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Secret Genius for Spotify • An FCPX Workflow

April 16, 2018 Tags: , , , , , ,
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In this exclusive interview, FCPWORKS chats with Ben Jehoshua from Brian Graden Media. Ben recently directed the debut season of Secret Genius, a Spotify documentary series about singer-songwriters. The project was also the first piece of original video content for Spotify and was produced using Final Cut Pro X and Lumaforge’s Jellyfish. 

Describe your overall responsibilities.

I’m the Senior Vice President of Development at Brian Graden Media. I run our internal production studio called BGM Studio and work on sizzle reels, presentations and pilots. Over the last couple of years, we’ve developed well over 150 projects. I also directed a feature film and I’m working with two teams right now to write new projects, some of it low burner/long-term kind of stuff. We’re also representing one of my personal projects, which is a suspense thriller feature film.

What’s your production background?

I’ve been filming since I was very young and growing up in Israel. I was also teaching younger kids how to shoot video and edit. Then I came to Los Angeles to attend film school at Columbia College in Hollywood and later started my career as an editor. I worked on TV shows like Unsolved Mysteries, Disney’s Shark Attack and Intimate Escapes for TLC. I was an editor for years and then started my own production company with two other partners, one of whom is my brother, Judah Jehoshua. We did a lot of stuff for Mattel toys like Barbie Hot Wheels, Brats and tons of kid’s commercials. Also corporate video for tech companies like Intel, Microsoft, IBM; car companies like Honda, Hyundai, Toyota. That was our bread and butter for years until we started doing developing a project called Geek My Pad.

And I showed it around to my contacts and they said wow, you’re really good at this presentation thing. One thing led to another and I worked on a few projects in the industry that did well. I was directing, producing and editing presentations for a while until Brian Graden and I worked together and then we started this internal division at Brian Graden Media.

Was Secret Genius something you originally pitched to Spotify?

It came from one of our SVP’s, Jeffrey Wank and it was his passion project. For years he’s been going to these songwriter conventions and been learning about the stories behind the songs. So it was a project we pitched in other places around town. And strangely enough, when we went to Spotify they already wanted to do something very songwriter focused and pay homage to all these amazing songwriters that are featured on their platform. So it was good timing. We looked at the budget and the resources that they were giving us and it just made sense to do it internally with my team. I created a lot of presentations that kind of went back and forth until we settled on the creative with Spotify.

Was the length of each episode predetermined?

It came out organically, because other than the storytelling, the format also includes an unplugged performance where the songwriters perform their own music at the end of the episode. We knew that would be three to five minutes depending on the song. And then we sort of reverse engineered it from there and wanted to keep it between five and eight minutes for the story portion. But one of the challenges was how do you have one person in a very intimate storytelling format? And also how do you integrate the photos from their past and names of the songs and lyrics? That was the most interesting part of this to work on creatively.

Were the guest subjects mostly established or brand new artists?

Very well established, like Justin Tranter, Priscilla Renae and also Poo Bear who writes for Justin Bieber. So we were always pleasantly surprised by how as you’d talk to somebody, you just would realize how prolific and amazing their work is. Our showrunner Georgi Goldman really did a deep dive into their stories and I’m very proud of being able to work with her.

Did Spotify want to start with just a pilot or shoot the entire season at once?

They went for the entire season from the start, 10 episodes. One of the challenges Georgi and her research team had to overcome was scheduling because these songwriters are ultra-successful people with very packed schedules. So it was a little bit like herding cats to bring everybody onto the soundstage. We shot two episodes a day over a one week shoot on a soundstage. Everything had to be very tight and scheduled correctly.

Describe the production.

Everything was filmed in 4K on four Sony FS7’s. And the interesting part was that Spotify came to us about five days before the shoot and said, we might just broadcast this at a 9:16 aspect ratio on our app on the phone and even if we don’t, we would like everything to be formatted so it’s both landscape and portrait, so make sure nothing hits outside of the assigned 9:16 area for portrait viewing on a phone.

