May 11, 2015
News. Training. Insight. 

Some people like watching paint dry.  Me? I like testing video compression software.

This week I was able to borrow a new Mac Pro for a while, so I extended my Apple Compressor testing. Today, I have two articles: one looking at compressed image quality and the other comparing compression speeds between a Mac Pro, iMac and MacBook Pro. Both articles came to conclusions that surprised me; I think they'll surprise you, too. More results coming next week.

Now that we've moved into our new studios, we are planning major changes to our Digital Production Buzz webcast. Late last week, we sent surveys to all subscribers to the Buzz newsletter.  (If you haven't answered your survey yet, please check for an email from me last Friday.) Based on hundreds of responses, we are already tweaking the show. I'll have more on our plans later this week, including a survey that I'll share with you then.

Our special upgrade pricing for our latest Final Cut training ends this Friday. Please upgrade soon.

Some exciting webinars coming up this week and next. All the details are below.
Larry Jordan
Larry Jordan & Associates

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In This Issue

Last Friday, we emailed a survey to all Digital Production Buzz newsletter subscribers to help us plan the evolution of our webcast.

I'm delighted to say that hundreds of you  responded; which is just really cool. Thanks!

We discovered that the majority of our listeners are male and over 40. We are getting a good handle on what you like and what you want us to add. We are also getting positive comments from younger members of the audience on what you want us to add.

We are currently designing a new version of the program which we'll test with a survey that I want to share with everyone later this week.

Our goal is to make The Buzz more valuable than ever. Your advice helps us a lot!
Correcting an Error
I made an error in our webinar on new features in Apple Compressor 4.2.

One of the big new features in Compressor 4.2 is the ability to create iTunes Store Packages.  During the video I stated that you can leave the Short Vendor ID and number blank. This is incorrect. In reading Apple's White Paper, which is referenced in this video, it's important for users to enter text in the vendor ID and short name fields, even if it's just temporary text. Don't leave them blank.

Also, when I recorded the webinar, I was unclear about what video format movies are transcoded into. The source file for your movie is always transcoded to ProRes 422 HQ for delivery to the iTunes Store.

Sorry for the errors.

Last week's webinar was really cool!  We switched our focus to the craft of editing and had a great time.

I've spent 40 years interviewing people on camera or on mic. I put that knowledge into this webinar. I talked about planning interviews, lighting, camera and guest placement, working with nervous guest, when to share questions and much, much more. (Thanks to help from both James and Katherine, I could illustrate these techniques in studio.)

Here's the link to download a copy. (Video Training Library members will find this posted in the Library.)

SPECIAL BONUS: We rented five different lavaliere mics to test for this session and, ultimately, used three of them. We included our audio tests so you can decide for yourself which mics sound the best.

EXTRA SPECIAL BONUS: Library members will also find a 30-minute special containing all the audience questions asked during both sessions. Only in the Library starting Monday morning. 
MAY 13

This session is just plain fun. Discover new ways to create effects using Motion 5.

From teaching my classes, I know that Motion and motion graphics scare a lot of editors. (I know, it took me several years to get comfortable with Motion.)

But... there are SO many cool things that you can do with Motion, including many that aren't very hard at all, that this week we are taking a look at "Make Magic with Motion Graphics."

One of the new features I want to showcase are the brand new 3D Titles. These are amazing enough in Final Cut. But, they really take off in Motion. Discover new ways of animating, lighting and texturing titles.

Plus, I'll showcase effects that are easy to create but fun to watch.  Along with other cool stuff that we will discover together.

Attendance, as always, is limited to 100 seats.

Register here.  See you Wednesday!

Digital Production Buzz

Three very interesting interviews on The Buzz last week.

Josh Apter is a filmmaker and the founder of the Manhattan Edit Workshop (MEWshop). This week, we talk about what skills are in demand in New York. Then, Bruce Nazarian, "The Digital Guy," told us about a project he developed at Warner Brothers providing automated on-demand DVD creation for the vast back catalog of the WB. Finally, Garret Savage is a New York-based editor talking about how deconstructing a scene can improve your editing.

interesting interview, all of them. And well-worth your time. 
  • Watch last week's Show Highlights here.
  • Watch the entire show here.
  • Listen to the entire show here.
  • Read the show transcript here.

New Articles & Videos
I have five new articles and videos for you this week; including three new video highlights from last week's webinar.

I've also updated our Top 3 Lists.

So, which is faster at video compression for the web? And how MUCH faster?

I took out my stop-watch and ran a new Mac Pro, 21" iMac and MacBook Pro through a suite of tests compressing videos for YouTube using the brand-new Apple Compressor 4.2.

The results surprised me and they'll give you plenty to think about as you are looking for ways to get video posted to the web faster.

Apple Compressor 4.2:
Testing Image Quality
In the past, Apple has had problems with image quality and the H.264 codec.

So, with the release of the newest version of Compressor - 4.2 - I decided to spend some time looking at image quality when compressing video for YouTube, QuickTime or MPEG-4. 

Just like the speed test, the results here surprised me, which is why I want to share them with you this week.

Read the article here.


After 40 years interviewing people on camera or on mic, I created a webinar to share what I learned.

This excerpt from the webinar provides an overview of planning an interview - questions, focus, makeup, lighting, microphones and more.

This got rave reviews from the people who watched it live. I think you'll enjoy it.

Interview Techniques:
Pick the Right Mic
I didn't need much of an excuse, actually. As I was prepping for last week's webinar, I rented five top-quality lavaliere mics to test them and see which ones worked best in our studio for interviews.

In this excerpt from the webinar, I highlight the mics we chose, which three we decided to use, and you can hear for yourself how they sound.

SPECIAL BONUS: When you purchase the webinar, or listen to it in the Video Training Library, I included the audio source recordings we used to decide which mics made the cut.

Watch the video here.

Article03Interview Techniques:
The "Bridge" Technique

Years ago, when I was working for a large company and doing a lot of press tours, I was taught this technique.

It is a great way to take control of an interview away from the interviewer. However, if you are the interviewer, you need to know about this because it can destroy your interview.

Works both ways, I guess. (And, yes, I've used this a lot over the years.)

10 Rules for a
Successful Interview
I first wrote this article in 2013, reflecting on a series of interviews I did in London at the BVE trade show.

This article is a nice compliment to the recent webinar on Interview Techniques, so I thought I'd share it with you here.

As always, I'm interested in your comments.

Read the article here.

Larry's Best Training: 
Final Cut Pro X: Complete
NEW for version 10.2!
We've updated our training to include all the new features in the 10.2 release of Final Cut Pro X.

Plus, we added new or revised chapters covering:
  • An Editing Quick Start
  • Learning the Interface
  • Media Management
  • Media Import
  • Keywords
  • 3D Text and Titles
  • Inspector Effects
  • Masking
  • Color Correction
  • Video Effects Cookbook
  • And more

More than 200 movies, more than 20 hours of training - all guaranteed to get you up-and-running quickly and turn you into a Final Cut Pro X expert.


There's nothing better on the market. 



Video Compression:
Apple Compressor 4.1
Apple continues to update Compressor with an all-new interface, improved compression settings and better monitoring. We created new training just for this version.
  • Better organized
  • More informative
  • Tighter focus on making your images look great.

These days, everything we do ends up on the web. Which means that if we don't know how to compress our video to make it look good, all our work during production and post is wasted.

In this in-depth video training, Larry Jordan shows you how to make the most of Apple Compressor 4.1.x. 

NOTE: We will be updating this training for the Compressor 4.2 release later in May.

Top Three + 1 Lists