Foxvideo Productions

June 2013

Does it pay to be honest?

I've got to be a little careful here but it's an interesting story. Some months ago I bought an app for the Mac, it wasn't expensive I think it was around $5, not something I'd use regularly but useful to have. Since then I've received regular emails from them, I don't object to this as I could opt out of the marketing emails at anytime.

Tonight I got an email from them offering a deal I was interested in, there was a link in the email for further info which I clicked and a page then opened in a browser.....

The page didn't quite look right, as I read down I could see it was an acknowledgement of customers order, complete with name, the products ordered, direct download links and ACTIVATION CODES for the software!

I immediately emailed the company the link they'd included in the mass email suggesting there might have been an error in the email link and that they might want to check it out, 10 minutes later I got a reply saying I was the first to report it, that it was being looked at, the error corrected and could I please ignore any information I might have seen, they also offered by way of a thank you......a 10% discount against any software product they supply, Yep, a whole 10%!

Old slippers and HDMI


One of the reasons I discounted switching to FCPX recently was that using it felt out of my comfort zone, I was happy in my edit workflow and the results I got using FCP7. I admit, I like my way of working and I'm not happy with 'change', however over the weekend I came to realise I wasn't even making the most of what I have got.

A friend was organising a charity event for 2 local Hospice's, a coach and four horses arriving in our village so I offered to shoot some footage and upload it to YouTube for publicity and as a record of the event. To make sure I got enough of the event as it happened I used my HM700 shooting HD and Sue used the Sony DSR500WSP shooting SD to tape. After the event I captured the DVCAM tape to FCP, created a ProRes sequence, dropped the footage in, added my HD 1920x1080i from the JVC, did a quick 'cut and shut' edit, dropped the output into Compressor and uploaded it to YouTube, a standard workflow I've done hundreds of times - the mixed footage looked 'OK'ish" but I was a little disappointed by the overall quality.

After a couple of hours I suddenly realised I'd looked at the workflow all wrong, I have a JVC HD-BR50 deck for playing out DVCAM tapes, this has an option for 'upscaling' DVCAM via HDMI to either 1280 or 1920, my MacPro has a Blackmagic Intensity Pro card, this allows capture of HDMI at 1280 or 1920i, I'd tested this workflow a while back but as it didn't really feature in my normal shoot/edit situation I'd almost forgotten about it, so I re-captured the DVCAM clip using HDMI out / in, I thought if I just renamed it to the original clip and replaced it in the FCP capture folder then re-link the media, it would replace the original captured DVCAM file - not quite!

After a couple of attempts at creating different sequences, relinking media, copying and pasting clips, removing attributes etc, I ended up with a 1920x1080i ProRes sequence using my original HD HM700 footage, the upscaled DVCAM footage and all the audio in it's edited form, I saved a self contained .mov, dropped it into Compressor, used a YouTube 1280 preset and then uploaded it - there was a noticeable difference from the original YT clip, not huge but noticeable. Looking back and knowing this edit was only ever going to YouTube, I should have shot 1280 with the JVC HM700, upscaled the DSR500 to 1280 and sent to YT as 1280, so the next time I'll forget my comfortable old slippers, try to remember my 'new' workflow and not be so quick to use my older methods of working.

(Switch the YouTube settings to 720 for the HD version)

Screen Shot 2013-06-03 at 07.23.56