16 October 2009
14 October 2009
04 October 2009
I have installed After Effects CS3 and had o.k. luck with it. It operates in the same way that 6.0 did :: it works, just really unstable when preforming particular featuers (such as frame paint). I'm going to see if I need to upgrade the current version of CS3, or if Adobe is just telling everyone to go to CS4.
I'll try to nail down some of these issues in more detail as AFX works comes rolling in. It is a little difficult to isolate the issues whilst just playing around.
That being said, I have yet to experience the system-wide crash caused by Photoshop.
01 October 2009
29 September 2009
Since photoshop is $700 application (the $299 upgrade I believe only applies to CS2 and above but this will require some more investigation), it might be worth the extra $400 to grab the production bundle (which includes the latest After Effects, Illustrator and Flash software... oh yeah and those other editors I'll never use... what was it call.. oh yeah Premiere). I should eat my words though. I've heard some fantastic things about Premiere CS4, including the script/transcript sync.
Back to Photoshop. I also took a stab at using my friend's copy of CS2, which resulted in the same failure as CS. Does anyone have any experience with CS3? I've heard many conflicting reports and would be interested in people's first hand experience.
There are some freeware alternatives to Photoshop which I used last night to accomplish some basic titling tasks. I found that several of the programs were fantastic, but my 11 years of photoshop use has rendered my ability to migrate difficult and a bit frustrating.
28 September 2009
Then logic set in.
On the NYC freelance scene, it feels as though more than half of my clients use Final Cut for editing. To deny myself the flexibility of Avid / FCP could possibly be the thick-headed act a freelancer could make†.
The choice to invest in an iMac over a MacPro editing station was not an easy one. I had long been under the (at the time correct) assumption that iMacs were the consumer product that fell short of any professional needs. That thinking is " so 1999" of me.
After reviewing the tech specs, High end graphics cards and Duo Core processors, 8 gigs of RAM, oh my! Apple has seriously made the higher-end iMacs into a true workstation. I will admit, they are limited in upgrade paths, meaning in about three to four years I'm sure it will need to be sold off, and another investment made.
BUT. Yes. There is a but. The iMac comes with significantly lower price tag than the MacPro. Which, unless you're doing very high-end graphics or plan on mastering directly to HD tape from your home/office, you're really buying up a lot of extra processing power you're never going to need as an editor. Also, to all those like me coming from PowerPC (PPC) land, the proformance difference is astonishing.
I asked myself some very basic questions about the use of the workstation. I edit, occasionally do some light graphics work. 80% of my clients use tapeless workflows, meaning the lack of a secondary firewire port isn't a big deal (I can use my old system to capture DVCAM / HDV matchbacks). If I do have large format tape outputs to do, its way cheaper to outsource that to RoofTop Edit, PostWorks or what have you than owning a deck myself, so no need for a Mojo, AJA or BlackMagic boards.
On a side note, there has been lots of rumors about new iMacs ready to hit the market between mid-October and January. Supposidly faster, and a little cheaper than the current models. I stray away from Alpha releases. Sure, they've been tested in a lab, BUT just ask my cousin Larry (a mechanical engineer by trade, Assistant Director and gaffer by hobby) that the first release of any product is never a good investment.
Comments, questions, war stories? Please post comments or share (email@example.com) and I'll be glad to talk about them in my next post.
In the end the decision fell to the iMac, 3.06 gHz, 4Gb Ram, NVIDA 512 vRam, wired keyboard (pfft, I can't stand wireless interface devices!)
† I know what some of you are saying, "Avid does not work in Snow Leopard!" I'll cover this in another article
It wasn't the first time Apple has done something like this. Their move to IBM PowerPC also confused many who had been told through Apple's own advertising that IBM was the "Big Brother" of the computing industry (see here).
Regardless of the past, all of us who had made substantial investments in G5 workstations felt the small drop in the back of our stomachs. We remembered the pain of upgrading to OS X when Apple dropped "classic." But that was software, this, this was hardware. I looked down at my already aging workstation, knowing my investment had a shelf life.
Apple continued support of the PowerPC for a number of years after 2006, but now in the late summer / fall of 2009, after several operating systems (Tiger, Leopard) Apple has released "Snow Leopard", their first slimed down Intel-Only operating system. The fate of my now six year old workstation was sealed: Apple support and applications are dropping support of the dinosaurian PowerPC, Avid in Media Composer 3.5 stopped supporting PPC, and new video formats such as AVCHD and RED are equally intel only.
