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Digital Video Production

Sesame Street’s Beastie Boys

Grover, Cookie Monster, Elmo and Oscar the Grouch are a bunch of Muppets that have finally shown their true “beastie” sides. In this awesome video we found making the rounds on the ‘Net, the Muppets get down with Bert and Ernie while covering The Beastie Boys classic, “Sure Shot.” It’s truly a sight to behold. So kick back, crack open a can of your favorite soda and get ready to be rocked by Jim Henson’s Seasame Street:

This Sesame “Sure Shot” comes courtesy of the geniuses at Wonderful Creative.

Making a Music Video
If you’re interested in learning how to make a music video, tools like Final Cut Pro can help you. The guys at Wonderful Creative, a British advertising agency, use the same tools.

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posted by Vince Matthews in Digital Video Production,News Blog and have No Comments

Apple Announces Final Cut Pro X Update

Apple will update Final Cut Pro X, in response to user feedback. The latest version of its breakthrough editing program, Final Cut Pro X is only being offered for sale as a digital download from Apple’s Mac Store for $299.


Much like an exotic sports car, Final Cut Pro X features neck-snapping responsiveness, power and great handling.

Final Cut Pro X delivers state-of-the-industry performance in a package of supreme flexibility. The program’s trackless timeline is a recent innovation that reflects what Apple calls an “all-new project architecture.” If you’re interested in learning how to edit films using Final Cut Pro X, Apple’s premier video editing product will provide a level of editing capabilities unmatched by any other software.

Making the Cut
One issue brought up by users was that editors currently cannot import old projects made using Final Cut Pro 7 into Final Cut Pro X. Apple did respond in a Final Cut Pro FAQ that any editors using Final Cut Pro 7 could continue to use that version after installing Final Cut Pro X.  Apple also noted that film editors could import media files from previous versions into Final Cut Pro X.

Regarding other enhancements, Apple announced that multiple-camera editing would be added and backed with “great multicam support” when the update becomes available. Apple was even more specific about adding XML-export capability to Final Cut Pro X, pledging to release a set of APIs within “the next few weeks” that third-party developers can use to access the next-gen XML in conjunction with Final Cut Pro X.


Even with an update on the way, Final Cut Pro X still has some great launch features.

Compound Clips No more timeline clutter with Compound Clips – where you can group a complex set of elements and collapse them into a single clip.

Inline Precision Editor The Magnetic Timeline improves on traditional ways of trimming, including ripple, roll, slip, and slide edits.

Auditions With the unique Auditions feature, you can collect multiple alternative shots at a single location in the timeline and quickly cycle through them in context.

Smart Collections Set up Smart Collections to organize clips in a variety of ways without moving or copying files.

Check Apple’s web site for a complete list of Final Cut Pro X features and the Apple Final Cut Pro FAQ for more info about the update. The update to Final Cut Pro X is expected within the next few weeks.

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posted by Phill Powell in Digital Video Production,News Blog and have No Comments

How 2001: A Space Odyssey Predicted The Future

On August 5, 2011 NASA will launch a new mission. One of several missions now in the works at NASA, the Juno probe will travel to Jupiter. Juno won’t arrive at the solar system’s largest planet until mid-2016. When it does, it will start analyzing a mysterious planet that’s ten times the size of Earth.


A computer-generated image of the Juno probe within Jupiter’s orbit.

The Juno Probe
Juno is a technological marvel. Juno’s sensors will let scientists study Jupiter’s gravitational field – which is so strong that anything that entered its atmosphere four billion years ago, back when the planet was formed, is still trapped there – like an ancient insect preserved forever in a block of amber, Jupiter is a ready-made time capsule waiting to be explored.

Juno’s detectors will also check the planet for signs of water (past or present), in order to assess the possibility that life has existed there. It’s an opportunity for not only NASA scientists but future scientist and engineers who want to learn more about the universe to explore the reaches of the cosmos. The Juno mission may well change our concept of our solar system and will almost certainly change what we know about Jupiter. But Juno’s trip is not the first time we’ve been to Jupiter.

Ahead of His Time
Stanley Kubrick went to Jupiter first. It’s true, although in a fictional sense. In his sprawling space epic, 2001: A Space Odyssey, master director Kubrick took filmgoers on a celestial sleigh ride to the planet. The film not only foretold Juno’s trip, but also managed to foresee inventions like the iPad and many other technological advances – way back in 1968.


Kubrick took audiences to Jupiter 48 years before Juno.

2001: A Space Odyssey sling-shotted viewers from man’s apelike beginnings to a future four million years later, all within the space of one glorious jump cut, which has been called “the longest flash forward in film history.” It also gave us a peek into the future. While the film may have not accurately predicted such advances as civilian space travel, manned lunar bases, and alien contact, the iPad and Juno are perfect examples of how the film impacted our future. Much of what the film predicted has become a reality.

Technology 2001: A Space Odyssey Predicted


Astronauts in the film use tablet computing devices to reconnect with humanity in the dead of space.

Flat-screens From computer monitors to televisions, flat-screens have replaced ancient CRT systems, giving viewers better resolution and more screen space.

Voice Identification Systems/Voice-controlled Computers The Dragon voice recognition system and Apple’s Siri are just a few examples of voice recognition computer systems that allow you to control your computer using your voice. Voice identification systems are used for security.

Video Teleconference & Telecommuting You can meet anyone now on your own terms (and, in most cases, without ever leaving your home).

Tablet Computing The iPad, like the iPhone caused tech manufacturers to re-think what consumers wanted in their electronic devices. Tablet computers offer compact computing solutions.

Game-Playing Computers IBM’s Jeopardy-dominating Watson wasn’t the first computer to show humans how inferior we were.

