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Achieving the best balance between speed and detail in Verbatim Logger: How much detail and timecode to add in effective logging?

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Khashyar Darvich
Achieving the best balance between speed and detail in Verbatim Logger: How much detail and timecode to add in effective logging?
on Oct 23, 2012 at 6:08:36 am

Hello Everyone,

I'm Producing-Directing a feature documentary film with 500 hours of footage, and I am extremely happy with CatDV and how it seems like it will ultimately speed up the editing process, and how it creates customizable detailed information about clips.

We set up our custom fields (to those we feel would apply most to our projects), and our loggers have begun to log for about a week now.

One question that is coming up for me is:

When a logger is logging an unlogged video file for the first time in the Verbatim logger, what is the best approach to achieve a balance between speed and detail?

For example, in a 5 minute clip, how much detail, indications of new shots, takes and angles, and timecode would be most helpful for an editor, and at the same time will allow us to log our 500 hours of footage in a reasonable time?

Is it more useful to write a couple of sentences noting the different scenes within the video clip (and the timecode at the beginning of those significant changes in scenes) and let the editor review the clip later for more detail, indication of the best take, etc....

or...

Would it be more helpful for a logger to take more time writing notes on a clip, indicating each take of a particular shot, adding timecode to every shot, take and camera angle within a clip, etc?

I know that the answer may depend on each particular situation, but I am curious as to what logging instructions that most of you give your loggers?

On your particular projects, how do you achieve the best balance between detail and speed of logging?

Thank you for sharing your experiences and feedback.

Khashyar

Producer-Director
Wakan Films
Hollywood, CA
http://www.wakan.com


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bryson jones
Re: Achieving the best balance between speed and detail in Verbatim Logger: How much detail and timecode to add in effective logging?
on Oct 23, 2012 at 4:06:26 pm

Khashyar,

It really becomes a financial consideration for most clients. We tend to do it by the value of the footage and the time saved. That generally means that for b-roll, it's light and perhaps an interview with a main character or personality might be a full transcription.

Think of the RedBull Stratos footage. High value, rare footage, I'd spend the time to log that minute by minute. Footage of me at Disneyland? Maybe I'd just note the rides or area we were in and some funny or cute shots of my wife. Right?

There are so many factors. Also, is there a large team working on the footage, or is it a small group of producers who have all seen or shot the footage? If it's a small team, then they may not need detailed logs, (Most producers know the footage they shot better than I could ever log it.) Whereas a large team who aren't watching all of the footage might need a full log so that they can be aware of the action or subject matter.

Finally, how good is the logger? I always say that a producer's notes are far more valuable than an intern who may not understand the focus of a project. Something that seems minor to a person from the outside could be huge to someone who's intimately acquainted with the project. (Bruce Willis' character is dead!? What?!?, for instance.)

In the end, there is no formula, it is trial and error but for finances we tend to have some loggers work and track their progress and then extrapolate that out through the footage to see if the budget will support the time. A sports league probably has a bigger budget than say a indie Doc so they might spend more time on a piece than Doc producer would or could.

On the flip-side of that, if you are spending precious hours watching and searching for clips to tell a story, then the time might be worth the money. Only a producer/storyteller can make that call in the end.

There are some best practices that you should observe, no matter what the budget. For instance just one example it to set a controlled vocabulary for keywords so that if you are searching for something all loggers are logging it the same.

Corvette = Vette = Sports Car = Hot Rod, which is the correct term for this production.

Things like this make the difference between effective work and wasting hundreds of hours logging things incorrectly. The per-hour rate for logging is high, be careful and spend that time/money wisely.

bryson

bryson "at" northshoreautomation.com

northshoreautomation.com


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Khashyar Darvich
Re: Achieving the best balance between speed and detail in Verbatim Logger: How much detail and timecode to add in effective logging?
on Oct 23, 2012 at 7:31:37 pm

Thank you very much, Bryson.

I appreciate your thoughtful reply.

Your idea is very good to have each logger log their completed clips so that we can track progress and make adjustments if needed.

I know that we can create a smart folder for each logger, and then "select all" of their clips to see the total logged footage hours at the bottom of the CatDV window.

Since we have each different loggers input their name (in a custom "logger name" pull down field), as well as input a log date, how would you recommend a logger being able to easily count their logged clip hours for a day? Is there an easy way to bring up a logger's daily logged clips?

Thank you again for sharing your advice and experience.

Khashyar

Producer-Director
Wakan Films
Hollywood, CA
http://www.wakan.com


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Khashyar Darvich
Re: Achieving the best balance between speed and detail in Verbatim Logger: How much detail and timecode to add in effective logging?
on Oct 23, 2012 at 7:43:59 pm

Hello again,

Just to describe our particle situation in a little more detail:

We have loggers who come into the office to log 7 days per week, 12 hours per day.

After all of the footage has been logged, the Editor, Associate Producer and Producer (who have separate logging tabs created for them), will be able to add their individual notes, keywords and clip ratings.

So, I see the data from the initial loggers on the 500 hours of footage as being searchable data (which also rated by the logger - though a logger's clip rating is highly subjective and sometimes uninformed), which the Editors and Producers can search through to find their selects.

So, perhaps the balance would be to have enough searchable keywords (and perhaps some clip ratings) so that the Editor/Producer can find footage that they would like more quickly, efficiently and powerfully.

Thank you again for your thoughts and insights.

Khashyar

Producer-Director
Wakan Films
Hollywood, CA
http://www.wakan.com


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bryson jones
Re: Achieving the best balance between speed and detail in Verbatim Logger: How much detail and timecode to add in effective logging?
on Oct 23, 2012 at 8:03:46 pm

Finding a loggers hours for the day is very easy. Your trainer should have shown you how to use the advanced search functions which include very specific date searches or, if you are using smart folders you can sort your views by any metadata field in the view, either method will work fine.

If that wasn't covered, and you have support, you can contact SquareBox or JB&A to walk you through these steps. (I think, I'm not sure if they cover training issues.) Can any of the Squarebox or JB&A guys speak to this? Are basic user training issues covered by support?

bryson

bryson "at" northshoreautomation.com

northshoreautomation.com


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Khashyar Darvich
Re: Achieving the best balance between speed and detail in Verbatim Logger: How much detail and timecode to add in effective logging?
on Oct 24, 2012 at 6:27:27 pm

Thank you again, Bryson...

I will look at the search filters (and smart folders) and see how to pull up "today's date" as a search option.

I don't recall the training videos on the CatDV website mentioning how to search by log creation date, but I will look through them...

We never received training on CatDV, and have learned from the manual and online videos.

Thanks again,

Khashyar

Producer-Director
Wakan Films
Hollywood, CA
http://www.wakan.com


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