So that threw a very challenging wrench into our production and we decided to mark all the monitors on set. Every single shot was carefully planned to not stray outside of the 9:16 portrait area on our monitors. The creative called for lots of camera motion and also moves in post. We want it to be constantly moving and zooming even if it’s digitally and the interesting part of the creative is one of our cameras was outside of the stage window that we built and the intention was always to track graphics and images from the songwriters past, whether it’s a performance or childhood pictures or whatever the creative called for to track it on to this window that we built into the set. So that was a challenge because we also knew that we needed to show these images in landscape and also make them work in portrait.

And where did you shoot?

We were Glendale on a soundstage for five days. We had a couple of prep days and a breakdown day at the end. The set had this massive chandelier and enormous crystal disco ball. Just mounting that was a challenge because we really tried to go for a specific look.

What was the timeframe from completing production to delivering the entire season? 

We actually staggered the delivery because there were so many people approving the stuff both internally and externally at Spotify. Episodes one, two and three were released together first and then the rest were released in clusters of two or three. Spotify also commissioned a format from us that we referred to it as a living playlist. It’s a 30-minute audio playlist that incorporates our footage. Whenever the songwriter mentions a particular song, that song starts playing and then a few other songs from that songwriter follow. So it’s almost like a premium vlog by that songwriter, direct to camera.

Which tools did you use in post-production? 

Our internal team has been working on Final Cut Pro X since version one. Our editors got really fast on it and we were talking about using it because we’d developed a sensibility with our editors and we love them. They didn’t want to move to Avid and get bogged down.

We wanted to use the LUT our DP Neal Brown created on set and do some moves digitally all in 4K. We also brought on two additional Avid editors. They were very well accomplished on big shows and I was kind of dreading the conversation with them about working with Final Cut Pro X. But they were actually familiar with it, they had just never dived in with it on a professional project like this with deadlines and lots of people touching media.

After that, we needed to iron out the kinks in our building because we were initially on an Avid Isis media server and that was not fun. Then, Lumaforge came in with the Jellyfish and solved our issues and the editors got so addicted to it and flying on the system. It was kind of a joy to see Avid editors meld into Final Cut Pro X.

We had three story producers, our showrunner and two graphics graphic artists. In total, there were eight people working simultaneously off of the Jellyfish, four stations on 10 gig and four stations on 1 gig, which was seamless and flawless. The capacity of the Jellyfish was 36 terabytes but we only used about 18-20 terabytes. We cut everything inside of Final Cut Pro X and did the animation in After Effects.

How did you first hear about Lumaforge? 

We did a little demo back when they were in Culver City. We went over to check them out because we heard they had a shared server optimized for Final Cut Pro X. So we bought version one for our internal development team. Honestly, I turned it on once and then about a year and a half later I realized I had never turned it off but it was just working. Then we rented another Jellyfish for Secret Genius and ended up buying that one as well. Sam Mestman and everyone over at Lumaforge has been amazing, some of the best support I’ve ever had.

What was the final delivery for Spotify?

We finished as much as we could inside Final Cut Pro X including the initial color correction. With Neal’s LUT, the main work was to just make sure the levels are all set within the waveform. We did our final sound mix at a post house in New York.

How does Spotify measure the overall success of a show?

The digital world is ever-shifting and people are really trying to find the meaning of success, especially in a subscription-based service like Spotify. They haven’t told us what the viewership is and it’s also still very much fresh and new episodes are still coming online at this moment. I do know that their number one initiative is Secret Genius songwriting songwriter outreach. It’s very important to them culturally as a company to reach out to songwriters. We get new pieces of information every week and we’re certainly proud to be a part of their first push into media.

How would you compare delivering a project for a streaming subscription service to a more traditional broadcast workflow? 