Over the next few entries I will follow a real-life-working upgrade path to OS 10.6. There's lots of speculation, conflicting reports and misinformation out there about this seemingly strange and mysterious upgrade, so I hope that fellow editors (picture and sound alike) will find my experiences helpful.
Next up: From G5 workstation to ... iMac ? What Gives?!
Note: This blog is also being posted on www.peterjhaas.com/blog , my first attempts at wordpress!
04 September 2009
22 August 2009
Congratulations to the cast and crew of "The Hidden Track," our film has been accepted for consideration by the Slamdance 2010 film festival.
>> Post Production shout-outs to both Meagan Frappiea our lovely and talented sound editor, and Sean R. Smith our craftsmen colorist: Without their help the near impossible task of finishing for the early festival submissions would have eluded us! <<
30 July 2009
25 July 2009
Among the many new features is (finally!) a free floating time code window. Yet, we have no been given a "print bin" or "bin view settings" options yet. Hmm maybe next time!
I know I will not be the first person to run out and upgrade, particurally due to the heavy system requirements that renders both my PowerPC G5 and Intel MacBook Pro (2.0) begging for upgrades I can't afford! Personally, I was reluctant to go to FCP 6, but after a while the industry demanded that I offer more tapeless support. Let's hope that Apple won't forget about us PowerPC users and keep updating FCP 6 for at least a little while longer!
Well, at least it has a nice shiney new packaging: www.apple.com/finalcutstudio
23 July 2009
Our new website is up! Please visit and surf around and let us know what you like and what we could improve since we're still working on it. We also have news about the federal Child Nutrition Reauthorization bill as well as an update on the launch of the Angel Family CSA program.
|Our Outreach Plan is Growing |
"'What's On Your Plate?' is exactly the film we need right now." -Michael Pollan
Thank you to Michael Pollan, author of In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto and The Omnivore's Dilemma for these lovely words about WOYP. We are proud to have created an educational tool which has garnered such favorable attention from one of the leading good food experts.
Now, we are scheduling community based screenings of "What's On Your Plate?" for the fall. If you are interested in organizing a community screening, please email us.
In September, we will begin planning educational rentals and sales in school-based settings.
We will keep you all updated on outreach and screening opportunities as we progress.
"What's On Your Plate?" has a great new website with lots of features including extensive information on the film, outreach methods, and press.
We've added a new feature, Network of Friends. This is a list of organizations, referenced by state and city, which are working on the same issues raised in the film. We want you to be able to find each other and network amongst yourselves. Sign your organization up today! Encourage other groups you know to join too and then we can all find each other. That's what FRIENDS are for!
Also check back for two exciting new web games, a gallery of user-generated content and other fun features. All coming soon!
13 July 2009
04 July 2009
02 July 2009
Ron Moreno has offered me the job of cutting his latest short film "The Hidden Track," and I have accepted with great enthusiasm!
Hidden Track was shot in L.A. on the Sony EX-1. We will be moving forward with a Final Cut Pro production workflow. More to come!
Yesterday I had the privilege to shoot an interview for him on high definition. Our subject was Dr. Henry Lothane, M.D., a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Cognitive-emotional therapist.
Keif's demo reel can be seen on Vimeo.
01 July 2009
I contacted the Gee Broadcast Company about their non-linear editing product "LightWorks" recently and they not only provided me with a slew of amazing documentation, but a fully functioning version of their software-only version entitled "SoftWorks."
Over the next couple weeks I'm going to comparing various tasks in LightWorks to FCP and Avid in order to gather a better understanding of this seemingly alien software. It's only a thirty-day trial, so we'll see what we can learn!
LightWorks is planned to be integrated into the DOTUS assistant editor's workshop.
19 June 2009
|What's On Your Plate is screening as part of BAMcinemaFEST in conjunction with the AfroPunk Film Festival on |
June 27th in Fort Greene Park, Brooklyn
Music from 6pm
Film screening at 8:30pm
(With a special showing of the Celebrate What's On Your Plate music video with the amazing Nona Hendryx)
click here for details on our website!
and as part of the AfroPunk Film Festival on
July 7th at BAM, Brooklyn
screening will be followed by a
panel of cast members and community leaders
Click here for more info and to buy tickets!
Please come and tell your friends!
17 June 2009
Updated the save process
Improved project recovery after unexpected OS shutdowns.
Version 2.0.1 updates listed below. Released April 30, 2009
Launch Bug - Notifier Feeds
The application no longer waits for the Notifier feeds to populate before opening.
Changes made to the default settings for the Production Schedule now persist after a close.
Keyboard Beeps (Mac only)
Keyboard short cuts no longer cause a Beep!
