Ray Roman crashes Dedham, MA July 16

Ray Roman makes his training workshops look like ultimate-fighting championship events with tough posters. Just one of the reasons we think he's awesome.

Get in the ring with him at the Crash Course hands-on wedding cinema workshop in Dedham, Massachusetts on July 16th, and learn from a trainer who runs one of the Top 25 Studios in the World, according to EventDV Magazine. Be sure to book your spot early, he's a hot ticket: <ray@rayroman.com>

Editing How2torial from 90to5

Here's a fun video from the folks at the 90to5 Editing Challenge. Have you signed up yet?


Video Producers get EXPOSED in Australia

We’re told there is only one conference for video producers in Australia, and it’s EXPOSED | DOWN UNDER. If their mission is to serve a whole country of creative media makers, they’re pulling out all the stops. You can find podcasts from this year’s presenters, and greetings with trade tricks from last year’s event on their website, blog, facebook group, and Vimeo group. If that's not enough, check out the prizes!

The 4-day event runs July 9-13 in Sydney, and there is a 2-day pass available if you can only catch an abbreviated version. We’d be there for the whole thing if we were you.


How well do you really understand HD?

AbelCine in New York has put together a series of classes to focus on the many different aspects of working with HD video formats. They’re talking to shooters and post production professionals, helping us through the maze of HD production.

Andy Shipsides (@AndyShipsides) Camera Technology Specialist, is leading the session tomorrow called Understanding HD: Frame Rates, Color and Compression. We all know we’re bluffing just a little when this stuff comes up for discussion... Being in that room would send us ahead of the pack.


Are you Editor enough to take the 90to5 Challenge?

The Editor's ultimate mission is keeping a story intact, no matter how much time you have to tell it in.

The 90to5 Editing Challenge is an international, online event that tests the technical and creative skills of editors as they cut a 90-minute feature film down to a 5-minute version. (Get in on this!)

The website is a rich tool kit of everything you need to get started, including links to public domain films, editing tutorials, and even some history lessons. Prizes include cash and editing software.

If you’re not an editor but love the idea, stay tuned for the audience choice vote beginning after August 15th. We’ll be casting our votes along with you -


Scott Simmons brings Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 magic to Final Cut Pro Editors

Get in on a great opportunity to learn directly from Scott Simmons, author of Editblog, who has over a decade of experience working in the field of film and video post-production. He'll be leading the "Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 For Final Cut Pro Editors" webinar through Moviola June 12, 2012 @ 10:00 AM PST to 11:30 AM PST.  Tune in to access Scott's training as an experienced Avid editor with credits ranging from music videos and concerts to commercials and corporate videos to documentaries and television programs.

Hosted by Marcelo Lewin, the founder of Filmmaking Webinars and the Director of Interactive Media at Moviola, the webinar also features fantastic giveaways including a copy of Adobe Creative Suite 6 Production Premium, and a license for PluralEyes. Join in!


PostNAB success in Montreal

PostNAB 2012 has been stamped a success, thanks to great energy from Final Cut Montréal. Thanks for including us, looking forward to next year!


Skyrocket your videography chops with Ray Roman’s bootcamp

If you’re ready to learn from the best, take note: Internationally acclaimed award-winning wedding videographer, Ray Roman brings his 2-day hands-on training workshop to New Jersey, June 11-13. His info-packed course promises participants a solid understanding of many basic and advanced shooting, lighting and audio techniques. Segments will cover everything from event coverage to post production, workflow solutions (including how to use automatic sync software!), and marketing.

Ray has been voted by industry peers as one of the top 25 hottest and most influential studios in the world. Singular Software is happy to be a sponsor of the training and proud that Ray is a fan of our products. Check out his beautiful work at www.rayromanblog.com


EditFest NY gathers the best known and highly regarded east coast film editors

If you’re anywhere near New York on June 8-9, get yourself to EditFest NY to meet some of the best known and highly regarded east coast film editors who’ll be gathered to mingle, mentor, and present.

