Archive for January, 2007

From the “Where Are They Now” File

A recent posting here having illustrated the irrefutable evidence of my old band The Rake’s Progress‘ descent into dinosaurhood (last seen in the “CD’s By The Pound” bin at your local record store) I was pretty amazed to hear that tickets for our first real show in over 10 years are almost sold out. For those of you with interest in my old music career, the show is Friday February 23 @ Mercury Lounge in NYC. The promoter is trying to add a 2nd show (hopefully Sat Feb 24) or perhaps move the show to a bigger venue, but for now if you’re a Rake’s fan please get tix now, I want youze there, here’s the link.

Guess which one is me ? (promotional photo from 1995)…

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Watch me jump around like a dork amongst cows in a field in this 1994 Rakes video that was seen in the Beavis and Butthead episode “Bus Trip”. They mainly talked about the cows and the old guy.

Printed COW

Back when I started in video, Ron Lindeboom was running the WWUG which was at the time, and still remains, one of the great users forums on the web for tools like After Effects. Without that I would’ve never been able to learn my craft as fast as I did.

Not long thereafter, Ron and his wife Kathlyn started Creative COW, which has arguably become one of the most popular users forums in the world. Last year they launched their print magazine (free subscriptions available here) and not only is it great, but they brought on my buddy Tim Wilson (formerly of Avid, Boris, and . . . going way back . . . the WWUG) as the Associate Publisher.

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I’ve read every issue cover-to-cover, and this month I’m honored to be part of an article about making a living as an After Effects artist. It starts on page 13. Tim interviewed myself and several other AE pros around the world, on the subject of how we got our first gigs using AE.

Dusting Off the Wings

When I started this blog about a year ago, I didn’t really understand blogging. More importantly, I didn’t realize how many people would read my blog just by virtue of the fact that it’s an Adobe Blog.

Despite the fact that from the get-go I intended to write primarily about the craft & technology of fim & video post production, the timing of starting my blog co-incided with being sent to all corners of the globe to spread the word about the recently-launched Adobe Production Studio. That meant I wound up writing more about my travels than anything else. People seemed to like it, but my lord was it way off-topic.

I wanted to keep the blog relevant to video pros (and beginners) so I decided to steer it pretty much strictly towards news, tutorials, observations, and info related to my craft and Adobe’s technology.

Well, here I am a year later and I find myself once again facing some serious air mileage, stamps in the passport, pens from hotel rooms, and killing countless hours in the business class lounges of the world’s busiest airports. I like writing about that stuff, mainly because I like complaining about it and after all I am a New Yorker and complaining is just in my blood. Living in San Francisco these past 2 years hasn’t softened me that much.

So, perched on my first flight of the year tomorrow (to Seattle to hang with the After Effects team) I introduce my new blog BizFlyer where I’ll rant & rave about all the stuff I encounter getting from point A to point B on my business travels for Adobe. If you’re interested, great. If not, don’t worry because I’ll continue blogging here, with more tutorials, tips, and everything else I can cram in during my copious free time.

I should probably mention that BizFlyer is my own personal blog, is not connected in any way or endorsed by Adobe, and the ideas & opinions contained within are my own and not necessarily those of my employer. Even if they do pay the airfare.

Cheese Food Prostitute at Macworld

OK, this is a bit off topic, and is not, repeat NOT about an actual prostitute (although the Moscone Center is in the South of Market part of San Francisco which does have its share of street life if you wander down the wrong street). Among the curiosities and attractions at Macworld was this humongous stack of CDs.

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So I wandered over and there was a CD my band put out in 1994, called Cheese Food Prostitute. My band was called The Rake’s Progress and you can see the CD 15 down from the top of the stack in the photo below. The spine is yellow on the right and blue on the left.

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How random is that?

As far as the Macworld buzz goes, the iPhone thingy looks neat, but the only one they have in the unbelievably enormous Apple booth is in a huge illuminated plexiglas cylinder, which has easiily a hundred people crowded around it at any given moment. It’s like trying to see the Mona Lisa in the Louvre.

At the Adobe booth we have Dave Helmly showing Production Studio on the Mac once a day on the stage, so make sure to get over and see that if you’re at the big shoo. The stars of Photoshop (Julianne Kost and Russell Brown) are also presenting daily, as well as Hart Shafer showing Soundbooth.

