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Lightworks

Lightworks is an NLE (Non Linear Editing Software) that has been around for 22years. They are making a bold move by allowing it to be an open source NLE. This means that it is now a freeware!

You can download the beta version from their website to test it out.

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Below is a quote from wikipedia that pretty much sums up the reason why this software is still around after so many years even when it is not selling well.

“Using a control interface similar to the industry standard Steenbeck controller they produced a non-linear editing system. It had a number of (for its time) unique features, such as “sync slip”, synchronized varispeed playback with audio scrubbing, synchronized multi-channel playback, and an object-oriented user interface with a dedicated hardware console. Some of these features are still unmatched by other competing systems.”

I remember some editors comment that this system is extremely useful for multi-cam editing. It was very popular for editing of concerts years back.

Unfortunately, it is only available for windows user currently. But the website mentioned that they planned to make Linux and OS X version available by end of this year.

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DCP – Digital Cinema Package

Recently a Singapore filmmaker, Chai Yee Wei kindly shares his new knowledge about DCP (Digital Cinema Package) with a bunch of us in the industry. Since we are all migrating to digital filmmaking, it is inevitable that we will need to learn the new rope on how to handle this monster on cinema. In the near future – 2012, there is a possibility that 80% of Singapore’s cinema will be adopting digital projection, therefore DCP will become one of the 101 filmmaking lesson you have to take in regards to prepare your digital files (film) for screening.

Read some basic understanding about DCP from wikipedia.

If you hire a post house to get the files ready for you, it may cost you tens of thousands of dollars. Fortunately, there is an open source freeware – OPENDCP available for you to test. Please note that currently opendcp doesn’t support subtitling.

Trial and error is certainly needed. In order for you to fully convinced that you have the files right is nonetheless testing it on a DCP projector. This will be one of the most tricky situation for all independent filmmakers.

Yee Wei’s company  Hot Cider Films is offering service below for filmmakers who need a fuller support on this new technologoy.

1) Industry standard DCP(Digital Cinema Package), DCDM (Digital Cinema Initiative Distribution Master), Encryption and KDM generation.
2) software conforming from multiple sources, like DPX, TIFF sequence or even a QT file.
3) Industry compliant subtitles in multiple languages

You may contact Chai Yee Wei via his company Hot Cider Films for more information.


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For now, editing is a commodity and less a craft

There were signs of editors maybe taken out of the equation in news broadcasting more than 18 years ago while I was working as a news video editor in Singapore.

Looks like such change will be inevitable …

For now, editing is a commodity and less a craft

By Walter Biscardi on December 1st, 2011

As has been reported recently, CNN laid off 50 staffers, primarily videographers and editors.   Why?   Essentially after a three year internal review, CNN has determined that professional editors are not necessary to craft news stories any longer.   Instead they are expanding their iReport section allowing for more user generated content to be provided to the network, at absolutely zero cost to the network.   Yep, zero cost to the network since these folks won’t be paid.   I could go on about that part of the story, but Stephen Colbert explains it so well in this clip from “This Colbert Report” on Comedy Central.

Read full article here.


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Learning filmmaking backwards

“Cinematic production is traditionally a linear progressive process – From script, to storyboard, to shoot, to edit to sound mix to delivery. Subsequently, more often than not, we teach cinematic production following the same linear progression. But is this really the best or most effective way to teach filmmaking?” – Mike Jones

I asked the same question when I started to teach filmmaking and editing in various institutions. I did a small experimentation of reversing the order in one of my class and I was rather happy with the result. It seems more logical for one to understand how the footage will turn out at the editing stage before they go out to shoot or before they learn how to write a visual script. Screenwriting is a skill different from other forms of story telling (in writing). It requires the writer to visualized actions on paper. It will be even better if every craftsman in filmmaking (writer, director, cinematographer or even producer) have a better understanding on the aesthetic of film editing. Better films will be made.

Read the full article from Mike Jones here.

Mike Jones [.tv] is a treasure trove of information on art and technology of media understanding


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Documentary Guide

A new place for you to search for documentaries with social interest. A fast track research.

Documentary Guide is conceived to bring to its audience the widest collection of documentary films from around the World Wide Web. It is one of the few CURATED search engines on the Internet. We have researched and indexed thousands of films, hundreds of sites and numerous databases from around the globe. We have organized them, tagged them and curated them for education and awareness. This platform is made for film makers, researchers, filmgoers, students, educators and all individuals who strive to learn more, know more and do more.”