Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Final Cut Pro Color Correction - Video Tutorial

Digital Content Producer has a video tutorial on Final Cut Pro Color Correction, which is presented by Jan Ozer.

Of all the skills necessary to successfully edit video, one of the most important is brightness and color correction. To understand how to adjust brightness and color optimally, you have to know how to read a waveform monitor.

In this tutorial, first we'll learn how to enter Apple Final Cut Pro's color correction mode and read the waveform monitor.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Storyboard Pro Software - Free

Storyboard Pro Software is available for free from Atomic Learning. They offer both Mac and PC versions.

Please note that this is FREEWARE software and is currently offered "as is" without support, and with all rights and ownership reserved. You have our permission to use StoryBoard Pro for personal and commercial purposes, but may not redistribute the software without our express written consent.

While there isn't anything system-crunching involved (StoryBoard Pro is a solution using the FileMaker Pro runtime engine), there may be idiosyncrasies in performance on various computer systems and configurations.

They have a series of tutorial videos on how to use the software.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Pan and Zoom Filter - Free

FX Factory is offering a free Pan and Zoom filter for Final Cut Pro/Express, Motion and After Effects.
The Pan and Zoom plug-ins let you create the photo animation style made popular by Ken Burns with intuitive controls and automatic motion control that achieves stunning results without a single keyframe.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Free Green Screen Plates

Hollywood Camera Work has generously made available some green screen and VFX footage that students can practice with.

They allow you to download clips .
  • Green Screen Plates
  • Tracking Plates
  • Matchmoving Supplies
  • Scripts / Blocking Diagrams
  • Blocking Template
  • Virtual Dolly / Crane For Maya

YOU MAY: Use the clips to make instructional videos or teach a class, as long as you mention us. You may even include a few original clips with our permission.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Creative Commons - Legal Music for Videos

The Creative Commons website has a page about using music legally in video projects.

Can I use any song with a CC license on it?

Almost — you need to make sure that what you want to do with the music is OK under the terms of the particular Creative Commons license it’s under. CC-licensed music isn’t free for all uses, only some — so make sure to check out the terms (you can find these by clicking on each song’s license icon).

Most importantly, you need to use music that is not licensed under a No Derivative Works license. This means that the musician doesn’t want you to change, transform, or make a derivative work using their music. Under CC licenses, synching the music to images amounts to transforming the music, so you can’t legally use a song under a CC No Derivative Works license in your video.

Also, make sure to properly credit the musician and the track, as well as express the CC license the track is under. For example, you might include text like this at the end of your video:

This video features the song “Desaprendere (Treatment)” by fourstones, available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Free Music Archive.org

Freemusicarchive.org is a place to find music for student video projects under Creative Commons and other license agreements.
Are you a podcaster looking for pod-safe audio? A radio or video producer searching for instrumental bed music that won't put your audience to sleep? A remix artist looking for pre-cleared samples? Or are you simply looking for some new sounds to add to your next playlist? The Free Music Archive is a resource for all that and more, and unlike other websites, all of the audio has been hand-picked by established audio curators.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

SEVA Training - Effective PSA PowerPoint

On October 17, I gave a presentation on Creating Effective Public Service Announcements for SECC's SEVA Teacher Training Day. You can download a copy of my PowerPoint at the link below.

With some slight modifications, you can use it to make a presentation to students.

PSA PowerPoint

Friday, October 9, 2009

Video Made on a Mac - Calibrate a Monitor - Free tutorials

Peachpit Press is posting podcast from the authors of a book titled, Video Made on a Mac. There are several, including one on how to calibrate a monitor:

Richard Harrington and Robbie Carman show you how to create professional video on the Mac. In this series, they share videos and project files using real world examples in Final Cut Studio and Adobe Creative Suite. From pre-production to post, and accomplishing it all within a tight schedule, this podcast series gives you a sample of what you can learn using their book, Video Made on the a Mac.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Got Milk? Contest and Video Features

The Got Milk? ad campaign is working with Scholastic by hosting a video contest for California public high school students. The goal is to recreate scenes from the 20 minute short film White Gold Rock Opera: Battle for Milkquarious.

The video on the website defaults to the Standard Mode, but if you select the Competition Mode you can access several "extra features." These include interviews with the producer, cinematographer, production designer, costume designer, and editor.

