Fundamentals of Commercial Finishing

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Course Number:
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Original Run Date:
July 2015 
5 hours 44 minutes 
Commercial finishing requires a wide yet very specific set of skills from technical to creative, organization, attention to detail, and even social and political skills to shepherd a wide variety of client personalities though the process. But it’s often a job that many artists don't have the opportunity to learn about in person. This new course, taught by Jeff Heusser, aims to demystify the job through sharing knowledge he has gleaned over 30 years of experience working on high end national TV commercials in the United States.

Heusser’s toolkit includes a hero Flame 2016 system, but also supporting apps like Nuke Studio, Hiero and a laptop full of software tools that are essential to support the process. This is not a software class to learn a particular tool, but we will be using software to illustrate concepts important to the process. Throughout the term we plan on touching on subjects such as bidding, concept tests, on-set behavior and tools, working with clients, the conform process, keying, tracking, developing a critical eye, as well as finishing and versioning. In addition we'll even look at how to market yourself and your company — including building successful demo reels.

If you've ever been curious about becoming a finisher and want to get a leg up on your competition, this course is for you.

Jeff Heusser has a career that includes working in Cincinnati, New York, Chicago and for the last 20 years, Los Angeles. With a focus on national commercials, including several Super Bowl spots, he has specialized on mixing creative with technical expertise. Long an early adopter of technology he has been a part of many alpha and beta software development programs.
Fundamentals of Commercial Finishing
Watch our overview of the course

Class Listing

Class 1

What is the job? Jeff details his experience and how you can use this knowledge. Software discussion.

Class 2

The finisher’s role in bidding jobs and working with the producer.

Class 3

The conform. EDL/AAF/XML - the imperfect acronyms you need to master to get the job done. Also covering pipeline, RAW files and more. Will continue in class 4.

Class 4

Finishing. Knowing your client and your producer. You may finish every day while Agency talent may get that chance a few times a year. Color (grading the grade and keeping things legal), last looks. Meeting a delivery deadline.

Class 5

Representation, agents and an interview with Bob Coleman of Digital Artists Agency.

Class 6

Finishing the conform for Moving Day.

Class 7

Demo reels, what you need and what to look out for.

Class 8

A look at on set supervision, gear and relationships

Class 9

Stupid keying tricks. As a finisher you’ll be called on to create great looking keys quickly. Jeff shares his favorite techniques.

Class 10

Edge work on key, legal colors, a look at Moving Day conform in Flame 2016