The A-List — Kabir Akhtar, ACE, Editor of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”

Kabir Akhtar is an American television director and Emmy Award-winning editor. Akhtar’s credits include work for Arrested Development, New Girl, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Unsolved Mysteries, Behind the Music, and the Academy Awards. He has edited nine pilots which were made into series, and also directed the pilot episode of the MTV series 8th & Ocean, and the TV Diaries pilot for Fox.

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The A-List — Julian Smirke (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and Kristen Young (Avatar)

Julian Smirke is known for his work as an Assistant Editor of Star War: The Force Awakens. Other credits include Star Trek (2009), Star Trek Into Darkness (2013), and Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol (2011).

Kristen Young is known for her work as an Assistant Editor: Performance Capture for Avatar. Other credits include Superbad (2007), The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006), and X-Men: First class (2011).

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What’s New in Media Composer 8.9.3 — Now Available

Whether you’re a Media Composer veteran, coming back to Avid, or new to video editing, working with Media Composer 8.9.3 is now easier and more productive. This new update is packed with great new features that accelerate your editorial workflows. Here’s a detailed overview of what’s new in Media Composer — now available!

The following new features are also available in Media Composer | First 8.9.3, empowering you with the right tools and advantage you need to succeed—for FREE!

Note that this release includes support for Mac OS v10.13.

Relinking across Frame Rates

With this release, you can relink across different frame rates. A new option has been added to the Relink dialog box that allows you to relink to clips across different frame rates. This option is enabled by default.

Motion Adapters and Source Settings Support for Matte Key Effects

With this release, Matte Keys support Motion Adapters. Adapters are applied to both the graphic fill and alpha sub tracks. This allows users to change the format / frame rate of a sequence that has Matte Keys.

Effects parameters Update

With this release, the following effect parameters have been updated to include a decimal for better precision.

• Picture in Picture Position X and Y parameter values have been extended to -3000.0 to +3000.0.
• 3D Warp Axis X, Y, and Z parameter values have been extended to -3000.0 to +3000.0.
• 3D Warp Target X and Y parameter values have been extended to -3000.0 to +3000.0.
• Resize Position X and Y parameter values have been extended to -3000.0 to +3000.0.

Adjusting FrameFlex Parameters

With this release, using the Shift key while adjusting the X, Y, Size, and Z Rotation framing parameters, allows for a more controlled adjustment.

Move Clips Up and Down in the Timeline

New Keyboard command allowing users to move Clips Up and Down in the Timeline .The Move Clip Up and Move Clip Down keys are assigned to the up and down arrows of the default keyboard settings.

Color Info Tool Setting

A new setting has been added to the Effect Editor that allows you to disable the Color Info Tool from automatically launching when you access a color picker.

Audio Pitch Correction

This release includes an Audio Pitch Correction option. This can be enabled in the Audio Settings in the Project window. With Pitch Correction enabled, when you shuttle at speeds above sound speed, a pitch shift is applied to restore original pitch.

Dynamic Shuttle

With this release, you can use the Dynamic Play Forward and Dynamic Play Reverse buttons to adjust play speeds at smaller increments than with the usual J and L keys. Combined with Audio Pitch Correction you can now speed through footage, and monitor the dialog more clearly than ever.

Color Correction Presets

The effects library contains several color correction preset effects that you can apply directly to clips in a sequence. Click the effects icon in the Project window to access the list of presets.

Tool Palette Update

This release includes changes to accessing the Tool Palette. The Composer window Fast Menu that had previously displayed the Tool Palette has been replaced with a new Tool Palette button. And the Project window Settings tab includes Tool Palette settings allowing you to have customized versions of the Tool Palette.

Audio Mix Tool Settings Update

In a previous release, you could choose to set the display of the Audio Mixer Tool in either an expanded or narrow view by right clicking in the tool and selecting Set Display Options. With this release, you can create user settings for displaying the Audio Mix Tool.

Displaying Faster Thumbnails

If you prefer better resolution for the thumbnails displayed in a bin, deselect Faster thumbnails from the Bin menu. This option only applies to the currently selected Bin.


Get more details on these features, changes and improvements in the ReadMe and What’s New documents on our Media Composer Documentation page.

Media Composer 8.9.3 is now available for all customers who have a Subscription, Floating or Perpetual License with an active Upgrade and Support plan. As soon as you connect to the internet, your Avid Application Manager will notify you about the availability of this new version. If you don’t have an internet connection on your system, just download the latest version from your Avid Account or the Video Download Center.

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Accelerate storytelling with the tools embraced by top movie, television, and broadcast editors. And power through HD and high-res editing faster and easier than ever.

