October 2008


Ladies and gentlemen, dust off your keyboard and calibrate your mouse. It’s time for a “View from the Cutting Room Floor” pop quiz.

Like the Native American windtalkers in World War II, post production professionals often speak in code only intelligible to other members of our “tribe.” To evaluate your level of submersion into television post culture, define the following terms by picking the multiple choice answer that is most appropriate to the profession.

1. Supertease

  1. The flashy montage at the beginning of a reality show (usually in the first episode) that informs the viewer of the premise of the show and what to expect from the rest of the season
  2. A men’s hair product that was forced out of business by Vitalis in the 1950’s
  3. The guy or girl in high school that flirted with you all the time but always had “other plans” on Friday and Saturday night (more…)
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Avid command palatte

Once you’ve been working on Avid for awhile, you begin to internalize the steps needed to perform a certain series of actions. Eventually, you will find yourself thinking faster than the Avid can keep up, especially when working on a slow machine. It can be frustrating to hit a button, wait several seconds, and then press the next button.

Fortunately, Avid is designed to remember a series of commands, even as it is performing another function. This allows you to press keys as fast as you can think of them while the computer does something else.

For example, when I’m tweaking an effect in Effect Mode, once I start the render, I immediately hit the “Source/Record Editing” key, click on a spot prior to the effect in my timeline, and hit “Play”. While I’m checking my e-mail, Avid will finish rendering the effect, jump back to the appropriate place in the timeline, and begin playing, which cues me to start paying attention to make sure the effect plays correctly.

Test out your own keystroke combinations, and save yourself some valuable e-mailing/texting/reading time!