Multiple Openings (Mac only)
Celtx no longer lets multiple instances of the same project from being opened at the same time.
Install Bug - Profile Upgrade Bug
An install bug that prevented Celtx from launching due to a Profile issue is squashed.
Form Tab - Closing on Deletion
Deleting an item in a Catalog will automatically close any corresponding open Tab.
Drag and Drop in Project Library
Improved drop behaviour ensures the item gets placed at the intended target in the Library.
Editor Cut and Paste Bug
Squashed a cut and paste bug that effected all the editors.
Install Bug - Missing Windows dll
Fixed an issue affecting Windows users who were missing a dll file.
Catalog - Print Preview (Windows only)
Print Preview now behaves properly in Catalogs.
Catalog - File -> Print
'Print' from the 'File' drop down no longer goes inactive.
Recent Projects Opening (Mac only)
The 'Recent Projects' list in the toolbar populates properly.
The Parenthetical feature now behaves properly across all editors.
Production Schedule Call Sheet Date Select
A bug has been resolved ensuring Call Sheets display the correct date.
Index Card Plot Renaming
Deleting the Plot Names no longer causes problems in the Index Cards.
The full release notes for version 2.0 can be found here.
16 June 2009
Congrats to everyone on the HouseSmarts cast and crew! I would like especially thank the post-production crew: Chris Russomanno, Audio Engineer and Danielle Pruent, Assistant Editor.
09 June 2009
Dear writers and filmmakers,
The letter I'm attaching here is not the most important one i'll ever write, but it feels like the most important letter that I've written to date.
I spent many hours on it, and wrote as truthfully and personally as I could. With it in mind that this letter means so much to me, I ask you to please forgive the length and take a few moments to read it to the end.
I'm attaching it to this email, or you can view it at:
com/sitebuildercontent/ sitebuilderfiles/an_open_ letter_from_a_female_director.
If you are willing to share this letter with your circles: be it a shout-out to a
with love and appreciation,
Ela facegroup list/s, embedding the link in your page, or sending it to particular individuals that you think would appreciate the read and maybe even answer its call, I would be eternally grateful.
28 May 2009
Sat in a wonderfully packed IFC theatre last night to watch the 7:45pm show of Pressure Cooker. Jen and Mark offered a Q&A session along with three of the principle subjects of the film. It was the first time I had seen the entire completed film and it was lovely to see the fruit of everyone's labours.
Opened NYC: 27 May @ IFC Center
Opens in LA: 5th of June @ Laemmle's Sunset 5
Opens Philly: 12th of June @ Landmark's Ritz at the Bourse
Not to sound too much like a plug but I honestly encourage everyone to go see this film. Michael Lerman of INDIEWIRE said it best: "It's hard to beat the humanity of ... Pressure Cooker " In the final scenes we sit watching, waiting, rooting and hoping for the hard working culinary students of Frankford High as they await the ever-important scholarship decisions. Even having already seen all the raw footage, I still found a knot in my stomach equal to that of any parent sitting in that room; thinking "please, please, please, please!"
After the screening and Q&A there was a fun get-together at the nearby "Cabrito" restaurant. Good times and strong Margiritias were enjoyed by all. So great to see everyone again!
Pressure Cooker: Check it out people!
11 May 2009
- Jennifer Grausman, co-director
Paul Docherty and I met over the weekend and began construction our physical effects for our short film "A Transparent Mind."
Paul suggested to me that we use a type of insulation foam, and cut out the individual letters and eventually hang them on strings. A sort of puppeteer version of type-setting. Isn't that cool?
I selected a rounded bold font, one that Paul and I agreed would be easy to read as additional elements on screen, as well as something that was practical to build (i.e. Sans Serif!).
Paul printed large 6" letters, all matching a particular scale (this will most likely affect lens choice during the effect shoot).
We stenciled the letters by putting charcoal on the back of the print outs and outlining them atop the foam.
Then Paul, using the hotwire machine carved out the letters.
We created over 50 characters in this first step. Next will be the creation of additional characters to aid in completing words, followed by a light sanding and paint job.
Thanks for the hard work Paul!
29 April 2009
To The Freelance Masses,
Leftfield Pictures & Nick Budabin Present:
Spring Fling 2009!!!
After a looooong winter, Spring is finally in the air and we’re all ready to celebrate.
So come out tomorrow night, have a few drinks, hook up with some old pals, meet some new ones, and help us kick off spring right.
What: TV Happy Hour
When: Tomorrow Night, Wednesday, April 29th at 6:30pm - ????
