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Feature Articles and Podcasts

Periodically we will be posting articles that don't fall into the category of Reviews or Tutorials. These articles will be written for the most part by our members on subjects we feel are of interest to a wide audience



  • Final Cut Pro 10.1 - A First Look by Steve Martin & Mark Spencer
    Final Cut Pro 10.1 is the next major step forward for Apple’s professional editing software Final Cut Pro X. Not since its initial release over 2 years ago has there been a more significant version with regard to performance and workflow.
  • Aerial Videography for Beginners, Part 2
    In this second in a series of articles, we identify two software programs that offer a new flyer a way to simulate actual flight characteristics using a computer. In addition, we suggest two inexpensive, but durable, micro rotors that provide real world flight experience, but on less expensive scale than a full multi copter.
  • Final Cut Pro X in 2013
    What might we expect for Final Cut Pro X in the year 2013?
  • Across the Lines: Editing in the Different NLEs
    In this day and age, many of us editors are starting to work on different NLEs quite frequently, so in this article, I am hoping to cross the great divide, and bridge the differences between the different NLEs, in terms of the edit keys and functions. Despite all the passionate debate surrounding the death of FCP7, using an NLE really isn't the same as supporting a soccer club. They are just tools. Tools we use to tell a story. In this article, I will give examples from Final Cut Pro 7, Avid Media Composer 6, and Adobe Premiere Pro CS6.
  • Aerial Videography for Beginners, Part 1
    Recreational remote control flying has been around for decades, but only recently has commercial aerial videography using UAVs started to take off. In part, interest is due to lower costs and new technologies such as automatic hovering, altitude control and GPS positioning -- all of which has shortened the learning curve.
  • Final Cut Pro X and the Road to Hell (and back again)
    This is going to be a very honest article about Final Cut Pro X. It is not anti-FCPX - nor is it trying to convince you that this is the golden future we have all been working towards. It is simply an account of the good, the bad, and the downright ugly situations which I have encountered with Apple's revamped editing software.
  • Freelancing in the New Economy
    The following is an excerpt from my upcoming book, tentatively titled: If I'm So Good at What I Do, Why Does Business Stink So Bad?: How To Stop Surviving and Start Thriving as a Creative Professional in the New Economy.
  • Diving the Deep - Underwater Videography
    Filming underwater can be challenging. Fish are not the most cooperative actors and will rarely perform their behaviors for multiple takes until you get the video clip filmed just right. You have to be immediately ready and capable when a good filming opportunity presents itself. Let us explore many of the skills you can utilize in order to maximize your abilities thus producing the best results for your filming endeavors.
  • Final Cut Studio 2009 vs Final Cut Studio 2
    Following Rob Morgan’s Final Cut Studio shootout between Compressor 3 and 3.5, and Motion 3 and Motion 4, I decided to test further to determine if I could produce the same results.  Rob timed Compressor encodes and Motion RAM previews in Final Cut Studio 2 and Final Cut Pro (2009) using identical footage and a high definition Motion template.  Released in mid-2009, the latest Final Cut Studio should have been faster in these tests to FCS2, which was released following NAB in 2007.  At least that was the street wisdom.  However, Rob confirmed that Final Cut Pro 2 produced faster encodes and renders for both tests. 
  • The First Annual London FCPUG SuperMeet (Podcast)
    FCP User Groups and Digital filmmakers from Los Angeles, Boston, London, Ireland, Hungary, France and from around the world headed to London, England for the First Annual London FCPUG SuperMeet on Thursday, 25 June 2009 at the Kensington Conference and Event Centre. This event was the largest gathering of FCP Users and Gurus ever seen in England. Special guest was Walter Murch.
  • The 8th Annual NAB FCPUG SuperMeet (Podcast)
    FCP User Groups and Digital filmmakers from Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco, New York, Mexico, Hungary, France and from around the world headed to Las Vegas, Nevada for the Eighth Annual FCPUG SuperMeet on Tuesday, April 21 2009 at the Rio Hotel as part of NAB. This event celebrated the 10th Anniversary of Final Cut Pro and was the largest gathering of FCP Users and Gurus on the planet during NAB week.
  • FCPUG Road Show in Hungary
    We never thought that organizing an event for a hundred people and inviting six or seven presentators would be so much work. Since this was our first meeting as a User Group and we did not have any experience, we had some doubts. We definitely learned a lot, but more importantly we did not fail with this one.
