single image and a small amount of annotation, our method creates a physical model of the scene that is suitable for realistically rendering synthetic objects with diffuse, specular, and even glowing materials while accounting for lighting interactions between the objects and the scene. We demonstrate in a user study that synthetic images produced by our method are confusable with real scenes, even for people who believe they are good at telling the difference. Further, our study shows that our method is competitive with other insertion methods while requiring less scene information. We also collected new illumination and reflectance datasets; renderings produced by our system compare well to ground truth. Our system has applications in the movie and gaming industry, as well as home decorating and user content creation, among others.



This is a
REALLY cool video and some amazing tech. Be sure to watch and share.
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The Director Needs to be Confident

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Clients look for a confident vendor who can get the job done. Crews look for a leader to provide the artistic vision. While you may be “inside your head” mulling the creative vision or finding the shot… that won’t work in many video situations. You need to be assertive and confident… otherwise your shoot will spin away from you quickly. Video may be a team sport, but the team needs a captain.

I can’t tell you how many times I am faced with new challenges. Nearly every project brings up new technical and creative challenges that I’ve never faced. This is the truly exciting part about working in video. Rarely do I have every answer (but I do know where to look and how to solve the problem). No client wants to hear ‘I don’t know.’ What they are looking for is ‘I will figure it out.’

When presented with a challenge in a project, I exude confidence (but not arrogance). I know that showing confidence to my team as well as my clients is inspirational. A clear study of the challenge ahead will lead to solutions. Then I’ll leverage my networks. I have a collection of peers I trust to ask questions of. I can turn to online forums like Creative COW. I can ping my social network through Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. All of these play a part in finding answers.

Everything I learned in college about video is technologically obsolete. What I learned was how to tell stories and how to solve problems. Every tape format has changed; every software application has upgraded ten or more times. Heck, web browsers didn’t even exist. But I know that I can learn. And because of that I am confident that I can solve any challenge I face and devise a solution that is an effective compromise between the budget-in-hand and the schedule I have. With a little practice, you can see the world this way too.


You can download the free eBook "From Still to Motion – The Business Manifesto" to get practical advice for professionals working in video and new media

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It’s All About Project Management

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iStockphoto/kemalbas

  • Video is a multi-headed beast that’s constantly screaming to be fed and nourished. You’ve got people in front of the lens, people behind the cameras, and even more behind the scenes. Video projects are complex with multiple stages of approval along the way. You need to control things and have a plan (and even another plan for when that one fails).

  • Project Management is not unique to video, but it is a critical skill due to the complex interconnected nature of video projects. Chances are that you may have some project management skills… but I want you to go deeper and actually study the formal business practices of project management.

  • The best decision I made in my professional career as a video producer was to formally study Project Management. I chose to get a master’s degree in it, and it saves me nearly every day. Many schools offer consolidated courses and workshops; you can pursue an educational certificate, or even just start your own independent study.

    While I’ll emphasize project management, I mean the business practices. It is important to learn how to balance the scope of the project, track your resources, and maintain budget and quality. Simply buying a project management software package will make you no better a business pro than owning Photoshop will make you a photographer. Software is a tool, not the foundation of a professional career.

    We use project management principles to clearly describe the work to be undertaken. We measure progress and track changes so the end budget reflects the work performed. We closely monitor the budget and schedule (as these are often more important or easier for the end client to measure). Quality video is awesome... and the world is filled with talented folks who can make it. Fortunately (for true business professionals) it takes more than just creative talent to make it in the world of video. Business acumen and client management are just as important.
You can download the free eBook "From Still to Motion – The Business Manifesto" to get practical advice for professionals working in video and new media

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Carry It… Check It… Rent It…

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Photo courtesy iStockphoto/Mathieu

While I’m not a road warrior, I easily log 50 flights a year for my job. I’ve had to travel with equipment all over the world for both photo and video projects.  Traveling just gets more and more expensive these days.  Here are a few rules that I apply to getting there safely with my sanity and equipment intact.

Carry It

I always carry these things onto the plane.
  • A roll-on bag with all my lenses and camera bodies. I have had luggage stolen, the thieves know what gear bags look like.
  • A laptop shoulder bag. With laptop, power supply, 2 TB of portable storage, and spare cables for all items.
  • The Internet. I have an iPad, an iPhone, and a Wireless Modem. Why do I have 3 internet connections at all times? Because its cheaper than paying for WIFI at the airport and hotel.  Plus its much more reliable than counting on clients and coffee shops.
  • A change of clothes. Because your bag will get lost at the worst time

Check It

When it comes to checked luggage, here are some tips to try to stretch your budget.
  • Weigh your bags. Weigh your bags before you fly.  A simple bathroom scale is worth keeping near your gear.
  • Prepay. Some airlines offer annual passes for baggage, while others give you a free bag with their branded credit card.
  • Choose wisely. One of my favorite airlines is Virgin America.  Not just for their lovely service and planes (with Internet), but for their $25 per bag and up to 10 bags policy.
  • Pack a bag. Overweight bags are more expensive than checking another bag.  I carry a very lightweight bag inside my suitcase for “overflow.”
  • Skycaps are your friend. Those great folks out front of their airport are often nicer than the folks inside.  Just walk up and hand them a five or ten dollar bill with your driver’s license.

Rent It

Don’t feel you have to lug all your gear with you.  All those bags can sure add up.
  • Hire local. Find a local crew person or assistant for the market you’re traveling to. These can be a lighting assistant or someone to help with gear on the shoot.
  • Find a peer. Use the ASMP Find a Photographer app or site to find a photographer to rent gear from. For video crews try the Creative COW services directory.
  • Look for a grip house. We typically rent lighting equipment and support gear. from a grip house, which are used by the video and motion picture industries.
Why all this hubbub?  These days every dollar counts.  Clients don’t really look at your rate plus expenses, they just see the bottom line.  In my experience, the better a traveler I am, the more money left over to go in my pocket.

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Age is Just a Number

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I have seen myself go from being an upstart kid to a balding professional. But I have learned this... age is just a number. I have worked with wonderfully talented “kids” throughout my career. I have also chosen to surround myself with those who are more experienced than me. Both parties have added to my understanding of this medium and its creative applications.

While the guild system of old is all but destroyed, you can still preserve its spirit. Seek out others who you want to work with. Ignore their age and instead look at what they have to offer to the creative process. An open mind goes a long way. I continuously learn things from even the youngest employee or crew member. I also have learned to listen when someone else has something to say.

Video is a collaborative medium and one that has undergone a century worth of change in the last ten years. Bluntly... shut up and listen. Put any preconceived notions you may have about age or experience aside and open yourself to opportunity.
You can download the free eBook "From Still to Motion – The Business Manifesto" to get practical advice for professionals working in video and new media

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You Can’t Be Good at Everything

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iStockphoto/FPM


Those who “know” me are likely thinking this is a hypocritical statement. But the truth is that you cannot be good at everything. It takes a keen awareness of your personal strengths and weaknesses in order to survive in the world of video.

Truly professional productions require a myriad of source elements. Video is much more than just moving pictures. You’ll need high-quality sound, compelling music, a well-written script, compelling graphics, art direction, and more.

I recommend a triage approach to developing a skills inventory:


  • Marketable Services – These are skills that you feel confident in selling to others. You should aim to keep this list below ten items (after all there’s a reason you have ten fingers). Be sure to develop these skills continuously through exercise (practical use) and training (conferences, books, online learning, and social media).
  • Potential Services – This category houses skills that you both want to offer and show potential aptitude. Look for opportunities to develop through personal projects and volunteering your time. Look for a mentor that you can serve under and log additional practice time.
  • Outsourced Services – There will be lots of services you need to make a video project. You can’t be good at all of them. Learn enough so you understand what’s involved, then build a good pool of talent that you can hire. There is no shame in hiring other professionals. In fact it is critical to the success of the industry. Through the mixing of creative professionals, new ideas are born.


You can download the free eBook "From Still to Motion – The Business Manifesto" to get practical advice for professionals working in video and new media



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Finding and Hiring Contractors

helpwanted
iStockphoto/belterzview

Find other professionals to work with can seem quite daunting at first. This is especially true if you are changing markets or professional focus. It’s important to realize that the film and video community is well established with its own professional groups and even unions. Finding qualified video crew is not difficult (if you know where to look).

  • Craigslist is Not Your Friend – Before we tackle where to look, lets get where not to look out of the way. I find that Craigslist (and others like it) are filled with ads looking for crews. Nearly all offer no pay (just experience). As such, most professionals don’t even bother looking here for work. It’s hard to find true talent when you’re surrounded by wannabes looking for a handout.

  • Professional Groups – There are numerous professional groups in most markets. A simple web search may turn up user groups for specific technology like tools from Apple or Adobe. You can also find groups that maintain directories and member programming such as MCA-I, Women in Film, and others.

  • Grip and Rental Houses – Many markets have grip and rental houses that rent lighting and support equipment used in the production of film and television projects. These places also rent to other video professionals and usually maintain or even staff crews that can be hired. These are great places to start when you need to hire in a different market.

  • Teaming – Chances are some of your colleagues are also getting into video production. Work with those you know. I have found that collaboration with colleagues works far better than viewing everyone as your competition. Work openly with those you trust and respect and go out of your way to work together. Those who are worth working with will certainly return the favor in some way.


You can download the free eBook "From Still to Motion – The Business Manifesto" to get practical advice for professionals working in video and new media

This post is sponsored by iStockphoto –
www.istockphoto.com/richardharrington.php

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My Favorite Browser Bookmarks and Why

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Photo by iStockphoto/JuSunview

Clientcopia – www.clientcopia.com
This site lets me know that everyone has crazy clients. Good for a laugh and a pick me up.

Basecamp HQ – www.basecamphq.com
I use this online project management tool for both my companies. This keeps me organized and ensures open communication with my clients.

Apple Trailers – www.apple.com/trailers
I’m a movie junkie. Plus this is an excellent way to see the best lit, best composed shots in the whole movie.

Rafael Concepcion – www.aboutrc.com/blog
RC is a helpful author and podcaster who shares his discoveries in great posts. He’s a natural storyteller and very passionate.

Twitter – www.twitter.com
I follow a great group of photographers and media pros. This is the water cooler/bar for the digital age. I get news, gossip, and strong opinions. Feel free to follow @rhedpixel and share any news you have with me as well.

Photo Focus – www.PhotoFocus.com
This site is an extensive collection of articles and resources. There are daily posts and I truly enjoy the breadth of coverage.

Screenr – www.Screenr.com
If I need to record a quick tutorial or show a colleague a technique, Screenr is great.

Creative COW – www.creativecow.net
This is where I go to get all of my video questions answered. You’ll find active forums and extensive selection of tutorials and podcasts.

Kelby Training – www.kelbytraining.com
This site offers a large selection of classes and tutorials by some of the top photographers and photoshop users in the world.

Mac Rumors – www.macrumors.com
I’m an Apple enthusiast. I like to know what’s going on as well as what might be going on in the Apple ecosystem.

Photoshop Disasters – www.psdisasters.com
This is another site that’s good for a laugh. It’s also educational as you can learn from other’s mistakes.

Triple Exposure – www.3exposure.com
This one is a blog I share ... but that doesn’t mean I don’t read it every day. There are great comments and resources all about my three favorite styes of photography – panoramic, HDR, and time-lapse.

How about you? What are your must read sites? I’m always looking for more.

This post is sponsored by iStockphoto

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Free eBook – From Still to Motion–The Business Manifesto

From Still to Motion–The Business Manifesto


Practical advice for professionals working in video and new media


Get it here


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Final Cut Studio Goes Back On Sale

final_cut_studio_7-thumb-640xauto-7214-4e601bf-intro-thumb-640xauto-25117

I just got off the phone with a lovely woman at 1-800-MY-APPLE.

Here are the highlights of the call.

  • Final Cut Studio 3 is back on sale. In fact it’s been available for 4 days.
  • The studio costs $999 (just like it used to).
  • If you're a student, that’s $899 (just like it used to).
  • There are NO other discounts or upgrades that the representative could find.

This product is not on the consumer Apple website. You have to call 1-800-MY-APPLE. According to the representative… she says that there’s been A LOT of calls asking for it to go back on sale… so she was glad to be able to sell it again (instead of telling people no).

So there you have it…. Those of you sitting on older versions of Final Cut Pro can step up (but not upgrade). You’re now set if you needed new licenses to go with that new Mac Pro (oh wait, still waiting for that…).

Here’s
another story on the re-release, if that helps.

I’ve updated my chart on where things stand for Final Cut Pro X (which still seems stuck in the middle).

scores_9_1

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Need a Royalty-Free Audio Track (For Free)

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If you need to put together a new video or slideshow, I'd highly recommend checking out the Audio section of the iStockphoto website.

They have thousands of royalty-free audio tracks that are truly fully cleared. Buy the track and you can use it for just about anything with no additional rights to by or legal worries.

A lot of folks think they can use
ANY track for "personal" use.

Nope. You cannot post to the web, show as your portfolio, use less than 30 seconds, etc. BE LEGAL and buy your music.

Except, I'll make it even easier on you to get started. I'll give you a track for
free!

http://www.istockphoto.com/freeaudio

Photo by iStockphoto/chrisgramly





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Create PDFs from Your iPad or iPhone



Pasted Graphic

Adobe has expanded its suite of iOS apps with CreatePDF. You can now convert several different files into a PDF right from your iOS device.

The app uses Adobe's
online PDF creation service.

You can submit:

  • MS Word (docx, doc), Excel (xlsx, xls), PowerPoint (pptx, ppt)
  • Adobe Illustrator (ai), Photoshop (psd) and InDesign (indd)
  • Images – JPEG, BMP, PNG, GIF, TIFF
  • RTF, Text and WordPerfect
  • OpenOffice and StarOffice documents

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Final Cut Pro X App Store Scores Rise

FCPX_SCORE_7_31

The App Store scores for Final Cut Pro X continue to rise over time. In the strictest sense, the app is no longer failing.

Here are a few observations I'd like to share:

  • The App has fallen off the Top 10 list of selling apps (down to 11). This is largely due to initial demand being satiated and Apple removing it from the home page (except for a little button below the fold).
  • The App is firmly entrenched in the #2 spot for Top Grossing. This means Apple is making good money of the application and it can b considered a success financially.
  • The user community remains fiercely divided. I've spent the last few weeks entrenched in user group events and industry functions. Apple, Adobe, and Autodesk are certainly gaining new users.
  • The next dot release update is going to be a watershed moment. MANY (and I mean many) are taking a wait and see approach to see how much Apple can put back in.
  • I heard from a reliable source at the Atlanta Cutters Event that the XML resources will be released to developers in the next two weeks. This will open up new opportunities for FCPX to participate with other professional applications. No word on cost implications however.
  • I have heard from many people switching (or thinking of switching) to Adobe Premiere Pro how surpassed they are at its performance and features. These same people love After Effects and Photoshop, yet seem surprised at how good the integration is between the three. Dynamic Link, Native Editing, and Adobe Media Encoder continue to please.
  • Hardware companies like AJA are broadening their support to all the manufacturers. Avid, Adobe, and Apple are all seeing new products and new support with drivers.
  • Several major places are adding in or strengthening their use of Adobe and Avid tools. I've spoken to folks at Discovery, CNN, Turner, American University,
  • The DSLR crowd (including Vincent Laforet, Phillip Bloom, and Shane Hurlbut) are now using Adobe Premiere Pro. The RED community is quickly switching too.
  • The industry got a quick shot of evolution. "Everything just changed in post" rings true. It's just that a lot more shuffling is occurring than anyone expected.


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Adobe Offers Path to FCPX Editors

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As disgruntled Apple Final Cut Pro users search out options for professional video editing, Adobe Systems has been a major beneficiary of the big switch since FCPX hit the market. In her interview with Jim Guerard of Adobe Systems, Debra Kaufman finds the result of Adobe's offering for former FCP users to be a big uptick in pro video users.

Article Focus:


Creative COW has posted a great article that goes in-depth with both Adobe staff and users about why folks are switching to Adobe Premiere Pro.

Some of my favorite parts:

Adobe also created another key feature: ensuring integration of Adobe Premiere with the new generation of digital cameras. "We natively support all these camera formats from Sony to Panasonic, from RED to the Canon 5D Mark II," says Guerard. "You don't waste hours and hours of transcoding on ingest. The time and money we save people and the amount they're able to get done is huge."

and

Who's making the switch to Adobe Premiere Pro? According to Guerard, the broadcast and indie filmmaker arenas are the most likely suspects. "In broadcast, there is so much happening with multi-screen delivery and distribution," says Guerard. "With Premiere, you can seamlessly take the content out to all kinds of platforms. And broadcasters know us and trust that we're dedicated to this market. They know they'll get a brand new release every year. For professional editors who count on their software application to pay the bills, they need that kind of partnership and collaboration."

Be sure to read the whole article here – http://library.creativecow.net/kaufman_debra/Adobe-offers-switch-FCP/1

______________________________________________________________________


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More of a Twitter person? Then click here –
http://www.twitter.com/rhedpixel


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Listen to this Maccast on Final Cut Pro X

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I recently had a chance to talk with some very smart folks about the release of Final Cut Pro X. The show looks at several issues and tries to explain why people had such a hard time with the release.

"A podcast about all things Macintosh. For Mac geeks, by Mac geeks. Show 357. When Apple released the latest version of Final Cut Pro they created quite an impact although it may or may not have been the one they wanted. The Final Cut Pro X (FCPX) release was very anticipated and had a lot of hype. When it shipped many in the high end pro video market cried foul. In this episode I invited three video pros, Richard Harrington, Ron Brinkmann, and Chris Fenwick to come on and help the average Mac Geek make sense of why this release was such a big deal. The changes impact not only those in the video community, but also bring insights and revelations for the rest of us as well."
Be sure to listen to the show here –
http://www.maccast.com/2011/07/16/maccast-2011-07-16-final-cut-pro-x/
If you'd like to follow my public Facebook page – click here – http://www.facebook.com/RichHarringtonStuff
More of a Twitter person? Then click here –
http://www.twitter.com/rhedpixel
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Investing and Doing Business In the Apple Ecosystem

MacJury1106
I recently had the chance to be a guest on the very cool podcast called The MacJury.

"Operating in the shadow of Apple may be different from any other company in the world. A special MacJury convenes to discuss the benefits and challenges of doing business in and as part of the Apple ecosystem. What makes the Apple space different and what that is attractive from a business and investing perspective, the most recommended area for developers to get involved in, and a case study of how one hardware company approached it, are included in the deliberations. The question of the number of apps in the Mac App Store, the store’s features and how what is and isn’t there affects vendors, the importance of demo versions and much more are covered by the very diverse panel of Mark Fuccio, Tom Loverro, Rich Harrington, Jean MacDonald and host Chuck Joiner."

You can listen to the show or download it here –
http://is.gd/WMsOpB

It was a very interesting show with lots of view points and insight.

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The Closing of a Bookstore and How it Affects You

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As a book author I find this sad… and a very scary warning…
More than 10,000 people just lost their jobs from one book store chain alone. (
Here's the whole note).

As a book reader who loves roaming the aisles and touching books, this is a bad sign…

I have so many good memories of taking the kids to pick out a new book (with a great cup of coffee in hand).

I often am disheartened by how intellectual property is becoming devalued.

My books are pirated all of the time. Same goes for my videos.
People record live classes against permission… then post them online.

People complain when I give things away for free that it's not enough (or the right file format, or the part they wanted).

For the record… writing a book for me is typically six months of work.

Yes, I also have a "real" job too. I write and teach mainly because I want to preserve the knowledge I have been given or discovered.
But I also like to take the family on vacation, live in a nice middle class house, and send the kids to college.

I want the film, video, and photo industries to survive. Not just devolve into stammering YouTube tutorials followed with back and forth comments telling me how much I suck/rock (or that my voice sounds like Vince Vaughn… or that I am going bald… or that I used to be skinnier).

The world is changing… stealing has become easier…

But it doesn't make it right.

If you need to keep learning to remain professionally viable (and I suspect all of you do) then support that ecosystem.
Read 6 books a year. Enroll in some online classes. Attend a conference if you can.

Read blogs (there's lots of great ones)… and remember to occasionally say thank you. Complaining is okay too… just pretend that a real person is on the other end and actually reads it.

Karma… Pass it on.

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Don't Miss the Great Camera Shootout



In the most scientific camera comparison to date, “The Great Camera Shootout 2011: a documentary of the Single Chip Camera Evaluation (SCCE)” premieres with Episode 1: “The Tipping Point.” The first episode of the 3-part web series examines three SCCE Tests: The Dynamic Range Test, The Under Exposure Test and The Over Exposure Test.

You can see part one – here (http://www.zacuto.com/the-great-camera-shootout-2011/episode-one)
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Camera Requirements for Multi-camera Shoots

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When planning a multi-camera video shoot, several factors can impact the quality of the final production. Choosing the right equipment (along with the crew to run it) will have the greatest influence on the quality of the final production. Here are some details to look for when selecting cameras:

  • Matched codec/format. Ideally, all your footage will have the same codec (compressor/decompressor). If you've mixed formats (like DVCPRO HD and AVCHD), you may need to convert the footage to match for some edit systems. You'll also want to be able to match frame rates so footage stays in sync.
    Lens length. With multi-camera events you'll often be shooting from a distance. Many cameras have fixed lenses that aren't good for long-distance shooting. Be sure to consider distance from subject when choosing a camera.
    Number of audio inputs. Generally speaking, cameras will have 2–4 inputs. Depending on your number of audio sources, more discrete audio channels can really come in handy. If not, look to use an external audio recorder.
    Chip size. Many multi-camera shoots are for concerts or performance events. These events often have low light, which means cameras with single chips, or even 1/3"1/3-inch chips, can get grainy.
    Tapeless acquisition. Choosing to record direct to disk or cards makes it easier to record for long periods without interruption. Make sure you have enough recording capacity to avoid having to stopping for a "tape change."
    Timecode method. Be sure to examine your options, which will may include time of day or synced timecode. These professional options make syncing cameras easier.

Figure_06-04

Tip: Power in Demand

Ten cameras plus a five-ton grip truck’s worth of lights can put a big drain on a location's circuit. Be sure you do a site survey and identify where your power is coming from. You'll likely need to use several extension cords ("stingers") to get the required power to your set. If you draw from too few outlets, you may blow a fuse.


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More Questions Raised by the Final Cut Pro X FAQ

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Apple just posted an FAQ document that addresses the top questions. This is a certainly step in the right direction (open communication always is). I respectively submit my commentary and additional questions to respect additional clarification.

Gary Adcock contributed to this article and added clarification.

Readers, please add to this list in the comments section.

Import


Can I import projects from Final Cut Pro 7 into Final Cut Pro X?

“Final Cut Pro X includes an all-new project architecture structured around a trackless timeline and connected clips. In addition, Final Cut Pro X features new and redesigned audio effects, video effects, and color grading tools. Because of these changes, there is no way to “translate” or bring in old projects without changing or losing data. But if you’re already working with Final Cut Pro 7, you can continue to do so after installing Final Cut Pro X, and Final Cut Pro 7 will work with Mac OS X Lion. You can also import your media files from previous versions into Final Cut Pro X.”

