OCTT short promos 1999 and 2000





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Published on Jan 2, 2010

From just before the time when non-linear editing would surpass A/B roll and DigiBeta pre-read layering.

00:03 We didn't have internet in the office. I dialed into AOL using a phone line and my personal iMac. Cuts-only edit job. The flag is the animated gif on the website. The terrible graphic overlay was an attempt to use Photoshop 4 and import it into the Dubner.

00:25 This must be a back-up dub with no voice track. All cuts. The blue background is a tape of TV noise run through the DPM 700 Digital Picture Manipulator. The red and green squares are freezes from a tape of changing channels on the office TV. The Dubner CG plus Grass analog switcher = bad edges.

01:09 Bad Dubner CG plus clips from the live show recording. The interview had glitching color, so it was made black & white to cover it up. I needed a background so I shot the tickets and slowed it down. The event itself was extremely fun, BTW.

02:07 Big changes with new DigiBeta recorder and the Windows-based TypeDeko CG. We also had a new non-linear editor. I didn't enjoy using the Discreet yet, but I did shoot the keyboard to make the rolling background for this PSA.

02:53 Another "2 hour" job. The editors would be given a voice track and a paper script and told to make something. First you throw down a layer of slow blurred video... then back up the tape and start laying down a layer of old file video... (now make a safety digital copy, we called them "clones")... finally lay down the graphics layer.

03:28 The new digital Ross switcher arrived. You could do clean multi-passes on the DigiBeta tape and there were better wipe effects. The checkerboard here is a half-wipe video key with a matrix wipe. CG is the TypeDeko with a fat border.

04:04 You could execute timed wipes on the switcher when you did A/B editing. These color bars are just multiple passes of the tape with the switcher making timed color keys. The text is made by passing the TypeDeko through the DPM and executing timed passes for each edit. This tape has at least 16 layer passes on it and it looked perfect.

04:47 Unfortunately, that version seemed too weird, so I had to make new version, using the more upbeat Digital Juice backgrounds. The Quicktime clips were imported into Discreet, then a tape of loops was made for use in the linear suite.

05:08 A piece of promo #1 of 4. It's a Digital Juice background on tape, plus pre-read passes to lay down the small boxes one by one. I forgot to make a clone before adding the CG as the last pass. You can see a flicker on the Ross switcher's drop shadow output at 05:20 (...and there was nothing you could do about it unless you wanted to start the project all over).

05:30 The 3D Studio Max artist constructed his projects, then had to output the video frame by frame onto a BetaSP tape. All night long, the deck recorded a series of one-frame edits. It took about one minute to create each one frame of video. You couldn't really count on it being perfect because the tape would slip sometimes. You had to try again the next night. After the tape was done, the linear editor did a luminance key over the background tape. This background tape was a bunch of distorted images of my unwashed coffee cup.

05:55 Background loop made with pre-read edits, then a home plate shape made by two overlapping switcher wipes. This was for a Discreet project, but it was still faster to knock it out with A/B and hand over a tape for ingest.

06:18 I noticed there was a poster for this event in the hallway of the office. Grab the camera and boom- instant background layer.

06:40 Another fast edit for passing off to finish with Discreet. Notice the edges of the DPM 700. Those rounded boxes are an equipment "tell" about as distinct as the silhouette of Kiki Stockhammer.

06:56 The ability to grab something off the web and paste it into the frame of TypeDeko was a big deal. This cloud was repeated seven times, then a dove from an old Santana concert on VHS was keyed over it. The subway stuff is some old video grabs made into a loop tape and also run through the DPM with a delay.

07:20 Using all the same toys, this introduction is just... Not Very Good. I didn't have any experience with this type of "In Style!" content or ANY feeling for it. I used the same tricks as usual (the psychedelic background wash, the internet images, the pop music loop sample) and I missed the point entirely.

It doesn't matter if you use Final Cut or Avid. It doesn't matter if you use XD discs or HDV tapes. If the people are wrong, no magic tools will fix the problem. Experience matters.


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