Checking In: Training Update and A New Network Resource

First of all, apologies for my long absence.  The past month can best be described as living, eating, and sleeping at my day job, as 1 member of our small 5 member team was out for weeks on end for an unspecified reason.  Everything has just gotten back to normal, and I’m back to my summer of intense professional development.  Appropriate, as summer as only just begun, technically.

So what have I accomplished thus far?

Well, to start, I’m finished with the first 3 lessons in Soundtrack Pro, which means I know now to eliminate background noise, beeps, pops, and (more importantly), hums from faulty audio equipment.  I’ve also discovered that SP’s spectrum view makes sound look absolutely beautiful.  I’ll continue with Soundtrack as soon as I get a few hours on my own to record some dialogue in a quite apartment.  Although, to be honest, it has more to do with feeling embarrassed about talking into a microphone when there are other people around.  From there, I’ll move on to dialogue replacement.

I’ve also more or less maxed myself out on Photoshop for the time being.  The remaining lessons I haven’t completed are on some of the new heavyweight features like 3-D imaging.  I don’t need those features at this point in time, so I’ll count my thorough understanding of the tools and how they work, and a solid grasp on masks and layers, and how to manipulate both, to be a firm foundation on which to start making some stellar images.

I’ve now moved on to Avid.  It took most of the month, but I finally got the editing of the Avid training book that is made to match up with my system.  Although technically speaking, past editions of Avid books can be used on the newest systems, when you’re already thoroughly confused by the interface you find yourself staring at, it’s usually best to find the book that will most closely match what you’re working with.  Now that I know the simple little tricks to the basic editing functions, I can assemble a rough cut in Avid quite easily.  I have little doubt that I’ll find myself becoming comfortable with the system quickly.  After all, I’m not building a foundational knowledge of editing, rather, I’m learning how to do the same things on a different system.  All looks to be on track to start talking about the heavy stuff once the fall semester begins.

Where will I go from here?  The next two programs I’ll pursue will be DVD Studio Pro and Color.  They are a fitting combination.  Final Cut Pro aside, DVD Studio Pro is the part of Studio that I know the most about, and Color is the part of studio I know the least about.  I don’t foresee being able to start those two until the fall.  I think that the current course that I’ve set myself on will keep me busy for the next few months.  My goal is to cut the next several videos for Issues on Avid, rather than on Final Cut.

In parting, a nice new networking find to let you know about.  If you’re in the NY area and have gone to any film events at NYU recently, you’ve probably heard of a group by the name of Massify.  It’s part sounding board, part job board, part filmmaker resource.  I’ve been building a profile over there for the last week, and as soon as my most recent video clips finish converting, I believe I’ll be ready to submit for some work in the NY/NJ area.  I find the layout to be really smooth and easy to navigate.  If you join up or are already a member, feel free to come find me.  I’m looking to build a network of people interested in the stuff I do (which, once I got it all on one screen, is a lot of editing in a bunch of different areas.)

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