The White Gold Rock Opera Video Contest (“Contest”) encourages public high school students between the ages of 14-18, in the state of California, to develop the most creative video recreating a got milk? scene as presented by the Sponsor. Ten (10) Finalists' videos will be posted online for the general public to vote for their favorite. Cash prizes will be awarded to winners' schools to be used towards enhancing the schools' arts education programs.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Moxie - Music/Videos for Airplay - Free

Moxie is a free service that will send CDs to student publications and radio stations. For TV, current videos are sent for broadcast use.
MOXIE provides free record service to high school student organizations that are interested in using music as part of what they do. We primarily work with high school newspapers, radio/TV stations, and Student Government/ASBs. CDS, videos and other materials (stickers, bios, photos, etc) are sent to you and you decide if you want to review/write about it in your school paper, give it airplay on your radio station, show the video as part of your broadcast, or play the music at school dances and events. In addition, we also do ad campaigns, run contests, set up interviews with artists, provide tickets for you to review concerts, and bring artists to play at/visit schools.

Monday, August 17, 2009

National Film Study Standards

The Film Foundation has developed a National Film Study for Middle School. They are applicable to high school, for those in search of such standards. They have the following five thematic strands:

  • 1.0 Film Language
  • 2.0 Historical and Cultural Contexts
  • 3.0 Production and Creative Expression
  • 4.0 Viewers Response and Aesthetic Valuing
  • 5.0 Cross Curricular Connections

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Green Screen Practice Footage - Free

Hollywood Camera Work has generously made available some free green screen footage and tracking plates that students can use to practice matchmoving, tracking, keying and compositing. The footage supports their DVD course Visual FX for Directors.

They allow you to download clips to practice:
  • Green Screen Plates
  • Tracking Plates
  • Matchmoving Supplies
  • Scripts / Blocking Diagrams
  • Blocking Template
  • Virtual Dolly / Crane For Maya

YOU MAY: Use the clips to make instructional videos or teach a class, as long as you mention us. You may even include a few original clips with our permission.

Monday, August 3, 2009

FTVstudy.com - Great resource

FTVstudy.com is a website that is full of excellent materials. It was developed as a resource for Film and Television Students of Far North Queensland, Australia by teacher Clyde Williams. He generously allows others to access the content.
This website is to help you with your Assessment Requirements for the study of Film, Television and New Media, here at Cairns State High School.
Other schools are welcome to access these resources.
We would be happy to hear from any teachers or students as to the sharing of any extra materials you might have, or like to see here on this site.
He has a page with a number of student examples. He also has some Final Cut Express video tutorials.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Moving Image Education - Website

Moving Image Education is Scotland-based website that has six detailed sections on how to make movies in educational groups. Among other things, they have a good storyboard template.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

BYU's Media Education Database - Lesson Plans

Brigham Young University hosts a Media Education Database with a large number of lesson plans, units and projects. Teachers contribute to the collection.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Apple documentation website

Apple has eliminated paper manuals for their latest software release. You can find the documentation at:


Friday, July 24, 2009

Lakeview High School - Website

Julie Batchos, the Film/Broadcast Teacher at Lakeview High School in Battle Creek, Michigan invited teachers on the RTNDF list to check out her class website. It includes lessons, student worksheets and rubrics for:

Introduction to Film Production
Advanced Film Production
Broadcast Journalism


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Final Cut Studio - Ripple Training Tutorials - Free

Apple has announced the release of the latest version of Final Cut Studio.

The folks at Ripple Training have produced 19 free tutorial videos that cover some of the new features in:

Final Cut Pro 7
Motion 4
Compressor 3.5
Soundtrack Pro 3
Color 1.5
Combined, the total running time for the 19 tutorials is a whopping 78 minutes! Produced by all the Apple-certified experts at Ripple Training: Steve Martin, Brian Gary, Mark Spencer, and Alexis Van Hurkman.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

IzzyVideo.com Video Tutorials

IzzyVideo.com features video tutorials produced by Israel Hyman. The website that features a large range of tips and techniques for people interesting in learning video production. He offers access to his material through a paid subscription.

He offers a number of free videos including one series called "Learn Final Cut Express 4."

