Tag Archives: Post Production

Premiere Pro CS5.5 & Blackmagic Design

27 Mar

Well we are testing Premiere Pro CS 5.5 for a few weeks now. Yes, we tried that in the past and it did not work out well. But with the release of the 9.2 Version of the Blackmagic Design drivers (Blackmagic Design Desktop Video 9.2 – a while ago now) for the BMD Video-Cards we use  something changed and now it actually works quite well.

Now, we still use FCP7 for older or “special” projects. But with CS6 in the very near future things are looking good … well bad for FCP and Apple. The whole AVID MC 6 thing did not work that good for the stuff we do… even though it’s a great NLE … it’s just not for how we things rock over here, lets just leave it at that. I will not talk about FCPX … u know how I feel about it … for some work its great …for most stuff not tho’ (a matter of “taste” anyway) … it will take a loooooooong time till that App will be 100% ready … end of story (for FCPX).

Anyway… here are some settings  that worked quite well for us and our “old” MacPro’s with Blackmagic Cards. One note: We are in PAL-Land so we work with 1080p25 or 50i … u might try other frame rates for your footage!

BTW we are on “older” MacPros with 12 GB Ram, MacOS 10.6.8 and BlackMagic Design Decklink HD Extreme 2 cards. (We did not test this in LION  / 10.7.x)

All starts with a “New Project” … select “Blackmagic Capture” … just to be safe. ( at this point I’m not 100% sure if that is Essential or not)… and choose a project name and make sure you did choose a (the right) project folder / location …

You might choose your Video “Settings” … (that is for capture only… if u want to do that)

Now comes the essential part: After you hit OK … You have to choose the Blackmagic Design HD1080 preset (8 bit or 10 bit with the Frame-rate your footage is in) Don’t use the DSLR Preset, that doesn’t work well at all for most Machines (using ProRes footage / with external Playback) One side-note if you use an external Monitor (via HDMI for example) that can not play/show progressive footage (25p in our case) you have to choose an Interlaced Preset (50i in our case) … you will be able to work with progressive  footage (25p in our case) just as good in that Interlaced Timeline it will NOT change it to interlaced or something …. at least in our case.

Now, before you start to work on anything you have to select your playback engine (Player Settings) so that your are able to see anything on your external monitor.
Select “Blackmagic Design Playback” (that is essential!)
After that select your current Timeline / Sequence and go to the “Sequence Settings” ( that only works if you have your Sequence selected … trust me)
Here you might select the codec of your footage. You can “play” with that setting … test out what works better on your system / with your footage.
… and that’s it … all should work well now … if not, let me know … we will keep testing stuff out further on and pretty much look forward to what happens at NAB this year with CS6 🙂 if you have questions, use the commends section below.
On side note … for FCP7 users i highly recommend using the FCP keyboard shortcuts in PPro (even map your own shortcuts to keys).
The only thing we are really missing so far is coping and removing of attributes from clips (that works differently) and moving clips arround in the timeline with the keyboard (up and down) doesn’t work like in FCP7 … and of course other smaller stuff here and there but in the end it kinda is ok coming from FCP7 … if you don’t see it that way … try AVID MC6 and you will see what I mean 😉

How to Become a Film Editor

22 Mar

Last night i saw some tweets popping up from a Film Editor in LA… i follow her for quite a long time now…i kinda have a good chat with her every now and then. I really love her insides about Editing, the Business and the life in LA 🙂 She is quite active on the twitters.

Nancy Forner a Film Editor from Los Angels: Recent credits include Law&Order:SVU, A Gifted Man, The Vampire Diaries. 

Here is what she had to say about “How to Become a Film Editor” … (i took all her 140 character tweets and made one big quote out of it. (with here kindly permission of course)

” I have received many tweets from young students who wish to become film editors….asking for my advice on how to go about that…so I will take a few moments here to try, in 146 characters, address that question.

