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Recycle computers and electronics

-September 25, 2002-


Tonight we showed you how to get your FCP Movie to the web and CD via Cleaner, discussed the history of e-filmmaking, tips for compression settings, AND how to use the trim edit window. Plus legendary Director John Badham joined us to demo his own Shotmaster. And another round of Stump the Gurus, awesome show and tells, and of course, World Famous raffle.

Stump the Gurus was up first as usual with regulars Ken Stone, Andrew Balis and special guest Guru, Steve Martin

Some of the questions asked and answered were:

Q.) How is FCP 3.0.2 and OS 10.2 (Jaguar) getting along?
A.) Andrew, Steve and Ken all agreed that they felt there were issues with 10.2 and all liked 10.1.3 with 3.0.2 best.

Q.) What should I be mixing audio levels too?
A.) There is no pat answer, however -12db is a good reference point for DV. Tone is set for -12 so for TV it's a good idea to try to mix to at least -12. To manipulate multiple clips select all your clips and go to modify menu and select levels and choose absolute or relative. Make changes there.

Q.)When I wake my computer up from sleep mode my audio doesn't work.
A.) Dont let the Hard Drive sleep. Put the monitor to sleep. Energy saver should never be used with FCP open or a deck attached.

Q.) I'm getting stuttering playback
A.) Stuttering is often a drive performance problem. Do a disk check on the drives. make sure Viewer and Canvas is set to fit to window and Apple Talk is off. Your might try as a last resort to move your sequence into another project.

Q.) I'm trying to batch capture and all is going well but I can't capture a few clips cause I get this "Can't find scratch disk error."
A.) This is a known issue if you have a / (forward slash character in your clip name) Delete the character and all should be well.

Tip/Trick of the Month was up next and who better to deliver, then Ripple Training's Steve Martin. This month Steve told us all about the Trim Edit Window in FCP which no one seems to be using judging from the reaction that night.

Before Steve opened the Trim Edit window he showed us a few cool edit tricks to cleanup a dialogue scene in the timeline. Selecting the ripple tool, Steve had his playhead parked on a clip, then hit the V key to go to the edit point of that clip and then hit the U key to decide what side of the edit point you wanted to work in.

To open the trim Edit window you need only double-click the edit point (apple+7) to open. If your Trim Edit window is to small, just make your canvas window bigger and the Trim Edit window will correspond.

To decide which side of the trim window you want to use or are using, hit the U key. See that green line? Whatever side that green line is on is the side you are working on. If the green line is across the entire top, well then your going to be doing a roll edit

The little buttons at bottom of window are the multi frame trim size and you can change the defaults in your FCP preferences.

You can do ripple, roll and slip edits in the trim window.

Steve admits the trim edit window can be counter intuitive. Hitting the + frames doesn't add to your clip, it looses from the clip. The opposite happens with -H.

You can't do asymmetrical edits in the trim window.

The Trim Edit window can save you a lot of time but it does take a bit of practice.

Filmmaker Tara Veneruso was up next to talk a little about the"History of Web filmmaking" and a few tips on getting your FCP movie to the Web. This was sort of a scaled down version of a seminar Tara gives to Film Fests around the world.

She began by showing a clip of what was probably the first "popular" web movie, "The Spirit of Christmas," featuring the characters from South park. It was apparently one of the first movies to be e-mailed from peer to peer and shortly there after, the creators got them selves a deal at Comedy Central.

Tara then showed us various clips from around the world including a commercial which showed excellent use of foreground action being still and background action moving, which is a strong point in any web movie/.

Tara took us to some very cool web sites, one of which was named It's is a wonderful place to make your own web movie and gather a few nice tips along the way. Click on Flick Tips. Another is D film which has an interactive animated movie making section which again is very cool.

Tara then showed us a few movie clips that were made Palms and Cell Phone and she sees it as the future especially for animated movie makers. She also sees a NLE available for Palm.

Tara likes to streamline her movies in Final Cut rather in Cleaner. She exports as a QT movie at highest audio and video settings, uncheck the "prepare for internet streaming box," and drop the exported file into Cleaner and let Cleaner do the tweaking, not Final Cut or QuickTime. She likes 360x240.

For more info and tons of web site links go to Tara's web site.

Our first Show and Tell of the evening was from Filmmaker Mark Shepherd who showed us "ARE YOU IN" a 2 minute film, shot on DVCAM (DSR-500) onlined on FCP2.0 and then transferred to 35mm by Digital Film Technologies Mark showed us a DVCAM from the telecine from the 35mm transfer. It was the opening film of the 2002 San Francisco INDIE Film Festival.

The film follows a character straight out of Jack Kerouac's "On the Road" who is seemingly having an inner monologue with himself searching for IT, or at least how in the heck does nano-technology make any sense in this modern world.

Mark is not only a filmmaker but owns Digital Film Technologies.

Legendary director John Badham and programmer Paul Messick were up next with their Storyboard Tool, ShotMaster which allows those of us who can't draw, an affordable solution to the problems of story boarding your movie.

ShotMaster essentially is tool that allows you to manipulate your characters into any position of the frame using a vast collection of included clip art. You can import your own drawings if you wish but for me, clip art is just fine. Each sequence includes not only your story board but description of scene, location, special requirements and Story Description.