  • If we are willing to lose some data, what could be imported?
  • Can we import the bin structure of a project to use existing organization?
  • You say that there is no way to translate or bring in old projects. Can we definitely take this that there will be no way now or ever?

Gary thinks that the question becomes how much can be brought in and how much of the previous structure is not translatable to the new app. Gary thinks that it should be possible to import the media files into a FCP X event. Folders and subfolders could carry over the existing naming conventions and folder nesting as Smart Collections and use the folder structure to achieve hierarchy via keywording.


Can I import my video directly into Final Cut Pro X as I could in Final Cut Pro 7?

“Yes. Final Cut Pro X allows you to import video from a wide range of devices, including many AVCHD-based cameras and DSLR cameras. You can find a list of supported cameras here: http://help.apple.com/finalcutpro/cameras/en/. The list will grow as we continue to test and qualify new cameras.”

  • We also use decks to ingest media too, what about them?
  • Any plans for device control for decks and standard protocols?

Gary thinks that third-party tools will be required for acquisition and playback of tape-based media, and are not yet available. He feels that Log and Capture is gone. Options like serial control will be in the hands of the hardware manufacturers.

  • How about third party capture cards?
  • What about Firewire based capture devices like the AJA IO HD?

Gary says that there is billion dollar ecosystem built around Final Cut Pro. He feels confident that there will be devices and they will be able to do more that output a Mirrored Desktop signal. He is of the opinion that this is the number one priority at this time for Apple. However he wants that just like how most three year old capture cards do not work with FCPX, users should not expect older capture hardware will likely need to be replaced too.

"Some camera manufacturers will need to update their import plug-ins to work with the new 64-bit architecture of Final Cut Pro, and we are working with them to provide these updates as quickly as possible. Until then, you can use your camera manufacturer’s import software to convert video for Final Cut Pro X."

  • Which manufacturers are you working with?

"For example, Sony offers an XDCAM Transfer application that allows you to convert XDCAM video without transcoding so it can be imported into Final Cut Pro X. You can find more information here: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4724. If you are working with RED cameras, you can use the free RED software REDCINE-X, designed to transcode RED RAW video to ProRes for use in Final Cut Pro X: https://www.red.com/support/all/downloads.”

  • What if we don’t want to transcode to ProRes (defeats the purpose of Raw workflow for many)?
  • What about Arri Alexa?
  • How about camera raw formats for time-lapse?
  • Any plans to recognize the advanced metadata created by high end cameras? Many use FCP7 XML side car files, how do we access this data?

Gary points out that Raw is a viable workflow for many users, however, that long form or documentary projects have always done the Online / Offline process to keep the overall media size somewhat manageable.


Editing


Can I edit my tape-based workflow with Final Cut Pro X?


"Yes, in a limited manner. Final Cut Pro X is designed for modern file-based workflows and does not include all the tape capture and output features that were built into Final Cut Pro 7. Final Cut Pro X does support FireWire import for DV, DVCPRO, DVCPRO 50, DVCPRO HD, and HDV. In addition, companies like AJA and Blackmagic offer free deck control software that allows you to capture from tape and output to tape."

  • Are you saying that anything to do with tape, outside DV and HDV, is up to third-parties?
  • What about other decks (such as those from Panasonic) that can use FireWire to pass DVCPRO and DVCPRO HD data?
  • What APIs have you opened up? In other words what features are possible if third-parties choose to use them?


Does Final Cut Pro X support multicam editing?

"Not yet, but it will. Multicam editing is an important and popular feature, and we will provide great multicam support in the next major release. Until then, Final Cut Pro X offers some basic support with automatic clip synchronization, which allows you to sync multiple video and audio clips using audio waveforms, creating a Compound Clip that can be used for simple multicam workflows."

  • By next major release, do you mean version 2?
  • Historically there has been approximately two years between major versions, can you comment on a timeline more specifically?
  • By simple multicam workflows , do you mean two angles?


Does Final Cut Pro X support external monitors?

"Yes. If you have a second computer monitor connected to your Mac, Final Cut Pro X gives you options to display the interface across multiple monitors. For example, you can place a single window — such as the Viewer or the Event Browser — on the second monitor, while leaving the other windows on your primary monitor. Like previous versions, Final Cut Pro X relies on third-party devices to support external video monitoring. We’ve been working with third-party developers in our beta program to create drivers for Final Cut Pro X, and AJA has already posted beta drivers for its popular Kona card: http://www.aja.com/support/konaNEW/kona-3g.php."

  • Will we be able to mirror that second window to two places?
  • What color space is that second monitor going to function in?
  • How can we view a true video signal on that external monitor?
  • Any plans to support a second computer monitor and an external video monitor at the same time?
  • Will devices like the AJA IO Express and IO HD as well as Matrox MXO line work for laptop users and those with limited card slots?

Can I save different versions of my project?

"Yes. Final Cut Pro X automatically saves your project during the editing process, so you never lose your work. If you want to save a version of your project, with or without duplicate media, select it in the Project Library and choose File > Duplicate Project."

  • Will I be able to choose a Restore command to go back to a specific point in time?
  • Can I set a control for how often FCPX saves? Currently it appears that the app is literally saving every keystroke and movement.
  • Can I view separate states of an autosave so I can choose to compare two versions of a project based upon their time stamp?


Are keyboard shortcuts in Final Cut Pro X different from those in Final Cut Pro 7?

"Many keyboard shortcuts for navigation, start/end marking, and tools are the same in Final Cut Pro X and Final Cut Pro 7. Some keyboard shortcuts have changed to support new features. Final Cut Pro X offers powerful keyboard customization, and you can view and modify keyboard shortcuts at any time by choosing Final Cut Pro > Commands > Customize."

  • Is there a way to save my settings to move to another machine?
  • How can a user backup their settings?


Can I use my third-party plug-ins in Final Cut Pro X?

"You’ll be able to use them as soon as they are updated. Because Final Cut Pro X has a modern 64-bit architecture, third-party plug-ins must be 64-bit too. Final Cut Pro X already supports 64-bit Audio Units plug-ins. For motion graphics, third-party developers can build effects, titles, transitions, and generators as templates in Motion 5 for use directly in Final Cut Pro X. Developers can also build 64-bit FxPlug 2 plug-ins for Motion 5, and integrate those plug-ins into templates that can be used in Final Cut Pro X. These templates, together with any associated FxPlug 2 plug-ins, will work in Final Cut Pro X even if Motion is not installed on the computer."

  • In the future, will you release the plugin specifications before the day of software release to give developers adequate time to develop? It is very inconvenient to keep having your tools break because of secrecy.
  • Is there a way to create a bundle installer as well as to protect the work if you develop effects or templates using Motion?
  • Will Apple offer a market place (or open the App store) to help distribute these effects?


Media Management


Can I specify a scratch disk location?

"Yes. When you import media, you can specify the Event and the drive where you’d like to put it. You can also specify where you’d like to put your project. In Final Cut Pro X, a project and its rendered media always travel together in the same folder, so it’s easy to move projects between different hard drives and computers."

  • Many prefer to keep projects on one drive and renders and media on another drive, is this workflow possible?
Currently the only choice seems to be to keep the render files and project files together, which can place a performance hit on your system drive. The alternative is to place your project files on the media drive which makes project recovery difficult after drive failure.

Can I share projects with other editors?

"Yes. You have several options for sharing projects. You can hand over just the project file, and the recipient can reconnect the project to his or her own copies of the Event. Or you can send the complete project and Event as a package to another editor. Final Cut Pro X includes options for duplicating, moving, and consolidating projects and associated media to streamline sharing between editors."

  • Will we gain the ability to trim unused media using handles? This allows a project to be consolidated to a smaller package.

Can I store media in locations other than my system drive?

"Yes. Turning off the “Copy files to Final Cut Events folder” option leaves the imported files where they are currently located. You can also move the project and associated media at any point during the editing process by dragging the project to another mounted hard drive within the Project Library."

  • Can we gain some easy setup options that make this simpler? I find that I need to take 11 steps in order to prevent transcoding. I must uncheck options for both import and automatic rendering?
  • When will we see support for many popular networked drives formats that are not HFS+? Many are also reporting issues with gigabit ethernet, please address?


Can I hide Events that I am not working on?

"Yes. You can hide Events in Final Cut Pro X by moving them out of the Final Cut Events folder. In the Finder, navigate to the /Users/username/Movies folder and create a new folder. Then move the Events you are not using out of the Final Cut Events folder and into your new folder. The moved Events will no longer appear in Final Cut Pro X. If your Events are located on an external drive, you can move the Events to a new folder on that drive, or you can simply unmount the drive."
  • Are you open to other options?
  • How about the traditional concept of a project file?
  • What about the approach of Apple Aperture which uses multiple libraries that can be easily switched between on import?


Export


Can Final Cut Pro X export XML?

"Not yet, but we know how important XML export is to our developers and our users, and we expect to add this functionality to Final Cut Pro X. We will release a set of APIs in the next few weeks so that third-party developers can access the next-generation XML in Final Cut Pro X."

  • Are you saying that it will be the same type of XML that is supported currently by numerous manufacturers industry-wide? Or is this a new version?
  • In order for export to be useable, XML exports would have to be able to conform to the industry standards for inter-device communications
  • Will this ability cost us extra money like the OMF export option or will it be built-in?



Does Final Cut Pro X support OMF, AAF, and EDLs?

"Not yet. When the APIs for XML export are available, third-party developers will be able to create tools to support OMF, AAF, EDL, and other exchange formats. We have already worked with Automatic Duck to allow you to export OMF and AAF from Final Cut Pro X using Automatic Duck Pro Export FCP 5.0. More information is available on the Automatic Duck website: http://automaticduck.com/products/pefcp/."

  • You say when the API’s are available... is that dependent on Apple or another company to make these available?
  • Are these features waiting on the hardware API set as defined for Lion?
  • What is the priority of these features? Is it this version or the “next major release”?


Can I send my project to a sound editing application such as Pro Tools?

"Yes; you can export your project in OMF or AAF format using Automatic Duck Pro Export FCP 5.0. More information is available on the Automatic Duck website: http://automaticduck.com/products/pefcp/."

  • Any plans for native support?


Does Final Cut Pro X allow you to assign audio tracks for export?

"Not yet. An update this summer will allow you to use metadata tags to categorize your audio clips by type and export them directly from Final Cut Pro X."

  • Will this be a bundled feature or one that requires a third-party plugin?
  • Can we actually view and organize tracks in the timeline?
  • What about clips that are reused in different ways?
  • Will this still require a plug-in like the one made by Automatic Duck to fully function?


Can I customize my export settings?

"Yes. Compressor 4, available from the Mac App Store for $49.99, allows you to create a wide variety of custom export settings that you can use in Final Cut Pro X. The most popular export options and formats, including ProRes and H.264, are already built into Final Cut Pro X."

  • What about using the media manager to go to other codecs from companies like Cineform and Avid?
  • What about choice on import for more than two codecs?

PurchaseCan I purchase a volume license?

"Final Cut Pro X, Motion 5, and Compressor 4 Commercial and Education Volume Licensing will be available soon via the Apple Online Store for quantities of 20 or more. After purchasing, customers will receive redemption codes they can use to download the applications from the Mac App Store."

  • What about 5 users licenses? 10 user?
  • How does a company purchase more than one license without using multiple credit cards or iTunes accounts?
  • How many machines can a single copy be installed on?
  • How many users can use it at once?


All in all, a good start in the right direction. Please add your questions below. Hopefully the official Apple document will keep growing.

Comments

Not on Twitter? Now’s the Time.

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Apple recently unveiled that Twitter would be tightly woven throughout the next version of their iOS.  IF you didn’t spot this trend, let me put it a new way: welcome to the tipping point.  Apple is about to make Twitter a default method for sharing news, photos, and information with your contacts.  Your phone will literally scan your address book and attempt to integrate Twitter throughout.

Now, some of you already use Twitter…which means you probably fall into three camps. You either love it, don’t know how to use it, or haven’t gotten past the confusing gibberish to even start.  Let me offer some advice to those who aren’t already benefiting.
Start by Following. Click the Who to Follow button and then look through recommended users as well as search for people you know.  Choose 50 people or brands that interest you and read them for two weeks.  See what they talk about and what information you’re finding out that you’d likely have missed if you had to search actively for it.

Keep reading the rest of the article here —
http://www.asmp.org/strictlybusiness/2011/06/not-on-twitter-nows-the-time/
Comments

The Final Straw that was FCPX

There has been a lot of collective wondering going on lately. People keep asking me and many others why we are so upset by the release of Final Cut Pro X. Why is it a bad thing? Both apps can still be installed ... right? The price is more affordable ... right? The needed updates will come eventually ... right?

The release of Final Cut Pro X was the defining moment for many. In my line of work, I get to interface with a lot of video editors and other video professionals. I have spoken at numerous user groups and conferences. As a forum leader and podcaster for Creative COW, I have been hearing complaints for years. I also get to sit in edit suites with clients. The waiting for transcode on import as well as the 32-bit nature of Final Cut Pro 7 has caused a lot of impatient waiting in edit suites around the globe.

Final Cut Pro X was supposed to fix this. At least that was the belief most held. It would be “awesome” we were told. I guess that can mean different things.

People are not breaking up with Apple because of what Final Cut Pro X is. They are ending their relationship because their fears have been confirmed. I present to you a summary of the issues that have people freaked out. Please pass this list on to anyone who asks you what the big deal is. These are my 10 reasons that people are switching.

These are just opinions. Opinions formed by my interactions with many and my professional experiences and connections.


The Long Wait

The release of Final Cut Studio 3 was seen by many as a stopgap. DVD Studio Pro removed its HDDVD features. Color saw a .5 bump up. Other apps saw improvement but nothing “killer.” The biggest feature seemed to be the Share menu (which added several export capabilities and speed). And we got more flavors of ProRes (nice, but nothing that impressed my clients). In terms of life, it was an appetizer to hold us over to the main meal.

Here is the summary of events according to Wikipedia (
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Final_Cut_Studio).

NAB 2007 – Final Cut Studio 2 [14]: Final Cut Pro 6, DVD Studio Pro 4, Motion 3, LiveType 2, Soundtrack Pro 2, Color, Compressor 3

July 2009 – Final Cut Studio (2009) [15]: Final Cut Pro 7, DVD Studio Pro 4, Motion 4, Soundtrack Pro 3, Color 1.5, Compressor 3.5

The pent up demand from 2007 made this feel like a four year wait form many. A wait filled with little communication about the vision or future. In tough economies, people want leadership that is visible and clear. They want to be able to talk to the companies that work with at industry events and trade shows, not just their local shopping mall.



The Warning Signs

There were lots of warning signs that had people concerned about the future of Final Cut Studio. For example:
  • iPhoto got several key features like Faces and Places well before its professional sibling Aperture.
  • Aperture saw its priced slashed several times and its sales soar on the App Store. I think this proved to Apple that make applications approachable and affordable could make them more profitable.
  • The App Store model also doesn’t offer upgrade pricing. Currently, a person must pay nearly $400 to get three applications. In the past, they paid $500 for seven applications as an upgrade (in fact it was only $299 for FCS3).
  • This article here (http://t.co/ET3Qa3w) does a great overview of the demise of Apple’s pro products like Shake, Cinema Tools, Logic, and more.

This of course takes us to the current release. People are nervous when updates to applications like Color, Soundtrack Pro, and Cinema Tools are gone. Broadcasters and large facilities which spent significant resources investing in Final Cut Server are also less than pleased. People aren’t sure what to think when such large holes are left open and no one is talking from the company.


The Market Evolves

There have been a lot of questions about how people could be jumping ship so quickly. How can you go back to Avid? Why are you switching to Premiere Pro? People did not make these decisions overnight.

I myself stopped by both the Adobe and the Avid booths at this year’s NAB. Both companies have also been actively supporting user groups (even groups that use to be exclusively Final Cut Pro). Professionals have been looking over the fence since the release of Final Cut Studio 3.

They want the following features:
  • Native Editing – True ability to import media without having to transcode first. We got that in FCPX sort of... it just keeps transcoding in the background.
  • 64-bit Support – We buy expensive computers, please see those processors and RAM so we can make our deadlines.
  • GPU Acceleration – This too is implemented in FCPX. Unfortunately the hardware requirements were released after FCPX and after many found out that their systems would not be supported by the new application.
  • Support for Third Party Hardware – Final Cut Pro boomed thanks to great manufacturers like AJA, Blackmagic Designs, Matrox, and others. The ability to use a wide range of hardware (as well as storage choices) was the key selling point to many customers. Products like Avid were a closed technology for many years (but even they have changed). Apple says they are open, but shipped a product which for the most part ignores or cripples third party hardware. Folks aren’t mad about the $299, its what that $299 does to the monitor, deck, and capture card (estimated price $10,000–$50,000). I have also heard from film editors and colorist who are baffled why they control surfaces for color grading and audio mixing don’t work.


Open Standards

In a given week, I will use most of these formats: XML, layered Photoshop files, AAF, OMF. I will also capture and output to tape (far more often than I like to).

With Final Cut Pro 7, Avid and Premiere Pro, I can exchange projects. I can go to ProTools, Audition, or Soundtrack Pro for an audio mix. I can send to Apple Color or DaVinci Resolve for color grading. I can export via XML and easily exchange footage with After Effects for compositing or motion graphics.

Professionals want to run around the entire playground, not just sit inside a single sandbox (especially when that sandbox keeps getting smaller).


Open Communication

In today’s market ... it takes vision. New products are not visionary if customers can’t understand them. Customers don’t want to be told what they want, rather they want to feel that their company of choice is listening.

The amount of noise on the net over this release is insane. Look at Twitter with the hashtag
#fcpx. Visit the Final Cut Pro X forum at Creative COW (http://forums.creativecow.net/finalcutprox). Read my response to the New York Times (http://www.richardharringtonblog.com/files/fcpx_response.php).... They changed their review the next day thanks to people like you.

What’s missing in all of this is a statement from Apple. Instead they have responded through a few bloggers and trainers. What people want is a road map. What features do you intend to keep. What can we expect to see in the future. I know its difficult to say when... but something. I really like what Adobe did here –
http://tv.adobe.com/watch/industry-trends/adobes-vision-for-professional-video/. I also like that they are all over social media and blogs and forums. I can interact and I can get answers. That really does matter and is the greatest factor when it comes time to decide where I spend my money.



Native/RAW Workflows

I know we mentioned this point, but it bears repeating. Native and RAW workflows matter. Camera technology is amazing these days. Efficient codecs for storing video in high definition. Several camera even offer raw capabilities (whether shooting stills for time-lapse on a DSLR or market leaders like RED and Alexa).

Last week I got the joy of working with Vincent Laforet (
http://www.laforetvisuals.com) for a few days. We did a bunch of Raw time-lapse and played with RED Epic footage in 5K HDR. My mind was blown away by what we could do with the source material. This is the future. By the way we have something in common, he’s switched to Adobe Creative Suite for his RAW and time-lapse workflow.

But every day at my own shop we are pulling in tons of media shot on Panasonic P2 cameras and DSLRs. I can work with this material immediately in Adobe or Avid.

While some say that you can in Final Cut Pro X, you’ll quickly notice a key difference. The material wants to transcode to ProRes. Even if you import natively, as soon as you adjust or modify it transcodes. It wants to transcode on import, you can disable it. But time and time again, as soon as I work with the files, they begin converting. In the course of a normal edit gigabytes of render files (even unused ones) pile up. Why can’t I pay the render tax on final export instead of filling up my drives with files I don’t want?


An Existing Ecosystem

Apple was a popular solution because it worked so well throughout the facility. We had hardware options for storage, capture, and monitoring. We had a rich system of supporting applications like Plural Eyes, After Effects, Photoshop, and more. We had thousands of plug-ins to choose from.

We are told that we will have those choices. What I hear often is that Apple was so secretive that they have only released some of the technology needed at this point. Most developers and hardware makers got their copies of the software that I did.

It’s a partnership. We bought into Apple because it was the captain with a great team behind it. What we get from others (and even Apple in the past) is support for entire workflows on day one of launch. People don’t want to give up on their total investment just to get a few new features. Especially when those features already exist in other tools on the market.


The Version 1.0 Argument

Most of the Apple Certified Apologists (not my term) keep arguing that this is a version one product. Don’t worry, the features will come. Surely we’ll see XML and multi-camera support and the ability to import projects. What makes you so sure?

  • When you launch Final Cut Pro X it says version 10.0. (For an interesting commentary see Steve Hullfish’s article – http://provideocoalition.com/index.php/shullfish/story/proof_that_fcp_x_is_really_just_imovie_-_directly_from_apple/)
  • When you have 11 years of functionality, you don’t expect to have to start over. (For a laugh, watch this – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgXUh1HrYOw&feature=share.
  • There are paradigms that people want to follow. Just because you invent something new doesn’t mean you destroy the way people have worked for centuries. Good software is flexible, allowing people to work they ways they like. If a new (or “better”) way coms along, you let people choose to migrate at their own pace.


The Walled Garden

So here’s the truth ... when it comes to hardware, I give most of my money to Apple. I’ve been buying Macs since my days at Drake University in 1990. For more than 20 years, I’ve chosen Apple hardware. For ten years, I’ve stood in front of professional conferences and presented off Mac hardware.

I’ve bought every iPod, iPhone, and iPad. I have filled my company with their products as well as my home. I think I’ve convinced more than 100 people to get an Apple TV.

I am an Apple fanboy (but perhaps I am now recovering).

I’ve started to use other people’s stuff. I’ve played with a Droid phone. We have some smoking fast PC’s in the office from Dell that just chew through motion graphics and video production tasks. I have more choice.

Choice isn’t always good ... it can make support difficult. But choice is becoming less and less a factor with Apple products.
  • I cannot choose where I buy their software. The VAR network offered a valuable service of configuring machines and supporting them to many clients.
  • I can only get support on the software on day one from the two trainers they choose to give advanced access to the software.
  • I cannot choose third party tools or hardware with any confidence.
  • I have to wait months (if not longer) for small developers to catch up and get plugins working. Many are choosing not to or are at least taking a wait and see approach.


The Trust Factor

This takes us to the final point. Can you expect that the investment you make today will work in the future? Can you invest in training your employees so they are ready for the future? Can you trust Apple?

I am going to speak no further ... that is a personal decision for you to make.


-Richard M. Harrington, PMP

Comments

A Public Statement on My Relationships and Recent Writings

Due to my recent writings, my thoughts and activities have come under much greater scrutiny. I think it is important that I fully disclose my involvement with technology companies as well as much of my day to day existence.

What is Your Primary Job?

The primary focus of my activities is as the owner of a production company in the Washington, DC area. I started the company in 1999. I have built my company’s infrastructure around Final Cut Pro and have used Adobe Photoshop and After Effects extensively. We also use a lot of other software tools as well.

Our storage networks are primarily Drobo. We use mostly Panasonic cameras and shoot to P2. We do use a lot of DSLR equipment (both from Canon and Nikon). We use AJA hardware for the most part. We are 80% + Mac shop, but we do have some Dell computers (as well as Windows installed on several Macs).

What Other Jobs Do You Hold?