Brian Graden Media has been in the forefront of the production on digital for a few years now. We haven’t watered down our delivery process and one of the key reasons is a lot of the linear people have been migrating over to digital. So, they bring with them the expectations for high quality and expect top-notch color correction and sound mix. The key differences are that the air date can get a little flexible and the running times, because we don’t have to put the commercial breaks in between the content or adhere to a specific length.

If Spotify requested a second season, would you change your approach?

We enjoyed the process so much and everybody got emotional at the end of the week because it was such a great subject to get immersed in. The crew was spectacular, so I wouldn’t change a thing when it comes to the shoot. Honestly, I don’t even know how we would’ve finished this show without the magnetic timeline in Final Cut Pro X. We were getting things like crazy and just flowing so nimbly and quickly on cuts and that was that was really cool. And it’s also just a powerful workflow.

Is producing for streaming really popular now?

It’s not quite the Golden Age of streaming just yet. For us, it’s definitely still starting because we have our development meetings and we’re excited about digital and anything that’s cutting-edge and new. I think everybody’s trying to figure it out every week and often when we look at our digital networks we’re surprised to find that one of them folded or another one has popped up and the network needs are so vastly different. I think it’s a great time to do what we’re doing and it feels like the ground is shifting a lot.

Is there anything, in particular, you’re keeping an eye out for in terms of industry trends?

I’m always fascinated with workflow, for example, we recently installed Transcriptive from Digital Anarchy which does automated transcriptions. I’m always kind of guilty of adopting things a little early. I’m not an excitement junkie or anything, I just love the technology and I’m always trying to be tuned in. I love to see what’s new with editing and who’s forging forward and creating new workflows.

FCPX Events at NAB 2018

February 15, 2018 Tags: ,
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Final Cut Pro X will be at a number of events at NAB 2018 in Las Vegas. Here are a couple that FCPWORKS are involved with. First, Apple itself will present the latest workflows and case studies about FCP X at Post Without Limits. This event will take place at Monday, April 9th 2018 from 5pm – 6:30pm at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Room: S219. More details here.

Right after this cool presentation, we’re having a party where you can meet and greet with a lot of the key Final Cut Pro X gurus at the Guru Gathering. This event is also on April 9th from 7pm-10pm at the Embassy Suites next door to the convention center. (Note: there is a charge but this event includes dinner!) More details here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

FCPWORKS Noah Kadner

FCPWORKS Noah Kadner

This blog post contains the personal musings of FCPWORKS’ Marketing Director, Noah Kadner. Prior to joining the company, Noah spent several years at Apple where he worked with internal Workflow and Editorial teams in support of Final Cut Pro X customers. Noah also directed a feature film available on iTunes called Social Guidance and wrote “RED: The Ultimate Guide to the Revolutionary Camera.” Noah’s ongoing career goal is communicating digital post-production workflows to experts and enthusiasts alike.You can follow him on Facebook or Twitter at @FCPWORKS.

LACPUG Demo from Apple with FCPX 10.4 and iMac Pro

January 30, 2018 Tags: ,
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On January 24, 2018 at LACPUG‘s home at the Gallery Theater in Hollywood, the good folks from Apple Product Marketing demonstrated a bunch of cool features from the latest version of Final Cut Pro X, 10.4. They were joined on stage by teams of new filmmakers who worked in tandem with the geniuses over at LumaForge and RED to create short films post-produced with Final Cut Pro X.

Some of the highlights:

  • Official Apple demos of the cool 360º VR editing capabilities in Final Cut Pro X, Motion and even Compressor including the special 360º viewer. Also we saw how to make cool VR video effects right in Motion. And a special 8K(!) real-time playback demo off the new iMac Pro. Apple offered a full hands-on area after their presentation.
  • A set of 3 awesome short films created by a set of emerging Los Angeles filmmakers. Apple, RED, We Make Movies, the Mobile Film Classroom and Lumaforge were cool enough to load their expertise and support to make the projects come to life. All of this was run through a Jellyfish system. And here are the finished movies:

All in all a great show at LACPUG and testament to the ongoing vibrancy of storytellers empowered by Final Cut Pro X.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