  • The 8th Annual Macworld FCPUG SuperMeet (Video Podcast)
    FCP User Groups and Digital filmmakers from San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, Mexico, UK and from around the world headed to San Francisco California for the 8th Annual Macworld FCPUG SuperMeet on January 7, 2009 at the Robertson Auditorium, Mission Bay Conference Center. This event was the largest gathering of FCP Users and Gurus on the planet during Macworld week.
  • The 1st Annual IBC FCPUG SuperMeet (Video Podcast)
    FCP User Groups and Digital filmmakers from Los Angeles, Boston, Mexico, Italy, Germany, UK and from around the world headed to Amsterdam, The Netherlands for the First Annual IBC FCPUG SuperMeet on Sunday, 14 September, 2008 at the Gashouder on the grounds of the beautiful Culture Park Westergasfabriek as part of IBC. This event was the largest gathering of FCP Users and Gurus on the planet during IBC week. These podcasts are hosted by Macvideo.tv.
  • How to Keep Your Job as an Editor
    As an editor, there are certain technical things you can do that will, in most cases, result in instant dismissal by your employer. Here are some tips on how to avoid these pitfalls.
  • The 7th Annual NAB FCPUG SuperMeet (Video Podcast)
    Nince videos filmed at the 7th Annual NAB FCPUG SuperMeet which was held at the MGM Grand Hotel, April 16, 2008 in Las Vegas. Includes presentations from Apple, Blackmagic Design, JVC, Adobe, Red, Apple Color, Phantom Camera, Wounded Marines Careers Foundation and The Assistant Editor.
  • Putting together a complete "budget" HD field kit for under $20,000.00
    When Cirina Catania, the producer of Larry Jordan's Digital Production BuZZ, asked me to put together a "budget" field kit for a segment on the show, my first question is "who's budget"! For some people a $5,000 kit would be a big expenditure while others spend $50-80,000 on a complete field camera, mounts, grip, etc kit. We decided that $20K would be the target,
  • 7th Annual Macworld FCPUG SuperMeet (Video podcast)
    These nine video podcasts are part of the 7th Annual Macworld FCPUG SuperMeet which was held at the Mission Bay Conference Center, January 16, 2008 in San Francisco. They include presentations by Apple's Richard Townhill and Steve Bayes. Steve Martin with FCP tips and Tricks, Noah Kadner on the Sony EX1, Stu Maschwitz on After Effects and Final Cut Pro, and Alex Lindsay on affordable green screen keying. To view any video, click on the individual link. These podcasts are hosted by Macvideo.tv.
  • Iditarod: Brutal Conditions, Beautiful Video
    Few settings are more physically demanding than the vast, untamed wilderness of Alaska's Iditarod Trail. Despite these trying conditions, producers of the "Last Great Race on Earth" are challenged to capture the Iditarod on video and make that video readily available to media, schools, web site creators, and other audiences.
  • HDPro vs Xserve RAID
    When I first saw the CalDigit HDPro, I have to admit I was awestruck. Crazy fast performance with massive amounts of storage, it was love at first sight. Then reality set it, there had to be a catch. What did this thing cost? Well, it turns out the cost was not the catch. The HDPro is relatively cheap especially compared to what I paid to the Xserve RAID.
  • Preparing for Online Distribution
    This presentation from Philip Hodgetts at the October 2007 meeting of LAFCPUG covers three main topics:
    * What format(s) should be used for online distribution;
    * How to prepare material for upload and digital distribution; and
    * How to profit from digital distribution.
  • The Sixth Annual 2007 FCPUG SuperMeet (Video Podcast)
    Could not make it to the 2007 FCPUG SuperMeet? Well this is the next best thing. Features 9 video podcasts for your viewing pleasure. Among the podcasts are Walter Murch, The Red Digital Cinema Team, Blackmagic Design, SmartSound, JVC and more.
  • 2007 FCPUG NAB SuperMeet Magazine (PDF Edition)
    92 pages of articles and FCS tutorials. Download it Free.
  • 5th Annual FCPUG SuperMeet at NAB 2006 (Video Podcast)
    Over 800 people crammed into a room fit for 500 at the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas for the 5th Annual FCPUG SuperMeet. Views Photos from the show and also a one hour and 10 minute Pod cast taped live at the event.
