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How This Forum Should Work

Aug 18, 2010 7:18 AM

Forums should provide answers to questions.

No matter how simple or stupid the question is.

 

I'm a pro since '96 and I am constantly faced with mixed professional and amateur standards.

In the heat of the battle, I don't care where things come from, are meant for, or other jpg/kHz babbeling.

Ofcourse uncompressed files are best and encoded files with small file sizes are less.

But I must work with what I get.

 

The most elegant solution is a plugin or update that lets you use a codec directly from your edit program.

The second option would be a converter.

If you know plugins or converters, point people to that.

 

Every forum should stop telling people to read the manual and so on.

Just try to offer a solution, as fast, as cheap, as good and as elegant as possible.

Don't pistol whip people for their lack of basic knowledge.

We don't need professors here, but helpers.

Branched from an earlier discussion.
 
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 18, 2010 9:53 AM   in reply to Geoff Vane

    I am somewhat in the same boat (or film bin) as you, in that I get all sorts of material. Some is just fine, but some was never intended to be edited. I try to convince the clients to go back to before the delivery-only Export, and show them examples of the visual problems. Sometimes, they suddenly "find" the lost originals, once they see the quality hit, though not always. I am forced to convert. I have about six other NLE's, besides PrPro (my favorite), and they are basically around to fit into the conversion workflow, as I need them. They range from WMM, to PrElements, to Magix to CyberLink and a few others. Each has a format, or two, that they do a better job with, and I will then Export to something that I can use in PrPro. Because I go through this more than most forum responders, I try to share those "tools" with posters. I will point out the wisdom for getting the best original source files, as I do not want them surprised at the drop in quality, even with the converted file - but I still share the tools and the workflow.

     

    Some respondents only edit what they shoot, so are not faced with the issues of a mixed bag of formats/CODEC's. In some ways, I envy them, but then I have the added excitement of having to make that "silk purse" out of the "stuff" that I get, so there are few dull moments for me.

     

    Once, we did have a lot of RTFM (Read the Fine Manual), but not so much any more. Also, the manual has gone the way of the dodo, much to my personal disappointment. Now, it's only the Help Files, and I have found them to be much more difficult to go to the correct answer, as quickly as I could with a printed manual. Adobe is working hard to improve the Help Files, and I understand the desire to have them instantly editable and evergreen. Maybe one day, I will no longer pine for my books.

     

    I try to point a poster to the area of the Help File, and if I have it available, will even link to pages. As Help Files are pretty dry, I try to add a bit more detail in my reference to the Help Files, and even have a few particular pages as JPEG's to post for common problems, such as Handles.

     

    I also post details of books, that I have found so very helpful, such as Jeff Bellune's Encore book, Steve Grisetti's Muvipix series for PrE, and PSE, and Curt Wrigley's Classroom in a Book series.

     

    Now, sometimes I will give the poster an overview, and point them to more details in either the Help files, or a particular book. Some features, like Keyframes are easy to do, if you have the concept down, but would take thousands of lines of text, just to tell someone how to do the work, plus images. If these exist somewhere, I'd rather just link to that, and let the poster read someone else's words, and see their pictures.

     

    I also feel that no question is too elementary, or too "stupid," and encourage posters to ask them. A very few feel that they should not be bothered answering these questions, but it is usually pointed out by others, that they are under no obligation to answer them. For some common questions, I have created a series of articles, to save typing. I just link to those. Now, I have gotten complaints that I should re-type these into the body text in the forum, instead of linking to them. Heck, if the poster cannot click on a link, they are unlikely to read what I have written, re-typed, or not.

     

    Same with links to tutorials, and other articles. Sometimes one does not have time to do a Search for links to articles that they know are there. I got blasted when I only gave the link to Curt Wrigley's tutorial site, and did not take the time to link to the exact tutorial. Well, I had the Wrigley Video link in my head, but did not have the time to navigate to it, find the tutorial (about 25 - 30), then link to it. I figured that if the poster got to the site, they could look over the tutorials to find the correct one, as easily as I could.

     

    On occasion, we do get posters, who tell us, "look, I am in a hurry and do not have time to do a search, so just tell me what I need to know... " Well, most of us have "day jobs," so if providing the correct Search criteria is too time-consuming for the poster, it is likely to be too time-consuming to most of us.

     

    In my particular case, I do try to go that extra mile, and will try to not only give the poster an answer, but share some more tips on a related subject. In the Deep South, where I "hail from," this is called "lagniappe." While I enjoy answering questions, I also want to pass a bit more along. Guess that I am just a frustrated professor.

     

    While I do see a few examples of what you are writing about, I feel that those responders are in the minority - at least on the Premiere and its related fora. To paraphrase the suggestions, when a responder complains about answering the simple, common questions - just ignore those questions - I would say "just ignore those responders."

     

    When I tire of giving the same answer, I just write an article on that subject and link to that.