I come from a family of teachers. I have taught university. I have taught online. I have taught at conferences. I usually get paid to teach, but I have spoken and done several free events. I have spoken at Apple stores (both paid and for free). I have worked at Apple’s booth at NAB. I have spoken at Adobe’s booth there too. Both of those positions were unpaid (though Apple covered my expenses, lodging, and airfare).

The bulk of my training has been around teaching video pros and photographers. I have an obsession with slide presentations (and a passion for Apple Keynote). My goal with training has first and foremost been to help people. My secondary goal has been to earn money to support my family. It is an economic reality that I need to make money for my teaching as it takes me away from my company.

Over the last ten years I have written approximately 30 books. These have been predominantly on Apple and Adobe software. I have also written about web video, DSLR video, workflow, and even PowerPoint.

I have made money as a podcaster for Creative COW. I have also been paid to blog by ProVideo Coalition. I have been hired to write for DV magazine, Creative COW magazine, Photoshop User, and Mac Design.

In 10 years, I have been fairly visible. The revenue I make is sufficient (although I certainly cannot quit my day job if I wanted to support my family). I have rarely been supported by advertisers or sponsors. I have made enough money from my training efforts to justify the time and effort (as well as to release hundreds of free podcasts and thousands of blog and forum posts).


Which Companies Have Hired You Recently?

I have been hired by the following companies to produce training or do video production services. This list is in alphabetical order for ease of use.
  • Adobe
  • Apple
  • Creative COW
  • Drobo
  • Focal Press
  • Kelby Training
  • Pearson Education

I have been approached by several others. I have turned down advertisements on my blog.

I have received products from many companies through the years. This ranges from software to review, to products to test. This list is not complete (as I cannot remember everything at my age). These groups have supported my efforts and training with equipment loans, not for resale software, etc. Most of these items are loaned, and have to be returned upon request. Again in alphabetical order.

  • Adobe
  • AJA
  • Apple
  • Artbeats
  • Dell
  • Digital Anarchy
  • Drobo
  • G-Tech
  • Hoodman
  • Matrox
  • Redrock Micro
  • Red Giant
  • Singular Software
  • Wacom
  • Zacuto

What Do You Edit With? 

I started on Avid at KCCI television in Des Moines, IA. Paid for my own classes out of my own pocket and learned it. I actively edited on Avid for about 7 years. I was an Avid editor at dhg Productions and PCI Communications. Also freelanced using Avid for several years (and still have a respect for the product today).

I started with Final Cut Pro on version 1. I still use it a whole lot (and it is the most popular application with our clients). My company did 90% of its editorial work in Final Cut Pro last year. We are migrating new projects to Adobe Premiere Pro in most cases, but have many clients and existing projects that will need to stay in Final Cut Pro 7.

I decided to get over my snobbishness and learn Adobe Premiere Pro about 2 years ago. I struggled, I whined, I complained. Then it got better. I used it for all my DSLR workflow starting with CS5. I’ve now switched to using it about 50% of the time for my work, and I am excited by the growth I see.

My own company is in the middle of being retrained. Like many things related to video workflow, I wrote it down and sell it as a book. If you buy it... I make 50¢. Let’s just say I live off my client work — my book writing is a bad addiction spurned by being bred from a family with 14 teachers in it.

Do You Have an Agenda? 

Heck no. I consider NLE choice like religion. That’s up to you. Except when it’s not. Like a client demands, or the shop you work for switches. I helped a lot of Avid editors learn Final Cut Pro (I mean A LOT). I’ve also started helping Avid and FCP users learn Premiere Pro. Use the tool you like if it’s up to you.

If you freelance... know all three (more money). If your job requires you to learn a new tool, do so. I regularly post links to great trainers, conferences, and educational products (not just my stuff).

I use what the job or the client demands. Do I like Adobe... yes I like where they are going and find it reassuring that they lay out a clear roadmap. I also commend Avid for being much clearer about where they are going and opening up support for AJA hardware, etc.

What I would like Apple to do is communicate its vision with words (not just software releases). I’d like to have time to transition and see both roads stay open while the bridge is under construction. As a pro, I cannot accept dramatic interruptions in my workflow. It saddens me that it is easier to migrate to other manufacturers and keep my Mac computers and AJA hardware working, than it is to migrate to the shipping version of Final Cut Pro X.

Do You Hate Apple/FCPX? 

Absolutely not. When I launched my company I was faced with taking out a second mortgage for an NLE or trying Final Cut Pro. I have been there since version 1. I built my company using Apple hardware and software from Apple and Adobe.

To this day I use both heavily. If you have any doubt.... look at the Final Cut Pro podcasts on Creative COW. I think it's a great tool for some users, really. But its not what I hoped for as it stands now.

I am currently working on training for photographers who want to edit DSLR material in FCPX. I am happy with it for that use, as I know it will be approachable to many photographers who find “traditional editing” confusing. If you like FCPX, I am genuinely happy for you. Getting new software should feel like birthday presents for a six-year old.

Do You Have Agreements with Companies?

I have multiple non-disclosure agreements and I honor them. I have never disclosed details about one manufacturer to another. I have (to the best of my knowledge) never disclosed anything improper to end users. This agreements are a necessity as they give me advanced access to the tools we all use.

This advance access lets me figure out problems. Some companies use this feedback and make their products better. I also can work on training products so they can be ready when the application ships (or as close to possible). These agreements are entered in so I can create a product that is ready when you need it.

My opinions have never been bought. I have never been told what to say. I have never colluded with a company to change the opinion of the market. I have been hired by companies to help them understand the end user. I have written and produced as well as reviewed and commented on efforts that impact the professional video industry.

Why are You so Vocal Now?

I have always tried to be fair in my opinions. And I always try to give software developers helpful feedback about their tools. I have been blogging for more than 5 years and release approximately 5 posts a week. I’m also active on Facebook and Twitter as well as contribute to several photography and Photoshop blogs.

My opinions raised through my writings and podcasts on the Final Cut Pro X release have been from the point of view of a facility owner who now has to retrain his own staff. I am also frustrated that my investment in hardware and training is currently being wasted by a product that seems to ignore both.

I am vocal because there has not been a clear public statement about the issues many pros are raising. I am vocal because there is not a shared plan to address migration. I am vocal because ten years of my company’s work is frozen to an application that may or may not run in the future.

As a trainer and author... these are good times. Lots of work and consulting to do.
  • I recently released a book on Premiere Pro for migrating editors. I had no inside knowledge on Apple’s plans. I decided to diversity my company and cross-train my employees.
  • I am currently writing two books on video editing for DSLR photographers. One is on Final Cut Pro X while the other is on Premiere Pro. I truly believe that both are great products for this segment of the professional workforce.
  • I have had lots of demands from both Apple and Adobe users to help them with problems. If you look at the training products I’ve released in the last 3 years you will see my focus has always been on collaboration. Helping pros and emerging pros to get their jobs done has been my goal.
  • I also weave business ethics and best practices into most of my content as I genuinely want to see our industry succeed.


In Conclusion

I hope this post does three things.
  • First, I have a legal obligation to reveal my professional relationships.
  • Second, I hope it helps readers and listeners understand my motivations.
  • Third, I would like the industry and Apple to engage in meaningful and professional conversations to ensure the long term health of the professional video industry.

These are challenging times. The economy is rough and competition is high. Please continue the debate with respect and integrity. Choose what is right for you. My opinions are not very important, I will be here to help in whatever way I can with the knowledge and skills I have built through the years.

Richard M. Harrington, PMP

Comments

Updates Below (Round Two)

I've posted additional updates to the article entitled My Response to David Pogue’s  “Professional Video Editors Weigh In on Final Cut Pro X”
I will continue to do so as people add useful clarifications and point out verifiable sources.
Thank you for keeping the discussion going and keeping things civil.
Updates here – 
http://www.richardharringtonblog.com/files/fcpx_response.php
Thank you to all my friends for your support and keeping things civil during these difficult times. Remember to keep the focus on Apple (and not attack others in online forums or blogs). Keep posting and pass this article around to those who tell you that you are wrong. Be civil, reversing a "revolution" won't happen with angry words. The initial shock is over... move past anger. Make your opinion known with respectful words. Apple corporate is the one who made these decisions... address the cause of the problem.
Comments

My Response to David Pogue’s  “Professional Video Editors Weigh In on Final Cut Pro X” *Updated June 25*

Before I begin ... let me say this.  
  • David Pogue is a fine gentleman who I have met several times.  He is smart, he is generous in his knowledge, and he is fair. He is not a shill and his article was trying to be helpful (I commend him for getting Apple to answer questions).
  • He is not a video editor. Nor does he try to pass himself off as one.
  • I am sorry this response is SO long. It's technical and it's important I be clear and detailed (I've already been criticized and accused of being an Apple hater or colluding against them).
*Updated – 6/24 8:05 AM – I just got a great phone call and a few emails. I am inserting some updates in Orange. I will add corrections and clarifications as they come in (and I can verify).
*Updated – 6/25 5:26 pm (I am adding additional context and links to article). Also be sure to look at the many comments and answers below the article. Please keep posting issues you find (but keep things civil here). The time for anger is past... let's work to get a clear list of issues and give Apple some context as to what we want and why.
Here is the original article – http://pogue.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/06/23/professional-video-editors-weigh-in-on-final-cut-pro-x/
*Updated – 6/25 5:26 PM – I won't call this winning, because it is not about that. But David now says "Having read through hundreds of comments from professionals, both civil and uncivil, I’m now convinced: Final Cut Pro X may indeed be ready for the future. But for professional video editors, it’s not yet ready for the present."
Please read
http://pogue.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/06/24/the-quarrel-over-final-cut-continues/. Stop beating up on David... but do head over and read it. If you work in pro video, voice your support for his reversal.
I would like to briefly respond.  But before I do, a brief overview.
  • I have been a certified instructor for three of the A’s that make video editing software.
  • I have produced Final Cut Pro tutorials which have been given away for free for years as podcasts through iTunes.
  • I have written several books on Final Cut Pro (as well as other products). 
  • I do use other company’s tools (always have).
  • My opinions here are based on owning a 10-person video production company which has built its infrastructure around Final Cut Pro for 10 years.
  • I am not even going to touch on the challenges of completely retraining my staff and myself on something that is so radically different.  You thought people whined when Microsoft added the Ribbon to Office...go look at what editors are saying in the App Store reviews.  Remember only people who actually BOUGHT the application are allowed to rate it.
*Updated – 6/25 5:29 PM – The comments below this article as well as the forum over at Creative COW are excellent places to see the confusion. The FCPX techniques forum is a great place to get help too.
Hopefully that’s enough context...  Let’s begin. (Red is Pogue’s summary of the complaint.  Blue is his answer (with input from Apple).  Green is my response.

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Complaint: There’s no multicamera editing. In the old FCP, you could import the footage from various cameras that covered an event (say, a concert) from different angles simultaneously, and then easily cut back and forth between them while editing. It was a star feature of Final Cut, and it’s gone from FCP X.”
Answer: Apple intends to restore this feature in an update, calling it “a top priority.” Until it does, here’s a stopgap facsimile of multicam editing: If you drag two clips into parallel timeline tracks, you can choose Clip->Synchronize Clips. By comparing their audio tracks, the program aligns the clips exactly. Now, each time you select a piece of the upper video track and press the V key (“disable”), you are effectively cutting to what’s on the lower video track.”
My Take: Final Cut Pro could previously edit up to 128 angles.  While that is a tad excessive for most, using three to nine angles is very practical.  We regularly cut programs such as talk shows, concerts, and events using this feature.  The method described by Pogue is like telling a NASCAR driver to turn over their car, strap one roller skate on, and push as fast as possible with the other foot.
*Updated 6/24 8:27 AM – In order to edit a lot of angles, you used to have to use several hard drives and they had to be really fast. We'd also off the option of using a a flavor of the Offline RT codec, then easily relinking. It was complex (at times), but powerful.

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Complaint: You can’t share a project with other editors. In professional editing companies, editors routinely exchange projects. But in FCP X, “all of your project organization is now globally contained in the application rather than in your project file. You literally have to give that other editor your entire computer,” writes one blogger.
Answer: Not true. You can share your project, your files, or both. If the other editors already have the raw video files, you can hand over the project file. The other editors can inspect the Project Library; on its Info panel, they can click “Modify Event References” to reconnect the project to their own copies of the media files.
If the other editors don’t have the raw files, the various commands in the File menu let you move the project file, the media files, or both to another computer on the network, to another hard drive or whatever.
My Take: I am glad that some of my initial fears are wrong.  However this command is much less robust than the previous Final Cut Pro media manager.  It seems to lack the ability to force a file to reconnect or to invoke a search if the file says it can’t be found.  The Media Manager seems to also lack ability to trim media with specific handles to make the media smaller.  
Gary Adcock (my genius technical editor) Offers this useful summary

  • Duplicate Project — Functions much like the FCP7 media manager did. You can choose the Project only, Project & all References or Project with just used media.
    • Move Project —
    Will move all media and Associated to new volume. This can be used for uploading a field edit to a desktop system. It too can move just project or project and media
    • Merge Events —
    This can combine two copies of the same project into a single Project file. This can be used to bring last night's changes you did on the train into your desktop at the office.
    • Consolidate media —
    The is the clean your desk command.
    • Organize Project –
    This will consolidate media for the scratch disk only.
My Take: With all of these options there are still things missing. Also despite my best efforts to keep project and media split, a ton of files still end up on my internal drive in the movie folder (especially when I use generators). FCPX seems to be always rendering. So when I tweak an effect, it re-renders and those files keep adding up. In the "old days" you'd get lots of precomputes you'd manually clean up on an Avid (or other system). This problem was solved years ago by all manufacturers it seems. Render files are usually smarter these days. Also, being able to work in real-time and experiment is great. But I want to choose WHEN I render. Otherwise I am using machine power and disk space unnecessarily. I like to render when I leave the room. Not while I'm sitting in front of my nonlinear editing system.
You also have the ability to transcode to only two flavors of ProRes (a proxy file or a high quality file).  Previously you could manage the project to any installed codec (format) that you wanted (including third-party formats).  This made collaboration and exchanging media with others much easier. There are five flavors of ProRes... why can I only choose two of them (let alone everything else).
Gary points out that the transcode settings appear to follow logic.
  • That 8-bit material and DSLR videos files are rendered to ProRes 422.
  • Animation and Uncompressed codecs are converted to Pro Res HQ if 1920 x 1080 or less
  • Animation and Uncompressed codecs are converted to Pro Res 4444 if 2K or larger
  • Turn off the Optimize media check box to cut your re-rendering in half
Gary catches a potentially troublesome problem:
"If you start a project by using the “ prefs based on first clip” and then import content, all renders will be based on that content level. I found this out when starting with PR4444 from Alexa and found all of these huge renders on my system."

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Complaint: You can’t freely organize your media files. “There is no way to customize the organization of the project media,” gripes one blogger.
Answer: You can customize the organization freely if you’re willing to understand the new keyword tagging system. Dragging a clip into a folder essentially applies a new keyword to it.
My Take: I am glad we have these options.    But there are fewer ways to customize the view.  You can’t seem to add custom columns.  There are collections, but not the simple ability to use folders and nests of folders to organizer.  Imagine if you had no folder structure on your Mac hard drive.  Just Spotlight.  You could only organize by tagging keywords onto all your stuff. 
You also can’t organize media while any background tasks are running. Such as rendering, transcoding, stabilizing, etc. Background tasks are frequently happening as things automatically render.  Change a color effect, it renders.  Adjust the size it renders.  In the past you would choose when to render.  Now you have to keep opening the Background Tasks panel and canceling. 
*Updated – 6/24 8:30 AM – You can make folders in events with a right click on the event in the Event Library. It is very different in appearance than FCP 7, but does seem to work better than I thought. I stand by my lack of creating custom columns as well as the challenges of constantly looking from the far left edge of my screen to the right to see the Events Library and Inspector panels. Wish I could move panels next to each other.
*Updated – 6/25 5:57 PM – Turns out you can also drag keywords into folders (and be sure to learn how to use collections too).
Gary says
"I found the keywording for organization is like having Google searching my project, it’s faster and you can sort the materials based on any variety of keywords or even strings of words."
My Take: I agree this is awesome... but I'd also like the ability to use the thousands of projects I've organized already. I'd also like to not let one client see another client's media. The current media browsing seems to be based on the idea that you only have a couple of projects. I may grow to like events... but right now I don't.
Events didn't make it into Aperture (from iPhoto). Projects did. By the way I can have many libraries in Aperture making it easier to isolate client's work from one another (as well as personal projects from work). Maybe FCPX and iMovie could grow a little more distant (as well as over useful documentation like this –
http://www.apple.com/aperture/iphoto-to-aperture/how.html that address how to move projects and libraries in).

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Complaint: No Reconnect command when media is offline. When media is offline, you get a red screen with an exclamation point. There is no Reconnect Media command, as there used to be.
Answer: True. Then again, the old Reconnect dialog box got people into a lot of trouble; they often reconnected a project to the wrong files, or the wrong versions of files.
FCP X assigns a unique behind-the-scenes identifier to every single video clip. When you reconnect the missing hard drive, your project reconnects to its original files automatically, even if you have moved them around or renamed the hard drive. You can’t reconnect to the wrong thing.
My Take: I am glad that some of my initial fears are wrong.  However this command is much less robust than the previous Final Cut Pro media manager.  It seems to lack the ability to force a file to reconnect to a new version (such as an updated graphic file) or to invoke a search if the file says it can’t be found. Finding the information is a little tricky and involves opening a panel. It also appears that you also can’t invoke the re-connect command unless the media is offline.
While the command COULD get you into trouble if you made bad choices.  It also gave you important controls that professionals really needed.
*Updated – 6/25 6:10 PM – Gary pointed out to me that this seems to be a huge change. Previously Final Cut Pro just remembered the file pathways. Now it is actually polling and tracking media via a database. (based on SQL actually). Updated files are automatically included as part of the metadata management. This also means that when you add a new volume to your system, X will poll it, looking for FCP event or content flags in the media. (He is still trying to find out what this file is called and where it is hiding on the drive).
My take: Again this sounds better, but we need to ability to force a re-connect. We also need to be able to backup that database for safety.

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Complaint: You can’t assign audio tracks. “We send all our audio files out for ProTools mixing,” writes one editor in an e-mail. “We always put narration on Track 1 and 2, interviews on Tracks 3 – 6, and so on. So our audio engineers know exactly what’s on which track. But FCP X’s ‘trackless’ design makes that impossible.”
Answer: For now, you can use a utility called Automatic Duck Pro Export 5.0 ($200 to upgrade) to create and manage these tracks automatically when you export to ProTools. Apple says  it will restore this feature to FCP X.
My Take: That’s $200 to upgrade from a full version of Automatic Duck (not a $200 upgrade to FCP).  It’s $500 new.  Gone is also the version to map specific output when going to professional tape formats (a frequent requirement for professional delivery). In fact if its not HDV or DV, tape support seems to be gone all together.
But it's not just ProTools output.  Several of the exchange methods are gone. XML is the biggest deal which would allow this tool to continue to communicate with the now discontinued Apple Color, Davinci Resolve, Adobe After Effects, and many other tools that people use for special purposes and collaboration.
*Updated – 6/25 6:16 PM – Gary says that the XML should work in Lion. Also that the necessary hooks are in FCPX already. He says he can also find output libraries for DPX and Open EXR that are already visible. He also feels that there should be some changes in how hardware can be accessed with Lion.

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Complaint: No custom frame rates or custom frame sizes. Editors are complaining that you can’t specify unusual frames-per-second rates or frame dimensions.
Answer: Not true. When you create a new project, you can specify any frame rate or size you want, right in the Import dialog box. You can also change the frame rate or size when you export the finished product — if you’re willing to spend $50 on Compressor.
My Take: Sorry ... you are 95% wrong.  If you choose custom in Final Cut Pro 7, you have the option to enter just about any size or rate. When I choose custom in FCPX... I can choose from several standard options.  But I can’t enter any value. If you choose Other, your choices are:

  • 640 x 480 or 960 x 540
  • 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, or 30
Final Cut Pro 7 was resolution independent.  You could enter custom sizes, pixel aspect ratios, and frame rates.  This made it a great tool for producing irregular sized videos for web or presentation use as well as doing things like custom video walls for installations or retail.
Changing the frame rate on export is not what we’re asking for.  Being able to work with a setting that matches footage or lets you work with custom settings as needed is gone.  You also cannot save you own easy setups or sequence presets that let you store the settings you’ve made for easy access.

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Complaint: No support for RED digital cameras. The RED camera is a favorite of filmmakers; it records incredibly high-resolution video directly to a hard drive. But FCP X can’t import its files.
Answer: Apple is working with RED to create a plug-in that will give native RED support to FCP X. In the meantime, you can set your RED camera to shoot and capture video in the QuickTime format, which FCP X imports just fine. Or you can use RED’s free conversion program, which converts its own files into the Apple ProRes format, which FCP X loves because it’s so much faster and easier to edit than the native RED files.
My Take: David, you don’t understand why people choose to shoot RED.  The benefit of shooting raw video is the same benefit as pro photographers choosing raw stills over JPEG.  Shooting or converting to QuickTime throws away A LOT of information and latitude in adjustments.
What pros wanted was the same level of control they get in Adobe Premiere Pro or Red Cine X.  The ability to truly grade color, work with high dynamic range features and more. They also need greater controls on media management and reconnection.  The reason why pros are so furious is that Apple and RED had the closest working relationship in the industry.  People don’t understand why the program would ship without support.
*Updated – 6/24 8:40 AM – It's not just RED... it's other Raw formats too (like Alexa). A few pointed out that we have 4K sequence presets, but no easy workflow for getting in 4K footage.

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Complaint: No ability to pause or fork the Autosave. Final Cut Pro autosaves your work as you go. Editors complain, therefore, that they can’t save different versions of a project as they go along.
Answer: You can duplicate your project at any time, thus freezing it in its current condition. Just click it in the Project Library and choose File -> Duplicate Project.
My Take: David... have you ever been affected when an application like Microsoft Word crashed?  Sure you could open up the last version you CHOSE to save ... but sometimes the Auto-Save comes to the rescue and you get back work you would have lost.
You could choose when and how often FCP auto-saved.  It also stored multiple versions automatically.  This let you go back in time when clients changed their mind.  It also could save you if a project became corrupt.  While these don’t happen every day ... they happen more than we like. The new method requires you to choose to backup, not set an interval.  Isn’t this why Apple invented Time Machine in the first place (which does let you choose how often to backup). I don’t know how Time Machine and FCP project files will work ... but I am less than confident that I will have the same level of control I do now.
*Updated – 6/24 8:33 AM – Several point out Lion's autosave abilities. I can't comment further as I don't have it running since it's not shipping. What about those who can't go to Lion, however?
*Updated – 6/25 6:23 PM – Also, what's big is the ability to run the Restore command which let you choose which backup to use.

