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Franz Bieberkopf
Analog Metadata
on Jul 15, 2014 at 3:00:36 pm

… which used to be called "taking notes".

This thought started with this recent exchange:
http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/335/71154

[Craig Alan] "... your example ... already comes embedded with metadata ... Other important notes are passed in with a notebook. No advantage to have these in the NLE?"

[Herb Sevush] "I do see the advantages of keywording … but I'm not willing to trade customizable screen layouts, much less organizational track layouts to get it. It's all about priorities."

Craig and Herb are really talking about priorities of features (favouring some while accepting the lack of others), but they mention written notes as part of the discussion.

I've made several attempts at migrating both my notes and my "index cards" from paper into the digital realm. All attempts have been unsuccessful. With regard to notes and logs, I think it's because there is something about the physicality of writing that acts as an assist to my memory (because I actually don't use them all that much during editing). With regard to index cards (as structuring tools) I think it's because they are physical and in the room and easy to refer to and move about without having to turn on a computer - it's good to have real conversations away from a computer but still have meaningful references of some sort.

As someone who still uses a notebook and index cards, I'm wondering how many still use "analog metadata" and how many have migrated from note taking to data (and what tools you use either in the NLE or otherwise).

Franz.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Analog Metadata
on Jul 15, 2014 at 3:56:47 pm

First, at what stage do you create your index cards?


[Franz Bieberkopf] "As someone who still uses a notebook and index cards, I'm wondering how many still use "analog metadata" and how many have migrated from note taking to data (and what tools you use either in the NLE or otherwise)."

If the job allows (which is rarer and rarer these days) I absolutely love doing paper edits on a big bulletin board.

It's a colossal waste of paper in the long run, but as you say, it's nice to be able to walk up to a board and physically move the story around, read, and talk about it, as well as make pools of selects.

It's one of the reasons I like the magnetic timeline and the FCPX browser so much as it comes as close as possible to mirroring that function.


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Franz Bieberkopf
Re: Analog Metadata
on Jul 15, 2014 at 4:40:24 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "First, at what stage do you create your index cards?"

Jeremy,

My use of cards shifts from project to project depending on how a director likes to work, but broadly there are two ways I use them.

While screening and logging I use them to identify scenes, sequences, or other structural elements as I go. This first use is purely descriptive and really just another aid for me to get a grasp of the scope of material. I've also used printed screen grabs, though as you can imagine this is a much more involved process.

As the edit develops, the cards tend to shift from descriptive to functional - identifying more the way a scene works or its function in the big picture, rather than identifying expository elements.

I don't go as far as Murch seems to in terms of codes and visual cues:
http://www.chrisportal.com/2011/10/28/walter-murch-at-the-boston-supermeet/...
... but I do use some colour coding (for example) to make certain structural strategies more apparent.

Franz.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Analog Metadata
on Jul 15, 2014 at 5:31:45 pm

Do you edit mostly narrative pieces?


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Franz Bieberkopf
Re: Analog Metadata
on Jul 15, 2014 at 7:28:11 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Do you edit mostly narrative pieces?"

Jeremy,

I like to edit different forms, but most of my work would best be described as long form non-fiction.

There are narrative elements in almost everything I do.

Franz.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Analog Metadata
on Jul 15, 2014 at 5:33:01 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "If the job allows (which is rarer and rarer these days) I absolutely love doing paper edits on a big bulletin board"

[Jeremy Garchow] "It's one of the reasons I like the magnetic timeline and the FCPX browser so much as it comes as close as possible to mirroring that function."

It seems rarely mentioned here but one of the things I used to do in both FCP legacy and Avid was work in icon mode and move the pics around in the bin.

In FCPX the timeline is the digital bulletin board since it's easy to reorder things. In that sense it makes editing "subtractively" fairly easy when I'm inclined to go that route.



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Bret Williams
Re: Analog Metadata
on Jul 15, 2014 at 11:50:39 pm

And because you can't move thumbs around in a bin! :)


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Herb Sevush
Re: Analog Metadata
on Jul 16, 2014 at 12:05:03 am

[Franz Bieberkopf] "I'm wondering how many still use "analog metadata" "

I use two basic forms of "analog metadata."

The continuity notes I get at the end of a shoot are an incredible time saver, well worth the cost. I ingest, create multiclips, then go thru my script and assemble, each show having the clip numbers written in against the script. Many people think they can't afford to have someone do this, but I estimate I save a full day's work for each episode, 26 days lopped off the post schedule, all for the cost of a continuity person for 13 days.

The second type of "A-M" are the hastily written notes scribbled on the backs of old scripts (no notepads for me) - timecode numbers, bits of dialogue, clip names, anything that comes up. They are randomly scattered all over my desk and searching thru them can be a nightmare but I don't know how to work without them. The scary moment comes when an episode is finished and I decide to clean up my work space knowing that, dollars to donuts, I'll be looking thru the trash sometime in the coming weeks searching for that one note I should have kept.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Bill Davis
Re: Analog Metadata
on Jul 17, 2014 at 9:26:29 pm

Herb,

I've taken to doing what I jokingly refer to as my personal "crapcapture" digital archive after every project, where I pull out my iPhone turn over every sheet before I file or trash it - and if there's ANYTHING on it, I snap a cel phone photo.

With my iPhone 5s I've found that I can zoom in and recover even the smallest scribbled information

The photos are dated by default and are easy to export into a dated folder.

Takes almost no time and I have't had to go digging for a small reference note in months.

Just a thought.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Herb Sevush
Re: Analog Metadata
on Jul 17, 2014 at 9:27:43 pm

[Bill Davis] " I pull out my iPhone turn over every sheet before I file or trash it - and if there's ANYTHING on it, I snap a cel phone photo. "

Great idea, thanks for that.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Analog Metadata
on Jul 17, 2014 at 9:51:14 pm

To expand on that, I was going to suggest using Evernote help keep everything organized. I started using it a couple of years ago and it helps a lot especially with going back to older projects. I still primarily take notes by hand, but I'll transcribe them into Evernote. You can also import images, PDFs, etc., (I keep a collection of deck user manuals and white papers in it).

Since it's cross platform (Mac, PC, iOS, Android and web browser) it's always easy to pull up.


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Craig Alan
Re: Analog Metadata
on Jul 16, 2014 at 2:38:44 am

There is an ergonomic advantage to having notes/data/lists as a reference held apart from the screen your editing on. Or for that matter outside the script you are writing. That said once this data is in a writing app or a spreadsheet app it makes it easy to sort, modify, search. In list view, you could create most of this and see filmstrip and viewer displays as you tag/sort/organize your rough cut.

But I find that editing in the browser negates the most important aspect of editing, the interaction between these clips that only happens on the timeline. So I'm not all in on the metadata approach to editing. Somewhere in-between putting a logical story sequence together using the "best" shots, clips, and sub-clips and discovering beats and moments as the timeline develops is where I'm trying to aim.

I wouldn't mind a stand that would place an iPad slanted from the keyboard up to the bottom edge of my computer monitor with a button to toggle my keyboard/mouse/pad being used for either the computer or iPad display.

Mac Pro, macbook pro, Imacs (i7); Canon 5D Mark III/70D, Panasonic AG-HPX170/AG-HPX250P, Canon HV40, Sony Z7U/VX2000/PD170; FCP 6 certified; FCP X write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Richard Herd
Re: Analog Metadata
on Jul 16, 2014 at 7:05:26 pm

[Craig Alan] "I wouldn't mind a stand that would place an iPad slanted from the keyboard up to the bottom edge of my computer monitor with a button to toggle my keyboard/mouse/pad being used for either the computer or iPad display."

I cannot remember the app I used to use, but it is worth googling for "KVM over IP" (keyboard, video, mouse over internet protocol) or other such combinations, and the IP/KVM app I used was between computers in 2006 - 2010, so I'm sure by now someone somewhere has a mac to ipad IP/KVM.


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Bret Williams
Re: Analog Metadata
on Jul 17, 2014 at 1:41:59 am

Who is editing in the browser?


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Craig Alan
Re: Analog Metadata
on Jul 17, 2014 at 2:14:02 am

I have read editors discussing that in FCP X they will do most of their rough cut in the browser. Deciding which clips to use. The I-O for each clip. Organizing them into a sequential order. This has always been part of the NLE process, but FCP X makes it easier and it's a matter of degree.

Mac Pro, macbook pro, Imacs (i7); Canon 5D Mark III/70D, Panasonic AG-HPX170/AG-HPX250P, Canon HV40, Sony Z7U/VX2000/PD170; FCP 6 certified; FCP X write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Jason Porthouse
Re: Analog Metadata
on Jul 17, 2014 at 9:50:08 pm

Post-It notes are my favoured analogue metadata - lots and lots of them. Gotta get decent ones, mind, as the glue lasts longer and they stay sticky. I use a different colour for each story strand (I'm often cutting docs with multiple strands) or character, and name each scene on notes as a kind of nonlinear shorthand script. It's really easy to be able to change stuff around, and see the spread of stories across the arc of a film or series - you can see if one story dominates or is too long before returning to the fore. Most directors I've worked with think it's nuts for about 5 minutes and then become instant converts.

I can't see any software or e-device replacing them.

_________________________________

Before you criticise a man, walk a mile in his shoes.
Then when you do criticise him, you'll be a mile away. And have his shoes.



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Bill Davis
Re: Analog Metadata
on Jul 17, 2014 at 9:44:07 pm
Last Edited By Bill Davis on Jul 17, 2014 at 9:57:34 pm


Who is editing in the browser?

ME. All the time.

I have been since day one since I consider key wording to be a form of editing. At the core, editing is removing what's not important and distilling the story flow to what is, right. Cutting out crap is editing.

Keywording is where you can do reductive editing amazingly rapidly by making qualitative decisions and applying them to the ranges of your footage and letting X hide them from view.

Keywords collections, then are collections of possibles. And, since keyword application is FRAME ACCURATE - it allows me to take a precise shot that is starting to look more important to me as I uncover the nature of the edit that's emerging and put it in a collection with other shots that are also "percolating up" in my judgemtnt. Applied to the storyline, I often find that if I am careful in my selections in the event browser, the clip arrives distilled to just the part of the clip that's suitable for the story. Essentially, it's been "pre-edited."

When you're working with shot list style scripts with multiple takes of each, it's a HUGE timesaver to have pre-edited just the very best options of the takes you need and are able to recall them at will.

If I'm working on something that doesn't have alternate "takes" of the same material, then I use my keywords differently. More documentary style - to locate themes and participants and locations and a hundred other things.

That's a good chunk of the FUN part of being an X editor. New tools - new ways to explore employing them - new ways to see what I've been seeing the same way for such a long time.

FWIW>

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Franz Bieberkopf
Re: Analog Metadata
on Jul 18, 2014 at 12:30:56 am

[Andrew Kimery] "I was going to suggest using Evernote help keep everything organized."

[Jason Porthouse] "Post-It notes are my favoured analogue metadata ... I can't see any software or e-device replacing them."

Andrew, Jason,

Scrivener is ideally suited to electronic organization of this sort - it has a "corkboard" mode (with index cards) but you can also view the same information as a "script" (ie linearly) and freely pass from one to the other.

I've tried it - I just don't seem to be able to leave the physical world behind.

Franz.


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David Lawrence
Re: Analog Metadata
on Jul 18, 2014 at 3:03:15 am

[Franz Bieberkopf] "As someone who still uses a notebook and index cards, I'm wondering how many still use "analog metadata" and how many have migrated from note taking to data (and what tools you use either in the NLE or otherwise)."

Great thread, Franz.

The project I'm currently working on uses notepads, velcro, cheap stopwatches, Post It notes, foam core, cell phone cameras and the FCPX to Premiere workflow I wrote about here.

It's an awesome hybrid analogue/digital metadata workflow that gives us the best of both worlds. I'll see about getting permission from my colleagues to post some photos and screen shots and write it up.

_______________________
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Franz Bieberkopf
Re: Analog Metadata
on Jul 18, 2014 at 5:32:11 am

[David Lawrence] " I'll see about getting permission from my colleagues to post some photos and screen shots and write it up."

David,

... encouragement to post what is possible.

Franz.


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Analog Metadata
on Jul 18, 2014 at 7:21:48 am

[Franz Bieberkopf] "Scrivener is ideally suited to electronic organization of this sort - it has a "corkboard" mode (with index cards) but you can also view the same information as a "script" (ie linearly) and freely pass from one to the other.

I've tried it - I just don't seem to be able to leave the physical world behind."


Thanks Franz, I'll check that out.

Amazon Studio has a web based cork board app but it's just not the same as the real thing. Like Jason was saying, the great thing about index cards (I use index cards) on a board is that you can see everything at once and it's all easily identifiable. On a computer monitor I usually have to zoom so far out to see everything that the detailed info isn't visible but if I zoom into see the detailed info then I can see everything at once.

Maybe things would be different if I had 65" iPad hanging on a wall.


Like I said before, I prefer taking notes by hand and it's only been somewhat recently that I've gotten used to marking up transcripts electronically. I feel like having that physical interaction stimulates a different part of my brain. Heck, maybe it's just having a few moments where I'm not focused on a computer screen that that I find refreshing.


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Craig Alan
Re: Analog Metadata
on Jul 18, 2014 at 3:27:53 pm

Lots of programs try to mimic this cards on a wall organization, which has been around in production studios for a long time. Ditto story boards. Final Draft and its wanna bes have it. Celtix has it. Etc. But until we have entire walls as monitors and a pad of some kind mounted at standing height, it will not be the same.

The technology is actually there in smart boards and projectors connected to an outport on a computer. The concept appears in countless versions of CSI and sci fi movies.

Both and not either or. If the cards can be integrated into the browser as well as hanging on the wall, then you can use the wall for global/overview/bird's eye organization and have references to them within the script and NLE browser for detailing and assembly.

The number of movies that get released that when you back up the lens have at least some moments of plot and/or character arc that is absent, misplaced or inconsistent makes you wonder if they would benefit from putting those cards back on the wall.

Mac Pro, macbook pro, Imacs (i7); Canon 5D Mark III/70D, Panasonic AG-HPX170/AG-HPX250P, Canon HV40, Sony Z7U/VX2000/PD170; FCP 6 certified; FCP X write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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