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Positivity: Editor Jesse Averna on Evolving Your Career

Four-time Emmy-award winning editor Jesse Averna has been a lifelong fan of filmmaking, a love reflected in his ambition to move into directing. Jesse shares insight about evolving his career, including the importance of being a positive force in your post community.






Transform Your Edit Suite Into a Gym

Between editing a television show 60+ hours a week and raising two young kids, there's no way that editor Zack Arnold (Empire, Burn Notice) was getting to the gym. Yet he's been able to lose weight and build strength by combining his two passions -- editing and fitness -- into one space. You won't be able to jump into all of Zack's suggestions at once, but he didn't either. But if you're looking for practical, real-life steps for looking and feeling better under an editor's workload, here's the starting line.






NVIDIA Introduces Updated Iray Renderer and Quadro GPUs

At their annual technology conference, NVIDIA introduced a new version of their Iray renderer along with new and updated GPUS and a Virtual Computing Appliance.






The Introvert's Guide to NAB

If you're like most people in video production, you're a bit of an introvert, and that makes trade shows a complicated matter. Creative COW Contributing Editor Kylee Wall offers suggestions to help you fight shyness and balance your social meter to have the best NAB Show you possibly can.







Cutting Grand Budapest Hotel:Oscar-Nom Editor Barney Pilling

Oscar-nominated editor Barney Pilling discusses balancing a distinct visual style, using driving performances, and managing visual effects on Wes Anderson's Grand Budapest Hotel.







FotoKem Restores The 1965 Classic, The Sound of Music

Restoring a beloved classic requires even more finesse than usual. Fortunately, today's tools offer more power than ever, along with more finesse, to enable the film experts at FotoKem to create a truly celebratory release of 1965's The Sound of Music.

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Cutting Grand Budapest Hotel: Oscar-Nominated Editor Barney Pilling
Oscar-nominated editor Barney Pilling discusses balancing a distinct visual style, using driving performances, and managing visual effects on Wes Anderson's Grand Budapest Hotel.



Kylee Wall

The Introvert's Guide to NAB

If you're like most people in video production, you're a bit of an introvert, and that makes trade shows a complicated matter. Creative COW Contributing Editor Kylee Wall offers suggestions to help you fight shyness and balance your social meter to have the best NAB Show you possibly can.



Zack Arnold

Transform Your Edit Suite Into a Gym

Between editing a television show 60+ hours a week and raising two young kids, there's no way that editor Zack Arnold (Empire, Burn Notice) was getting to the gym. Yet he's been able to lose weight and build strength by combining his two passions -- editing and fitness -- into one space. You won't be able to jump into all of Zack's suggestions at once, but he didn't either. But if you're looking for practical, real-life steps for looking and feeling better under an editor's workload, here's the starting line.



Julie Andrews

FotoKem Restores The 1965 Classic, The Sound of Music

Restoring a beloved classic requires even more finesse than usual. Fortunately, today's tools offer more power than ever, along with more finesse, to enable the film experts at FotoKem to create a truly celebratory release of 1965's The Sound of Music.





Apple Motion 5: Volumetric Lighting

Volumetric lighting creates a dramatic look of real light in a 3D space, and works especially well for title animation, even with 2D text. It's a nifty magic trick, created with a finesse that some people don't associate with Apple Motion. You of course know better, and Simon Ubsdell is here to help you create the magic.



Marathon runners

Fitness in Post: Using Community to Make Post Healthy

"Fitness in Post" sounds like an oxymoron, but actually it's a fast-growing movement led by film and television editor Zack Arnold, helping the community of editors, visual effects artists and other post-production professionals to help each other become physically and mentally healthy.




Gender Gap

Working Together To Close The Gender Gap In Post Production

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If you're like most people in video production, you're a bit of an introvert, and that makes trade shows a complicated matter. Creative COW Contributing Editor Kylee Wall offers suggestions to help you fight shyness and balance your social meter to have the best NAB Show you possibly can.




Kylee Wall

Kylee Wall Introduces Zack Arnold & Fitness in Post : Using Community to Make Post Healthy

"Fitness in Post" sounds like an oxymoron, but actually it's a fast-growing movement led by film and television editor Zack Arnold, helping the community of editors, visual effects artists and other post-production professionals to help each other become physically and mentally healthy.




Weight lifting set

Transform Your Edit Suite Into a Gym

Between editing a television show 60+ hours a week and raising two young kids, there's no way that editor Zack Arnold (Empire, Burn Notice) was getting to the gym. Yet he's been able to lose weight and build strength by combining his two passions -- editing and fitness -- into one space. You won't be able to jump into all of Zack's suggestions at once, but he didn't either. But if you're looking for practical, real-life steps for looking and feeling better under an editor's workload, here's the starting line.







