Anatomy of an Edit

If you’ve ever wondered what all goes in to making a promo for a network like PBS, I’ve made this short little video. The clip below is 4 hours and 30 minutes of editing work (which is about half of the total time spent to make the piece) compressed into 60 seconds. Take a look:

And here is the spot created from the work above:

The graphics were created by a design firm in LA, but I had to massively tweak them after the initial look wasn’t approved by the final client. The final color correction and audio mix were done at Post-Op Media (where I work).

Just a cool little insight into what it takes to do this kind of work.

Uncanny place…

So I built a simple 3D environment (sometimes called 2.5D) in After Effects to do some moves on some archival photos. I think they look nice. I even built in some depth of field so that I could play with drawing the viewer’s eye to certain places on the screen as the camera moved. I rendered them out and included them in an early cut of the show I’m editing.

Over the weekend, the roughcut was shared with the 3D graphic artist so he can review the sections we need him to cover with high-tech looking, CG animations. He comes back with some notes on what he can do – including this one: “I can make those stills shot on the table look better by redoing them in an After Effects 2.5D project – make them more moody & sensitive.”

He is offering to redo the work I’ve already done. I am not sure whether I should be offended or take it as a compliment. He seems to think the stills were actually shot on a real life table, so I’ve got that going for me. However, in spite of the fact that I seem to have fooled him, I hope what I’ve done isn’t so bad that he’d like to redo it better.  If he (a professional graphics person) can’t tell how I created them and is fooled then I may be better at this than I realize…or we’ve got other problems.

A low-rez example of the look & feel of what I created

And we’re back…

Just a brief note to say that is back up and running.

We got hit with a “base64 hack“. It infected every single PHP file on the server that hosts So its been a pain to get everything re-installed. The only back up I had was from just after the infection hit on March 15. It did give me a chance to clear out a bunch of old theme and plugin files, but what a hassle.

The site is back online and it looks like I didn’t lose anything important. I did discover that my favorite theme – K2 is now only sporadically updated, so I may be in the market for a new WordPress theme later this spring.

Mostly just posting this to see if everything is back in working order. Thanks.


This is a pretty good list – I could add some more, but these cover most of the basics. Good job.

A kind of Pie you probably should avoid…Working for Free

I’m a big fan of pie – apple, pumpkin, lemon -but that’s not what I’m talking about here. More about PIE in a moment A link came across my reader today that I completely agree with. MICHELLE GOODMAN wrote and article for the NYTimes earlier this month about when to consider working for free.

I have had a few conversations recently about when to consider doing work for credit, or “Payment In Exposure”, as she calls it – that’s where PIE comes in. She describes the problems with payment of exposure, or “it’ll be a great resume/reel/portfolio item for you.” I concur 100% with her final paragraph:

It doesn’t matter if you’re a dog walker, a Web designer or a tax preparer. When you agree to work free, you reinforce people’s misguided ideas that the self-employed are independently wealthy hobbyists. Don’t degrade your profession by letting a cheap client take advantage of you.

Whenever I speak with someone about the concept of work without financial compensation I usually start or end with, “Working for free basically shows the world that you are willing to whore yourself out for nothing. It shows people that you have such a little understanding of what your skills are worth or how little you value your own worth.” I always tell them to use caution and to never work with someone for free more than once. More than once never ends well.

I also agree with the idea of creating a contract, even when doing free work.

UPDATE: If you need some more ideas/ammo about how to avoid Spec work, go to

When to Work for Nothing – Shifting Careers Blog –