Hey there and welcome back to the Video Editor’s Digest! In this edition we cover the Avid / Chrome SIP issue, music visualizer in AE & more.Read more
You probably don’t edit airport employee training videos. You probably don’t edit online marketing videos for healthcare startups. And you probably don’t edit small-budget YouTube comedy series. These are all types of videos I edit. They all have different audiences, goals and styles. Each video contains unique challenges and are different in so many ways from one another. One thing is the same though — the creation cycle of a video editing project.
For just about every video I edit I go through the exact same routine. In this post I’m going to explain what that process is.
I could write about pre-production for hours but I’m going to start from after the footage is shot and we’re in post. Let’s get into it!
Creation Cycle Phase 1: Pre-Production in Post Production
This is the first phase in the creation cycle of a video editing project. But before I begin what many would call “the actual editing” of a video there’s a lot that takes place. The time you spend right now in this phase will reap more benefits than time spent in any other phase. You will in all likelihood edit video faster with more time spent working on the tasks in this phase. It’s kinda like pre-production but you’re already in post.
Review pre-production notes
Read over any notes you have from the client/producer/director/whoever on the goals, audience, specifics, branding guidelines, must-haves, must-have nots, etc. of the video. Alternatively if possible you should talk to the client/producer to go over these details again. Things change during production and sometimes you’re left out of the loop. Tackle any possible surprises ASAP! Read more
It’s been awhile since I’ve truly written something for EVF. Actually it’s been awhile since I’ve written much of anything. My writing muscle was burnt out after letting my former daily blog expire and disappear into a digital black hole back in August. Two years of writing and publishing everyday…
Fast forward a quarter of a year later and I’m starting to get the itch again. But where do I write? I’ve always felt that with what I publish on EVF I need to be very calculated and stick to the facts and provide “expert-level” insights at all times. Well, even though I believe myself to be a more-than-successful editor and video professional, I can’t always provide that A+, top-of-the-line content with the tiny amount of time I can commit to EVF.
With that being said, I’m just going to let the words keep on flowing and write a bit about editing and life.
BTW I’m free writing right now. It can be a lot of fun and almost meditative at times. You should try it out if you ever get in a creative funk. Please excuse any typos or poor grammar because I’m just churning out the words.
Recently I took a new full-time position. I haven’t really broadcasted this anywhere. Nick and I recorded a podcast episode the other day where I talked about it some. It hasn’t published yet but should be episode 82. I’m absolutely positive I won’t remember to come back to this post and link it. 🙂
My new position is part editor (let’s call this ~70% of my responsibilities), producer (~20%) and project manager (~10%). Full-time freelancing is officially done. For now. I loved my time freelancing. Loved it. Even the stressful times when I couldn’t guarantee more than a few hundred dollars of work on a given week. I can absolutely see myself going back to that lifestyle too.
This position though was too good to pass up. I enjoy the content, my coworkers and my day-to-day work. Plus the paid time off. Uhhh I’ve missed the paid time off so much. I’m only 8 years into this career. It feels like though that I could always go back to freelancing. And vice versa. Yes, it sucks losing out on some gigs. Last week I had to turn down two projects. My network will take some sort of hit. As a professional though I think we should always be working on and building our networks. I recorded this fantastic Command+Edit episode with my friend and fellow editor Rhonda Thain if you want to hear me talk more about it.
I still have a couple small projects I’m working on on the side. And a couple pet projects I want to take on. The experience of running my own company, getting an LLC, doing my bookkeeping each week, having a real accountant, cold emailing, warm calling, invoicing and just overall doing many, many uncomfortable things have made me a better editor, professional and person.
Remember, I’m still free writing here so I know I’m about to lurch into a new topic like an unexpected jumpcut.
The software I’m using now is relatively the same. I’m in Premiere probably 60% of the time. Media Composer 30% of the time. And After Effects and Photoshop round out the rest. I’m rocking Premiere 2017 on most projects with the hopes that no one accidently updates to 2018 forcing me to update as well. And MC is on version 8.5.2. It’s a little behind and I miss some of the cool new features I’ve been seeing but it definitely still gets the job done.
Okay last topic before cutting myself off.
Next month I’m headed out to Los Angeles for the first time! Crazy, right?! How have I never been? I’m pumped. I know I mentioned it in a somewhat recent Video Editor’s Digest but again for anyone out there I’m thinking of doing a small happy hour. Seriously small. Like 4-6 of us max. If you want to join shoot me a message.
Thank you for indulging me and letting me get some stuff off my chest. If like this kind of post — more chatty, less instructional — let me know. Or let me know if you hate it and I should stick to basic little video tutorials like this one which somehow has 100,000+ views. Wut?
