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Archive for the ‘Video Editing’ Category

10 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade to Adobe Creative Cloud

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

I have always been resistant to change. As a business owner, there are always employee wish lists or new equipment that is needed which can eat away at company profit. However, to keep current and do the best work possible, change is extremely important in the video production business.

In this case, new product Adobe Creative Cloud is an excellent change agent. It saves a video production company time and money! Here are our 10 reasons why you should upgrade to Adobe Creative Cloud based on our experience.

  1. Increased ProductivityIf your hardware fails as electronic equipment can on occasion, your project is safe in the Cloud! Adobe Creative Cloud gives you the option to automatically save your work in the Cloud, saving editors from potential power outages/surges and hardware failure like hard drives crashing. However, if you don’t trust Cloud storage, don’t worry, you’re not required to save to the Cloud. Adobe still allows you to save to hard storage with the Creative Cloud suite. Plus, working in Creative Cloud 3046502602_cde9741239is more fun than working in CS6. You have to experience it because words cannot describe how easy and fun Creative Cloud is to use. For some reason, our editor employees work faster and focus more on their productions when they are having fun.
  2. Cloud Storage
    Cloud storage is a great feature for a company like Primeau Productions because you can never have too much storage space for HD video. We spend a lot of money on hard drive storage. Our team of editors can easily share HD media in the Cloud so having unlimited storage space accessible to every editing station is a huge advantage! Of course you have to pay for extra Cloud storage space, but it’s worth every penny because that replaces the time to order equipment, shipping and the actual cost of purchasing physical hard drives.
  3. Accessible from Multiple MachinesCreative Cloud software is accessible on any machine, as long as you have the login information for your subscription.  This is very convenient for an office setting and especially when traveling. Editors gain access to Adobe Creative Cloud from their own editing stations or anywhere in the world! This beats manually installing individual programs to every work station and carrying computers on airplanes for remote editing jobs.
  4. Consistent UpdatesAdobe is capable of updating their software quickly. With Creative Cloud, the software is constantly checking for updates. When you purchase Creative Cloud, no longer will you have to worry about buying new Adobe software, the program will update to the latest version for you.
  5. Consistent Bug Fixes!It’s understandable that Adobe has had some bugs in the past. Before Creative Cloud, users were required to wait for the next version of CS to come out for those bugs to be fixed. With CC, users get consistent updates when bugs are found within the software. Consistent updates also means that bugs are worked out more efficiently and any new tools and features are easily added with very little effort.
  6. Automatic Access to Every ApplicationMax Spiker, founder of DMAD put it best; “[Adobe Creative Cloud] is like walking into Adobe’s toy store and being able to play with ALL of the toys.” (http://dmad.com/adobe-creative-cloud-review) When you download Creative Cloud, you get access to every Adobe software product, including Photoshop, Premiere, After Effects, Dreamweaver, etc. With Creative Cloud, you have the ability to pick and choose which programs you’ll need in your workflow, although not every program has to be implemented.
  7. Pay Per Application SubscriptionSoftware options are great! If you’re only planning on using one software application, you’re not required to buy the entire Creative Cloud suite; you can subscribe to only those software programs you need for a lower monthly rate.
  8. Easy InstallationThe installation of Creative Cloud is quick and easy. When you download Creative Cloud, you’re given the Adobe Application Manager. This manager helps you download virtually every piece of software Adobe offers.  This interface makes installation quick and easy.
  9. Faster InterfaceEvery new Creative Suite has been substantially faster than the rest (taking software bugs out of the picture). Creative Cloud is no different in this regard. Creative Cloud processes all activity faster because of the constant updating of the software and systems.
  10. Cost SavingsAdobe’s Creative Suite is not cheap.  Individually, the software can range between $500 and $1500. With Creative Cloud, you get all of these programs for only $50 a month.  Plus, major discounts are offered for users who are students, along with businesses who need these programs on multiple machines at once.

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Adobe CS6 VS Adobe Creative Cloud

Monday, October 7th, 2013

8748887617_a8e6e7bd4dBack in June, our CEO, Ed Primeau, was interviewed by Adobe about his Audio Forensic work with Adobe’s CS6 software.  After this segment, the Primeau companies (Primeau Productions Primeau Forensics) agreed to test drive a year subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud.

