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Apple Color Call Box Training DVD

Learn the ins and outs of Apple's latest video application By Heath McKnight

When Apple introduced Color  to the world, editors everywhere rejoiced: Finally a professional color grader and finisher for Final Cut Pro, which is included with Final Cut Studio 2. However, when many of us novices opened Color, we were greeted with an unfamiliar interface, complex controls, and much more. Fortunately, Call Box training has an excellent new DVD featuring a professional colorist giving expert instruction.

I am a big fan of training DVDs; the best way for me to learn is by watching while referencing the instruction manual, then trying out what I’ve learned. What I like about Call Box is how friendly host Noah Kadner is, and how easy he breaks everything down.  Co-host Stuart Ferreyra, who co-owns a post house in Santa Monica, California, is a professional colorist who has plenty of experience with color grading and finishing, in particular Color, which Apple acquired from Silicon Color, when the product was called Final Touch.

Noah interviews Stuart, and acts almost as the viewer’s liaison; ie, he’s asking a lot of the questions that are on our minds, and this is where the DVD really shines. Getting this kind of instruction is what works.



The DVD starts out with an introduction, followed by Stuart’s tips on system requirements (yes, 4 GB of RAM, minimum, is a must), along with hardware requirements, such as a capture card from AJA or DeckLink, to view your work on a professional monitor. When you’re color grading, you need to be able to see how your work is holding up on a broadcast monitor. (Note, recently Matrox released an update to their MXO device, which now enables Final Cut Studio 2 users to view their work with Color on an LCD acting as a broadcast monitor. Visit www.matrox.com for more.)

Stuart explains many technical terms and tools in the world of video production and editing, in easy-to-understand language that won’t make your head explode. Not everyone is a “deep tech geek,” and both Stuart and Noah keep things simple, explaining what something is, and what its function and importance is. This helps when you begin working in Color. But keep the manual nearby for further reference and more instruction.

Stuart moves into workflows, walk-throughs, tips and tricks, and the training disc has much to give. He is an expert, and it shows, and while I watched on my Mac laptop, I did a little work in Color, and found myself feeling more and more confident with the application.  It’s daunting when you first open it, but the DVD gives the confidence to look past the interface and begin color grading.

Stuart explains the interface, including how to work with primaries and secondaries; doing fixes, color correcting and more with your video; and creating specific looks, or using some of the plug-ins found within Color.

Call Box delivers again; by having Noah ask questions that are on Color users’ minds, and Stuart’s easy-to-follow answers and instruction, this is a must-own DVD to get started with Apple’s newest professional video application. For more information, visit www.callboxlive.com, where you can watch some samples, check out other titles, sign up for the newsletter and purchase a copy of the training DVD (retails for $75 USD).
    


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Heath McKnight is a filmmaker and author who has produced and directed several independent feature and short films, including Hellevator, 9:04 AM and December. He is currently web content manager for doddleNEWS. Heath was also a contributor to VASST's best-selling book, "The FullHD," and has written for TopTenREVIEWS and Videomaker.


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