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Complaint: Can’t specify the scratch disks. In previous versions of Final Cut Pro, you could choose individual hard drives for storing your project’s render (preview) files. But if you didn’t know what you were doing, things could get messy. For example, you might store the project on one drive, and then render files on another; then, later, you would open up the project when the render-file disk wasn’t available. You would have to re-render the whole project.
Answer: In FCP X, the render files are stored on the same disk as the project, so they don’t get separated. You can still store your files on any drive; you determine that by where you store the project file.
My Take: Duplicate the project also starts to spread files out to more folders.  Those renders, pre-computes, and cache files are with the project.  You choose to duplicate, there’s more to copy.  That means time and disk space.  In the past, these render files were in a folder of your choosing.  Duplicating the project was no big deal as the project just looked at the files in the same folder that you specified.  Less time, less disk space (which in my world means saved money, happier clients, and a greater chance of dinner with the family).
Also this level of control is less than before.  I could choose to but my project files in one place and renders on another.  Like I said before ... most people choose to split their project files to a different location than render files and media files.  This is because the project file is usually small, and you want to back it up (or even keep it on a USB thumb drive for easy portability).  The media and render files on the other hand need to be on a performance hard drive.
*Updated – 6/25 6:27 PM – A new issue:
A trusted colleague (who asked not to be named) raised a huge potential issue. Personally, I have not been able to fully test this, but this person would know.

  • It appears that the new FCPX doesn't work with Apple's (previous) XSAN system
  • You can only save to an HFS+ drive.
  • This also means no go for most networked storage systems as Events appear to be incompatible with a XSAN, AFP, NFS or SMB volume

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Complaint: Can’t output to tape. Videotape is on the way out  — you would be hard pressed even to find a camcorder that takes tape anymore — so it’s not built into FCP X. This is one of several ways that FCP X is clearly a program designed more for the future than the past.
Answer: You can buy tape-deck control programs like AJA VTR Exchange and Black Magic Media Express. AJA and Black Magic are two major makers of add-on circuit boards for professional video editing. These apps work with their boards.
My Take: Tape is NOT dead (although we’d like it to be in many cases).  Tapes don’t demagnetize though like hard drives on a shelf.  They also outlast hard drives in most cases.
TV stations want tape.  My government clients want tape.  My nonprofit association clients want tape. Tape is typically required by the vast majority of clients that professionals serve (those that make their living editing video).  
David... Print is dead.  It’s on it’s way out.  Could the New York Times stop printing newspapers tomorrow?  You may want to (environmental concerns, costs of paper and delivery, those annoying children who throw newspaper and yell that they want their $2 back)?  Print is not dead ... neither is tape.  Are they dying? Yes... a SLOW and PAINFUL death.
When Apple killed the floppy disk, you could still buy them yourself and hook them up.  Even though Apple doesn’t let you burn a Blu-ray disc, they let you buy a burner yourself.  The built in the “hooks” that let hardware and software manufacturers connect.
In the past, companies like AJA and Apple collaborated closely.  When Apple would ship software, new hardware would be out. In fact, old hardware would have updates that made it work too.  These devices often cost $1,000–$5,000 dollars. We have five of these devices in my offices.  They are currently serving as paper weights when we launch Final Cut Pro X.
So you say just use the old version.  But how long will Apple ship updates and support the old software.  What happens when your computer fails and you have to buy a new one.  Will you be able to install 5 year old software on it? 
Never mind the fact that pro customers feel they deserve to get to use a 64-bit editing application.  Why? Because other companies have 64-bit applications on the Mac that edit video quite well AND support the same hardware that Final Cut Pro 7 supported.

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Complaint: Can’t export AAF or OMF files. These formats are successors to EDL. They let you export your project to other programs, like Avid, Quantel or Pro Tools, for more sophisticated editing.
Answer: Automatic Duck ProExport 5.0 adds AAF and OMF exporting to FCP X. There will be other companies offering similar export plugins (including EDL, by the way), once Apple publishes its XML programming guidelines (API).
My Take: Why are pros mad? Because all of these formats (as well as EDL and XML were supported). David, how would you feel if you couldn’t get your photos out of iPhoto?  You could sync them to your iPad ... you could look at them on your Mac.  But printing? Opening the image in Photoshop? Handing it off to a website authoring or page layout tool?  Nope.
These exchange formats allow professionals to collaborate.  Would you like special effects, great color correction, and a superior soundtrack in your next Hollywood film? Not gonna get it (or at least not yet).  We’re told we have to wait for third-party folks.  Who all have to rewrite their tools to standards that aren’t even fully clear or released.
*Updated – 6/25 6:28 PM While we're talking about XML export, how about the ability to send to Apple Color?
Commenters on this blog even point out the difficulty in sending clips to Apple Motion (a previously supported workflow).
I also have heard from many plug-in developers crying foul.   A couple people seem to have had early access and knowledge.  Apple lists two plug-in packages on their site.  What about the 100+ companies that had tools working before?  We now must wait ... and hope these companies can afford to redevelop and redeploy.  We’ll also have to repay for tools that worked just fine because these (often small) companies will have to scramble to redevelop their tools to keep their customers.
*Updated – 6/25 6:29 PM I've been told that some plugins work by "luck" since they were designed with the previous version of Motion in mind. I do not know the validity of this statement. I do know that I have talked and read about many developers who are crying foul.
Speaking of secrecy...  there’s a lot of confusion throughout the reseller community that helped ensure local sales and support for Apple products. The training companies seem to be confused and their trainers are too. I am not allowed to say more here.

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Complaint: Can’t connect an external monitor. Pros work with Final Cut on the Mac screen, but they prefer to view the actual edited video on a dedicated second screen. While Final Cut Pro X works just fine with a second computer monitor — you just choose Window -> Show Events on Second Display (or Window -> Show Viewer on Second Display) — there are complaints that it can’t connect to an external video monitor (TV), which pros feel offers better color fidelity.
Answer: Just as before, you need a Mac Pro with a video-output card in order to connect a TV monitor. Apple expects that the output-card companies will soon offer the necessary drivers for FCP X; AJA, one of the major makers of these boards, already offers beta versions of such drivers. Apple is working with Black Magic to offer drivers for its boards.
My Take: You have several mistakes here ... but I would make the same mistakes if I tried to talk about the professional printing presses your company uses to make newspapers.

  • You do not need a Mac Pro.  Several manufacturers made devices that use FireWire connections.  They also use the Express Card slot (which seems to be on the way out).  We suspect that Thunderbolt will help here too (Blackmagic showed this at NAB this year).
  • It’s not a TV.  We use higher quality monitors.  Often with unusual connections like HD-SDI or professional component connections. We also run the signal out the hardware tools that help us calibrate and legalize the color for broadcast (just like how you have to fix out of gamut images for color printing). The method Apple has now does not let us see a true video signal.  It also doesn’t work if you have two computer monitors and a video output card attached.  It’s one or the other (at least according to the AJA documentation).  Be sure you READ that documentation ... it’s filled with apologies. The signal Final Cut Pro X sends out is not in the correct color space or proper size. David, I’d like you to switch the New York times to consumer inkjet printers...  tell me if that would work for you?
  • What about the others? There are more companies besides AJA and Blackmagic Design. What’s happening there? The lack of information is what scares professionals.  People want a road map ... especially in this economy.  I know companies need some secrecy.  The keyword is some.
*Updated – 6/25 6:33 PM – Gary Adcock responds with greater detail (Gary has consulted and worked with many hardware companies... those who know of him can more than certify this is his expertise.
Gary says: "All of the hardware solutions currently available are not of a quality that pros can accept. Without the ability to control audio and video timing signals direct from within the application all anyone is looking at is an RGB desktop preview being converted back to YUV by the hardware to make that signal viewable via HD/SDi.
Adding 3rd party hardware output to previous versions of FCP forced the application to respond as a professional tool in regard to timing inaccuracies, issues with low performance storage or color issues when outputting content. In FCPX we have only Apple’s word that the output files would conform to SMPTE standards and Practices.
My Take: For those of you who just had their heads explode... it basically means don't plan to submit anything you do to a broadcast station or even expect it to look the same when you play it back on a television. This is just huge! Even bigger here is the question of which hardware can work and which cannot. Unusually the support has come for only certain products in AJA's line. Some of the newer products have not had anything said about them yet. I'm still looking for info on other manufacturer's as well.

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Complaint: Can’t import old FCP files.
Answer: As I noted in my column, this is true; your old projects are stranded forever in the older FCP program. You’ll have to keep both programs on your hard drive, and edit the old projects in the old program. When you install the new FCP, your old copy is safely preserved.
My Take: This is partially true. Many users have reported problems with having both on the same system.  Apple even has a very detailed and useful article on the topic (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4722). 
This document provides critical information.  It’s not called out in the App Store.  It’s not called out in the installer.  Apple could have released it two days before Final Cut Pro X and said “Get ready for Final Cut Pro X.”
Nope... no communication or warnings on how to avoid potentially large problems. In fact I found out about the new software from Twitter.  It didn’t even make it to the Apple home page.  The article I mentioned isn’t on the product page or even the support page in a prominent position.
The application is also not “safely” preserved as you have to move things back and rename things if you want to actually use the applications in many workflows.  Apple says “Note: Final Cut Server, Podcast Producer, Software Updates for Final Cut Studio (2009), and some third-party workflows and tools may require that the Final Cut Studio (2009) applications remain in their original location in the Applications folder.”
Also, would you accept that you couldn’t open up your iPhoto library with future versions of the application?  How about if all the music you imported into iTunes would no longer play and all your organization and playlists were gone. Oh, and what if Adobe decided that Photoshop CS5 (the 64-bit version) couldn’t open up files from the past.
The argument of "finish your project before you upgrade" is crazy. Clients always come back with changes. Filmmakers decided to make updates and re-release. Even hobbyists want to go back and look at something they did and potentially reuse some of their editing. Even if both applications are properly installed, you can’t have them open at the same time. Want to look over a FCP 7 project, you can't launch both apps as it will prompt you to close FCP X.
*Updated – 6/25 6:39 PM Visit https://discussions.apple.com/message/15469892#15469892. Scroll halfway down the page to this post.
FranklyFilm — Re: FCPX, just the tip of the iceberg — Jun 23, 2011 6:35 AM
Mail form Randy Ubillos, the designer of FCP X
“FCP7 projects do not have enough information in them to properly translate to FCPX (in FCP7 all of the clip connections live in the editor's head, not in the timeline). We never expected anyone to switch editing software in the middle of a project, so project migration was not a priority.
Final Cut Pro X 1.0 is the beginning of a road, not the end.”
My Take: I do not know if this is true. It is on Apple's website. I would assume given how widespread it is being pushed around the net... someone would respond or clarify. I hope this is not true, but I have now heard this same information from different sources more than 10 times. This rumor or statement needs confirmation. This is the DEAL BREAKER for many.

**************************************************

The Bottom Line: Apple has followed the typical Apple sequence: (1) throw out something that’s popular and comfortable but increasingly ancient, (2) replace it with something that’s slick and modern and forward-looking and incomplete, (3) spend another year finishing it up, restoring missing pieces.
These are fair statements. Remember your feelings on iMovie ’08 (http://pogue.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/08/17/apple-takes-a-step-back-with-imovie-08/)?  Apple reversed course and continued to make the previous version of  iMovie available.
With Final Cut Pro X, Apple discontinued to entire Final Cut ecosystem in one swoop.  Final Cut Server, Color, Soundtrack Pro, Cinema Tools, and DVD Studio Pro.  "So what" you say ... just use the old one.

  • But you can’t buy the old one from Apple any more.  In fact I have been told that many resellers were asked to ship their stock back to Apple. 
  • Many were waiting to upgrade from older versions until Final Cut Pro X shipped. Now they find out their computers won’t work with the new Final Cut Pro.Several computers aren’t supported due to their graphics cards.  Even machines that are slated to work on Lion may not work with Final Cut Pro X because they lack Open CL compatibility.  Here is the list (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4664).
  • The exact same time the new product started shipping, the old one went away. Yes, some stores still have inventory, but not Apple (apparently). The existing stock will run out and people don’t know if will be refreshed.
  • There was not sufficient details warning people about compatibility issues.
  • If you go to Apple’s webpage and try to look up old documentation or links about the old Final Cut Pro, it redirects you to the new page.  If you visit the support page and try to download an update to a previous version (often needed after changing machines or doing a software restore). Guess what, its sends you to the App Store to buy Final Cut Pro X. I tried several of the links on the support page (http://support.apple.com/downloads/#final%20cut%20studio).  Go see what happens
*Updated – 6/27 12:17 PM Looks like most of the links are back to working on the support page. That's a GREAT thing.

**************************************************

Professional editors should (1) learn to tell what’s really missing from what’s just been moved around, 
I agree, but the training and support industry is scrambling to catch up.
(2) recognize that there’s no obligation to switch from the old program yet
That is correct.  But pros were told it would be “awesome.”  I guess that word means different things to different people.  And if you need to update your old software, most of the links on the downloads page keep sending me to the App Store to buy the new one.  Subtle, I know.
(3) monitor the progress of FCP X and its ecosystem, and especially (4) be willing to consider that a radical new design may be unfamiliar, but may, in the long term, actually be better.
Most in the Final Cut Pro community like change.  They also wish that the investment in time as well as thousands in equipment would continue to be supported.
David, your article was helpful and answered many questions for me.  I know you can reach me on the phone.  I raise a few more questions that maybe your Apple contacts can answer.
Will I ever be able to import a layered Photoshop file? This is a common workflow that lets editors easily work with graphics.
*Updated – 6/24 8:41 AM – You can import the file (I knew this) but layers are flattened. Motion supports this workflow, but Final Cut Pro X no longer does. This was a common scenario.
What about volume licenses?  How do companies buy multiple copies for the employees to use?  Do they really need to set up an iTunes account for each and need to use elaborate combinations of credit cards or gift cards?
What about educational licenses? Apple gained much of its success from students who learned it in school then moved into the workplace.  Students always got a discount as did schools.  What about them?
What is the intention with the apparent decimation of the previous ecosystem? Are the broken links and missing documents temporary?  Will we be able to buy the application in 2 months (or next year)?  Will there be software updates ... if so for how long?
Will there be physical distribution?  Broadband access is not a reality for much of the world.  I have interfaced with editors in Africa where broadband is scarce.  I have also talked with several who pay by the megabyte for data (and pay a lot).  There are many places in the world where the user will pay far more to download the software than to purchase it. What if I need to reactivate (such as after restoring from a backup) but I can’t get Internet access?
In conclusion, I appreciate your article.  You attempted to get to the bottom of things.  I hope I have opened some new doors here for you to knock on.  Keep making the world a better place for techno geeks.
There are SEVERAL posts in the comments about missing and confusing features. Since I have violated every rule about length of a blog post, I will respond below. Apple (or others looking to develop new products) please see the list below. There are also several other places that have good lists going.
Thank you to all my friends for your support and keeping things civil during these difficult times. Remember to keep the focus on Apple (and not attack others in online forums or blogs). Keep posting and pass this article around to those who tell you that you are wrong. Be civil, reversing a "revolution" won't happen with angry words. The initial shock is over... move past anger. Make your opinion known with respectful words. Apple corporate is the one who made these decisions... address the cause of the problem.

And to leave you with a laugh... the issue made it all the way to the Conan O'Brien show. Most have seen this, if not, go laugh. We all need one right now.
http://teamcoco.com/video/conan-editors-love-final-cut

Comments

How the World Sees Copyright (Sort Of)



A humorous take on copyright law. I agree with the principles, but the implementation is awful.


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NAB Handouts are Live for Download


NABshow_logo

Here are the promised slide decks from my recent classes at the 2011 NAB Show.
Remember you can find notes from most of my presentations here –
Conference Handouts.

  1. DSLR Workflows From Field to Edit
  2. Practical Project Management
  3. Essential Pre-Production for DSLR Projects
  4. DSLR Workflow for Adobe Creative Suite
  5. Hypersyndication @ NAB 2011
  6. Strategic Budgeting
  7. Giving Your Web Video A Graphic Identity
  8. Delivering HDSLR Video – Web, Disc, and Beyond
  9. Creating_Custom_Backgrounds
  10. More Than 140 Characters Integrating Video, Audio,Photos & Rich Media with Twitter



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Piracy Hurts Everyone in the Video Business

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As a content creator respect the rights of others. I repeatedly see the rights of others abused all the time in video production. Be sure to preserve the rights of others as you’d expect your rights to be upheld.

  • Music – This is the greatest area of abuse across the video industry. There are affordable stock music options for purchasing or licensing music. You can also hire a composer or use software tools to create your own music. What you cannot do is used recorded music made by others. Giving credit is not enough. I am sickened by the number of videos I see created using copyrighted music and the number of excuses and loopholes others try to give to justify its use.
  • Stock Footage – Make sure the footage you choose to use is properly acquired. There are numerous libraries and sources for licensing footage. Some are buy out libraries, others offer per clip purchases, even still you can find public domain collections. Make sure your footage is properly licensed.
  • Client Provided Assets – Just because the client gives you materials doesn’t mean they are free to use. I’ve faced many instances of clients providing copyrighted materials that they did not have rights to use. Their assurances of “it’s okay” or “this is an internal use only video” would hold no bearing to my being held liable for violating the law. Be certain that what you are given to use is materials that are properly cleared.


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Budgeting Guidelines for Web Video

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If you’re looking for a pot of gold, you’re chasing the wrong leprechaun. Web video budgets are not the same as feature films or commercial spots. With web video and podcasting, the key to making money is efficiency. Figuring out how to do more with less is the guiding principle. In this section, we explore practices that affect the bottom line.

With web video, you need your shoots to run smoothly and efficiently. You will not be able to get the most out of your shoots if you’ve based your preproduction on bad information. You really want to know the goal of the shoot, the objectives of the shoot, how many episodes you are trying to accomplish, and that the client, the talent, and the director have the same expectations. We have found that we can record more than 25 episodes in a day if we plan properly and the talent is prepared. The bottom line here is efficiency. Be efficient, have a plan, and execute the plan with the minimum number of resources, and you’ll do all right.

To learn how to make great web video check out Professional Web Video.

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Keep it Short

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I have never met a video that wouldn’t benefit from some editing. The whole purpose of video is to compress time and distill a message to its essence. It is important that you refine a project by continuing to strip away its unneeded parts. Never have I heard an audience complain that a video was too short. There is a reason to edit and it becomes increasingly clear when you actually watch people as they watch your project. Do your best to strip a project down to its essence and only add what is needed.

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The Five W’s for Refining a Show Concept

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Here are some simple questions for making your web video better. Be sure you can answer these.

  • Who—Who is going to watch the show? Who is going to host the show?

  • What—What topics will the show cover? What genre or format will it use?

  • Where—Where will the show be recorded? A studio? On location?

  • When—When will the show come out? Daily? Weekly? Monthly?

  • Why—Why would a viewer subscribe? Why would they come back?

To learn how to make great web video check out Professional Web Video.

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The Video Industry is Usually Work for Hire

helpwanted
In the video industry, it is very rare for a video professional to retain rights to the footage. Video productions are usually a complex and collaborative process that involves more parties and financial involvement than a typical photo. As such, the videographer of director of photography is rarely the copyright holder.

Here are a few points to consider.
  • Cash is power – Whoever pays for a production is typically the copyright holder. This can be a client, television studio, or independent producer. The standard in the world of video is work for hire.
  • Unused footage – Most funders will expect that all footage you shoot while on assignment is theirs. On the road to an exotic location for a client? Even if you’re just there to shoot a 60 minute interview, they may expect that all the footage you shot will belong to them. Be sure to clearly spell out your expectations and read any agreements before you sign them.
  • Request portfolio permission – Be sure you get in writing your rights to show work samples. This may be limited to client selected portions or can be denied all together. It is best to negotiate your rights up front so you can show your work.
  • Self-funded productions – Nothing keeps you from pursuing other models of production. There are certainly self-funded and distributed projects as well as the opportunity to shoot and license your own stock footage. The limitations on this front are really based on traditions. Because video production and distribution has been such an expensive undertaking, the power usually lies in the hands of the network or studio model. Be prepared for an uphill battle if you want to change the status quo.

I'll present more on this at the
ASMP Strictly Business Conference in Chicagp – April 1–3
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ASMP Strictly Business Hits Chicago April 1–3

SB3_email_header
I'll be speaking at the final stop for the ASMP Strictly Business 3 conference. It brings together an extraordinary level of industry expertise with some great classes and workshops.

FULL CONFERENCE DETAILS
When and Where
April 1 - 3 Allerton Hotel 701 N. Michigan Ave Chicago, IL
Hope to see some of you
there.

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TV Networks Thinking More Like Web Marketers

astv
CBS and Nielsen are pushing for a new way in tracking TV viewership. TV has finally realized that age and sex don't seem to be good predicators of audience behavior. After extensive research, they are pushing for a model based on what people buy and what makes them buy than demographics.

The new categories they are suggesting are:

  • TV companions: For this group, TV is almost always on and is like a member of the family.
  • Media trendsetters: Early adopters of technology and new content, and also 39% multicultural.
  • Sports enthusiasts: Made up mostly of men, but most guys aren't classified here. This group also likes action-adventure programming.
  • Program passionates: Highly involved with favorite shows, and the biggest DVR time-shifters.
  • Surfers and streamers: Most open to watching alternative content on TV and most often using laptops or tablets to multitask while watching TV. They skew young, but include a large component of 50-plus people.
  • TV moderators: Those who enjoy being experts and leading others' choices.

Here's a detailed article on the change – http://adage.com/article/mediaworks/cbs-viewers-age-sex-matter-marketers/149534/

What do you think? To me it seems more like they are catching on to how the web has worked for years.

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Slide Decks from RHED Pixel Open House

openhouse
We recently held an open house at RHED Pixel for our clients. During the event we gave several informational presentations. We recorded these and intend to edit and release over the next few months. In the meantime, here are the slides.



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The Business of Intranet Web Video

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Creative professionals know the impact that video has when it comes to changing minds, hearts and attitudes. Nothing is more compelling or effective than powerful visuals combined with meaningful words. With all of this possibility for persuasive message delivery, why then is video in the workplace frowned upon so often? Many corporations have blocked access to most web video portals. Some even go as far as to remove media player software. Their concerns seem to focus on reducing wasted time and protecting employees from inappropriate materials.

Read the whole article over at Creative COW for free –
http://magazine.creativecow.net/article/the-business-of-intranet-web-video/


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Social Media Trends for 2011

Learn 5 New Trends to keep an eye on for 2011.
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Writing a Video Treatment

treatment

The treatment is considered a standard part of the development cycle for most film and television productions. The truth is that all kinds of video producers can benefit from creating a treatment. The goal is to write a single document that defines the video’s concept and summarizes the creating approach to be taken. The best part of making a treatment is that is formalizes the creative process for the producer. The major benefit here is that the document can then be shared with others as you work with other creative professionals, get approval from a client, or even seek funding or approval.