Since working in Creative Cloud, it has become very clear that the service is a no-brainer for anyone involved with digital media. What exactly makes Creative Cloud stand out from past installments? The virtual back up for starters, which makes it possible to access the entire Creative Suite from any computer anywhere in the world.

Unlike Apple’s Final Cut Pro, after working for awhile in CS6, Adobe automatically saves your work.  This is something Final Cut Pro X even exhibited upon release, but Creative Cloud actually spawns a prompt for it, making it very clear to the user that the software is taking necessary precautions with saving your work without asking.

FCPX doesn’t give you any sort of indication that the project is saved; we are just left to assume the file is secure. The conformation really gives editors a further sense of security that their project has been stored securely. Especially when working in a Cloud setting.

What initially concerned the Primeau team when working in Creative Cloud was the concept of saving only to ‘the Cloud.’  We like to trust the idea of securing our files on the Internet virtually, but live by the philosophy that everything should always be backed up. We like a physical drive to feel that our files will stay secured.  Something we can ‘see.’

Other people likely have this preference as well, and Adobe has catered to that.  Like past CS installments, you are able to save to a physical drive, and you don’t have to rely only on the Cloud to secure your files.

This is like when we made the transition from digital tape to tapeless video recording formats. We used to carry a box of tapes with us back from a remote recording. Now we carry external hard drives which have backed up digital video files from the remote video recording.

Primeau Productions has several video editors.  In the event that an editor needs access to a project edited by another editor, saving the project into the Cloud is an efficient, simple means of allowing another editor to access a project.  Creative Cloud offers 20GB of Cloud space with their subscription. Don’t worry, you can purchase more Cloud space directly from Adobe.

Overall, Adobe’s Creative Cloud is a must ‘check it out’ for anyone involved in digital media.  The interface doesn’t stray too far away from past CS installments, making it comfortable for the user, along with offering plenty of new features that will only make your work flow more efficient and productive. Plus, with access to all Adobe Software for only $50 a month; how can you go wrong?
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How to Find an Audio/Video Professional

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

Relationships: Creating a successful product is rarely a solo act.

14561581102_472fb7425cWhen producing a multimedia product, the single most important thing you can do to ensure your success is to establish a relationship with an audio/video professional. He or she will be your partner from the beginning to end of this project, and perhaps, become a lifelong partner for all of your multimedia endeavors. This person might be a producer, a director, a writer, an audio engineer or a video editor. Finding this one person is probably the most challenging and time-consuming parts of the production process.

Why? Because as you sift through the Yellow Pages or Internet directory, or read brochures and resumes, you have to invest a great deal of time in finding the right person: the one you will connect with on a creative and personal level. This is a relationship in every sense of the word. You either hit it off, or you don’t.

 

Look For a High “Get it” Factor
It takes time to find a like-minded professional who “gets you” and what you want to do. They must be able to realize the unique value of your message or music to do it justice. And you don’t want to settle for less. You don’t want to work with someone who doesn’t appreciate your expertise or talent. You want to work with someone who you like, admire and respect, and who feels the same way about you. When you start meeting with people, pay attention to vocal tone and body language. You’re looking for someone with a positive, enthusiastic attitude who is excited about what you do.

Ask the Right Questions
When you’re selecting a recording studio or production facility, be sure the people who are assigned to your project understand your industry. Do they have the experience to understand what you are trying to accomplish? Can they bring something of value to the table? If you are making a hit record (old term, I know) has this engineer or producer ever recorded or produced a hit record? What credentials do they have? Are they interested in what you are producing?

When you find someone that has interest in your work, they will contribute more to your production. Now you’re getting added value! Watch out for hard sells. Multimedia professionals know how costly the production business is, and the respectable ones won’t rush you into creating a product before you’re ready. If you meet anyone who launches into a hard-sales, reduced-to-the-ridiculous-estimate closing technique, run for the door.

