Skip to content

Hit the ground running with Final Cut Pro X

In these tutorials you will learn some basic ideas on how to edit video with Final Cut Pro X. From importing your media to exporting your project, all the basics you need to know in order to create your video project are here.

In this first video you can learn about the basics of your interface.

This second video shows you how to create your project and add the basic tracks to your timeline.



In this third video we play with audio.

Learning how to add transitions and cross-dissolves in Final Cut Pro X.


How to add titles and lower-thirds.

Exporting your project.


Shooting video on the D7000

Thanks to Nice Lady Productions, here’s a quick tutorial of how to shoot vide using the Nikon D7000.

A somewhat more detailed video, here, from thinkingmediatv.

FTP for The Osprey and The LongIslander

Since we had a few issues with our FTP session, I’ve created this tutorial which should help you hit the ground running. It’s only 7 minutes.

Adobe Audition: Three Videos to Hit the Ground Running

These three videos will help you get started with Adobe Audition, an intuitive and powerful non-linear, audio editing platform.

In this first video you will learn how to find your files and bring them to Audition, the difference between the “Waveform” and the “Multitrack” windows, and destructive vs. non-destructive audio editing.

In this second video you will learn a few basic commands to create a podcast “Multitrack” session, to position your audio tracks, and to start editing your audio in a non-destructive environment.

This third video will show you a few editing tricks and will explore two ways to export your audio.

Setting up your Nikon D7100

Here are two excellent tutorials by PhotographersOnUTube, that will help you navigate the Nikon’s D7100 mainly to get your settings straight for still photo. Please check them out and read below the basic settings we will be using in class and for assignments.

Part 1:

Part 2:


1- Creating a “Photo” folder in your JDRIVE. You will download all your production into that folder. You can subdivide by “Drills” and by “Assignments” numbering the internal folders (1, 2, 3 etc.)

2- Inserting SD card. By systematic. Use “slot 1” for photos and “slot 2” for overflow.

3- Set the camera for Auto Focus (unless you are confident on your focusing skills). The switch is on the left side of the camera’s body.

-On that switch there’s a button which allows you to change the type of AF. In the viewer you will have three positions AF-A (which chooses the focus automatically); AF-S (which allows you to choose the focus); and AF-C (which is normally used for targets in movement). You should start with AF-S. You change this by pressing on the button and moving the front dial (under the top viewer of camera).

4- Sub Dial: S = Single shot ; CL = Continuous Low; CH = Continuous High; Q = Quiet. Set it up for CL.

MENU / You operate it with the wheel cursor to the right of the back screen.



Focus point: it will mark with a red point where the camera focus is.

Highlights: It will show you whether the photo is overexposed or not.


Role played by card in slot 2 = “Raw 1 / JPEG 2”

Image quality= RAW

White balance= AUTO

Set Picture control= Standard

Active D-Lighting= Auto.

Movie settings=

Frame size/rate =1920/1080 30p

Movie quality= high

Microphone= Auto (check the audio before recording video)

Destination= Slot 2

ISO= The button left of the display. You change it by pressing it and moving the dial at the top right of the body (lower ISO = lower light sensitivity / Higher ISO = higher light sensitivity)


FORMAT MEMORY CARD in case you need a clean card. Remember to download all the info you have in the SD card before formatting.

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION. You can add it here, or later in production using Adobe Bridge.


Interviewing Techniques

Interviewing is almost an art. And some people simply excel at it because they know how to engage their interviewees, making them feel comfortable and safe while asking the hardest questions.

Although the interview is a collaborative effort, you will immediately notice that this collaboration has its own rules. Even when sometimes both interviewer and interviewee can have a common goal, your agenda will usually differ from that of your interviewee. Thus, what you think was a great interview could also be the worst experience in your interviewee’s life.

Here are 13 interesting tips to conduct better interviews. The one I liked the most was number 13, endure awkward silences. Sometimes our questions will not be well received. But we still want the answer, right?


Tips to Produce a Good Radio Story

1. Make your script as clear as you possibly can. What is the story about? How would you tell the same story to your mother, brother or your best friend?

2. Use your own words. You don’t need to sound affected . Use the PRESENT TENSE.

3. Tape your story in interesting places for a nice audio atmosphere. Always remember to record your background sound. These sounds will help you connect your clips and enhance your story.

4. Keep the clips short.

5. Try to feature different voices in your piece. Male and female voices, different accents from different places, and from people of different age.

6. Use music that fits your story. Be mindful of copyright.

7. If available use sound effects. A simple sound effect can go a long way. And you can get sound effects for free on several libraries online.

8. Finally, think carefully about your kicker.

For a few more tips go the BBC Radio, which has fantastic tips for voice overs. BBC has also a nice standard radio script template. Mia Carter’s Radio Journalism 101 also has great tips.

Working With Pro Tools: Creating a Radio Session, Importing Audio, Trimming, Fading and Crossfading

Here’s how I would suggest you create your first Pro Tools session to work on a radio project. Remember that for now we will not be using any effects but simple audio tracks.


And here you can see how to import an audio track to your Pro Tools session.

This video shows you how to trim an audio region and how to apply a fade.

This video will teach you how to create a crossfade.

This video will teach you how to deal with volume on separate tracks and on the master fader track.

Finally, this one will teach you how to bounce your project and export it as a wav or an MP3 file

A Few Interesting Slideshows to Check Out

Here are four examples of good slideshows I’d like you to watch.

The first three were shot and reported by Pulitzer Prize Winner Barbara Davidson.

1- The Ballad of Mateo

2-Frozen and Forgotten

3- Pool Party

Here’s a link to Media Storm. They use both video and photography, but the basics of their storytelling is audio.

Check out “A Thousand More” story on Philly Mayer, a young boy with Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

Quick Guide to Soundslides

Here’s a really easy-to-follow tutorial on how to create a slideshow using Soundslides and how to embed it in a WordPress website.

Here’s the first video:

The second video tells you how to embed a Soundslides project in your WordPress blog.

Finally, here you have a link to Soundslides user manual

The Inverted Pyramid

Ok, here’s a graphic with the most basic elements of an inverted pyramid.

The classic "inverted pyramid" and its three main elements.

In Just the Facts David Mindich argues that the style was invented not by journalists, but by Abraham Lincoln’s secretary of war, Edwin M. Stanton. To validate this claim, Mindich studied several newspapers during the period between the 1840s, 1850s and 1860s, and found that the first clear example of inverted pyramid was Stanton’s announcement of Lincoln’s death, wired unedited by the A.P.

The dispatch read as follows:

Washington, April 14, 1865

To the Associated Press:

The President was shot in a theatre tonight and perhaps mortally wounded.

On Chapter 3, page 66 of Just the Facts Mindich explains that “because Stanton’s terse, impersonal dispatches appeared unedited on the front page of newspapers across the Union, he was widely read throughout the war.” So it seems that the most emblematic of all journalistic genres was not created by a journalist, but by a very efficient P.R. person.

Bruce Porter’s Ten Commandments for Journalists

The Journalist’s Ten Commandments

Bruce Porter CU’62 and author of “Blow: How a Small-Town Boy Made $100 Million with the Medellin Cocaine Cartel And Lost It All


1. Just the facts. Report what you’ve learned firsthand. Attribute to others anything you didn’t see or hear yourself. Avoid going with rumors or assumptions. And beware of describing people that reflect your bias.

2. Be accurate. Always distrust your ears; double check spellings of names; get ages and addresses right. When in doubt, leave it out.

3. Use exact quotes. In quoting people, put down exactly what they say, even if it sounds awkward. If in the beginning you can’t write fast enough to get the whole thing, limit yourself to phrases you know are correct.

4. Do not plagiarize. Never present another reporter’s work as your own. And in your class assignments do not “double dip.” Never present the same piece of work to two different classes without clearing it with the instructors.

5. Do not fabricate or approximate the details of a story you could not verify yourself. Transgress either Rule 4 or 5 and you will fail this class.

6. Be fair. This means calling around to get all sides of a story, taking special care to give representation to people with whom you disagree.

7. Honor all deadlines. If you can’t complete the story on time, go with what you’ve got.

8. Make all copy conform to the AP Stylebook.

9. Keep up on the news.

10. Out on assignment, use your imagination; do not follow the pack. Always try to seek out your own sources and strive to develop angles other reporters have not thought to pursue.

Creating an HTML 5 Button with Adobe Animate

In this post, I will quickly tell you a few differences between Adobe Flash and Adobe Animate regarding how to create and publish animations in WordPress.

1- Creating an HTML 5 button with Adobe Animate.

2-How to FTP your project and embed it in a WP post.

New Slideshows from Barcelona (2014)

Sombrerería (by Annalisa Palumbo and Giulia Carrarini)

Chichón, el Payaso (by Felipe González, Roble Ramírez and María Rosa Verdejo)

Gonzalo y su Saxofón (by Blanca Navarro and Nina Raquel)

Líneas Indelebles (by Adriano Luciani, Ana Matyszczyk and Camila Aristizábal)

El Templo de Gundicia (by Carla Fajardo, Monica Pelliccia, Giorgia Wizemann)

El Sueño de un Pescador (by Carlos Poveda, Claudia Sastre and María García)

New Projects from Catalonia (2013)

Here are a few more examples of the work of my masters students in Barcelona, Catalonia, produced during the Winter of 2013.

This first one by Nicolás Guillot y Melisa Aedo, tells the story of the urban statues at the Ramblas, and how the local government displaced them from the top of the Ramblas at Plaza Catalonia, and relocated them closer to the sea.

This second project, by Dea Stojadinowic and Anahí Gallardo, portrays the experiences of a Mexican actress in Barcelona.

A third video by Sebastián Garavelli and Dani Sorolla takes us for a walk into the last Vinyl stores in town.

This fourth video shows the struggle of catalonians who fight evictions to stay in their homes.

The fifth project, by Anna Garbus and Iu Andrés, shows what happens in a small Catalonian chapel in the week of Pope Benedict XVI resignment.

This project by Jenny Olbrich, Piera Carchedi and Alma Zhu portrays Catalan singer actress Olga Fañanás.

Our final slideshow takes us to the Carnaval in Sitges.

Google Drive and WordPress for Ithaca Week

In this series of videos I will show you how to how to work in Ithaca Week using Google Drive and WordPress.

This first movie will show you how to add our shared folders to your Google Drive, how to create and share a new document, and how to write comments in it.


In this second video you will learn how to publish the document to WordPress using Google Drive.


This third video will show you how to edit your document in WordPress, add categories, authors, and photos to it, and place it on the front page of Ithaca Week, or in one of its sections.

This fourth and final video shows you how to add images and modify Ithaca Week’s front page.


Avid Media Composer: Eight Videos to Hit the Ground Running

This series of videos will help you set up your project using AVID Media Composer. Some of the more refined commands will be explained in class, but here are the basic ideas you will need to get started with AVID.

In this video I show you how to set up your AVID user and where to place your files

This second video teaches you how to connect to your files via Avid Media Access and how to navigate your footage in the viewer and the timeline.

The third video shows you how to splice-in and overwrite clips into your timeline.

In this fourth video I show you how to add and manipulate transitions.

This fifth video shows how to add fades and start creating titles with Marquee.

This sixth video will show you how to use Marquee to add titles to your project

In this seventh video you’ll learn how to bring your titles to the timeline and add them to your sequence.

Finally, this eight video teaches you how to export your movie as Quicktime video.