That’s it from me. Til next time…
I took this picture of my dog the other day. It appears though that she stole my phone and took a selfie. I swear the world would be a better place if dogs could use phones and we could text our dogs while we were out of the home.
It was the last day in month of May in the year two thousand and seventeen. Alone in a cold edit bay on a warm sunny afternoon an editor watches a blue bar slowly move from left to right inside of a gray box. 47 minutes remaining. He thinks to himself, “I’ve been wanting to write on my business’ blog for weeks but haven’t found the time or self-awareness to actually do it. Maybe now’s a good time to try.”
And here we are. If I haven’t lost you yet I’d like to take the next thousand or so words to talk about what’s been going on with EVF, the podcast and my freelance editing work.
The online comedy show I’ve been working on for the past several months recently launched! The only editing left to do is a small change in one of the later episodes and the creation of some more marketing material for them. This project is so. darn. close. to being done.
Let’s have some #realtalk for a moment. I’ve been so close to this project that I find it really difficult to share it with the world. All I see is imperfections, shots I wanted reshot and lines of dialogue I want changed. But deep down I know it’s pretty darn good and about as good as I was ever going to get it based on the constraints I was working under. Warning: the comedy show is definitely PG13. Here’s their website where you can watch the first two episodes. (yes, I’m still terrified to share my work. I believe most editors get the same way too)
Here’s some more #realtalk. I screwed up my 2016 taxes. I thought I had nailed it back on April 15th. However I met with an accountant to talk about 2017 and while going through 2016 he found two fairly significant screw-ups. And they’re probably going to cost me a couple thousand dollars. Whoops. But we’re sorting it out and it’s better to get it done right than risk getting dinged later down the road. Needless-to-say I’m disappointed. It’s a learning experience that I’ll grow from though.
I was meeting with the accountant because I’m getting an LLC for my freelance business (which EVF will eventually reside under) and I wanted to see how my accounting would work with my new business. That’s when we discovered my mistakes in 2016. Anyway, back to the LLC. Getting an LLC is something I’ve been putting off. Why? It’s completely foreign to me. I hate things like legal paperwork (but who doesn’t?). As my freelance business matures I need to protect myself, “legitimize” myself and set it up in a way it can continue to grow. BTW, if you’re interested in the process for setting up an LLC let me know as I’m considering writing about my experience with it.
Oh, May marked the 1-year anniversary of going fully freelance. Woo!
Enough freelance. Let’s talk about the podcast.
This month’s episodes:
- Command+Edit Episode 72: Nick and I interview Niel Guilarte of the All Things Post podcast about his documentary The Messengers that he directed and edited.
- Command+Edit Episode 73: I interview David Colantuoni of Avid to discuss Media Composer | First
- Command+Edit Episode 74: Nick interviews Mae Manning about unique journey from bartender to successful editor
We currently have two interviews booked for June. One is with an editing educator about their time teaching editing overseas and the other is with a screenwriter.
In Command+Edit Episode 73 (above) I chatted with Avid about their upcoming Media Composer | First release. MC | First is basically a free, lite version of Media Composer. It sounds perfect for anyone interested in learning Media Composer but might not be ready to pull the trigger on a year-long subscription without first getting to know Media Composer a bit better (because let’s face it, Media Composer is a tough software to learn). I’m [highly] considering taking a dive deep into MC | First and creating some training material around it. However it depends on if there’s enough demand. If you’re remotely interested in MC | First and using resources (guides, courses, tutorials, blog posts, etc.) that I create to help you learn it, I’d really like to hear from you. All you have to do is reply to this email.
Here on the EVF website you may have noticed I switched themes! However in the process I accidentally deleted my homepage. Oops. I don’t mind because I wanted to overhaul it anyway. I’ll be doing some other minor updates around the site while I continue the painful process of switching hosting companies as well. All I want to do is create videos and write helpful things on the internet and it feels like there’s always a thousand other obstacles standing in the way!
Anyway, thank you so, so much for reading. Please give me a shout if there’s anything you’re struggling with and you think I could help or if you just want to chat post or baseball or dogs or travel or anything. 🙂
I’ve been writing for my friends over at ScreenLight for…well…a long time. It’s been over two years and in the Internet world that’s a really long time. Over that time I’ve been able to stockpile a bunch of writings that I want to share with you today. 23 of them to be exact.
The posts range from Media Composer tips to the Pomodoro Technique for time management to Apps for Editors and so much more. I’ve broken them up into a couple of categories. At the very top are a few of my favorites and ones I think you should definitely read.
