A Decade of Learning – 10 Years at MediaStorm

Today I celebrate my 10 year anniversary at MediaStorm; ten years of working with some of the finest people in the industry. To commemorate, here’s a list of ten things I’ve learned and relearned during the last decade. The only way to make a great film is to obsessively care about every single detail from inception through export. Not every project will be great but you can still do great work on every project. You can edit only one film: the one in front of you, not the one you wish for. Filmmaking is a collaborative art form. Work with people you respect, and equally important, people you like. Don't wait until your deadline to ask for feedback. Get it many times along the way. Revision is not part of the process. It is the process. Creativity is not a limited resource. Giving freely replenishes the wellspring. By teaching others, you not…

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MediaStorm Guide to Using the MediaStorm Asset Parser

This article is part of a series of posts with tips and tricks from our producers' experience working with Adobe Premiere Pro CC after years of working in Final Cut Pro. To read more about why we made the switch, check out this post. Knowing exactly what images and videos are used in the production of a film is a critical part of the MediaStorm workflow. We need this information in order to know which low-res footage needs to be purchased then swapped out with licensed hi-res footage, as well as which images must be toned then replaced in the timeline. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to do this in either Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro 7. So MediaStorm built the Asset Parser. Using the parser is easy. First, you’ll need to export an XML file from your editing software. In Premiere Pro, make sure your final sequence is selected…

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MediaStorm Guide to Quickly Deleting Through Edits in Premiere Pro

As I explained in an earlier post, a through edit is a marker that indicates where you’ve sliced an asset but no frames have actually been omitted. To turn on this functionality, from the Sequence menu select Show Through Edits. Now, when you make a cut (Command-Shift-K), you’ll see the through edit icon. Adobe has conveniently used the same icon found in Final Cut Pro 7. If you’re like me, you’ll probably collect a lot of these during the course of your work, places where you thought you’d make an edit but ultimately didn't. In time, they become a distraction. Fortunately there’s an easy way to batch delete these markers. Simply hold both the Option and Command keys while lassoing your clips with the Selection Tool (A). Your edit points will be selected. Next, hit the Delete key and your through edits will be deleted.

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Eight Things I (Re)Learned Editing Travel Anonymous

Sometimes having no limitations is the hardest obstruction. * To paraphrase the late novelist E.L. Doctorow., “[Making a movie] is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights but you can make the whole trip that way.” * In other words, the only way out is through. * It’s hard to be spontaneous if you’re clinging to the some vague notion that what you’re doing is wrong. If you let yourself fail extravagantly, you might succeed beyond expectation. * "The first draft of anything is shit." - Ernest Hemingway * The unconscious mind loves to work out problems. You may feel doubt and uncertainty but your brain is busy untying knots. * Write down insights and ideas immediately. You’ll forget them otherwise. Seriously, you will. • The simple answer comes last, after you’ve worked your way through all the rest. It’s like sculpting: you…

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Travel Anonymous: Lessons Learned, Again

I’m a big proponent of working within a set of limitations.

I’ve purposefully done this numerous times both at MediaStorm and in my own work: from setting out to make a film that’s exactly one-minute long to creating a fictional movie with the attributes of a documentary. Setting yourself up against restrictions can be a powerful means of encouraging creative problem solving.

But with Travel Anonymous, a MediaStorm collaboration with photographer Jeff Hutchens, I could literally do anything. Nothing was out of bounds.

Case in point: at one of my first meetings with Jeff, he told me he liked the idea of using only the tiniest portions of his images. A corner here, an interesting blur there. To work without regard to the “sacredness” of a photographer’s pictures felt both exhilarating, and quite honestly, a bit blasphemous.

There was just one objective: to convey what it feels like to travel so much that you lose all sense of time and place. This was to be an immersive, sensory experience.

Early on, though, I was confounded. (more…)

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