FotoKem Restores The 1965 Classic, The Sound of Music

Restoring a beloved classic requires even more finesse than usual. Fortunately, today's tools offer more power than ever, along with more finesse, to enable the film experts at FotoKem to create a truly celebratory release of 1965's The Sound of Music.





Apple Motion 5: Volumetric Lighting

Apple Motion 5: Volumetric Lighting

Volumetric lighting creates a dramatic look of real light in a 3D space, and works especially well for title animation, even with 2D text. It's a nifty magic trick, created with a finesse that some people don't associate with Apple Motion. You of course know better, and Simon Ubsdell is here to help you create the magic.





Gender Gap

Working Together To Close The Gender Gap In Post Production
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Restoring a beloved classic requires even more finesse than usual. Fortunately, today's tools offer more power than ever, along with more finesse, to enable the film experts at FotoKem to create a truly celebratory release of 1965's The Sound of Music.





Tips from an NAB Veteran: Make the Best Use of Your Time

"The snow is finally starting to melt," says Creative COW Contributing Editor (and member with nearly 25,000 posts) Walter Biscardi, "so that means it's time for the annual National Association of Broadcasters convention. I've gone so many times it's more like a family reunion than a trade show anymore. Here's my 2015 edition of "Tips From An NAB Veteran To Make The Best Use Of Your Time."



Apple Motion 5: Volumetric Lighting

Apple Motion 5: Volumetric Lighting

Volumetric lighting creates a dramatic look of real light in a 3D space, and works especially well for title animation, even with 2D text. It's a nifty magic trick, created with a finesse that some people don't associate with Apple Motion. You of course know better, and Simon Ubsdell is here to help you create the magic.




Method Studios builds a giant world for JUPITER ASCENDING

Method Studios builds a giant world for JUPITER ASCENDING

Jupiter Ascending is the latest sci-fi epic from Lana and Andy Wachowski, the visionaries whose hallmark is creating compelling worlds that span vast reaches of time and space. We spoke to Simon Carr, the VFX supervisor for Method, about creating many of the key components in Jupiter Ascending's world, and what their experience has taught them about building their own future.
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So kids, it's about that time. In this week's newsletter, we have a couple of great articles to get you started both planning your days, and thinking about some of the larger issues the show will raise. We also want to point you to a couple of events.

First, the article by Creative COW Contributing Editor Kylee Wall, Sexism In Post: Sometimes It's What You Think It Is, Sometimes It's Not, has proven to be one of the most provocative and influential in the entire industry since she wrote it. An NAB result has been the creation of a panel at Post Production World (where I know that many of you are both attending, and leading sessions), called "Working Together To Close The Gender Gap in Post Production", sponsored by Adobe, Future Media Concepts, and of course heartily supported by the folks here in the COW Meadow where it all began.




As noted above, this one is actually a session followed by a mixer/meetup, and it starts at 5PM on Monday, in Room N252. Kylee has more information about it here.

We're very proud to have run the original article, and of Kylee for going out on a limb to write it, and hope you'll make time to attend.


The other is kind of a kick for the folks in this forum in particular, put together by Noah Kadner and our friends at FCPWORKS. It's called...wait for it...Creative COW Presents FCPX: The Debate!

Noah's idea is to present a fun, balanced look at the evolution of FCPX from the firestorm upon its introduction to full membership in the League of Professional NLEs.

The particpants include unabashed enthusiasts, folks who use X daily, or who use it as part of a wider toolset, and why. You'll definitely see names you know on the panel and in the crowd, and we think it sounds like a lot of fun. It's also on Monday, at 1PM in the Rainbow Room at the Renaissance Hotel, immediately adjacent to the southernmost end of the South Hall.

So what about you? Are you working a booth? Leading a session? Speaking on a panel? Giving a keynote? Let us know! Our NAB Show forum is just barely getting underway for 2015, but expect it to fill up fast!




NAB travel tips


Tips from an NAB Veteran: Make the Best Use of Your Time

"The snow is finally starting to melt," says Creative COW Contributing Editor (and member with nearly 25,000 posts) Walter Biscardi, "so that means it's time for the annual National Association of Broadcasters convention. I've gone so many times it's more like a family reunion than a trade show anymore. Here's my 2015 edition of "Tips From An NAB Veteran To Make The Best Use Of Your Time."





Open Letter to Companies Exhibiting at the NAB Show

"Trade show exhibitors are all competing to be the loudest, shiniest and sexiest," says Creative COW Contributing Editor Kylee Wall. "I'm writing to ask you to consider how your conduct can help make the exhibit hall a more inviting and inclusive experience for everyone."




