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Cutting the Drama Out of Blu-ray Production

Notes from The Moving Pictures Collective (MoPictive) Monthly Meeting - February 17, 2010, New York City

MoPictive (http://www.mopictive.org/) held its monthly meeting at the Helen Mills Theater last Wednesday night. The Final Cut Pro Users Group holds monthly meetings that are attended by video production professionals from the New York City area.

AJA Software Updates
AJA started the meeting by announcing firmware updates to its KiPro recorder and the entire Kona family.

Ned's Toy Box
Ned Solz was next with Ned's Toy Box. Ned demonstrated some nifty little items like the Matrox MXO2 MiniMax, which offers h.264 compression acceleration and the OmniTracker CameraRig a tabletop camera dolly that thoroughly impressed the crowd.

MoPictive Shorts, February Selection: Open Air
Next was a screening of David L. Patterson's (screenwriter of Bridge to Terabithia) Open Air. A haunting tale of two women terrorized by snipers during a civil war. David and the film's Director of Photography Jendra Jarnagin discussed the shooting and editing in HD.

DoStudio Authoring Edition Demonstration
After a short break it was John Harrington's turn at the podium. John, the CEO of NetBlender, demonstrated DoStudio Authoring Edition to the PC skeptical crowd. John came prepared though. John demonstrated DSA on a MacBookPro running Boot Camp. This managed to overcome the groans when John announced that DSA is currently only available for Windows. John managed to further win the crowd over when he announced that around 60% of DSA installations are on a MacPro. The early skepticism was quieted and John continued to impress the crowd.

John emphasized DSA's ease of use, it's professional capabilities, and its ability to easily integrate within a FCP workflow.

John also managed to debunk the myths that Blu-Ray is complicated, expensive and doesn't have enough market share to justify releasing into the format.

Compressing for the Web
Last up was Craig Seeman who was far too pressed to fully cover this expansive topic. Craig mainly demonstrated Telestream's Episode Encoder. A powerful yet reasonably priced alternative to Apple's Compressor.

Craig reviewed the levels of the h.264 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H.264/MPEG-4_AVC#Levels). He also showed an example of Video Spec (http://laurent.ettouati.free.fr/english/) a free utility that analyzes compressed video files.

MoPictive is planning another event that will concentrate on encoding/authoring. NetBlender will be there - Stay Tuned...

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