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Magic Bullet Looks

Powerful plug in that allows you to configure and add different looks to your footage By David Basulto

?Good things come to those who wait. My father instilled that mantra in my brain as a child. The good news was most of the time it was true.

When I made my first film digitally a few years ago I knew absolutely nothing about color correcting. I knew it was needed as all the films I produced prior to my first digital movie were color corrected. The one thing I knew was it was expensive.

As I finished editing my film Death Clique, some of my scenes were flat or too dark. After all it was made for close to nothing so who could afford a big lighting package? The story held up and that was most important for me.

I knew however I needed to do something to enhance it. I remember like it was yesterday when a friend told me about a product called Magic Bullet. The editing software I had at the time, Sony Vegas, had it installed with it. I opened it up and applied the different ?looks to the footage. I pushed the chair away from the desk, completely blown away by what had transpired. My little miniDV movie had a look of film.

When I began to submit the movie to distributors they all wanted to know if I shot on film. ?Its a mix of different formats I would say. Adding Magic Bullet really helped me sell the film. We received a distribution deal and it is now in Blockbusters nationwide.

The new ?Bullet
Since NAB 2007 I awaited patiently. After seeing effects god Stu Maschwitz demonstrate his newest collaboration with Red Giant Software, I knew this was a no brainer. You see Stu was the brains behind the original Magic Bullet. And that software, as I said, added tremendous production value to my film. Stu was showing us all the new Magic Bullet Looks. The plug in works with all my favorite applications like Adobe After Effects and Premiere Pro, and Apples Final Cut Pro and Motion. We all stood there with our jaws hanging. This was Magic Bullet on steroids.

What is Magic Bullet Looks?
Red Giant Softwares new Magic Bullet Looks is a powerful plug in that allows you to configure and add different looks to your footage. Things that you would do in your production stage such as adding certain filters, or light configurations, and other methods you would do in post production like chemical processes such as Saving Private Ryans famed bleach bypass are all now at your creative fingerprints.

The product ships with a 100-Look library to get you started. You can customize each look to fit your needs or create a new look from scratch. After an easy save process the new look will be in your library for your next adventure.

One application to rule them all
Ok, so I took that from Lord of the Rings but it does ?ring quite true. The folks at Red Giant Software know their clientele. Many of us no longer use one application. We use several. So what did they do? Red Giant Softwares Magic Bullet Looks is a plug-in that can be used with Adobe After Effects, Adobe Premiere Pro, Apple Final Cut Pro, Apple Motion, and Avid Systems. One purchase equals the capability to use it with all the applications. So whatever your flavor of the day is, Magic Bullet Looks will be awaiting your creative hands.

The new design interface is easy to master. I literally picked it up yesterday and feel completely competent now when using it. Also included is the masking capability of Red Giant Softwares Colorista, which I used on my latest film Fiesta Grand. The masking tool lets you apply the looks to certain areas of your footage. Talk about power.

New Interface
Magic Bullet Looks new interface is something to marvel at. On both sides are QuickDrawers that allow the Tools on the right and Looks on the left to slide in and out of view. This allows you to have much more room to work. Lets say you want that "Matrix" sci fi look for your new film. Simply move the mouse cursor to the left, and it will open the Look drawer. Find the look you want and simply click on it to apply it to the scene. From there you can either modify the items in the tool chain on the bottom or add new tools by moving the mouse to the right opening the Tool drawer. And if this is at all confusing you can click the Help:On button on the top for some great interactive help.

Final thoughts
I am absolutely, stark ravingly, madly in love with the new Magic Bullet Looks. The new user interface is rock solid and easy to use. The fact that I can use it with any of the apps I use makes this a no brainer. Magic Bullet Looks costs $399, which is a steal in my opinion. If you are a previous owner (check the site for details) it will run you $99 to upgrade. In the very least do yourself a favor and download the free trial version.

You also receive the Magic Bullet LooksBuilder which is a stand alone application that allows you to previz looks on the set using JPEG or TIFF. For info visit  I give this product 5/5 stars for versatility, power, and ease of use.

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David Basulto is an independent filmmaker in Los Angeles. After 17 plus years, David is well versed in all aspects of filmmaking from development to distribution. He produces, directs, edits, and now is addicted to motion graphics and 3d. His last film, Death Clique is in Blockbusters nationwide. David is also the host of the In his spare time David is an avid gamer and can be found slaying monsters in the world of Vanguard. For more info visit
Related Keywords:Video filters, NLE, plug-ins, video effects plug-ins, magic bullet looks


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