FCPWORKS Noah Kadner

FCPWORKS Noah Kadner

This blog post contains the personal musings of FCPWORKS’ Marketing Director, Noah Kadner. Prior to joining the company, Noah spent several years at Apple where he worked with internal Workflow and Editorial teams in support of Final Cut Pro X customers. Noah also directed a feature film available on iTunes called Social Guidance and wrote “RED: The Ultimate Guide to the Revolutionary Camera.” Noah’s ongoing career goal is communicating digital post-production workflows to experts and enthusiasts alike.You can follow him on Facebook or Twitter at @FCPWORKS.

Apple Returns to LACPUG with FCPX 10.4 and iMac Pro

January 2, 2018 Tags: ,
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You might recall Apple did a well-received demo at the Los Angeles Creative Pro User Group (LACPUG) of then-new Final Cut Pro X 10.3 back in November of 2016. For more video highlights from that event, please see our video of the event here.

Now the good folks from Cupertino are back to show off the latest version of FCPX 10.4 along with their new powerhouse iMac Pro. The event is set for January 24, 2018 back at LACPUG’s home at the Gallery Theater in Hollywood.

Highlights include:

  • The Apple Product Marketing team of course, giving the most professional FCPX demonstration you will ever see in public (with probably at least a hint of Motion and/or Compressor goodness thrown into the mix).
  • A real-world case study of 10.4 in use with a multi-user project, overseen by the NAS gurus at Lumaforge.
  • Additional filmmakers from We Make Movies and The Mobile Film Classroom.

Also did we mention there will be a ridiculously generous set of raffle prizes you can win? If you are in or anywhere near Los Angeles on January 24th, you don’t want to miss this. More details from LACPUG here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

FCPWORKS Noah Kadner

FCPWORKS Noah Kadner

This blog post contains the personal musings of FCPWORKS’ Marketing Director, Noah Kadner. Prior to joining the company, Noah spent several years at Apple where he worked with internal Workflow and Editorial teams in support of Final Cut Pro X customers. Noah also directed a feature film available on iTunes called Social Guidance and wrote “RED: The Ultimate Guide to the Revolutionary Camera.” Noah’s ongoing career goal is communicating digital post-production workflows to experts and enthusiasts alike.You can follow him on Facebook or Twitter at @FCPWORKS.

FCPX 10.4 Review Roundup

December 28, 2017 Tags: ,
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FCPX 10.4 dropped in mid-December 2017 to coincide with the release of the new iMac Pro. The key new features for Final Cut Pro X include:

  • 360° equirectangular video editing with a simplified viewing interface.
  • Advanced color grading tools with new curves, wheels and LUT capabilities (yay finally!).
  • High Dynamic Range (HDR) video support for Rec. 2020 HLG, Rec. 2020 PQ for HDR10 (not a major need for everyone but this will be critical in the future, especially for broadcast content).
  • Tighter iMovie for iOS integration, to enable projects to begin editorial work in the field before finishing in FCPX.
  • And a lot of nice under the hood fixes and enhancements we’ve all been in need of (like HEVC support!).

Some of the reviews for FCPX 10.4 include:

  • New features run-through from MacRumors.
  • ★★★★⭐︎(4 out of 5 stars) from TechRadar.
  • DPReview (some interesting comments in this one that re-run the gamut of FCPX emotional responses, just in case you weren’t sick of them yet).
  • FXGuide with some well-informed insight into where FCPX 10.4 fits in the professional landscape.
  • Videomaker.
  • 9 to 5 Mac.

The general consensus is that FCPX 10.4 is a solid release at a great price that in conjunction with the release of the iMac Pro and the forthcoming Mac Pro, reaffirms Apple’s commitment to the professional editorial market. That said, the competition has never been stronger- so let the games begin!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

FCPWORKS Noah Kadner

FCPWORKS Noah Kadner

This blog post contains the personal musings of FCPWORKS’ Marketing Director, Noah Kadner. Prior to joining the company, Noah spent several years at Apple where he worked with internal Workflow and Editorial teams in support of Final Cut Pro X customers. Noah also directed a feature film available on iTunes called Social Guidance and wrote “RED: The Ultimate Guide to the Revolutionary Camera.” Noah’s ongoing career goal is communicating digital post-production workflows to experts and enthusiasts alike.You can follow him on Facebook or Twitter at @FCPWORKS.

