Colour Grading Tutorials and Resources for DaVinci Resolve and more

Grading Tutorials for DaVinci Resolve and more

If you want to grow as a colorist then tutorials like this one from colorist Matt Scott will help you improve your art, craft and technique. That and everything else in this post! In this tutorial Matt talks through creating a film look in Edius 7 Pro, but you can easily transplant the ideas to DaVinci Resolve or your NLE of choice.

In this short tutorial from Denver Riddle he covers the topic of shot to shot matching, working in FCPX.

In this two-part tutorial from filmmaker Tom Antos you can get a good look of how to grade a war film in Premiere Pro, making use of Red Giant’s Colorista.

Download Free Grading Test Shots

Another very helpful thing Matt has to offer is a download’s section stuffed with great looking, free, original camera raw footage that you can take a crack at grading for yourself, including the shot he grades in the tutorial above. Head over to Matt’s site to download everything from R3D 2k at 300fps to R3D RAW 4k and 5k.

DaVinci Resolve 10 Tutorials

In this excellent tutorial colorist Rob Bessette breaks down how he created a couple of different looks for a recent pool commercial. For more of a taster of the kind of commercial work Rob does – check out his reel below. If you like Rob’s tutorials you can get more of them over on subscription site Mixing Light.com Click through for loads more tutorials!

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Free Sound Design and Sound Editing Training

Free Sound Design and Sound Editing Training

If you’ve ever wondered what a sound designer, sound editor and sound re-recording mixer does on a feature film then these free resources should give you a solid idea of what’s involved.

In this free webinar with sound designer Tom Ozanich you can learn a lot about how he mixes the final sound on a feature film or game cinematic. Tom has worked on the sound post production for films like Jupiter Ascending, Ender’s Game, Prisoners, Kill Bill Vol.2, American Beauty and many more…

In this series of articles and videos Clinton Harn takes you through all of the essential gear and techniques you need to improve your sound recording abilities. In these two videos below, Clinton shares some tips on dialogue recording location sound in cars. Check out the full series of articles on the Zacuto site.

Dialogue Editing for Motion Pictures

In this excellent series of tutorials, dialogue editor John Purcell takes you through the essential aspects of being a dialogue editor for feature film work. He covers topics like getting organised, basic transitions, telephone splits, managing your time and noise reduction. If you’re after a book on dialogue editing you probably can’t do much better than John’s own book Dialogue Editing For Motion Pictures – check it out on Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk. Click through for 12 more tutorials!

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Inside A Professional Edit Suite

Inside A Professional Edit Suite

If you’ve ever wondered what a professional edit suite looks like then this round up of photos, videos and edit suite design tips should give you a great insiders look! And if you want to be able to look even closer, check out this popular round up of editor’s timelines.

Here, the first few photos come from Ron Howard’s edit suite on his current film In The Heart of The Sea.

Not all edit suites as are as comfortable looking as Ron Howard’s – here’s Darren Aronofsky cutting Noah, standing up in his (seemingly) make-shift suite.

In these last two images you can check out documentary editor’s Shane Ross and Steve Audette’s edit suite set ups. Check out the next section of this post for Shane’s write up of his suite.


PBS Frontline documentary editor Steve Audette, kindly took the time to email a detailed breakdown of the gear in his suite. Speaking of Steve, if you’ve not seen his excellent lecture on documentary editing, then you’ve been seriously missing out.

Behind my head on the wall are important documents for durations and deadlines. Also you can see the “ten commandments of typography”and a motivational graphic of the 7 minute workout. Maybe I need to spend more time with that one.

Wacom Cintiq 13 inchTo continue left to right.  My desk has my laptop with a small Wacom Cintiq for fine Photoshop or After Effects work as needed; stuff I do close up and with a delicate hand. Mostly all this work is all on my Big Mac Pro (silver tower: 10.8.5 – 2×2.4ghz 6 core Xenon with 32 gig ram) but the laptop is there to do second shift work as needed. The laptop also where FinalDraft scripts are kept. 

Above the laptop is a plasma client monitor – I have two in my room this one is for me, the other is down way out of picture. Then my bin monitor and my composer monitor these are old NEC 24 inch that need replacing as they have ghost images. Below the bin monitor is the router (which I hardly use now with file based media) a telephone, a track ball and keyboard. 

