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Last friday my cousin, Malik Zavaro, called to tell me he was looking for an editor. He had received the final copy of a music video he’d just shot on the RED One but wasn’t happy with the color grading. Malik knew of a colorist who could make the changes he was looking for but he worked with Final Cut Studio – the original cut was in AVID. Malik was scheduled for an interview on a big network in the middle east (MBC if I remember correctly) in a few days and his video obviously needed to be ready before then.

I offered to try and recut the footage from scratch using an .mov export of the original cut as a reference. At around 8:00 p.m., about 5 minutes after he called me, I showed up at Malik’s house; he gave me the external 1 TB hard drive with all the RAW RED footage on it and I told him no promises because I’ve never worked with RED, but I’ll try. About 15 hours later I had a freshly cut FCP project ready to go.

Long story short, I had to play the reference .mov for a couple seconds, sift through the 100 or so raw takes for the correct original clip, scrub through the clip to find the correct 2 seconds of footage, drag that 2 seconds into the sequence, then do it all over again for every little cut. Sometimes it would take almost half an hour to find the correct clip so you can imagine how fun this was haha.

I’m surprised at how well my 17” macbook pro held up against 4k RAW footage (albeit I was editing the smaller proxy quicktimes). There was a little lag in playback, which is certainly frustrating when you’re trying to sync vocals up properly but that was because the external HD was connected through usb. I have no doubt that if I could have used firewire 800 or have had the footage on my local HD, there would have been almost no lag at all. Another surprise was that I figured out how to edit the footage in less than 30 min, the workflow was pleasantly straightforward (for me anyways).

So unfortunately it hasn’t been uploaded in HD yet but here’s the final product, enjoy.

Also, much thanks to Adam Lee for helping me figure out a solution to the problems that came up while editing.



  1. Your cousin reminds me a lot of John Stamos.
    Anyways, cool video. It was amazing! (<.< I'm sure you've heard that cheesy line enough times already)

    • Wow can’t believe I never saw that before haha, I can definitely see it now, it’s the hair.

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