COW NEWSLETTER: Recent Newsletters Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Accomplished editors tend to point to instinct and experience when it comes to the exact edit point. Here are 5 tips from veteran editor Sven Pape of "This Guy Edits" that may help you get there. Some editors say that great editing is invisible. So is the right frame the one we don't notice?

mocha AE Planar Tracker for Absolute Beginners * Adobe After Effects * Tobias Gleissenberger

mocha AE Planar Tracker for Absolute Beginners

Want to learn how to create advanced visual effects? Learn how to use mocha AE to track your shot and add advanced visual effects to live action footage inside Adobe After Effects. mocha can help you track shots that would be hard to track using traditional 2D point or feature trackers because it is a PLANAR TRACKER. A planar tracker uses planes and textures to track as opposed to points or groups of pixels. This allows the tracker to stay on track even if your shot contains motion blur or a very shallow depth of field. mocha AE comes included with Adobe After Effects and is available since CS3 and there is no reason for you not to use this awesome tool to make it easier for you to track your shot, replace screens or rotoscope!

Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Seven Ways to Make Your Own Luck in The Film Industry

HBO Director of Workflow, post-house founder, owner of the first two RED cameras, founder and developer of Endcrawl, technologist, futurist, educator, and more: John 'Pliny' Eremic, is regularly asked for career advice in the field of filmmaking. Step One, he says, is to consider a new career! There's much more of course, delivered with Pliny's peerless wit, directness, and insight. Whether you're just starting in the business, or looking to break through to the next level, you won't want to miss this guide to making your own luck.

The Surprising Upside Of Procrastination In Film Editing

The Surprising Upside Of Procrastination In Film Editing

What if you wouldn't have to stop procrastinating? Sven Pape of "This Guy Edits" demonstrates how to use procrastination to achieve some of your best film editing work. "Why do I procrastinate?" asks Sven. "I give you Aaron Sorkin who has one of the best procrastination quotes: 'You call it procrastination I call it thinking.'"

Working with Audio in Adobe Premiere Pro

Working with Audio in Adobe Premiere Pro

Want to learn how to add music and sound effects to your videos using Adobe Premiere Pro? Tobias Gleissenberger of Surfaced Studio will teach you all you need to know about adding music and sound effects to your projects, creating and using submixes, working with audio keyframes, and much more.

Join the Blue Collar Post Collective for the first in a series of free LIVE STREAMED summer talks on the human side of post production, starting with how we can work together to make the post production industry more inclusive. We’ll talk about our own experiences, and how we can apply those to build each other up and change what the face of an expert looks like in the machine room, DI theater, edit suite, or executive conference room.

  • Cate Haight, ACE, editor of shows like Transparent and Mozart in the Jungle.
  • Joe Delgado, lead assistant editor for Geiger Post, working on reality/docuseries and awards shows like the BET Awards and other quick turn live events.
  • Mark Hartzell, editor of shows like Agent Carter and True Blood.
  • Lauren Ellis, VFX Producer for The Molecule LA who works on shows like Master of None and House of Cards.

Moderated by Kylee Peña -- a workflow supervisor for Bling Digital where she works on the technical side of post production for TV shows like Scorpion and Jane the Virgin.

A live stream is being provided by our friends at The SIM Group and will be streamed through YouTube Live. A live chat will also be available so you can participate in the discussion and ask questions too. You'll also be able to watch it later if you miss out.

But why on earth would you want to miss out??? Tune in Saturday at 3:30PM Pacific for what is sure to be a provocative, inspiring conversation with some of the industry's leading creative professionals. Click here for more information!

Subscribe or Unsubscribe

The Secret World of Foley, One of Cinema's Most Magical Arts

The Secret World of Foley is an evocative, wordless insight into one of the cinema’s most magical arts: the creative addition of synchronized sound effects in post known as Foley.

Named for Jack Foley, the man who introduced these techniques over 90 years ago, the idea behind the art of Foley is simple: artists create sounds that weren’t, often couldn’t possibly have been, recorded while shooting pictures. The idea behind The Secret World of Foley is likewise simple. Rather than explain even as much I just did, Director/Producer Daniel Jewel just shows it.

Starting with a spectacular film – honestly, “composed” is the best word – for the occasion, set in the fishing village of Clovely on England’s Devon coast (lensed by the Devon-born James Watson who suggested the location, and graded by Nadya Gorodeskaya), we follow along in the studio as artists Peter Burgis and Sue Hardy work their magic. This short film is also one of the most beautiful things you've seen in a long time. We highly recommend it to any fans of movies, sound, and the inspiration of watching true artists at work.

