MediaStorm Guide to the Slip Tool

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. One tool I often overlook when editing is the slip tool. My buddy Tim McLaughlin reintroduced me to its power last week. The slip tool allows you to change the in and out point of a single clip without affecting it’s duration or the duration of adjoining clips. Your project length stays the same. Activate the slip tool with either the shortcut key Y or by clicking on its icon in the toolbar. Next, hover over a video clip and you’ll see that your cursor change to the slip icon. Hold down your mouse and drag forward or backwards inside the clip, don't move the clip itself. You’ll…

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Thoughts on Picture Editing

The writer John Gardner once described a good novel as a “long and continuous dream.”Picture editing at its best, works similarly. It’s an immersive experience. When I think about picture editing, I think of the exact moment one image changes to the next. It’s here that meaning is created, in the viewer’s attempt to make a connection between two different pictures [1]. That “blink” is likewise the foundation of cinema. Picture editing for me is an intuitive process—I’ve been called slow but I think deliberate may be more accurate. I’m obsessive, trying and retrying dozens of variations until one feels right. It’s not always easy to articulate exactly how or why something works because like a dream, the best edits often provoke the viewer precognitively. Nevertheless, here are some questions I ask myself as I work: Does the image advance the story? Does it create forward movement in the narrative by offering…

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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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Story is the Point

Back in the 90s, as a graduate student in creative writing, I discovered the novels and short stories of Richard Yates. His masterpiece Revolutionary Road, which was the basis for the 2008 film starring Leonardo DiCaprio, depicts the stifled dreams of a suburban couple. Kurt Vonnegut called the book the greatest American novel since Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Last week, I found a series of quotes by the author. One in particular stood out. “Don’t be seduced by prose, the point is structure.” I think the parallel is clear. To paraphrase, don’t be seduced by gorgeous imagery. Story is the point. Now don’t get me wrong, I love beautiful video. I adore it. And seeing a stunning photograph for the first time is like a window opening in your heart you didn’t know was there. It’s a revelation. In fact, I’ve written elsewhere that we should embrace the grammar and aesthetics of…

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MediaStorm Guide to Audio Configuration in Premiere Pro CC

This article is part of a series of posts with tips and tricks from our producers' experience working with Adobe Premiere Pro after years of working in Final Cut Pro. To read more about why we made the switch, check out this post. This screencast illustrates the basics of configuring your audio setting in Premiere Pro CC. Topics covered include: • How to set up your audio preferences for better importing. • The difference between single and dual track stereo files. • How to change a dual track stereo file to a single track stereo file. • How to mirror your strongest audio signal on both left and right channels.

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