Makie Studio MonitorsUp in the top corner there, you can see the Makie HR824 monitor. Not Blue Sky monitors by any means but they work ok. The bass trap on the wall behind me is matched with a few others in the room, but I am not sure they really work – still has too much bass. What do you expect with parallel walls. the speakers are also not set up for mixing so my producer/director has a heavy right mix and I have a heavy left mix. We cope and look forward to the mix. 

Tucked under my client monitor is an 01v mixing board. Again, I hardly use that now as I do all initial mixing in the Avid Media Composer for both rough cuts and fine cuts. Final mixing goes to the protools system upstairs. Back in the day I would work with 8 direct outs of audio and compress the narration channel and main interview channel on the O1v, now I do thaplumb bobt in the Media Composer using RTAS tools. So all that is left for this board is to record  narration – soon I will move to a USB solution and the board is gone. More space for coffee cups. (Funny but the elevated shelf for the computer monitors was set by the height of a BetaSP tape – when was the last time I saw one of those.)

Finally up in the upper right of the photo, there is the Plumb Bob. Homage to telling the straight line of a story and not wavering to the pull of some sequence off the narrative. Keep the line, like the Plumb Bob straight and true. 

If you have any questions ask me on Twitter or Facebook. Now back to my nap…

Anatomy of an Edit Suite

In this excellent three part video series, editor Walt Biscardi builds on one of his most popular blog posts ‘Anatomy of an edit suite‘ by updating things and going into a bit more detail on all the core components of a professional edit suite, including the chair, desk, mice and tablets, monitors, standing desks etc. Walt has also written up an post on designing a suite around an iMac, which is worth a look too.

Anatomy of an edit suite

Editor Shane Ross has also helpfully written up a detailed description of how he transformed his suite from one based around at 2008 Mac Pro to one based around a 2012 non-retina Macbook Pro – making the most of all those Thunderbolt peripherals to expand his edit suite. Click through for more edit suite design resources

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Making of Godzilla 2014

The Making of Godzilla 2014

Godzilla (2014) looks like a great summer blockbuster to me – largely because of director Gareth Edwards and (in this trailer) Bryan Cranston’s excellent character voice over. Epic destruction has never looked so enticing. And in putting together this round up of making-of insights, Edward’s humility is mighty refreshing.

As an aside it seems like you can never really go wrong in a trailer with a few quick fades to black synced to some Inception style fog-horns and then the scary choral murmuring from Kubrick’s 2001 stargate sequence.

I’ll be updating this post with more behind the scenes extras as they become available.

Gareth Edwards’ Advice for Filmmakers

In these 5 short snippets you get a few insights into Gareth’s filmmaking journey from early childhood aspirations to being asked to direct Godzilla. His most memorable piece of advice? “The secret of success is not how little you get knocked down, but how often you get back up.”

Click through for more Godzilla making-of magic

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What A Film Editor Actually Does

What A Film Editor Actually Does

If you’ve ever wondered what a film editor does, and what it takes to be one, then this 2 minute promo for creative film editing course Inside The Edit, is probably the most poetic and celebratory answer you’re going to get.

This next video demonstrates just how much work goes into an edit (often late into the night!) with a timelapse of the editing process for Saturday Night Live’s ‘The Beygency’ sketch, cut superbly by editor Adam Epstein.

Editors on Editing

You have to go with your own instincts, with what you think will work.

Frank Urioste shares his thoughts on the craft of editing in this excellent filmschoolthrucommentaries compilation. Frank has cut some of the most classic of classic action movies since the 80s in including Die Hard, Total Recall, Cliffhanger, Tombstone, Conspiracy Theory and many more.

In this 45 minute treat editor Richard Marks shares plenty of insights from his epic career and on the craft of feature film editing at the LACPUG. The opening remark is a good warning for why you need to learn to edit with keyboard shortcuts and a Wacom tablet rather than a mouse!

Richard has cut over 35 features including Apocalypse Now, The Godfather Part 2Say Anything…, St Elmo’s Fire, Dick Tracy, Father of the Bride, Things To Do In Denver When You’re Dead, As Good As It Gets, Spanglish and many more!