Apple Motion 5: Volumetric Lighting

Volumetric lighting creates a dramatic look of real light in a 3D space, and works especially well for title animation, even with 2D text. It's a nifty magic trick, created with a finesse that some people don't associate with Apple Motion. You of course know better, and Simon Ubsdell is here to help you create the magic.




Method Ascendant

Method Studios builds a giant world for JUPITER ASCENDING

Jupiter Ascending is the latest sci-fi epic from Lana and Andy Wachowski, the visionaries whose hallmark is creating compelling worlds that span vast reaches of time and space. We spoke to Simon Carr, the VFX supervisor for Method, about creating many of the key components in Jupiter Ascending's world, and what their experience has taught them about building their own future.
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Jupiter Ascending is the latest sci-fi epic from Lana and Andy Wachowski, the visionaries whose hallmark is creating compelling worlds that span vast reaches of time and space. We spoke to Simon Carr, the VFX supervisor for Method, about creating many of the key components in Jupiter Ascending's world, and what their experience has taught them about building their own future.



FCPX's Magnetic Timeline Revisited

There are a lot of reasons for people to love or hate Apple Final Cut Pro X, and for many folks, it comes down to the Magnetic Timeline. A new wave of discussions regarding both love and, let's call it "non-love" for FCPX have been revived of late in Creative COW's Apple Final Cut Pro X or Not: The Debate forum, and we think this is the perfect time to revisit two of our most popular articles on the subject.

FCPX Magnetic Timeline

Charlie Austin recently wrote a terrific article for us called Don't Fight The Magnetic Timeline!, which covers some of the unique advantages conferred by Apple's unique new approaches to, well, everything.



Soon after FCPX's original release, David Lawrence wrote another terrific article called The Magnetic Timeline: Thoughts On Apple's New Paradigm. In a new introduction to the article, David describes the ways he uses the magnetic timeline every day. Just not for editing! His primary intent was to look at Apple's approach through the lens of his experience as both a software interface designer and a video editor, providing a balanced and insightful perspective that we haven't seen anyone cover since David did it so well.

So while there's debate aplenty in the forum, there's not much debate in the articles. Both Charlie and David are enthusiastic about the possibilities that FCPX's Magnetic Timeline offers, with the slight variation that Charlie's article will help you use it more effectively today, while David suggests some ways that it could be even better.

We think that's exactly the right balance, and, knowing how much people enjoyed the articles when we first rolled them out, we know you'll find them even more enjoyable in the ever-changing context we find ourselves in. ~ Tim Wilson, Editor-in-Chief, Creative COW





Apple Motion 5: Shockwave

An explosive shockwave. Think you've seen it all before? Not until Simon Ubsdell has shown you how to take advantage of unique tools in Apple Motion 5 to make your own. Simon's experience has been built over 25 years in motion graphics, sound design and mixing, music composition, visual effects and compositing, as well as writing, directing and producing. Follow him as he takes you deep inside keyframes, caustics, camera behaviors, and customizations, as well as sharing real-world tips for finding your way around Motion.
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You may already know the highly regarded CTRL+Console app that enables your iPad to work as a control surface for Adobe Premiere Pro, Apple Final Cut Pro 7 and X, and others. It offers a jog shuttle wheel and a number of specific buttons, shortcuts, and options that you'd expect to see on a hardware control surface. Because it's an iPad app that interfaces with your computer wirelessly, it works equally well for controlling Macs and PCs.

What sets it apart is a mode that allows multi-finger gestures -- for example, jogging and shuttling with swipes that move across the entire iPad, rather than being constrained to the visual representation of the wheel. More than just control, though, it offers a wide range of other editing features that will enable many creators to do an entire project while barely taking their eyes off their monitors.

Developer Jeff Chow isn't a software guy, but a creative professional who found he could build a gestural interface more quickly than he could internalize 20 page of keyboard shortcuts. As Jeff puts it, "Keyboards were invented for typing, not video editing." His first pass at a prototype helped him to complete a particularly daunting project in very short order, so he turned to Kickstarter to raise the funding to turn his idea into a product.

As the first wave of crowdfunding successes has passed, though, one thing that's becoming increasingly clear is that crowdfunding campaigns are a lot of work. Maybe even more work than traditional fundraising, certainly on the set-up side.

The upside is that the potential audience for crowdfunding backers is worldwide, but your story has to be in much better shape. Your rich uncle might take your word for it that you can do this thing, whatever it is, based on what he's learned about you from your entire life. But for strangers? It's all about your ability to suck them in with your vision. The basis for their financial investment is their personal investment in your success. They're going to need persuading to care, or they're not going to open their virtual wallets...

