2019 in Post Production – A Year in Review
As we say goodbye to the ‘Year of Blade Runner‘ and welcome in the more symmetrical 2020, here’s a quick look back on the last 365 days and a few highlights from the blog.
2019 was a really busy one for me when it came to editing work, such that there was much less time to write than I’d have liked, but I wanted to thank you dear readers, for continuing to check out what I did have time to put together in 2020. I really appreciate it!
Hopefully the balance in my freelance ecosystem will swing back a little towards the blog next year, as there’s lot of things I want to write about and some really nice things I have to review too.
So stay tuned in 2020.
As usual David Ehrlich has put together a really interesting video countdown of the 25 best films of 2019. You can enjoy previous compilations on his Vimeo channel here.
There’s also still time to check out my 2019 list of the best Christmas Gifts for Film Editors, which includes some special Christmas and year end post production sales – including a final opportunity to save on the excellent training from LowePost – and even some honourable charity options for you good givers too.
Updated Posts in 2019
I do try to keep the most popular or the most useful posts up to date on the blog, if there’s something you’d like to see updated in 2020, do let me know!
This year these posts all got an update, including most recently this epic round up of joyful insights on the editing career of the legendary Thelma Schoonmaker, with a closer look at The Irishman.
- Learn Finishing Techniques in (DaVinci Resolve) Fusion
- What Are The Best Headphones for Film Editors
- Using nuraphone headphones for Film Editing
- Using an Elgato Stream Deck for Video Editing
- Understanding Colour Management for Video Editors
- Thelma Schoonmaker – Scorsese’s Editor
- Filmmaker Noam Kroll Colour Grading Masterclass
- The Making of The Old Man and The Gun (cut on Premiere Pro)
This post on getting your head around colour management as a video editor was a popular read in 2019, and also got an update in the middle of the year too. If you’re looking for a long technical read, this is for you!
Post Production Headlines and Highlights from 2019
Them: What’s it like raising $82M dollars and scaling a company to 110 people?
— Emery Wells (@emerywells) December 16, 2019
Interesting things were a foot in 2019 when it comes to post production and not just because of the continual update cycle (and associated bugs) for Adobe Premiere Pro and DaVinci Resolve 16, the later of which now just seems to be in permanent beta development. (16.1.2 just came out here.)
FCPX also saw 4 updates throughout the year, (10.4.5 – 10.4.8) although there wasn’t anything HUGE in any of them, except for getting HDR and Mac Pro ready. Hopefully 2020 will be more exciting!
— Avid Media Composer (@MediaComposer) December 16, 2019
Avid, the makers of the Hollywood staple Media Composer continued to face financial turbulence this year. Hopefully they’ll be in good shape in 2020. I’m not sure what Hollywood would do if they went bust?
Frame.io, however drew in some big money, raising a further 75 million dollars, and attracted some new talent too. It will be interesting to see where they take things in the next year.
If you haven’t already you should check out their exemplary and comprehensive post production workflow guide as well as permanently bookmark their excellent blog.
Red Giant merger with Maxon – This just happened this week and is an interesting one. I had thought it was another acquisition from Maxon, who snapped up Red Shift, but apparently it’s a merger of the two companies. I’m not sure what this will mean for Red Giant, but I’m sure we’ll all find out in 2020. I reviewed several of Red Giant’s plugins this year.
Monthly subscription costs for U.S. streaming services:
HBO Max $14.99
Total cost: $90.91 per month
(*ad free versions)
— Jon Erlichman (@JonErlichman) October 29, 2019
Streaming Wars – With both Apple TV and Disney+ piling in to the streaming market things are only hotting up. Hopefully with even more money pilling in there will be lots of opportunity for more filmmakers and a greater diversity of filmmakers to be gainfully employed in excellent content creation. As long as there are enough subscribers to keep everyone afloat.
That said, Amazon’s move to lower the royalties for some filmmakers looking to self-distribute on their platform wasn’t exactly a helpful one for indie filmmakers.
And of course everyone got excited, at least in some way, about the release of the new 2019 Mac Pro. There’s a lot to get emotional about – the price, the performance and (thankfully) the potential future of Apple’s most expandable desktop machine in years.
Here’s a quick look at some ‘hot takes’ on the Mac Pro from assorted post production professionals.
What is almost certain is that anyone who buys one, won’t be disappointed.
My Favourite Things from Working in Post in 2019
I spend most of my days freelance editing for clients here in London. I love being a film editor, solving the particular creative challenges that day may hold, whilst trying to add to my skill-set on a regular basis, and keep all my clients happy.
I also love the flexibility and freedom of freelance life, so much so I wrote an ebook on it.
So from that perspective, here is a quick list some of the things I most enjoyed in my day-to-day working life as an editor in 2019…
The new addition of the LG OLED E9 55″ TV really improved my edit suite experience (at first) and then our family’s cinematic experiences after that.
