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ALEXA - Can't open Clips on computer

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Adam Foskey
ALEXA - Can't open Clips on computer
on May 12, 2011 at 3:34:18 pm

Hey guys,

I am new to the site. I am just looking for any kind of help with this situation possible. A colleague of mine was shooting with the Arri Alexa recently, and the problem they are having is that the DIT didn't check all the clips while downloading. So when they went to try and open some of the clips in post, they wouldn't open or show any video files. BUT, the clips all do have sizes next to them, they just want open.

Is there anything he can do to repair these clips in the camera like the Sony EX's or something done post wise that can fix them? Thanks so much!

- Adam


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Adam Foskey
Re: ALEXA - Can't open Clips on computer
on May 12, 2011 at 10:39:15 pm

To further elaborate, The editor and anyone who tried to open the files whether in Final Cut Pro or in Quicktime always got the same message back: "This is not a movie file."

I am not to familiar with the Alexa, so can anyone recommend anything to me? Thanks a bunch everyone!

Adam Foskey
Assistant Camera/Operator/DP
afoskey@gmail.com


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gary adcock
Re: ALEXA - Can't open Clips on computer
on May 13, 2011 at 3:06:30 pm

[Adam Foskey] "To further elaborate, The editor and anyone who tried to open the files whether in Final Cut Pro or in Quicktime always got the same message back: "This is not a movie file.""

if the file has not been downloaded from the camera correctly, there is not much you can do, because there is no "end of file" ID Quicktime does not understand what to do with it, is it the same on all of the copies you have?
what about the other shuttle drives?
does the Data handler have copies?



FYI- this cannot not happen in the camera- this is a file transfer error on the data handlers side-you cannot corrupt a ProRes clip in an Alexa, not even by pulling the SxS card during a record or killing the power, the camera was designed specificly with data recording errors in mind.

gary adcock
Studio37

Post and Production Workflow Consultant
Production and Post Stereographer
Chicago, IL

http://blogs.creativecow.net/24640



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Illya Laney
Re: ALEXA - Can't open Clips on computer
on May 19, 2011 at 12:14:45 am

"FYI- this cannot not happen in the camera- this is a file transfer error on the data handlers side-you cannot corrupt a ProRes clip in an Alexa"

What if the camera freezes in the middle of a take? I've seen certain clips play back, but you can't do a save as or export out of FCP or quicktime with the clip. This is the same media that was ingested on two completely different systems with two different types of software and readers on set. Could that be a problem with the SXS cards?

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gary adcock
Re: ALEXA - Can't open Clips on computer
on May 19, 2011 at 2:23:17 pm

[Illya Laney] "What if the camera freezes in the middle of a take?"

Nope, I tested everyone of these options with multiple alexa cameras. I tried, pulling power ( both AC and multipule batteries) , even pulling the card out of the computer while recording did not suffer from more than 3-5 frames not being recorded, but not once did the clips or cards ever become corrupted. I was able to open each and every clip without issues.
I have tested this on over 20 different SxS cards in all 5 flavors of ProRes written by the camera on v2, v2.1 v3 and v3.1 software versions, the most that I ever loss on any one shot was 15 frames when I was shooting at 1080 60p, thinking that I lost 1/4 of a second of my recording put my mind to rest.

"I've seen certain clips play back, but you can't do a save as or export out of FCP or quicktime with the clip. "

That is an FCP/ QT issue that cannot modify the file when the .MOV file when it is written in All CAPS like Alexa does. It was a big issue with FCP and Compressor not being able to Media Manage becuase of it.

gary adcock
Studio37

Post and Production Workflow Consultant
Production and Post Stereographer
Chicago, IL

http://blogs.creativecow.net/24640



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Dan Coplan
Re: ALEXA - Can't open Clips on computer
on Jun 21, 2011 at 8:44:11 pm

I'm prepping an Alexa right now and having all sorts of file transfer weirdness. The data on the cards (5 of 'em) appears to be sound. I'm transferring the data both 'manually' through the Finder as well as through AL3XA Data Manager. Getting very inconsistent results.

Most of the time, the files transferring through AL3XA are fine, though I've had some transfer errors during the process as well as some of the movie files not playing back properly even when the transfer is verified as OK.

Most of the time, the files being transferred through the Finder are not fine, though some of them are.

??!!?!?!??!??

I'm getting two separate errors: "The file is not a movie file." and "An invalid public movie atom was found in the movie."

Resetting my computer seemed to improve success, but has not resulted in 100% success. The gig is tomorrow, it's for a big client, and needless to say, I'm freaking out just a bit.

I may be crazy, and I can't confirm because I wasn't expecting it, but I think at least one of the files changed errors from "The file is not a movie file" to the other error sometime during the process of working on this.

Any input/feedback/help ASAP would be tremendously appreciated.

Assuming the cards are fine, could it be the card reader? It could certainly be the computer or the media but I haven't had problems with this computer before (it's mine). Media is easy enough to check, I suppose, but I won't get the client drives until tomorrow so I can't check that until the day of.


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