The A-List — Josh Earl, ACE (Deadliest Catch) and Kelley Dixon, ACE (Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul)

Josh Earl is known for his work on Deadliest Catch (2005), American Heiress (2007) and Jay and Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie (2013). Winner of the Emmy Award for Outstanding Picture Editing for an Unstructured Reality Program for Deadliest Catch (2005) form 2011-2015. Was nominated for four other Emmy Awards.

Kelley Dixon is known for her work on Breaking Bad (2008), Good Will Hunting (1997) and Better Call Saul (2015). She is a winner of the Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series for the 2013 Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards.

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The A-List — Colby Parker Jr, ACE, Editor of “Deepwater Horizon”, “Patriots Day”

Colby Parker Jr. is an editor and actor, known for Deepwater Horizon (2016), Patriots Day (2016), Ant-Man (2015) and Lone Survivor (2013). Together with Dan Lebental, he was nominated for a American Cinema Editors Award and Saturn Award for Best Edited Feature Film – Comedy or Musical for his work on Ant-Man.

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The A-List — Catherine Haight, ACE, Editor of “Transparent”, “New Girl”

Catherine Haight is an editor on the Amazon series Transparent (2014). Other credits include Afternoon Delight (2013), Mozart in the Jungle (2014), Girls (2012), and New Girl (2011). Her work on the pilot episode of Transparent earned a nomination for both an Emmy and ACE Eddie Award. The pilot episode of Girls also received an ACE Eddie nomination in 2013.

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Learning Media Composer | First can open the door to a career in media and entertainment. Make a name for yourself starting now… Use the tools the pros use—for FREE.

The A-List — Adam Gerstel, Editor of “Transformers: The Last Knight”

Adam Gerstel is known for his work on The Departed (2006), Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) and The Aviator (2004). Most recently he was the editor for Michael Bay’s blockbuster Transformers: The Last Knight.

Meet Media Composer | First

Learning Media Composer | First can open the door to a career in media and entertainment. Make a name for yourself starting now… Use the tools the pros use—for FREE.

Learn Avid Media Composer | First in Under 7 Minutes!

Now, with Avid Media Composer First, you can test the waters of the industries’ leading and most powerful editing software! Whether you’re a seasoned editor in another software, or this is your first time editing, this crash course tutorial will show you how to get started in Avid Media Composer First in less than 7 minutes!

Visit and subscribe to Red Arrow Industries’ YouTube Channel to see more editing tips and tricks. New tutorials every Tuesday!

Meet Media Composer | First

Learning Media Composer | First can open the door to a career in media and entertainment. Make a name for yourself starting now… Use the tools the pros use—for FREE.

Q&A with Editor Paul Machliss, ACE, on Baby Driver

Editor extraordinaire Paul Machliss, ACE, carved out some time in his schedule to talk with Avid about the unique role he played cutting the hugely successful film Baby Driver.

Paul gave us an in-depth look at his relationship with Media Composer, his editing setup for Baby Driver, and his on-set workflow with Director Edgar Wright, who he worked with previously on Scott Pilgrim vs the World and The World’s End.

Before we jump into the Q&A, do yourself a favor and check out the trailer for Baby Driver. The film follows Baby, a young getaway driver who constantly listens to music to combat tinnitus and heighten his focus. Baby’s personal soundtrack plays a huge role in the film, and the music is incorporated into the action in unique and innovative ways.

And as you watch it, listen and see how the music ties in flawlessly with each movement, action scene, and dialogue on the screen.

Avid: How long have you been using Media Composer?

Paul: I think I first sat in front of one probably in 1996 because up until that time I was actually an online editor. As an editor, I remember sitting down in front of Media Composer and placing two clips on a timeline and then taking a third clip and being able to put it in between the other two and push the second one down so it became the third one. Now of course this sounds incredibly basic, but I’d been doing linear editing for the previous 8 or 9 years, so the first time I saw that happen, I remember running into my manager’s office and declaring, “This is the most amazing machine I’ve ever seen.”

I spent a few more years as an (increasingly frustrated) online editor. Interestingly, a job that came through in 1999 was a sitcom which needed online editing called Spaced. The young director of Spaced was a chap called Edgar Wright. This was my first encounter with him and we seemed to get on well. The online took about two weeks and then we were done. I thought ‘that was a nice gig to have worked on’ and moved on to the next job.