In-flight Entertainment Throughout 2001: A Space Odyssey, technology demonstrates how it can improve and entertain man.


2001′s still-incredible special effects were overseen by industry wizard Douglas Trumbull, two NASA aerospace engineers and some 35 designers.

In the final analysis, much (if not most) of the technology predicted by 2001 has become fact. It’s interesting to note that Kubrick, whose films are often called “cold” and “inhuman,” was trying to reflect a humanistic and even optimistic world view with 2001. And despite his noted perfectionism, Kubrick was showing at least some flexibility the film; for example, when he learned that his team of designers couldn’t realistically depict the fabled rings of Saturn, Kubrick immediately redirected his mission to Jupiter instead. If only NASA could do that.

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posted by Phill Powell in Digital Video Production,News Blog and have No Comments

Professional Hands-on Training with Sony’s New NEX FS100UK

The gap between Professional and Consumer (or Prosumer) level products has been closing for years. Sony’s latest video camera takes another step to close that gap even more. Sony’s response to the DSLR craze is the NEX FS100UK. Aspiring filmmakers can now shoot like the pros, using equipment that rivals what Hollywood studios use to make big-screen blockbusters.


Sony’s NEX FS100UK. Small, compact and powerful.

The NEX FS100UK camera has an interchangeable lens camcorder and is also equipped with a large CMOS sensor – it’s the equivalent of what’s used in Sony’s PMW-F3 . The NEX FS100UK camera is also tapeless, features audio inputs, multiple HD recording formats, and Optical SteadyShot image stabilization.

Hands-On with the NEX FS100UK
Great audio and shallow depth of field are most commonly associated with high-end commercials and feature films but this summer you’ll be able to get access to these features with Sony’s NEX FS100UK.

This impressive test video was shot with the NEXFS100UK.

What better way to experience the power of Sony’s NEX FS100UK than to use it for yourself? You can, as this summer Digital Media Academy is proud to feature Sony’s NEX FS100UK in the DMA Studios Experience at DMA’s Stanford University location.

DMA Studios reproduces the exciting atmosphere of a Hollywood studio-production environment on the campus of Stanford University. Students 15 & up who attend the two-week experience will become part of a working studio film production team, and get to learn every aspect of film production – pre-production, video camera operation, shooting film, sound & special effects editing, location shoots, auditions, casting calls and post-production. Get yourself on a fast track and become a professional filmmaker, by joining DMA Studios.

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posted by Vince Matthews in Digital Video Production,News Blog and have No Comments

Rebranding a Classic Western with Final Cut Pro

Hollywood makes plenty of sequels, but how do you retell a classic story in a fresh new way? If you’re the Oscar-winning team of Joel and Ethan Coen, you come out with technological guns blazing. For the Coen brothers’ 2010 update of the 1968 classic, “True Grit,” the Coens turned to Apple’s Final Cut Pro to edit and assemble their rough-riding film.


Joel and Ethan Coen review footage from “True Grit,” with Oscar-nominated star Hailee Steinfeld.

The Coen brothers have made some amazing films (“Fargo,” “No Country for Old Men,” and many more) and have evolved a unique style – the brothers work together to direct and produce a movie. They also edit their films together (using the pseudonym “Roderick Jaynes”). So, with all the creative back and forth between the brothers, the Coens need an editing tool that gives them as much flexibility as possible. “True Grit” presented another challenge to the pair; it was shot on a tight schedule and had to be prepared for a Christmas 2010 release. Final Cut Pro solved both of these problems for the Coens.


Final Cut Pro is the leading editing software being used in film today. Digital Media Academy will use and teach Final Cut Pro and Final Cut Pro X in its Summer 2011 program.

Making The Cut
In a recent online article, Apple showcased the Coen brothers’ editing techniques and how they used Final Cut for “True Grit.” In the article, the Coen brothers discuss how Final Cut Pro fits their style of shooting and editing a film like a glove, and how the application regularly saves them time and extra effort.

“Now I look at footage in Final Cut Pro, mark ins and outs of various takes, and send them over to Joel, who assembles them in a Final Cut timeline,” says Ethan. “We’ve always co-edited,” explains Joel, “And that’s actually the main reason we use Final Cut Pro. The application managed to match the way we were used to cutting together on film, so the transition was almost invisible to us. Final Cut is a very efficient, flexible way of editing.”


“True Grit” stars Hailee Steinfeld, Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon and Josh Brolin. 

Final Cut Pro is the acknowledged industry standard among editing software, and Digital Media Academy is ready to teach you how to use it. Take a week-long or three-day certification course or a film & video production course. Cover Final Cut Pro from all angles – everything from an overview of the software all the way through advanced editing courses that put you in the editor’s chair. See for yourself why legendary filmmakers like Francis Ford Coppola, Walter Murch and the Coen brothers use Final Cut Pro.

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posted by Phill Powell in Digital Video Production,News Blog and have No Comments

Come Together: Music and Video Production

I just recently returned from a 2 1/2 week tour on board the Lennon Bus. The relationship with the Lennon Bus and Digital Media Academy is what gave birth to the idea of the Come Together: Music and Video Production Course. For a student coming into that summer course with no prior experience it can be intimidating thinking about having to write your own song and shoot a music video in just one week. But it should be anything but intimidating. Technology has made it so easy for us to have a quick turnaround with high production value. The Lennon Bus typically works on a project with students for just 8 hrs! At DMA Summer Camps you get a whole week! By the end of the week you are going to be so filled with ideas your head may just explode. Here are some projects I just worked on with students on the Lennon Bus in just an 8 hr work day. Check them out and I hope to see you in a Come Together class this summer!

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posted by Seamus Harte in Digital Music Production,Digital Video Production,News Blog and have Comments (2)