  • An Evening with Walter Murch at the Macworld SuperMeet in San Francisco (Video Podcast)
    Wrap-up of the January 2006 FCPUG Macworld SuperMeet. Featuring a podcast of "An Evening with Walter Murch."
  • Avid versus Final Cut 2006
    This article is for producers and editors. It answers the question, what situations would force an editor or producer to choose to work on an Avid instead of Final Cut Pro? Originally written in 2002, it has been entirely rewritten to reflect where we stand today, the start of 2006. You can find the 2004 and 2002 versions of this article here and here. Enjoy!
  • MACWORLD EXPO 2006 Wrap Up
    The most important exhibit at MacWorld this year were the attendees, and a newfound enthusiasm for their favorite tool. I am not talking about the iPod, which now needs its own show. I speak of Intel logos dancing through their heads, shiny new products, perky software updates.
  • How to prepare for that first Video Safari
    You have finally decided to fulfill your life-long ambition and go on a safari to view and film the wild animals of Africa. Since you are going to spend a lot of money for airfare and the safari itself, you want to be able to bring back memories of your trip , share those experiences with your friends and produce professional, high quality video for presentations, film festivals, clients or competitions.
  • So you want to get your feet wet (But not your camcorder)
    You're a scuba diver and you want to start shooting underwater video to entertain your friends and associates, enter film festivals and competitions or simply to extend the diversity of your shooting skills.
  • The LA Debut of FCP 5 and Soundtrack Pro
    Close to 800 people braved the traffic and parking problems of Hollywood to watch Apple's Alec Little, Brian Meaney and Paul Saccone show off FCP 5 and Soundtrack Pro. This article includes questions and answers with the FCP and STP team
  • NAB 2005 Preview: What to see, where to go, how to survive
    NAB 2005 shows every sign of being, once again, in the boom years. Every indication from accommodation bookings to event attendance suggests that this will be the year that NAB comes back from the doldrums. People are ready to talk business and spend money again.
  • FCP User Group Network SuperMeet and MacWorld SF 2005
    Let's face it: FCP users are Mac users. MacWorld Expo is the framing venue for the annual San Francisco FCP User Group Network Supermeet, so a brief recap of the Expo show from an editor's perspective may be useful.
  • lafcpug's New Home or How to Build a Digital Cinema
    The story of how lafcpug and MGLA came together to not only find a new meeting space but build a Digital Cinema
  • Personal Recollections of Charles F McConathy
    In May of 03 I sent Charles McConathy an email asking him if he'd be coming to the May lafcpug meeting. To be honest it was one of those e-mails sent under the pretext just to say hello. I hadn't heard from him in a couple weeks and that wasn't the normal course of events between me and Charles. Maybe he was mad at me for something. Anyway he wrote back saying that he wouldn't be there because he was under Doctors orders to take it easy.
  • Results of the 2004 Top Ten FCP Feature Requests
    The final tally of this years lafcpug Top ten FCP Feature Request Vote.
    The ballot was comprised of 62 of the MOST requested FCP features, either over heard or posted on various forums on the internet A Total of 1446 people voted.
  • Motion, Video Cards, RAM, and Processor Speed
    Questions remains about how a good video card, plenty of system RAM, and processing speed really contributes to the real time performance of Motion. And which of these factors produces what result in Motion? I tested these factors as they affects Motion's performance on a dual processor G5 2 GHz (rev.1)...
  • NAB 2004 Round Up
    Philip Hodgetts takes a look at all he saw at NAB 2004 and what it means for you now and in the future.
  • Final Cut Pro Goes HD
    Larry Jordan gives his impressions of the 5 new Apple Software products announced at NAB 2004
  • Which codecs make great video?
    ...
    while there is no single perfect codec solution for everyone, it is possible to make some fairly clear recommendations.
  • The Art of Feature Film Editing
    On a wet and rainy night in late February 2004 Walter Murch,
    A.C.E. editor for the movie "Cold Mountain" provided a personal account of the passion and craft involved in feature film editing.
