The blog of Calgary based photographer J. Dirom.

How To Create An Animated Letterbox Like Peter McKinnon - Final Cut Pro X Tutorial

Want to add an "Letterbox Animation" to give your footage a cinematic boost similar to videos by Peter McKinnon and Casey Neistat and Peter McKinnon? We show you a simple method using key-frames in Final Cut Pro X with no presets needed! This effect is one of those small details that you can use to bump up your video edits. If you have ideas for videos, please comment them down below and i'll hopefully be able to answer them!

If you found this tutorial or any of the other assets we have created for free you can support their continued creation by supporting us via Patreon:

How a Tutorial Lead to Making a Music Video

There are no secrets in this world, and there is a wealth of knowledge available thanks to the internet and websites like YouTube. I have always felt compelled to contribute to that base of knowledge and share my methods and techniques. That spurred me to create a tutorial on how to make dual exposure video in Apple's Motion 5 and Final Cut Pro X.

So on a whim while I had The Path Less Traveled's lead singer in the studio discussing Gary Vaynerchuk's latest book "Crushing It", I asked Scott if I could take a five second video of him against a white backdrop in the studio so I could finish a tutorial I was creating for my YouTube Channel J Dirom Photography where I share tricks and tips for photography and videography. 

Scott graciously allowed me to film him for the tutorial. Naturally I showed Scott the Outcome of the video, and what happened next was interesting.

After seeing the video seeing the tutorial video, as well as some promotional images that were created for the tutorial itself, Scott approached me about taking their latest The Path Less Traveled song entitled "Legacy" and create a music video around the Double Exposure look.

So we did.

Scott told The YYScene website that premiered the video, "When it came time to write the lyrics, we thought about how big the song felt and wanted to explore ideas of greatness, reputation, and what exactly defines a legacy. Legacy is typically a positive word, or used in a positive context, and we wondered what would happen if your explored the exact moment in time where someone is about to make a decision that will impact them for the rest of their life. If you’ve already started down a road of destruction, is it possible to find redemption in your actions? Can you right your wrongs?”

“It’s intentionally left up to the listener to wonder if this song is directed at someone else, or if it’s an intrinsic criticism of themselves.

“The music video kind of reflects that motif with the double exposure. When you’re at your crossroad and part of you wants to go a certain way and another part of you wants to do the exact opposite, you can be your own worst enemy or your own best friend. Our friends, JD from J. Dirom Photography, and Zak from Zak Kelly films, worked with us on the video and we’re extremely happy with how it turned out.”

I concur it was a fantastic project to work on, and goes to show how that somthing small can lead to bigger projects.