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

Posted in Editor's Tools, Review, Thunderbolt | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

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 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 , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Insights on Editing Top Television Shows

Insights on Editing TV Shows From Top Editors

Arrested Development is a fantastic show, and if you’ve not seen it, well you’ve made a huge mistake. Although you can catch up on most of the memes in this 8 minute supercut. More importantly though you can listen to editor Kabir Akhtar share a ton of great insights on editing a hit comedy show, building a career and a lot more in this double header of interviews from LACPUG and AOTG.

Editing Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones editor Oral Ottey is a fine chap (I met him at Edit Fest London) and in this extensive interview from High Definition Magazine, you get a great sense of the challenges involved in editing a complex, multi-layered series with a huge fan following.

“[The Red Wedding] scene alone, the Director, a guy called David Nutter, he actually shot in a single day eleven and a half hours of footage. So that was quite daunting to edit that down to one hour. He was asked to direct that episode and because I had worked with him before, they wanted to keep that continuity and we get on really well. They all do that you know, it’s better the devil you know.

“We had a meeting before he shot it about camera placement and the tone he was after. He was working at an awesome speed. I started cutting it the next day and managed to cut it in a day! I thought there was no point agonising over it just go at it with gusto, you get the shape of it and then you start planting the little looks here and there, the odd punctuation moments. You then polish it.

Editing Breaking Bad

In this 40 minute, two part interview, editor Kelley Dixon shares a ton of great insights on her career progression, the importance of cutting pilots and what it takes to edit Breaking Bad season after season. Click through for even more TV editing insights

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Premiere Pro CC Vs FCPX 10.1 Vs Media Composer 7

Premiere Pro CC Vs FCPX 10.1 Vs Avid Media Composer 7

Which NLE should I use?

If there is one question that gets asked most frequently when two editors meet it is: What are you cutting on? I don’t think that the answer matters as much now ‘kudos’ wise, although you might get some raised eyebrows if the answer is something that falls outside of ‘the big three': Avid Media Composer, Final Cut Pro or Premiere. But if you’re still trying to decide which one to learn first (or next) then, whatever your choice, hopefully this post will help.

In this short video Dave Dugdale shares his thoughts on which NLE you might want to go for based on an informal survey that he did on his site. Premiere Pro comes out on top – which is more a reflection of Dave’s readership – who are far more consumer than prosumer, or even professional. Either way, interesting stats from a different perspective.

Oliver Peter’s has written up an interesting comparison of these three NLEs, from the perspective of what working post production professionals might be thinking about and covers some interesting topics like how easily you are able to move the installation between machines. Ultimately Peter’s summaries:

There is no clear winner among these three. If you are on Windows, then the choice is between Adobe and Avid. If you need 4K output today, Apple or Adobe are your best option. All three handle a wide range of popular camera formats well – especially RED. If you like tracks – go Avid or Adobe. If you want the best application for the new Mac Pro, that will clearly be Apple Final cut Pro X. These are all great tools, capable of any level of post production – be it commercial, corporate, web, broadcast entertainment or feature films. If you’ve been on the fence for two years, now is the time to switch, because there are no bad tools – only preferences.

NLE Cost Comparisons

Avid Media Composer 7

Another post that you might also want to check out is this round up I wrote over on PremiumBeat – which also compared the price points of the three systems, in which you can’t really beat the price point of FCPX $299 for a one-time purchase, although it’s a little like comparing one apple to an apple tree given the number of applications you get from Adobe for your money.

FCPX $299 | Avid Media Composer 7 $999 | Premiere Pro CC $49/month

That said, the only company still charging for updates is Avid – when making the jump between versions – while Adobe and Apple have made their updates completely free. (Well, Adobe customers are paying for them each month, so only Apple’s are technically actually ‘free’) Keep reading for more NLE tips

Posted in Adobe Premiere Pro, AVID, Business, Editing, Editor's Tools, FCP-X, Final Cut Pro | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

DaVinci Resolve 10 Colour Grading Resources

DaVinci Resolve 10.1.3 Colour Grading Resources

Colour Grading Resources

The latest version of DaVinci Resolve 10.1.3 is now out – so speedy are the folk at Blackmagic Design and so determined are they to keep improving their world class product. So what’s been improved in the updates?

DaVinci Resolve 10.1.2 update:

• The Blackmagic Production Camera 4K Film to Rec709 LUT
• Support for simultaneous video I/O for Resolve Live, when using Desktop Video 10 with a single DeckLink or Ultrastudio
• Support for SLog3, SGamut3 and SGamut3Cine for Sony Raw
• Support for Sony SLog3 to Rec709 1D LUT
• Support for Sony SLog3-SGamut3Cine to Rec709 3D LUTs

DaVinci Resolve 10.1.3 update:

• Color page GUI performance improvement when using Mavericks
• Update to RED SDK 4.6, which includes support for Dragon OLPF and Rocket-X when using RED ONE clips
• GPU debayer Preferences option for RED RAW clips
• Support for ‘Content Kind’ selected in the DCP composition name dialog
• Stereo Decision List import for ColorTrace

Colorist Juan Salvo has this to say about the new RED SKD support

DaVinci Resolve and the New Mac Pro

To really make the most of these new features, you’re going to require some seriously beefy machinery behind the scenes, and the new Mac Pro is definitely a good start.