The event promises two tightly-programmed days where attendees - including professional editors, production executives, network and studio staff, fledgling assistants and content creators - will participate in sharply planned, targeted panels and extensive Q&A sessions. Listen to, learn from and engage with, the most respected, award winning editors of feature films and television. Attendees, VIPs, sponsors and panelists will also have the chance to mingle at the highly anticipated opening night reception.

Singular Software is happy to be a sponsor of the event and two license certificates for full-production software products will be among the raffle prizes. Tell them we sent you!

How to mic and record the most difficult instrument

Nigel Cooper used two weeks, five cameras and just one digital audio recorder to put listeners in the unique perspective of internationally acclaimed concert pianist Grace Francis’ seat while she played one of the most difficult instruments to record from an audio perspective – the grand piano.

In an article for DVuser Nigel outlines his strategic camera and mic positions, and how the Roland R-44 Digital Field Recorder was his magic weapon for creating a DVD video production of classical music at West Road Concert Hall in Cambridge, UK. He used PluralEyes to sync the audio tracks from all five cameras – including one in the balcony, 60 feet away - with the high-quality audio track captured on the Earthworks PM40 microphone.

In this 22 minute tutorial Nigel demonstrates how to mic and record the concert grand piano, and he includes beautiful footage from the final DVD of Grace performing the Liszt Mephisto Waltz number 1.


Singular Software sponsors Montreal PostNAB

If you’re in Montreal on May 31st, here’s a chance to see the best of NABSHOW 2012. Final Cut MTL is hosting the 8th edition of Montreal PostNAB, an event showcasing the exciting findings made at the National Association of Broadcasters' mega-event in Las Vegas.
Montreal PostNAB provides opportunities for exhibitors to meet with manufacturers and local dealers. Admission is free.
Singular Software is happy to be a sponsor of the event. Full details about the presenters and exhibitors can be found at http://www.postnab.com


Graveyard Carz Brings Reality TV Back to Life

Ever seen an old, beat up car sitting on the side of the road, clearly out of commission, possibly even past the point of no return just waiting for someone to take it to the dump? Well, Mark Worman, owner of Welby’s Car Care in Springfield, Oregon, wouldn’t see a piece of trash – he’d see the opportunity to bring a car back to life and back to its glory days. And, not just any type of car. Mopars. Which means Mark only deals with Dodge, Chrysler and Plymouth Original Equipment (or O.E. for the car buffs) restoration.

The car that started it all
One day, a client came in with a very rare ’71 ‘Cuda 440-6, one out of about 104 ever made. The car was in bad shape – almost beyond reparation – from a high-speed wreck in 1980, and had been rotting away for well over 20 years when it arrived at Mark’s shop. Online forums began buzzing angrily over the idea Mark might re-body the car, a cardinal sin in the world of O.E. restoration, which means taking all of the identifiers, like the VIN and parts numbers, off the original parts and inserting them onto newer, but less desirable, ones – essentially, fraud.

To prove his honesty and O.E. restoration skills, Mark decided to document their progress as he and his crew brought the ‘Cuda back to life. With that, ideas for a reality TV show spread like wildfire. Add in Mark’s kooky – yet lovable – team of hot rod fixer-uppers, and you’ve got Graveyard Carz, a reality television show produced by The Division, set to hit televisions across America this June on Velocity by Discovery.

We talked to The Division’s Casey Faris, executive producer and visual designer for Graveyard Carz, who filled us in on the process of getting picked up by a network, the quirky cast, editing for a reality television show, and more. The road to getting a deal for Graveyard Carz was about as bumpy and wrecked as the cars they restore, but if anyone can bring something to life, it’s Mark and his team.

You began production on Graveyard Carz before even having a deal in place – what was that process like and how did the cast and crew deal with it?

Mark and his team brought this Road Runner back to life
At The Division, we truly try to make a little go a long way. The original pilot was finished in spring of 2008. Our sizzle reel was uploaded to Vimeo that summer, which is when we began talking to several production companies. After being passed around, hyped up, let down, lied to, brushed off, and ultimately back-burnered, we finally started independent production on Season One in fall of 2010, and wrapped around April 2011. We didn't have any deals in place until about two-thirds of the way through production.

