2015 and out

Wake up at 730am, check my sleep app, I've only had 5 hours and feel shattered, I drift back into a deep sleep until 11am when I'm woken by the door bell and an Amazon delivery. I grab tea, toast and jump back into bed to answer emails. I edit till another delivery arrives, it's the new SLR Magic Sony E Mount 50mm f/1.1 lens, within 10 mins I've taken a few photos of Imogen to see how the lens feels and I immediately love it. I'll test it our more over the next few weeks before I use if for 'work', early signs are good though.

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The SLR Magic 50mm f/1.1 on my A7Sii body, I grabbed the variable ND filter made for it as well so I can use that incredible DOF in daylight if I want to

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Imogen waking up after a long sleep. All these were taken at around ISO 10,000

I go back to the NYC edit, after key-wording last night, laying out my outline from the keywords this morning and adding in where my b-roll collections will sit I lay out my timeline very quick, clean up the cut points, equalise audio (manually, still one tool I'd love to see in FCPX to be able to equalise a project with one click) and grade.

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On the left is my very basic outline for my string-out in FCPX and on the right is the same page but I've added in which b-roll I will use where. Below you can see the keywords on the left in my browser window while I edit. A lot more keywords than in my notebook but you'll notice a lot are grouped together. Sometimes at this stage a key-worded section gets left out if I don't feel it will fit in the story.

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I finish the grade around 4pm and start uploading the massive 4GB file to YouTube (it's in 4K and is over 8 minutes, hence the size). While that is going on in the background I package up a load of photos from the year and send them to the team for social media as I'm going to be away from wifi for a few weeks.

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Brad in Australia at the beginning of 2015, Fuji X-T1 and the incredible 56mm f/1.2 lens, my favourite stills combination of the year

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A final run through of the New York Video on my iMac, room lighting via the Phillips Hue I have behind my monitor and sound via these awesome desktop speakers

I order a Chinese as Soph is heading out with friends and switch on the 1989 Tour film on Apple Music. As usual, I can't sit and do nothin', so I head back to the edit suite and add to my film grab file from the New York video.

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A few stills from the video

The blog will be taking a break until into January now as I will be taking a break and be without wifi I think. Many thanks to all of you who read and comment either here or on Twitter and I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Wednesday 22nd October

Slept in till 9am which is pretty late for me at the minute. Kettle on, computer on, make some porridge and I sit and edit in my PJ's till around 12pm. The DVD trailer edit is ready and it includes some ADR (additional dialogue recordings) from me. As you can see from the photo I'm using the Rode NT-USB mic , which is so good coupled with FCPX's voice over tool. Once I get my parts done I add a walkie  talkie effect and add some bit compressor to my voice too. I render a master file (incase anyone needs a prores) and the YouTube H.264 file so it's ready on the bands channel for when I get the nod to set it live.

The Rode NT-USB , quality, as usual is brilliant from Rode

The Rode NT-USB , quality, as usual is brilliant from Rode

As that compresses and uploads I get delivery of the final edit of the DVD to watch so I make some tea and sit on my bed to watch the DVD back again.  I get into the DVD, which after watching it around 10 times in a week is suprising! That done, I check emails and am asked to make a few changes to the trailer, mainly graphics changes, so I jump into the project, make those changes and then re-compress to upload to YouTube and kick out another Master incase. I often get asked what my workflow looks like considering how many different projects i'm working on at once, hopefully this screen grab of my folder template will give you an idea. Obviously many of the folder names only apply to FCPX editing and won't necessarily make sense for other editing platforms.

My folder structure template for new projects in FCPX

Wednesday 1st October

Wake around 8am, a little earlier than I wanted but it just means I can get more done. I get a text from James after checking my emails in bed summoning me to breakfast. I go for the un healthy but satisfying pancakes with a cup of tea and we chit chat for an hour or so. Back in my room I switch on the laptop and perform my daily ritual of going through my to-do list app on my iPhone (I use ‘Clear) and writing down on paper what my top three priority jobs for the day are. Sometimes choosing three isn’t very easy, but I do this so I know what I need to get done as opposed to what i’d like to work on.

That done I rip through the first three in no time. I send a quick email out to management checking a graphic over a video, to which Richard arrives at my room a few minutes later and we make live changes in Final Cut while he stays, he says it’s good, and I export the ProRes file. One of the best things with editing in ‘X’ is the fact I can live edit and playback at the same time, it’s great for your client to see the change right in front of their eyes and it’s equally awesome for you, the editor, getting sign off on a project while they are stood with you.

I then go into another project where I need to do some sound design. I really like the Channel equaliser in FCPX, it helps me pick out voice frequencies when working on dialogue so if there’s any background noise I can find it’s frequency and pull the sound down from it. Vital if you are a ‘run and gun’ documentary style shooter. Sound done, I nip to the restaurant and grab a latte, i’m feeling tired today, it’s most probably because I stayed up late reading last night, need to try and get to sleep earlier tonight. I get back to my room and answer a few emails, and then the hotel concierge calls to let me know a delivery has arrived and asks if they can bring it to me, it’s this…

I put it aside for a bit while I finish my jobs and then go for a meeting before we head off for the Apollo in Manchester. As soon as we arrive I get batteries on charge for the Sony FS700 I'm using tonight and tomorrow to get some slow motion footage for the DVD trailer. With the canon 24-70 on it its a beast of a setup, I shoot a few passes in sound check mainly of Tristan and then grab food from catering. Pre show me and Brad mess about with a football we found (as kids do) and then its show time. I shoot the show in 400 fps Super-Slow Motion which looks great, but comes with an issue. When you hit record, the camera buffers the footage and then when the 8 second recording maximum is reached the internal system records the buffered 8 seconds, which takes around a minute and 20 seconds. On that basis, shooting a live show, you get two 8 second super slow motion shots per song (at a push on some songs, three). So you have to make it count basically! Once the show is finished we jump on the bus and head back to the hotel where I offload footage, order food and then jump into bed to watch The Inbetweeners.