Lightworks, an open-source PC-based editing program, became availalbe for download today to those who registered for it in advance – about 20,000 in all.
The program, by Edit Share, has been much anticipated, and it appears every one of those 20,000 is trying to download simultaneously. We’ll wait patiently in line and hope to report back when we try it out.
Here’s a piece on Studio Daily.
Meanwhile, the specs are on the Lightworks site.
- Resolution, format and codec independent timeline
- Edit at 23.976, true 24, 25, 29.97, 30, 50, or 60 fps
- Advanced Multicam editing with unlimited sources
- Source/Record three-point editing
- Insert and Overwrite editing
- Replace, ﬁt to ﬁll, backfill
- Drag-and-drop replace editing
- Extend and Split edits
- A/V Sync indicators on timeline
- Single-click re-sync of whole timeline
- Multi-colored markers for edits and clips
- Matchframe for clips and subclips
- Slip and Slide
- Remove and Delete
- Asymmetric, multitrack trimming
- Dynamic trimming during playback
- JKL trimming
- Trim window
- Timeline trimming
- Keyboard and numeric moving and trimming
- Close Gap
- Third Party Plugin Support
- Alpha Channel Matte Transitions
- Global Transitions adds effects between In and Out points
- Real-time effects in SD, HD and 2K
- Speed Tool for varispeed changes
- Keyframe graphs
- Transitions, effects, and filters included
- Unlimited effects user templates
- Copy and paste effect attributes to multiple clips
- Effects layers with node-based compositing tool
- Bezier curves with movable motion paths
- Numeric control and keyframe capabilities
- Real-time, hardware accurate video vectorscopes and waveform monitors
- Multitrack Audio Mixer with full bus routing and multiple mixes
- Keyboard and user interface customization tool with templates for Avid and FCP keyboard mappings
- On-screen console controls
- Voice Over tool for adding narration directly to timeline
- Multi-split screen Viewer for original shot comparison
- Shot Sync – sync two sources for playback comparison
- Customisable BITC timecode and film footage overlays in Viewer
- Real time Primary color correctors
- Real time Secondary color correctors
- Image control filters
- Subframe audio keyframing
- Real-time audio adjustments during playback
- OMF audio export with pan and volume levels
- Real-time, software-based audio normalization
- Onscreen multitrack mixing console
- External Mackie control surface support
- Real time fader automation
- Real-time audio filters and effects
- Mixed bit-rates and samples on timeline
- Audio level meters per track
- Pan controls
- Mute and solo controls
- Pre and Post Audio waveform display with realtime update
- Full-screen, real-time SD, HD, and 2K preview on single or secondary display
- Multiple timelines open simultaneously
- Unlimited undo levels
- Unlimited video and FX tracks
- User preferences that can be moved from system to system
- Customizable keyboard and user interface buttons
- Customizable real-time effects settings
- Customizable render settings
- Customizable layouts
- Customizable track layouts
- Full Unicode support
- Import RED media and DPX image sequences directly
- Include timecode and keycode in the same list
- Support for 35mm 3-perf, 35mm 4-perf, and 16mm-20 and mixed film formats
- View feet and frames in edit
- View keycode and ink number overlays on video
- 24-fps EDL import and export
- 24-fps EDL conversion to and from 29.97 fps
- Import ALE, FLX, and CSV files
- Track key numbers, ink numbers, video and audio timecode
- Output Cut list, Change list, Optical list, Pull list, Dupe list, Audio EDL
- Media management tools for moving, copying, and consolidating media at edit or project level
- Powerful search capabilities
- Rename Clips to match media and vice versa
- Maintain master clips across multiple projects
- Clip colors in edit (match by source, reel or timecode)
- Custom comment fields
- Automatic reconnect to high-resolution media
- EDL and AAF import and export for metadata exchange
- Instant Save – no need to save project
- Batch export
3rd Party Support
- Inscriber Titlemotion
- After Effects
- Premiere Plugins
- Digital Fusion
- MXF Op1a, MXF OpAtom, Quicktime and AVI
- DV25, DVCPRO 25, DVCPRO 50, and DVCPRO HD
- MPEG-2 I-Frame SD and HD
- Uncompressed SD and HD at 8 bit and 10 bit
- Avid DNxHD*
- Apple ProRes*
- RED R3D*
- DPX 10 bit* and 16 bit*
- Sony IMX
- Sony XDCAM HD*
- Sony XDCAM EX*
- Sony XDCAM HD422*
- Panasonic P2
- Image Import and Export as stills or sequences (DPX, BMP, TARGA, JPEG, GIF, PSD, TIFF, DPX, JPEG2000, PICT, QT Image, SGI, and PNG)
- Export presets for Apple TV, iPhone, iPod
- Broadcast Wave Format with drop and non-drop frame timecode options
- Import and Export OMF I and OMF II
- Import and Export AAF
- MDA support for Edit While Capture with Geevs servers
- Telecine 29.97i to 24p pulldown removal
- 30fps and 25fps import to 24fps project
- Frame-accurate capture tool with support for batch, clip, and on-the-fly capturing
- Frame-accurate insert and assemble edit-to-tape
- Serial device control (RS-422, RS-232)
- Manage emotional nuance with music?
