Finished Editing


I have spent 25 of the last 30 hours editing two new shorts I’m turning in to Scary Cow Round 5, to be screened June 1st at at 3pm at the Victoria Theater. Tickets are available for sale here for $5.

A couple notes on the headaches:

Workflow for Sagar:

  • Shot on HD DV
  • imported and edited into Final Cut Pro (FCS2) (rendering up to 20 minutes for a single section, an hour for the whole thing)
  • written out to Quicktime 720p30 intermediate with all the “hints” for the renderer(2 hours per render!)
  • sent to Compressor to convert to MPEG-2 (another 90+ minutes)
  • burned to DVD-R with DVD Studio Pro (FCS2) (another… while… to compress. Burning was fast though!)

The painful part was for about 6 hours there I was getting video that was ever so slightly slower than the audio… by the end it was over a full second late. This is BAD mmmkay… The solution was to go to this QuickTime intermediate, which has hints in it (there’s a dialog that talks about “markers”) to keep the audio in sync with the video.

Workflow for The Templetons trailer:

  • Shot on miniDV
  • imported and edited into Final Cut Pro (FCS2) (rendering typically 5 minutes tops)
  • written out to Quicktime intermediate with all the “hints” for the renderer (10 minutes per render)
  • sent to Compressor to convert to MPEG-2 (~20 minutes)
  • burned to DVD-R with DVD Studio Pro (FCS2) (Like 10 minutes tops)

These were projects that were roughly the same length! Ghastly. I’m going to need a faster system if I’m going to be editing any more HD.

The thing that made the Templetons render so slowly (for miniDV) is the crazy effects I came up with to make them look like drawn comic book characters. Originally I had a workflow that included filters in Shake, and also using Adobe Bridge as a renderer with Illustrator… that would have sucked, because I would have had to separate every single clip out of the project for rendering, and re-assembled them afterwards…

Anyway, now it’s entirely in Final Cut Pro, but still uses a whole pile of video filters, typically 4 layers of video for a simple shot with around a dozen filters.

More notes, buncha Ken Stone:

Don’t Edit Other Directors’ Stuff

I’ve been running into a lot of people in independent film who are so incompetent that they are completely oblivious to their own incompetence.

There are a bunch of things a director can say that make the editing process for a 4 minute short take hundreds of hours. Unfortunately this is not a hypothetical situation.

“I know you said you needed us to use a slate, but the shoot was really crazy and we just didn’t have time”

“We didn’t (ever) white balance because there wasn’t enough time.”

“I couldn’t make a shotlist because I don’t have any editing equipment”

“I can’t tell you which is a good take because I have to see it and I don’t have any editing equipment”

“I couldn’t make a storyboard because I need jump cuts and they are too fast to write down”

“I know the actor’s face is completely dark there, but you can fix it in post and add some more colors”

“There’s a hair on the lens in this shot, but you can fix it in post”

“I know you said to get a tape cleaner last time because the camera wouldn’t sample our footage, but I heard it’s bad for the heads to run a cleaner on them”

“Just make this shot we filmed at sundown less grainy, ok?”

One shot had the actress standing against the crashing waves of the ocean. Her direction was to turn and consider the ocean, and then walk into the waves. The cameraman’s direction was to execute a slow and constant zoom. What he did instead was zoom in about 20%, wait 2 seconds, zoom another 10%, wait another second, and then zoom the rest of the way. The waves are in the shot the entire time. DIRECTOR: “Can you change the time so the zoom is constant?”