Monday, July 20, 2009

StarWars.com Behind the Scenes Videos

StarWars.com has a number of interesting behind the scenes videos that are worth checking out.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

AMPAS Filmmaking Teacher Guides - Free

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (The organization that hosts the Oscars), has series of teacher's guides that highlight the disciplines within film production.

The Academy, in cooperation with Young Minds Inspired, produces a series of teacher’s guides that explore the art and science of motion pictures. The activities are designed to capitalize on students’ natural interest in current films and the excitement generated by the Academy Awards to teach valuable lessons in critical thinking and creative writing, and to develop visual literacy skills. Each teaching guide is available in its entirety to download and print.

The guides are made available to more than 19,500 U.S. high schools throughout the United States, reaching 39,600 teachers and nearly 2.4 million students.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Color in Motion - Color Theory Website

Color in Motion is the website of Claudia Cortes. She has created an "interactive experience of communication and color symbolism." It is a fun Flash animated site that can painlessly expose students to the communicative power of color. It is available in either an English or Spanish version.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Alex Gollner's Final Cut Plugins - Free

Alex Gollner has a number of free Final Cut plugins. Some of these include:

Lower Third
This generator provides extra text and positioning options for labelling people and places.

This filter surrounds a scaled down version of a clip with copies.

Wave Transition
A transition plugin that produces a variety of wave transition effects.

He also has a number of Final Cut tips and tutorials on the same page.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Free Final Cut Express Plugins

Larry Jordan's latest (free) Final Cut Pro Newsletter mentions a tip from Tom Wolsky:

Piero Fiorani has created a series of free plugins. He's primarily an FCE user and some of them are really for that application, but he has a Quarter PIP filter as well as an easy-to-use motion control (Ken Burns-like) filter.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Sony has a series of short work flow tutorials for the XDCAM EX format.
The XDCAM EX format's revolutionary file-based workflow allows the user to ingest, edit, and export high quality content exclusively as data files, greatly enhancing the speed and flexibility of the editing process.
View brief tutorials of the XDCAM EX editing process with the following non-linear editors: Sony Vegas, Avid Media Composer, Apple Final Cut Pro, Thomson EDIUS and Adobe Premier Pro. Registration (at no cost) is required.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Edit Hyundai Commercial Online

Hyundai is promoting their Genesis Coupe with an opportunity to edit your own 30 second commercial with the footage, graphics, effects, and music that they provide.

They are using a web-based version of Adobe Premiere Elements. It might make a nice extra credit assignment.

Find it at www.EditYourOwn.com

Friday, May 22, 2009

Car Dash Camera Mount

Instructables.com has a lot of short tutorials on how to build stuff items for the low-budget filmmaker.

Check out this this clever solution for a cheap camera mount for a small camcorder.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Film4prizes.com Video Contest Listings

Films4prizes.com is one of several websites that lists online video contests.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Plug-ins will save you - Shooting with a still camera

Stu Maschwitz on his blog Prolost has been examining the newest generation of digital 35 mm still cameras and their application for motion picture photography. Several models now offer high definition video recording. At NAB he showed a short film he shot to test what the camera is capable of. His little experiment is inspired by the subway genre of test films. As such it is titled, Chapter 13 After the subway. It is hard to tell what the original footage looked like as he used a number of color correction techniques to improve the image.

Chapter 12: After the Subway from Stu Maschwitz on Vimeo.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Plug-ins won't save you - on MacVideo.tv

Eric Escobar, a director, producer, visual effects artist and independent filmmaker, gave a really interesting presentation at the Final Cut Pro Users Group Supermeet at MacWorld 2009.
In this piece Eric runs through the essentials to making a production work, and explains just why things cannot be fixed in post, why planning is so essential and what is needed to make a production come together. He provides insight into why crews and budgets are shrinking and how to produce quality regardless of the amount of cash you have to throw at the project.
Watch it at MacVideo.tv

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Wilhelm Scream

Your challenge...include the Wilhelm scream in your next project.

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Art of Foley - Website

If you are interested in learning a little bit about the film sound effects, checkout this very nice website that features some background information on The Art of Foley.