Eventually, I took the plunge in 2000 to nonlinear editing and started working on Media Composer. I made the decision to leave a pretty well paid full-time gig as an online editor to go become a freelance offline editor with almost no real experience and the vague promise that some of my online clients would throw me a few little stints. About six months later, I got a phone call from Nira Park, the producer of Spaced asking, “Edgar was wondering if you’d love to come on board and edit the rest of the second series of Spaced with him.” So up until then I’d only done a few little comedy pilots. I did one big documentary on David Beckham, the footballer, which is where I really learned a lot about what the Avid could do, and started to realize little tricks and things, and just really come to grips with it.  Then suddenly, come and edit the second series of Spaced. So, it really couldn’t have been more of a ‘trial by fire’ way of learning.  Working with Edgar, being thrown in the deep end, and then having to suddenly operate Avid at a particular level that he expected from a very experienced editor like Chris Dickens, who edited the first series. But that’s really where it began—how I went from onlining to offlining from linear to non-linear and from videotape to Avid. I’m sort of glad I went through that learning curve from linear to non-linear – the hard way to the easy way – because it really does make you appreciate just how incredibly easy it is to edit in Media Composer now and how much is at your fingertips in terms of what you can do with the software nowadays.

Avid:  How did you collaborate with Director Edgar Wright and other members of the production team on Baby Driver?

Paul: We took a process that he and I started back on Scott Pilgrim – editing on-set – and pushed it forward to almost the ultimate way of working in this style. By the beginning of 2016, I’d been doing quite a bit of prep with Edgar for Baby Driver because so much of it is ‘music based’ action. This time around he said, “Music is such an important part of this and getting it right, the action and the choreography and everything; it would be great if you could be on set almost all the time.” Every single day. So I thought, “Yeah, sure, why not.”

In order to receive the footage from the video assist I networked to his Mac Pro via an Ethernet connection. It basically meant that I could use his computer’s hard drive as my source drive. When he would record the video files, he would record them as ProRes QuickTime – which is an option on QTAKE. What it meant was as soon as he stopped recording, I could see the new clip come up on my finder window.

Now because of AMA – the ProRes codec is now built in to Media Composer –  I could just grab that clip, throw it into a bin immediately, put it onto the timeline, and begin editing with it instantaneously. That was a lifesaver.  We couldn’t really have done it if I didn’t have that facility.  So it meant that Edgar could go, “Right, cut.” And then yell out from the other side of the set, “Paul, how does it look?” And suddenly of course everyone is waiting, all the cast, all the crew, especially all the producers, looking at their watches wondering how long it’s going to take. I could drop the clip into the sequence and more often than not go, “Yeah it’s great; it worked perfectly.” And Edgar would go, “Great, we’ve got it; we’re moving on.”

Almost all of the action sequences on Baby Driver and some of the other ones as well which required a level of musical choreography were put together in that fashion.  It was incredible because there was a different kind of guideline on this because what happened is the edit would sort of affect the shot as much as the shots would affect the edit, both had to work together, and both had to be good in order to move on. So actually at that point the combination of production, the act of shooting, and the act of editing became symbiotic. One worked because the other one worked. So it was a very different way of putting a sequence together.

Now, of course, this was just assembling, this was just establishing that these shots cut together and we’re not going to have a continuity or timing problem because the main thing was we didn’t want to come back to London where we did all the post-production months later, and go, “Oh gosh, we missed that.”

So, it was very exciting to be there in the act of creation, where the editing played its part along with all the cast and all the crew.  Of course the reason it worked so well was we had such a fantastic crew —everyone pulled together.  I did my bit, but everybody contributed to make sure this incredibly different way of putting a film together worked as successfully as it did.

Avid:  What were some of the biggest challenges you faced in editing the film and how did Media Composer help you overcome those challenges?

Paul:  I mean the only way I can really describe Baby Driver is, it is unique in the sense that so much of the film is driven by the music and so many things that go on within it, whether it’s dialog scenes or action scenes, music, score – it plays such a pivotal part in this film.  It demanded a specific kind of a way of working and an approach that really we haven’t done before and unless somewhere down the track we end up doing Baby Driver 2, it may not be something that we will ever quite visit in this way again. It was such a unique approach to filmmaking.  So there’s the challenge of working with all this music and integrating it into the dialog and having a lot of action still on various cues and beats because the main character, Baby… his whole life is driven by music.

So obviously, you want to make sure that the tools of your trade are up to the task and I’m glad to say that, we put the Avid and the Mac through all sorts of weathers, you know, especially when we were out on location, it was either boiling hot with terrible humidity or sort of freezing cold with a layer of dew forming on the surface of the laptop. But it didn’t let us down at all. When we got back to London, we utilized the tried and trusted method of shared storage and having all the various departments, editorial, and VFX, being able to handle the material and to be able to integrate it and share. You just knew you were working with very, very solid software that wasn’t going to really let you down at those integral points.

And the fact that now, Media Composer can handle a very large complex timeline, you can have all 120 minutes of a film running on a single timeline. Seven or eight years ago when we were doing Scott Pilgrim, we would stitch all the reels together to watch the film in a single run in order to review. But it was so complicated – there was so much going on in that timeline – that it was pushing the limits of Media Composer. We were thinking, “Will it play, will it crash, will it hang, will it stay together with all those kinds of things going on in the sequence?” But nothing we threw at the Avid this time seemed to faze it at all.  It was very good to see that we could push the software as hard as we could and it was really up to the task in a very big way.