We recommend the following approach to developing a treatment:
  1. Define the Goals and Set Parameters. What is the core message you are trying to convey. Who do you want to watch the video? What’s the desired outcome you’d like to create (volunteering, purchases, political change, or a good laugh?) What’s your budget and how long will the video run.
  2. What’s the Concept? You’ll want to be able to quickly summarize the thene and objective for the video. Describe to others the core message and frame its delivery method.
  3. What’s the Approach? Now’s the time to lay out the specifics. This is generally a narrative summary of the journey the audience is going to take. In a way, it might resemble a book report you wrote in school. A clear summary that reveals all of the important details which will be presented to the viewer. Describe specifics that will elicit response by the audience including music choice, shooting style, and editing approach. Describe the emotions you will solicit along the journey and how the audience will feel at the journey’s end.
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DSLR Fundamentals on March 23 in DC

global_19146434
Join Richard Harrington, a Director and Editor as he shares practical workflows for DSLR projects. Seems a lot of attention gets spent on shooting DSLR video, but there's a lot more to a complete production. Learn essential planning techniques including planning for storage, synchronization, and gear selection. Rich will also demystify post production with a particular emphasis on native editing. Learn how to transcode less and edit faster (no matter which NLE you choose).
Register here –
http://dcfcpug0323.eventbrite.com/event/1372291561
Use the code DCDSLR for free admission

Wednesday, March 23, 2011
6:00 PM

RHED Pixel
180 S Washington St Falls Church, VA

For more on DSLR video, check out From Still to Motion.
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Playing Fairly and Pricing Fairly

payday

The world of video is going through a revolution when it comes to pricing. When I started my career, tape decks were more expensive than cars and a complete editing system cost more than my townhouse. Oh how the world has changed.

The video industry is experiencing a race to the bottom. Gear keeps getting cheaper, which is a good thing in many ways. The problem lies in the cost barrier. Just as many photographers been frustrated by every schmo who buys a DSLR thinking he or she is a pro photographer, so have video professionals felt about photographers thinking they are video pros. Add to this sudden influx hundreds of schools pumping out graduates from media programs and you have a cluttered workplace.

I do not say the above to be protectionist or confrontational. The fact is that the video industry needs to evolve and will benefit from fresh talent and fresh ideas. Just don’t piss in the pool after you jump in.

Take a look around you and see what business practices others are following. Here are a few that I wish more would follow for the good of the video industry:

  • Price fairly – Different businesses will need to charge differently for their services. Still, be sure you price services so you can survive for the long term. Be consistent with your prices and be sure to cover related costs like facilities, insurance, and equipment.

  • Don’t do spec work – There is a lot of pressure to do unpaid work in the video field. Taking spec jobs to prove capabilities or show interest in a client. Look at other professions, they don’t face these same pressures. If you truly need to expand your portfolio, seek out legitimate nonprofit organizations and make a donation of your time and skill.

  • Don’t badmouth your competition – Your only true competition is yourself. Speaking ill of your peers will only lower the standards of the industry as a whole.

  • Your problems are your problems – Always pay your subcontractors (even if you haven’t received client payment). Similarly, you should not accept excuses from others above you in the client chain due to delayed payments. Make sure you responsibly keep payments flowing to those you hire.

  • Act more like a lawyer and less like an artist – I’m not saying shelve your creativity... but remember that you are a trained professional with a code of conduct. You need to remember the important aspects of client management, professional communication, and ethical business practices if you want to succeed in video for the long term.


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Age is Just a Number

tapes
I have seen myself go from being an upstart kid to a balding professional. But I have learned this... age is just a number. I have worked with wonderfully talented “kids” throughout my career. I have also chosen to surround myself with those who are more experienced than me. Both parties have added to my understanding of this medium and its creative applications.

While the guild system of old is all but destroyed, you can still preserve its spirit. Seek out others who you want to work with. Ignore their age and instead look at what they have to offer to the creative process. An open mind goes a long way. I continuously learn things from even the youngest employee or crew member. I also have learned to listen when someone else has something to say.

Video is a collaborative medium and one that has undergone a century worth of change in the last ten years. Bluntly... shut up and listen. Put any preconceived notions you may have about age or experience aside and open yourself to opportunity.

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Video is a Team Sport

Teamwork

This is the hardest message for most photographers to accept. You cannot truly make a professional video in isolation. Am I saying that one person can’t do everything? No. But can they do it well? Consider the following.

  • Video projects often have firm deadlines – Whether it’s an air date, a live event, a corporate meeting, or a project launch. Deadlines are standard in the world of video, having a team means bench strength and safety in numbers.

  • You’ll make more money doing what you do best – How many photographers are magazine publishers? Do they sell the advertisements and write all the stories? What about when publishing a book... do they fire up their personal printing press? The point here is that a photographer should do what they do best. That tends to be direct the talent, pick the locations for shooting, lens the project, and carry their creative vision through the editing and graphics stages. I am not saying you should avoid editing or motion graphics, but you may be pretty slow (especially when you first start). I say try anything three times… but if you find you hate the work or you are turning down other jobs... then its time to move on. You can always find people who want to do parts of the job you are weakest at… plus they’ll likely be far faster than you. This will let you shoot more and line up more business through your contacts.

  • The creative mind is like a hive – Adding additional people that you trust can really lead to a better product. I find that having other professionals around keeps me from slipping into my old habits. It also leads to creative discussions that push the envelope and lead to a better outcome.

I'll be presenting two full sessions to help professional photographers who want to move into video. Come learn the ins and outs of business at the
American Society of Media Photographer's Strictly Business 3 Conference (Philadelphia & Chicago).

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Maximizing a Production Day

prod_Day
We typically build our production days around a 10-hour schedule. This allows about 7 hours of time for shooting and the other 3 for setup, breaks, and teardown. The important thing here is to pace yourself. Make sure you what you want to accomplish each hour you’re on set so you can measure progress or take corrective action.

While we try to maximize the day, we don’t try to kill the crew … there’s a difference:
  • Make sure you have enough help to load gear in and out so you get off to a good start. For that matter, be sure to use a rolling cart to cut down on wear and tear on your body and speed up moving times between locations.
  • Be sure to allow time for meal breaks. Keeping people from eating will only make them cranky and less productive. Try to bring some snacks and drinks on the set to keep people comfortable and from wandering off.
  • Keep the schedule reasonable. We try to not to let the client schedule the first interview for 8:00 a.m. We’ve often had to convey to the client, “If you schedule this for 8:00 a.m., it means we have to leave our houses at 4:30 a.m. in order to have to everything set up on time.”
  • We routinely have to remind clients that an eight-hour day does not mean eight hours of interviews. We also have to point out that it is a contiguous eight hours. You can’t schedule a crew to start at 9:00 a.m., then give them a five hour break in the middle of the day, and want them tape something that goes until 10:00 at night.
  • Be sure to work with your clients and gently educate them. Sometimes we’ve had to say, “Yes, we can do this. But we’re going to have two crews and we’re going to have a changeover period here and the second crew will step on to the set and continue into the night.” Be smart: Respect your clients and your crew if you want the best results.

To learn how to make great web video check out Professional Web Video.


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All the Creative COW Podcasts on One Page

creativeCowitunes

Just wanted to let you know that you can now find all the
Creative COW podcasts on one page. I am a co-host on several shows.

  • DSLR Essentials
  • Photoshop for Video
  • Adobe Premiere Pro
  • Adobe After Effects
  • Final Cut Help

There are HOURS of free video training here.... plus several other topics. Be sure to check out the
page. Most shows are available in both HD and SD versions.


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Motion Graphics Salary Survey

DOWNLOAD_2010_MGDC
If you'd like to better understand the different compensation levels available to motion graphics designers, there's a good report that was just released.

The report analyzes different pay available based on experience, job title, and region worked. There's also good data about tools used (software and hardware) as well as working conditions. As they say, knowledge is power... and the report offers a good glimpse into the factors that can influence better pay and working conditions for designers.

The Motion Graphic Design Census is an unofficial web-based survey written by Bran Dougherty-Johnson and Jake Sargeant and hosted by Motionographer in 2009. Whether you're a designer or a business owner, this is good data for benchmarking.

The 2010 Census is available now.

The 2011 Census is currently collecting data.




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Essential Questions to Ask at the Beginning of a Project

start2

Through the years, we’ve learned a lot of lessons the hard way. While every project is unique, it often seems that the problems remain the same. Here are a few questions we always encourage asking at the start of any video project:
  • Who is our customer? Projects often have many parties involved. Be sure that you know who you’re responsible to keep happy.
  • What is the purpose? You need to know what the video is trying to accomplish.
  • How will we measure success? Determine which factors will be used to judge the success of the project.
  • What do we want to say? Identify the goal of the piece and the message that the audience should walk away with.
  • What resources do we have? Decide who will be assigned to the project. Establish if there are any assets or resources available to the project that should be utilized. Make sure there are no assumptions being made about what you have to work with
  • What is the budget? Never discuss approach without having an idea of your financial constraints. Creative types often get swept up into big ideas without knowing what the project can support.
  • What are the deadlines? Equally as important as budget is schedule. You need to understand any major milestones so you can schedule work and adjust your approach to match the available time.
  • Are there any customer requirements? Never make assumptions. It’s always a good idea to ask the clients if they have any specific needs or requirements for the end product. You’ll often be surprised how important details can go unspoken until the very end of the project.

To learn how to make great web video check out Professional Web Video.



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Five Great Resources on Copyright

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Do you understand your rights as a content creator? Here are five great resources to learn more (and they are all free)



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Want Better Web Video? Keep it Short.

portable_Short
Here’s a simple idea: Keep your web videos short. It is better to have ten 4-minute episodes than one 40-minute episode. We try to keep our web videos to less than 10 minutes (in fact less that 5 in almost all cases).

Web videos tend to be consumed during things like work breaks, downtime, and airplane flights. Others will use them during commutes on the morning train or the subway. Think of web video and podcasts as portable, on-demand learning or entertainment. Remember that your audience is often watching web video on portable media players with small screens. Be sure to keep the total run time low to avoid viewer fatigue.

In the training videos we produce, we try to limit topics to one per episode. And if a single topic takes more than 10 minutes to explain, then we’ll split the video into two or three parts. This way the viewer can download Part 1 and start watching it while they’re waiting for the rest to download or be released. There’s nothing wrong with multiple parts. That’s the whole concept of serializing a web video into an actual series that builds up a subscription and viewership base.

To learn how to make great web video check out Professional Web Video.

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Your Right to Take Photos of Federal Property

federal_photo
Like to take pictures? Well you may have run afoul of shooting photos of federal buildings (which is pretty easy to do in DC where I live). Here's a useful federal directive that you should print out and put in your camera bag.

Federal Protective Service Information Bulletin of Aug. 2, 2010, emphasizing "the public's right to photograph the exterior of federal facilities" from "publicly accessible spaces such as streets, sidewalks, parks and plazas." It also states that in a field interview, "officers should not seize the camera or its contents, and must be cautious not to give such 'orders' to a photographer to erase the contents of a camera."

Download it here –
http://documents.nytimes.com/photographing-federal-buildings-from-public-spaces


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Don't Miss the ASMP Strictly Business Conference

SB3_email_header

I'm speaking at ASMP's Strictly Business Conference. There are two stops left for this great show on business for photographers.

REGISTER HERE FOR PHILADELPHIA or CHICAGO
“The American Society of Media Photographers invites you to the Strictly Business 3 Conferences, the newest generation of this highly acclaimed series.”
FULL CONFERENCE DETAILS
Your registration includes 4 meals, 2 receptions, 2 keynote presentations, 6 workshops and bonus evening sessions. This packed schedule will inspire you and direct your career!
When and Where
February 25-27 in Philadelphia April 1-3 in Chicago
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Create Accurate Budgets with a Free Video Budget Template

budget
For video production, the budget is truly king (especially these days). It is important that you create a detailed, line item budget so you have a clear idea of the work involved and the costs associated with the project. Many clients will expect this level of detail in your pricing. You may also find it helpful to share a line item
budget with your production team members so they know how much time is budgeted for each task.

  1. Open the file Budget_Template.xls. You’ll either need Apple Numbers (part of iWork) or Microsoft Excel. The templates are filled in with several standard labor items for video production tasks.
  2. Add rows for tasks as needed since this document is by no means exhaustive. Be sure to add any items you frequently need and delete any items that you never use from the starter template.
  3. Adjust the rates for your services. It is beyond the scope of this book to tell you how to price your services. You should do a little market analysis and see what your competition charges for items as well as look at your own internal costs.
  4. Once the rates and task items match your internal needs, save the document as a Budget Master for your company.
  5. Locate the file on your computer and press Command+I to access its properties.
  6. Select the Stationary Pad and Locked check boxes. Now your master budget cannot be overwritten, and when you double-click it, a new blank budget opens as a clean slate.
  7. When you’re ready to use the budget, double-click the file to open a new budget. Enter the quantity for all items you expect the project to need.
  8. Instead of deleting unused items, simply right-click on a row and choose Hide Row (Numbers) or Hide (Excel).
  9. If you want to discount items, just adjust the discount amount in Column E.
  10. All items will be subtotaled by category with a budget summary at the bottom of the spreadsheet.
  11. Save your budget, and then print or email it as needed. Be sure to save a new version for every change in case you need to compare budgets later in the project.


For more on the fusion of photography and video, check out From Still to Motion.
To learn how to make great web video check out Professional Web Video.


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Distributing Video To The Masses



The cost of creating video for the Web has plummeted, but it is still one of the most expensive elements of many Web site or Web 2.0 initiatives. Publishers want results—and it’s up to you to get them. In today’s world, your video needs to be in several places simultaneously, with great hooks bringing users back to your Web site. In this session you’ll learn how to become a hyper-syndicator, publishing your video to devices including cell phones, laptops, and televisions. Video publishing may start with an embed code, but so much more is possible—and this session will show you how to take advantage of the best opportunities available.

For more on creating video for the web, check out
Professional Web Video.

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Progress Payments – Get Paid for Creative Work

progresspay
I wanted to just share a thought with those of you who are doing creative work for hire. Make sure you are getting progress payments along the way. The last time we hit an economic rough patch (back in 2001) I remember getting stiffed by a client who went bankrupt. This client of course had paid their bills consistently for 2 years... but then the doors closed and I was out nearly $5,000.

Let's just say... lesson learned.

The basic tenet is progressive billing. Make sure you are invoicing the client throughout the life of a project. This way you’ve gotten at least 50% (but hopefully more) of the money in before the project leaves your hands. Once the project leaves your shop, it's pretty hard to get paid (you've lost your leverage).

Here are some practical tips to help you avoid getting the short end of the stick.

  • Use Milestones – Payments are most effective when tied to milestones. Sign the agreement, deliver the script, start the shoot, etc.
  • Don't Confuse the Accountants – Try to avoid payments of identical dollar amounts as it can lead to confusion with accounts payable. It's almost a guarantee that some will get kicked out or ignored.
  • Try 55%/45% for Deposit + Shoot or
  • 40%/35%/25% Deposit + Production + Post or
  • 35%/30%/20%/15% for a Long-term project
  • Stand Your Ground – Be prepared to withhold or watermark deliverables if client falls behind on payments (just be sure to put it in contract and warn them first).

I hope this gives you some practical knowledge you can use. I'll be speaking about the business of video and photography at the American Society of Media Photographers Strictly Business (
SB3) Conference. Three locations LA, Philadelphia, and Chicago.



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Keep Your Mac Calendars and Address Book Clean

At RHED Pixel, we use the Mac’s built-in calendar and address book to keep the office organizer. Technically, this is a no-no as they’re not really designed for 20 different devices to be syncing at once. But hey... we’re risk takers. I did find two great apps on the new Mac App store today (they are also on the web too).
calendar-cleaner-icon-large

Here are the official descriptions:

If you're like us, your calendar is how you manage your life. And that means that bad data can mean a really bad day—or worse.
Calendar Cleaner removes duplicates, finds subtle problems with your events, and keeps everything clean as a whistle.

contacts-cleaner-icon-large


Your contacts are the center of your personal social network, and as such are often synchronized among your Mac, your iPhone, and many other apps, services, and devices.
Contacts Cleaner finds and fixes the little problems that can creep in while you're not looking.





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Post Longer Videos on YouTube

youtube_Limits

Non YouTube partners are starting to see longer time limits for their uploads. If you have no strikes against you for copyright infringement or other reported issues as well as held an account for some time, then you may get blessed. It doesn't seem to be anything you can request, rather just wait for it to roll out over time.

You can find more details on the
YouTube blog.

YouTube won't officially say "how" long the limit is (I've uploaded a clip that was over an hour with no problems).

Here's the official release –
http://youtube-global.blogspot.com/2010/12/up-up-and-away-long-videos-for-more.html?

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Confidence Instills Confidence – Practical Business Advice

confidence
I can’t tell you how many times I am faced with new challenges. Nearly every project brings up new technical and creative challenges that I’ve never faced. This is the truly exciting part about working in video. Rarely do I have every answer (but I do know where to look and how to solve the problem).

When presented with a challenge in a project, I exude confidence (but not arrogance). I know that showing confidence to my team as well as my clients is inspirational. A clear study of the challenge ahead will lead to solutions. Then I’ll leverage my networks. I have a collection of peers I trust to ask questions of. I can turn to online forums like Creative COW. I can ping my social network through Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. All of these play a part in fining the answer.

Everything I learned in college about video is technologically obsolete. What I learned was how to tell stories and how to solve problems. Every tape format has changed, every software application has upgraded ten or more times. Heck, web browsers didn’t even exist. But I know that I can learn. And because of that I am confident that I can solve any challenge I face and devise a solution that is an effective compromise between the budget in hand and the schedule I have. With a little practice, you can see the world this way too.

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A Good List of Blogs to Try

SB3_website_header
Here are some blogs from the great team I'll be speaking with this Spring. These are the blogs of the speakers for Strictly Business 3 – a conference put on by the American Society of Media Photographers. I hope you enjoy.

2 Good Things - Strategic Career Reinvention with Judy Herrmann
www.2goodthings.com

Branding for Creatives with Colleen Wainwright
communicatrix.com/

The DAM Book  - Digital Asset Management for Photographers with Peter Krogh
 www.thedambook.com/blog

Jay Kinghorn's Blog: Multimedia, Workflow and inspiration for visual communicators
jaykinghorn.com

Marketing and Stock Photography Consulting with Ellen Boughn
ellenboughn.com/blog

Negotiating and Web Marketing with Blake Discher
groozi.com/

Journeys of a Hybrid - A still photographer and filmmaker talks about working in both still and motion mediums.
kellymooneyminutes.wordpress.com

Digital Marketing Blog with Rosh Sillars
www.newmediaphotographer.com/

Marketing for Creatives with Colleen Wainwright
http://www.virgoguidetomarketing.com/

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Adobe Posts Its First Billion-Dollar Quarter

images
Great news for those who rely on Adobe software... according the Associated Press:

"The software maker Adobe posted quarterly earnings on Monday that exceeded analyst expectations and provided a rosy outlook.The company’s shares rose as much as 5.7 percent, to $30.85, in extended trading, after closing at $29.19 in the regular session."

To put this in perspective, "adjusted earnings were 56 cents a share in the latest quarter, surpassing the average forecast of 52 cents a share among analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters. Revenue rose33 percent to $1.01 billion from $757 million last year. It was Adobe’s first billion-dollar quarter."

Here's the whole story –
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/21/technology/21adobe.html?_r=1&src=tptw#

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Boston DSLR Wrapup

151015_10150107703231757_742586756_7333809_7511899_n


I had a great time up in Boston recently speaking to the DSLR Meetup group. I met some lovely folks and had a chancee to share a bunch of info about DSLR Pre-Production and Post.

Here is a great writeup on the event –
http://www.needcreative.net/main/2010/12/20/holiday-boston-dslr-meetup-featuring-richard-harrington.html

Here are my slides from the event –
Producing DSLR Shoots

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Why Video is a Four-Letter Word to Many Photogs



It turns out that a lot of photographers are getting screwed. Photo buyers are demanding video. Clients are expecting professional photographers to just flip a switch in the camera and start delivering great video. Seems the age-old fallacy is kicking in again, just because the same machine can do several things doesn’t mean the operator can do them all well.

That’s not a dig at photographers. My computer has the capacity to do lots of things that I’d never even attempt (let alone sell to my clients). This view is unrealistic and disrespectful. I find it deeply disappointing that talented individuals are being asked to work under conditions that will lead to failure.

How do you fight unrealistic professional situations? Through client-education and personal development seems to work best. I’ve faced similar problems in the past... desktop publishing, nonlinear video editing, heck... even digital photography. All industries continue. But there needs to be changes and compromise... by both the clients and the working professionals.

I believe that education is the key to an industry evolving. That those looking to embrace a new art (as well as those who fear it) would be able to make their best career decisions through an extensive look at this emerging art. I do not judge those standing on the sidelines; rather, I recommend a deep exploration of the possibilities and opportunities.

Read More...
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Shot Ratio is the Key to Profitability

In video, its important to keep the ratio of how much footage you shoot to how much footage you use as low as possible. This ratio is the biggest influencer on maintaining profit.

More footage means:
  • more storage – Hard drives cost money
  • more time searching – Time spent searching for the right shot costs you money
  • more time loading or transcoding – Even fast machines still take a long while to transcode

I always recommend rehearsing your shot if possible, then firing a few takes. Be sure to cut camera between takes as well so you can have shorter clips. If you're using a slate, hold it up at the start of each shot (then you can clearly see it in the clip thumbnail, which speeds up browsing).

You need to remember time equals money. More time searching means less time editing. More time recorded means more backups and hard drives. Look out for your best interests and you'll see more profitability.

For more on the fusion of photography and video, check out From Still to Motion.


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An Interview with Rich on the Business of Photography and Video



I recently had a chance to be a guest on the Typical Shutterbug Podcast. We talked about photography, video, software, and learning

You can hear the show here for free –
http://typicalshutterbug.com/wordpress/2010/10/31/tsb23-richard-harrington-and-john-andersson-talk-photography-and-cgi/

Be sure to check out some of the other great episodes too.

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My Advice if You are New to Creative COW


It’s impossible to know all the answers or even who to ask Fortunately there’s a lot of great forums for interacting with video pros. I offer a few simple pieces of advice when participating forums (the ones I hang out in are at Creative COW).
  • Lurk a little. Get the hang of the tone and community first. It’s just like a party, don’t walk through the door and start yelling.
    Use the search function first. If you ask a question that has already been recently answered recently, you’re going to feel ignored.
    Post short questions. Nothing turns off a potential responder than the feeling that they’re taking a graduate school exam. Eight-part essay questions are fun for no one. Keep your questions short and direct.
    Give context. Let people know details about the system or gear you’re using, software versions, etc. Even smart geeks aren’t mind readers.
    Give a little, get a lot. If you only ask questions in a forum, you’re going to have bad karma. Most forums have unpaid hosts who do their best to answer questions. Helping out is good for the health of the forum and community.
Comments

Go Figure (Online Safety Version)



A recent video we produced at
RHED Pixel for the Family Online Safety Institute. Some important information for parents and educators (and good animated typography for the design crowd).

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New Web Video Book

The staff of RHED Pixel just finished updating our web video book. This book significantly expands our original book on podcasting. We've added coverage of lots of brand new things. Here's the official listing:

Want to create professional quality web video that stands out in a crowded playing field? Gain a complete understanding of the opportunity, limitations, production, and distribution process with this book. Step up from the flip-cam experience with this solid introduction to professional planning and production techniques, ensuring that your video meets the same standards you set for every other element in your communication program.

  • Follow the RHED Pixel team as they detail every step of the way with engaging illustrations that demonstrate the process from concept to distribution including:
  • Preproduction planning of concept, scope, budget, and casting
  • Web-specific techniques for audio, lighting, and videography
  • Detailed overview of editing and encoding of web video
  • Effective branding and storytelling aids including b-roll, images and motion graphics
  • Distribution alternatives including HTML5, Flash, podcasting, RSS, and website hosting
  • Effective techniques to promote and monetize your video

Now available for pre-order.