     

    Good luck,

     

    Hunt

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 18, 2010 11:35 AM   in reply to Geoff Vane

    If anyone asks me the simplest thing, that can be found all over the internet, I still tell them how to do it.  I always try to give answers in a checklist kind of way, or with screen grabs and some arrows pointing to the important places.

     

    You must have a lot of time on your hands.

     

    As for your bullet points, let's say there's an issue where more than one different solution has worked for different people, and no definitive answer is known.  Do you still want to prohibit responses like:

    Look at this thread (where no solution can be found)?

    There's simply no way to know which, if any, of those solutions will work until the OP actually tries them.

     

    What if I'm heading out the door to go to lunch, or to do errands, or to do actual work-related stuff?  Should I post like this:

    Do this and that, without telling how to do that or where to find these functions

    or should I just not bother to answer at all?  Not answering at all may leave the OP in the lurch until either someone else has time/knowledge to answer, or I get time to return to the forum.  If

    I come to a forum to get help a.s.a.p.

    is true, then being left in the lurch is a bad thing, right?

     

    What if I know that an answer is contained in a thread that is several hundred posts long?  Is it incumbent on me to wade through all those posts again before trying to give help?  That's an unrealistic demand on my time.  So which is better?  Responding with:

    Look at this thread (where hours of reading are needed)

    which will put the OP in the ballpark?  Or should I just not respond at all, again leaving the OP in the lurch?

     

    Finally, many problems with computers and software are mysterious to even expert users, and require much troubleshooting to solve.  The first responses, even from the experts, will often be:

    You might try this or this or maybe this (people who don't know the answer)

    because the answer is not known right off the bat.  Should the experts not try to help at all because they don't know the answer immediately?

     

    I maintain that some help is better than no help, and if the "help" requires extra effort on the part of the OP, then they should be willing to make that effort.  The flip side is that if condescending remarks are the best an expert can offer, then they should simply pass the question by and move on to questions that they deem more "worthy".

     

    -Jeff

     

    PS - I had a little extra time after lunch today.  Can you tell?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 18, 2010 1:43 PM   in reply to Jeff Bellune
    PS - I had a little extra time after lunch today.  Can you tell?

     

    Jeff,

     

    I wondered about that. It looked more like one of my replies...

     

    Usually, Jeff's responses are along the lines of "Does this Adobe KB Article help you?" with a link to that KB Article. In most cases, the OP's answer will be "yes - thanks for that!"

     

    Hunt, getting a bit of a laugh at Jeff's PS. Ya made me smile!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 18, 2010 2:06 PM   in reply to Geoff Vane

    A contributor on the PS Windows forum made some similar point in this THREAD.

     

    Here are some of my comments:

     

    You're doing it all wrong because of blablabla

    Very often, a change in one's workflow will get things working fine, and the poster will have learned something, regarding a proper workflow, either for NLE work in general, or particular to PrPro. Often, the workflow modification IS the answer.

     

    Look at this thread (where no solution can be found)

    I think that Jeff covered this one, better than I could ever do. In my case, I write the Tips & Tricks articles, so that I CAN link to them. In other cases, if I know the Search criteria, or know the "players," I'll grab a thread, that I believe will be useful in solving the problem. The reading of that thread, regardless of how long it is, will likely provide the poster with info that will be useful, though perhaps not 100% germane to their stated problem. We often get posts, where one lists what they believe is a very specific problem. With the replies, they find that what they thought was happening, is not what was actually happening. The manifestation of their problem was placed in the upper-left of the "stage," when the real problem was in the lower-right. Also, many threads end up offering great tips, that are only loosely related to the "fix." As an example, and especially with regards to CS5, Colin will furnish the answer, and make mention of something along those lines, or will perhaps raise an additional question in my (or another's) mind, and an additional question will be asked and answered.

     

    Look at this thread (where hours of reading are needed)

    See above, plus Jeff's comments.

     

    Read the manual / help file (as if I did not try that)

    I think that I addressed that one above. When manuals, or PDF Help Files are mentioned, many responders will even offer page numbers. However, and especially with PDF's, page numbers change, and also Ann Bens might have the Dutch version, with might not line up with pagination with the English, or French, or German versions.

     

    If you need to ask this question you should not be doing this

    No argument from me. This is not a useful response at any level.

     

    You might try this or this or maybe this (people who don't know the answer)

    Again, Jeff addressed this one well. I often attempt to help Mac-users, though I know zero about Mac's. Still, there are often fixes that can translate X-platform. I also field questions in CS5, but have to base my answers on previous versions. Still, I manage to get a few right, though I do not have that program. Same with PrElements. Though I do own PrE 4, I do not use it that often. I actually spend more time with that program, testing my answers to others' problems. Still, I manage to get a few of those correct.

     

    Especially with PC's, the configurations can vary wildly, so what works a treat for me, on my workstation, might fail horribly on yours.

     

    Read thisknowledge base (full of useless tech garble without straight answers)

    Jeff covered this well, and I commented on similar above, with regards to linked threads.

     

    Do this and that, without telling how to do that or where to find these functions.