Avid:  What features do you like in Media Composer? Are there a few that you couldn’t live without?

Paul:  Well, the now standard features of resolution independence and AMA are so important to the way I work, I just couldn’t be without them. Over the years, Avid has refined it so now it’s very solid, very reliable. The background transcoding I find incredibly useful, but really I’m just cutting the pictures, there are VFX teams that work with us – they’re doing the really complicated stuff.  I find the tools that I’ve actually used for years, tools not so much to do complicated visual effects, but actually using them to problem-solve issues with picture cutting. Old favorites like the Resize tool or the 3D Warper or the Motion Tracker or the Animatte, I could not do what I do in the way I do it if I couldn’t rely on these tools.

Avid:  How did you develop your editing style for the film and what techniques did you use? 

Paul: The editing style… it’s what happens when you do a lot of comedy over the years, you really get adept at what constitutes good timing. Music is one of my fortes as well. That all lends itself to editing. You realize all these things you learned over the years, even when you’re a kid learning to play piano and learning about rhythm and timing, it all helps. It all comes together during the edit and knowing what you need to do in order to tell a story. Certainly as far as Edgar and I are concerned we go back almost 20 years so I know what he wants — you develop a shorthand. Directing and editing, it’s a kind of dialog you have, you know, the director gives you rushes, you give sequences back.

Every one of Edgar’s films is a little bit different, but he always has his kind of trademarks, his technique and his approach so you learn from that, from film to film, and you take what you learn and you push it forward to the next project. Edgar is always challenging you and it’s great to be pushed into new creative endeavors – he’s a fantastic director to work for.

Meet Media Composer | First

Learning Media Composer | First can open the door to a career in media and entertainment. Make a name for yourself starting now… Use the tools the pros use—for FREE.

Your Free Ticket to the Movies—Media Composer | First

From compelling dramas like last year’s critically acclaimed Lion to the latest superhero epics, like Wonder Woman, over 95% of mainstream films are edited on Media Composer. And editors of some of the most addictive TV shows, like Westworld, Transparent, and Better Call Saul trust Media Composer to bring binge-worthy series to life each week—on incredibly demanding timelines.

We’re in awe of the global community of filmmakers that tell our culture’s most important stories. And we couldn’t be prouder that Media Composer is their choice for creative editorial.

“This would be perfect for anybody who is trying to learn this software.”

—Catherine Haight, ACE, editor Transparent, New Girl

For most film-industry pros, the journey begins as an assistant. Shuttling coffee around editing suites. Making sure the ultra-foam double-shot soy latte order is just right (do they even make those?). Running hard drives across facilities. And hoping for a few moments to learn from a mentor. Or to get a chance to cut a scene on “the Avid”. For many, these can be the first experiences that aspiring pros have getting their hands on top editing tools.

We want the next generation of editors and content creators to have an easier way to become experts in the industry’s standard editing software. And to be able to make inspiring pro-quality videos on their own. That’s why we made Media Composer | First. Video editing software that gives you many of the same tools used to create your favorite movies and TV shows—completely free.

“I can probably cut Better Call Saul on this… and it’s free, wow!”

—Kelley Dixon, ACE, editor Better Call Saul, Breaking Bad

Media Composer | First includes everything you need to get an edge before you even get to set. Edit stories across four video tracks and eight audio tracks. Cut between multiple cameras, and add sound effects. Bring your imagination to life with built-in visual effects and color palettes. And once you’ve finished creating, quickly share your story to the world with one-click publishing to social media platforms like YouTube.

To help you get started editing right away, we created a series of video tutorials just for Media Composer | First. Plus, as part of the Avid family, you’ll have access to a community of the world’s top movie and television editors. Get expert editing tips, storytelling techniques, and career guidance from today’s top professionals.


• Create stories with the same tools moviemakers rely on everyday

• Establish your own style with powerful visual effects, color, and audio tools

• Instantly share your work with the world with quick publishing to YouTube

• Learn from the pros with our new tutorials and VIP guest videos

“I’m actually incredibly jealous that I didn’t have this when I was coming out of college!”

—Colby Parker Jr, ACE, editor Deepwater Horizon, Patriots Day

With Media Composer | First, you don’t need to land that assistant gig to launch your career. You don’t need to crowdfund your video editing workstation. You can take your stories, vlogs, and every creative idea to the next level—for free. Download Media Composer | First today.

Meet Media Composer | First

Learning Media Composer | First can open the door to a career in media and entertainment. Make a name for yourself starting now… Use the tools the pros use—for FREE.