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Five Rules for Great Presentations



A great lesson on presentation theory from the talented Nancy Duarte.

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Create a Client Screener Disc


Check out this video to learn more about creating a screener disc for your clients.
This a sample of the 6 hours of video included with the book
Video Made on a Mac.
You can also visit the website
www.peachpit.com/videomac in order to download sample files.

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Social Media - Is it Real?


It seems that everywhere I turn, social media comes up. Independent producers as well as top studios look to harness social media to raise awareness for their productions. Customers are using it to talk about products and companies they love -- and hate. People look to re-establish their personal networks during tough economic times. Heck, your mother (or your kids) may be connected to you on Facebook.

But is this real? Specifically, can social media help your business grow?

The answer is a bit complex. Let's say it's both real and fake. I'm thinking 60/40. We'll see. You may think I'm being non-committal, but I'm not. The social media movement is filled with a lot of hot air right now. Just like the real estate market, the social media boom will pop.

But people need homes, and people have a real need to communicate with others in meaningful ways. Social media is a real communication medium that can be incredibly valuable, but getting started is like being thrown into a raging river and learning how to swim. It can be overwhelming at first, and if you look for help, you'll encounter a lot of bad advice. That's why I am writing this article, to offer you practical advice and real world experiences about how social media can help those of us who work with traditional media.

Continue reading the article here.


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Essential Questions to Ask at the Start of a Project


Through the years, we’ve learned a lot of lessons the hard way. While every project is unique, it often seems that the problems remain the same. Here are a few questions we always encourage asking at the start of a project:

  • Who is our customer? Projects often have many parties involved. Know who you are responsible to keep happy.
  • What is the purpose? You need to know what the video is trying to accomplish.
  • How will we measure success? Determine which factors will be used to judge the success of the project.
  • What do we want to say? Identify the goal of the piece and the message that the audience should walk away with.
  • What resources do we have? Decide who will be assigned to the project. Establish if there are any assets or resources available to the project that should be utilized.
  • What is the budget? Never discuss approach without having an idea of your financial constraints. Creative types often get swept up into big ideas without knowing what the project can support.
  • What are the deadlines? Equally as important as budget is schedule. You need to understand any major milestones so you can schedule work and adjust your approach to match the available time.
  • Are there any customer requirements? Never make assumptions. It’s always a good idea to ask the clients if they have any specific needs or requirements for the end product. You’ll often be surprised how important details can go unspoken until the very end of the project.

This article is excerpted from the Pre-Production chapter in the book
Video Made on a Mac: Production and Postproduction Using Apple Final Cut Studio and Adobe Creative Suite.

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Some Social Media Statistics


WHY BOTHER WITH SOCIAL MEDIA?

Because it's worth it. Here are a few statistics about the size of social media:

  • 96% of Generation Y uses social networks.
  • If Facebook were a country, it would be the fourth largest.
  • 300,000+ businesses have a Facebook page.
  • Dell has sold $3 million dollars of computers on Twitter.
  • Only 18% of TV campaigns generate a return on investment.
  • Ford Motors spends 25% of its marketing budget on social media -- and didn't need a government bailout.
  • The average American watches 124 videos per month online
  • 70% of 18-34 year olds watch TV on the web -- but only 35% use a TiVo.
  • 24 out of 25 of the top newspapers are experiencing record declines.


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Budgeting by Averages


I've posted this before, but people keep asking... so here it is again:

There is an easy formula used by many experienced project managers to estimate the amount of time to be spent on each budget item task. The formula looks like this:

(1O + 4M +1P) ÷ 6


It means one optimistic + four most likely + one pessimistic divided by six.
What does that mean? It’s pretty simple: You create a time estimate based on averaging the information you gather. For example, you can approach a graphic designer and ask, "How long would this take?” The answer is not the most likely number. It’s the optimistic number, because if you ask any creative person how long something will take, the answer is an exaggerated number. Let’s say the number is eight hours.
Then you say, “Well, if it was anybody else, how long would it take?” And that’s the most likely number. For our formula, let’s use 12 hours.
Then ask, "If something goes wrong that you really didn’t count on, what is the worst case scenario?" In this example, use 22 hours.
You then plug these values into the formula to get your result: ((1*8) + (4*12) + (1*22) ÷ 6 = 13 hours for the task.
This budgeting formula works well when no historical data is available for review. It’s also more accurate if you are able to ask more than one person for time estimates. You can then average multiple answers.


This article is excerpted from the Pre-Production chapter in the book Video Made on a Mac: Production and Postproduction Using Apple Final Cut Studio and Adobe Creative Suite.

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Meeting Invitations via Apple Mail

If you’re using Apple iCal, you can easily invite people to attend an event. Your Mac can tie together iCal, Mac OS X Mail, and your Address Book for a cohesive event invitation system. Guests can receive invitations via email or right inside of iCal.
  1. Set up a card for yourself in Address Book (in your Applications folder). Launch Address Book and click the Add (+) button. Enter your business contact information (including email address), and then choose Card > Make This My Card.
  2. Switch back to iCal and create a new event or double-click an existing event.
  3. In the Event Editor, click Add Attendees. Start to type the name or email address for the person you want to invite. iCal will attempt to auto-fill the information if the person is in your Address Book.
  4. Press the Return key after each address to add a new one.
  5. When you’re ready to invite people, click the Send button at the bottom of the Event Editor. Attendees will receive an email invitation and an iCal invitation.
  6. Guest responses will appear in the iCal Notifications box (just click the Notifications button in the lower-left corner of the iCal window).

The responses are indicated visually with an icon:
  • An arrow means a guest has not responded
  • A check mark means the guest has accepted the invite
  • An X means the guest declined the invite
  • A question mark means the guest is tentatively attending

This article is excerpted from the Pre-Production chapter in the book
Video Made on a Mac: Production and Postproduction Using Apple Final Cut Studio and Adobe Creative Suite.


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Creative COW Magazine ready for iPad

One of my favorite industry resources is Creative COW magazine. The articles are always written by pros involved in cool projects. Each article offers great perspective and often new ideas to expand your business. They now have all the back issues ready for your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch.


Want to take the full library of Creative COW Magazine with you anywhere you travel? It's easy to do, whether you use an iPad, an iPhone, an Android, a Blackberry, or many other 3G devices.

Here's where to start. Simply go to
http://magazine.creativecow.net/downloads.php and...

If you use an Android, a Blackberry, or many other 3G devices, just visit the downloads address above and download the editions that you want directly to your device -- we recommend the single page print-friendly edition's complete set. ;)

If you are on a Mac or PC that uses iTunes, just download any or all of our no-cost PDFs in the edition you prefer -- the print-friendly single page format (recommended) or the 'spread' edition that gives you the full magazine spreads -- to your desktop machine.

Once the PDFs are on your machine, drag the downloaded PDFs to your desktop machine's iTunes program and click on the Books setting inside iTunes to make sure that sync books is active. If you use an iPod Touch, an iPhone or an iPad, your iBooks application will show them inside iBooks, in the PDF tab that you see in the image you see at the top of this newsletter.

Now, you can now take Creative COW Magazine with you for those times when you are in the air, waiting for a meeting, in the doctor's office waiting room -- or any one of a thousand other places where you might want to spend some time with the great articles and ideas that make up each of our issues.




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Playing Fair in the Video Business in the Video Industry

The world of video is going through a revolution when it comes to pricing. When I started my career, tape decks were more expensive than cars and a complete editing system cost more than my townhouse. Oh how the world has changed.

The video industry is experiencing a race to the bottom. Gear keeps getting cheaper, which is a good thing in many ways. The problem lies in the cost barrier. Just as you’ve been frustrated by every schmo who buys a DSLR thinking he or she is a pro photographer, so have video professionals felt about photographers thinking they are video pros. Add to this sudden influx hundreds of schools pumping out graduates from media programs and you have a cluttered workplace.

I do not say the above to be protectionist or confrontational. The fact is that the video industry needs to evolve and will benefit from fresh talent and fresh ideas. Just don’t piss in the pool after you jump in.

Take a look around you and see what business practices others are following. Here are a few that I wish more would follow for the good of the video industry:

  • Price fairly – Different businesses will need to charge differently for their services. Still, be sure you price services so you can survive for the long term. Be consistent with your prices and be sure to cover related costs like facilities, insurance, and equipment.
  • Don’t do spec work – There is a lot of pressure to do unpaid work in the video field. Taking spec jobs to prove capabilities or show interest in a client. Look at other professions, they don’t face these same pressures. If you truly need to expand your portfolio, seek out legitimate nonprofit organizations and make a donation of your time and skill.
  • Don’t badmouth your competition – Your only true competition is yourself. Speaking ill of your peers will only lower the standards of the industry as a whole.
  • Your problems are your problems – Always pay your subcontractors (even if you haven’t received client payment). Similarly, you should not accept excuses from others above you in the client chain due to delayed payments. Make sure you responsibly keep payments flowing to those you hire.
  • Act more like a lawyer and less like an artist – I’m not saying shelve your creativity... but remember that you are a trained professional with a code of conduct. You need to remember the important aspects of client management, professional communication, and ethical business practices if you want to succeed in video for the long term.


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Why You Need MobileMe

Apple's MobileMe suite of online tools is a very useful group of services. Whether you'r a photographer, graphic designer, video pro (or even an accountant) you need it. While it’s not really designed to be an enterprise-level tool, it is quite helpful to small and midsize companies. MobileMe offers several features that can help organize a project. These features are fully documented on Apple’s site, but here are the most useful:

  • Address Book syncing. It’s possible to have a shared Address Book for the entire company. This really helps keep records up to date and clients easier to locate. If you have multiple iPhone users who want to sync, they can make a group to streamline their contacts.
  • Calendar. MobileMe offers a robust online calendar tool that can also sync with iCal. This is particularly useful because it can help coordinate meetings and schedule staff and facilities. The shared calendar is also useful for iPhone users who are out of office and need to keep their meeting schedule up to date. If you need to share a calendar with clients or non-Mac users, you have two viable options. You can grant Web access to a MobileMe calendar (simply visit mobile.me.com and sign in). The drawback is that you grant write access to all calendars or no calendars. A better option for "selective" sharing is to use a Google calendar, which is also free (calendar.google.com).
  • iDisk. An iDisk is a great place to back up critical files. You can download the free Backup application from your iDisk, and then set files like Final Cut Pro project files to back up remotely. You can also use an iDisk as a drop box (Mac or Windows users) because it can be easily accessed through a Web browser. Similarly, you can access your iDisk through me.com and select files for file sharing with other users. Sharing files with clients is easy with MobileMe. They can get a personalized invitation, and you can even require a password.
  • Back to My Mac. This little-used feature is a true lifeline. It allows you to easily access any of your Macs remotely. You can use it to log into a machine back at the office and check progress on a render or grab a file that you forgot.
  • Find My Phone. Lose your iPhone or iPad, this device can tell you where you left it. It can also trigger an alarm, display a message, or remotely wipe a device. We've used the service three times in my house (and each time led to a successful recovery).

Get more useful techniques (and 6 hours of video) by reading
Video Made on a Mac.

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Talent Release Form

A piece of essential production paperwork is the talent release form. It is generally considered a good idea to obtain a release from each person who appears on camera. The form is your way of proving that the person appeared willingly and does not require additional compensation.

To make this form truly binding, you should check with a local lawyer to assist you. Laws will vary based on country and state, so this form is merely provided as a suggestion. Once you have your forms locked in, be sure to print out enough and load them onto a clipboard for your shoot.

If you are taping at a large event, you’ll likely want to explore integrating a general release into the event registration or ticket purchase process. This way you don’t need to worry about capturing releases from all the people who appear on camera. However, you should still get the more detailed release signed for on-camera interviews.

Get more useful forms (and a whole lot more) by reading
Video Made on a Mac


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Effective Business – Budgeting by Averages


There is an easy formula used by many experienced project managers to estimate the amount of time to be spent on each budget item task. The formula looks like this:

(1O + 4M +1P) ÷ 6

It means one optimistic + four most likely + one pessimistic divided by six. What does that mean? It’s pretty simple: You create a time estimate based on averaging the information you gather. For example, you can approach a graphic designer and ask, "How long would this take?” The answer is not the most likely number. It’s the optimistic number, because if you ask any creative person how long something will take, the answer is an exaggerated number. Let’s say the number is eight hours.Then you say, “Well, if it was anybody else, how long would it take?” And that’s the most likely number. For our formula, let’s use 12 hours.Then ask, "If something goes wrong that you really didn’t count on, what is the worst case scenario?" In this example, use 22 hours.You then plug these values into the formula to get your result: ((1*8) + (4*12) + (1*22) ÷ 6 = 13 hours for the task.This budgeting formula works well when no historical data is available for review. It’s also more accurate if you are able to ask more than one person for time estimates. You can then average multiple answers.



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Red Scarlet – First Look 2008



So... Where is it now? Two and a half years and counting... Maybe IBC?
SIGH.

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Free Passes to PhotoCine Expo in LA



Want to attend the PhotoCine Expo? I've got 50 free passes to the exhibit floor where you can learn all about the DSLR video revolution that's underway. I'll be there with
Creative COW and teaching a class on creating Timelapse video. The conference is at the Los Angeles Film School on September 25th and 26th 2010.

To get your free pass visit here–
http://photocinenews.com/expo/registration.php
Enter the code
RichardsTix at the bottom of the page and save $15.

Also... check out my class.

Creative Timelapse
Learn how to turn your HDSLR into a timelapse machine.  With the addition of a few simple pieces of equipment, you can capture dynamic action over time.  Even more importantly, you'll learn how to use Adobe Photoshop to develop your files and then assemble them in After Effects.  Richard Harrington is the author of Photoshop for Video and the co-author of From Still to Motion: A photographers guide to creating video with your DSLR.



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Peachpit Photo Club Presents Trey Ratcliff


On Tuesday, September 28 at 8 p.m. ET, 5 p.m. PT, join Trey Ratcliff, author of A World in HDR for the next Peachpit Photo Club webcast. High dynamic range (HDR) photography lets you capture the myriad colors and levels of light that you can see in the real world, and the results are amazing photographs that run the gamut from super real to surreal. Explore this fantastic realm of photography through the unique vision of renowned travel photographer Trey Ratcliff. Trey will share his phenomenal HDR photographs as well as all the backstory on the adventurous circumstances of their origin. He'll also reveal the techniques he used to get the final shot, and answer your burning questions!
To keep the creative juices flowing, Photo Club members will receive a fun assignment at the end of the session. Once the assignment is completed, Photo Club members can upload their work to the Peachpit Photo Club Flickr Group where Trey and the Peachpit crew will help critique your work. And of course, there will be a chance for prizes!
Register now.


Also, be sure to check out the From Still to Motion webcast while you are there
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The Risks of a One-Man Band for Video Crews

If you try to run with a “one-man-band” approach, you’ll likely miss critical action. Be sure to staff appropriately for your shoots.

Thanks to shrinking budgets, we are asked to send out one-person crews all the time. Believe us, we’ve tried it (after all, you can’t say you don’t like Brussels Sprouts if you’ve never eaten them). What we’ve found out is that it’s a terrible idea to shoot alone. So many things can go wrong that if you're by yourself it is impossible to get the job done.

Consider the issues a single-person crew would face:
  • Who will watch the gear if you have to unload and then park?
  • If you do have to fly somewhere for a shoot, excess baggage charges are often more than a second ticket.
  • During the course of a shoot, how will you handle basic biological needs like food and restroom breaks? Walk away and leave your gear unattended and it will likely not be in the same condition when you come back.
  • If you blow a circuit breaker or have talent go missing, the second crew person can resolve the issue.
  • With a one-person crew, if that person gets sick or injured, the shoot is over.

So even if it just means hiring a warm body that’s not going to steal from you, do so. We’ll contact local grip houses, universities, or in a pinch use Craigslist. Spend the $125 and get somebody to be a babysitter of your gear and a gopher for the many needs that arise on set.

Our standard approach is this: We try to use a three-person crew. We send two people from our office and hire one person locally. The local person will usually show up with things like lights and grip gear (which are affordable to rent locally). Our crew shows up with audio and camera equipment, which we know works and we’re familiar with.

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Great Article on DSLR Video Revolution



  • Just read a great article over at Creative COW called DSLRs A Time Exposure by Robert Primes. It is a great look at why even Hollywood is in love with HDSLR cameras.
THE INCITING INCIDENT

At some point in the evolution of today's DSLR, digital replaced film, and low light level photography became astonishingly clear. We saw our world in a whole new way. And then a seemingly innocent event occurred that for some would be the beginning of a whole new style, and for others, would be another nail in the coffin of quality cinematography.

Rather than schlep a real movie camera or camcorder around with your still outfit, wouldn't it be convenient if you could just lock the mirror up and shoot motion synced to audio? Canon added the feature to their marvelous 5D Mark II still camera, almost as an afterthought.

Their normally astute marketers calculated that no more than 3 or 4 percent of users would ever use the feature -- perhaps a few wedding photographers and single-person reporting teams.

Read the whole article herehttp://magazine.creativecow.net/article/dslrs-a-time-exposure
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How Everyone Can Create Better Video



An Interview with me.

"Author and video expert Richard Harrington discusses his efforts to bring superior video techniques to the rest of us. Rich discusses getting it right from the ground up, from camera set-up to final production, why so many users want to use greenscreen, and why the tools you have on the desktop are more than adequate."
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Free Music for Video Projects

A nice source to find royalty free or public domain licensed music you might want to check out http://freemusicarchive.org/

"The Free Music Archive is an interactive library of high-quality, legal audio downloads. The Free Music Archive is directed by WFMU, the most renowned freeform radio station in America. Radio has always offered the public free access to new music. The Free Music Archive is a continuation of that purpose, designed for the age of the internet.
Every mp3 you discover on The Free Music Archive is pre-cleared for certain types of uses that would otherwise be prohibited by copyright laws that were not designed for the digital era. Are you a podcaster looking for pod-safe audio? A radio or video producer searching for instrumental bed music that won't put your audience to sleep? A remix artist looking for pre-cleared samples? Or are you simply looking for some new sounds to add to your next playlist? The Free Music Archive is a resource for all that and more, and unlike other websites, all of the audio has been hand-picked by established audio curators."
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Pre-Processing for Video-Sharing Sites

There are hundreds of websites that offer embeddable players based on Flash technology. For many, this is a key way to embed content on their website and share with others. In this case, you are using the hosting services of the video-sharing site as well as their embeddable players.

While many take a role the dice approach, we believe in pre-processing clips before we upload. By taking matters into your own hands, you can get better looking clips in the final player. You can also get around some of the file size limits that can impede the duration of the video.

Let's take a look at two of the most popular services, YouTube and Facebook. The techniques discussed however can be applied to many other sites as well.
Read More...
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On-Camera Interview Tips

  • Have talent/interviewee bring an alternate set of clothing.
  • Herringbone, stripes, or small patterns do not look good on camera.
  • Keep jewelry simple.
  • Do not allow interviewees to wear bright white. Cream, eggshell, or light gray are preferred.
  • Utilize a make-up artist. People give a better interview when they look good. Decision-makers favor approval copies when their people look professional.
  • Maintain eye contact throughout the interview.
  • “Edit in the Camera.” Encourage short answers and come back to topics again. Better to focus on good, tight answers, than trying to cobble together six takes to make your point.
  • Avoid enumeration or the phrase “Like I said before.” It is highly likely that you may use step three, without steps one and two. You also wouldn’t be asking the question again, if you were happy with what the answer was “before.”
  • Don’t be afraid to stop and start over. Do not let an answer ramble on. Smiles and nods encourage subjects that they are ‘on-target.’
  • Relax.



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blipt.tv Review


One of our favorite services has to be blip.tv. This robust site let’s you publish your video to many outlets (including nontraditional ones like TiVo and internet connected TVs). In fact the company claims that its network “reaches more than 80% of Americans on the Internet and a growing number of television households.”

We really like how flexible blip.tv is in that you can choose your distribution format. You have options to use Flash, MPEG-4, QuickTime, and more. Their player is also highly customizable and can be fully branded to your site or brand.

The service has both a free version and a paid version at $8 per month. The paid version offers priority encoding so your files are available in multiple formats. This is a great feature as it lets others re-syndicate your content using a player of their choice. The control panel for the site is very robust, and gives you complete control over targeting specific networks and social media sites.


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How we use Drobos at RHED Pixel

We've been using storage systems from Drobo in our shop for quite some time now. We've got the entire office wired so we can share HD video projects to any workstation. We've also been backing up files from our HD shoots with Drobo Pros. We've been quite happy with the arrangement and Drobo asked us to explain our workflow.

You can check it out here –
http://drobo.com/resources/vm_video-storage.php



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TubeMogul Review


The OneLoad service from TubeMogul (www.TubeMogul.com) offers both a robust free version (which allows for 100 videos per month) and a scaled paid service with advanced features for large publishers (priced at $50 per month and up). The principal benefit here is that it offers a single point for deploying videos to the top video and social networking sites.

You first set up accounts at any of the 30 sites supported by TubeMogul. You then upload a video to TubeMogul’s site and it is sent onto the other sites. This means you need to spend a little time setting things up, but once you’ve published more than two videos, this method is substantially faster. The site also offers detailed analytics (for supported sites), that can show real-time viewership, geographic tracking, stream quality and more.
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Now I Really Want a BMW



BMW introduces the next level of automotive consumer electronic device integration by supporting Apple's new iPod Out functionality. The new feature allows applications on Apple devices to be controlled and experienced with the iDrive interface concept.

Of course my kids would probably destroy it.... maybe they's loan me one.


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Steve Jobs Interview at D8 Conference



I've been waiting for this entire interview to go live. Here is the full, uncut interview with Steve Jobs at this year's D8 Conference. The interview is by Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg on the New York Times.

"The wide-ranging chat runs for more than 90 minutes, and covers everything from Jobs’ fraying relationship with Google (GOOG) to his stance on Adobe’s (ADBE) Flash, to his lack of interest in the TV market. And, of course, a lot of iPad talk. Enjoy."

Here's the link here – http://d8.allthingsd.com/20100607/steve-jobs-at-d8-the-full-uncut-interview/

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My Favorite New Geek Shirt



I just ordered this new shirt for my geek collection.... Couldn't resist. It spoke to my inner geek on two levels.

Fifteen dollars well spent –
http://shirt.woot.com/Friends.aspx?k=14223


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HTML5 Demo


Apple has released a new demo of what is possible with HTML 5. This is a very cool gallery of how the new technology can be employed.
Here's the top demos –
http://www.apple.com/html5/showcase/gallery/

Web developers can learn more here –
http://developer.apple.com/safaridemos/
In fact the developers page has 14 demos.... including a very cool movie trailer viewer and Photo Gallery.

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Keep up on the latest RHED Pixel news

My company often gets the chance to work on some pretty cool things.

If you'd like a new way to keep in touch, we have a Facebook page.

Head on over and check it out.

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Google announces Google TV

I'm all for more paths into the living room for content creators. But I can't help feel that we've already tried this a few times.