My Favorite Posts
Soon I’ll be taking my first trip out of the United States and I’m making it a big one – I’m headed to Japan! In this post I’m going to go over what I’m doing to prepare for this lengthy vacation. I’d love for you to chime in too with your thoughts on what you do before going out of town. Thanksgiving for us in the US is right around the corner and the other winter holidays are fast approaching so I think the timing of this post is pretty ideal.
There’s nothing worse than being bothered on vacation or someone messing up your projects/media/hard drive/etc. especially when there’s nothing you can do about it. I’m sure I’ll come back to 1500 emails but I’m going to prepare my company and team the best I can for anything that can happen while I’m gone.
I am SOOO excited. Today I’m launching my first ever product — an Avid Media Composer Bin with over 50 preset Quick Transitions. In the tutorial below you’ll find out how to create your own preset Quick Transitions. After watching the tutorial go here to get my Quick Transitions Bin.
As always I come out with a new tutorial every Friday. Subscribe to the YouTube channel and you’ll get an email when they come out. Let me know if there is something you’d like me to go more in depth on from this tutorial and if there are any tutorials you’d like to see in the future.
Presets will make you a faster editor. Period. Putting systems in place for often-used tasks makes you a more efficient editor. Presets are some of these systems. You can preset many aspects of your NLE, especially Avid Media Composer. Below I discuss four of my favorite areas you can use presets.
This post focuses on presets in Avid Media Composer but some concepts should be able to cross over into other NLEs like Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro X.
There are 3-5 Workspaces (sometimes referred to as Toolsets – different but essentially the same thing which I’m not going to get into today) you should customize, save and map to your keyboard. These are preset arrangements of your tools on the screen.
The first is obviously Source/Record Editing. This is your bread and butter Workspace, which you’ll most likely spend the bulk of your time in. You use it for your standard editing – laying in shots, moving them around, manipulating time, etc. Why do you map this to your keyboard? Anytime you are done in another Workspace or you have random tools open, this will put you back in your default editing setup.
If you want the Timecode Tool, Markers, Audio Tool and Audio Mixer open while you are editing in this Workspace like I do, make sure the Source/Record Editing Workspace is selected under Windows > Workspaces. Then open all the tools you want and position them on your screen and hit Save Current under that same menu.
If you want to see a tutorial over on my YouTube channel let me know in the comments section!
Audio Editing is the next Workspace to setup. Besides setting up my audio tools where I want them, I like to tie this together with my Audio Timeline View, which will be discussed in the next section. To do this, go up to Windows > Workspaces > Properties… then type in “Audio.” If you have a Timeline View named “Audio” it’ll automatically switch to that view.
Color Correction is another Workspace that should be setup. I’ve found that the only real things you need to adjust are the location of the monitors and Color Correction Tool along with what goes into the monitors by default. I tend to like having the left monitor being set to Previous, the middle monitor set to Current and the right monitor set to RGB Parade.
If you don’t have a traditional confidence monitor or work solely on a laptop/single monitor system like I do at times, the Full Screen Playback Workspace should be mapped to your keyboard. FYI – sometimes Full Screen Playback won’t run on the monitor you want it to if you are running two screens or switch between 1-2 screens often. If that happens, go to Settings > Full Screen Playback. Then move the dialog box to the monitor you want to be full screen. Then click Select Monitor and click OK.
The last Workspace you might want to setup is Effects Editing. To be honest, I don’t use this. I have my Effect Editor positioned in my Source/Record Editing Workspace. Do this by opening the Effect Editor, save the current Workspace, close the Effect Editor then save the current Workspace again. This tells Avid Media Composer “I want this tool positioned here but don’t want it open when I activate this Workspace.” From there, I map Effect Editor to my keyboard always staying in the Source/Record Editing Workspace with it open. The advantages of having the Effects Editing Workspace setup is that you might want more room for your monitors or the Effect Editor than you would with the Source/Record Editing Workspace. For me, I don’t find it that useful but you might.
When you jump on someone else’s User Settings the first difference you’ll notice is their Timeline View if they have one setup. Some like to drag the timecode track between the video and audio tracks. You’ll definitely notice if they color their tracks differently (I like pale yellow-orange for video tracks and a light blue for audio). However you want to stylize your timeline view it’s up to you – just make it efficient for your workflow.
There are four basic timeline views that I use and firmly believe every editor should use as well. Those are: Default, Audio, Tiny and Big/Stringout.
I wrote a post over on ScreenLight’s blog some time ago where I go into detail on each one and how to manipulate your timeline for each workflow. The gist of it is to change the track sizes, color and pick the data shown then save it at the bottom of the timeline.
