Looking for ideas to best achieve a workflow.
Recently completed way too many versions of a program series at 23.976. With some versions being converted to 59.94, others to 25, and others staying at 23.976.
95 percent of the material was shot at 23.976, so no real issues there. Everything colored in Resolve using color trace from the original version, and some manual touchups etc.
Now i have an American broadcaster doing their own version of the show, including shooting some of their own material. They shot at 29.97, and cut in Avid at 29.97. I haven't seen the cut yet, but they were guessing 60 percent of the footage is from the original shoot, and 40 percent is what they shot. Obviously, they want me to deliver a 59.94 HD master.
I'm trying to figure out if/how i can color trace their timeline, back from my originals. I've asked that they divide up the avid timeline tracks into stuff they shot vs 23.976 material.
Thinking about converting that 23.976 track into it's own timeline in a 23.976 project in Avid and then exporting a list, coloring it, bringing it back in that way for the conversion, except, they will be flying in for an approval session, so it would be nice to be able to access the ungraded clips on the timeline in Resolve at that point.
Any ideas as to most efficiently work on this version?
(Yes i wish they would have cut and shot at 23.976 as well, but that ship sailed long before the project appeared on my doorstep)
That's a very complex workflow problem.
My suggestion would be to convert all the source media to 29.97 NDF, and then recut it from scratch and do a manual ColorTrace to bring over all the corrections. It's possible you could export whole segments from the finished 23.976 project, so it might not be that arduous if you did it in chunks and rebuilt it that way, creating 29.97 timelines that have a mixture of color-corrected material and new material.
I've paid close attention to how CNN produces their weekly cable shows (particularly their excellent "Decades" specials), and my theory is that this is how they do the finish. New interview segments are shot at 23.98 and then transcoded to 29.97, old stock footage is de-interlaced and used in 29.97, and then they standards-convert other framerates as needed using whatever they need to get the job done. I have occasionally seen 2:3 artifacts in some old standard-def film material, but I think they try to cut around that as much as they can. The shows look great and are the highest-rated programs on CNN, which is a testament to how well-done they are.
I would also look very carefully at the delivery document, because I would bet they want a standard 29.97 1080i file, most likely in dropframe, for the final air master. It's no problem to change the timecode, but the trick will be formatting the commercial blacks and compensating for the 3-second difference between drop and non (which is not that big a deal).