How did we do it? Dedicated people. Just about everyone worked for free or nearly free. Without everyone's heart being in place to see the project succeed, we would have gone nowhere. Waiting for so long for the project to take off was hard, but we are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

Television is full of reality TV shows. What is it about Graveyard Carz that makes it special?

The humor is very smart. Mark has a sense of humor that really shines through on screen, as well as in his producing role in the company. All of our editors are constantly being trained to recognize good comedic timing. Even though there is the occasional toilet humor here and there, the actual comedy is very quick and sharp, more like the humor of The Office than American Chopper. The characters aren't over the top; they're regular, likable guys who are simply hilarious to watch, and even funnier with the right editing.

There's lots of car shows out there, but our show is the ONLY show that focuses on Mopar Original Equipment restoration. That type of exclusivity is unheard of in the television world. Combine those factors with our characters and you have a pretty unique show.

What kind of reaction has there been to the show so far?

Our show has played in dozens of countries around the world. Everywhere it plays we, of course, hear from car people – especially the Mopar freaks. But because our show’s characters are so genuinely likable and relatable, it hits an even wider array of demographics. We have people young and old, male and female, obsessed with our show all around the world.

I think when Graveyard Carz hits Velocity in the spring it will receive a very good response. I think car people will LOVE the show, but even people who don't really like cars that much are going to catch on and really enjoy our program.

What does each character bring to Graveyard Carz? How do you think the American audience will perceive them?

The GYC Cast; from left to right: Mark, Royal, Daren and Josh
We got really lucky with our characters because they complement each other so well. Mark's the boss, the expert, and also can be a pretty big jerk (I say this with love). I think people are going to pick up that, yes, he has an abrasive personality, but he also has a heart of gold, and is really more of a little kid in that way. He also really knows his stuff, which I think people will respect. A bit like Gordon Ramsay in Hell's Kitchen

Daren is the anti-Mark. He is a good guy, but his favorite thing to do around the shop is to wind people up – usually Mark. He doesn't seem to be happy unless someone's mad at someone else. But if you ask him about it directly, he would tell you he's all about peace and harmony. The audience is really going to like Daren, but they'll catch on to his schemes and begin to appreciate his mind games as well.

Royal is the adorable, goofy one. Often times in the edit suite, we'll stand back and look at a Royal edit, and everyone will just shake their heads and say something like, "Poor Royal, he's so sweet..." He likes to get work done, probably more so than the other characters, so he's always more happy when progress is made on a car. We keep telling Royal that ladies are going to be after him because of his cute, dopey personality.

Josh is the son-in-law, the young mechanic in training. Josh is very relatable to younger viewers, because of his age. Josh's perspective is always from a young, learning point of view, so that gives us great opportunities to have our audience learn along with Josh. People will always be rooting for Josh because he's the good guy that always just wants to be doing something cool. I think American viewers are really going to love that.

Royal on the GYC set
How does shooting and editing a reality show differ from editing a scripted film?

With a reality series, the first thing is we have tons of footage, which is why PluralEyes is especially useful. We’ll have several hours of footage for each scene, which ends up being about three or four minutes of the show. Normally, if we had three hours of footage, at least an hour would be spent just on syncing. With PluralEyes, it’s synced in about 10 or 15 minutes, and we don’t have to babysit, we can work on something else and still be productive. It really is a time saver.

A reality show's story is probably 80% in the editing, which is why it’s so important that we get to that phase quickly. Although we were all on the shoot and have a pretty good idea of what went down, we don't really have much of an idea of the real story until the edit is done. Things you think will come across really easily are sometimes surprisingly hard to convey to an audience, and other things that we didn't even notice during a shoot will become the main feature of that segment. It's pretty weird sometimes!

Season One is still yet to premiere in the states, but what does the audience have to look forward to for Season Two of Graveyard Carz?

Without trying to hype it up too much, Season Two is going to be a killer. Starting with our first episode, there are all new cars, equipment, and more high-speed adventures. We are all very excited to see Season Two.

We have tons of amazingly cool vehicles, the production value is higher, we have sponsors which allow us to do more field trips and activities with the crew, we'll be traveling more, and just pretty much tearing out all the stops to make it a really fun ride. Plus, Season Two is 13 one-hour episodes, whereas Season One is only six.

What other projects are in the pipeline?

Our other production right now is Lynch 4 Hire, which is a half-hour show that was just commissioned by MavTV. It's a really fun show about a couple of brothers doing odd jobs to make a living.

We have quite a few irons in the fire, most which I have to keep somewhat under wraps, but I'll tell you we have some really exciting projects coming up later this year. We're all very excited.

Don’t miss Graveyard Carz, premiering June 14th on Velocity by Discovery!


The Future of Automatic Sync

Just in case you didn't make it to NAB 2012, here is the presentation I gave in the Manhattan Editing Workshop's training center. I talk about (and demo)


Filmmaking Crash Course: Los Angeles, CA and West Orange, NJ

Renowned instructor Ray Roman has created a two-day workshop for event filmmakers who want to challenge themselves. Covering everything from the nuts and bolts of shooting with DSLRs to techniques that best evoke emotion, the workshop will feature PluralEyes and its role in multi-camera and dual-system audio workflows.  For more information or to register, go to www.rayromanworkshop.com


Young Filmmaker's Talents Are Anything But Shipwrecked

When you think of 'award-winning director,' you might think of Martin Scorsese, Peter Jackson, Quentin Tarantino - but they all had to start somewhere, right? Meet Ben Kadie, a 16-year-old award-winning director (not to mention screen writer, producer, editor and the list goes on...), and you can say you 'knew' him before he was famous.
Ben has been making movies since he was in the third grade at Seattle Country Day School, when most of us were still learning how to tie our shoelaces. Now, seven years later, Ben’s got nine films under his belt – from Shakespearean interpretations to period pieces to dark comedies – and he’s not stopping there. One look at any of Ben’s films and it’s clear he has the kind of story writing skills one can only be born with, knowing how to expertly weave humor in with darkness or make the old fresh and new again – and he’s only getting better with each movie he makes.
Ben’s latest film, Alone Together, takes a somewhat different direction than his mysteries, abandoning the green screens of the past for real scenery and placing a deeper emphasis on the emotions and developments of the characters, Brendan and Eloise. What emerges is the tale of shipwrecks and unrequited love, when Brendan finds himself washed up on a deserted island with Eloise, the girl of his dreams, the two of them hundreds of miles from their families and real life. When Brendan discovers the radio transmitter that could lead to their rescue, he must decide whether or not to tell Eloise, and choose between selfish and selfless love.
Starring Seattle-based actors Asher Jordan and Bria Lynn Massie and shot in breathtaking Pacific Northwest locations including Whidbey Island and Cougar Mountain, and on the 100-year-old tugboat Arthur Foss, Alone Together is set to release this spring and with luck will be featured in multiple film festivals. As for Ben, his next big project is applying to university film programs, which involves creating a five-minute audition film. We have no doubt he’ll be receiving quite a few acceptance letters. We recently spoke with Ben to get the lowdown on his life as a young moviemaker.
You started making movies at a very young age – what inspired you to get into filmmaking?
Growing up, my dad and I would make little novelty and special effects videos together. They have titles such as “Whoopee Cushion Concert” and “Speed of Light Boy.” As I got a little older, I wanted to make videos that told a story. In sixth grade, my friend Noah and I made Perilous Skies, a WWI comedy. The film got into the Seattle International Film Festival via a newspaper contest. A month later it screened at NFFTY, which has since grown to be the largest youth festival in the world. Seeing the audiences enjoying the film was wonderful and encouraged me to keep making movies.
How did you handle the challenges there are to making movies at such a young age?
Two film books greatly influence me: Rebel Without a Crew and DV Rebel. Both say that you don’t need a lot of people and resources to make a film; you just need to use what you have. For example, between seventh and eighth grade I wanted to tell a story set in the Egypt of 1897. I filmed Murder at the Pharaoh’s Grave in my backyard, with a green screen, a tent made from cheap fabric, and 100 pounds of sand. By replacing the green with my digital matte paintings, I was able to tell a big story with little resources.