FCPX Creative Summit 2017

August 10, 2017 Tags: ,
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It’s that time of year again, the FCPX Creative Summit is set for October 27 – 29, 2017 in Cupertino, CA. Produced by our good friends over at FMC, the Summit is rapidly turning into the must-attend event for anyone heavily invested in Final Cut Pro X. Some intriguing highlights:

  • Visit the Apple Campus and hear from the FCPX Product Team about the future of the platform and share your feedback. Last year, Apple used this event to announce Final Cut Pro X 10.3. (This may very well include a visit to the new Apple Park campus.)
  • Meet and network with other Final Cut Pro X users. Mingle with other attendees, speakers and great exhibitors that will join us for Expo Night and other networking events.

And some of the key sessions this year include:

  • Data Visualization in Final Cut Pro with Alex Gollner.
  • Fixing and Mixing Audio in FCPX (and only FCPX) with Abba Shapiro.
  • Building a Motion Graphics Toolkit in FCPX with Steve Martin.

Last year, Apple used the FCPX Creative Summit as a platform to unveil Final Cut Pro X 10.3, the biggest update to the software in years as well as offering a hands-on area for the then brand-new Touch Bar MacBook Pros. Who knows what surprises are in store this year. To learn more and register, please visit the official site and take advantage of our special discount code, FCPWORKS17 for a 10% discount off your registration package.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

FCPWORKS Noah Kadner

FCPWORKS Noah Kadner

This blog post contains the personal musings of FCPWORKS’ Marketing Director, Noah Kadner. Prior to joining the company, Noah spent several years at Apple where he worked with internal Workflow and Editorial teams in support of Final Cut Pro X customers. Noah also directed a feature film available on iTunes called Social Guidance and wrote “RED: The Ultimate Guide to the Revolutionary Camera.” Noah’s ongoing career goal is communicating digital post-production workflows to experts and enthusiasts alike.You can follow him on Facebook or Twitter at @FCPWORKS.

Final Cut Pro X Events @ NAB 2017

April 12, 2017 Tags: ,
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Looking for Final Cut Pro X related events during NAB? Here’s the list of key items not to miss in Vegas, curated by our good friend Richard Taylor at FCPX.TV.

Post Production World Keynote: Editing at the Speed of Thought
Sunday April 23| 4:30 PM – 5:30 PM 
Moderated by Apple, Thomas Grove Carter and Dave Cerf
Panel discussion on techniques for reducing the time spent ingesting, tagging, sorting, organizing, rendering and exporting in post production. Including a look at the movie FCPWORKS co-produced in Final Cut Pro X, Everything Else.
Las Vegas Convention Center Rooms N249-N251

LumaForge: Faster, Together Stage
All day Monday, Tuesday, & Wednesday April 24-26

Three days of back-to-back, short and to the point, presentations and panels
Some of the smartest and most innovative people in post-production
First come first served. Registration prior to arrival is highly recommended
Across from the Las Vegas Convention Center at The Courtyard Marriott

Final Cut Pro X in the Fast Lane FCPWorks and Ripple Training
Monday, April 24th, 2017 from 5pm-6:30pm
This is FCPWORKS’ main event during NAB 2017:a special edition of FCP Exchange at NAB 2017 for Final Cut Pro X post-production professionals
Apple Product Marketing showcasing professional workflows and case studies utilizing Final Cut Pro X.
Tips and tricks to maximizing Final Cut Pro X from pros and developers.
Networking and interaction with fellow FCPX editors and enthusiasts.