First, I say…get a college degree….study art, music, painting,read poetry, read great books, look at comic books too….take classes in literature and creative writing….watch movies and tv…go to the theater….do everything you can to UNDERSTAND STORY….coz when it all boils down to it…editing on a series like I do….(editing MTV is different) but editing a dramatic movie or tv series it all boils down to understanding how to tell a story.

Plain and simple it is that….all the technical stuff comes later….but the basis of a good editor is that they know what the story is and how to express it….rhythm and timing is important too…that is why I say listen to all kinds of music, from tribal to classical to pop to punk….look at paintings notice the composition and light and structure…

Ok after that….after you have immersed yourself in all that…the best way to get a job is to get an internship with a film company or a studio or a production house….if you google the major studios in LA and the networks, they all offer great internship programs for college students. There are also many trade film colleges in LA that cater toward the nuts and bolts of film production, but that I would recommend after a four year college where you learn about story and art and music first.

also, I recently wrote an article about editing … http://magazine.creativecow.net/article/style-emotion-vamping-on-the-vampire-diaries… it has some info. on how I started…. “

So thanks to Nancy for these tweets …

FinalCutPro8 or PremiereProCS6 as some call it

15 Mar

So folks, with todays Vimeo-Post from the Editing-Crew at Conan some might say we finally will get the FCP8 we all want …desperately.


Some say (THAT POST SHOW) that we will finally see PPro CS6 at NAB this year with lost of cool stuff and (a bit) more FCP feel to it (i’ll be there…for that).

Now, we all should not make the (same) mistake some did last year with FCPX – getting too excited too quickly – but it sure looks promising!
Fact is there are not that much options left … FCP7 will get really “old school” at some point … FCPX still is pretty much a toy app (even with “all” these updates) … and AVID MC6 sure is an awesome & solid NLE but it’s really made mostly for that: Online/Offline for TV & Movies (thats why Hollywood loves it … i guess) there is no AfterEffects or Motion and stuff like that… even through its an awesome Application (don’t get me wrong!)

…so in the end the only real FCP7 replacement is / might be PremierePro.

Well we should wait and we shall see.

On a side note: I actually just started a real work project in Premiere Pro CS 5.5 … yes i know i did test that app several times and i said “it doesn’t work well on our machines” but now with the latest Blackmagic Design drivers it finally runs kinda smoothly even with 1080p25 ProRes footage … well not finished yet … but it’s looking good 😉

so anyway … as for now …


Editing 101 – a car chase

15 Feb

his tutorial is all done in FCPX 10.0.3 (Trial) on MacOS LION 10.7.3


here some of basics:

– work on the sound even for the 1st rough edit

– continuity is essential

– get the best actors performance

– talk with & understand/ know the directors needs

– show your edit to a fellow editor
(or any other person who comes along) 4 eyes can see more than 2

– some nice b-roll cut-aways can help to create some tension

– read your titels careful (twice or more) so you don’t miss any typos
(yes i put in one just to show u how easy these can be missed)

– re-shoot if needed

– spend some time for the Color-Grade & Sound-mix …
even it might just be a lil difference in the end it counts

– get a BMW next time

– hold the button down 10 seconds

now go and edit stuff!

KRK Studio Monitors for your ears

17 Jul


[UPDATE 07/22/2011] After using the KRK’s for a week now, I really got to like them. They are good & useful really … so they are a recantation  for people that need / want a good, comfortable & analytic sounding headphones.

Well I’ll try o keep it brief 😉
That topic goes back too my audio-roots, I used a lot of different Headphones from cheap to expensive … all kinds of brands.

My favorites so far:

Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO

Beyerdynamic DT 250


Sennheiser HD 650

Sennheiser HD 201

Oh BTW I’m not a fan of the commonly used Sennheiser HD25 or any of the AKG headphones, just saying.

First of all: I just have to say we use KRK Rokit PR6 G2 (and PR5 G2) back here and I love them.

So i was kinda happy to see that there are KRK headphone available now too.

I did go for the KRK KNS-6400 (100 Bucks) because they are more affordable and almost identical to the KNS-8400 (150 Bucks) except for a bit wider frequency spectrum, better foam thingy and a volume control on the cable.

