MediaStorm Guide to Changing File Names with Automator

Sometimes when organizing assets you may want to add a word or two to a group of files. Fortunately, you don’t need to do this manually as OS X provides powerful built-in automation tools.

In the Applications folder, open Automator.

When you open Automator, you’ll be presented with several options. Double-click Service.


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MediaStorm Guide to Google Docs Add-ons

At MediaStom, we edit all of our transcripts in Google Docs. It’s a great tool for real-time collaboration. When two people work on the same document, I can actually see my colleague’s edits as they happen.

Recently, Google introduced a new feature, Add-ons. Think of them as extensions for Google Docs that work across all browsers.

To get started, in an open Doc select the menu Add-ons > Get Ad-ons…

A pop-up window will appear, displaying available add-ons.


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MediaStorm Guide to Downloading from YouTube and Vimeo

Last week I started a project that incorporates previously produced material. The client stores this footage on YouTube and Vimeo. Once I’ve selected the clips I’d like to use, they will send me the Final Cut Projects and raw assets so I can use their material accordingly.

But it takes time to procure these files and as always, the clock is ticking. You’ve probably been in this situation yourself.

Rather than screen-capture the files with QuickTime or iShowU, my workaround is to download directly from the aforementioned sites. This is far faster as I don’t need to rerecord in real time.

I use the free service which allows the user to download videos directly from sites like YouTube and Vimeo. This works via a bookmarklet—a few lines of javascript—that sit on your browser’s bookmark bar.

To begin, load in your browser. 

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Software Inventory 2014

I thought the start of the new year would be a good time to review the software I use most frequently at MediaStorm.

The Essentials

Adobe Premiere Pro CC (starting at $19.99 a month) – Back in October of 2012 MediaStorm announced our decision to use Premiere Pro, not FCP X. With the advent of CC, the updates are faster and the software keeps getting better.

Aperture (Mac App Store, $79.99) – Aperture is Apple’s workhouse picture-editing software. While it’s due for an update, we’ve been relying on Aperture for the better part of a decade. For an extensive guide to Aperture see the MediaStorm Post-production Workflow ($14.95).

Keyboard Maestro ($36.00) – Keyboard Maestro is a macro utility. When a user inputs a single keyboard shortcut, Keyboard Maestro will respond with a series of predefined actions. This small application really increased my logging speed last year. See MediaStorm Guide to Super Fast Logging with Premiere Pro and Keyboard Maestro.

PluralEyes ($199) – Essential software for syncing multiple audio or video sources. See MediaStorm Guide to Creating Multi-Camera Sequences in Premiere Pro, Part 1.

Final Cut Pro 7 – Apple’s venerable editing software is no longer available for purchase nor is it in heavy use around the office. But with nearly 40 TB of legacy projects, it’s still critical to have a copy on our production stations.


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OS X Mavericks Brings the MediaStorm Field Guide to Your Desktop

One of the most common questions we get at MediaStorm is, "how can I read your Field Guide if I don't have an iPad!?!" Thanks to the good folks at Apple, we finally have an alternative for tablet-less storytellers. The MediaStorm Field Guide joins 1.8 million book titles that are now available on your desktop with the new version of OS X, Mavericks. The free app will allow you to read purchased books and textbooks right from your desktop. About Our Field Guide The MediaStorm Field Guide outlines fundamental concepts for gathering multimedia content in the field for documentary films. The guide is based on MediaStorm’s years of experience shooting and producing award-winning projects. Serving as a quick reference for multimedia teams in the field, the guide covers important concepts from picking appropriate gear, to setting up audio correctly, to shooting b-roll and backing up media. Additionally, each chapter’s most important points…

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