Las Vegas 
Convention Center, Room S219 

Sixteenth Annual Las Vegas SuperMeet
Tuesday, April 25, 2017 – 7PM – 11PM (doors open at 4:30PM for SuperMeet Digital Showcase)

We’ll have a special presentation from Thomas Grove Carter of Trim Editing on his music video workflow.

Mingle, Network, Enjoy a few cocktails and party with industry peers while learning latest trends in collaborative editing workflows
RIO Hotel – Pavilion Ballroom 3700 W. Flamingo Road Las Vegas
Tickets required and it will most likely sell out 

LumaForge Workflow Suite @ The Encore
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday April 24-27
Cross platform workflow on Mac, Window’s, & Linux machines running the latest NLE’s, VFX, finishing, and audio software. And developers of some of the most popular post plugins showing off their latest updates and apps.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

FCPWORKS Noah Kadner

FCPWORKS Noah Kadner

This blog post contains the personal musings of FCPWORKS’ Marketing Director, Noah Kadner. Prior to joining the company, Noah spent several years at Apple where he worked with internal Workflow and Editorial teams in support of Final Cut Pro X customers. Noah also directed a feature film available on iTunes called Social Guidance and wrote “RED: The Ultimate Guide to the Revolutionary Camera.” Noah’s ongoing career goal is communicating digital post-production workflows to experts and enthusiasts alike.You can follow him on Facebook or Twitter at @FCPWORKS.

DJI Inspire 1 Pro Raw Review

April 5, 2017 Tags: , , , ,
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In the last decade DJI has revolutionized the aerial photography and video industry. When they introduced the Phantom they introduced aerial video and photography to an entirely new atrarket.

Working with the Phantom 2 with a Zenmuse X3 gimbal since 2014 we rarely used it as the images and operability of the drone just didn’t live up too the level of production we hoped. In 2016 though at Jamestown Films we took the step though to purchase the Inspire 1 X5R. Based on some previous experience with it we were confident we could reach the quality we needed for our productions.

DJI Inspire Pro 1

 

When Inspire 1 was introduced in November of 2014 with the X3 camera we were immediately excited with the capabilities the drone could offer its pilots. When they upgraded the camera in early 2016 to the X5 and X5R it made us wonder just how competitive the Inspire 1 X5R would be with larger drones that could fly with a full camera system. We have seen a long time drone operator switch from full camera system commercial drones to the Inspire 1 X5R. He told us that it is the best decision he ever made.

First Impressions:

Lets take a look at the DJI Inspire 1 X5R. If a pilot comes from a commercial drone like the Matrice, they will first notice the compact case that the Inspire 1 comes in. If the pilot comes from a Phantom, they will notice this huge brief case that they will now have to lug around. The Phantom is more portable, but lacks the image and operability that the Inspire 1 gives you.

The Inspire 1 drone is more competitive with the Matrice and should be compared to the Matrice system. The Inspire 1 X5R requires far less equipment to operate. We loved that we didn’t have to drag cases for the gimbal, drone, camera and lenses around to obtain a high level arial image.

Inspire 1

Operating:

The Inspire 1 X5R includes one battery, two remotes, an Inspire 1, and the X5R camera which comes in a separate hard case within the Inspire case. To truly operate and shoot for a day you will need more than one battery. Each battery has about a 35min of flight time. I like to have at least 3 batteries for straight forward shoots where I wont need to have multiple takes. But, If the shots are more complicated and needing multiple takes I would prefer to have 5 batteries or more.

The main controller operates the drone with DJI GO app available on iOS or Android. DJI has made an excellent app that turns your phone or iPad into a first-person view, also known as an FPV, monitor. Your iPad or iPhone isn’t just a monitor, you can set focus, exposure, check histogram and get all of the information that you could ever want right at your finger tips. This app makes it a pleasure to be both the pilot and camera operator.

