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FCP X Advice needed: Organizing Metadata Keywords for WWII doc-film

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Nicholas Natteau
FCP X Advice needed: Organizing Metadata Keywords for WWII doc-film
on Jul 2, 2011 at 3:28:54 pm

Starting a new documentary film about WWII that will use hundreds of files (movies, photos, music, maps). I need some advice about entering "keywords" and "favorites". Posting this because this is my very first FCP X project, and I believe anyone else working on a large project and using FCP X for the first time would benefit from any advice in this thread.

[1] For speed searching later, is it better to use abbreviations instead of full names as "keywords" to identify people or national armies/groups?
For example FDR=Roosevelt, WC=Churchill, H=Hitler, BA=British Army, PR=Polish Resistance, etc? These subjects appear in hundreds of different newsreels from sources like National Archives, Bundesarchiv, Buyout Footage.

[2] Should the Keywords Shortcuts "Ctrl 1-9" only be reserved for major themes? Such as: Ctrl 1=Genocide, Ctrl 2=Resistance, Ctrl 3=Destruction, Ctrl 4=Allies, Ctrl 5=Propaganda

[3] Or should Keywords Shortcuts "Ctrl 1-9" instead be reserved for file types such as "photo, map, poster, newsreel"

Thanks for any help / advice


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Ron Pestes
Re: FCP X Advice needed: Organizing Metadata Keywords for WWII doc-film
on Jul 2, 2011 at 4:15:38 pm

This may not answer your questions but are you SURE you want to make this huge project your first with FCPX? If you get a ways into it and find you can't do something you are screwed considering you can't XML out to another program. By the way, being a WWII nut I am interested in what your main theme is for your doc. Good luck.

ronpesteshdvideo.com
Apple Certified Master Pro FCS 2
Sony EX-3
MacBook Pro
New convert to Adobe CS5.5 Production Premium


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Nicholas Natteau
Re: FCP X Advice needed: Organizing Metadata Keywords for WWII doc-film
on Jul 2, 2011 at 5:06:59 pm

Hi Ron, thank you very much for your advice. It's about Erwin Rommel. That's why I'd be using keywords like "DAK, Africa, Kesselring, Mussolini, Hitler, British Army, RAF, etc"

The project was started in FCP7, but given the fact that I have hundreds of clips, and given one of FCP X's main advantages being media organizing, I thought it might be best to continue what I started in FCP X.

Sure there's no XML now, but didn't Apple confirm that it's coming soon?


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Ron Pestes
Re: FCP X Advice needed: Organizing Metadata Keywords for WWII doc-film
on Jul 2, 2011 at 5:21:32 pm

Yes, it looks like XML is coming so that would be a help. How will the finished program be shown or distributed? And do you have new material or ideas that set your program apart from others on Rommel? Sounds very interesting. I was in Normandy for several days in '07 doing a private tour. Great fun, and as you know Rommel was in charge of the beach defences there as well.

ronpesteshdvideo.com
Apple Certified Master Pro FCS 2
Sony EX-3
MacBook Pro
New convert to Adobe CS5.5 Production Premium


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Nicholas Natteau
Re: FCP X Advice needed: Organizing Metadata Keywords for WWII doc-film
on Jul 3, 2011 at 2:44:36 pm

Hi Ron,

Thanks for your help. My angle is more Rommel's evolution from "Hitler's General" to becoming implicated in the July 20, 1944 plot. I was fortunate enough to personally interview his son Manfred in 1999 but it was only an audio interview and the sound quality wasn't good. Wish I'd had my Zoom H4N recorder back then.


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Michael Garber
Re: FCP X Advice needed: Organizing Metadata Keywords for WWII doc-film
on Jul 2, 2011 at 7:00:33 pm

Hi Nicholas,

I think Ron makes a good point and you should take that into consideration. That said, if you are willing to deal with the inherent bugginess of the software, and can accept that there is the possibility that something unpredictably bad might happen to your project then I say go for it. I'd like to see some brave souls start projects in X so that we can all learn people's new workflows.

As for advice on keywording, you can always add both the three letter abbreviation and the full name. In fact, you could even add one or the other and then down the road, if you want the full name, you could just search for the abbreviation and add the full name keyword to all those clips.

I've been experimenting with favorites, markers, and keywords. From what I can tell, use keywords for general organization. Person, place, etc... Or, things that occur in a multitude of clips that you want to find easily.

Favorites and markers are curious and curiouser to me. I find that favorites tend to act like markers in FCP7. Markers are more like quick notes - and they can also act as a to-do.

Keywords, markers, and favorites can all have a notes field attached to it. It's all searchable, however, there are issues with the search honing in on a specific marker or keyword, which is troubling if you are searching through hundreds or thousands of log notes. If anyone has a workaround for this, I'd be greatly interested.

I personally have had issues dealing with image files and performing moves on them. It's just kind of wonky and crashes for me. That said, your mileage may vary.

My disclaimer to all this is that I'm learning, as you are, so these may not be the true methods for doing this. Research as much as you can before diving in on a large project. Keep FCP 7 around because you may need it to perform certain tasks that X won't do. Hope all this helps!


