Windows and Macs: Can’t We Just Get Along…?

My life is a lot like West Side Story. Even if you take away my constant dancing and occasional problem solving knife fights, it’s still pretty much West Side Story. Well, actually, I’ve never assaulted a police officer or had any reason to mess with the Sharks, but I did briefly date a Puerto Rican woman in college. I’m getting off topic, hold on, my original thought about West Side Story was that I use a PC at home, and Macs at work. And it tears my life apart! I’m in a constant struggle to maintain some sort of peace between the people I know, because I’m always in a state of betraying the other. My friends are all 100% Windows users, I don’t have a single Mac using friend. But at work I see the power of the Mac, something they do not see. To my friends, whenever I talk about Macs I’m pretty sure they just envision the uber-simple 1993 Macintosh computers that we used to play Oregon Trail II on in elementary school and think that Apple products are for the “slower” folks. And at work when I mention my Windows machine, I’m pretty sure everyone just imagines some horrible flurry of files scattered everywhere in all dark corners of the hard drive, a virus-ridden plague of a device that can only be turned off each night with a blue screen of death. The truth is, I use both, and when I look at them, all I see is a couple of computers…

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From the Assistant’s Chair: Communication Breakdown


Here is a chronicling of my life in terms of communication skills: I was born in 1984, George Orwell was incorrect about the future, and I had little to no communication skills aside from crying a lot to get what I wanted. Elementary school in the early 1990s came next. I was good at expressing myself, perhaps too good. I would often get bored with mundane activities and verbally tell the teacher so. Let’s just say that I would often explain to my parents that my poor grades were because “my teacher hates me!” (something I still stand firm behind today). Later in summer camp, probably about 1992 at the age of 8, Ashley Vinanek would tell me she likes me, and while her friends held me down in the ball pit of a Discovery Zone, she kissed me. I very loudly yelled “GROSS!” because of some insane childhood disgust with girls (i.e. cooties), and she hated me for it and didn’t talk to me the final 2 weeks of the summer. Perhaps brutal honesty and poor communication were at play, or just a lack of knowledge that having girls hold me down and kiss me wouldn’t be common in the near future, needless to say it could have been handled better.

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Cut It Out!

Ah, the words of Dave Coulier have never resonated stronger in my life than in recent days. Sure there were times on the playground in 4th grade when Full House lingo may have been more frequent, but not until I started editing did I consider Uncle Joey’s catch phrase to become a way of life. In a situation where a nice After Effects sequence or a Motion graphic project could jazz up a portion of a video that needs a little jazzing, I look to my go-to secondary editing program: Photoshop.

You could say that I’m not skilled enough in After Effects and Motion to utilize them enough so I resort to Photoshop. Well, that would be mean to say, and you know what, I think your shirt is ugly and you have poor taste in restaurants. I like to think that I use Photoshop in a good enough way that it could be the program I look to for sprucing things up, just by cutting up and rebuilding photos. So despite what my Dad insists, Photoshop can be used for more than eliminating red eye in pictures of his dog.

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From the Assistant’s Chair: The Little Things

This is an ongoing study into the mind of an assistant editor, and the various small tasks he is assigned to.

An editing facility is a lot like an underground fight club. Except it’s cleaner. And more work gets done. And there aren’t any fights. It’s actually nothing like an underground fight club. But that would be awesome if it was.

Aside from misleading people with opening sentences, an assistant editor has many responsibilities that go beyond actual editing work. It’s these little things that are required of the job that not only make this place run infinitely times smoother, but they are also the reason that clients keep coming back. Having this delusion that these minor things are the most important aspect of the office is important in not only ensuring that you keep doing them, but it also boosts your ego and enables you to brag about your job to attractive women at parties.

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Entering the Third Dimension!

Have you ever seen one of those movies where the kid from Montana, fresh off the farm, goes to Hollywood because he has dreams of becoming an actor, because he was the best actor in his 75 student high school’s rendition of West Side Story? Then he gets to Hollywood, with his suitcase and his cowboy hat, and he’s walking down the street wide eyed and astonished at all the bright lights and weird people that inhabit the area, and he doesn’t know what to do with himself or where to begin? Well, I feel like that farm boy, except instead of going to Hollywood I’m using Cinema 4D, and instead of seeing freaks everywhere, I’m looking at complex menu screens and lots of buttons that I have no idea what they do. I mean, look at this interface, it’s scary for someone with no background in 3D to open this program!

A decision was made by the high council of elders, at their shrine resting on the peak of the volcano, that I would be the chosen one to learn how to use a true 3D program. But I have no experience whatsoever in this area. This is my first job in this industry out of college, and to be honest, I didn’t even use something as basic as Photoshop a single time while I was in college! Let’s just say the most experience I had working on 3D was when I watched WALL-E a couple months ago. So I was nervous at the thought of learning this program, but at the same time excited at the possibility of what I could potentially do. I suppose the purpose of this post is to show you what it’s like to first delve into a 3D program if you have no idea what you’re doing, and possibly how it’s not as scary as one may think.

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Multi-Language DVDs, So Easy Grandma Can Do It

Well, for this post I thought I’d show you how simple it is to create DVDs in DVD Studio Pro that utilize multiple audio tracks. We use it around here for making DVDs with multiple languages, so you could watch the same video in French, German, Portuguese, etc. This same theory can be applied to putting in director’s commentaries, or maybe you’re doing something awesome with audio tracks that I’ve never even heard of! I’m sure some of may think it’s really easy to do this, while others may have never attempted it so they don’t know where to begin, but the truth of the matter is that it is extremely easy.

There’s that saying that “it’s so easy that my grandmother can do it!”, well, I’m gonna prove that theory correct, as I have actually brought my Grandma Shirley here to the office on my lunch break to prove that even she can create multi-language DVDs!

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