The Edit Room

Here’s a quick list of everything you might have already assumed that we use in our post-production workflow. Let me add that all of this stuff won’t make your stories and ideas better - they’ll just make it easier to produce/convey them.

We have two edit rooms. Really these rooms are just me and Chris’ offices, but for the sake of sounding professional, let’s go with Edit Room for the remainder of this post. Each of our rooms are about identical in hardware and software. Here’s my not-too-technical rundown:

HARDWARE

  • Mac Pro with 4TB eSata external drive for Time Machine backups
  • M-Audio Studiophile CX5 monitors connected by an M-Audio USB FastTrack
  • Two comfy chairs and a lamp

We shoot everything on P2 cards so we have no tape back up. It’s very important to have a backup of all our current projects in case a drive goes down or I hit the “delete important files” shortcut on my keyboard. We have a few 1TB internal drives (which means three I just found out) inside our Mac Pro. One is used as the OS X System and the other two are RAID 0, which means they are connected and files are split between the two drives for extra performance. Do not ever do this unless you have a constant backup of that drive. That’s what our 4TB drive does - backs up all of our current work.

SOFTWARE

  • Apple Final Cut Suite (all that we use in the suite is Final Cut, Compressor, and DVD Studio Pro)
  • Adobe Production Premium (we only use After Effects, Illustrator, and Photoshop)

FINAL CUT PLUG-INS

  • Magic Bullet Looks. We color grade everything with this. They’re great presets that we usually use as a starting place and make tweaks to the exact feel we’re going after.
  • The Foundry: Furnace Core. The frame blending for slow-motion in Final Cut is terrible to say the least. This plugin allows us to dramatically change the speed of clips while maintaining smoothness between frames.

AFTER EFFECTS PLUG-INS

  • Magic Bullet Looks. Same as what we use in Final Cut.
  • Trapcode Particular. Very cool particle generator and simple to use. If you’ve ever seen stars or flying Christmas ornaments in our services, this has been its creator.
  • Videocopilot Optical Flares. We got this when we started working on this years easter service opener. Very simple to use and creates lens flares JJ Abrams would be proud of.
  • AEScripts.com. Click here for a few time-saving scripts. Specifically LayerChain and Magnum. I use LayerChain for parenting a ton of layers to the layer right above itself when creating that faux 3D look. Magnum - The Edit Detector is used when I bring in the edited video announcements. It analyzes the video and separates it into layers automatically.

If you’re using something you love that’s not on my list, I’d like to hear about it and maybe add it to my list. Just drop it in the comment box.

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