So that is that. Now to the essential question(s): how do they sound and are they usable?

To give you a bit of a reference and a kind of comparison I throw in two other headphones I used for quiet a while now:

Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO (160-190 Bucks) Sennheiser HD 201 (20-30bucks)

Keep in mind, all that is kind of matter of taste (as with Audio-Monitors as well)

So here we go:


Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO

– very solid

– powerful sound

– good isolation

– strong low-end … beautiful high range … almost Hi Fi (like B&W Speakers …almost!)

– very nice sounding ( a bit too nice )

– not that of a neutral sound (but still very good)

– you can enjoy listening to stuff with them (esp. Film-Soundtracks and Movies)

– a bit big & heavy to wear …you “feel” them

So a very good high-class headphones for professional use & “entertainment” (so to speak)

Back here in Germany they are considered as a Studio-Standard


Sennheiser HD 201

– good sound for the money

– pleasant sound not annoying or too aggressive sound (mid range) like cheap ones usually have

– good low-end (a good kick)

– flat sound (a bit boring) there a lot of details missing (esp. in the high range)

– not very neutral and analytic

– not that good of an isolation

– they “hurt” after wearing them for more than 1-2 hours (not that comfortable)

So yes its a cheap headphone and in a way you can hear & feel that but on the other hand its maybe one of the best sounding and most usable (and widely used) headphone in that price-rage. So totally ok.


KRK KNS-6400

– very neutral and analytic sound

– quite powerful but not too much kick

– nice low-end, good high range (very “reasonable”)

– very comfortable (to wear) even more than 1-2 hours

– good isolation

– you can catch stuff pretty good if something is wrong with a recording or edit

– tend to sound a lil bit “harsh” if you listen to stuff too loud (and i mean really toooooo loud)

– they might sound a bit “dry” (that can be good sometimes)

– maybe a bit emphasizing in the 200-600 Hz range for some stuff (for my taste)

– no “wow effect” (but that is good bcuz you want them to be neutral)

So they indeed sound like KRK Studio Monitors for your ears. Very solid, well made and “neutral’ish” sounding headphones. You really can use them to spot issues with your recording or edit. They might not be as enjoyable as the DT770 Pro’s or any other more Hi Fi oriented headphones. So, yes there is now “wow-effect” in terms of that your stuff suddenly sound like a Timbaland production and you don’t had to do something for that …But what would be the point of having too pleasing sound … that would miss the target of these headphones (so to speak). If something sounds really bad on these KRK headphones it is really bad. So yes they kinda keep their promise (KRK Studio Monitors for your ears).


Solid and usable. Go get them if you need neutral and comfortable headphones, especially if you have and like KRK’s as your audio monitors. Don’t get them if you “only” need nice sounding headphones for listening to your Classic or Jazz Music … they are not made for that. For Studio use they are totally ok (well actually they ROCK … IMO)

On thing though: Headphone can NOT replace audio-monitors (speakers) when it comes to a good sound mix (regardless which brand or price) it’s just a too special or different of an “hearing point” so to speak. You will not get the same sound / “timbre” out of headphones … ever. I don’t use them for mixing, just for editing or recording or maybe just in case I really can’t use monitors in some situations. 90% of the time I use audio monitors only for my work. Though i have to say it is kinda essential to have good headphones around. It’s nice or essential to be able to listen “closely” / deeper into something or to check a mix or an edit (spot a edit inaccuracy or something like that)

One last thing

As with your Audio-Monitors or even Video-Monitors (for that matter) you have to get to know them in a way. How they “have to” sound for certain stuff/work/job/material. So I tend to listen to my favorite stuff/music/movies/own work I already know (how it sounds on other monitors even my speakers at home or in my car).

So you can make the most use out of your new headphones … that might take a while (like a few days or weeks 😉 … just saying.

Well that wasn’t Brief, was it?!


Oh BTW more about Audio at my “old” Blog-post: “its all about audio