Editing: The Kuleshov Effect Put to the Test * Art of the Edit * Sven Pape

Editing: The Kuleshov Effect Put to the Test

One of the most powerful discoveries in the early days of editing became known as The Kuleshov Effect: the same piece of footage means different things depending on the shots that surround it. It is a mental phenomenon by which the audience derives more meaning from the interaction of two sequential shots than from a single shot in isolation. One hundred years later, Sven Pape of This Guy Edits puts this venerable axiom to the test. Does this fundamental principle of modern editing still hold up? Prepare to be amazed.
How to Make After Effects Faster with Proxies * Adobe After Effects * Tobias Gleissenberger

How to Make After Effects Faster with Proxies

Learn how to make Adobe After Effects faster by using PROXIES! A proxy is a placeholder that stands in place for a very large video file or image sequence in your project. You can easily create proxies for the large source files that you are using and After Effects will automatically link them to the item in your project panel.
FuseFX & mocha: VFX for Walking Dead, Empire, AHS & More * Art of the Edit * Imagineer Systems

FuseFX & mocha: VFX for Walking Dead, Empire, AHS & More

The 100+ member team at FuseFX juggles over 30 television episodics a season, while also working on features and commercials. Current credits include: FOX's Empire, ABC's Agents of SHIELD, AMC's The Walking Dead, SyFy's The Magicians, CBS's Zoo, and FX's American Horror Story. Brigitte Bourque, FuseFX's Digital Effects Supervisor and a 20 year industry vet, talks to us about the work that FuseFX does, and how Imagineer Systems mocha fits into their pipeline.

Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Game of Thrones: Battle of the Bastards VFX

Deluxe Entertainment Services Group (Deluxe) has shared with us that its Australian animation and visual effects studio Iloura delivered a significant suite of work for the recent "Battle of the Bastards" episode of HBO's tentpole series Game of Thrones. Working on the epic battle sequence for the Season 6, Episode 9 crescendo, Iloura's team of visual artists used a mix of VFX and hand-crafted animation techniques to realize the vision for the bloody showdown. As a bonus, we include HBO's production featurette on staging and shooting Game of Thrones' most epic scene yet.

Stabilize & Smooth: mocha 5 Plug-in for Adobe & Avid * Adobe After Effects * Mary Poplin

Stabilize & Smooth: mocha 5 Plug-in for Adobe & Avid

Imagineer Systems and Boris FX product specialist Mary Poplin shows you how to stabilize with the new mocha Pro 5 plug-in inside of Avid Media Composer, Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects. This tutorial covers artistic stabilization, such as smoothing out camera movements or stabilizing around moving objects, completely locking down shots, and automatically replacing edge fill on planar backgrounds.
Top 10 Adobe Premiere Pro Keyboard Shortcuts * Adobe Premiere Pro * Tobias Gleissenberger

Top 10 Adobe Premiere Pro Keyboard Shortcuts

Join Tobias Gleissenberger for an energetic look at the top ten keyboard shortcuts Adobe Premiere Pro. These essential tips will greatly improve your efficiency and help you optimise your editing workflow!

Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Capturing People in VR Cinematography

Close-up VR imagery from camera-originated material is awesome but tricky, says multimedia and VR pioneer Michael Naimark. The question is, how do you actually DO it? Taking Google's collaboration with Go Pro on the Jump VR 16-camera rig as a starting point, Michael and his team began to map out the specifics of managing point of view inside a 360 degree panorama. It requires a combination of complexity (stitching this many POVs together) and simplicity (panoramic sound helps a lot!) that we're just now beginning to explore. Ready for a wild ride into the future of capturing people in the world of VR cinematography? Start here.

Advanced Keying in Blackmagic Design Fusion * Blackmagic Design Fusion * Simon Ubsdell

Advanced Keying in Blackmagic Design Fusion

Following his well-received exploration of the power of customized keying inside Blackmagic Design Fusion, Simon Ubsdell goes even further into his look at the liberation from the inevitable limitations of other people's keyers by building your own inside Fusion. Along the way, you'll learn about Channel Booleans and many other insights that you'll be able to use in all of your Fusion projects.
How To Become A (Wanted) Film Editor * Art of the Edit * Sven Pape

How To Become A (Wanted) Film Editor

What does it take to master the art of film editing? Sven Pape, host of This Guy Edits, shares 7 recommendations that may just turn you into a storyteller in demand. Or more specifically, he says, these are his thoughts on how to become what you love, whether directing, screenwriting, shooting, acting: anything that you have a passion for.
Gravity's Mark Sanger: Cut & Talk with Oscar-Winning Editor * Art of the Edit * Mark Sanger and Christian Jhonson

Gravity's Mark Sanger: Cut & Talk with Oscar-Winning Editor

Academy Award-winning editor Mark Sanger stopped his usual activities to talk about working with director Alfonso Cuarón and his amazing work on Gravity, what to cut out of the film, and what to cut out of life with his guiding principle: make yourself invaluable, but never at the expense of others.

Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Breaking the Drone Code

An understanding of the Drone Code may help clarify the lines the FAA and UAS/UAV/drone owners have drawn in the sand for each other, says Douglas Spotted Eagle, CEO of Drones Plus, Inc. The Drone Code may seem to shift at the whims of legislation, lobbyists, manufacturer organizations, government agencies, and UAS users. It doesn't. Here is Part 1 of your path to distinguishing shifting sands vs. the solid underlying large rocks anchored to the earth. Read on...

How to Spawn A Clone in Adobe After Effects

Want to learn how to create a cool clone spawn effect in Adobe After Effects? Follow along with After Effects whiz Tobias from Surfaced Studio in this exciting new visual effects tutorial that combines green screen using Keylight, CC Vector Blur, the Liquify Effect, CC Particle World, and much more, delivered in Tobias' inimitable style! Read on...

A Beautiful Planet, with Canon & Cinematographer James Neihouse, ASC

Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe of The Harold & Maudecast recently got to speak with James Neihouse, ASC, to discuss his experience making the IMAX film A BEAUTIFUL PLANET. The film, a collaboration between Canon and NASA, was shot from space (oh yeah), entirely on Canon EOS C500 and the Canon EOS 1D-C. It's an amazing story about how James decided that Canon cameras were the way to go, and the absolutely astounding lengths that the crew went in order to capture these extraordinary images. Read on...

And while you're visiting the Creative COW Blogs, Mathieu Marano of My Canadian Studio offers a close-up look at the new Canon C300 Mark II. New features abound, including 4K, and what DP Alexis Landriault declares is the best autofocus on the market. Read on...

Subscribe or Unsubscribe

G-Tech G-Rack 12: Fast, Easy, Expandable, A Winner

Already having a great reputation for standalone RAID arrays, G-Tech makes a bold move into shared storage with the G-Tech G-RACK 12. With 120 TB, expandable to 480 TB, blazing speeds, a built-in server (no separate computer or metadata servers needed!) and incredibly easy set-up and management software, longtime broadcast and facility engineer Bob Zelin says that the G-RACK 12 is a winner. Bob doesn't say that often, so you're going to want to check out all the details -- and because it's Bob, there are a lot of details! Read on....

Creating A Flame on Your Finger with After Effects * Adobe After Effects * Tobias Gleissenberger

Creating A Flame on Your Finger with After Effects

It is easy to do some motion tracking and attach a basic stock footage element of fire onto your hands, but there is a little bit of work involved if you actually want to make it look good. In this intermediate tutorial by After Effects expert Tobias, you'll see how to use a fire stock footage element to set your thumb on fire! There are lots of useful tricks for null objects, expressions, and more in this tutorial that will help you create all sorts of other cool visual effects -- or set even more things on fire!

Subscribe or Unsubscribe


Just admit it. You're afraid of the empty timeline. Maybe you’re one of the lucky few who can dive right into cutting a new project. Then there are the other 99% of us for whom there’s nothing worse than that moment after you’re prepping, and you have to face it: time to start cutting something. As an editor for high-profile shows including Empire and Burn Notice, Zack Arnold has been there. Here Zack, shares 10 proven tips from his own experience for not just beating editor's block, but completely avoiding it. Read on....


For the first time in its history, the American Cinema Editors student award nominations were swept by students from a single school: the University of North Carolina School for the Arts. In Part 1 of her look at this program's unprecedented feat, Advice From New Grads, Creative COW Associate Editor Kylee Peña speaks to the students -- Aneesa Mahboob, Chris Dold, and Emily Rayl -- about the first part of their journey as filmmakers, the benefits of formal education, how they see the world from here, as well as their remarkable night at their first (and surely not last) Hollywood awards banquet.

In Part 2, How to Make Film School Work, Kylee speaks with UNCSA faculty members Julian Semilian, ACE, and Michael Miller, ACE about balancing technique and creativity, and what it takes to succeed not just in school, but in your career afterward.

Whether you're a student or a seasoned pro, prepare to be inspired, challenged, and reminded why we do this.​ Read on....

Subscribe or Unsubscribe

'Art of Post' Art Show Features Creativity After Delivery

The creative folks in post-production often apply their artistic skills beyond their jobs. They sometimes even apply to it to art. This is every bit as true for technical and administrative people who don't have a specific outlet for their artistic impulses on the job. The folks at the bi-coastal visual effects and motion graphics company came up with a fantastic idea: let's put some of the work they've created in galleries. and call it "The Art of Post." Creative COW Associate Editor Kylee Peña responded strongly. "When I saw the Art of Post event featuring art created by post production professionals in Los Angeles and New York, I knew it wasn't just a new idea, it was necessary." Learn more about the remarkable event, enjoy the work of some remarkable artists, and perhaps think more broadly about what it means to be creative. Read more...