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Google Chrome Speed Tests

Google did some pretty cool speed tests with High Speed photography.



Check out the "making of video" to see how they did it.

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Check out Digital Photo Expereience



  • I was a recent guest on Digital Photo Experience Episode 11. Be sure to check out the show.
This is Episode number 11 of the Digital Photo Experience Podcast with Rick Sammon & Juan Pons.
We hope you enjoy the episode, and if you do, we would greatly appreciate it if you could give us a positive rating on iTunes. Hey, it only takes a minute!
To get the enhanced version of the podcast with images and chapter markers, subscribe to the podcast via iTunes here:
DPExperience Podcast on iTunes

Or listen directly here – http://dpexperience.com/2010/05/01/photoshop-world-part-ii-dpe-podcast-episode-11-may-1-2010/

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Create a Client Screener Disc



Check out this video to learn more about creating a screener disc for your clients. You can also visit the website www.peachpit.com/videomac in order to download sample files.

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I'm teaching Social Media in DC and NYC




I'll be teaching two workshops on social media for Future Media Concepts. These are targeted at business folks of all types who want to learn social media in a practical way.

Description: When used correctly, social media tools can help you reach potential customers and keep your current clients engaged and interested. In this informative session you'll learn practical advice that can be implemented immediately, such as:

  • Using Twitter to share your latest news & keep in touch with your best customers
  • How to set up a corporate page on Facebook to share video, photos, & info
  • Keeping your business leads up to date with LinkedIn
  • Creating enjoyable blog posts and content for your readers

The workshops are
March 9th in DC and March 10th in New York

Doors open at 5:30pm and the class starts runs 6-9pm
The cost is $199

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Startup Memories of Adobe Photoshop



In this documentary, the founders of Adobe Photoshop - John Knoll, Thomas Knoll, Russell Brown, and Steve Guttman - tell the story of how an amazing coincidence of circumstances, that came together at just the right time 20 years ago, spawned a cultural paradigm shift unparalleled in our lifetime.

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Google Takes on Social Networking

This is just a quick post.... I finally headed over to Google's site to check out Google Buzz – the Big G's take on social networking.
My quick thoughts –
  1. If you love Gmail.... you'll probably like it.
  2. It seems to want to put Facebook and Picassa front and center.
  3. I don't like that it tries to "help" you and automatically follows the people you email the most. Just because I email a client a lot does NOT mean I want to follow them (or them me). A lot of clients do socialize with me via Facebook, but that is a CHOICE. Do not make decisions for me.
  4. It imports Twitter.... I wonder how they feel about that? Wouldn't be surprised if they blocked it. Same thing with flickr (a Yahoo property).
  5. I love Facebook and Twitter... but they are VERY different. This seems to be trying to be "both and more." When is that a good thing?
  6. "Buzz recommends interesting posts and weeds out ones you're likely to skip." Uh-huh... just like those incredibly effective Google Ads you sere up when I do a search that have little to NOTHING to do with what I'm interested in?
  7. It seems to be Google Wave... take 2. Except Google Wave is still around. I got an invite... but only a few people I know use it. Unlike say Facebook.
So... here's the link – http://www.google.com/buzz
Me... I'm skeptical as hell.



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Create a Line Item Budget in iWork '09

This line says it best – "Budgets lead to money and money leads to exciting things"



Check out more shows from MacBreak –
http://www.youtube.com/user/macbreaksf

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Free Pass to NAB or $100 Off Conference. – Expires Febraury 19


It's almost time for NAB – The National Association of Broadcasters Conference. If you want a free NAB pass for show floor or to save $100 on any conference — then here's a great offer. Thanks to Creative Cow, visit http://tinyurl.com/nab10cow and enter code CC01 and save — good thru February 19.

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Using SlideShare.net

Are you looking for an easy way to share presentations online? Then check out SlideShare.net. With it you can embed slideshows into your own blog or website. You can also sync audio to your slides and make shows public or private.

Here's how:
  1. Uploading Your Presentation – It can be a PowerPoint, OpenOffice, Keynote, or PDF file. Your presentation file should not be password protected and be sure to remove any macros. Not all fonts supported (but you can convert to PDF). Be sure the file is less than 100MB.
  2. Converting Your Presentation – The second step is converting the file to SlideShare’s sharing format. Once uploaded, the file is placed in the conversion queue (this might take a while). You can leave the page and come back later... If there was an error you will need to go to the
    “My Slidespace/Edit All” to find the files that were not successfully converted.
  3. Creating a Slidecast– Slidecasting is a multimedia format from SlideShare. Any slide deck can be synced with an audio file.
  4. Put it all Together – Use the synchronization tools to mix audio and slides.
  5. Publish the presentation.

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Media Placeholder in Apple Pages

Richard Harrington shows Alex Lindsay how to streamline document updates with a customized media placeholder in Pages '09.

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New Social Media Class in DC and NYC


Here's a new class I am teaching in New York and Washington, DC. I promise to cram in lots of practical advice to get results.

Social Media for Business Professionals
Washington, DC: Tuesday, March 9th, 2010 – Register
New York: Thursday, March 11th, 2010 – Register
Time: 6-9pm
Cost: $199

When used correctly, social media tools can help you reach potential customers and keep your current clients engaged and interested. In this informative session you'll learn practical advice that can be implemented immediately. Such as: - How to use Twitter to share your latest news and keep in touch with your best customers - Learning how to set up a corporate page on Facebook to share video, photos, and information - Keeping your business leads up to date with LinkedIn - Creating enjoyable blog posts and content for your readers Target audience: This class is for business professionals looking to increase business opportunities through social media tools. The workshop focusses on practical ways to establish a social media presence that is both effective and maintainable.


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Using Mail Merge in iWork '09

We've got another episode of MacBreak Work! Rich Harrington shows Alex how to use Mail Merge in iWork '09. This is a great way to create several customized documents from a database.

Here are links to get the free episode.

http://www.pixelcorps.tv/macbreak_work018

http://www.youtube.com/user/macbreaksf

http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=308761591

Direct Download





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Aligning items in Keynote '09

MacBreak Work is back! In this new episode we cover how to align items in a presentation. You'll also learn cool new transitions in Keynote ‘09.

Here are links to get the free episode.

http://www.pixelcorps.tv/macbreak_work017

http://www.youtube.com/user/macbreaksf

http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=308761591



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Editors Retreat This Week

I head to the Editors Retreat event in Miami tomorrow (this is my sixth time going - it's that good). Lots of great networking and training events for all. I'll have some resources (and hopefully one of my sessions posted this week). Hope to see some of you at the event.

An intensive, interactive environment for TV, video and film editors that fosters creativity and the exchange of ideas at the highest level.

  • Four Days of Sessions in Multiple Tracks.
  • Award-Winning Keynote Speakers.
  • Daily Social Networking with Experts.
  • Numerous Prizes.
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We Got That B-Roll

This is a funny video (thanks to John Nack for pointing it out). For those not in the know, b-roll is typically stock footage that helps illustrate what a video project is about. It covers up the A-roll (or talking head and narration parts). For those in the video industry, you'll love the "That's not B-roll" line.





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What is Google Chrome OS?

This looks to be something worth keeping an eye on. Google reveals more about their new Operating System.



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The Economics of Music


"Of the new titles released last year, almost 99 percent of them didn't sell enough copies to let their creators earn a living from CD sales, and almost 95 percent of them didn't sell enough copies to cover the most basic expenses involved in their recording."

Depressing.....

Check out the article Selling CDs is no way to make a living.



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New Documentary on PowerPoint in Production

I was interviewed for this documentary. I'm looking forward to seeing it. http://www.galloway.tv/reppt/

"Release Date: March 15, 2010 on Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, & Comcast VOD

Distribution: Method Content LLC

Director’s Comment: I’ve done nearly 200 speeches in the last 3 years, and in every one, clients insisted I include a PowerPoint presentation. My film “Why Walmart Works” was about the scale and influence of Walmart, and I became fascinated with the scale of PowerPoint, which has an estimated 400 million users worldwide.

The documentary “Regarding Powerpoint” traces the origin of the program and its subsequent development. We’ll look at who uses the program for what purposes. The film will also address PowerPoint’s effect of cognitive development and syntax structure, i.e., is society beginning to think in outlines and bullet points, as opposed to to paragraphs? Does anybody give a speech without slides anymore? Will audiences listen to one?

Much as Walmart dominates physical distribution of goods, PowerPoint has come to dominate business expression and presentation. “Regarding Powerpoint” will attempt to put the program’s influence on business, education, and thinking into meaningful context."
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Budgeting with Apple Numbers

For a quick overview on creating video budgets with Apple Numbers, be sure to watch this informative video. You can also visit the website www.peachpit.com/videomac in order to download the budget template.

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Great Presentation on Social Media

The title may be a little crass... but the presentation is spot on.



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MommyCast on front Page


A show that is produced in my studios, MommyCast, is one the fron page of iTunes. A big congrats to the team behind the show. The featured episode is on the swine flu outbreak and is worth checking out for important information on staying healthy.

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I am Officially on Twitter


I am officially on Twitter...
you can follow if you'd like: 1. Random thoughts. 2. Cool links from Smart Friends 3. Breaking News. If my babbling doesn't bore you... http://twitter.com/rhedpixel
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How to Keep Your Body Happy When Chained to a Computer

This article was originally written for inclusion in the first edition of Photoshop for Video. I present it here as I think the information is important (despite the publisher cutting it).


by Dave A. Anselmi
You all know the feeling—that annoying “nag” in your wrists, that stinging or “tingling” feeling down your forearms, perhaps that aching pain in your shoulders and neck. At first it was a minor annoyance… and now, sometimes you find yourself “rushing” your edits, or perhaps even not editing at all, because of the pain.

You’re not alone. As more and more people become “knowledge workers”, doctors and therapists are seeing more and more cases of Computer-Related Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSI), or colloquially, “Carpal Tunnel Syndrome” (CTS). And Non-Linear Editors are especially susceptible, what with their long hours sitting in the dark, ‘hunched’ over a keyboard, moving the mouse back and forth.
Read More...
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The Case for Ergonomics


Here I’ve gone and given you all sorts of things to try with your computer. I would feel guilty if I didn’t bring up ergonomics. The goal behind ergonomics is to design the work to best fit the worker. Highly repetitive tasks are prone cause physical problems. The goal is to prevent back injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, and other musculoskeletal disorders.

How serious is the problem? Very. According to the U.S. department of Labor, approximately one-third of all occupational injuries are directly tied to over-exertion and repetitive motion. These injuries
cost employers over $20 billion in worker compensation each year.

Read More...
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Bringing Video to the Masses

Live from the Voices That Matter conference, San Francisco, author Richard Harrington discusses the factors that have caused online video consumption to grow exponentially over the past few years.



Live from the Voices That Matter conference, author Richard Harrington reveals what’s next beyond YouTube and why offering consumers the ability to download your content is imperative. He also talks about Facebook’s platform, video user statistics, demographics, what constitutes an optimal distribution plan for publishers, and why “video is the new photography.”

Comments

Apple iWork 09 Book Trailer

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Stan Winston, Rest In Peace



I’m surprised that more people haven’t talked about this… I am on vacation on a mountain-top (hence a little removed from civilization). I was flipping through the paper and saw this:
Visual Effects Master Stan Winston, 62.

Turns out one of the greatest visual FX and animators in the world passed away on June 15.
I suspect most of you know his name and work. Some of the accomplishments include:

Terminator 2 & 3
Interview with the Vampire
Edward Scissorhands
Iron Man
Jurassic Park
Predator
Aliens
Batman Returns

Be sure to see the history timeline on his site.

You can find a nice overview of him here.

Truly an amazing life and Many of us owe a lot to what her accomplished.

His son, Matt Winston, said his father was in many ways “a big kid” with cool toys who enjoyed what he did and would say, “Just have fun, and success will come.”

Good advice for us all.
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Searchable Video with Creative Suite 4

Adobe has a great new technology that makes video searchable. I’ve written a detailed tutorial available at ProVideoCoalition.com.


“With the proliferation of video on the Web, access to information is getting easier to find and understand (for most).  The challenge is twofold: first is getting people to find and search your video for the right information and second is if the individual has an auditory impairment, so much information is only available in the audio track.  This is why there has been such a big push to make video searchable online and more accessible. In this article you’ll use Adobe’s tool set to set up your video content for both goals.”

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New Media for New Government Podcast

Two weeks ago, I told you about our new group on Facebook for those interested in New Media. Many of you asked us to post the training videos to iTunes. We did.

You’ll also find 6 hours of
free video training to check out on their site. I’m one of the organizers of the group and I hope you can share this info with others. The group is free... the video is free... knowldge is free... let’s make a difference.

Here are the six videos you can watch (in HD even).
  • New Media Boot Camp slides
  • Facebook 101– Why all the Buzz? slides
  • Podcasting and Government slides
  • Blogging to Reach an Audience – Does Anyone Care What You Have to Say slides
  • It’s all About Mobility – Reaching Audiences on the Go slides
  • Producing Video for the Web – Best Practices for Big Results slides

Enjoy.




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Handouts from Boston Authors Video Workshops

I recently spoke at the Authors Video Workshops in Boston. The event was sponsored by the BOSFCPUG & Focal Press. Over two days, I spoke on three topics I am passionate about: Photoshop, Final Cut, and web video.

Here are some of the promised resources.

Photoshop For Video

Professional Color Correction in Final Cut Pro

Producing Video Podcasts and Web Video

Enjoy... reviews on Amazon and iTunes always appreciated.


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The Future in Motion, A History of Tomorrow's Interfaces

Check this out... a colleague of mine speaking on a cool topic.



Watch Future in Motion, A History of Tomorrow's Interfaces, Mason Dixon, MGFest  |  View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com
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A Change in the Market – Apple Releases HD Movies for Sale



Seems like times are changing... Apple (and more importantly, movie studios) have decided to start offering high-definition movie sales and rentals through the iTunes Store. This is yet another sign that consumers want digital downloads (and are willing to pay a fair price). Let’s hope more studios come on board.

Starting today, movie fans can purchase box office blockbusters for download in HD for $19.99 from iTunes, and films will be available as iTunes Movie Rentals in HD for $4.99 within 30 days after release. Customers can enjoy these films in HD on their Mac or PC and on their widescreen TV with Apple TV, as well as in standard definition on their iPhone or iPod with video.

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New Podcast on iWork

I recently had a chance to shoot a bunch of podcasts with Alex Lindsay and the great folks at Pixel Corps.

“Learn how to get the most out of your mac at Work! From iWork to communication to databases to networking hardware – MacBreak Work will help you MACsimize your productivity!”

Be sure to check out the new show, MacBreak Work.

You can view it on the
web or subscribe for free in iTunes.

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Podcasting is NOT Dead

I just need to rant for a second... I am sick and tired of people claiming that podcasting is dead. The truth is that it is far from it. While the names and flavors may change, podcasting is alive and well. Here’s what I have spent the past week doing.

I spoke in New York City for 3 days at the
NY Post Conference. I was joined by great podcasters like Paul Vogelzang of MommyCast, Dusty Wright and Richard Burns from Culture Catch, and Alexandra Gebhardt from Inside Mac. We had healthy crowds with great questions. There were also big companies there, like TiVo and HP, as well as representation from several universities. I also had some great meetings with Apple and mDialog... two great companies with cool things coming.

Read More...
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Double Your iPhone Battery

I know some of you hate iPhone posts (sorry)....

But here’s something I just had to gush about.... The
mophie Juice Pack iPhone battery is shipping. I had the original battery pack, but with the new form-factor for the 3G phones, I had to upgrade. Here’s the specs:

  • Standby Time – Up to 350 hours
  • Talk Time – 6 additional hours on 3G | 12 hours on 2G
  • Internet Use – 6 additional hours on 3G | 7 hours on Wi-Fi
  • Audio Playback – 28 additional hours
  • Video Playback – 8 additional hours

This device is absolutely
awesome and lets me get through a long day of business.



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Adding Captions to Flash Video

Looking to make your web video more accessible? Then be sure to check out this great article on adding open captions to Flash video. If you are doing video work for the government, then this is often an absolute must.

“The really great thing about this feature, from our perspective as designers and developers, is how simple it is to accomplish and manage. If the timing is out or a caption is wrong, you simply change a few words or numbers in the XML file.”


This tutorial makes it really easy and I suggest you check it out.



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Two Great Tools for Blogs

Just a quick post.... there are two pieces of tech I’ve been using on my blogs (both are free).

Lijit adds a great search engine to your site. You can create your own search network including multiple blogs, facebook, youtube, linkedin, flickr, and more. This is really useful.

Widgetbox lets you turn your RSS feed into a blog widget that can be posted to numerous social sites. Very clean and will help extend your reach.

Be sure to try both out....



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More Than One Billion Users Will View Online Video in 2013

Recently came across a new article about the growth in online video viewership. Be sure to check out what ABI Research has to say...

“Sparked by increasing broadband penetration and rising connection speeds available to a growing percentage of the world’s population, over-the-top video has seen phenomenal growth in very recent years. A new study from ABI Research forecasts the number of viewers who access video via the Web to nearly quadruple in the next few years, reaching at least one billion in 2013.
 
“The rapid expansion of broadband video creates opportunities across a number of market sectors,” comments senior analyst Cesar Bachelet. “A wide variety of actors aim to gain a share of this fast-growing market: not only content owners such as the BBC and NBC Universal, and Internet portals such as AOL and Yahoo!, but also a range of new entrants including user-generated content sites such as YouTube and Dailymotion, broadband video sites such as CinemaNow and Lovefilm, and Internet TV providers such as Apple and Zattoo.”

See the full article...
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New Site to Find Out All About Us

To make things easier, we’ve put together a new website for RHED Pixel Productions. Here you can find out information about all our podcasts, books, DVDs, and websites.

Feel free to take a quick browse and try out some of our new resources. I hope you enjoy!


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New HD Survival Handbook Has Great Advice

I just got my hands on a new hnadbook for HD written by Philip Hodgetts of Intelligent Assistance. Philip is a great guru and has helped me out of several jams in the past. This new book is a 212 page PDF that is reasonably priced at $15.95.

“The HD Survival Handbook was written to answer the myriad of questions that arise when a video professional moves from working in the Standard Definition world up to the more complex world of High Definition.

From essential background information a video professional is expected to know, to summaries of the latest gear that would take you hours of research on the web, this handbook has it covered. The HD workflows area will help you avoid the pitfalls that have trapped so many others and be ready to meet your customers' demand for HD.”

The book works with all NLEs, but has deeper coverage of Final Cut Studio. What’s also cool is that you can buy just the sections you need. Philip sells the Production, Post Production, and Distribution chapters as separate downloads.

Here are two sample pages:
Here are the table of contents for each section:
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MommyCast Interview


We had Gretchen Vogelzang from MommyCast speak at the DC Podcaster Alliance Meetup. She gave a great talk on how to attract an audience. The meeting audio is here (she starts about 30 minutes into the recording). Download the files Meeting audio for Sat., 8-9-08, Part 1 and Meeting audio for Sat., 8-9-08, Part 2. You can download the audio recording here for free. Some really good ideas, be sure to check it out.
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Making Great Titles for your Next Video (Part 1)

You’re nearly finished with your video. You’ve picked the perfect music, gotten the editing done just right, and now its time to give credit where it’s due. No, there’s no need to tell your mom how much you love her (at least not in your video). But you do need to identify all those talking heads in your show. After all, it’s important to let your audience know who’s talking and why they should care.

Proper use of titles and lower-third graphics help your audience follow the action. They establish the credibility of your on-camera interviews. If you apply a few simple ‘rules’ they can even improve the quality of your entire piece and add to the overall style. Don’t freak out when I say rules; rather think of this as experienced advice. Choose to follow whatever makes sense for your show.

To build titles and lower-thirds, I recommend Adobe Photoshop. While there are several other tools out there, none have as big a user base or as many options. Think of Photoshop as a flexible friend, it’s great at getting you out of tight jams and creative bottlenecks. All of these tips will work with Photoshop 5.5 or newer (and most are timeless, working with all versions).


#1 – Build It Right


You have to get things started, might as well do it right. The first step to make great looking titles is to build them the right size. If your graphics get formatted incorrectly, they will have to be resized by your video software. This usually results in shakes, jitters, and strobing (while this may make for a good Saturday night, you won’t want this in your show).

The right size for graphics is a popular arguing point amongst video pros. The issue is that Photoshop 7 and earlier has used square pixels, which is the standard for computer graphics. The problem is that most video sources use a D1/DV pixel, which is rectangular in shape, or non-square. Don’t worry, short-term problem.

To make things easier, Photoshop 7 (and newer) has built-in templates. Use them. The sizes Adobe recommends work just fine and I have never had any problems with these dimensions.


#2 – Make a template




  1. Have an empty document open sized for your editing system (see above).
  2. Create a new (empty) layer, and name it Safe Title Area.
  3. Select All by pressing Cmd+A (Ctrl+A).
  4. Scale the active selection to 80% by choosing Select>Transform Selection, and then typing in 80% in the Options bar for width and height. Press Return (Enter).
  5. Load red as the foreground color. Then choose Edit>Stroke and specify four pixels centered. This is the title safe area.
  6. Lock the Safe Area Overlay layer by clicking on the Lock icon in the layer’s palette.
  7. Save your work.

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Making Great Titles for your Next Video (Part 2)

This is part 2 in a series on making great-looking lower thirds with Photoshop.

#3 – Pick a cool font


Now that we’ve got most of the technical junk out of the way, let’s have some fun. Other than music, nothing says more about the character of your show than the fonts you use. Be sure to allow enough time (and possibly $$$) to pick a cool font. There are several options to consider when picking a font.
  • SERIF vs SANS-SERIF: Serifs are the little hooks on type. Serifed type (think Times) uses thick and thin strokes. Sans-Serif (think Helvetica) uses even-weighted strokes. Sans Serif usually reads better for video. If using serifed fonts, look for a bold or black version and avoid lines thinner that 3-pixels.
  • Style: Write 10 – 20 words down that describe your video. Get input from your client too. Use these words for guidance when looking at fonts.
  • Free or Paid: Free fonts (and overly cheap) fonts often have partial character sets. This may be an issue if you need special symbols (such as & ™ © or • ). You get what you pay for, but don’t worry, several independent font foundries sell great fonts for less than $25 per font.
  • Keep it in the Family: Some fonts belong to families (regular, bold, black, italic, etc). This is useful as you can use one font family and mix styles. This leads to a consistent design in your titles. If you want to mix fonts NEVER use more then two fonts in a title graphic.
  • Format: Many fonts come in different formats. Macs have historically used Postscript while PCs have used TrueType. Macintosh OSX can now read many “PC” true type fonts with no problem. A new format OpenType is also starting to pop up for sale.
  • Kerning: Some professional fonts have had the spacing between characters carefully tweaked. This balanciong is called pair kerning. If your type appears improperly balanced you will need to kern it. Move between characters using the left and right arrows. Hold down the Option key (Alt key) and press the left and right arrows to tighten or loosen pair-kerning.
Some places to look for unique (and often free) fonts:
http://www.chank.com
http://www.acidfonts.com
http://www.fontalicious.com
http://www.fontlab.com
http://www.apollo26.com
http://www.girlswhowearglasses.com/fonts.html


#4 – Use good color


Can you match your own clothes in the morning? When you walk through a room do people point? By now you’ve likely figured out a few color basics (or have strategies that work). Here are a few more tips.
  • Avoid highly saturated colors. Bright reds and yellows will cause problems in video.
  • Use contrasting colors; if you were to use a color wheel, these would be colors opposite each other. If you want to use three colors, draw a triangle on the color wheel. Digital Anarchy sells a great product called ColorTheory that makes it easy to pick color combinations for two or more colors.
  • Pick up the Pantone book on color trends. This book offers interesting color combinations that always seem to end up the latest fashion.
  • Mix light and dark colors to maintain contrast. Dark on dark and light on light are VERY hard to read.
  • Use a contrasting edge on your type (such as a shadow or glow). This will improve readability.