    Furnishing the exact steps can be tough. I use XP-Pro SP3 (plus some older OS's on other machines), so I do not know exactly where ____ might be in Win7-64. I will usually give the location, or steps from my program, OS, etc., and then mention that the location, steps and even the syntax could well be different for the OP's system, and installation. Again, I have hit many OS issues, though I am on an older OS. Now, could I guarantee that my exact steps would work perfectly and effortlessly? No way. Too much changes. Still, if I can give the general steps, the OP might be able to interpolate to their OS, or program. Same with tutorials. I link to some old ones, and urge the OP to "read-between-the-lines," as things change, but the "concept" is what I am trying to share.

     

    Just some personal observations,

     

    Hunt

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 18, 2010 2:15 PM   in reply to Bill Hunt

     

    ---------

    You might try this or this or maybe this (people who don't know the  answer)

    -----------

     

    Oh Oh, I think I am in that boat right now....I just downloaded a conversion program for $39 to convert mts and mts2 files to more friendly stuff on CS3, and I CANT FIND THE THREAD where I wanted to help the person by actually DOING it here on my computer and take screenshots of the process etc.

     

     

    I think I said something like, " You might try converting the file " and then ran off to get a converter program and also found a sample mts2 on the internet that I downloaded to use as my sample...( the sample plays well in classic media player  but hates going into cs3... perfect ! )...

     

    And now I got the conversion program ( I am not a rich man but $39 ...heh, someday it will come in handy for a client maybe and pay for itself )...

     

    But now I cant find the person who needed HELP ! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA !   Time for a beer !

     

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 18, 2010 2:39 PM   in reply to Geoff Vane

    bad forum lords

    Too funny!

     

    -Jeff

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 18, 2010 2:49 PM   in reply to Geoff Vane

    ---

    I just wanted to out my anger

    ------------

    Heh, I didn't even pick up on the "anger " thing..I thought you were just thoughtfully describing how forums should be ( which mostly people here do honestly )  so you were a gentleman about it, ...thanks !  You don't happen to know that guy I can't find with the mts2 problem do you ??

     

     

    also, can you tell me more about that free super converter ?  maybe I coulda saved $39

     

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 18, 2010 3:23 PM   in reply to Geoff Vane
    I just wanted to out my anger towards bad forum lords and that's done now

     

    That is a great use of the Video Lounge! I wish that more recognized that.

     

    You bring up good points, and also help educate us on how posters might view our sincere attempt to help. I hope that some of us had good, reasons why a reply might appear as it might, 'cause we really try. OTOH, sometimes things do go, as intended. I mentioned in my first reply, about getting blasted for mentioning the Internet, Google and the various useful search criteria. In that case, it was not the OP, who just took the search terms and found the answers. Another poster was quite mad that I had not done the research and furnished the OP with nothing but a pure distillation of the research, as my answer. Now, if Adobe paid me by the hour, and I did not want to help as many people, as I can, in my time, I might have taken up that challenge. Heck, I spend much of my day with a half-dozen tabs open, and on-going research for my answers. I will often have PrPRo, PrE, Encore and PS open too, to make sure that I am using the correct terms, or that my feeble memory has not failed me once again - Man, I THOUGHT that checkbox was THERE! As fate would have it, I was working on about six issues on three fora at that time. At least one was an ASAP, IIRC - school thesis Project, I think.

     

    I do agree that some seem to "go over to the dark side," and maybe that is because of the anonymity of a forum. Some seem to wish to elevate themselves over those asking questions. Probably myriad answers, that might be unique to each person. We cannot concern ourselves too much with those people. Now, it is easier for someone, such I, and a newcomer to the forum might feel anger and indignation. I am sorry for them, and try by best to make 'em feel welcome around the Adobe fora. Going back over a year, I started two threads here, along the lines of "Why did you first come to the forum?" and "How do individuals learn?" Got quite a few interesting replies, where folk shared their thoughts and experiences. No great revelations, and the Lounge traffic was down at that point, so many never got by to comment. Still, some interesting observations shared.

     

    You have provided some interesting and useful observations too. Sometimes I get a bit too wrapped up in just the mechanics of sharing program knowledge, or info that might fix something, and overlook the perspective of a first-time poster, who is basically lost and frustrated. Most of us attempt to not "talk down" to any poster, though I sometimes go the other way, especially if the poster does not seem that confident with one of the programs, or the terms of that discipline. I've gotten a few "Hey, I'm not some sort of newbie. I've written 8 video editing programs, and developed the cathode ray tube... !" Who knew? When someone posts, "I've got an AVI file in my computer, and it won't play in this danged program," I assume that they might be new to video-editing, so I try to take baby-steps, and hold their hand a bit, until we can actually help 'em. Yeah, who knew?

     

    Thanks for posting. We got more words out of Jeff, in one place, than any time since his great book, The Focal Easy Guide to Adobe EncoreDVD 2.0, Focal Press. To paraphrase Neil Cavuto, "if you don't have it... " and the studio crew chimes in, "get it!"