It’s no small investment if you buy one, but totally worth it for the incredible images they can deliver. Here’s 6000 more words on using an LG OLED TV in post production.
PDF Viewer from primalcuts.com is one of my favourite extensions for Adobe Premiere Pro, for the simple joy of being able to open client feedback (saved as a PDF) inside Premiere itself.
You can of course import client notes with markers thanks to fancy extensions from Frame.io etc. but if you’re clients aren’t rolling with that just yet, then for $29.99 you’re going to save yourself a lot of time and hassle.
Here’s a post with more details on using PDF Viewer and G Panel in Premiere Pro.
The Unarchiver is an excellent and free tool for Mac OS which will unzip and open .rar files which often otherwise throw up an error with other decompression programs.
The number of times I’ve waited for a large download to complete only to find that it won’t unzip and then I’ve used Unarchiver on it, and it’s saved the day are too many to count!
Grab this now, it’s free after all, and keep it up your sleeve for the next time a big zip you’ve downloaded won’t open, this seems to save the day most of the time.
My go-to sites in 2019 for royalty free production music and royalty free stock footage were Artlist.io and ArtGrid.io – two sister sites that deliver excellent value for money.
The value proposition is pretty insane – all you can eat, high quality music for just $199/year – and the best part is there are no audio watermarks so you can cut and mix a track into your project once and never have to worry about it again, unlike using tracks from many other sites.
Every time I head to Artlist.io looking for a track or two for my project I almost always come away with half a dozen, or a dozen, excellent options. It’s actually increased the number of tracks I edit into most projects because I also know I don’t have to check the client is happy to pay for ‘another track’.
I also wrote a detailed comparison of several high-end stock footage sites this year, and got a decent sense of what each site had to offer in the process of editing the video at the top of this section.
Again, ArtGrid.io offers excellent value for money with a range of subscription tiers that work in a very similar fashion to Artlist.io
There is a wealth of amazing looking stock footage to be had today and there really isn’t any reason to settle for cheap, HD quality, badly lit and composed stock footage when sites like these have so much more to offer.
I’m confident I’ll be using more shots from ArtGrid in 2020 and I hope they keep expanding their library at the same accelerating pace.
Lastly, it’s been a real pleasure to have one of these on my desk. Working with just one Elgato Stream Deck (I know many of you have several!) has definitely increased my speed and efficiency with daily editing tasks.
I’m hoping I can double down on just how many macros and useful functions I’ve added to my sets for Adobe Premiere Pro, DaVinci Resolve etc. in 2020, and that they continue to release software updates that make it all the more useful to professional post production users.
Check out my comprehensive guide to using an Elgato Stream Deck for Editing and Colour Grading here.
The Best of the Blog in 2019
So as I said at the start of this post, 2019 was a busy year for me with my ‘day job’ as an editor, but I still managed to crack out close to 100,000 words on the blog, according to WP stats.
By the way, the video above I made for no other reason than fun, although you can check out my epic making of Mission:Impossible – Fallout post here, which includes detailed interviews with a good number of the post production crew.
Here is a full list of all the posts written on the blog this year, starting in January and proceeding chronologically.
I hope you find something good to read in this list!
- A ton of official DaVinci Resolve (15) Free Training
- Editing Feature Films Julia Bloch in Conversation
- The Making of a Motion Picture Editor – Reviewed
- Making Spider-Man Into The Spider-Verse – My favourite film of recent times!
- Learn High End Finishing Techniques in Fusion – A great way to up-skill in 2020
- DaVinci Resolve Tools and Productivity Hacks
- Creating, Using and Selling Premiere Pro MOGRT files
- Master Filmmakers on the Craft of Film Editing – What Masterclass.com teaches about film editing
- NAB 2019 Updates and Promo Codes
- Learn Documentary Editing from Professional Editors – A must read/watch!
- The Best Presentations from NAB 2019
- This Guy Edits, The Go-To Editor Course Review
- The Best High End Stock Video Sites Compared
- How To Edit A Movie Trailer – Really good fun, don’t miss this!
- 72 FCXP Tips from Ripple Training Live
- Using an LG OLED TV for Post Production
- New Features in Assimilate Scratch 9.1
- The Making of a classic – Editing Heat
- After Effects For Editors Part 8 – New Plugins
- DaVinci Resolve 16 Tutorials and Training
- Understanding the New Features in DaVinci Resolve 16
- 5 Books on Film Editing for 2019
- Understanding FilmConvert’s New Nitrate Colour Grading Plugin
- What do Assistant Editors Have to Know? – Hugely useful resources for anyone looking to become an assistant editor
- Black Friday Post Production Deals 2019
- Life with an OLED TV – A Film Editor’s Review
- Magic Movies and The Art of Film Editing
- Hot Takes on the New 2019 Mac Pro from Film Editors
- Christmas Gifts for Film Editors 2019
That’s all folks.
Have a very merry Christmas and a happy new year!