Aug. 3, 2015
News. Training. Insight. 


Happy August. I went out Saturday night to see the blue moon, then read in the paper today that Buzz Aldrin's wife died.  Seems hard to believe we've walked on something so far away. Thinking about far away, I'm continually stunned by the photos coming back from Pluto. Amazing...!

I've got six new things for you this week: 2 blogs, 2 articles and 2 videos. (I liked the symmetry of it.) After lots of conversations with my team, we've decided to move my opinion pieces to a new "blog" webpage to keep them separate from my tutorials and product reviews. Here's the blog page and here's the tutorials page.

Thinking about my articles this week, both articles and one blog were suggested by readers who  couldn't find the answers they needed. I'm always happy to take requests and will write up as many as I can. (I'm working on one now looking at audio filters in FCP X.)

Earlier today I got a tweet from one of our members, Damien Lovegrove, who sent us a photo from his hotel room in Dusseldorf, Germany, where he was getting ready to tuck into some of our FCP X training while he's traveling. This got me thinking, since our membership lets you access all of our world-class training from anywhere in the world, where do you train? Studying Motion in motion, or finessing Final Cut by the pool, I'd love to see your mobile learning set-up! In a train, on a plane, or in a box with a fox,  tweet or email us a picture today -- @LarryJordanFCP or email me!

Last week's webinar with Jeff Rack was fascinating. Jeff is a production designer/set designer/sculptor. I spent the session learning how he designs sets for film and theater, as well as looking at examples of his work. Learn more here.

We are continuing our redesign of the Digital Production Buzz website. Now, you'll find the individual interview pages much easier to read, with both video and audio interviews posted to the same page. Take a look at an example here. We are working on improving search, next.

Oh! I should mention that we are trying something different for August -- a 3-day Webinar Sale!  Starting tomorrow, you'll be able to buy a special bundle of FCP X Effects webinars at a 60% discount.  It starts tomorrow and ends Thursday. I'll email the details to you tomorrow morning!

Finally, it is great fun reading the entries for our Creative Truths Contest. Almost 125 "Truths" have been submitted so far and choosing winners is increasingly difficult. Check out the latest winners  below - and don't forget to enter yourself.

Take care, enjoy your summer and we'll chat next week. As always, I love to hear from you.
Larry Jordan
Larry Jordan & Associates

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In This Issue
Editing: Techniques & Technology
The idea behind this brand-new course was the success we had with "The Craft of Editing."

This summer, we are offering a nine- session class focused on telling stories.

This class is more than just technology, my goal is to help you learn how to use technology to captivate an audience and enhance our stories.

This class also builds on what I teach at USC and includes practice media you can use during the course. We release a new class every week.

Classes 1, 2 and 3 are available today.

Here's the link to learn more.
The last time we ran this contest, in 2013, I couldn't stop laughing. And now, it's back: The 2015 Edition of our Creative Truths Contest.

Share your aphorisms with the world - win prizes - become wickedly famous! Or, at least have a lot of fun reading the entries!

Enter here.


We pick 3-4 winners each week. Jason Land is one of our winners this week:

"The devil is in the details, unless you're shooting a horror film, in which case the devil is in the dailies."

See all our winners here.


We are continuing our series of "Conversations on Craft" -- looking at Production Design.

Last week, we met Jeff Rack. Jeff is an Art Director for films, commercials, and ride-show vehicles, as well as a theatrical Set Designer. He worked at Disney's in-house EFX company, Dreamquest on "Con-Air," "Flubber, "Mighty Joe Young," "Kundun," and as a lead model-maker on Armageddon.  He was also a sculptor on Tim Burton's remake of "The Planet of the Apes."
Jeff is an Ovation award winner for his theatrical design work, and is well known to theaters and theater patrons having designed and built over 150 productions from Santa Barbara to Edinburgh, Scotland.

During this session, we talked about:
  • How he designs sets
  • How Production Design fits into the overall production team
  • Communication between producers, directors, art and set designers
  • Budgeting for art direction and set design
  • Examples of projects he's worked on
This webinar will get your creative imagination spinning. Purchase your copy here.

P.S. I'm delighted to announce that this week's  Webinar was supported by, providing high quality stock music for all your video and film projects.
No Webinars This Week

I'm taking a short break from webinars. First, because I want to finish recording my new summer school classes (you can still join, click here). Second, because I need to take a couple of weeks for research that I can share with you in future webinars.

Webinars will restart later in August.

Digital Production Buzz

In Tech Talk this week, product manager Paul Saccone, from Blackmagic Design, showcases the new features in the public beta of DaVince Resolve 12. This  free update directly targets Final Cut Pro X, Premiere Pro CC and Media Composer.

Our guests this week started with Andy Maisner, Founder and CEO of TV Pro Gear. They build production facilities and he has a very interesting take on 4K images in broadcast. Next, highly-respected industry analyst Tim Bajarin shares his thoughts on why we need to produce content for mobile devices even more than desktops or TVs. Finally, script consultant Pilar Alessandra shares her thoughts on what it takes to create a successful, sellable script. THIS was a fun show!
  • Watch the entire show here.
  • Listen to the entire show here.
  • Read the show transcript here.
By the way, the Buzz website is evolving. Come visit and check out our new look!

New Articles & Videos
There are all kinds of cool things to read and watch this week. Starting with two blogs designed to give you something to ruminate about this coming week. Two articles on Photoshop and Final Cut Pro X. And two excerpts from last week's in-depth look at Production Design.

I also updated our Top 3 Lists. I'll see you next week!


Blog: The Disruptive Power
of Change

This blog first appeared as part of the "Thought Leaders" section of the NAB website.

This looks at how change is disrupting media creation and what we can do to survive it.

Read my blog here. 
Blog: Upgrading Graphics Cards in Older Macs

This blog grew out of a email question about whether it made sense to upgrade graphics cards in older Macs by using Thunderbolt expansion chassis.  I did some homework and here's what I learned.

Read my blog here.

FCP X: Export Stills with an Alpha Channel

This tutorial started with an email question on how to export a still image from Final Cut Pro X and still retain the alpha channel (transparency data) that was added in Final Cut.

It's actually quite easy, but not at all obvious.
Photoshop & FCP X: Create and Animate a Pointing Arrow
This began as a simple tutorial on how to create a custom shape in Photoshop, then import it so that it can be quickly composited and animated in Final Cut.

That was the plan, but I discovered that explaining all the steps was more complex than I first thought.  Still, the results are very cool.

Read the tutorial here.

Production Design:
Designing a Set

In this excerpt from our recent: "Conversations on Craft: Production Design" with Jeff Rack, we talk about how he designs and builds a set for both film and theater.

This also includes several examples of his work and a discussion of his creative process.
Production Design:
Creating Set Elements
In this excerpt from our recent: "Conversations on Craft: Production Design" with Jeff Rack, we talk about how he creates elements like rocks, beaches and, um, gargoyles as set pieces.

This, too, includes several examples of his work.

Watch the video 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:
Master Apple Compressor 4.2
This Master Collection includes everything you need to know to learn Apple Compressor from the ground up.

This bundle includes our comprehensive Compressor 4.1 training, then updates it with all the new features in Compressor 4.2.

Then, we put the software to the test to see if it was any faster than previous versions - and discovered is is more than THREE TIMES faster than Compressor 4.1!


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.

Everything you need - all in one place. 51 movies, more than six hours of training!

Top Three + 1 Lists