In the video above, colorist Dado Valentic from grading house Mytherapy, shares his insights on Resolve performance with the new Mac Pro. He’s using a 3.6 Ghz 6 Core machine with 64GB RAM and the D500 GPUs, tested with a variety of different footage formats and resolutions. If you’re interested in purchasing one, it is well worth a watch.

The Coloristos devote an entire ‘colorcast’ to the subject of the new Mac Pro, finally settling on the suggestion that an 8-core, D700 machine might be the best configuration for grading in regards to bang-for-buck returns. You can also download a pdf of their results after much extensive testing, from the Lift Gamma Gain forum.

As more and more colorists put the Mac Pro to the test, the more valuable Twitter threads like these become. Click the date stamp to jump to the full conversation.

Click through for even more great colour grading tutorials

Posted in Arri Alexa, Colour Grading, DaVinci Resolve, DIT, Editor's Tools, Free download, Thunderbolt, Tutorials, Workflow | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Understanding How FCPX Works – Workflow Round Up

Understanding FCPX Workflows

Understanding how a program does what it does, and why it does it, is one of the most valuable things to learn about any new piece of software. It is one thing to know how to make a program do what you want it to do, but understanding what’s happening under the hood is far more valuable as it’s the beginning of finding solutions to unexpected problems, novel workarounds and whole new unimagined workflows

When it comes to FCPX, seemingly more than anyone else on the internet, Sam Mestman is the most passionate advocate for professional creative workflows involving the power of FCPX at their core. He’s written about why he’s starting his new company FCPXWORKS over on

There’s one small issue that we’ve found when it comes to managing change. It’s really hard to feel secure when you’re learning something new, and it takes a while to really see the benefits of a new approach.  It’s a leap of faith that many people often don’t have the luxury of taking in a professional environment.  The fact is that pro editors need proven solutions and established workflows in order to feel comfortable putting their clients in a new software’s hands.  Regardless of how cool some new tool is, it’s only going to be helpful if you know how to use it.  FCPWORKS wants to be your crash test dummy.  We want to figure out what works and what doesn’t so you never need to be in that situation with a client.

At this recent FCPWORKS event (with some rather classy looking sofas), Sam and many other highly skilled presenters, share how you can make the most of FCPX in your creative workflow.  To watch all nine short videos, skip over to the FCPWORKS official site.

Understanding FCPX Under The Hood

In another Sam Mestman presentation, you can check out this workflow for using FCPX’s metadata capabilities in a feature film workflow. I previously rounded up some other great FCPX workflow resources over on Premiumbeat, so definitely check those out too. Also this post on showcases a professional post production workflow centred around FCPX with some amazing results:

In one afternoon, my 21 year old Bulgarian assistant got further ahead processing footage in FCP X than the entire Avid Unity department had gotten to that point in a week.  In 5 hours, she had processed, synced, and made Multicam Clips for 7 days of 5k Epic footage within FCP X for a 100 million dollar feature film.  Prior to this project, she had no feature film editing credits.

Click through for a whole load more FCPX workflow resources

Posted in Apple Motion, Editing, Editor's Tools, FCP-X, Tutorials, Workflow | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Books on Film Editing – Part 3

Books on Film Editing – Part 3

books on film editingReading books, especially on film editing, is one of my favourite things to do. If you’ve been tracking with my blog for any length of time you’ll hopefully have seen a few of the posts I’ve written up on things like 5 Books on Colour Grading or 5 Books for Freelance Creatives, 5 Books on Storytelling etc.

Click here for a full list of all book posts.

In this post I’ve pulled together 5 more great books for film editors to read to improve their craft, but they’d be a valuable read for anyone interested in editing in general. Check out Books on Editing Part 1 and Part 2

First Cut 2 – More Conversations with Film Editors

Books on film editingThis is a brilliant book. Gabriella Oldham’s sequel, nearly two decades after the famous First Cut – Conversations with Film Editors (see below), is a great read for any editor looking to learn more about the working life of professional film editors toiling in many different styles and genres.

“While editing is highly complex, it is at it’s core an intensely human process, shared by all editors across time and space. In a daring and precarious [technological] era, it was a comfort to know that the person of the editor had remained unscathed by technology, while also becoming all the more powerful and creative because of it.”

In First Cut 2 – More Conversations with Film Editors you can savour 12 in-depth interviews with editors whose credits include Star Wars, The Blindside, Bobby, True Romance, S.W.A.T and many, many more. What I love about conversational books (and there are three in this post) is that it helps to make you feel like you’re right there in the room with the editor, soaking up their wisdom and insight first hand.

“I’m not a big arguer in the cutting room because I think there’s no right or wrong, as I’ve said before. You’ve got to try it and trust that the director will turn around and say, “You’re right,” once they’ve seen it. Or you turn around and say, “You’re right, that’s so much better.” It becomes an instinct after a while of knowing what works.” - Emma E. Hickox

A fantastic read to absorb one chapter at a time and use to improve your editing instincts.

Buy on Amazon.comBuy on
Click through to check out the other 4 books

Posted in Books, Business, Craft, Editing, Editor's Tools, Review | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments