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Advice on system for independent movie editing

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Jerry Sneede
Advice on system for independent movie editing
on Sep 16, 2018 at 9:54:00 pm

Hi - I have an editing job coming up where I'll need to put together a system adequate to edit an independent film. It will be in 4K and I am hoping in camera raw. I've been an editor for years but haven't worked on anything like this before, so any advice would be appreciated.

I want to color correct in Resolve and edit in Premiere. Is this going to be a pain? Would it be better to edit in Resolve? (This would be a first project editing in Resolve if I did, so of course I'd rather stick with what I know and use Premiere for the edit).

I don't have a huge budget for the computer system, so I need to find the minimum that will do. I realize a PC will be much cheaper, but the director has expressed his desire to work with a Mac (I did tell him all the software works the same on both, and I really don't care either way as long as it works well). I have used Macs forever, so I'm not familiar with what is good when it comes to PCs.

As for Macs, I've read a lot of good things about the iMac (iMac Pro would be out of my budget range probably). I'm not sure if either of these would be good when it comes to raw, and they can't be upgraded. I'm thinking the Mac Pro is the way to go if going with Mac, but I don't know what level of one I'd need.

Here's my question: can someone suggest a good but not outrageously expensive Mac route, and the same for PC?

Also, any suggestions for good but not crazy expensive monitors for color correction.

Also - any advice on what to look out for and do differently when it comes to putting together a movie that will be possibly shown at film festivals and possibly Netflix?

I know, that's a lot. But thank you for any suggestions.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Advice on system for independent movie editing
on Sep 16, 2018 at 11:28:37 pm

A couple of pointers. Use the Premiere proxy workflow during editing. This will lighten the load on the system.

XML to Resolve for grading is fine. But a couple of things to be mindful of. All camera source media *should* be the same frame rate (23.976 aka 23.98) and have valid TC. If you get footage that doesn't match this, like drone or DSLR footage, then transcode first to a pro format and speed-correct as needed.

One gotcha. If you intend to color correct this with Resolve, you will need an external Blackmagic Design i/o device and a color accurate video display to grade with. If you can afford one, then see about borrowing one for the time you intend to work in Resolve. The bottom line is that you cannot get reliable color accuracy on a standard computer monitor, especially with Resolve. Furthermore, BMD won't give you any sort of fullscreen video image to a monitor without an i/o hardware device.

If you intend to render an image larger than UHD out of Resolve - or need any of its noise reduction features - you will need the Studio (paid) version instead of the free version.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Oliver Peters
Re: Advice on system for independent movie editing
on Sep 16, 2018 at 11:39:17 pm

PS: As far as Macs, a 5K Retina iMac will be fine, especially if you are using a proxy workflow. For video displays, check out the Flanders Scientific products. If you have to go consumer, then get one of the better LG TVs. Obviously you'll also need a Thunderbolt RAID for storage.

Distribution requirements will vary with any given distributor. They all have their own guidelines. There's a lot of discussion about 4K demands, but many distributors don't actually want that. If it does have a shot at Netflix and fits under their "originals" guidelines, then only a select number of cameras quality.

Also, for audio, make sure you have a top-notch sound team. You do not want to do your own sound post. The final mix will need to be done in both stereo and 5.1 surround, with corresponding mixes, DME splits, and M&E mixes. So make sure you plan for that going in.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Shane Ross
Re: Advice on system for independent movie editing
on Sep 17, 2018 at 7:21:24 am

You are going to have to use the PROXY workflow as Oliver talks about, if you insist on a Mac, but can't afford an iMac Pro. Cutting 4K Raw requires a LOT of horsepower...more than a 5k iMac offers, and one that a higher end iMac Pro or high end PC would be needed for.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Jerry Sneede
Re: Advice on system for independent movie editing
on Sep 17, 2018 at 8:17:35 pm

Thanks to both of you for the info. Any thoughts on Mac Pro vs iMac Pro?


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Oliver Peters
Re: Advice on system for independent movie editing
on Sep 17, 2018 at 8:20:56 pm

[Jerry Sneede] "Any thoughts on Mac Pro vs iMac Pro?"

Go for an iMac Pro if you can afford and justify it. Otherwise, a ton-of-the-line iMac will be fine, especially with a proxy workflow. However, when it comes to exporting final 4K files out of Resolve, both will do the trick, but the iMac Pro won't be nearly as taxed. The iMac will do it, but fans will be running full bore the entire time.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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