The present and future of post production business and technology | Philip Hodgetts

Archive for June 16th, 2010

It seems like an odd idea at first: could you fund a production – film or ongoing series – using iAds? After all, Apple have lined up $60 million in ad spend for the second half of 2010 and that would fund a lot of independent production! But how would it work?

First off iAds go in Apps for the iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad – or they will from early next month – and are an integral part of iOS 4. Any developer can add ads to their App simply and 60% of the revenue from ads goes to the App developer (or owner). That’s $36 million that’s going to be paid out to someone, why not your independent project?

I’ve long thought that the future of programming was Apps. An App, like a website, gives a single place for everything about your project: blog, previews, special content, upcoming events, merchandising etc. The advantage of not only having a website, but wrapping it an App is that the App will be a better fan experience, and it’s easy to add in-App purchasing of digital goods.

So, create an App for your project. This App will have:

  • An area where you can read the production blog;
  • Forums and chat around your project;
  • The Twitter feed from your project;
  • Connection into your Facebook presence;
  • Previews of scenes or trailers of movies;
  • The full project, with a little in-App purchasing (or not).
  • Calendar for screenings, parties and other events around your project, including signup (filtered for just the geography of the fan if they want, thanks to GPS on most of the devices)

Having everything to do with your project in a mobile app on iPhone or iPad makes it much easier for your fans, friends and followers to stay involved and participate. Involvement will improve. (Connecting with Fans and giving them a reason to buy is a basic tenet of independent production in the digital era.) Plus fans will likely be clicking on some of those ads if they’re well targeted, bringing revenue to the project.

Plus, there a minor security advantage. There’s no download function in Mobile Safari and Apps can’t download very much. Plus there’s no way to actually get anything downloaded within an App out of the App to a computer. That means your finished, high quality version could be viewed in the iDevices without much risk of it being distributed without authorization. (Recognizing though, that it will get distributed unless you project just plain sucks!)

Who’s going to be the first to give it a try?

As well as showing the software in action, this series of videos show the results from the software. Each “edit” is based on a set of story keywords (logged with the clips) and a duration. Lower Thirds are automatic; story arc is automatic; b-roll is automatic; audio from b-roll is faded in and out and dropped in volume. All automatically and in seconds.

The project is about a young triple threat – singer, dancer, actor – Tim Draxl, discovered in Sydney when he was just short of his 18th birthday.

He played Rolf in a professional touring production in Australia in 2000 and his career has blossomed from there, and the three CD deal he has with Sony Universal: the first when he was 18!

Remember, these edits were done in seconds, from selects using Assisted Editing’s First Cuts software. And yes, this is my baby (along with Dr Greg Clarke).

The Sound of Music Edit

Without limits – about 13 minutes of material.

Four minute limit set. Edit is tighter and only the best material makes it to the edit.


Growing Up

Tim grew up partly in Australia and partly in Austria as his father worked as a ski instructor. This is the unlimited version of the “Growing Up” edit.

[Update: I forgot the 10 minute limit so one of the movies was too long and YouTube can’t distinguish between a 6 minute cut and a 4 minute cut, thinking they’re the same. Fortunately the videos are also available on our site. The Growing up unlimited  and six minute versions are available at]

And finally with a 4 minute limit.

Bittorrent only full of leeches? Peer-to-Peer (P2P) users of bittorrent are often thought of as only leeching on honest content creators but this group have organized funding for a seven episode series. Or at least the first episode.

Interesting turn: financed, released and distributed via P2P networks.

VODO’s newest release is titled Pioneer One, a brand new 7-part TV-series that raised enough funds to film the first episode through donations from TorrentFreak readersand other supporters. Unlike traditional television, the sci-fi-ish series will debut on the Internet, on BitTorrent.

Pioneer One is an ambitious project from Josh Bernhard and Bracey Smith who have collaborated before on ‘The Lionshare’, a BitTorrent-exclusive film which was released on VODO earlier this year. With support from even more big names than before, Bernhard, who wrote the script for the TV-series, hopes that today’s release will set a new record.

Auto-Collapse for FCP Tidy up those timelines by collapsing redundant layers, removing unused parts of clips, etc. Looks powerful and useful.

We often create or are presented with messy, confusing timelines… This is the perfect way to simplify unwieldy timelines… It’s ideal for efficient use of drive space before media managing and re-conforming; and also for consolidating sequences to one track for exporting old style CMX EDL’s.

Filter Removal for FCP. Unlike Final Cut Pro’s Filter Removal tool, this one allows selective removal.

So often we find ourselves with sequences with tons of filters of all varieties. For example, say you have a whole sequence that’s been de-interlaced, colour corrected, with some maybe blur and film effect filters peppered around too, and you want to remove just the interlace filter… its impossible without deleting all the others. The workaround for this little problem is as tedious as it gets, you’ve got to pick through each and every clip and manually delete each of those pesky de-interlace filters… Now with EM Filter Remover you simply select the sequence whose filters you want to edit, and it does it all for you!

And one more that I didn’t tweet about is Auto Scratch. Automatically set the Scratch Disk to follow the project. Yah!

Particularly useful for machines and facilities with many operators and projects… EM Auto Scratch remembers where each projects render files and media destinations are meant to be, even when you hop between projects. No more excuses for colleagues who’ve accidentally deleted all the media for the project you’ve been working on for months!

Until today I wasn’t even aware of Edit Mule – out of the UK and creating some nice tools.



Google’s Cloud Editing for YouTube

Editing “in the cloud” (i.e. with media and power remotely on the Internet) is hotting up. Google has just released a new tool for YouTube while Avid have been previewing their cloud-based editing application.

Still, uploading media seems to be the sticking point for any serious amount of editing.

June 2010
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