In this fantastic 30 minute interview editor John Gilroy talks through some of his feature credits which include Narc, Michael Clayton, Salt, Warrior, The Bourne Legacy and Pacific Rim. It’s a really great interview for hearing how and why an editor makes many of the stylistic choices in their films. For more from John (and many other editors) check out this previous post with loads of snippets from numerous Manhattan Edit Workshop presentations.

Click through for even more editing craft resources

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Thunderbolt 2 RAIDs for Post Production

Thunderbolt 2 RAIDs for Post Production

Thunderbolt 2 Devices

What are the best Thunderbolt 2 RAIDS for post production professionals? Hopefully this post will give you a good overview of some of what’s available. If you have a Mac Pro or a recent Macbook Pro you’ve already got Thunderbolt 2 speeds at your finger tips.

Thunderbolt Peripherals for film editors

If you’ve not seen my quite extensive previous post ‘The Best Thunderbolt Peripherals For Film Editors’ then that will also be worth a read as I go into much more detail of the other options available to any editor considering expanding the connectivity of a Mac Pro or Macbook Pro laptop. You can also find details of a deal with Jigsaw 24 to get free shipping if you’re a UK customer!

Thunderbolt 2 RAIDS & Reviews

Promise Pegasus 2 RAID

The Promise Pegasus 2 RAID series, with Thunderbolt 2 are all available in RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 50 or 60 configurations. (The image above is not to scale by the way!) They ship in 8TB ($1500), 12TB ($2250)18TB ($2930) and 32TB ($4,500) capacities and all come with dual Thunderbolt 2 ports for easy daisy chaining.

Pegasus 2 RAID connected to mac Pro

Larry Jordan has written up a very thorough and practical review of the Promise Pegasus 2 with the largest 8-bay RAID.

Ultimately Larry says that the Pegasus 2 “provides massive storage, excellent speeds, all at a reasonable price.”

What’s great about Larry’s review is that he provides plenty of speed test read outs, like this one on the left of the Pegasus 2 connected directly to a 12-core Mac Pro, to demonstrate the kind of ‘real world’ speeds you are likely to get, rather than the theoretical speeds of the Thunderbolt 2 protocol. Filling the RAID with SSD drives would make it faster, but a lot more expensive. Click through to keep reading

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DaVinci Resolve 11 – New Features

DaVinci Resolve 11 – New Features For Colorists

DaVinci Resolve 11 was announced at NAB 2014 and will be available in (late) June. As always Blackmagic Design have pulled out all the stops to pack over 140 new features into what is simply the best (free!) software for colour grading available today.

In these three videos (higher quality ones can be seen on the exceptionally slick Resolve website) Alexis Van Hurkman walks you through some of the new features in DaVinci Resolve 11, including over 70 new editing features – which is one of the main areas that Resolve continues to develop. You can now ingest (there’s a full checksum verification card copying utility inside Resolve now) edit (including simple text titles), colour grade and export to formats like DCP – all from inside Resolve.

Continue reading for more on Resolve 11 & Resolve 10 Tutorials

Posted in Colour Grading, DaVinci Resolve, DIT, Interview, Review, Tutorials | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Twitter Tips for Avid Editors Part 2

Tips for Avid Editors from Editors who Tweet

Avid Media Composer editors on Twitter are a great source of information, especially those like @shortedits who regularly tweet short tips or keyboard shortcuts to help those of us still learning the ropes of the mighty Avid get up to speed.

I previously compiled a bunch of these tweets in this Twitter Tips for Avid Editors post, but I thought it was about time to post another compilation. As always it’s well worth clicking on the date stamp of each tweet to check out the full conversation that sometimes emerges as a result. You’ll then learn a whole lot more… enjoy!

Click through for even more Avid tips!

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Learn How To Make A DCP

Learn How To Make A Digital Cinema Package

Learning how to make a Digital Cinema Package can be a complex and confusing process, but an increasingly essential one for colorists, editors and post-production professional’s having to deliver the necessary files that make up the new standard in digital cinema distribution.