Where: Taj Lounge
48 W. 21st Street, Between 5th and 6th Avenues
Who: You and your TV peeps
Drink Specials: $4 beers and $6 Well Drinks from 6:30-9!!!
Why: Because at the bar we're all equals and Leftfield Pictures prides itself on pairing freelancers with great jobs. So not only will you get to make new TV friends, you may get a gig because of it!
Find out how you can help: www.freelancersunion.org
27 April 2009
In his own words:
"From Queens, New Yawk. I am a filmmaker living in New York City. For over a year I have been working as a Shooter/Editor for an internet food network called Devour.tv and have worked with some great chefs and restaurant people, but the company is teetering on the edge of extinction, so I'm looking for work. I enjoy good films, non-fiction books, and dislike pretentious people."
Keif's demo reel can be seen on Vimeo.
21 April 2009
What's On Your Plate? premiere:
Seattle International Film Festival!
Seattle friends, please join Director Catherine Gund and be among the first to see the film. And if you know folks in the area, please spread the word.
June 12, 2009
(for more info click here)
Opening Night - Afro Punk Festival
June 27, 2009
Join the filmmakers and folks featured in the film
for an outdoor festival in Fort Greene Park
Food, music and family activities all afternoon
Screening of the film at dusk
(check out the line-up here)
(check online closer to the date)
Brooklyn Food Conference
May 2, 2009
(for more info click here)
It is certainly an interesting year for AVID, as they launched their new public identity yesterday (which looks fantastic by the way) and have certified FCP for their ISIS storage solutions. Hey guys, take a lesson from Media100 and offer some native timeline integration already!
More to come as I sort out my thoughts!
16 April 2009
Paging through the new features, I found that Media 100 now supports the Final Cut XML Interchange. Meaning your M100 projects can now not only interact with FCP but also any of the Studio Applications (read: DVD Studio, Motion, Shake, etc.).
For what it's worth: Bravo Media 100. I see this as a great move on the part of Media 100, if only to keep their already fringe product. The greater implication here is a movement towards a platform free editing world. Imagine a workplace in which editors can use what ever _interface_ they want whilst not having tied the hands of the entire project / series work flow? Possibly a world in which your assistant (who's young and eagerly obsessed with Final Cut Pro) can log, capture and string out on their trendy new MacBook and hand over a drive and project full compatible with your beloved Avid Media Composer? It would bring back a world in which media was media. No matter where I started I can always toss my "reels" on your edit system and make last minute changes before the online.
Would this not solve so many issues having native compatibility (no more over priced Automatic Duck / 3rd party solutions that limit this feature to the privilaged) but opens the possiblity of workflows we've yet to imagine.
10 April 2009
The piece is a duet, and Ron Moreno has dedicated his talents for the roll of "Tom". We held a casting session about a week and half ago for the roll of "Sally," in which I had the pleasure of meeting a number of talented and lovely actors. Look for announcements next week!
Paul Docherty and I have begun working on a camera test for the optical effects. So the holiday weekend will be filled with lots of doodling on my part to prepare!
03 April 2009
I was pointed to it through a "blog" that was complaining about 'strange things' happening to their hardware after using Skynet products.
So I made a big boo-boo. Thought the Bob Ross was tonight, when in fact it was last night. Sorry Misha!
20 March 2009
Information As Follows:
A tribute party for the famed Public Television Painter/ Pop Culture Icon - Bob Ross. To benefit Art Start!
PBR OPEN BAR 8:00-9:00 PM.
DRINK SPECIALS ALL NIGHT.
MUSIC BY ALEX ENGLISH AND BABYBUNNY.
* Bob Ross Look-A-Like Contest! Wear your afro and unbotton your shirt! Win prizes!
* $1 raffle tickets to benefit Art Start (http://www.art-start.org) -- win original art and exclusive Bob Ross brand products.
* Live Bob Ross instructional painting! Learn how to paint happy trees!
* And a special performance by the "Titanium White Hot Dancers" (Bob Ross tribute dance troupe).
* ARE YOU AN ARTIST? Exhibit your Bob Ross inspired artwork in our special exhibition. Email for details: firstname.lastname@example.org
Produced in Association with Gallery Bar, PBR, and the Culture of Me.
** All proceeds from the raffle benefit Art Start, an organization that provides art education and resources to children and teenagers living in shelters. It promotes creativity as a means of transforming lives --just as Bob Ross believed.
10 March 2009
So there is lots of exciting news. We recently won the audience award at the Portland International Film Festival and played at True/False.
Philly is the next festival coming up for those who are in Philly. We are playing the following dates and venues:
Sat. Mar. 28th, 6:30 at the Prince Theater
Sun. Mar. 29th, 4:45 at the Ritz East #1
Sat. Apr. 4th, 7:00 at the Black Box in the Prince Theater
But most importantly, we're opening theatrically!
May 27th at the IFC Center in NYC
June 5th at the Sunset 5 in LA (and hopefully Santa Monica and/or Pasadena too)
And sometime in June at the Ritz in Philly.
So if you can't make it to the fest, please come when we open in June. And we will need to get lots of people to see it at the Ritz when we open, so hopefully you can tell everyone you know.
Other fests coming up:
RiverRun in Winston-Salem, NC
Hope all is well and to see you soon.
Jen and Mark
02 March 2009
Wow! What a jump, right from 1.0 to 2.0! Well, either way, I've been using the new Celtx for about 2 hours now and haven't found any major bugs, time will tell as we drift into the late night hours of drafting ideas we'll see.
In this 'mostly under the hood' update (think OS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard" ) we do have the addition of a "Toolbox" option that allows developers to create plug-ins for the software. Celtx has followed Apple's iPhone development path: anyone who wishes to create tools for the freeware "open-source" software must have their 'Tool' autherized by Celtx Corp before it's allowed to be released for the plateform.
I will note that a lot of smaller options have been improved upon; highlighting and moving text works a lot better and the calendar / scheduling part of the software, once a chore to work with now feels less like freeware and more like a professional application.
Speaking of pro-apps, Celtx has also announced "Celtx Studio"; which they cite as:
"... a powerful new way to store, manage and collaborate on your projects. You'll be more creative, more productive, and better prepared with a Celtx Studio — which will help you save money in production."
I have not signed up for the free Beta yet (it ends later this month, after that Celtx asks for a $50 annual fee to help maintain the server) but I plan to do so this week. Although the server seems to be their solution to "collaborate" on files, I think Celtx could have found a simpler, in application way to monitor writer collaboration. If not at the very least, a "track changes" function that shows differences between drafts.
Overall, not quite a Movie Magic or Final Draft killer yet... key word being YET...
23 February 2009
Favorite gag: Craig's List Dancers and Ben Stiller (sorry Joaquin). Hmm, the low-budget dance gig was funny, but next year, can we make the Oscars look less like the Tonys? Or at least make it less than 3 1/2 hours long? I will say I dig the new look for the Kodak theatre!
I would like to add two names that I believe were left out of the tribute montage this year:
Don Lafontaine (the movie trailer voice) and Majel Barrett Roddenberry (TV actress and wife of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry).
20 February 2009
18 February 2009
You can click here to download
"WHAT’S ON YOUR PLATE? is a witty and provocative documentary produced and directed by award-winning Catherine Gund about kids and food politics.
Filmed over the course of one year, the film follows two eleven-year-old African-American city kids as they explore their place in the food chain. Sadie and Safiyah take a close look at food systems in New York City and its surrounding areas. With the camera as their companion, the girl guides talk to each other, food activists, farmers, new friends, storekeepers, their families, and the viewer, in their quest to understand what’s on all of our plates."
25 January 2009
Just a heads up on the Media Composer front. If you're working on a PC/Windows based Adrenaline system do no repeat DO NOT attach / mount a firewire based drive to your system, even if it is on a separate bus.
Over the last few weeks we have experienced (at random mind you) any one of these results:
1) Software crash of the Avid; looses all changes, corrupts project, have to go to attic.
2) Hardware crash: forced to shut all hardware attached to computer down, switch off power, wait five minutes and turn it all back on.
3) No crash, but renders the audio card of the computer useless.
The solution to this is a huge pain in the ass. Shut down Avid. Switch off the Adrenaline board. Attach drive, etc.
Haven't found this to be a problem with the software-only version so I assume it must be some bug with the hardware?
Just a warning! Oh man, Avid, I didn't I just write you a thank you posting?
10 January 2009
Finally they hath put new and useful features into Media Composer! Anyone who has ever worked as an assistant editor or had to bring something through the online themselves knows how wonderful and useful a Sequence Summary Report can be. No more scratching one down by hand!
I've had now the pleasure of using this tool once, and working hand in hand with the Avid consolidation function is a great way to make sure you have everything before you show up to your expensive online session and realize you DON'T have that still image of Joe Stalin with Churchill.
So a very huge thank you to Avid for creating a useful tool! Fix your business plan before you tank so we can keep enjoying your products.
On a side note:
APPLE: WHERE IS MY “PRINT BIN” BUTTON!