Video: Stephen Ministries Promo

My First HD Workflow

This was my first shoot a few weeks ago with the HVX200a. I just got around to editing it this week.

My workflow was ingest into FCP6 with log and transfer. I renamed and trimmed my clips at this point. The edit was done in FCP. Sometimes when I edit I feel like I’m cooking. I piece of this here, a shot of this there. This edit felt more like chiseling a sculpture our of stone. I started out with 30 minutes of usable footage that I chiseled away to 2 minutes. Remove this here, remove some more here. And then lets find a story to be told. Guess that’s what documentary film making is all about.

Once I had a locked down edit in FCP I sweetened the audio in ProTools. I also did the voice over there with a Shure SM7B. In case you’re wondering some of my favorite ProTools Plug-Ins are Smack as my compressor (gives me a nice full sound with little artifacts) and Pultic 1A EQ (It’s almost magical in the way that you can boost and cut the same frequency, example: cut the boomy sound but still have a full sound) . Sometimes I’ll add Maxim on my main bus but I didn’t on this.

From there I did basic color correction in FCP using Colorista. I just picked up this plug-in and have to say I really like it! The workflow and results just puts FCP 3-Way Color Corrector to shame. In the past I’ve been using Color Finesse in AE. Truth be told I’m on a color grading kick, I’m looking to learn as much as I can so I’m going through some videos and books. I’m going to check out Color. But I did the basic color correction to maximize the shot in FCP because I like to see scopes. FCP has scopes, AE doesn’t.

Next I used Automatic Duck to get the project into After Effects. Can I just say Automatic Duck is the bomb! It’s almost magic in it’s simplicity and power. The Magic Bullet effects (Looks and Colorista) are translated by Automatic Duck from FCP to AE. I like working in AE b/c I find the tools easier to use and more powerful than in FCP. Even the same plugin like Colorista, just works better in AE. But AE doesn’t have scopes I’ve only found a histogram in the levels effect.

Once in AE I applied Magic Bullet looks to an adjustment layer to cover then entire footage. This gave my footage a look or style for the project. I tweaked the 3.5 Black Diffuse look. It then made my grade a tad dark. So I applied another instance of Colorista on each clip, used the spotlight preset which gave me a feathered mask I could move to the area I wanted highlighted. I chose the face of each person.

A workflow tip I learned. AE is going to try to create a composition with the anamorphic pixel aspect ration, as this is what DVCProHD from the HVX200 has, but when you export QuickTime was not correctly displaying the footage. Since QuickTime wasn’t displaying the footage correctly I didn’t know how ProPresenter would show it. So I made a render comp in AE that was proper 720p/24.

Here’s the video. I’m not thrilled about the concept or the edits.


June 23, 2008. Tags: , , , , , , , . Tech Stuff, Video.


  1. Adam Oas replied:

    Some music would really tie this together, did you leave that out for a reason?

    One of the real common tricks that i’ve used to help with this kind of thing is to flip a few of the shots so that you’ve got some people facing left and some facing right.

    Thanks for including your workflow! It’s something that I’m still trying to develop myself. The big problem that I run into is that I’ll get thru the edit, color correct, sweeten the audio add graphics then they’ll change the edit on me! AAArrgh!

  2. Dave replied:

    I ended up finishing up the audio mixdown at home. Where I was using headphones. And to say the least the mix didn’t translate well. They were plenty hot in my headphones but way too soft in the final mix. I need to work out that detail. But I agree music adds a lot.

    Thanks for the tip on flip flopping some shots. I’ll try that next time.

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