When operating in dual remote, where one person is the pilot and the other is camera operator, the camera operators remote piggybacks off of the pilots remote receiving a video signal from their controller. Both the pilot and camera operator share a camera view. This can become a problem in two ways. 1.) if the operator is far away from the pilot the FPV starts crashing and makes controlling the drone difficult. 2.) As the camera operator moves the camera around, as a pilot, you loose all sense of direction often times making getting the shot near impossible.

The Inspire 1 drone generally operates though with intuitive ease, making it a pleasure to fly and operate as a pilot in single operator mode. The dual operator mode needs some major improvement, which have been answered by the recently announced Inspire 2. For example, they add a flight camera that is just for the pilots FPV, while having the ability to view the shot in a smaller window. And more object avoidance sensors.

DJI Inspire 1

Image:

The X5R is capable of capturing incredible images for such a small camera. The specs for this little camera are impressive with 12 stops of dynamic range and a 4K raw .DNG recording option. The quality is absolutely amazing. While recording raw it also records a .mp4 reference file for reviewing the shot or quick access.

Color correcting and grading the raw images produced by this sensor is, well, Inspire-ing. The ability of the image to bend and not break makes it able to match many high end cameras. We’ve seen this footage cut in with RED Scarlet-W and an Alexa Mini footage with ease.

One drawback to be aware of is that this is not a low light camera. Its sensor is micro 4/3s and noise can become significant if you go too far up with the ISO or need to lift the the exposure too much on an underexposed image. Great thing though is that with the raw data in the .DNG files, the shadows, though grainy, can be recovered. We’ve had good results with the Neat Video plugin de-noising the image for an excellent low light end result, but it adds more steps and time to post production.

Zenmuse X3

Examples from a couple of projects we’ve worked on recently where we used the Inspire 1 Pro RAW:

MOUNTAIN TRAILS FINE ART | JEFF HAM (quite a few shots at the beginning):

FIBER FIX (shots scattered throughout):

 

Workflow:

As great as the benefits of raw are, there is one big drawback. That is the post production workflow. For one thing, raw files take up a lot more drive space. So plan accordingly. After a shoot you remove the proprietary DJI SSD from the X5R base and insert it into a DJI dock. You have to then open DJI Cinelight (for Mac) or DJI Camera Exporter (for Windows) and from there either transcode to whatever flavor of ProRes you would like, or export the raw footage to folders of raw .DNG files. This process can take a long, long time. Hours. The files unfortunately can not be accessed through the file browser before processing through Cinelight. So, there is no drag and drop option with the Inspire 1. This has been addressed with the Inspire 2 and we’re hoping that functionality comes to the Inspire 1 as well via firmware update. This is the biggest draw back to the X5R. It adds so much time to the offloading workflow that shooting all day in raw requires multiple, expensive, DJI SSD’s.

FCP X DRONE FOOTAGE SCREENSHOT

We prefer to get ProRes 4444 XQ out of DJI Cinelight for three reasons. One, ProRes is a great editing codec. It has great playback performance and renders quickly. Two, 4444 XQ maintains near raw quality. Many features films are shot directly to 4444 XQ. Three, FCP X, unfortunately, does not have true image sequence, imported as a clip, support. There’s a simple enough compound clip workaround, but if you have many shots that gets annoying. If you are someone on Windows prepping footage for someone on FCP X then output to .DNG sequences. Then the editor can run those through Compressor or DaVinci Resolve to create ProRes 4444 XQ clips. Luckily the Inspire 2 RAW has addressed and simplified the whole workflow and can now record directly to ProRes!

The Inspire 1 X5R is an excellent drone system that spanned the market gaps between low and high budget video.

Closing thoughts:

The Inspire 1 X5R is an excellent drone system that spanned the market gaps between low and high budget video. It over lapped into the high end commercial drone world. The affordability and portability of the Inspire 1 make it, for most people, a first choice when considering which drone to purchase. This drone’s ability to fly at high speeds and with precision makes it a great pleasure to operate, but the lack of a pilot FPV makes dual operation difficult. We absolutely love operating this drone and believe that it is a unique and boundary breaking tool for the media world.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

This guest blog post is from Braden Storrs and Patrick Newman.