Understanding all of the technical elements involved throughout the entire process of making a DCP (Digital Cinema Package) just got a lot easier though, thanks to Understanding Digital Cinema Mastering, an excellent 50 minute D-Cinema course from digital cinema technologist Helmut Lottenburger. Helmut generously gave me access to the course to see if I thought it was worth reviewing – which, as it turns out, I absolutely do.

It is getting easier than ever to simply hit a few buttons and ‘create’ a DCP, but to truly understand whether you’re doing things correctly, you need a greater depth of knowledge. The course efficiently explains all of the technical knowledge you need in order to know what you should be doing when making a DCP.

Each video is only 2-3 minutes in length, which might not sound like a lot, but the information is so tightly packed that you’ll definitely want to watch each one a couple of times to make sure you’ve taken it all in. The fact that you can sit down and fully understand what a DCP is and how it works in under an hour is fantastic, and Helmut has done a great job of providing 100 percent high quality information and zero waffle.

Understanding Digital Cinema Mastering covers the entire DCP workflow, the XYZ colour space, JPEG2000 compression, assembly the various files that make up a DCP, DCP encryption (in quite some detail) as well as supplemental DCP’s and DCP naming conventions among other things. All-in-all, a lot of content in a short space of time.

If you are looking for a newbies guide to making a DCP step-by-step with a particular piece of software, then this isn’t the course for you, and it’s not supposed to be. If you are a post professional hungry to get up to speed on what DCP’s are and quickly understand the technical context and details of what’s involved, then it definitely is. Understanding Digital Cinema Mastering is available from Udemy for $49.99

If this all sounds like a good deal, it gets even better as Helmut was also generous enough to offer the readers of this blog a 10 percent discount on the course, only through the link below.

Purchase Understanding Digital Cinema Mastering with a 10% discount via this exclusive link.

The third video in this section is also an exclusive as it’s not available as one of the free previews of the course that you can watch if you sign up for a free account on Udemy.

Click through for even more DCP training, tutorials and resources!

Posted in Colour Grading, DaVinci Resolve, DIT, Editor's Tools, Free download, Review, Tutorials, Workflow | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Resources for Film Editors To Improve Your Craft

Resources For Film Editors To Improve Your Craft

Every editor is always a student of film. No matter how high you rise there will always be new things to learn, new problems to solve, new creative approaches to take. So if you’re an editor looking to improve your craft, how exactly do you do that?

Well, the following resources should hopefully have most aspects of the art, craft and technique of editing covered. First off is the Art Of The Guillotine’s brand new interactive magazine – The Assembly. A clean, informative and professional front end for the huge community compiled database that is the AOTG network – which now features over 45,000 submissions and growing daily.

The Assembly – Interactive Magazine for Film Editors

The Assembly AOTG Magazine

Thanks to AOTG founder and The Assembly Editor-in-Chief Gordon Burkell’s tireless efforts, there is a huge wealth of post-production related content amassing daily on AOTG.com. But with so much great content available, the challenge of finding what you need, or being able to extend the depth of any given post by finding others like it, is now not really a problem at all.

Having been given a sneak peak at the magazine you definitely want to stop reading this and go sign up for it right now. Jump over to AOTG’s sign up page and then come back and keep reading! As it works on any iOS and Android device, everyone can carry it in their pocket.

It is seriously well written, with contributing writers – many of them working editors and post production professionals – delivering in-depth articles on a diverse range of topics such as the science of how an audience ‘computes’ an edit, the origin story of the hugely popular #postchat, to articles on metadata and the work of editing a critically acclaimed TV series.

film editing magazine the assemblyEach article in The Assembly not only features videos, websites, audio clips and more than you can access with one tap, but it also connects you to the best that the AOTG network has to offer. This connection is one of the best of the interactive features in The Assembly. Each article has a ‘Resources tab’ that takes you to a list of selected linked articles and information to help you go deeper into the focus of that particular article.

Lastly, one of my favourite things about The Assembly, which is a tiny detail that makes a massive difference, is that all the ‘extra’ resources that you access – be they videos, websites etc are opened within the app. This means when you’re done viewing that particular extra you can just hit ‘done’ and you’re right back in the app. Click through for even more resources

Posted in Adobe Premiere Pro, AVID, Craft, Documentaries, Editing, Editor's Tools, FCP-X, Final Cut Pro, Free download, Interview, Review | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment