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Call Box Training DVD: Panasonic P2 Workflow With Final Cut Pro and the HVX200

Host Noah Kadner, a certified FCP trainer, takes you through working with P2 cameras By Heath McKnight

Do you own a Panasonic P2 camera, including the HVX200, HPX500, HPX2000, or 3000?  Do you use Final Cut Pro (FCP)? Then this Call Box training DVD is for you.  Host Noah Kadner, a certified FCP trainer, takes you through working with P2 cameras, along with workflows between the P2 and FCP. He is very thorough in his instruction, and fortunately keeps things simple and easy-to-understand, so you donít have to run out and take a few video engineering courses before viewing the DVD.

Kadner begins by going through some basic functions and technical aspects of the P2 technology and the HVX200, a very nice camera from Panasonic, which is the DVCPRO HD big brother to the groundbreaking DVX100 minidv line of cameras. As I mentioned above, Kadner keeps things simple, and his friendly personality prevents you from feeling like you wonít ever understand. Trust me, this is an issue Iíve seen many times when I worked at a film school. If youíre too ďterse,Ē or too technical with the language, the students tend to learn less, and are usually afraid to ask questions. 

One thing I agree with Kadner on, is that you should look at the user manual to get more out of the camera. Read through it while you work with the HVX200, or whichever camera you own, and youíll find yourself ahead of the curve in no time.
If this is your first non-tape camera, welcome to a whole new world. I first tried out the HVX200 when it was first shipping, and it took me a little while to get my head around not doing tape back-ups (unless you can afford a very pricey DVCPRO HD deck and media). It also took some getting used to working with a completely data-transfer workflow between the camera and Final Cut Pro. This is something that is echoed by many shooters and editors. Kudner really shines with explaining the workflow, which is what the chief mission of his DVD is about.
There are several workflows Kudner discusses:

  • Offloading clips from the P2 cards during a shoot (versus taking the P2 cards home and importing them later in to your NLE, much like you would with a tape; therefore itís much more instantaneous when checking footage).
  • Exporting clips to a hard drive, including a FireWire drive.
  • Working with the P2 Store, which is a portable, battery-powered P2 drive for offloading clips.
  • Using variable frame rates (fast- and slow-motion) and how theyíre recorded versus how theyíre played back. There is a difference, and I had to hunt around for the way to do it right when I was recently cutting some slo-mo footage.
  • Keeping things organized in FCP, which Iíve learned over the years is far more important than most editors take into consideration.
  • Organization of P2 cards, so you donít lose track of which card was shot on, which one has been offloaded to a drive, and so on. This can slow down a production, and Kudner gives great tips to keeping the cards organized.
  • Exporting from Final Cut Pro into Color. Check out my review of Call Boxís Color training DVD
  • An Editorís shopping list, so you know which gear youíll need when it comes to editing P2 footage within FCP.

Once the options of keeping P2 cards organized, and youíve offloaded clips onto a drive, P2 storage device or computer, itís time to bring everything into FCP. What you know about logging and capturing tapes is similar when working with the clips, but most of what youíre used to get thrown out the window. Kudner takes the time to helping you get your footage into FCP, and organizing the files. He goes over working with 720p and 1080i/p footage in FCP.

Once the edit is done, Kudner touches upon creating DVDs, including working with Compressor and DVD Studio Pro. Itís not as hard as it looks, and he gives the basics to create a simple DVD.  The final thing to do, of course, is archiving your projects and clips.  Though you can go to DVCPRO HD tape with your movie or video, Kudner gives some other tips, which are much more affordable. He also discusses using FCPís Media Manager.

In conclusion, this is an excellent training DVD from Call Box. P2 technology can be a bit intimidating, especially if youíve been using tape for many years.  Kudnerís easy-to-understand and friendly approach will have you working with the P2 and Final Cut Pro with ease. Find out more at, where you can check out other training DVDs, see sample clips, and purchase a copy.  This DVD costs $74.99 USD.  Tech support for an hour with most FCP experts costs about that, so the value is excellent, in my opinion. 

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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.

Related Keywords:Panasonic P2 workflow, call box P2 training, video editing, video camera


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