     

    Hunt

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 18, 2010 3:30 PM   in reply to able123

    Regarding pointing people to the Help documents and such:

     

    I answer a vast majority of questions on the After Effects forum with links to specific pages of the Help documents. Why? Because that's where the answers to the questions are. The same goes for many Technical Support Knowledgebase (KB) documents and many forum threads. They contain solutions.

     

    It's much more efficient to give these links than to rewrite the answer each time someone asks the same question. There are people whose entire job is to write FAQ entries and Knowledgebase documents; we should at least make sure that the person asking a question is aware of these resources. (They're usually not.)

     

    If the person asking the question replies that they've already tried reading those docuemnts and they still have a problem, then we can continue on in trying to find out what their special case is.

     

    But 95% of the time, the problem is solved with that first link.

     

    I won't make this same claim about the Premiere Pro forum, because I've only been hanging out here for a couple of months so far. but I'd be surprised if it's much different.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 18, 2010 3:47 PM   in reply to Geoff Vane

    I can't speak for anyone else, but MY reply is going to depend on the question

     

    If someone asks something like "why are there lines in my video" and they provide ZERO information, I am going to reply with links to...

     

    - the general type of information that is needed

    - the troubleshooting steps in the wikia

    - information on codecs

     

    Then, once more information is provided, I will... again... point to an appropriate link

     

    I provide links because just about 99% of questions have been answered, and I frankly don't have enough time to look up the details myself... so the person who needs help is simply going to have to do some reading

     

    If someone doesn't want to do that reading... that's fine with me

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 18, 2010 3:47 PM   in reply to Todd_Kopriva

    Bill, "go over to the dark side," hehe...may the force be with you !
    -----------

     

    Todd, There are people whose entire job is to write FAQ entries and Knowledgebase documents; we should at least make sure that the person asking a question is aware of these resources. (They're usually not.)

    ------------

     

    That is really cool...as I've gone to some of those links and they are great. I think many are pretty new too...so good going !  They are well done !
    ----------

     

    subject of this thread:  if you need a break, --- something on the lighter side..-----consider the really really scary "snakes in the pool " movie synopsis I forwarded in another thread... I am looking for financial backers to head out to East Hampton and begin filming...  if anyone has a script that would be a plus...as my synsopsis is based on crashing a party and finding a bunch of man eating snakes eating all the guests at a posh vacation spot...using inflatable snakes and "actors" at this point...

     

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 18, 2010 4:01 PM   in reply to Todd_Kopriva
    If the person asking the question replies that they've already tried reading those docuemnts and they still have a problem, then we can continue on in trying to find out what their special case is.

    Todd,

     

    That is the way that it SHOULD work, but sometimes does go as intended.

     

    Not to bash "new posters," but we too often see comments such as "I have tried every suggestion on several fora... " That is less than helpful, as this is the first post they have done in THIS forum. Some of us might have an idea of what would be suggested on Creative Cow, or other such forum, but most do not.

     

    What has been tried?

     

    What were the results?

     

    Those are the questions that always follow, and sometimes the poster will take offense to them. Still, rather than making the very same suggestions, if we know what was actually tried, and what effect those efforts had, we can rule those out immediately.

     

    In one particular forum, where the new posters are usually less sophisticated about computers in general, video editing and the Adobe program specifically, this sort of post is very common. It was for that reason that I did an article pointing out how to ask for, and most efficiently get help, plus why the info would so very useful to people trying to assist. Initially, some of the "regulars" laughed, and called me names, and wouldn't let me play in any reindeer games. Over time, many, who are now regulars, link to that article for about 20% of the first posts. Much was drawn from a similar piece in the PrPro-Wiki, but I found that it was a bit too technical, and too didactic for many in that particular forum. It talked above their heads, intimidated them, and was a bit too technical, however good I felt it was. Now, we hardly ever get any push-back with the new, friendly article - same stuff, but different words.

     

    One of the things that I need to do is bookmark each Adobe program's Help File online, for the main products that I deal with. I do not have a lot of the recent updates, so do not have the PDF's on my system, or handy in the box. I could also link to those, as you suggest. I know that John T. Smith has provided links to AE, PrPro, En and maybe even PS. I've got 'em, but need to use them more often and better.

     

    Quick question: as Adobe is working to keep those pages updated, as often, as is possible, if I link to a section today, but changes are made up-stream tomorrow, will my link still function properly, or will it now possibly stay, but the pages "below" it move?

     

    Just curious,

     

    Hunt

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 18, 2010 4:16 PM   in reply to able123

    That's right - The Hamptons.

     

    OK - I've got the general idea. Mom and dad are out of town for the weekend. Muffy invites her sorority, ΔΔΔ, sisters over for a bash with daddy's single malt Scotch whiskey collection. Muffy invites Biff to join in an he invites brothers from his fraternity, ΣΧ, as well.

     

    As the party gets underway, some of the co-eds, wearing white blouses are pushed into the pool. A few have brought bikinis, and dive in too. The boys quickly join in, and then the SNAKES arrive!

