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170 hrs of HDV footage

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Jeremy Doyle
170 hrs of HDV footage
on Jun 17, 2011 at 1:23:53 pm

I'm an editor and for the current TV series I'm working on, I have 170 hours of HDV footage that will be made into 13 half hour shows. About 19 minutes of unique footage per episode.

How long would it take to properly log all the raw footage? This is reality type programming so no take markers or studio notes. With other flavors of footage I can just watch it double time and pause to take notes so I can usually get through footage in a 1:1 ratio, but with HDV it doesn't really play double time because the picture and audio break up. I've been using a Sony 1500 HDV deck for playback. Is there another deck that would allow smooth double time playback of HDV? I'm guessing there isn't because of the nature of the long GOP codec.

What do you do as part of logging footage?



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Shane Ross
Re: 170 hrs of HDV footage
on Jun 17, 2011 at 6:35:35 pm

[Jeremy Doyle] "I'm guessing there isn't because of the nature of the long GOP codec."

You would be right. GOP formats are difficult to deal with, because of how they are compressed.

Capture all the footage. Then type in notes. Subclip if you need to. 170 hours, that will take another 25% - 35% more time to properly log and organize. Maybe 200-220 hours to do all of that. Meaning five weeks with 40 hour weeks (8 hour days), or 4 weeks with 50 hour weeks (10 hour days). Maybe a little more.

But once properly captured and logged, editing will go quicker. As it will be easier to find the footage. IF logged properly.

Shane

GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Mark Suszko
Re: 170 hrs of HDV footage
on Jun 17, 2011 at 6:54:45 pm

If this were me, I'd first consider if *every* frame of this wonderful material is worthy of being logged, much less loaded onto hard drives.

I would be curious to hear if anybody facing this kind of thing has an alternate strategy.

Mine might be to erduce wasted editing time, spend a little more effort up front, on a script person during the shoot to document "good stuff" by free-running clock time time code and keeping simple logs on a tablet or other device. This selects list would be the initial rough pass on the material, done in real time as it happens. That step could cut down each hour shot by 80 percent or more. What's left after the initial marked-out sections, you would then log more conventionally. Some cameras have a button you can designate to add metadata tags to footage as "good". If you trust your shooters to know when they are geting "good stuff", you could just load in only the takes the shooters per-marked. If later you find you need more from near that time code, or some b-roll, it's still on the source tapes, available to load in if that's decided.


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Shane Ross
Re: 170 hrs of HDV footage
on Jun 17, 2011 at 7:00:46 pm

On the reality show I worked on, they captured full HDV tapes, then converted them to ProRes LT, then multiclipped them. They didn't log a thing. It was up to me, the editor, to chisel down the 60 hours of footage into a rough cut by the end of the week. And there were sections of nothing on those tapes..they kept rolling all the time so they could multiclip. 30 min parts of nothing.

But I only worked on one reality show. So I don't know the ins and outs of that. Documentary, we want it all.

Shane

GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Mike Cohen
Re: 170 hrs of HDV footage
on Jun 18, 2011 at 1:33:41 pm

We just came back from a shoot with 48 hours of hdv. Much of it is 3 cameras rolling on the same scenes so we have to capture it al. Since we need to sync up cameras we lig on the timeline. Once on a timeline you can hit L a few times and watch faster than real time.
Hopefully you have a 2nd computer so you have something to do during capture or a 2nd deck so you cut your capture time in half.
I suppose you could scan the tapes in the deck looking for ling shots of the floor or of rolling during setup. Just hit FF and let go every few minutes and make notes.
I believe CS5 has scene detection so that might help as far as when the camera starts and stops.
I would charge your client a producer fee since they clearly did not have one.
Mike Cohen


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Jeremy Doyle
Re: 170 hrs of HDV footage
on Jun 20, 2011 at 2:47:24 pm

Thanks for the feedback and suggestions.

It's all 1 camera shooting, so no multi camera synching to worry about.

[Mike Cohen] "I believe CS5 has scene detection so that might help as far as when the camera starts and stops."

FCP will create a new clip on start stop with HDV, which does come in handy.

[Mike Cohen] "I would charge your client a producer fee since they clearly did not have one."

I work for a bigger company so It's all in house. The shooter is more of a field producer, unfortunately so is the guy in front of the camera. We don't have proper producers. I do have a PA that will load my footage, but he doesn't log it. And since he's the only PA for 5 editors in our building I can only use him a limited time.

Since I never know where the footage could end up, I need to capture it all.

[Mark Suszko] "Mine might be to erduce wasted editing time, spend a little more effort up front, on a script person"

I end up crafting a story out of the footage and then it goes to script guy to fill in any holes. Usually there's not a lot of script written unless the shooter some how screws up or I'm just not feeling creative that week. Since the script writers are full time magazine editors which are connected to the TV show they wouldn't have time to look at all the footage.

[Shane Ross] " They didn't log a thing. It was up to me, the editor, to chisel down the 60 hours of footage into a rough cut by the end of the week. And there were sections of nothing on those tapes..."

This is how we work, except it's all one camera and no multiclip. There aren't many sections of nothing on my tapes unless the cameraman double pumped the button or left it recording accidentally.

Again, thanks for the tips and taking time to answer. It's always interesting to hear about other people's workflows who may be in similar situations.



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Chris Simpson
Re: 170 hrs of HDV footage
on Aug 25, 2011 at 3:58:50 pm

My advice, for the future at least, if those cameras have HDMI, go tapeless and use the Atomos ninja, if you FCP, recording Pro Res, you can FW/USB the drives one at a time, and drop the video on to your RAID, I used to multicam HDV tapes, ordinarily 30-40 hours from 7-8cameras, real time ingest/transcode to pro Res, now the same shoot is "ingested" at full 1920x1080 422 LT in 5 hours.

The downside this just makes you more lazy, and now my 6.4Tb RAID won't be big enough for next big project,a 24 hr endurance race, where one or two cameras around the team garage will be just left to roll the entire event, because the drives are so cheap, it's just a question of battery power, as the only limitation.

If you haven't got HDMI on your HDV cameras, the SDI version is due by IBC, it's great not buying much tape, or using it and then not bothering with it as it goes on the shelf, as the drives are sound and the video is sweeter looking and stands up better to grading.


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