Depth of Field: Gregg Toland, Citizen Kane and Beyond * TV & Movie Appreciation * Tim Wilson

Depth of Field: Gregg Toland, Citizen Kane and Beyond

Whenever somebody equates "shallow depth of field" and "cinematic look," it's important to remember that the opposite is also sometimes true. Creative COW Editor-in-Chief Tim Wilson celebrates the work of Gregg Toland, ASC, born this week in 1904 -- the first master of extreme depth of field in movies like Citizen Kane and The Grapes of Wrath that forever changed what is possible for humans to do with cameras. This reprise of a classic article from the Creative COW Archives also offers a look at what Toland's approach to cinematic composition can mean for YOUR shooting.
New Trends and Technology at Cine Gear Expo 2016 * Cinematography * Susan Lewis

New Trends and Technology at Cine Gear Expo 2016

Cine Gear Expo 2016 exhibits open Friday June 3 and 4, at Paramount Studios in Hollywood, California with major screenings, filmmaker panel discussions, groundbreaking techniques and new equipment premiers that are sure to influence the filmmaking industry. Catering to the world’s top motion picture, video and new media visual artists, Paramount’s prestigious back lot is the ideal setting for professionals to meet with colleagues and nearly 300 top equipment vendors to see live demos and get their hands on the latest gear. Take a look at how this year's hottest trends are shaping up.

Subscribe or Unsubscribe

What Ever Happened to Metadata?

At the heart of workflow is the ability to actually find your media, graphics, and other assets. The question is, how?

In one of the most-viewed threads in the Creative COW Forums for quite some time, trailer producer, VFX artist, business owner and software developer Simon Ubsdell kicks off the conversation by observing, “For more than half a decade (at least), we have been talking about how metadata is changing the world around us, and yet in one important area, we seem not to be using it that much, if at all. And that's media organization.

“Today media organization stars Bins, Folders, Libraries, Events, Keyword Collections and more. We are still contentedly throwing our material into various containers and sub-containers, and sub-sub-containers - but what if there was a different way?”

This wide-ranging conversation covers editing and project management with resources including Apple FCPX, Adobe Premiere, Avid Media Composer, DaVinci Resolve, camera formats, media containers like MXF, third-party asset managers and more – including compelling speculation about what kinds of tools we would most like to see in the future.

No matter your post-production platform of choice, if you have anything to do with managing, organizing, or working with media, this is a conversation we think you’ll really enjoy. Take a look!

Metadata & The Future of Filmmaking * Art of the Edit * Dave Stump, ASC

Metadata & The Future of Filmmaking

Dave Stump, ASC has worked as a DP, effects cinematographer and VFX supervisor on dozens of films including Quantum of Solace, X-men The Bourne Identity, Star Trek: First Contact, Batman Forever and many more. He chairs the ASC subcommittees on Cameras, and Metadata, and in 2000, was part of a team that received a Technical Achievement Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, for hand-development of advanced camera data capture systems. Although this interview was first published in 2008, we've found that the ideas explored here are becoming more relevant by the day. Join Creative COW Editor-in-Chief Tim Wilson and COW Leader and camera expert Gary Adcock for this compelling look at the future of filmmaking.

Creative Studio leads Pink Through the Looking Glass * Art of the Edit * COW News

Creative Studio leads Pink Through the Looking Glass

The Creative Studio's Director of CG Steve Parish led the VFX team, who first worked to bring together eighteen passes of a continuous seventy second shot as Pink moves across the chessboard in a fully CG generated environment. Meyers and Sarsfield had worked carefully to capture the motion controlled camera move, ensuring that there were no intersections between the characters, but the VFX team had a lot of clean up on the chessboard to create a clean plate before adding reflections and shadows to the floor in order to sell through the separate passes of Pink's game pieces interacting in the scene.

Adventures in File Transfer: Crawford's Transformed Workflow *  * COW News

Adventures in File Transfer: Crawford's Transformed Workflow

The boom in Georgia location production has led to new opportunities for Atlanta's Crawford Media Services to provide everything from dailies to finishing, all the way through archiving. The trick is that while, locations are local, the productions and client operating bases may be across the country, or even on other continents. As media bloomed to over 200TB daily, FTP was no longer an option. To the rescue rode Signiant Media Shuttle.

Subscribe or Unsubscribe
© 2018 All Rights Reserved