Final Cut X

Using gestures to edit with Final Cut Pro X

For all Final Cut editors. Here is a cool video on how to edit using gestures. It feels as if we are getting closer to editing video like in Minority Report. Very cool and Extremely time saving.

Watch the video demonstrating gestures with Final Cut X at this link: Using gestures to edit with Final Cut Pro X.

I think this is direction we are heading for video editing:

Things I learned as an editor

Things I learned as a video editor – Be Overly Honest.

This is my first post on what I have learned being an editor since I started working professionally in 1994.   I have been blessed to have absorbed so much by working next to clients all these years.


Review for – Online film education

I had the pleasure of being invited to review a new educational website is dedicated to those who wish to learn the ins and outs of the film industry through an easy to use online educational website.

First off, I would like to say that I LOVE the world of online education!  I am in favor of online education as it saves you time and money.  Educational websites also allow you to learn at your own pace from the convenience of your home.

While reviewing I was not able to watch all the videos as there were so many to watch.  The reason for such a high number of video modules is because they go through every aspect of of the movie making process, videos range from script writing and budgeting to editing and audio post production. I truly enjoyed how easy it was to skim through all the videos to find the one you are looking for.

Modules hold all the videos by category. Simply drag on the scrub bar on the bottom to skim through all the videos.


All the videos also have the ability to be bookmarked, so you can return to your lesson when it is at your best convenience.

Bookmarks allow you to return at anytime to continue watching the videos.


Many of the modules come with additional resources, so you may be able to find links to books to further your education and/or additional content files or images to help in your film making process.

Find additional resources on a specific subject, either by link or content download.


The well crafted video lessons include real world examples and valuable explanations by working industry professionals. The advice given by the industry pros is something many schools are not able to do, adding more value to this wonderful website.

One of the many Industry Pros, sprinkled throughout the videos adding their advice and insight.

Here is a current list of their current professionals adding their knowledge to this site:

  • Stephen Skrovan, Emmy-Winning Executive Producer, Everybody Loves Raymond
  • Andrew Davis, Director, The Fugitive, Collateral Damage, Holes, Chain Reaction, A Perfect Murder
  • Mary Lou Belli, Emmy-Winning Television Director, Monk, Sister Sister, Girlfriends, The Hughleys
  • Bethany Rooney, Television Director, Brothers and Sisters, Castle, Desperate Housewives, Private Practice, Ugly Betty, Grey’s Anatomy
  • Anthony Ray Parker, Actor, The Matrix, The Frighteners, Xena, The Marine
  • David Stump, ASC, Academy-Award-winning cinematographer, Technical Chair of the American Society of Cinematographers
  • Tomlison Holman, President of TMH Corporation, developer of the THX Sound System
  • Anne Marie Gillen, Executive Producer, Fried Green Tomatoes
  • Josh McLaglen, 1st Assistant Director, Avatar, Titanic, Beowulf, Real Steel
  • Ron Franco, Emmy-Nominated Set Decorator, True Blood, X-Files, Heroes
  • Bruce Block, Producer, What Women Want, The Parent Trap, Father of the Bride
  • Deborah Landis, Academy-Award Nominated Costume Designer, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Michael Jackson’s Thriller
  • Steve Zuckerman, Director, Working Class, Melissa & Joey, According to Jim, Hannah Montana, Living with Fran, Love, Inc., Everybody Loves Raymond, The Drew Carey Show, Murphy Brown
  • Harry C. Box, Camera Operator, Heroes, Brothers and Sisters, Everybody Hates Chris, Author of The Set Technicians Lighting Handbook
  • Maria Battles Campbell, 2nd Assistant Director, Avatar, Real Steel
  • Mike Musteric, 2nd Assistant Director, Lost, Momento
  • Jeff Ulin, Media executive, attorney, entrepreneur, and author of The Business of Media Distribution; head of worldwide distribution, LucasFilm
  • Larry Jordan, Editing Guru, Independent Filmmaker
  • Lance Fisher, SOC, Camera Operator, Jonas, House MD, The Shield, Blade: Trinity
  • Mark Sawicki, Visual Effects Supervisor, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, From Hell, Phone Booth, Author, Filming the Fantastic
  • Lloyd Kaufman, President, Troma Pictures, Chairman, IFTA
  • Lori Jane Coleman, Editor, Beverly Hills 90210, Picket Fences, The Practice, Dawson’s Creek
  • Richard Mall, Key Grip, Avatar, GI Joe, Iron Man 1 & 2, The Italian Job, The Majestic, Red
  • Charles Rose, Cinematographer, Trafficing, Screamers
  • Kathy McCurdy, San Diego Film Commissioner
  • Dan Riffel, Gaffer, Iron Man, G.I. Joe, The Mummy, Hancock, Spiderman 3, X-Men: Last Stand
  • Judy Irola, A.S.C., Chair USC Cinematography Department
  • Diana Friedberg, Editor,  Renegade, The Simple Life, Dog Whisperer
  • Louise Levison, Financing Advisor, The Blair Witch Project, Trouble the Water,Author of Filmmakers and Financing
  • Blain Brown, Cinematographer, Author, Cinematography: Theory and Practice
  • Eve Light Honthaner, Production Coordinator, Titanic, Tropic Thunder, Author ofThe Complete Production Handbook
  • Chris Huntley, Academy-Award-winning creator, Scriptor
  • Mark Fenlason, Production Designer, National Geographic, Special Props, Star Trek: The Next Generation
  • Laura Beth Love, Cinematographer
  • John Coldiron, Emmy-winning Colorist
  • Suzanne LyonsProducerUndertaking Betty, Baiely’s Billions, Scout’s Honor
  • Barry Zetlin, Emmy-winning Editor, Bionic Woman, The Mole, The Bachelor
  • Jody Brockway, Producer, NBC
  • Dennis Marrell, Script Supervisor, Near Life, Fear House
  • Guy Shalem, Executive Producer/Director, Lovespring International
  • Keith Coene, Production Manager, The States
  • Johanna Jensen, 1st Assistant Director, Law & Order, Northern Exposure
  • Robert T. Noll, Writer
  • Ron Sill, Gaffer, Rags to Riches, Mike Hammer
  • John Gresch, Vice President of Lighting, ARRI
  • Robert “Cass” McEntee, Construction Coordinator, The Tracy Ulman Show, Roswell, Felicity
  • Billy DaMota, Casting Director, Touching Home, The Night Stalker
  • Matthew Feitshans, 1st Assistant Director, The Forbidden Kingdom
  • Julia Lennon, 1st Assistant Director
  • Ed Joyce, Gaffer, National Geographic, Fred and Vinnie
  • Anthony Pearce, Storyboard Artist, Toy Story
  • Brad Schwartz, Emmy-winning Editor/Producer, Logo, MTV, Showtime
  • Roy Werner, Actor, The World Without US, CSI, Without a Trace
  • Michael Emanuel, Actor in over 200 national commercials, feature films and TV shows
  • John Anderson, Writer
  • Michael Bravin, Band Pro
  • Jeffery Cree, Band Pro
  • Rick Taylor, 1st Assistant Camera, CSI
  • Mike Uva, Key Grip, Spellbound, Kalifornia
  • Angela Nicholas, Actress, Deadwood, Life on Top, Co-Ed Confidential
  • Jeffery Luther, Art Director, Star Trek Voyager
  • Susan Peik, Location Manager
  • Robert Bekian, owner ProHD Rentals
  • Chris First, composer, Clone
  • Scott O’Connor, Motion Graphics Artist, Sundance Channel
  • Winnie Wong, DeWitt Stern Group, production insurance
  • John Henry Richardson, Director and Actor
  • Ryan Carter, Digital Effects Artist, Spiderman 2, The Day After Tomorrow
  • Mike Farona, Audio Mixer, Neon Cactus Studios
  • Houston King, Producer’s Rep
  • Stacey Carino, Stuntwoman, Transformers, Scream 4, Red, True Blood
  • Michael Balas, Apple Post-Production
  • Stephen Campanella, Emmy-winning producer
  • Paul Janssen, 1st Assistant Camera
  • Drew Lauer, High Speed Cinematographer, National Geographic, The History Channel, Discovery Channel
  • David Geller, Producer, Clone

In conclusion, I believe to be a very well thought out website that has many features and great in-depth content. In addition is easy to use and full of educational value.

So if you are looking for a educational website that gives you a broad range of learning content in the world of film making then I highly recommend you give a visit and please let me know what you think.

Have a wonderful day! 🙂

I was not paid by to write this article.

Cool Inspirational

Gentleman Scholar’s – Aston Martin ‘Reverie’

A beautiful spot created by Gentleman Scholar and The Whitehouse.

Here is a link to a full write up of this piece along with shot breakdowns and art boards. Make sure to check out their demo reel as well on their home page, it is very inspiring and awesome: Gentleman Scholar.

I would like to send a special thanks to the talented Josh Bodnar for sharing this link with me, he was also the editor for this Aston spot. Congrats Josh, keep up the great work! 🙂

Inspirational Inteviews

Interview with Emmy Award winning Editor Josh Bodnar – Part 1

Emmy Award winning Editor Josh Bodnar


I had the great pleasure of interviewing, Emmy Award winning editor, Josh Bodnar.  He has helped produce such projects as, Emmy award-winning, title design sequence for Showtime’s  “Dexter”, and Emmy nominated title design sequence, “Kingdom Hospital”.  His work is also part of the New York Museum of Modern Art Permanent Collection.

Bodnar’s client list includes HBO, Showtime, Sundance, MGM, Touchstone Pictures, Warner Brothers, Disney and Cartoon Network just to name a few. Josh has worked for Digital Kitchen, Superfad, Shilo and is currently an editor at The WhiteHouse.

