Film & Video By Bryant Frazer
How Music-Video Vet Don Wilson Managed a Stereo Workflow for Final Cut Pro
When Action 3D Productions hired an editor to cut the concert film Phish 3D, it made sense that they’d go to Don Wilson's Americana Media. Wilson is an Emmy-winning producer-director-editor whose experience in the industry stretches back to the early days of MTV, when he was cutting promo clips for any number of top-tier acts. (His resume since then includes positions at Varitel and EDS Digital Studios, Craig Murray Productions, The Selluloid Group, and AMI.) As Wilson describes it, working in 3D was a technical complication rather than a creative one. And, as an early user of CineForm’s Neo3D editing workflow, Wilson was one of the guinea pigs who helped CineForm make Apple’s Final Cut Pro stereo-friendly. F&V talked to him about his career, his stereo workflow, and why he thinks cutting concerts in 3D is actually easier.
FILM & VIDEO: Tell me a little bit about your background and how you ended up on this job.
Don Wilson: I come from the early days of music videos. A lot of people call me one of the founding fathers of the MTV style, and I take a little pride in that. I started doing music videos in 1981. I directed “Man in the Mirror” for Michael Jackson and edited quite a bit of his stuff. I directed and edited hundreds, if not thousands, of videos — Bon Jovi, Sting, a lot of the big, big acts. I was just at the right place in the right time.
Well, you helped twist my sensibilities, because in high school I was right there watching your work.
Right on, man! I can’t tell you how many people tell me that. We would do Ratt and Night Ranger and then Whitney Houston. We were doing it all, you know? I even did that “Baby Got Back.” I did quite a bit. We had a good thing going there for a while — until MTV and the record companies had a pissing match. I think in the end MTV won. MTV basically said, “We’re going to charge you [to play your videos].” And the record company said, “No, we’re going to charge you for free programming.” And MTV said, “Nah, we’ll just make our own shows.” read more...