#5 – Make it layered


If all you ever do is draw a box and put some words on it, you’re so retro that it’s not even cool. Video graphics these days use multiple layers and transparency to achieve good looks. I can go on for hundreds pages on layering techniques (see Photoshop for Nonlinear Editors, part of the DV Expert Series). Here’s some down & dirty tricks to take you to a higher level.
  • Use photos of textures in your bars. I often take pictures of light, reflections, lighting, water waves, etc. and mix these in with my graphics to add a natural depth. Simply place the texture above your bar and press Cmd + G (Ctrl + G) to group it. The texture is now applied just to the bar area below.
  • Use blending modes to achieve better looks. This is perhaps Photoshop’s coolest feature. While you can pick them from a list in the layer’s palette, I find it easier just to experiment. Highlight the layer you want to blend, pick the move tool (V), then press Shift + + or Shift + - to cycle through blend modes. Experiment, have fun, trust me it works!
  • Use layer masks to blend layers together. Use black and white gradients on your layer masks to create smooth transitions in mixing layers.
  • Fill an empty layer above your bar with a solid color or gradient. Tint your bar by setting this layer to the Color or Hue blending mode.
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The Most Important Piece of Paperwork for Your Projects

I often preach extensively about project management at design and creative conferences around the globe. The one piece of paperwork that I always emphasize is completing a scoping document for a project then getting the client to sign off and accept it. This one piece of papaerwork can solve all sorts of problems and is really worth the 2-5 hours it takes to write. The outline is as follows.

Project Scoping Document

( 2 - 1 0 p a g e s )
  • Project Name
  • Executive Summary
  • Background
  • Project Scope (High Level)
  • Project Objectives
  • Deliverables
  • Organizations
  • Interfaces Required
  • Assumptions
  • Constraints
  • Evaluation Criteria
  • Risks
  • Rewards
  • Budgets
  • Schedules (Due Dates)
  • Project Team Readiness
  • Key Roles
  • Executive Sponsor
  • Project Manager
  • Business Experts
  • Technical Experts
  • Signature Lines - Sign Off “Charter”
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Great News for Adobe Media Player 1.1

Want to know more about the updated Adobe Media Player? Head over the Deeje Cooley’s blog for the straight info from Adobe.

There’s a lot of great things happening here for content creators.



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Collaborative Note Taker for Mac

SubEthaEdit - $35 [Mac] http://www.codingmonkeys.de
Having creative sessions and want to keep notes? This application is the perfect note taker. It allows you to collaborate on one open document across your network. It’s also rendezvous enabled so it’s easy for other Mac users to join in. Nice features such as color-coding for each user as well as time stamping make this a flexible tool.

If you need some groupthink without the use of a projector... then this is a perfect tool.
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Create a Form Letter with Apple Pages


Oftentimes you’ll need to create a form letter to send to multiple clients (such as an address change or a promotional letter). If you’d like to personalize these letters, Apple Pages makes it easy to insert data you’ve defined for contacts in Address Book. This can save you time because you can reuse a letter, envelope, or other document for multiple people. This feature is generally called a mail merge.
Read More...
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14 Questions to Ask Before Building a Website

I don’t live in the world of website creation every day... but I’ve been putting up sites since the launch of Mosaic back with PageMill 1.0. I may be a little slow.. but here’s fourteen questions I recommend getting answers to before you build a site (feel free to comment and I’ll expand the list).

Project Planning Sheet – Website


Objectives

1) What main points do you wish to make with your website? (No more than five)
2) Who is the audience? (Please be specific)
3) What is the market’s current attitude toward your company?
4) What objections to potential customers have to your company?
5) What do you want the consumer to think after they see your website?
6) What do you want the consumer to feel after they see your website?
7) What do you want want the consumer to do after they see your website?
8) What Five adjectives describe the look and feel of your future website?
9) Are there any special features or design ideas you have about your website?

Administrative

10) Who will be involved with creating the content of the website?
11) Who has final website approval?
12) What are your deadlines?
13) Is your domain registered? If so, what is the URL and where is it registered?
14) Have you selected a web hosting company?

NOTE: Please send any relevant documents or promotional material that will affect the content of your website


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Bill Mandates Captioning for Podcasts

A new bill has been introduced into congress that would target accessibility of web video. The "21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2008" (H.R. 6320) covers about a dozen areas. The proposed law has Internet video captioning requirements.

Eighteen months after its enactment, the Federal Communications Commission must set up regulations and deadlines for "an appropriate schedule of deadlines for the provision of closed captioning of video programming distributed to the public over the Internet."

Three kinds of video would be affected:
  • Material that has already been captioned for TV viewing
  • Live programming
  • Video that is "generally considered to be comparable to programming provided by multichannel programming distributors."
It is point three that is sticky. A whole lot of podcasts fall into this category. Closed captioning and transcriptions cost.... many podcasters see little if any profit from their shows. Always nice when congress sticks its nose in the Internet.

How about instead of sending money to worthless causes... they actualy fund this requirement.



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Advertisers Begin To Target Podcasts

A great article about podcasters and advertisers....
I’ve often scratched my head how I can gather 2 million people each month... but advertisrs still go with magazines that deliver less than 25% of that. This article from Investor’s Business Daily is an important read. It also features a colleague of mine... Scott Bourne.

Lend Me Your Ears: Advertisers Begin To Target Podcasts
Podcast audiences have branched out far beyond just geeks. And advertisers are starting to like them, too.
After having placed ads with Web sites and search engines, more advertisers are starting to spread their ad dollars to audio and video podcasts in an attempt to reach certain consumers.

Read the rest.



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Episodic Viewing of Podcasts

Deeje Cooley from Adobe shares some interesting thoughts about episodic viewing of podcasts. Don't miss this great post on what's possible with the new Adobe Media Player.

“There is a better way. More and more, TV shows are being (re)distributed as RSS feeds, which allows for a completely "on-demand" experience. What's more, the coolest feature of Adobe Media Player, called "Storyline Subscriptions", takes advantage of the reverse chronological order inherent in RSS to deliver every episode of a show, in order, from the beginning, at a pace determined by each individual viewer.


Most video RSS aggregators will pull the most recent episodes of a show, which is great for news and magazine-style shows. But for story-based shows, viewers really want to start from the beginning, in order to follow the story arcs and character developments. When you subscribe to a show in Adobe Media Player, you can choose to either pull the N most recent episodes, or choose to pull N episodes starting with a specific episode, usually the first one. And of course you can change these settings, on a per-show basis, at any time.”
Be sure to check it out.


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Adobe Media Player Article Gets Longer Legs

The fine folks over at Layers Magazine have also published the article: Does the World Need Another Media Player? This time its had the benefit of being scrubbed by an editor (not just spell-checker). You can read it here: http://www.layersmagazine.com/column_adobe_mediaplayer1.html.

A few folks have commented on the length of the article... here’s the Spark Notes version:
  • Flash Video is getting really popular
  • The Adobe Media Player will be easier for corporations, schools, and government to use due to Adobe's greater acceptance over Apple (and especially iTunes).
  • The media player supports several models that are attractive to content creators
  • The media player supports very rich statistics on media consumption
  • The application is going to move onto all sorts of devices and platforms in the near future.
  • If you are a podcaster... I predict the Adobe Media Player will have as great of an impact as iTunes did on podcast consumption.

The article is long... but worth the read... I promise.




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Resources from Adobe E-Seminar


I taught an Adobe E-Seminar yesterday called "Creating a Graphic Identity for your Web Video and Dynamic Media." The class itself will be posted next week. Here are a few resources I identified during the class.

1.
Two motion graphics projects.
2.
Advice on rendering in After Effects.
3.
Resource Slides
4.
Photoshop for Video Podcast (free)
5.
Producing Video Podcasts show (free)

The two books mentioned are
Producing Video Podcasts and Photoshop for Video.



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Adobe Demos Future Technology at NAB

Following up on my "Really Cool Adobe Announcements" post...

Adobe has actually posted their "secret" presentation from NAB. Hart Shafer talks about four cool things Adobe has up their sleeve.



You
SO need to watch this... trust me. BTW (for those of you waiting... they did show OnLocation for Mac in this demo).



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Time to Comment on Advertising and Measurement Standards

The Association for Downloadable Media just unveiled Advertisement Unit Standards and Download Measurement Guidelines. They'd like public comments on both. They encourage public comments in order to refine and enhance the documentation. The public comment period will end on May 16, 2008. You can download and comment on the draft standards for advertising and measurement here. The open comment period will conclude May 16, 2008.



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Final Cut Server World Tour


Apple has launched a road tour in support of Final Cut Server. I got a chance to look at this at NAB and I must say it is impressive.
The tour is going to hit several cities:

Hollywood – May 13 | New York – May 22 | Chicago – May 28
Korea – May 28 | Washington, D.C. – June 3 | Beijing – June 3
Mumbai – June 11 | Seattle – June 17 | Sydney – June 18
Singapore – June 18 | Hong Kong – June 24 | San Francisco – June 26
Taiwan – June 27 | Atlanta – July 2 | Dallas – July 8

“Beginning in May, Apple takes Final Cut Studio 2 and Final Cut Server — Apple’s new media asset management and workflow automation software — on tour around the world. Attend a free, in-depth seminar that features workflows used by some of the industry’s leading film and video production companies. Apple experts will give step-by-step demonstrations that reveal how each of these customers used Final Cut Studio 2 and Final Cut Server to achieve exceptional results.”

Find out more or register
here.



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Get the Adobe Media Player Now!

This is an excerpt from an article to be released in full later this week:

Adobe released the Adobe Media Player software on April 9, which allows a customizable, cross-platform media player experience. Built using as an Adobe Air application, the media player harnessed the power of Flash to create a rich media experience. To complete the experience, Adobe adds support for both RSS feeds and H.264 video, two of the open standards used by the podcasting movement.

What does this all mean? I had a chance to sit down with Deeje Cooley, who serves as the evangelist for Adobe’s Dynamic Media Organization (and formerly as the product manager for the Adobe Media Player). Cooley was tasked with bringing the product to market and he shared insight into Adobe’s motivation for the product and goals for its role in the market. Unlike competing products, the Adobe Media Player has chosen to focus on being a video-only player.

“The growth of video online, the dramatic growth of flash as the video delivery mechanism of choice… there was a ripe opportunity to take advantage of all these events around the industry,” said Cooley. “We started to build an RSS aggregator and quickly recognized that video was going to be a significant media online and so it became a video RSS aggregator. And so that’s really the birth of the Adobe Media Player.”



The Adobe Media Player is immediately available as a free download for Windows and Macintosh platforms from http://www.adobe.com/go/mp.


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New Podcasting Book About to Ship

My podcasting book is now off the presses and on its way to stores.

Here's Chapter 1

The initial reviews are in:

"This guide is full of solid information from people who know online video and are in the trenches doing it. It's a must read for anyone who wants to produce professional video podcasts." – Jason Van Orden, podcasting consultant and author of Promoting Your Podcast

"Required reading.Starting with a clear analysis of the nature and business of podcasting it covers the essentials of production and finishes with the all-important topics of delivery, RSS feeds, publishing, and hosting." – Tom Wolsky, vp editorial, National Podcasting System, www.nationalpod.com

"WOW, the accumulated knowledge from 1000s of hours of planning, production, post and delivery essentials delivered in a simple, concise fashiona professional resource manual that needs to be a part of every video production library" –. Gary Adcock, digital artist and technology trainer

"Not just a book about Podcasting, but a full primer on professional audio and video production and digital publishing that is lavishly illustrated and full of practical tips." – Philip Hodgetts, president and ceo, Open Television Network openTVnetwork.com

You can order the book here.


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Washington Business Journal Article on Podcasting

If you think podcasting is just for kids, you might be missing the next big thing
Richard Harrington looks out on the small crowd of businesspeople sitting on red plastic chairs in RHED Pixel's Falls Church studios. Dressed in black, topped by a subtle black-and-white pinstriped velvet blazer and hoop earrings, he is the epitome of geek chic.

The audience has come to hear Harrington talk podcasting. These folks already are convinced there is something to podcasting, but they are trying to determine if it can help their businesses.”


Read the full article for free at their website.


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Blu-ray Wins?

Digital Media Wire has a very interesting article about the fate of HD-DVD. Seems Wal-Mart had dropped HD DVD (along with Best Buy and Netflix).
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Toshiba "is expected to pull the plug on its HD DVD format in the coming weeks." THR noted, however, that Toshiba says no official decision has been made. "Given the market developments in the past month, Toshiba will continue to study the market impact and the value proposition for consumers, particularly in light of our recent price reductions on all HD DVD players," Jodi Sally, VP of marketing for Toshiba America Consumer Products, told THR. Toshiba had hoped that slashing the prices on its HD DVD players last month would help bolster sales, but subsequent sales data from NPD showed that Blu-ray maintained its wide sales lead despite the move.  



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GridIron Flow Demo Movie

I saw this very cool product at Macworld Expo called Flow. It is a revolutionary workflow management technology designed to work with Adobe and Apple software. The product took Best of Show (and for good reason). You can see it in action in a video demo on their site. 

"Flow is a revolutionary approach to digital content management that dramatically simplifies the design process for creative professionals working on graphic design, web and video projects. Flow automatically tracks your work from idea to end result and manages your assets and applications for your most complex projects- all without changing the way you work."

Flow isn't shipping for a while, but GridIron is accepting
sign-ups for beta testing.



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An International Survey on Podcasting

This international survey has a lot of information on podcasting. The survey size is a little small, so the numbers are skewed a bit... but it is still a good read. You can download some of the statistics at: http://podcastersurvey.com/ipcs07.pdf. Some of the interesting findings include:
  • Podfading seems to be a minor problem at the moment
  • The European podosphere is commercially less ambitious
  • Podcasting is not only attracting "techies"
  • Podcasting is about identity and relationship management
  • Most are interested in sharing information and expressing of opinions


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Prediction: 40% of Video Online by 2012



The Silicon Valley Insider has an interesting post about video distribution online. Many in Hollywood predict that within four years 40% of all video consumption would occur outside of the television set. That's according to a poll of nearly 300 media execs by Jack Myers and video tracking firm Teletrax. The short article has some interesting insight into how the "big guys" see things.

Read the full article here.





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Interviewer Tips

Becoming a good interviewer is an acquired skill that takes training and practice. For the less experienced, here are a few helpful pointers.
  • “Edit in the Camera.” Encourage short answers and come back to topics again. Better to focus on good, tight answers than trying to cobble together six takes to make your point.
  • Avoid enumeration or the phrase “Like I said before.” It is highly likely that you will use only part of the answer (such as step three, without steps one and two).
  • Ask leading, open-ended questions… being sure to ask a single question only.
  • Don’t be afraid to stop and start over. Do not let an answer ramble on. Smiles and nods encourage subjects that they are ‘on-target’ and can stop trying to talk themselves out of a corner.



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European Radio Conference

I recently had the pleasure of speaking at the 2007 European Radio Conference presented by the National Association of Broadcasters. The event was held in Barcelona, Spain and was a lot of fun. I presented two sessions and a panel along with the talented David Lawrence. For those who intended (and other interested parties) you can download the notes here.

Podcast Compression Techniques

Beyond Audio – Using Enhanced Audio and Video in your Podcast Feed




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Great Piece of Freeware for Producers/Directors/DPs

If you need to put together a storyboard, you have lots of options. But the process of laying out the pages and dealing with changes to shot order or selection can get tedious. Fortunately there is a free solution called Directors Boards which alleviates most of the challenges (no, it won't draw for you).

This great program is based on Filemaker, but doesn't need you to have the full program installed in order to run. You essentially load in information regarding the shots including the audio and video columns, shot number, and a thumbnail image. Directors Boards then allows you to organize the shots as well as create a sldieshow presentation or print out professional looking storyboards. The product is cross-platform and free... what more do you need? Well there is a more robust version called Directors Notebook, which we are putting through its paces and will have a detailed review soon.



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New Podcast Series on Microsoft Emerging Technology

My company recently produced a new podcast series called OnMicrosoft (and yes, its about Microsoft). Here's the official blurb.


OnMicrosoft—Each week, we will talk to some of the IT Pro and Developer community's leading experts about a wide range of programming, systems, and software issues. Our interviews include talks with Microsoft’s Program Manager on the .NET Framework- Brad Abrams, Connected Systems Division Architect at Microsoft- Chris Anderson, Wintellect Co-Founder- Jeff Prosise, and Group Product Manager at Microsoft- Brian Goldfarb. With discussions on topics including ASP.NET AJAX, Silverlight, PowerShell WPF, Orcas and SharePoint, we have something for professionals working in every part of the industry.

You can check it out in iTunes by clicking here –
Video Feed or Audio Feed.


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Apple Recognized for Good (Architectural) Design


Just saw this cool blurb over at MacRumors (it’s a rumor/news site). The American Institute of Architects named two Apple retail stores to its list of the 150 best works of architecture. You can view the entire list here, which is also a great chance to look at good design.

• The 5th Avenue Apple Store in New York City was the 53rd favorite example of architecture

• The Apple SoHo in New York City took the 141st spot

Head on over and explore some great works of design.
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Dinosaur... Oh, Dinosaur... (Evolve or Die)

I've always praised Adobe for their liberal upgrade policies (if the last release didn't impress you, you can skip a version and still upgrade). In fact, Adobe had one of the least strict policies of any manufacturer and didn't hold you hostage to constant upgrades.

Well, the policy is changing (a bit). Adobe is tightening up its policy on upgrades and applying limits to just how old a copy can be in order to be upgraded. According to the
FAQ posted for Photoshop CS3:

Q. If I buy Photoshop CS2 today in order to get access to the Photoshop CS3 beta, will I get a free upgrade to Photoshop CS3?

A. No. The rich feature set and productivity enhancements of Photoshop CS2 already provide a strong upgrade value, and the opportunity to preview the upcoming CS3 release is an additional bonus. In addition, customers who are still using Photoshop version 6.0 or earlier will benefit from taking advantage of a more liberal upgrade policy for Photoshop CS2. A
dobe will not offer upgrade pricing more than three versions back on Photoshop CS3. Go to www.adobe.com/products/photoshop/index. html for more information on Adobe Photoshop CS2.

This means a minimum of Photoshop 7 must be owned to buy the upgrade to Photoshop CS3. I agree that this is a reasonable change... but I raise it to you know for you people forced to sit on the fence. I know plenty of people (especially in corporate and education fields) who are constrained when it comes to upgrades....

The bottom line... if you are still using Photoshop 6 or earlier... upgrade now to Photoshop CS2.


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Thoughts on the iPhone


I was there... I oohed and aahed with the rest of them... then I asked questions. Is the phone really cool? Yup. Will I buy one? Yup. Is it perfect? Nope... and here's hoping that Apple will listen to some of the criticism.

First off... if you haven't looked at the online demo on Apple's website, be sure to
check it out. It is both informative and an impressive use of the web for an interactive demo.

Cool... huh? I agree... but here's my list of gripes.

1. The battery is not user changeable. I travel
a lot and carry three cell phone batteries with me. I've also run my iPod dead while on a plane. See the math? What also happens when the battery stops charging all the way? Currently Apple needs to service iPod batteries and it takes a few days.

2. They say it runs OSX and "desktop class" applications – but that doesn't really mean any application and no they won't let third-party software develop titles independently. Rather, it'll be more like iPod games, just a few titles and tight control.

3. It looks to have none of the following items – no iChat, no AIM, no Games, no GPS, no Java, and no Flash (yet most carriers and phones offer these).

To be fair... here's what's great about it:
1. You iPod accessories and chargers work with it.
2. Apple has confirmed that they can (and will) release updates for it like the iPod.
3. Apple i supporting third-party hardware development.
4. The map features is really cool.
5. It has an "airplane mode" so you can turn off wireless but leave the unit on.
6. You can see all your voice mails as a list and check them out of order.
7. Widescreen video playback.
8. A great looking web browser.
9. It's really thin!

David Pogue has lots of great info on his blog |
post 1 | post 2

And hey... the release date isn't until June. So maybe they'll continue to tweak it a bit.
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Adobe Releases New Articles on Digital Photography

If you are in need of some new ideas or inspiration, be sure to check out the new articles from Adobe experts. There's a full list posted over at PhotoshopNews.com and there's some truly great stuff in there. While the articles skew towards digital photographers (like most of Adobe these days), I found these two very useful.

Digital Image Integrity by George Reis Photographs have been altered or “faked” ever since the very beginning of chemical photography. Learn how Photoshop CS is providing forensics experts and law enforcement specialists better tools for evaluating the authenticity of a photograph.

Black and White Conversion Tutorial by John Paul Caponigro Are you looking for more detail in your digital B&W conversions? Or perhaps better contrast and tonal separation? Here’s an opportunity to learn how to get maximum flexibility out of your B&W conversions. Follow along step-by-step, as John Paul Caponigro shows you how the pros do it in this dynamic PDF tutorial.
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iPod Vending Machine – For Real

While at the Ottawa Convention Center for the Podcasting and Portable Media Expo, I was quite surprised to see a large vending machine filled with electronics. Everything from iPods to PlayStation Portables stocked this machine. It was really pretty amazing. Swipe your credit card and you could be basic things like an iPod cable or laptop cable, to a 60GB video iPod. Prices were the same as retail in a store... so there was really no disadvantage to buying (although I imagine returns or exchanges would be tricky). And unlike that bag of M&Ms, they product does not fall to the ground (a robotic arm/magic elf gently moves the package from shelf to pickup bin).I am sure there are more of these out there... anyone ever buy from one?

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The Truth About Laptops, Cell Phones, and the TSA

As a person living in target number one (Washington, D.C.) the news of a recently foiled terrorist attack greatly bothered me. As the frequent business traveler, I was stymied by the news reports that all sorts of items such as laptops, cell phones, and iPods were being banned. I thought... how could they? Could you imagine a flight where no business traveler got any work done no child could watch a movie, those of us who like quiet time couldn't ignore the world by drowning it out with an iPod?
Read More...
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Advanced Calendar Program with Filemaker Pro

We've switched the office over to a new calendar program. We've outgrown iCal and needed something beefier. After a lot of searching and trials, we decided upon CC Calendar (Scheduling Edition). The Calendar is essentially a Filemaker Pro file, which means you can share it with other users in the office. It's totally flexible and allows for tracking of rooms, people, and to-do items. And as far as iCal goes, it even offers syncing options.

To download a demo.
To download FileMaker Pro demo.
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