The Art of Foley is a short tutorial designed to educate and inspire those interested in the craft of film sound effects.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Apple Logic and Soundtrack Notes and Quizzes

Apple Certified Trainer Jason Gaines has posted chapter notes, chapter quizzes, and supplemental information for the Logic 8 Level 1, Level 2 and Soundtrack courses. They are all based on the books published by Peachpit Press. The information is designed to help students pass the certification exams. The timed chapter quizzes he has created are really valuable.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Google SketchUp for Pre Viz - Free

Google SketchUp provides a free opportunity for students to try out easy-to-learn 3-D software on school computer labs. Check out their education link for more information.

Google SketchUp is software you can use to create, modify and share 3D models. SketchUp's simplified toolset, guided drawing system and clean interface come together to provide a tool for immersing yourself in the creative process. Artists and designers in film and gaming use SketchUp to explore and express their ideas, creating 3D assets quickly and accurately.

Game Design

Game designers and artists need conceptual design tools, too. SketchUp is great for mocking up levels, building assets and more. Learn more about SketchUp for Game Design

Film and Television

Drawing storyboards, designing sets and planning shots are just some of the pre-visualization tasks that you can tackle with SketchUp. Learn more about SketchUp for Film and Television

Friday, March 27, 2009

Monkey Jam - Stop Motion Animation - Free

Check out MonkeyJam, freeware for animation. It is a PC only application.

MonkeyJam is a digital penciltest program. It is designed to let you capture images from a webcam, camcorder, or scanner and assemble them as separate frames of an animation. You can also import images and sound files already on your computer. Although it is designed for pencil and paper, MonkeyJam can also be used for StopMotion animation and has several features just for that. Movies created in MonkeyJam can be exported as AVI files.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

BuZZdex - Index of Tutorials & Articles

Check out the Digital Production BuZZdex. You can search for articles and tutorials available on the web. You can search by category, application or company.

There are three ways to browse.
by application to get a full list of all articles or tutorials for an application. This listing is most useful when you want to see the full scope of what's available for an application.

by category to list all the categories that have Articles or Tutorials for an application.

by Company to find articles and tutorials for, say, all of Apple's products.

You can search forums and other resources. Resources are those things that we use while getting work done. Many of the resources are free, but links to commercial resources are also included.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Minority Report - Sixth Sense Device

The video presentation below is a look into the future. It shows a prototype of a Minority Report inspired device developed at MIT. The presentation comes from a recent TED conference.

TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. It started in 1984 as a conference bringing together people from those three worlds. It now has an even broader scope.

The annual conference now brings together the world's most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes).

The Ted.com website makes the best talks and performances from TED available to the public, for free. More than 200 talks from the archive are now available, with more added each week. These videos are released under a Creative Commons license, so they can be freely shared and reposted.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

IndyModul - Robot Arm Tutorial

Indy Mogul has a number of free filmmaking tutorials videos. Check out this segment from "Backyard Effects," which shows you how to make your own special effects for cheap. The episode below features a method for adding cyborg arms to an actor.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Final Cut Pro: How to maintain aspect ratio HD to SD

Apple has an article in their Knowledge Base titled, Final Cut Pro: How to maintain aspect ratio when exporting high definition formats to standard definition.

If you're working with media in a high definition format such as HDV or uncompressed HD, and wish to export QuickTime reference movies in a standard definition format such as DV or IMX, here are some tips that will help you maintain the correct aspect ratio in your exported movies.

Also see Final Cut Help tutorial on this subject.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Day the Earth Stood Still DVD - Free

The Story of Movies is an educational program sponsored by the film-foundation.org. They have developed free curricula for three films. They have also provided a free DVD for each film until their stock in depleted. To date, they have released To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), Mr. Smith Goes to Washington(1939), and will soon issue The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951). Teachers can click on the link below to get your free DVD for your classroom.


Each middle school unit from The Story of Movies curriculum has four interrelated components:
A DVD of the selected film for in-depth study. The Film Foundation recommends that all classes view the entire film prior to beginning the teaching unit.
A Teacher’s Guide, featuring lessons with teaching objectives, detailed, step-by-step instructions for presenting each activity, and answer keys. Appendices include chapter tests with answer keys, performance-based assessment activities, and National Film Study Standards. A glossary provides definitions of key terms relative to the study of film. In addition, transparencies for projecting graphic organizers are included.
A Student Activities Booklet, which includes graphic organizers, Screening Sheets to be used while viewing the film clips, and reading, writing, visual-thinking, and group activities sheets.
A DVD that includes selected film clips or segments, most of which have a running time of 3 minutes or less. Also included on the DVD are movie stills and photographs.