     

    Most escape, but one by one, still wearing their wet clothes, each meets with an unseen fate. Soon, it's only Muffy and Biff left, and they decide to track down the killer. Now, since Muffy is wearing only her wet bra, the audience might wonder why she doesn't stop by her old room and put on dry clothes - well some in the audience might wonder that.

     

    Come to find out, good old dad is an importer, and was attempting to traffic in exotic animals, instead of nuclear arms. It was one of his crates of deadly, giant, and very hungry snakes that got loose. Now, there is one "special" snake, and he's loose in the mansion. Somehow, he knows how to turn on and off lights, can pull the breakers and even dial the phone on intercom, to terrorize Muffy. The snake king has also disabled all the BMW's, Jag's, and Range Rovers in the driveway, plus locked all the doors and windows from the outside. Oh, did I mention that due to an ancient Mayan curse, he can become invisible and also fly?

     

    Only in The Hamptons...

     

    Think you have a winner on your hands. Just watch out that the Wayans Bros. don't get their parody out before you can release it.

     

    Hunt

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 18, 2010 4:36 PM   in reply to Bill Hunt

    I have to put in my 2 cents worth here...

     

    It isn't anybody's "responsibility" to help people use a program that is over their head to begin with. If you joined into a poker game, put your money on the table ( aka  buy the program because you have some "dream" ) and then don't have a clue about how the game is played ( are an idiot regarding playing at that table ) ....nobody is going to be able to help you ...unless you start with basics like nice people at that table saying, "say, buddy, you apparently haven't got a clue what's going on here, so let me give you this booklet on "how to play 5 card stud " ....and then say, " If I were you I'd read up on that a little bit before putting a lot more money on the table here...because at this point you really don't know what is going on and could be wasting your time, and your money "

     

    How many times do you hear someone say, "I spent this much money on this program and it is garbage" ( meaning they dont have a clue how to use it )

     

    Not everyone in the world who has a dream ( like they want to shoot some stuff and make a movie like the one they watched last night ) is going to be up to the task without knowing some basic stuff, no matter how long you help them....  and if they don't have the patience and desire to learn and have some respect for those who know what's going on , then basically they are wasting their own time and everyone at the table.

     

    So we got that element.  Then there's those who want to learn and have the patience, but they got pushed into doing something they had no idea could be so complicated....So they are in a bad position to begin with and they are screwed for this particular project... ( " OH My God, I have to have this finished tomorrow and I just loaded this program Premiere pro cs5, and There's weird things going on ! Please help me ! ).  There's no help for that ...

     

    This forum isn't about helping EVERYONE because not everyone

    a) can be helped

    b) can be helped

     

    But we can help as many as possible, and you have to take every single asking for help as a new and fresh call ....because THAT person is not familiar with any "history" of the help forum.  It's now and it's fresh and it's new for that person...and they are here for the first time...coming from who knows where with a problem....  So you have to approach it that way as a " solver" of problems...and at the very least, never take anything "personal" when someone lashes out like a child with a toy they just broke and they blame the dog or something ....

     

     

    ps...omg , i did another "life lesson thing"

     

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 18, 2010 4:47 PM   in reply to Bill Hunt

    > as Adobe is working to keep those pages updated, as often, as is possible, if I link to a section today, but changes are made up-stream tomorrow, will my link still function properly, or will it now possibly stay, but the pages "below" it move?

     

     

    The link should always work. We had a bit of a problem with an overzealous editor recently such that some links broke, but that was a rare (unique?) occurrence.

     

    It's possible that a page will be updated with more information or corrected information, but the gist of the page at a particular URL shouldn't change.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 18, 2010 4:52 PM   in reply to able123

    Bill,

     

    All we need now is some seed money !

     

    Soon, it's only Muffy and Biff left, and they decide to track down the killer.
    ---------------

    the plot thickens !  I like this...it implies someone PUT the killer snakes in the pool...why didnt I think of THAT !

    -----------
    Muffy is wearing only her wet bra, the audience might wonder why she doesn't stop by her old room and put on dry clothes
    ----------------
    I wouldnt be wondering any such thing.. I LIKE muffy in a wet anything !

    ------------------
    Come to find out, good old dad is an importer, and was attempting to traffic in exotic animals, instead of nuclear arms
    ----------------

    aha...good ol dad got sorta caught up in some double bind thing...either play ball with the bad guys with nuclear stuff, or try to head them off later by sticking with his animal friends...hoping that later on he can be Dr. Doolittle and talk to the animals and get the bad guys arrested !

    --------------------
    there is one "special" snake, and he's loose in the mansion
    ------------------
    a rogue snake !  Dad (the Dr. Doolittle type) has no control over this maniac !

    ---------------------

    Meanwhile Buffy is still running around in her wet T-shirt I hope !
    ---------------------
    Oh, did I mention that due to an ancient Mayan curse, he can become invisible and also fly?
    ---------------------

    Hah! BRILLIANT !  YOU HAVE JUST DESCRIBED THE SEQUEL !

     

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 18, 2010 4:56 PM   in reply to Todd_Kopriva

    Todd,

     

    As always, thanks for the response. Now to find all of John T's URL's! Know I've got 'em around here somewhere...

     

    Hunt, off poking around My Documents\Adobe

     
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    Aug 18, 2010 5:13 PM   in reply to able123
    All we need now is some seed money !

    Got me an idear here Abner. We tell everyone that Jeff has imposed a US$5 charge for brews in The Lounge. We pocket the money.

     

    Soon, it's only Muffy and Biff left, and they decide to track down the killer.

    It also works in our budgetary favor too. We do a neat spreadsheet on how much $ we have at any one time. At first, we hire a bunch of actors. When we reach a point on the spreadsheet, we kill off a bunch of them. Down it goes. As the $ plays out, we eliminate talent. Or, we get quickly to Muffy and Biff, and keep the extra?

     

    I wouldnt be wondering any such thing.. I LIKE muffy in a wet anything !

    Notice I said that not ALL the audience would ask...

     

    aha...good ol dad got sorta caught up in some double bind thing...either play ball with the bad guys with nuclear stuff, or try to head them off later by sticking with his animal friends...hoping that later on he can be Dr. Doolittle and talk to the animals and get the bad guys arrested !

    Though I am an avowed conservative capitalist, I thought that we'd throw in an anti-capitalist bone for the Michael Moore crowd - gotta' fill them theaters. Of course, I built in my "trapdoor," as dad is a capitalist, but is running arms to terrorists, etc. Is that like "having my cake, and eating it too?"

     

    Meanwhile Buffy is still running around in her wet T-shirt I hope !

    OK, I see more cost savings - you also do wardrobe, plus your other duties on this film! Maybe we'll have enough for one scene that I cut out. Before the rogue snake disables all the cars, one couple manages to make a break and jump into the guy's dad's Bentley Roadster. They are driving away from the mansion, when one of the snakes jumps out of the rear seat! OK, maybe it's NOT a Bentley. Maybe we use an older Yugo, or a Citroën 2CV?

     

    Hah! BRILLIANT !  YOU HAVE JUST DESCRIBED THE SEQUEL !

    Yes, in the sequel, there are archeologist  in Guatemala, and they unearth a statue of a Snake God... Guess who's BA-A-A-CK?

     

    Hunt

     
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    Aug 18, 2010 5:37 PM   in reply to Bill Hunt

    Bill

    ------------

    It also works in our budgetary favor too. We do a neat spreadsheet on how much $ we have at any one time. At first, we hire a bunch of actors. When we reach a point on the spreadsheet, we kill off a bunch of them. Down it goes. As the $ plays out, we eliminate talent. Or, we get quickly to Muffy and Biff

    ---------------

    nothin wrong with re-writes...thats why we got writers....

    --------------

    OK, maybe it's NOT a Bentley. Maybe we use an older Yugo, or a Citroën 2CV?

    ---------------

    OK, there's nothing wrong with thinking out loud either...nobody's perfect !

    -----------------

    Yes, in the sequel, there are archeologist in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guatemala, and they unearth a statue of a Snake God... Guess who's BA-A-A-CK?

    ----------------

    Now you're cooking !

     

    Ok, now that it's the middle of the summerfest out there and people are FINALLY settling down ( takes a few weeks to actually feel like you're on vacation) I'll meet you in Sag Harbor at the "Black Buoy" on Main St. at noon tomorrow to finalize our strategy of throwing a wet girl at Speilberg to star in the snake movie.

     
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    Aug 18, 2010 5:49 PM   in reply to able123
    nothin wrong with re-writes...thats why we got writers....

    Just remember that we cannot pay them, except with stale yoodles.

     

    OK, there's nothing wrong with thinking out loud either...nobody's perfect !

    Yeah, I did not win the Bentley Roadster in my wife's charity raffle, and even if I did, I'm not sure that I'd want a bunch of snakes in the rear seat. Also, the car plunges off a cliff, but we could cut in the Yugo there - hey, if the girl is in a wet white shirt, while trying to escape, who would even notice the break in continuity?

     

    Ok, now that it's the middle of the summerfest out there and people are FINALLY settling down ( takes a few weeks to actually feel like you're on vacation) I'll meet you in Sag Harbor at the "Black Buoy" on Main St. at noon tomorrow to finalize our strategy of throwing a wet girl at Speilberg to star in the snake movie.

    Now you're talking. Hey, won't those plane tickets be tax-deductible as a business expense? If we take a page from The Producers, maybe we can make money on both ends?

     
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    Aug 19, 2010 7:37 AM   in reply to Bill Hunt

    ----------

    Hey, won't those plane tickets be tax-deductible as a business expense?  If we take a page from The Producers, maybe we can make money  on both ends?

    -----------------

     

    Yes, tickets and meals and even clothes and EVERYTHING is tax deductible as long as you mumble the words, " Snake movie" every day...whether someone is there or not to hear you ....its called "promotion expenses".

     

    -----------------

    No, we only make money if the movie is a complete FLOP !  But that's absolutely guaranteed, because NOBODY would ever pay to see a movie about scary snakes .... We just need to convince EVERYONE who invests for their 10 percent ( say about 1000 investors ) that EVERYONE will want to watch a snake movie...  easy !  This is where your native charm comes in !

     

     
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    Aug 19, 2010 7:45 AM   in reply to able123

    On the other side of the " Complete FLOP" vs " Makes a ton of money" problem....if test screenings ( very secret ) indicate we screwed up and it's going to be a HIT...we sell the property right away to the distributor outright....for a slight loss....hence insuring our investors remain charmed and beguiled, and insuring our now good track record with said distributor and future contracts to produce " Snakes In A Pool 2 "  Once THAT contract is signed...we

    fly around to contact Buffy who is at a Thailand resort by now being wet most of the time and convince her to sign up for Snake 2...  Again, all tax deductible ! 

     
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    Aug 19, 2010 8:35 AM   in reply to able123

    You know, this plan is really coming together!

     

    The one time that I got even within spitting distance of the Academy of Arts and Sciences, we were eliminated in the first cut. Maybe if we play our cards right, we can at least take the stage for the "Raspberry Award!" I'm tired of those Hollywood-types always getting that - though most do seem to deserve it.

     

    Hunt

     

    PS - keep the thoughts coming. It's coffee time here now, so I'll wait until wine-thirty, before I put the old "thinking cap" on.

     
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    Aug 19, 2010 12:23 PM   in reply to Geoff Vane

    --------------------

    Before I know I'm getting into a discussion, but that was not my goal.

    ---------------------

    What do you think about the scary "snakes in a pool" movie idea ??

     

     
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    Aug 19, 2010 12:50 PM   in reply to Geoff Vane

    Geoff,

     

    ---------

    Ed Wood production

    ----------

    That would be an enormous IMPROVEMENT ....so far anyway....we are working on it...by drinking wine and beer and wearing bras when our wives aren't looking...

     

     
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    Aug 19, 2010 1:18 PM   in reply to able123

    Not sure that I see the need to hire most of the cast from Pink Flamingos for this. I still think a couple of perky co-eds will fill the bill. OTOH, wonder how the script for Rocky Horror Picture Show was sold? I keep thinking George Romero teams up with the Wayans...

     

    Maybe we use a working title of Night of the Living Dead Scary Snakes in a Pool?

     

    Hunt

     
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    Aug 19, 2010 1:47 PM   in reply to Bill Hunt

    Wasn't Rip Torn in Pink Flamingos with the "scatch and sniff " cards ???  I think he was in the brand new corvette and you could smell the new "Plastic" smell" of the interior...

    He is probably available for work unless he's now booked on "Men In Black 3" which just started building sets in NY...because he seems to have problems identifying his "home" address and got some bad press recently for being stone drunk on the floor of a bank branch that he smashed his way into...with a pistol in his pocket....in CT.  Was basically woke up by the cops and he said something like, " Oh hello officer, I thought this was my house?"

     

    Actors like that would do us a world of good in scary snake movie !

     

     
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    Aug 19, 2010 3:26 PM   in reply to able123

    I don't think that we want to cast him. I just know that he'd force his way into the wrong dressing room.

     

    Have to admit that I liked his work on The Gary Shandling Show. IMHO, that might have been the zenith for Jeffery Tambor too.

     

    Hunt

     
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    Aug 19, 2010 11:54 PM   in reply to Geoff Vane

    Forums should provide answers to questions.

     

    That's a fine mandate.  But only if qualified with posters doing the appropriate homework first.  Don't come to a calculus forum asking a question on differentials if you can't even add or subtract yet.

     
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    Aug 20, 2010 7:31 AM   in reply to Todd_Kopriva
    function(){return A.apply(null,[this].concat($A(arguments)))}

    function(){return A.apply(null,[this].concat($A(arguments)))}

    Todd_Kopriva wrote:

     

    Regarding pointing people to the Help documents and such:

     

    I answer a vast majority of questions on the After Effects forum with links to specific pages of the Help documents. Why? Because that's where the answers to the questions are.

     

    Todd,

     

    I've now been around long enough to know that when I see an answer from you, it's almost always going to say RTFM. And you know, I'd tease you about that if it weren't for the fact that, in my experience, your links to the FM are usually spot on.

     

    I actually print out and bind manuals, then read them cover to cover (yes, I know, they have treatment centers for that disorder). However, in the heat of the battle I can sometimes look in the appropriate sections, then do a search in the pdf, still come up empty, and finally be pointed to a link by you that shows me what I missed. We'll leave for another time the discussion on how stupid I feel for missing it.

     

    With any powerful and complex software, there's always going to be massive information in the manual, and it's impossible to structure it in such a way that it provides a thread for every possible workflow or situation. And so, a manual is often much like the old adage about the web:

     

    "Everything you ever needed to know is on the Internet. You just can't find it."

     

    Having a seasoned Sherpa to lead you to your destination has value.

     
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    Aug 20, 2010 7:39 AM   in reply to Geoff Vane

    Geoff,

     

    I don't have much patience with condescending attitudes either, so I'm with you there. That said, in any social gathering, reputation and image is pretty important.

     

    There are frequently times when I want to offer a scathing reply to someone that essentially boils down to "don't be a jerk." (Jerk was not my first choice of words, but I'm trying to keep the moderators from having to work too hard.) Instead, I just walk away. Why? Partly because I don't want to give them the satisfaction, but also for a very practical reason. Even if I'm replying to a jerk, everyone else is watching. If they decide that I, too, am an unpleasant creature, what are the odds that they're going to go out of their way to help me when I need it?

     

    Yeah, I know. Sometimes you just gotta blow off steam. In the end, though, it's rarely in your best interests to do so, even if it feels good at the moment. Were that not the case, I'd probably carry around a dozen bricks in the back of my car as there are frequently people who seem to be in dire need of having one put upside their head...

     

    Chris

     
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    Aug 20, 2010 9:10 AM   in reply to Christopher Duncan

    One of the potential limitations of Help files (and manuals, as well) is that they necessarily have to be a bit general in workflows, and then have to be very specific on say a Tool, or a feature. Many have difficulty translating the Tool to their particular situation. The Help file tells you where to find it, and then lists the ways that it works. Curt Wrigley does a great job in helping the reader make that translation, in his CiaB work.

     

    It often takes a book, or someone stepping the person through the application of that Tool in their particular situation. It often boils down to a reply along the lines of, "yes, I know how to access that Tool, and I know what it is capable of doing, but I need to know how to use it. The Help file doesn't tell me that." We see that a lot in the Encore forum. The poster knows what they want to do, they know the location of the Tools, but have no clue on how to use that Tool for their purposes. About then, I will recommend Jeff Bellune's book, as he steps the reader though the complete process of authoring a Project, and points out HOW to use all the Tools in a real-world DVD.

     

    When responding to a plea in the forum, it is often incumbent on the person, who replies, to take the dry, technical words from the Help file, and try to fill in the blanks for the OP, on how to actually use the Tools. That is one of the reasons that many will ask, "exactly what is it, that you are trying to do?" or "what do you want to end up with?" The person is not trying to extract secret, or personal info, just what a poster needs, and what the end result should be. One has to often put on several hats - a technical writer, but with a touch of William Faulkner.

     

    Hunt

     
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    Aug 20, 2010 9:21 AM   in reply to Bill Hunt
    > One of the potential limitations of Help files (and manuals, as well) is that they necessarily have to be a bit general in workflows, and then have to be very specific on say a Tool, or a feature...

     

    That's true for the most part, but not entirely.

     

    Take this page about rotoscoping from the After Effects document. There is no feature or tool that is specific to rotoscoping; it's just animating masks, after all. But there are a lot of workflow tips that are crucial. The ones that I know about are on that page. There are also a lot of great specific tutorials and videos and articles about the workflows. The ones that I know about are linked to from that page.

     

    Color keying gets a similar treatment. And so on.

     

    My frustration is that a lot of people assume that the documents _must_ just be dry reference about specific tools, with no real workflow information, and so these people don't even bother to look. So I (as patiently as possible) routinely direct people to at least have a look. They're often very pleasantly surprised.

     

    Premiere Pro Help doesn't have quite as much of this kind of thing, but it has some---more than most programs.

     

    But, I'm talking about what I did in a past life, when I worked on these documents. Now I'm in Technical Support, so---though I may still point people to these things---I won't take it quite so personally that people dis them.

     
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    Aug 20, 2010 9:28 AM   in reply to Todd_Kopriva

    Todd,

     

    Being a tech writer in the A/V industry, are you familiar with the Mackie manuals? I don't know what they're like these days, but throughout the 90s and into the next decade, they wrote some spectacular stuff. Given that their customers are musicians (and we're not always the brightest bulb in the room), they combined hard facts, practical usability and an irreverent, lighthearted humor in some of the best manuals I've ever read.If you appreciate seeing the work of your peers, I think you'd enjoy their work.

     
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    Aug 20, 2010 9:37 AM   in reply to Christopher Duncan

    > are you familiar with the Mackie manuals?

     

     

    I'm not, but it sounds like I should make a point of checking them out.

     
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    Aug 20, 2010 9:48 AM   in reply to Todd_Kopriva

    Todd,

     

    Great documents !  Stuff like this...where you explain not only what is best, but "why" is very cool !

    --------------

    Many compression algorithms, especially the algorithms used in DV, HDV, and Motion JPEG, discard subtle variations in blue—which may be necessary to create a good key from a bluescreen. Use footage with the least color subsampling possible—for example, 4:2:2 rather than 4:2:0 or 4:1:1

    -------------------

     

    having read some mpeg textbook about "difference" (frames) and the encoder looping that goes on helps me understand "why" the compression throws out some stuff...but to hear you explain that compresson DOES do that sort of thing is very cool...

     

    Thanks for all the info online !

     
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