What drove you to become an editor?
To begin, I actually started off in photography. A teacher of mine recognized I had an eye for unique shots. She suggested to me that I should take some video classes. Video was photography in motion, I remember her telling to me. While pursuing video I found the craft of editing. I was overjoyed that I was able to manipulate and transform things into whatever I could imagine. If was like I was in the dark room again, but this time with motion images. The thing I love about editing, even to this day, is that it’s a puzzle. There are infinite ways the story and shots can be put together. Your building something that can take on a number of emotions. That’s powerful.

What are your favorite video production tools of choice and why?
A lot of people ask me this question. I have two answers. The first answer is I use both Avid and Final Cut Pro. 10% Avid and 90% FCP. More and more I’m using FCP. Although Avid is the industry standard – – it’s falling behind and doesn’t like to play well with others. FCP is so flexible that I can cut any format – with any frame base – anytime. I use the FCP studio package with Color and Compressor quite a bit as well.

My second answer to this question is that it doesn’t really matter. What really matters is the human behind the machine. The artist that can make his or her visions come to life. I’ve worked with a lot of great artists and I’ve seen some ridiculous work made out of a regular applications. Your biggest creative asset is yourself. The minute you rely on plug-ins your finished.

Audio is a very distinctive attribute to your work, how is it developed and manipulated into your workflow?
Audio is a huge portion of what I do. I personally like to work with the track before I start editing. I try to play it over in my head and visualize the edit and sequence of events. However, typically I’m working with a composer or and audio house that I collaborate with. We go back and forth like a teeter-totter. I edit a rough cut to a demo track – the composer comes back with more instrumentation – I enhance the edit and fine tune it to the music. We go back and forth til we find our best work.

Explain your “preferred” editorial process.   What are the main steps, you always like to follow, from the time you first meet your client to final approval?
The great thing about editing is every job is unique. However, I usually like to talk to the director first. They’ve been attached to the job for a longer period and have pretty specific ideas on what they are looking for. The next step is talking to the agency creatives. Usually their vision is similar to the directors, but often they have their own ideas as well. From there I watch the footage. I always watch the footage going into the machine. I like to get a raw viewing of everything that was shot. It also helps in putting ideas together and seeing what might be good takes. Then I edit. I usually crank out 4 versions of the edit. My version – The director’s version – What I think the agency is looking for (editing word-for-word the storyboards) – then an unexpected version, something completely different.
From there we (myself, agency & director) whittle it down to a version we all like. We present to client. Some times make revisions, sometimes not. Then finish.

How much time from conception to completion did the Dexter opening title sequence
Dexter was about a month-long process from start to finish. From the boarding phase – animatic phase – shooting phase – editing – reediting- reediting – and then finish.
Did you learn anything new on the Dexter Project?
In terms of the process of editing no. I’ve worked with hollywood studios & production companies quite a bit and I’m always amazed each time that I’m always faced with a challenge. There is never a dull moment in entertainment work.

What advice do you give editors on taking their work to the next level, keeping their work unique and on avoiding or hurdling editor’s block?
Never say no. Always take every job good or bad. Because it’s not about the job, but rather the human connections you make. Exposing yourself to new people is how you get ahead and along the way your work get’s better. You have to have an open mind and be able to surround yourself with people who are better than you that’s how you become better.
As far as editing goes . . . be uncomfortable. Getting out of your comfort zone and feeling uncomfortable with your edits is how you progress.

How did you land your job at Digital Kitchen
and White House Post?

I think I did what anyone would do. I called the office said I was looking for a job and sent in a resume/reel.

Could you tell us more about the New York Museum of Modern Art Permanent Collection you have displayed? 

It’s a fabulous award and I’m truly honored to be apart of the museum’s collection. The work in the collection is a Budweiser commercial. It won the AICP 2005 award for best table top.  The spot is called “Fresh Pour”. It consists of 3 shots.  A bottle cap opening that was done in 3D, a beer pour down into a glass, and a splash with a composited in bottle in a beer bubble.  It was all shot with a phantom camera, which at the time was just out on the market. It was a daring new way of working at the time. Funny story,even though there was a full day of shooting for all the liquid elements, we actually ended up using the test pour we shot in the office for the final pour. I guess that shows you really don’t need anything elaborate sometimes. Check it out for yourself.  Budweiser – Fresh Pour


What advise can you give video editors to further their social network? 

You’d be surprised how many people you really know. I joined Linked in several years ago and people started finding me. The best advice I can give is to get your work out there and in front of people in any form you see best.

What is your favorite source for inspiration?
Hand’s down fashion.

Who is your favorite artist and why?
I’m not sure I have a favorite. I’m getting back into photography again believe it or not. One of my all time favorites is Platon.

How may someone contact you if they want to learn more or require your services?
You can visit my website:
e-mail me:
or visit my blog:

Thank you for taking the time to share with us.


Part 2 of the interview can be found here: