Thursday, December 17, 2009

New Projects Posted to You Tube

New projects from this Fall 2009 semester have been posted to the UATDV channel on YouTube. Here's a standout from the DVA241 (Production) / DVA274 (Editing) classes by student Wes Peterson:

You'll find more on our Most Recent playlist. Check 'em out!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

DV Internship for Spring Semester

Looking for a internship this spring? IT has a Video Internship available. It is open to all students. Contact Kari McBride at for an interview.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

1000+ Tech Brushes for Photoshop

Here's a great compilation of "high-tech" brushes and vector art for adding futuristic flair to your Photoshop designs and After Effects composites. Great for creating HUDs, computer displays, schematics, and more.

Check them out here, courtesy of Best Design Options.

Tutorial: Create an Ethereal Morphing Letter Canvas

This cool tutorial comes from AE Tuts+, and shows you how to use After Effects' built-in "radio waves" effect to morph letters into swirling and chaotic shapes. An elegant and unorthodox use of an often-overlooked effect!

Check it out here.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

5-Week "History of Animation" Seminar Begins Monday Night!

UAT is hosting a Seminar Series on the History of Animation with Edison Goncalves hosting. Edison began his career in Brazil doing commercials and other animation work and then moved on to work with Don Bluth and other huge names on myriad projects. Edison has over 20 years of animation experience and is bringing that expertise to share with you!

The seminar series runs every Monday evening from 6:30 to 8:20 pm in room 245, starting Monday November 9th and continuing for 5 weeks.

Please join Edison for this exploration of how today’s animation came to be!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Tutorial: Particle Explosion

Here's a great tutorial from Video Copilot - "Particle Explosion." Andrew Kramer uses CC Particle World to build a complex particle system and then synchronizes the particle blast to shatter a title.

Check it out here!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Why We Teach Avid: Storytelling on the Cutting Edge

Check out this great interview with up and coming Hollywood editor Robin Buday, courtesy of Avid's official Vimeo channel!

Storytelling on the Cutting Edge: Robin Buday from Avid on Vimeo.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

10 Things You Can Do to Stand Out on Set

Writer Jon Kline has published an article on titled "10 Things a PA Can Do to Stand Out." While directed at Production Assistants (very likely your first professional production gig), many of Kline's 10 tips can be applied to any position on any crew, and practically in any field.

1) Show up ready to work.
2) Be prepared on set.
3) Don’t step on toes.

Read the rest here.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Cinema's "cross-media" reinvention

From Reuters: In a keynote speech at the BFI's London Film Festival's technology conference Power to the Pixel, movie producer Ted Hope calls for a new era of interactive, immersive cinema.

Watch on

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Tutorial: Create a Terminator-Style HUD with Expressions

From AE Tuts+: "Ben McEwan has created a 3 Day Series crammed full of useful expressions to create the UI found in the Terminator. He'll skim over some of the basics of shape layers, as well as touch on some more advanced stuff like displacement mapping."

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Friday, October 16, 2009

Tutorial: Advanced Lighting and Caustics with Mental Ray and Maya

From CG Tuts+: "In this tutorial you will learn how to use the 3 indirect lighting systems in Maya (Global Illumination, Final Gathering, and Irradiance Particles) and caustics. You will learn how to solve common problems and reduce rendering times while creating hi-quality images. At the end of this tutorial, you will have gained enough experience to decide which of the 3 indirect lighting systems is the most convenient for any situation."

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Featured Project: Viva La Vida

This week's featured project is Ryan Loveland's awesome effects-laden music video for Coldplay's "Viva La Vida," produced for last semester's DFVA254 Motion Graphics class. Look for appearances by some of UAT's best and brightest - Mr. Loveland himself as the singer, Jusin Gagen on violin, Kalki Khaira on acoustic guitar, Ryan Andrews on drums, Kenny Rayl on keyboards and Justin Savino on electic guitar.

YouTube Link

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Call for Volunteers: International Horror & Sci-Fi Film Festival


The 2009 International Horror & Sci-Fi Film Festival is creeping up on us! The festival takes place at the MADCAP Theatres (Formerly Harkins Centerpoint) from October 15th -- October 18th. We can’t capture our audience without the help of our amazing Festival Zombies. In exchange for a commitment of at least Sixteen (16) hours, Festival Zombies will receive a festival t-shirt and a full festival pass (excludes the opening night screening). In addition to the various positions you can help out with during the festival, there will also be pre-festival volunteer opportunities.

We’re putting a shift schedule together now and will be starting our Festival Zombie Orientations soon. Those of you who have volunteered with us before will not be required to attend an Orientation (Online Scheduling will be available), however if you will be transforming yourself into a Festival Zombie for the first time this year, you will need to attend an orientation. The One (1) hour spent at orientation will be credited to your Festival Commitment.

We've scheduled a FINAL Festival Zombie Orientation to go over the specifics and answer any questions you may have. This is also an opportunity to sign up for the shifts you'd like to work.

* October 3, 2009 at 1:00pm

Orientation will last about an hour and will take place at the Phoenix Film Foundation offices located in the Metro Arts Institute, 1700 N. 7th Ave Suite 250. The building is on the NW corner of 7th Avenue and McDowell.

Please email to reserve a space or if you have any questions.

We look forward to seeing your ... Blood and guts, spewed all over the place. Looked like spaghetti and meat sauce ... at the upcoming Festival!

Please email with any questions; visit the Volunteer Schedule at:

David A. Lucas -- Volunteer Director
Phoenix Film Foundation
1700 N. 7th Ave, Suite #250 Phoenix, AZ 85007
-- (480) 236-0782 (c)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tutorial: DVD Authoring

Here's another great tutorial from one of our favorite After Effects tutorial sites, Video Copilot. In this one Andrew Kramer shows you how to use After Effects in conjunction with Adobe Encore to build a looping DVD menu animation and add all the functionality you need to make your DVD's look professional. Watch it here!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

44 Free Texture Sites

Topher Welsh over at AE Tuts+ posted this one a few weeks back and I thought I'd share it with you. For those of you working in 3D, motion graphics, or visual effects, good textures are a MUST.

Check out Topher's list of the 44 best FREE texture sites out there!

Friday, September 25, 2009

25+ Best Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 Tutorials

Now even though I put an emphasis on teaching Avid Media Composer - IMHO the undisputed "big dog" of nonlinear editing - a lot of my students also work in Adobe Premiere and Apple's Final Cut Pro. So here's a post for you Premiere folks - Tutorial Lounge has compiled their list of the "25+ Best Movie Editing in Adobe Premiere CS4 Tutorials." Good stuff, definitely worth a look if you've been doing any cutting in Premiere lately!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Final Cut Pro or Avid Media Composer?

Here's an interesting perspective on the age-old Avid vs. FCP debate, from Guardian Studios, an Avid-equipped production and post house in Columbus, OH. Naturally each system has its pros and cons, its supporters and detractors.

For students figuring out which system to learn and why, this blog post is definitely worth a read - and so are the comments!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Everything is About to Change: Arri's New Digital Camera System

Arri has released early specs for its new family of digital cinema cameras, featuring 35mm-sized sensors and light sensitivity equivalent to 800 ISO filmstock. Coupled with the ability to use a vast array of cinema prime lenses, high-resolution electronic viewfinders, or traditional optical viewfinders, these new cameras reflect Arri's longtime commitment to providing filmmakers with the tools they really want.

Arri has also provided a searchable, indexed HTML version of Quantel's "Digital Fact Book" - an incredibly inclusive glossary and reference guide to digital video technology. The Digital Fact Book is also available as a PDF.

Friday, September 4, 2009

New DV Equipment Reservation System

New for this semester! The DV Reservation Book in the Library has been replaced with a new online spreadsheet. Check it out here, and watch this tutorial video:

DV Equipment Reservation System Tutorial from UAT Digital Video on Vimeo.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Free Concrete Textures

Here's another collection from Best Design Options - 110 Free Concrete Textures, Volume I. This one is PERFECT for all you 3D modelers in need of some photorealistic textures to wrap around your models. Bookmark this one or just download 'em all.

Monday, August 31, 2009


Check out this video of the RED ROCKET in action as it transcodes 20 seconds worth of 4k frames in just 19 seconds! (In other words, faster than real time.)

Red Rocket from Ted Schilowitz on Vimeo.

The ROCKET is RED's new accelerator board for decoding, transcoding, de-Bayering and playback of files shot with the RED ONE camera. What is "de-Bayering?" I'm glad you asked!

The simple explanation is that digital video camcorders and digital cinema cameras such as the RED ONE employ a Bayer filter to optimize image capture and compression and emulate the way the human eye perceives chrominance and luminance. The result is that images shot using this filtering process end up with twice as many green pixels as blue or red pixels, and a "de-Bayer" process is required to ensure proper color balance on playback. What's noteworthy about the RED ROCKET is that it does all of that (and more) at breakneck speeds, for not a lot of money. This bodes well for 4K-capable desktop editing machines at even high performance benchmarks with lower costs in the near future.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

100 Websites and Blogs Where You Can Download Free Vector Graphics

The title says it all... Best Design Options has compiled this great list of resources where you can find free vector graphics - great elements for any motion graphics you might be working on. Bookmark this one!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Cool Tool: Footage Calculator

Digital Rebellion has made available this fantastic tool for calculating the size in gigabytes of any length of any digital video codec and format. There are some other neat tools for depth of field, lens angle, pixel aspect and more - but I think the footage calculator is far and away the most useful. Bookmark it!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Lifehacker: Five Best Video-Sharing Sites

Lifehacker has posted a nice round-up of the "Five Best Video-Sharing Sites." Of course the usual suspects YouTube and Vimeo are on there, but a couple of their choices might surprise you. Give it a look!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Free HD Greenscreen Plates

The fine folks at Hollywood Camera Work, makers of the excellent DVD series "Visual Effects for Directors," have posted some of the greenscreen plates and other VFX elements used in that series for educational use. Most are in 720p or 1080p HD and are available for you to experiment with techniques such as basic keying, 2D tracking, 3D matchmoving, and advanced keying with transparencies. Check them out here and get to work!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Innovation: Video Ads in Magazines

From CNET:
Broadcast network CBS will be advertising its fall TV season with a video-chip ad embedded in an issue of Entertainment Weekly.

The September 18 issue of the Time Inc.-owned magazine will feature the first video ad to appear in print, George Schweitzer, CBS marketing president, said Wednesday at a press conference at the company's headquarters here.

Read the full article, or watch video-ad manufacturer Americhip's video on YouTube:

This technology represents the start of what will surely be a future filled with digital video applications of all shapes and sizes.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Green Soda VFX Blog - VFX Challenge II

Here's one for you VFX students! Green Soda VFX Blog is co-sponsoring a VFX Challenge in partnership with the folks at Hollywood Camera Work (makers of the excellent "Visual Effects for Directors" DVDs we just added to the UAT Library).

This challenge involves greenscreen compositing and matchmoving. The deadline is Sunday, September 13th. Get started now!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The After Effects Output Module Exposed

Here's a comprehensive (if a bit dull) explanation of every one of those pesky settings in the After Effects Output Module, courtesy of Topher Welsh at AE Tuts+. If you've ever struggled with rendering your comps in AE, this one is for you.

The After Effects Output Module Exposed

Monday, August 17, 2009

Red One, Canon 5D Mk II, and Panasonic Lumix GH1 Footage Comparison

Here's an amazing bit of footage posted by premiere Hollywood equipment rental house Birns and Sawyer on their Vimeo channel.

Red One, Canon 5D Mk II, and Panasonic Lumix GH1 Footage Comparison from Birns and Sawyer on Vimeo.

What's so amazing about it? It compares side-by-side-by side the output of three hype-worthy cameras - the 4k-capable digital cinema RED ONE camera (roughly $20k) and two DSLRs equipped with "movie" modes, the $3500 Canon 5D Mark II and the $2200 Panasonic Lumix GH1. This is the first time I've seen footage from the Panasonic, and the first time I have seen anyone cut together material from a RED with footage from a DSLR. What it shows is that the technology has definitely shifted and this new generation of DSLRs are game-changers in terms of comparing price to image quality.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Featured Project: Get Pade

This week's featured project comes from upperclassmen Daniel Sontag, Evan Sprague, and Ryan Loveland.

Get Pade Trailer from Daniel Sontag on Vimeo.

Coming soon...

Starring Jeff Skiba

Directed / Edited by Daniel Sontag
Writing / VFX by Evan Sprague
Director of Photography Ryan Loveland

This isn't the first time Sprague has written a movie about a hitman in need of a life change. Also check out "After All" from his stint in DVA241.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Inspiration: Command+Z

Check out this great piece of visual effects filmmaking produced by a bunch of students at the Art Center College of Design


With visuals obviously inspired by German expressionism and produced entirely on greenscreen, this is one you need to watch!

Monday, August 10, 2009

IFP/Phoenix to Host Production Assistant Workshop This Saturday

Here's a great educational opportunity all DV students should attend: The IFP/Phoenix Production Assistants Workshop!

This session will delve into a variety of skills that will help PAs graduate to more skilled positions on the set. Producers from actively hiring projects will be in attendance. This seminar is ideal for anyone with some experience, but who wants more in depth information. Join independent producer/director Joe Gruberman, veteran of four feature films and dozens of shorts and commercials in exploring the ins & outs of movie and commercial production.

August 15, 2009 from 1pm to 4pm

IFP/Phoenix Classroom
1700 N 7th Ave, #250
Phoenix, AZ 85007

TICKETS: $15 for IFP/PHX members, $20 for non-members


Friday, August 7, 2009

Featured Project: Heart of the Sunrise

Heart of the Sunrise from UAT Digital Video on Vimeo.

Music video produced for classes DVA241 Digital Video Production and DVA274 Digital Video Editing by student Bryan Simcox. Summer 2009 Semester.

Music: "Heart of the Sunrise" by Yes.

Advice for Finding a Job in CG

From the StudioDaily blog:
Thousands of students packed into the meeting room [at SIGGRAPH] to listen to a panel discussion on “Getting a Job in CG” for film, television and/or videogames. The panel included job recruiters, producers and visual effects artists from ILM and LucasArts, Digital Domain, Sony Imageworks, Double Negative, Moving Picture Company and Microsoft Game Studios. The veteran panel laid out some sound advice for the wide-eyed crowd.
Read all their great advice here!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Pixar's John Lasseter: Advice for Animation Students

From one of the most successful animation directors in the history of cinema come these jewels of wisdom - study the basics, learn to draw, learn film grammar, software doesn't make good movies... all the things you've been hearing from us at UAT...

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

DV Internship: UAT's IT Department

UAT's in-house Digital Media Producer Kari McBride is in need of not one but TWO DV interns for the Fall Semester.

Job Expectations for Video Internship
  • Produce bi-weekly videos for You Tube, and Flickr
  • Effectively communicate a theme in each video
  • Log old footage from the vault
  • Work with Marketing on UAT TV projects
  • Attend and record approved UAT events and edit them for use
  • Should have basic knowledge of shooting, lighting, and editing on AVID
  • Have basic knowledge of different camcorders
  • Have Fun
Interested? Contact Kari McBride today!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Featured Project: Ticket to the Moon

This week's featured project is a surreal music video for ELO's "Ticket to the Moon," created by student Sean Walter for this semester's DVA241 Digital Video Production and DVA274 Digital Video Editing classes.

YouTube Link

Saturday, August 1, 2009

All Directors Should Be Animators First

I caught this one on Stu Maschwitz's ProLost blog a few days ago and had to share it. In this 1978 AFI seminar, Steven Spielberg talks about how he admires the pre-visualization skills of animators.

YouTube Link

Friday, July 31, 2009

Great After Effects Resources

Here are some great resources for you After Effects users!

XScriptorium - After Effects scripts, expressions, presets, and projects

1001 Adobe After Effects Tutorials - compiled by Filmmaker IQ

The After Effects Channel on Adobe TV

Friday, July 24, 2009

Design Rhythmic Motion Typography in After Effects

In this tutorial you'll learn how to create animated typography synchronized with musical events (lyrics). You'll learn how to fit your typography to a rhythm, add dynamic animations and use the camera and motion blur to create a high-end final effect. This tutorial showcases a technique that is highly sought after in motion graphics today.

From AE Tuts+

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

588 Free Film Contracts and Forms

This one comes to us from our good friends at L.A. Shorts Fest - Filmmaker IQ has compiled a great list of free film contracts and forms from all over the 'Net.
Upon examination of the list, it seems that a lot of the contracts came from another site, - another great resource you ought to bookmark.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Variety: ACE honors Avid's Media Composer

From Variety:
"In an announcement that combines kudos to one company, a jab at another and a warning flare for producers, the American Cinema Editors board of directors is honoring Avid's Media Composer software with the org's first-ever ACE Technical Excellence Award."
Read the rest here:

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

30+ High Quality Metallic Texture, Pattern, Brushes and Photoshop Tutorials

This one is for you 3D modelers, texture artists, and Photoshop fanatics. has published this list of textures, brushes, and tutorials all having to do with metal.

VFX artists might also find it of use, particularly for elements such as bullet holes and the various metallic grunge textures.

Check it out here.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Inspiration: Rugby

A student just recently showed me this one and I was blown away. (Thanks J.D.!) CG Society put together this great article on a VFX-intensive Snickers commercial produced by BBDO Moscow, Sky Films in Toronto, and a German post facility called Unexpected. The article includes some great info about how they produced the spot, including fantastic breakdowns of the various elements - live action, CG layers, particle systems - that went into each shot.

Read the full story here.

Friday, June 26, 2009

ATLAS/CERN Multimedia Contest

CERN, the world's largest particle physics laboratory, birthplace of the World Wide Web and home of the famous Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has a great opportunity for DV students! The ATLAS/CERN Multimedia Contest features great prizes, including Adobe Production software, a trip to the LHC, and an internship at CERN. The deadline is July 31, 2009 - so don't delay.

Check it out NOW!

Featured Project: Pirate Booty

This week's featured project is a "two-fer" - a short film AND its "making of" documentary.

"Pirate Booty" was created by Team UAT for the Phoenix Film Foundation's annual 48-Hour Film Challenge during the summer of 2006, and it went on to be an Official Selection of the 2007 Phoenix Film Festival.

"48 Hour Film Challenge Documentary" chronicles the team's efforts from Friday night's kick-off, through 48 hectic hours, and finally to a last-minute by the skin of the teeth delivery on Sunday - and features great interviews with a crew of students who have since gone on to graduate and take jobs in the film and video industry.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Build a Car Racing Scene from Photographs

In another great tutorial, Greyscale Gorilla (aka Nick Campbell) teaches you how to create a stylized 3D car racing scene from a simple 2D photograph using After Effects' 3D compositing tools. This one is long, so it's presented in 2 parts: Part 1 and Part 2

After Effects Tutorial - Build a Car Racing scene from Photographs Part 1 from Nick Campbell on Vimeo.

After Effects Tutorial - Build a Car Racing scene from Photographs Part 2 from Nick Campbell on Vimeo.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Science of the Movies

Science Channel has begun airing a cool new series called "Science of the Movies" that every DV student should check out. Recent segments have included a trip to Panavision for a look inside cameras and lenses and a discussion of film vs. digital with Oscar-winning DP Dean Semler. While it's really made for people who know little to nothing about filmmaking, it still manages to include some really interesting facts for the seasoned DV enthusiast.

"Science of the Movies" airs at 10 pm on Thursdays.

Or, you can check out some video segments on Science Channel's website.

Monday, June 22, 2009

From CNET: 3D means new rules for directors

CNET's Rafe Needleman has posted an insightful blog post about 3D stereoscopic imaging and its impact on current and future entertainment trends in film, TV, and videogames. Like it or not, it seems 3D is here to stay for the immediate future and will continue to be a growth area in both content creation and emerging technologies.
3D is still seen as gimmick by most consumers, but it's becoming more mainstream. That means content producers and artists will be thinking about 3D content more in the near future: Not just how to have it call attention to itself, but rather how to have 3D fade, as it were, into the background of the storytelling.
Read the rest here.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Featured Project: I'm Not Crying

This week's Featured Project comes from last semester's DVA274 Digital Video Editing class. "I'm Not Crying" is another take-off from the "Flight of the Conchords" TV series from students Hido Harada, Luke DeSalvo, and Chris Erickson.

YouTube Link

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

How To Use Simple Shapes and Masks to Make an Entire Animation

Greyscale Gorilla has published a great tutorial on how to make complex-looking animations very simply, just by building them up from simple animated elements. It takes some planning and a bit of thought, but it results in some cool-looking stuff. All Motion Graphics students need to watch this now!

Using Simple Shapes and Masks to Make an Entire Animation - How I made ConformNonConform from Nick Campbell on Vimeo.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Top VFX Twitter-ers to Follow

Topher Welsh at Inside The Hive (the "blog of all things in motion") has published a cool list of the top visual effects innovators currently sharing information via the ubiquitous social-trending site Twitter. Included on the list is VFX artist / filmmaker / technologist Stu Maschwitz (@5tu), author of our old familiar friend The DV Rebel's Guide.

Check out the complete list here.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Featured Project: Peephole

This week's featured project is a short film produced for DVA441 Competition Shorts class during the Fall 2006 Semester. It went on to become an Official Selection of the 2007 Phoenix Film Festival.

Written and directed by Daniel Martinez
Produced by Carl Hawke
Director of Photography Kevin Mason
Edited by Ryan Luibrand

YouTube Link

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

After Effects Tutorial: Text effects using Set Matte

Here's a brilliant tutorial from Harry J. Frank at Graymachine, combining some very simple and innocuous-seeming effects into a customizable and beautiful text composite. If you're doing any work in motion graphics, this one is a must!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Editors talk Avid, Apple, Adobe

From StudioDaily: At the AlphaDogs Editors' Lounge, a panel of editors discuss the battle for the NLE market, including the future of Avid, whether Apple is committed to its ProApps and how Adobe may just sneak up and overtake them both in coming years.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Editors' Picks at NAB

From StudioDaily: At the AlphaDogs Editors' Lounge, a panel of editors talk about NAB 09, how the reduced attendance made if the best show in years and what products impressed them.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Some cool DIY camera rigs and special FX projects

Courtesy of the folks at Self-Reliant Film, a nice (though not nearly comprehensive) list of do-it-yourself projects for indie filmmakers - camera cranes, dollies, specialty rigs, blood & gore, and an assortment of odds and ends. Plus, every link takes you to a site chock full of other cool project ideas and tutorials.

DIY Film Projects

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

How and When to Use Auxiliary Timecode

From StudioDaily: One very under utilized feature in both Avid Media Composer and Apple Final Cut Pro is the software's ability to assign an auxiliary timecode to clips. An auxiliary timecode is basically a fake, user-assignable timecode track that can be set to any timecode the editor desires.

Read the complete tutorial here.

Monday, June 1, 2009

The power of the editor

Check out this video from BBC News about their editor Bill McKenna, who was recently named "editor of the year" by the White House News Photographers Association. It'll make you really think about what an editor does during all those hours behind the keyboard.

Featured Project: The Addict

This week's featured project comes from summer 2007 and was Team UAT's entry into the Phoenix Film Foundation's annual 48-Hour Film Challenge, where it won Best Comedy and went on to be an Official Selection at the 2008 Phoenix Film Festival.

Directed and Produced by Jon Ray
Director of Photography Evan Sprague
Edited by Sam Goff

YouTube Link

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Stereoscopic 3D: Fad or Not?

From StudioDaily: Editors debate whether stereoscopic 3D is here to stay or if it will soon disappear just like it has in the past. Hear reasons why 3D may be different this time around and why some don't buy any of it.

Starting Out in Film, Now What?

Here's some great advice for our alumni, recent grads, and soon-to-be grads - courtesy of NYC-based blogger, filmmaker, and educator Jonathan Poritsky of The Candler Blog:

Starting Out in Film, Now What?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

After Effects Tutorial: Making Elements Grow

Creative Cow has a great tutorial on a very common motion graphics technique - the growing or "evolving" organic elements that we see popping up in all sorts of motion graphics projects these days. If you've ever wondered how it's done, here's the tutorial for you!

Ultimate Motion Graphics Tutorials Round-Up

Smashing Magazine has published a great list of awesome motion graphics tutorials for After Effects. They run the gamut from simple and elegant designs using AE alone to complex effects using plug-ins and 3rd party software like 3DS Max. Check out the complete list here.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Featured Project: Room for One More

This week's featured project comes from last semester's DVA442 HDV Production class, written and directed by Shon Major and with stellar cinematography by Ryan Loveland.

Room for One More from UAT Digital Video on Vimeo.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

After Effects Tutorial Roundup

Topher Welsh of AE Tuts+ has recently published a roundup of 30 great After Effects tutorials, ranging from simple motion graphics tricks to amazing visual effects feats. Check them out here!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Featured Project: Polarity

Here's a project from last semester's DVA241 class, produced in HD by student Chris Erickson. This one has it all - great cinematography, editing, and visual effects - and a compelling story. Check it out!

Polarity from UAT Digital Video on Vimeo.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Reinventing Star Trek's VFX


How J.J. Abrams Demanded, and ILM Delivered, More Story from Every Shot
By Barbara Robertson
May 13, 2009

We’re sitting with Paul Kavanagh in a screening room at Industrial Light & Magic, watching director J. J. Abrams’ early cuts for the film Star Trek. Kavanagh was the animation supervisor at ILM, which created 864 visual effects shots for the spacefaring adventure. Abrams’ reboot of the venerable franchise scored big over opening weekend, raking in $76.5 million at the North American box office amidst galaxies of critical acclaim. ILM’s Roger Guyett, who was also the second unit director, supervised the visual effects, which also included work by Digital Domain, Evil Eye, Lola, Svengali and Kerner Optical.

Read the rest here!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

New DVA101 Finals Now Online

Last semester's crop of DVA101 Final Action Movies are now on YouTube. Here's one of them... check out the rest here.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Lessons and Advice from Top Editors

The AlphaDogs Editors' Lounge in April featured a panel of four seasoned editors with diverse backgrounds talking about the craft of editing and how it has changed since they got in the business. In this series of videos, feature film editor Billy Weber, reality TV editor Glenn Morgan, trailers editor Carol Streit and jack-of-all trades editor Terry Curren discuss the lessons they have learned in decades of work and offer bits of wisdom not found in any film school or editing manual.

To watch and learn how these editors forged their careers, click here.

To watch video of these editors discussing the lessons they've learned in decades in the the business and the advice they have for aspiring editors, click here.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

New DVA101 Commercial Spoofs Online

Last semester's 30 Second Commercial Spoofs are now online on YouTube. Here's one... the rest can be found here!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Featured Project: A Day For Tea

During the 2005 Summer semester, DVA441 Competition Shorts was run for the very first time, and the students were tasked with producing a number of short films that would be "competition ready" - for submission to film festivals and to competitions like IFP/Phoenix's "Screen Wars." Here's the second film produced by that class (the first one presented here as a Featured Project was "Bad Whiskey" back in March). This one is called "A Day For Tea" and is a good example of how DV students can use the UAT campus in creative ways to double for other locales. Watch it on YouTube.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Video: Adjunct Professor Webb Pickersgill wins Arizona Filmmaker of the Year

Here's a follow-up to our April 7 story about UAT Digital Video adjunct professor Webb Pickersgill winning the coveted Arizona Filmmaker of the Year Award at the 2009 Phoenix Film Festival. Bivas Biswas (2008 Arizona Filmmaker of Year) has posted an on-the-scene video of the event here on YouTube. Watch for appearances by other UAT Digital Video faculty - adjunct professors Steve Briscoe and Chris LaMont throw their 2 cents in. And yet somehow Professor PD was missed? Hmmmm....

Oh, and a little warning about NSFW language... filmmakers + free drinks = mayhem indeed.

This is why we teach Avid...

Avid has posted their new demo reel for 2009, highlighting their entire product line, their new logo, and footage from some of their biggest and most visible customers. Check it out here!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

New DVA101 Action Portraits online

The latest batch of "Action Portrait" projects from this semester's DVA101 classes are now online on YouTube. Here's one to get you started. The rest can be found here.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

DV Internship: UAT's IT Department

The UAT IT Department needs a video production intern! The ideal candidate will possess basic knowledge of digital video editing and will be skilled with the DV camcorders we possess in the library. (If you've been through DVA101, you qualify.) The IT Department mainly creates small content for the internet, for sites such as Flickr, Vimeo, and YouTube.

Any students interested in this internship should contact Digital Media Producer Kari McBride by the first week of May. Early submissions are highly encouraged!

Monday, April 13, 2009

This is why you shouldn't be texting in class

From In this funny (and actually poignant) 3-minute talk, social strategist Renny Gleeson breaks down our always-on social world -- where the experience we're having right now is less interesting than what we'll tweet about it later.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Inspiration: World Builder

Here's another great film that exemplifies the type of filmmaking the UAT Digital Video program is now focusing on - a film shot entirely on a greenscreen stage. A strange man uses holographic tools to build a world for the woman he loves. This is a short by filmmaker Bruce Branit known also as the co-creator of 405.

Direct YouTube Link

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Featured Project: Homina Homina

This week's featured project is a music video created for DVA241 Digital Video Production by student Johanna Arcand during the Summer 2004 semester.

Direct YouTube Link

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

New This Summer - DVA451 Advanced Visual Effects

Jump into the world of visual effects! In DVA451 Advanced Visual Effects students will combine live action actors, greenscreen composites, 3D environments, CG characters, matchmoving, particles, and more to create stunning professional-quality VFX shots. If you are a Digital Video or Digital Animation major, this class is a must! DVA451 is offered on Wednesdays and Fridays @ 1:30 pm this Summer. See Professor Paul DeNigris for an override to join this exciting course!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Adjunct Professor Webb Pickersgill wins Arizona Filmmaker of the Year!

The UAT Digital Video program's newest adjunct instructor took home top honors at the 2009 Phoenix Film Festival - the coveted Copper Wing Award for Arizona Filmmaker of the Year! Webb Pickersgill, an accomplished cinematographer, director, editor, and visual effects artist, owns and operates his own film and video production company here in the Phoenix Metro Area, Bassline Digital. In addition, Webb is a frequent award-winning filmmaker, taking home numerous awards at IFP/Phoenix's "Beat the Clock" film challenges this past year.

This semester, Webb joined the UAT faculty to teach DVA335 Digital Cinematography, and he is expected to continue teaching one or two classes per semester for the foreseeable future. His expertise and enthusiasm for teaching make him a welcome addition to the UAT Digital Video faculty - and his being named Arizona Filmmaker of the Year cements his place as one of the most skilled practitioners of digital filmmaking here in the Valley of the Sun. Our hat's off to you, Webb!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

DV Job: Video Editor at Sony Computer Entertainment

If there was ever a job perfectly suited for a UAT grad, this is it:

Video Editor - Sony Computer Entertainment

Educational Opportunity at the Phoenix Film Festival

The Phoenix Film Festival has extended a generous offer to UAT students - free admission to their Educational Outreach Program on Friday, April 3rd.
Friday April 3rd, 9am-2pm Celebrity/Guest Filmmaker Panels

This day is for any film-loving student! Panel discussions will be held with local, national, celebrity and independent filmmakers on topics such as documentary films and narrative films. Also discussed will be the roles of the filmmaker and the experiences of the panelists. Students will get opportunities to ask the experts their own questions as well. We have Virginia Madsen, John Schaech, as well as the filmmakers from "Official Rejection", "Corpse Run", "Shooting Beauty" and "The Map Reader" to name a few (subject to change). After the panel discussions, the students will also watch a Phoenix Film Festival Shorts program made by student filmmakers.
The Phoenix Film Festival Educational Outreach Program is held at the Harkins Scottsdale 101 Theatres. Any UAT student interested in attending should email Paul DeNigris at immediately to reserve your seat!

Inspiration: Prey Alone

Here's a great film that exemplifies the type of filmmaking the UAT Digital Video program is now focusing on - a film shot entirely on a greenscreen stage. "Prey Alone" is a short thriller film set in a city during the late 20th century. It stars Ger Carey, Andy Moore, and Kurt Savage. It was directed by Stephen St. Leger and James Mather and produced by John McDonnell. It is known for its impressive visual effects, which were done on a render farm made up of several personal computers. The film took four days to film in front of a green screen and three months to finish.

Prey Alone

Watch it on AtomFilms.

Visit the film's official website, including some great "before & after" analysis of the visual effects.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Featured Project: You Could Be Happy

This week's featured project is a music video created for both DVA241 Digital Video Production and DVA274 Digital Video Editing by student Daniel Sontag during the September 2007 semester.

Direct YouTube link

Saturday, March 28, 2009


Touting itself as "The Network for Digital Filmmakers," offers video tutorials and interviews with some of Hollywood's most successful editors, DPs and other technical people. Featured on the site right now is a 5-part interview with Slumdog Millionaire editor Chris Dickens. Videos are playable on the site as Quicktimes, or can be downloaded in a variety of formats, including iPod-compatible.

Friday, March 27, 2009 Student Film Contest - Win $1000!

Enter your 3-15 minute by March 31st to be eligible to win $1000 in's Student Film Contest. There is no fee for entry, and no limit to the number of films you can submit. Winners are chosen based on audience votes - and there are only 41 entries as of this posting. Surely some UAT Digital Video student can take the top prize!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Win $10,000 for College

Upromise, the largest private source of college funding contributions in America, is offering a creative opportunity for future, current and even recent graduates to win $10,000 toward a higher education. As part of its mission to help make a college education more attainable, Upromise launched its Tuition Tales video contest on March 24.
Think you or someone you know deserves $10,000 for college? Tell us about it – in a 30-second video. Make us laugh. Make us cry. Make money for college. Three $10,000 winners will be chosen in this video contest. You could be one of them! Are you saving for college, in college now or paying back student loans? Tell us your Tuition Tales today.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Innovation: Slumdog Millionaire's unique Silicon Imaging 2K camera rigs

Silicon Imaging, a leader in digital imaging and one of the companies on the forefront of the digital cinema revolution, has issued a press release detailing the unique SI-2K Digital Cinema Camera rigs created for Best Picture winner Slumdog Millionaire.
A customized camera support and recording package had to be built to meet the unique form factor demands of the Slumdog shoot. They enlisted Pille Film, of Wiesbaden Germany, to create a custom solution which included a gyro stabilizer for the base of the SI-2K Mini. Instead of using the traditional film-style camera body, they elected to use Apple Mac book Pro notebook, running Windows XP, for the recorders, and built them into ruggedized backpacks, to be worn inconspicuously. Stefan Ciupek, the show’s technical supervisor and additional camera operator, coordinated the design and modifications of the camera system with Wolfgang Damm of Pille, whose team worked around the clock to get the 2K Mini rigs built.
Read the complete press release here.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Featured Project: Healer

Here's a great example of a DVA101 final project from the Fall 2008 semester. "Healer" was created by students Luke DeSalvo, Chris Erickson, Hido Harada, and Arron Willoughby.

Direct YouTube link

Sunday, March 22, 2009

New DVA101 projects posted to YouTube

The "Morning Routine" projects from this semester's crop of DVA101 students have been posted on YouTube. Here's one of 'em:

Direct YouTube link

Check out the rest here!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Great Idea for a Senior Innovation Project

If you're a UAT student searching for a concept for your SIP (Senior Innovation Project), how about this one, posited by none other than our DVA101 textbook author, Stu Maschwitz?

Friday, March 20, 2009

DV Jobs and Internships from

Here's a handful of jobs and intership opportunities cherry-picked from the copious listings on the Career Center:

Post Prod. Documentary Intern

Post Production Sound--Summer Credit Intern (at Fox Filmed Entertainment)

Production Assistant at Time Warner Cable (Ohio)

Editor / Motion Graphics Artist for RED Music Video

30-Second Spot Editor (Georgia)

Good luck!

UAT Showcase at 2009 Phoenix Film Festival - Lineup Announced!

A 45-minute program of projects created by UAT Digital Video students, alumni, and faculty will be part of the 2009 Phoenix Film Festival.

The "Arizona College Shorts Showcase" will also feature works by students from the ASU film school and will be shown on Saturday, April 4th at 9:20 am at the Harkins Scottsdale 101 Theatres. Tickets are $10 each.

The complete line up of the first-ever UAT Digital Video Showcase at the Phoenix Film Festival:

"Making a Hit"
Dir: Associate Professor Steve Briscoe with the Alumni crew

Music Video: "This is Your Life"
Dir. Chris Sawiel and John Rhyne

"Fragile Things"
Dir: Susanna Morgan

"Harmonica Boy"
Dir: Raman Ravindran

"Chet vs. The Elevator"
Dir: Chris DeCicco

Music Video: "Place for My Head"
Dir: Nick Wassenberg and Justin Savino

Dir. Timothy Allen

"Clyde Cuts His Deal"
Dir: Johanna Arcand

Music Video: "Great Day"
Dir: Daniel Sontag

"Hit the Bowl"
Dir: Matt McElroy and Daniel Sontag

"Last Call"
Dir: Timothy Allen

"I Have Some News"
Dir: Professor Paul DeNigris with the Student crew

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

National College Funny Film Competition is hosting the "National College Funny Film Competition." They're looking for funny films, 15 seconds to 5 minutes in duration - and any college student is eligible to enter.

Check it out!

Meeting with John Truby

Every UAT Digital Video student knows that the teachings of Hollywood script doctor John Truby are an integral part of how I teach screenwriting in my classes. The 24 hour news channel France 24 has recently posted video of Mr. Truby's appearance promoting his "Master Class" that he teaches all over the world.

Watch now!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Featured Project: Bad Whiskey

This week's featured project from the UAT Digital Video archives was produced for DVA441 Competition Shorts class and was the winner of the Screen Wars Western Film Challenge during the summer of 2005.

Friday, March 13, 2009

UAT Films to be Featured at 2009 Phoenix Film Festival

In addition to "Cowboy Dreams" - written and produced by Associate Professor Steve Briscoe and directed by Professor Paul DeNigris - a 45-minute program of projects created by UAT Digital Video students, alumni, and faculty will be part of the 2009 Phoenix Film Festival.

The "Arizona College Shorts Showcase" will also feature works by students from the ASU film school and will be shown on Saturday, April 4th at 9:20 am at the Harkins Scottsdale 101 Theatres. Tickets are $10 each.

Keep watching this space - the complete line up of the first-ever UAT Digital Video Showcase at the Phoenix Film Festival will be announced shortly!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Call for Volunteers: Phoenix Film Festival

The 2009 Phoenix Film Festival is coming up! Check out their call for volunteers, below. If you're currently enrolled in any UAT Digital Video classes, this is a great way to earn extra credit! See your instructor for details.
The 9th Annual Phoenix Film Festival is right around the corner! The festival takes place at the Harkins Scottsdale/101 from April 2 - April 9. We can’t pull this off without the help of our amazing volunteers. In exchange for a commitment of at least 24 hours, volunteers will receive a festival t-shirt and a full festival pass (excludes the opening night screening). In addition to the various positions you can help out with during the festival, there will be pre-festival volunteer opportunities for those of you who like to work most of your hours before the festival.

There are plenty of shifts still available for sign up. Many of you have volunteered with us many times before, however due to changes taking place this year, we’re asking everyone to attend an orientation. There is one remaining Volunteer Orientation scheduled to go over the specifics and answer any questions you may have. This is also an opportunity to sign up for the shifts you'd like to work. Orientation last about an hour and will take place at the

Phoenix Film Foundation Offices
1700 North 7th Avenue in the Metro Arts Institute building (top floor)
NW corner just north of the Circle K at McDowell.

Orientation will be held Saturday: March 21, 2009 at 1:00pm

Please email to reserve a space or if you have any questions. We’ll see you at orientation.

We look forward to working with all of you at the upcoming festival!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

90+ Basic Avid Media Composer Tutorials

Here's a great resource I found on the Avid Community bulletin boards:

90+ Tutorials on Basic MC tips

One of the board's moderators has been producing short video tutorials on a number of Media Composer-related topics, and has now aggregated them all in one handy list. If you're struggling with Avid or just need a refresher, be sure to check them out.

(Just a word of warning, some of the tutorials are specifically about transitioning from Avid Liquid to Media Composer. If you've never used Liquid, these might be a tad confusing and are probably best skipped.)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Featured Project: Clyde Cuts His Deal

This week's featured student project comes from DVA241 Digital Video Production class and was created by students Johanna Arcand and Max Hollman back in Summer 2004.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Avid upgrades Media Composer

In yesterday's edition of the Studio Daily Blog, Scott Simmons writes that Avid is now "dongle free in 2009." That's right, the little purple dangly thing is going away for good. And while current UAT students might not realize that Avid even has a dongle (the dongles are locked inside the PCs in our Avid lab), students from just a few years ago will surely remember the nightmare of having to check a dongle out of the Library every time they wanted to use the Avid software. What a mess! But thankfully, that is all behind us now.

What's more, Avid Media Composer 3.5 features new, revolutionary tools for handling tapeless media like XDCAM and P2, adds stereoscopic (3D) support, and a host of other upgrades big and small. Check out Avid's press release for more info.

And... last and probably best for the Digital Video student... Media Composer is also available as a free, fully-functional, 14-day trial... here.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Spirit of UAT

Here's a sweet little piece completed by student Ryan Loveland for DVA353 Visual Effects class. A really nice example of what Frank Miller calls "using color as a weapon."

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Behind the VFX of Benjamin Button

Here's a great TED talk about the Oscar-winning visual effects created for David Fincher's The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Now I am not a big fan of the overall film, but I was certainly wowed by the visual effects. Here, Ed Ulbrich from Digital Domain takes us step-by-step through the creation of the film's most dazzling effect - a photorealistic human head.