Seriously though, if you’re interested in doing this (and you should be), read the aforementioned post.
Quick Transitions are great if you use any transition frequently, which I assume you do. This is the dialogue box that pops up with you hit the \ key to set your dissolves. Media Composer comes with Dissolve, Film Dissolve, Film Fade, Fade to Color and a few others as defaults. But do you know you can add your own?
Create a bin labeled exactly Quick Transitions. Then drop in your own transitions (wipes, flashes, etc.).
This Friday I’ll be announcing the first ever product for Edit Video Faster. It’s a bin full of over 50 preset Quick Transitions. You can get it along with more information here. On Friday I’ll be coming out with an in-depth tutorial on my YouTube channel on how to setup your own custom Quick Transitions Bin. You can find that tutorial here.
Each and every time you export a file from Media Composer you should save an Export Setting if it’s something different than you already have. Why? You can export a QuickTime movie at least a thousand different ways but you might not remember every detail (frame rate, key frames, compression type, etc.) of the handful of types of .movs you use.
Why try to remember every detail if you can save the settings with a detailed name each time?
When you export, click on Options under Export Settings. Adjust the parameters for your export then click Save As… Give it a unique name – ex: QT 1920×1080 30fps or QT-HQ-WebDeliveryForCompression. Next time you go to export you can find that setting in the drop down menu and won’t have to change any parameters. You can do this for any file that Media Composer exports (.pngs, .wavs, etc.).
Presets save you loads of time and only take a few minutes to setup. Workspaces, Timeline Views, Quick Transitions and Export Settings all do this. What are your favorite presets to create in Avid Media Composer or your NLE of choice?
Lastly – if you want to get a jumpstart on your Quick Transitions bin, head on over to this page. It’s simple, affordable and only takes a few minutes until you have 50+ preset Quick Transitions.
See you on Friday with a new tutorial!
I’ve been married to my wife for nearly two and a half wonderful years. I’ve been married to my NLE, Avid Media Composer, for twice that. What I’ve learned over that time is that the two relationships are fairly similar. I’m going to explain to you how lessons learned through your significant other directly relate to how you should work with your NLE.
Learn and Observe
In any relationship there is a learning curve. A man or woman never writes a user’s manual for himself or herself. That’s where you have an advantage with your NLE. Everything you need to know about it is right in front of you!
When I began editing on Avid Media Composer I had zero idea of what I was doing. None. I sat there for hours trying to figure out why I couldn’t click a clip in the timeline and move it (this was pre-Smart Tool). Then one day digging around my edit bay I found the software manual. I took it home and after a couple weeks had read the entire thing. This didn’t mean I knew everything about it but it did give me a huge heads up because I knew what it could and couldn’t do.
Hey there! This tutorial is on how to set the amount of default video and audio tracks are made when you create a new sequence in Avid Media Composer. Let me know what you think! Did you find this helpful?
Recapping Set Default Tracks in Avid Tutorial
The X’s and O’s
To begin, open a bin. Right-click inside the bin and select New Sequence. Give the sequence a name. If you look in the timeline you’ll see the tracks V2, V1, and A1. These are the default tracks for new sequences in Avid Media Composer.
The point of this tutorial is to show you how to change these for every new sequence in the future.
To do this, right-click inside an empty area in the timeline and go to Timeline Settings. Next navigate to the Edit tab in the Timeline Settings. Inside the Edit tab there’s a New Sequences box towards the bottom. Change the video and audio track numbers to whatever you desire. For me I like to do five video tracks and two mono audio tracks. Then click OK.
Go back to your bin and create a new sequence. This new sequence will have the new default tracks set for it.
Why this small editing trick is important
No joke, this is a deep, pro-level trick. It may only save you 10 seconds a day. However I feel that those 10 seconds a day are so important. Those 10 seconds a day that you can save are the driving force behind Edit Video Faster.
If you can save 10 seconds a day using this hack then you save almost a minute a week. If you extrapolate that out of a year you’re at nearly an hour. What about for an entire career? Or what if you couple this with dozens of other tricks that save you 10 seconds a day?
Small adjustments like setting up default tracks in Avid Media Composer for new sequences will make you a faster video editor. Thanks for watching and reading.
Additional Recommended Viewing: Bins Setup for New Projects in Avid Media Composer
Remember to subscribe to my YouTube channel or my email list to be first to hear about new tutorials for After Effects, Avid Media Composer, Photoshop and more. I try to keep them pretty short — about 1:30-3:00 generally. Is there anything you’d like to see next?