You can change the color of each character's wardrobe including hair color. You can import photos of backgrounds and lay your characters into the fore ground.

You can print copies of the daily schedule for your AD and Camera Crew so they have a good idea of what is going to happen.

ShotMaster sells for only $99.00 and you can download a free demo which is good for 30 days from the ShotMaster web site.

For more info go to ShotMaster and be sure to download a copy and play with it.

Next Show and Tell was from one of our Favorite Filmmakers, Gregory Lemkin who showed us a commercial he did for Microsoft's X-Box.

The spot, which began airing in Japan a couple weeks ago, was shot in LA in one day and posted in FCP 3, and shows how HDCAM and FCP 3 can be a cost effective approach for smaller budget commercials.

The commercial was down converted to Beta SP and brought into FCP. Heavy compositing was done in AE as FCP proved to be unable to handle it.

Final result was a funky "American" style commercial.

Gregory said budget was $20,000 and could not have been shot on film because of budget constraints.

Twas time to take a break so we all went into the lobby and schmoozed with each other and looked at all the cool toys that the folks from Promax were showing off.

Larry Jordan was up next and he is becoming one of our favorite presenters. This time Larry had the daunting task of showing us Cleaner and giving us tips/trick on exporting your movie from FCP to the web 25 minutes to do it. Larry covered topics such as:
Export video from FCP
How to create best-looking video for the bandwidth available
Key Cleaner settings
Bandwidth control
Image quality
Secrets of the batch list
Preview of Cleaner 6

And yes he did it in 25 minutes Buy the DVD. It's a must.

Larry feels everything you know about creating Video for the Web is wrong. Motion is deadly, transitions are bad, handheld is not a good idea, and steady is. But he won't debate you, so there.

Larry says export your movie as a FCP Movie, NOT a QT Movie and dont mess with options in the window unless movie is for your Grandmother.

Larry's Rules:
Shoot steady video
Edit with the web in mind
Compress with bandwidth in mind
Tweak image settings to optimize for the Mac, PC and the Web
Compress to popular file formats
Give yourself permission to experiment

Drop the exported file into Cleaner and let the fun begin.

Larry opened the settings in Cleaner and it's impossible to summarize here so let me just give you a pic of LARRY'S SETTINGS

Larry went through almost every setting in Cleaner one can go through in 25 minutes and space cannot list his choices here.

Larry likes you to clean up your audio BEFORE you bring it into Cleaner. He feels Cleaner does a lousy job here, but if you DO want Cleaner to do it, then Larry showed us his favorite settings which again are to numerous to mention here. He also says allow 1/2 second black at head and tail to allow loading.

Finally Larry showed us a preview of Cleaner 6 which is supposed to ship sometime this fall.


Next up was a dandy Show and Tell from Richard Fauman and Kevin Leadingham named "National Public Safety Football League"

While working on 3 one hour specials about the US Marshals Crime Taskforce for TLC, Richard Fauman and Kevin Leadingham discovered the National Public Safety Football League, 1500 cops and firemen from across the nation who play serious tackle football. They just completed this 30 minute documentary and they showed a 3 minute trailer featuring the LAPD who won the National Championship.

Shot with a PD 150 and a DSR 300A and edited in FCP it is a great story, expertly told about a little know segment of our culture.

Final show and tell was from lafcpug favorite Boogie Knights director/writer Dean Chamberlain. This time Dean showed us his latest creation he did with Director/Writer/ animator, James Reitano.

The short is an animated/live action Music Video shot in PAL and finished in NTSC. "Rapper Motion Man and his DJ Kutmasta Kurt make their way through the pitfalls of a suburban household. This music video was made in a style reminiscent of 1970's GI Joe action figure commercials. Puppetry, stop-motion and digital animation techniques were used.

Dean talked about shooting in PAL which he says is great for it's richer color space and it DOES look better than NTSC but you better have the equipment to support shooting in PAL.

Check it out on the web soon at

World Famous Raffle rounded off the evening and we are grateful to the following companies and people for their generosity.

Prizes include:

2 FCP Keyboard Keycharts -
Neotron Design
T-shirts, Posters, and Clip Boards - Tony Edwards and Frys Electronics
Free FCP 101 class - Digital FilmTree
1 copy of Visual QuickPro Guide for FCP 3 - Lisa Brenneis
5 $20.00 Gift Certificates -
Poquito Mas Restaurants (Hey, we gotta eat)
1 copy Compression for Great Digital Video
- CMP Books
1 copy Creating Motion Graphics Vol 1, 2nd Edition - CMP Books
-John Badham and Paul Messick
DV Companion for FCP 3 -
Intelligent Assistance
2 copies of VideoClix - VideoClix
Intelligent Assistant for Graffiti 2 - Intelligent Assistance
1 T-shirt -
2 copies of lafcpug DVDs - lafcpug


Special thanks must go to Chris Rogers, and Chriss Horgan for taking tickets. Ken Stone for taking pics. Mark Havener for doing the lights, Dan Brockett for taping the show, Ross Jones for being our AV guy, and of course Promax for footing the bill.

Michael Horton,