As a director with a specific vision in mind, do you find it difficult to manage actors in order to make sure your movies turn out as planned?
I love working with actors. In most of my films, the actors are friends who I know from school plays. I think it helped that my early films were small, with just two or four actors, and very collaborative. The film Molly and the Masked Storm was a bit of turning point. With five actors playing 12 roles in a 24-minute film, I had to get more organized. The actors seemed to appreciate me really leading the production while still letting them interpret their roles.
Finding the right actors to translate your story properly can be tricky. What was the casting process like for Alone Together?
This was my first film with auditions. I posted to several Seattle-area actors’ callboards on the Internet. The response was wonderful, but the two weeks of auditions were new and stressful. It felt strange to judge adults, in my basement, on how well they could pretend they were on a sinking ship. For the two lead roles, 30 young actors auditioned. I found two great 18 year olds. Asher Jordon, who is now studying acting at New York University, played Brendan. Bria Lynn Massie plays Eloise; she’s now pursuing acting professionally in Portland.
Alone Together is 24-minutes long. What was your production timeline?
After drafting the script, preproduction took about four months off-and-on (because of school). It included many camera and effects tests, script revisions, and then making storyboards. Production was seven shooting days in the middle-to-late summer. Post-production, including editing, special effects and music, took about six months. I finished Alone Together on New Year’s Day.
At every step, I tried to put on a new hat (screenwriter, then director, then editor) and be tough. Sometimes as editor, I had to kill a scene that I loved as screenwriter.
Alone Together was set in Chile – how did you find Seattle locations to portray a deserted Chilean island?
The Seattle area has many beaches, but most have views of houses and other land. To find close beaches with open water, I used Bing maps and “discovered” the Strait of Juan de Fuca. I scouted twice by car, even getting some of my Driver’s Ed miles in. At Deception Pass State Park, on the Straight, I fell in love with a certain cliff and its rocky beach.
For the boat, I expected to use green screen. But then I visited the Northwest Seaport and saw their wonderful ships. They generously gave me permission to shoot for a day on their 100-year-old tugboat Arthur Foss.
With both the cliff and the tugboat, I updated the script to highlight the locations.
Did you write the script for this movie and other movies you’ve made?
Yes, I’m very interested in writing and have attended programs such as TheFilmSchool’s Prodigy Camp that emphasize storytelling. Knowing that I am going to produce what I write helps me write. For example, Mack is a Macbeth-like story of a painter whose ambition is tragically larger than his talent. I knew I could buy inexpensive landscape paintings at Goodwill and that I could paint my own abstracts, so I wrote the script around those two art styles.
Filmmaking sounds like a huge part of your life – do you have time for anything else?!
I’m in the International Baccalaureate program at my high school, so academics keep me pretty busy. My high school doesn’t actually have a film program, but I take fine art classes and theater classes. After school, I’ve also been in all the school plays and I’m co-president of Improv Club.
What role does DualEyes play in the production of your movies?
I filmed Alone Together a total of six days, spanning from August 7th to August 18th. Using a dual audio set up and DualEyes, I was able to cut together a teaser trailer immediately and post it to YouTube on the last day of shooting. This was only possible because DualEyes allowed me to sync the sound with the video immediately without any hassles.
Before DualEyes, I was not able to use a dual audio set up. It would take too long to manually sync the material. Instead, my microphone was tethered to my camera. This was a bit of a challenge as we would get tangled up, and the recording quality was often not what I wanted.
With DualEyes, I can have the microphone go with the actors. This gives better sound and simplifies shooting. For example, in Alone Together, it allowed me to film the actors from the other side of a cliff while the microphone was next to them, hidden behind a rock. DualEyes synced the video and audio correctly. It works so smoothly, giving me one less thing to worry about.
What did you use to shoot the footage, record the audio, and edit?
My last three films have been shot on a Canon T2i DSLR. For audio there is a VideoMic Pro microphone on a homemade boompole recorded to a Zoom H2 recorder. For editing and effects, I use Sony Vegas, Magic Bullet Looks, DualEyes, Cinema 4D, and After Effects.
To learn more about Ben and his projects, visit him at slugco.com or on Facebook.