Friday, July 24, 2009

Rough cut started - production needs finished

We were rained out our final day of production so the last day is going to hopefully be this Tuesday. It needs to be, I just found out that the currently set delivery date is 8/3. That extremely tight. Especially for how much footage there is on this shoot.

The rough cut was started this weekend and is moving along. At first I was worried about some of my shots not being what I had hoped but I think we'll be okay. The cut is really starting to feel much more solid. That would be something I would say be ready for when you are shooting run-and-gun by yourself more-or-less, shots may not completely match the way you had envisioned them. Performances may be a little different, etc. There are a ton of things that change up. Know that going in and try to control it all the best you can.

Here's a little detail on my editing workflow. I'm shooting with a Sony EX camera so the media comes off SxS cards. Once home, I drop the raw media, that being an exact copy of the card, onto my main drive and a backup drive (I backup to multiple smaller drives in the field when offloading as well). I have a folder I labeled XDCAM where this all goes.

I open up Final Cut, my primary editor, and setup a new project. I set the sequence settings right off the bat to either 1080 or 720 Prores 422 HQ and under the video processing tab, make sure "Render all material High Quality YUV" is selected. Save out and I can close up FCP for now.

From there I open XDCAM Transfer and add the folders I've shot. I used to log everything and short what was good and bad inside of FCP but have found this to be a bad idea for 3 main reasons. 1), you make your project files much bigger, 2) importing only what you need simplifies your bins and 3) you are forced to look for the best takes always. So I run through my footage and label most of it and mark clips as being "GOOD" if I am going to import them. I do this for all folders before I import. It's hard to do too, I always want to try that first cut immediately. Under preferences I setup my media folder inside of Capture Scratch under the project

Once I've imported everything, I can now check the media folders under Capture Scratch and should see tape names for each media folder I imported (i.e. JRC717T1 as a folder - I label by job name initials/date/tape #). Its easy from this point to import footage into FCP and quickly organize it. Once that is complete, there is one last step before I start editing that I always move towards. I convert everything to Prores 422 HQ by selecting my footage bin, going to Media Manager and running a recompress on everything. I want the highest quality footage the whole way through the project. There are other codecs I'll use as well for moving between compositing and editing but I'll get into those later.

I'm ready to get cutting!

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