  • FCPUG NETWORK MacWorld event streamed online (Movie no longer available)
    For those of you who missed the FCP Network meeting at the recent MacWorld in San Francisco, you missed one heck of a gathering. The show featured FCP Chief Architect, Randy Ubillos, on FCP 4.1. "Cold Mountains" First Assistant Editor to Walter Murch, Sean Cullen, on Editing Cold Mountain with FCP. Brett Shapiro on creating an HD film on FCP. Gary Adcock showing HD on a Lap Top. Aron Ranen's "24Divisadero" film and a special tribute to Ralph Fairweather. It's just like you were there....only different. Watch it all by clicking the above link.
  • RAID(s) defined
    In our video world there is a need for massive amounts of storage and speed to deliver that data to our NLE's: But having large amounts of storage means that any drive loss can spell doom on your project. So regardless of what kind of drive/raid/storage solution you decide upon you MUST have a BACKUP plan that works (and you have tested) in place.
  • The FCP Community loses a piece of its heart
    Tribute to Ralph Fairweather
  • Too Close for Comfort
    "
    It all started when I bumped into an old friend that I hadn't seen for some time. Over more than a few beers it transpired that he had been involved with a band called Subt Lemon for a couple of years and they were at the point of recording an album of original material. I suggested that we could cooperate on a promotional video for the band." This is the story behind Subt Lemons zero budget music video.
  • File Journaling in OSX 10.3 (Panther) Explained
    First released by Apple in OS X Server 10.2, this new feature has a direct impact on how we get maximum performance with maximum safety for our editing systems.
  • Know your (Copy)rights
    This article covers the basics of "copyright" including protecting your own work and using others work.
  • Avid vs FCP
    So what can you do in Avid that you can't in FCP? And vice versa? What are the BIG differences? Patrick Inhofer gives you his low down.
  • The Changeover Challenge: From Avid to Final Cut Pro Updated
    This is intended as a "Transition Aid" overview for you, the Avid user, which focuses primarily on some glaring interface and operating issues between the two systems, by no means complete, to help you get going in FCP as rapidly as possible and without too many surprises.
  • The Refugee Utilities for the MacOSX Interface Updated
    A list of OSX tools that you can use to get back that OS9 feel. "You can restore virtually your entire OS9 look-and-feel user experience to your OSX environment. You do not have to live like a refugee in the new world. You can take back your Mac."
  • Pictures from the First Ever FCP Digital Cinema Showcase
    Steve Payne brought his digital Camera and snapped a bunch of pictures of lafcpug's "Seven Minutes Of Fame," the worlds first Digital Cinema Showcase dedicated to projects cut on FCP. 14 filmmakers, 14 films, 7 minutes each.
  • Methods for Achieving a "film" look
    This article discusses various methods one can use for achieving a "film" look from digital video
  • Depressed about Uncompressed? Building the "perfect" Uncompressed FCP system.
    Thinking of going uncompressed? Well this article focuses on the different uncompressed hardware solutions available for Final Cut Pro. It attempts to answers questions such as: "What Capture card should I buy and do I even NEED an uncompressed system?" Also included is a side by side evaluation of the quality and functionality of each uncompressed hardware solution on the market today.
  • Top Ten FCP Feature Requests Results
    The results of our annual FCP Feature Request Ballot to determine Users Top Ten
  • What's New in FCP 3
    Philip Hodgetts takes us on a first look and thorough tour of the new features in FCP 3.0
  • Demo Reels
    Some dandy tips on creating a dandy demo reel
  • The Future of Film Editing?
    2 filmmakers talk about cutting their 35mm film on FCP
  • A Quick Guide to Making Money, Making Videos
    Solutions that work for actually making money, making video with the talent you already have
  • A Moviemakers Guide to "Wired" Quicktime
    A guide to adding interactivity to your finished Final Cut Pro Movie using Quicktime Pro
  • Comparing the Pioneer DVR-S201 and the DVR-103/AO3 DVD Drives
    The REAL difference between the two. This comparison will set the record straight
  • Producing High Quality Underwater Video
    How to get great shots under the seas
  • What I really want to do is direct
    The story of one mans quest to learn FCP and learn it by himself
  • Why doesn't Apple just FIX THIS THING!!!
    Why FCP doesn't work sometimes and what you can do about it
  • The Taylors speak of Sharks, Film and DV
    An interview with Ron and Valerie Taylor
  • The Curse of Digital Video
    Which filters and cameras work best together?


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