Jeff's story provides that crucial perspective, with one more insight to add. The first customer for your pitch is YOU. If you're willing to walk away from the project and do something else with your time if funding doesn't pan out, you're probably on the wrong track already. Fall in love with your idea first. Then do the hard work to give other people a reason to fall in love with it too.
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Creative COW had the great pleasure of speaking to visual effects pioneer John Dykstra, who received his first Academy Award for his work on Star Wars, and, the same year, won an Academy Scientific and Engineering Award for the Dykstraflex motion-control camera that made so many of Star Wars' effects possible. Join us as he shares behind the scenes on Star Wars, speaks about his transition from an artist to a VFX supervisor, and gives us his thoughts on the state of VFX today.




Learn to "Dance" in 2015


"For some reason when I look at risks, usually BIG risks, I always see the opportunity," says longtime Creative COW Leader Walter Biscardi, of Biscardi Creative Media. "I'm aware of what can happen if the risk doesn't pay off, but the opportunities for success are what intrigue me. The fun factor is also an influence. I mean why do something if you're not going to enjoy it? It might stressful, but if there's some fun to be had in the risk, well that is something to be considered.

"I learned a long time ago, when an opportunity is presented, or I see the chance to create an opportunity I don't let the possibility of failure stop me. I can't be afraid to Dance." Read more of Walter's inspirational look at risk in the real world... https://blogs.creativecow.net/blog/13709/learn-to-dance-in-2015


GoPro Workflows for Editing Pros
Shane and friends on tubing down the mountain

GoPro footage is making its way into nearly every broadcast project that editor Shane Ross has been working on. It's even showing up in feature film production, so no matter what you're cutting, you're going to work with GoPro soon, if you're not already. Drawing on his real-world experience figuring this out on broadcast deadlines, Shane offers practical advice for editors using Avid Media Composer, Adobe Premiere Pro CC, and Apple FCPX.
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An explosive shockwave. Think you've seen it all before? Not until Simon Ubsdell has shown you how to take advantage of unique tools in Apple Motion 5 to make your own. Simon's experience has been built over 25 years in motion graphics, sound design and mixing, music composition, visual effects and compositing, as well as writing, directing and producing. Follow him as he takes you deep inside keyframes, caustics, camera behaviors, and customizations, as well as sharing real-world tips for finding your way around Motion.




Expert Tips for Crowdfunding Success

Film projects are the most unsuccessfully funded of any Kickstarter category -- but producer and crowdfunding consultant Diana Ward Roark has worked on a number of campaigns for independent films that have exceeded their goals. She has the real-world advice you'll need to succeed, including where you can find backers, and how to engage them.





Thinking Differently to Create Successful Indie Distribution

With the accessibility offered by ever more affordable tools, it has never been easier to make an Indie feature. This essay by President and Co-founder of the Digital Cinema Society, James Mathers, discusses the distribution of an indie feature and how the filmmakers brought "Why We Ride" to life.
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Cinematographer Mandy Walker joins UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television as a Kodak Cinematographer in Residence, teaching the next generation of film students what it means to be a successful director of photography.

Mentorship in the film and television industry is essential to getting fresh talent behind the camera and in the edit suite, and UCLA agrees: That's why they've declared Mandy Walker ASC, ACS, as their 2014 Kodak Cinematographer in Residence at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television (UCLA TFT). Walker joins the program in its 15th year, with other great DPs such as Roger Deakins, Dean Cundey and Allen Daviau having taken part in years past.

Walker, known for her award-winning work on films like Australia, Red Riding Hood, and Tracks, became interested in cinematography from a young age. Beginning with still photography at age 12, she soon realized she could blend that love with her interest in movies (especially unusual and interesting cinematography) -- so she did. After high school, she spent a brief time at university until a production runner job came up. Walker worked her way up in the camera department, shooting her first film at age 25. Walker will be working with students at UCLA TFT for the rest of the 2015 academic year, so Creative COW contributing editor talked to her about her role as a mentor and DP, and how she approaches her work.



Learn to "Dance" in 2015

"For some reason when I look at risks, usually BIG risks, I always see the opportunity," says longtime Creative COW Leader Walter Biscardi, of Biscardi Creative Media. "I’m aware of what can happen if the risk doesn’t pay off, but the opportunities for success are what intrigue me. The fun factor is also an influence. I mean why do something if you’re not going to enjoy it? It might stressful, but if there’s some fun to be had in the risk, well that is something to be considered.

"I learned a long time ago, when an opportunity is presented, or I see the chance to create an opportunity I don’t let the possibility of failure stop me. I can’t be afraid to Dance." Read more of Walter's inspirational look at risk in the real world... https://blogs.creativecow.net/blog/13709/learn-to-dance-in-2015
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