- Add suspense to a slow section?
- Give a visual makeover to a documentary that’s heavy on talking heads?
- “Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer” Alex Gibney, director (ES Productions LLC)
- “Enemies of the People” Rob Lemkin and Thet Sambath, directors (Old Street Films)
- “Exit through the Gift Shop” Banksy, director (Paranoid Pictures)
- “Gasland” Josh Fox, director (Gasland Productions, LLC)
- “Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould” Michele Hozer and Peter Raymont, directors
(White Pine Pictures)
- “Inside Job” Charles Ferguson, director (Representational Pictures)
- “The Lottery” Madeleine Sackler, director (Great Curve Films)
- “Precious Life” Shlomi Eldar, director (Origami Productions) “Megamind”
- “Quest for Honor” Mary Ann Smothers Bruni, director (Smothers Bruni Productions)
- “Restrepo” Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger, directors (Outpost Films)
- “This Way of Life” Thomas Burstyn, director (Cloud South Films)
- “The Tillman Story” Amir Bar-Lev, director (Passion Pictures/Axis Films)
- “Waiting for ‘Superman” Davis Guggenheim, director (Electric Kinney Films)
- “Waste Land” Lucy Walker, director (Almega Projects)
- “William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe” Emily Kunstler and Sarah Kunstler, directors (Disturbing the Universe LLC)
We recently viewed the Sundance best-doc-direction award winner, “Smash His Camera,” about uber-paparazzo Ron Galella, and noticed something odd. At least on the version we viewed from Netflix, the film contains no identifying lower-thirds titles of the people interviewed, nor opening titles for the film.
Some in the doc were recognizable people – Dick Cavett, gossip columnist Liz Smith – and others were recognizable to journalists – Neil Leifer and Harry Benson. Chuck Close is familiar to art lovers. Some were simply anonymous.
It’s an interesting choice by director Leon Gast. The question of whether doing away with identifying titling is a wise choice is worthy of some debate.
Not knowing who people are keeps us from having, perhaps, a better sense of the level of authority of those speaking. They divide themselves roughly by their manner and dress – the three lawyers could not be anyone else, but who exactly are they? – and a few others who we just had no idea about.
But what is the best strategy for titling? Here are some we’ve picked up from a variety of documentary filmmakers.
1) If the subject is being shown primarily in one section of the film, one title and identifying information is enough. Should the subject be re-introduced much later, a “reminder title” is useful. If the doc is/might be on television, more titling makes sense to reflect the nature of audiences coming into the film at any point. Online or tablet viewing may involve a viewer watching a film in pieces, so perhaps more titling makes sense there. The reminder title might just be the name, without other identifying information. How long? Five seconds seems right, depending on the amount of information.
2) While few films do away with titles fully, those who do use either VO narration or some other device to contextualize the person speaking. If interview subject Smith says “And then I got a call from Jones,” the next person is clearly Jones. In “Grizzly Man,” Herzog uses context shots (such as the pilot standing in front of his plane) that tell us visually what the connection to the subject is.
3) Don’t assume anybody knows anybody. In “Smash His Camera,” there’s a scene in which a young lady cannot identify any of the once-famous people (Belushi, Bardot) who were Galella’s prized subjects. Exactly! Don’t assume the person is obvious to all; also hope your doc will have a shelf life long enough to have to explain who the people are.
4) Titles tend to be bigger than they used to, because viewing of a documentary is as likely to be on an iPod as in a theater. Don’t scrimp on font size.
5) Many doc filmmakers avoid the fancied-up computer-generated titling that seems more at home on television news and reality shows (we could not help wonder if a title-less film is a reaction to the overdoing of television). Documentary film often works best with an understated feel. In fact, some seem to be going with a stripped-down aesthetic that speaks of austerity and “designed absence.” Ken Burns is still using simple type, in white, just as he did three decades ago. Your budget’s better spent on other things than overblown titling.
6) Titles should only do the job. Don’t leave us guessing, but don’t try to overload us with information via text. As a friend says of his hatred of subtitled films, “Why would I go to the movies to read?” And the question is whether anyone, if quizzed at the end of a film, can really remember all these names anyway.
7) Lower-thirds titling can be done right in Final Cut and other LNE’s, but another way to do it is to create them as green cards in Illustrator, then use Key overlay on your interview subject. These titles tend to have higher resolution than the onboard titling.
Reuters is putting two documentaries at the top of the list for Academy Award contention, and it notes that both are more traditional interview-based films. “Inside Job” and “Waiting For Superman” could be contenders for Best Picture:
Both documentaries, while relying heavily on standard interview techniques, also inject plenty of drama into the mix. And both movies made the shortlist of 15 films being considered for best documentary feature honors. But they could go beyond just that category.
While both films are heavily funded, the trend of recent years has leaned toward “live action” documentaries such as the derring-do of last ear’s winner, “The Cove” and another of this year’s contenders, “Restrepo.”
These two interview-based documentaries both dare to take on big-picture stories that have been covered heavily in both newspapers and television, each having the audacity of hoping they can tell the story better and more comprehensively in the documentary film form.
Given the tradition of interview based documentaries, it’s nice to see them get the attention. Indeed, lighter equipment that’s easier to use has led to a real trending in live-action docs. The emergence of both autofocus, which allows directors to essentially be their own cinematographers, as well as the influence of reality shows have whetted an audience appetite to see what they believes is real. But some filmmakers, including Alex Gibney with his recent “Casino Jack” still use interviews to piece back together a larger story.
While the studios have retreated into escapism, documentary filmmakers have been tackling hot-button issues that often resonate with the more politically engaged members of the Academy. “Waiting for Superman” and “Inside Job,” two of the year’s highest-profile titles, have gotten the kind of outsize attention that belies their modest box-office returns ($6 million and $1.6 million, respectively).
To some degree, documentaries have the tendency to take a large fortune and turn it into a small fortune: “Inside Job’s” Charles Ferguson goes after the no-holds-barred financial system in the U.S. while having been treated fairly well by it. Realscreen wrote this month that,
At 55, and with a background in political science and technology, Ferguson is a late blooming filmmaker. After earning his PhD in political science from M.I.T. in 1989, he spent three years researching the confluence of technology, globalization and government policy, consulting for the White House and the Defense Department. In the mid-Nineties he founded Vermeer Technologies, a software company that created the website development tool FrontPage, which he sold to Microsoft for $133 million in 1996. He’s also authored several books, including Computer Wars: The Post-IBM World.
In 2005, Ferguson decided to pursue his burning interest in film and started Representational Pictures. Thus, No End in Sight proved to be a baptism of fire for the director. “Essentially with No End in Sight, Charles and I didn’t know what we were doing,” says Audrey Marrs, the film’s producer and chief operational officer for Representational Pictures. “We hired people who taught us how to do our jobs. The other producer taught me how to be a producer and the editors taught Charles how to edit and on and on.”
In that way, both films have a touch of irony, as multimillionaire Ferguson gets us poor folk jacked up about the financial system that’s ruined most of our retirement funds and made jobs harder to get, and “Superman’s” director Davis Guggenheim notes in his withering takedown of public education that he has the means to put his own kids in high-end private schools. In a way, that might not hurt. The Academy has always rewarded films by wealthy Hollywood about the misfortunes of people they have little in common with.
New Doc Editing will run a free seminar on the web Monday, Nov. 29 at 5:30-6 p.m. PST.
Karen at NDE says,
In “Secrets to Transforming Your Rough Cut”, you’ll learn how to pinpoint common structural and storytelling problems that plagued editors in post-production.
More importantly, you’ll receive several innovative strategies for fixing these issues. For example, how can you…
This content packed teleseminar will be recorded, in case you can’t make the timeslot on Monday, November 29th, 2010, at 5:30-6:00 p.m. PST.
Whether you join us live or not, you’ll need to register for “Secrets to Transforming Your Rough Cut”, at http://newdocediting.com/land/secrets-for-transforming-your-rough-cut
F9Photo had a recent post on traveling with a lot of equipment, which seems appropriate on this, the heaviest travel day of the year (in the U.S., at least). He says,
I try to never pack more than I can carry myself. My rule of thumb is that I have to be able to drag all my stuff for at least two miles (4 kilometers) without any assistance. If traveling to a very remote area I carry one small backpack that works as carry-on and a large expidition backpack. I also bring one large duffle bag. For carry-on I use a Tumi roller carry on bag and pack clothes around my camera kit. I love the Patagonia Stellar Black Hole Bag because it is rubberized and waterproof, and it does not have huge logos like a North Face bag. As I stack on the weight, I use the Eagle Creek ORV Super Trunk. The bag is long enough for tripods, stands, etc. Often, I just put my large Arcteryx backpack in it to wheel through airports and to the hotel. I try to take cameras and very expensive items in the airplane cabin with me. If I have to belly load some camera gear, I put it in a smaller Pelican case, then inside a duffel bag. This conceals the “steal me” box and protects the gear. Having an extra cheap duffle bag has been a life saver at the airport because I can break apart an overweight bag to distribute weight.
He says that he has a problem with bags.
There are a lot of ways to pack; here are some other kits of varying magnitude:
Beverly Hills, CA (November 18, 2010) – The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced that 15 films in the Documentary Feature category will advance in the voting process for the 83rd Academy Awards®. One hundred-one pictures had originally qualified in the category.
The 15 films are listed below in alphabetical order by title, with their production company:
The Documentary Branch Screening Committee viewed all the eligible documentaries for the preliminary round of voting. Documentary Branch members will now select the five nominees from among the 15 titles on the shortlist.
The 83rd Academy Awards nominations will be announced live on Tuesday, January 25, 2011, at 5:30 a.m. PT in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater.
Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2010 will be presented on Sunday, February 27, 2011, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center®, and televised live by the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 200 countries worldwide.