Match Their Strengths with Your Needs
When it feels right, you’ll know it. It’s tremendously rewarding when you finally meet someone you feel you can trust. Beyond his or her expertise, this person will show you the support and encouragement you need as well as provide you with honest feedback and criticism that can save you time and money, not to mention, the embarrassment of putting out an inferior product.

For example, I worked with professional speaker Floyd Wickman to create an audio training program. The relationship that grew as a result of this project shows you what to look for. Floyd came to the music-recording studio where I was employed at the time. This was a big mistake because a music studio cost him a great deal more than a conventional voice over studio. I was assigned as his account person and engineer, which proved to be fortuitous, turning a potentially bad decision into something good for both of us. Not only did this experience shape the course of my career, but it also gave him an excellent product. The most important factor in our success is that we truly enjoyed working with each other.

Keep in mind that each person you interview for a possible relationship is an expert at something, regardless of where they are in their career. They have their niche. As you evaluate the candidates, look for strengths that match your needs. If you are producing a narrative CD, don’t hire somebody who has never produced a narrative recording.

Interested in learning more about professional audio/video services? Contact me at 800-647-4281.

This information is taken from my book The Art of Production, which you can purchase from Amazon here!

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A Guide to Video Editing: Know the Basics Before You Start

Friday, June 29th, 2012

2088522072_d4f982d952_nIn the old days, video editing consisted of taking the footage you liked and copying it onto another tape called the assembly or edit tape. Then, graphics, titling, music and voiceover would be added and blended in with the select footage. This process is called tape-to-tape editing. The problem with tape-to-tape editing is quality and the time it takes to revise. It’s just like when you make a copy of something on a copy machine, then make a copy from the copy, then make another copy of the last copy… three generations later, it’s looking pretty bad. Today video editing is done using computers. The quality is far better than tape-to-tape editing because there is no generation loss.

But, before you begin the editing process, you need to prepare for the edit session by doing a paper edit. This is a technique of pre-editing, where copies of the original masters are transferred onto VHS tape or DVD with time code numbers visible at the bottom of the screen. The performer, producer or director watches all the footage and makes editing notes using the time codes as reference numbers (which are also on the master tapes). These notes will help speed up the actual edit.

If the producer finds a clip to be used in the final edit, they note the “in point” by the SMPTE time code number that is displayed at the bottom of the screen at the very moment where the clip is to begin. The SMPTE time code number will look something like this: 01:21:15:04. The 01 = the hours, the 21 = the minutes, the 15 = the seconds and the 04 represents the frames.

You can pause the tape at the in or out point so you can be more accurate when writing down the number. A paper edit might look like this: 01:21:11 (begin out with) “it wasn’t really the time of year, but maybe it was” (back into program at 01:21:22); 01:34:07 (begin out with) “she was stunning” (back into the program at 01:34:11 after breath); Pick up with “She really made them look bad” … you get the idea. It’s a way of scripting all the changes you want before spending money on an hourly basis in the studio trying to figure it out. It ‘s well worth the money to get window dubs of your raw footage to do a paper edit.

Do not be concerned with the frames — they move so quickly that you will never be able to read the numbers accurately. Video plays at the rate of 30 frames per second. This is why the frame numbers move so quickly. When 30 frames go by, one second is added to the seconds column; when 60 seconds go by, a minute is added, and so on. Video and audio reference lines or scenes are also noted. These notes will help immensely when in the studio edit. Loading it into a computer digitizes the selected footage. The clips are then assembled onto a timeline until they are in the right order. Computer graphics (titling [producer term]) are then added as necessary. Another advantage of computer editing is that the clips can be moved around easily to view your clip order or section options. This is not possible in tape-to-tape editing.

It’s a good idea to check references and view samples of previous work when deciding on a studio to edit with. Video edit studios come in all shapes and price ranges. The average cost per hour for an AVID Premier Pro or Final Cut Pro system is $150. As the quality goes up, so does the price, up to as much as $400 per hour with all the bells and whistles. I once knew of a professional speaker that spent $100,000 on a video brochure! He went to the top of the line broadcast production facility to produce his video. This was absolute overkill, especially without a producer. Remember, when looking for an editor, check out their previous work. See how quick they are, for a good editor is worth their hourly rate.

photo credit: Alan on the Dials via photopin (license)

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