Mac To The Future

I’ve been a Mac user since 1988, when I bought my first Mac Plus with a whopping 1 megabyte of RAM and a 20 megabyte external hard drive the size & weight of a couple of bricks. The Mac was, more or less, the only platform I used until a few years ago when I worked at Anystream who develops only for Windows.

I love using Premiere Pro and Encore on Windows (as well as the rest of Production Studio), but I’ve always had a fondness for the Mac OS. This is why I’m personally excited, on so many levels, to be able to show you this:

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We announced today that Adobe Production Studio is coming to the Mac. That’s Premiere Pro on the Mac above, and we’ll also have Encore and the rest of Production Studio available for the Mac when we release the next version (that’s expected to ship in mid-2007).

All the features in the Windows version will also be in the Mac version (including some new ones, but it’s still too early to talk about that . . .). True cross-platform, baby. It’s the first time Premiere Pro and Encore have ever been on the Mac (of course the original Premiere had its beginnings on the Mac, but that was a completely different app than Premiere Pro) and the tight integration between all the apps in Production Studio, with features like Dynamic Link which let you drag & drop your After Effects compositions into Premiere Pro and Encore without rendering, can now be enjoyed by Mac & Windows users alike.

You gonna be at Macworld next week? Stop by the Adobe exhibit and see the first ever demos of Production Studio on the Mac, being given by the venerable Dave Helmly.

I’ll be at Macworld as well, so if you see me make me buy you a beer or something. I live here in SF and know some pretty good places to get thrown out of…

As I Was Saying . . .

When I last left off, before the holidays, I was strutting some of the great new stuff we’ve got for you to try out on Adobe Labs where you can visit “Tomorrow’s Adobe Today” (no, that isn’t an official company line, I just made that up, so don’t think we’ve gone all lame with slogans, OK?). Labs is a relatively new thing for Adobe – we haven’t exactly been known for public betas in the past – and it’s the way we’re getting new products in your hands when we’re still developing them so you can tell us how to make ‘em even better! We’ve already gotten tons of great feedback on Soundbooth — if you haven’t tried it yet (it’s free to download and use for the next few months so whattayouwaitingfor???) you can download it here.

After a restful holiday break (we pretty much hung the Gone Fishin’ sign on the door for the entire week) I’m geared up for what is going to be an incredible year at Adobe. It’s our 25th Anniversary, and some of the things we’ve got in the works are going to blow your mind. But before we even get there, check out this truly tasty snack on Adobe Labs.

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This is not your daddy’s Photoshop

That’s right, for the first time ever you can download the not-even-released-yet-brand-spanking-new version of Photoshop, use it while we’re still developing it, and give us feedback on the new features. It’s a great opportunity for you to influence the future of Photoshop, so go forth and download!

One thing though — unlike the Soundbooth beta (which anyone can download) you need to be a registered owner of Photoshop CS2 (or any suite that contains it, such as Production Studio or Creative Suite) to use the Photoshop CS3 Public Beta. All the details are here.

By the way, if you’re one of the cool folks currently using the Soundbooth Public Beta, we put a new build up on Labs recently which includes some new functionality, so please do check it out.

So . . . after a week of laying low for the holidays, I was happy to return to the office this morning to find a box full of my latest “product.”

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Clearly a guy not to be trusted . . .

Once again, I teamed up with Total Training – this time it’s a training series for the beginner/hobbyist crowd (unlike my last Total Training disc for Production Studio which we made for professional users). I’m quite proud of this one – Total Training for Adobe Premiere Elements 3. If you’re just getting into video for the first time, this disc is for you as I take you through the fundamentals of setting up your camcorder and computer, shooting footage, editing, creating effects & titles, recording narrations, creating DVDs with customized menus, exporting your movie for the web & mobile devices, and on and on . . .

Premiere Elements is based on Premiere Pro, so if you’re just starting out it’s easy to learn Elements and move up to Pro once you’ve got some skills.

Okay, enough shameless self-promotion. I’ll promote something else instead. The folks over at Future Media Concepts have put together quite a conference – the Editors’ Retreat – which will be in Miami at the end of this month. You need credits to get into this, and by credits I mean motion picture or television. This is a high-level conference for seasoned pros, and there is a crack lineup of presenters. I’ll be attending (not presenting), and if you’re a pro editor in TV or film you should consider joining us in Miami (hey, a week in Florida at the end of January can’t be all bad . . .)