About Braden Storrs:

I’m a Utah based editor and video creative. As post production manager at Jamestown films I’ve had the chance to work with some great people on great projects and continually improve our techniques and workflows in an ever changing digital landscape. I am also the creator of the Final Cut Put X Editors Facebook group and can can be found at @thefcpeditor on Twitter. I love trying to elevate each project a little more then the last. In the end, I’m a storyteller.

Braden Storrs

 

About Patrick Newman:

I am a DP located in Salt Lake City, Ut. Over the past year I worked at Jamestown Films with their wonderfully creative team. “The Story Teller” has taught me about story telling side of cinematography and the roll it plays in creating an excellent story. Jamestown gave me the chance to grow rapidly as a DP in the commercial world. This has given me the chance to work with just about every camera in the industry, helping me perfect my technique as a DP.  Recently I have moved on to DP a few feature documentaries over the 2017 summer. Find me on instagram @patricknewman170

Patrick Newman

FCP Exchange @ NAB 2017

March 21, 2017 Tags: ,
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FCP Exchange continues at NAB 2017 . This special session produced with Ripple Training takes place at the Convention Center, Room S219 Monday, April 24th, 2017 from 5pm-6:30pm. Some highlights:

  • Apple Product Marketing showcasing professional workflows and case studies utilizing Final Cut Pro X.
  • Tips and tricks to maximizing Final Cut Pro X from pros and developers.
  • Networking and interaction with fellow FCPX editors and enthusiasts.

Join the Exchange!

For more information and to register, please visit:

http://www.fcpexchange.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

FCPWORKS Noah Kadner

FCPWORKS Noah Kadner

This blog post contains the personal musings of FCPWORKS’ Marketing Director, Noah Kadner. Prior to joining the company, Noah spent several years at Apple where he worked with internal Workflow and Editorial teams in support of Final Cut Pro X customers. Noah also directed a feature film available on iTunes called Social Guidance and wrote “RED: The Ultimate Guide to the Revolutionary Camera.” Noah’s ongoing career goal is communicating digital post-production workflows to experts and enthusiasts alike.You can follow him on Facebook or Twitter at @FCPWORKS.

Apple Presos from LACPUG – Final Cut Pro X 10.3

December 13, 2016 Tags: , , , , ,
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FCPWORKS was honored to co-produce a very special LACPUG event with Michael Horton featuring Apple itself presenting the latest features of Final Cut Pro X 10.3 and the new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. This took place on November 30, 2016 at the Barnsdall Gallery Theatre in Hollywood.

First up, this clip showcases tons of new features and workflows with Final Cut Pro X 10.3 being used in the production of a profile of Japanese botanical artist, Azuma Makoto:

Use these links to see a specific highlight:

Next, this clip showcases 10 tips and tricks for Final Cut Pro X 10.3:

Use these links to jump to a specific tip:

  1. MXF Wrapped ProRes
  2. Continuous Playback
  3. Fade Handles
  4. Searching for Metadata types in the Timeline Index
  5. Dual Rolling Trim for Connected Clips
  6. Fast Vertical Navigation
  7. Multi-clip trim to Start,End,Playhead
  8. Source Timecode Effect
  9. Use iXML to Automatically Create Audio Roles
  10. Voice Over Automatically Assigns Role
  11. Full Height Inspector

Ok technically that was taking it to 11 tips…

Following the Apple Presentation, our own Sam Mestman presented a comprehensive soup to nuts Final Cut Pro X shared storage workflow featuring the Lumaforge Jellyfish. To see that video, please visit this link.

FCPWORKS couldn’t be more proud to help showcase not only Final Cut Pro X itself but also some of the behind-the-scenes stars from Apple itself demonstrating the software’s awesome capabilities. Bookmark this site for the latest FCPX workflows and news. To learn more about FCPWORKS and how we can help you, please visit this page.

final cut pro x 10.3