Things I Didn’t Learn in School Blog Series

This series is something I’ve been thinking about for a while now. Since graduating from college, I’ve realized there is an awful lot of information I never learned that really would have been useful. And while I don’t expect college to teach me everything I ever needed to know, I wish I had learned more technical details about how certain aspects of the video industry work. A lot of what you learn in school is based in theory. That’s fine, but when you get into a real job, the technical becomes a much bigger part of what makes or breaks your work. With budgets and deadlines, there’s no time to cuddle up with a tutorial and attempt to learn new things every single time. At some point, you have to know what’s going on.

I’ve spent a lot of time in the last year and a half reading a lot of articles, tutorials, blogs, and books, mainly focusing on post-production. My desire to attaint fluency in post-production workflows has allowed me to get through projects quicker. While I’m not going to pretend I know everything – because I really really don’t – I know what myself and my peers missed, and it’s probably similar across various programs.

This past weekend, being within the school again, reminded me about how much is left out of the classroom and left up to individuals to fill in the blanks. So I decided to do a blog series – Things you didn’t learn in school. There are tons of resources out there for a lot of these subjects already, but my intention is to write for entry-level/intermediate recent graduates and build from what they already know, or want to know. Too many articles are way too technical, and too many are too flimsy. So, here’s my attempt. We’ll start with these subjects:

– Aspect Ratio – why is my stuff all squished man?

– Exporting – The easiest and best way to export a FCP timeline and use Compressor to make it awesome!

– Rendering – What all those options under the Render menu mean, and how you can render your timeline in full to reduce exporting time. AKA What the hell is that orange line?

– H264 – The mystery of H264, why it takes no time sometimes and forever other times.

– Simple audio – How to roundtrip to Soundtrack Pro for basic audio fixes and use Scripts to make your quality of life better.

– Codecs – What the hell is ProRes and why are there different levels of it, what the hell is an editing codec, what the hell is going on?

– Setting up your FCP project correctly – Organizing and getting the settings correct on a project before it’s too late.

– Basic color – Basic color balancing in FCP and how to set up a project for roundtripping to Color so you can be a bad ass.

– Basic DVD authoring – How to export your timeline to prepare for DVD and set up a basic DVD menu in DVD Studio Pro, when you might need more advanced options like overlays or scripting. Also, why DVD specs SUCK.

– FCP hints to make your life easier – Features of FCP that newer users don’t get into, the 4 editing tools, useful shortcuts, three point editing, and other basic useful crap that nobody ever shows you.

-Why does my greenscreen look like #*^$? – How different formats capture color and how it ruins your life.

I’ll start with these topics and see how it goes. Hopefully it’s entertaining or useful to SOMEone.