Regards,
Michael Garber
5th Wall
a post production company
http://www.5thwall.tv



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Nicholas Natteau
Re: FCP X Advice needed: Organizing Metadata Keywords for WWII doc-film
on Jul 3, 2011 at 3:05:28 pm

Hi Michael,

Thanks very much for your input. Regarding keywords in FCPX, if the same keyword appears multiple times in the the same event/clip, why does FCP X keeping repeating the name of the master clip for every instance of the keyword:

For example if "FDR" appears 5 times in the event/clip "New Deal", the FCPX Events Browser window in list format lists it this way:

New Deal
FDR
New Deal
FDR
New Deal
FDR
New Deal
FDR
New Deal
FDR

I wish it could be listed this way:

New Deal
• FDR
• FDR
• FDR
• FDR
• FDR


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Nicholas Natteau
Re: FCP X Advice needed: Organizing Metadata Keywords for WWII doc-film
on Jul 3, 2011 at 3:08:26 pm

Here's another example where I took a screen shot of my FCPX Events Browser window showing an instance where I had tagged "Hitler" in different sources clips/events I have. But in one event "Hitler" appears four times, just wondering why FCPX keeps repeating the name of the master clip/event four times when it need only list it once. Just wondering.


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Nicholas Natteau
Re: FCP X Advice needed: Organizing Metadata Keywords for WWII doc-film
on Jul 3, 2011 at 3:14:32 pm

Not sure why I can't upload image to this thread but here is the link for the image of my Events Browser window:



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Michael Garber
Re: FCP X Advice needed: Organizing Metadata Keywords for WWII doc-film
on Jul 3, 2011 at 6:29:28 pm

Nicholas,

I understand your frustration there. Perhaps you could add a secondary keyword along with "FDR" that gives a very general description (a few words at most) of what's going on. Maybe there are general themes that you'll find could be repeated--which would make it easy to do a search or create a smart collection. For example, you could search for "FDR" and "Europe" together, which would exclude "FDR" and "US."

If you just searched for FDR it would look like this:

New Deal
FDR, US
New Deal
FDR, Europe
New Deal
FDR, US
New Deal
FDR, US
New Deal
FDR, Europe, Hitler

At least you can take a quick glance to see what you need to click on to view.

In my tests, it seems that any long swaths of info - at this time, at least - should go into the notes section.

All said, what you are seeing when you search for FDR is akin to Subclips in old FCP. So, you're seeing the in and out of those particular ranges. I know, it's confusing (thus my recommendation for a secondary keyword). The other weird thing about the search functionality here is that, if you look at a clip in a keyword collection it will also show you any other keywords that overlap. This could be useful but sometimes it seems like too much information. My hope is that future updates of FCP will allow you to view the data you search for in more flexible ways - perhaps even in the way you mentioned above!

My usual disclaimer applies - I'm just starting with FCPX, so I have no idea if these are or will be the accepted practices. I'm learning along with you! ;)



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Joe Moya
Re: FCP X Advice needed: Organizing Metadata Keywords for WWII doc-film
on Jul 2, 2011 at 7:20:30 pm

Ron has a good point...

I have done similar projects you are about to attempt... and, I would have never considered using a new version 1.0 of ANY editing application on something this potentially complex...specially if you plan on using multiple file formats that come from multiple camera sources... off hand, your color correction issues are going to be a nightmare with FCPX. Not to mention the file organization work flow and audio difficulties you might have since the application hasn't proven itself - yet.

I think there would be a lot easier projects you should try first with FCPX...


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David Battistella
Re: FCP X Advice needed: Organizing Metadata Keywords for WWII doc-film
on Jul 3, 2011 at 7:39:05 am

Think of keywords as a database for the public library. Think of what you want to search.

I suggest you use the full names. If you use a WC for example then context sensitive searching might turn up every clip with a W and a C.

You can add many keywords to a clip as well.

For example a clip could contain these keywords.

Interview
Churchill
1944
Audio only
BBC
Five stars

Then When you look for your best clips from that person in that year you will find what you are looking for.

Don't be obscure. Imagine what you will want to look for and use those as keywords.

Also create a keyword legend for anyone else needing to search the project in the future.

David.

______________________________
Believe me. Everything is a lie.



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Scott Bellefeuille
Re: FCP X Advice needed: Organizing Metadata Keywords for WWII doc-film
on Jul 3, 2011 at 8:42:12 am

There's a few bugs and some odd behavior that I've run into with keywording and organizing a large documentary project I'm working on:

1) FCP X automatically creates a "Keyword Collection" in the event browser for every keyword you create. So if you have 500 keywords you will have 500 keyword collections cluttering up the event browser. Deleting a keyword collection deletes the keyword from every clip it is associated with. So you're stuck with a lot of keyword collections you don't necessarily need. The only solution currently is to dump them in a folder.

2) If you select multiple rows and try to apply a keyword to multiple items when in "list view" your selection reverts to one row after you have applied the first keyword so you can't apply multiple keywords to a selection of rows without reselecting after each one. This works fine in thumbnail view but not list view.

3) Tabbing doesn't work in data fields in List View in the event browser. Each time you tab from one field to the next to enter information, say from Scene to Shot/Take, you have to click in the field to make it active. It appears you can't just tab from field to field entering data. Makes it nearly impossible to quickly add data such as scene, shot, take, notes to clips.

I'll also add that responsiveness is slow with a big project (400GB of prores files on an external RAID editing on a new Macbook Pro 8 core).

My advice would be to import a small sample of your clips and try entering the data and key wording multiple items to make sure the issues I describe above won't kill your workflow.


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