The Teacher’s Guides and Student Activities Booklets can be downloaded in their entirety by clicking on the film titles on the right side of your screen.

The DVDs needed for the lesson plans must be obtained through The Film Foundation. There is no charge for the DVD materials that accompany this teaching unit. Click here to order a copy.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Abobe's Revised Digital Video Curriculum - Free

Adobe has released a revised version of their Digital Video: Foundations of Video Design and Production. It is updated for CS4.

The Digital Video project-based curriculum develops career and communication skills in video production, using Adobe tools. You can use the Digital Video curriculum in career and technical education courses as well as courses involving video use in academic courses.
You can also still download the CS3 version of the curriculum.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Austin High Video Handouts

Gil Garcia from Austin High teaches a several video classes: CTE Digital Filmmaking
Intro to TV/FILM, Field Production (K-AHS 1) Studio Production (K-AHS 2). On the RTND list, he offered up his lesson on firewire.
It's not enough to say, "everyone listen to me! never plug in a firewire...."

I devote a whole class to firewire and most importantly the dangers of firewire (sounds like a psa). Feel free to download that pdf lesson off my website, www.mrgarcia.org click on the "handouts" section on the left.

You can find a collection of his materials, including the firewire lesson on his Handouts link. You can find an archive of past K-AHS shows.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

TV News Behind-the-Scenes Video

This clip from YouTube provides a nice introduction to the broadcast news work flow.

You convert this video into a QuickTime or WMV file by using MediaConverter.org

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Tools & Utilities for Filmmakers - Free

Dependent Films has a web page with a bunch of useful tools and utilities for filmmakers. There are a number of script writing templates for Microsoft Word. There are PDFs of talent and location releases, shot list, etc. There are also Excel templates for a number of things including call sheet, daily continuity log, and easy script break down.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Artbeats After Effects Turorials & Free Footage

Artbeats, a company that sells stock footage, has a great podcast with After Effects tutorials. They lso have some video and writtien tutorials that are worth checking out. You can also get free footage from them, too.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Royalty free music from SonnyBoo.com

Peter John Ross provides some royalty-free music on his website SonnyBoo.com. If you add it to your video, all he asks is that you list him in the credits.

All you have to do is credit the songwriter - Peter John Ross (www.sonnyboo.com) and the music is your to use for free. They may not be "Beatles" songs, but they can be the difference between your movie getting popular, or getting a "Cease & Desist" court order. And there is no more music for sale on this site or any other site from Peter John Ross. These are just a donation to the public domain.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Make a Blu-Ray Disk on a standard DVD

The 8th Annual MacWorld FCP SuperMeet was held on January 7, 2009. There were a number of interesting speakers and among those was DVD wiz Bruce Nazarian.

He gave a presentation on how Mac users can use a standard "red-ray" DVD burner and regular DVD-R media to create a Blu-Ray disk. His method involves Roxio Toast.

You can get a PDF of his presentation at his website www.recipe4dvd.com. (You will need to sign-up, for free.) Among the things Nazarian recommends is that content producers sign a petition to lower the licensing fees associated with Blu-Ray replication. The licensing cost is $4,500. Both DVD and HD-DVD never had a licensing fee. So, this is an important issue. You can duplicate Blu-Ray disks one at a time from your computer without having to pay this fee, but if you send it off to a professional replicator, you will have to pay the fee. You can sign a petition about this issue from the DVD Association.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Flash Website Templates - Free

If you want to set up a flash-based website for your film or to feature your work, you can get free flash templates for your website at flashvillage.com. You will need Flash to use them.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Making Movies: A Guide for Young Filmmakers - Free

The Film Foundation has a downloadable movie making guide targeted to teens titled, Making Movies: A Guide for Young Filmmakers. It offers film watching suggestions and a number exercises.

Created with the assistance and expertise of 25 professional film artists and educators, the manual is a detailed text that takes you step-by-step through the filmmaking process…from story concept to completed film.

The chapter on editing describes tape-to-tape editing, but the rest of the manual remains relevant.