Profile: Kristi Joiner Simpson -Senior Promotion Producer CBS 5 KPHO, Phoenix

Tags: RED

Kristi Joiner-Simpson doesn’t have a lot of time. With dozens of promos to produce each week for the CBS affiliate in Phoenix, AZ, she typically has 5 hours from the time she gets her assignment to the time she hands over a tape to air. She needs high-impact effects and titling that produce results, and she needs them fast.

She’s obviously been getting them, too. Among the results she’s produced are five Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards.

How does she do it on such tight deadlines? Boris Red, running inside her Avid. “I’ve been using Avid to edit for many years, and now I can’t imagine using it without Boris Red.

My video looks cleaner no matter what kind of effects I’m creating, and I won’t use anything else for titles. The titles I do with Red don’t look like anybody else’s, which is a big part of creating a visual identity for our station.” When creating promotional spots for the evening news, dynamic titles are of course a critical component for catching the viewer’s eye. The combination of Red’s title animation with its over 70 filters offers the range Kristi needs to match the content of any story. “The most important thing that titles need to do is to reinforce the message of the words being spoken, and it has to look different than what anyone else might do.

“The filters vary depending on the story. For example, we’ve had a lot of wildfire coverage in Arizona this year, so I’ve used Red’s fire filter. I’ve also combined it with the Burnt Film filter to make ‘burning’ transitions to bring the titles on and off screen.

“We recently did a story about the water on some airlines being unsafe, so I started with a title, quickly nested a QuickTime movie in the font, then added a ripple filter to make the whole thing move like water. I also added a ripple on the background and masked in some color effects. It’s very fast and easy to put all of these elements together, add a soft animated shadow, and get dramatic effects that look cleaner than anything I can do starting with the Avid title tool.”

Not every effect is quite so strong, of course. Sometimes the only need is to add a little texture. “To be honest, the filters I use most often are probably the blurs in Red, like Gaussian Blur and Directional Blur. They just look cleaner than other blurs, and I find that they render faster too.

“One of the filters that I use a lot for text is Edge Lighting. The people in the newsroom always notice that one – it makes titles stand out in a really elegant way. “

The wide range of filters that can be used with titles is only a small part of what Kristi does with Red. “I mainly use Boris for the cool ways to bring titles on and off screen. I like to experiment with Type On – it’s fast and easy to play with, and a few clicks is usually all it takes to give me something new I can use. It doesn’t look like anybody else in the market.”

As busy as she is, she appreciates the investment that Boris has made in providing resources for editors to use as a starting place. “I really love the Library Browser. It’s a great place to get ideas, especially for titles. I usually find something that’s in a direction I like, then step into it and see how they did it. That usually gives me some more ideas about some other ways I can customize it, or maybe just go in another direction with a better understanding of the tools.

“I’ve also used a bunch of techniques I’ve picked up from the Boris newsletters,” she laughs. “I’m working with vector paint again to create new ‘reveal’ animations -- which I really enjoy -- and I’ve definitely used the easy ‘Star Wars’ title animation, and several of the particle effects.”

Kristi also uses the filters in Red to treat video as well as titles. “Edge Lighting and Light Sweep look great on video as well as titles. I think the Boris shadows are a lot cleaner than Avid’s, and easier to animate, and the masks are a lot better.”

She recently combined a number of these elements on both the title and the background video. “I also took the ‘Single Photon’ preset from the Keyframe Library, changed the color, speed and the direction of the rotation, and put it all together to promote a ‘paid sex’ story.”

And while traditional DVE has fallen out of favor in recent years, Kristi still finds ample opportunity to use Red’s capabilities to move beyond traditional DVE with true 3D capabilities, and fast ways to combine multiple layers of animation. “One of my favorite spots from our 9/11 coverage took a simple picture-in-picture effect and animated it in 3D space. I duplicated the layers and offset them in time in just a few clicks. Then I added a white glow to the black text in Red, and brought it on with another 3D transform effect.”

As Kristi talks about these and other promos she’s created as part of her Emmy award-winning work, the same themes emerge : titles and effects that are fast and easy to create, that render quickly and cleanly, that enable her to create high-impact projects without leaving her NLE, all with Boris Red, a tool clearly built with editors in mind.

“We don’t ever touch other tools,” Kristi says. “I think my work has gotten better since buying Boris Red, and I really still consider myself a beginner. It’s just so easy to use, and so fun to experiment with, that I really look forward to learning more.”


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