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Are You Qualified? The Biggest Issue of Secondary Color Correction

by Steve Hullfish

For me, the biggest issue of secondary color correction is qualification. I’m not talking about whether the colorist is skilled enough to do it. I’m talking about what portion of the image you are trying to qualify—in other words, “choose”—as the section in which you make alterations. “To qualify” or “qualification” means that an area…

Canon DSLRs

White balance with Canon DSLRs — Not as Easy as Video

by Kurt Lancaster

A couple of my colleagues at Northern Arizona University’s School of Communication noted how difficult it is to do manual white balance with the Canon DSLRs some of our students are using. All I can say: Not as easy as video cameras. The Canon presets have worked pretty well for all the projects I’ve shot,…

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Postproduction – Offsite Collaboration and the Cloud

by Scott Arundale and Tashi Trieu

“The cloud” refers to a method of data storage which is by nature decentralized, offering both data redundancy and ready access almost anywhere on the planet. The concept is a little misleading since “the cloud” is not really up in the sky as the name suggests; rather, it involves remote computing from distant locations and…

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Set Lighting Fundamentals

by Robert B. Musburger and Michael R. Ogden

Lighting Preparation As soon as you and the crew arrive at the location, the lighting director or gaffer should run the power cable to your camcorder or recorder and then string power cables to the lighting instrument locations. Once you place your camera in position, the gaffer can start placing the instruments. The crew should…

Prevent App Nap.

Optimizing Your Computer for Final Cut Pro

by Tom Wolsky

Final Cut Pro Version 10.1 is designed to take advantage of the newest technologies included in Mavericks OS 10.9, particularly it takes advantage of what Apple calls Timer Coalescing and Compressed Memory, which speeds up low-level system events. Timer Coalescing allows these system events to be grouped, to happen in bursts when there is available…

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Production Mic Technique – Which mic should you use?

by Jay Rose

Rose’s Rules: • You can fake almost any other aspect of the track, and undo or change it if you’re not happy with the result. But bad dialog recordings are forever. • You can write, direct, shoot, edit, create graphics, and mix the whole project all by yourself, all in your own sweet time, and…

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Sitcom Structure – Classic 2-act vs. Modern 3-act Structure

by Martie Cook

THE IMPORTANCE OF STORY STRUCTURE Quite simply, structure is one of the most important elements of your script. It is the glue that holds your story together. Think of structure as how you choose to tell your story. What happens in each scene and what is the order in which it happens? Let me warn…

“Hitchcock’s rule” in Wright’s Atonement . The size of the letter in the frame reflects its importance in the scene.

Directing – Shot Size and Selection

by Michael Rabiger

COMMON SHOT SIZES A creative variable crucial to the director’s visual vocabulary and storytelling toolbox is shot size, which refers to the size of the subject in your frame. You can alter it in two ways: by changing the proximity of the camera to your subject (moving closer or farther) or through optics (changing the…

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Avid Smart Tool Functions

by Steve Hullfish

Avid editors have certainly used the Timeline for decades, but Avid has always been much more conducive to keyboard editing. Final Cut Pro editors—and I realize that I’m generalizing—are often much more comfortable moving and trimming their sequences using the arrow tool and the Timeline trimming functions to drag segments and transitions quickly and efficiently…

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The Digital Art Department – Interview with Alex McDowell

by Michael Rizzo

Merged Media Merged media converging in the new and improved art department is blurring titles, rewriting job descriptions, and re-establishing it as the crucible of all cinematic imagery. What was once done in optical houses after the fact is now performed as a matter of course by using pre-vis techniques at our work stations. Pre-vis…

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MasteringFilm, powered by bestselling Focal Press authors and industry experts, features tips, advice, articles, video tutorials, interviews, and other resources for aspiring and current filmmakers. No matter what your filmmaking interest is, including directing, screenwriting, postproduction, cinematography, producing, or the film business, MasteringFilm has you covered. You’ll learn from professionals at the forefront of filmmaking, allowing you to take your skills to the next level.