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Actors Demo Reel - MPEGstreamclip/avid settings

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James Eckhouse
Actors Demo Reel - MPEGstreamclip/avid settings
on Feb 17, 2012 at 7:24:46 pm

Thank you in advance for your help on this!
I am a (well-) seasoned actor who wants to take over the editing of my demo reel. I also direct a bunch and am learning AVID (have 5.5)I realize a lot of these questions have been dealt with before on this forum - but I would love the info all in one place!
Flow is like this:

1) I Get high quality DVD copies of episodes of TV shows and films I’m in – usually from the producer – occasionally from an editor who records the ‘aircheck’ from satellite onto DVD.
2) I use MPEG Streamclip (nice program) to rip my scenes from DVD to Quicktime files.
3) Import the Qtime into Avid
4) Edit the scenes a wee bit (so the scenes favor ‘me’ more) and link them together to make a 5-6 min. Demo reel.
5) Export to Qtime and then do two things with my 'demo':
6) Burn DVD’s to give to my agents/managers who send out to producers... as well as give to my actor web services that upload the DVD and make accessible to industry folks.
7) and also: I will occassionally upload directly to file sharing site so that a Casting Director can download quickly.

Many settings along the way to contemplate!!

In MPEG streamclip (Step2) I am inclined to use one of the following:

1- Avid 1:1x (it’s the least compressed I believe? – and since I can limit the transposing to just my scenes – I get 1-2 Gigabyte files – not prohibitively large)

2- Apple Pro-Res 422 (available only when booted up on my drive containing FCP)
3- DV–50 or DV–25 – which I have heard is OK too. Of course there are a zillion other choices…

On all of the above in the ‘frame size’ option in ‘Streamclip’ - I am inclined to select: '720X480 Unscaled'. (I wonder if that should be changed according to the size of the material on the DVD?)

Then over in Avid – which I KNOW IS really the first set of priorities:

What should the project settings be?

Some of the scenes on the DVD’s are in SDef 4:3 (older shows) and some are 16:9 High def. I see that I can always use the Reformat Effect in anything in a sequence to turn segments that get ‘stretched’ back into 4:3 with sidelines. That is fine in terms of look on a reel. (Agents know it is a collection of scenes) But since I am degrading the DVD quality with two 'transfers' – I want the final reel to be as high quality looking as possible….I don’t really know which Project settings would be best for making the reel to be used to burn DVD’s as I said and to upload (realize that for upload I would simply make more compressed Qtime files – not the same settings for the DVD burning ones)
Hugely apprecieate any and all advice on this!
Best, James


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Shane Ross
Re: Actors Demo Reel - MPEGstreamclip/avid settings
on Feb 17, 2012 at 9:23:38 pm

If I were you, I'd encode to Avid DV codec, or MPEG2 50MBit. I have MC 5.5 on my machine, and I see those options. Then import those into Avid for editing. Worth testing a couple options. Since Streamclip allows you to mark IN and OUT points, you can convert small sections.

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


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James Eckhouse
Re: Actors Demo Reel - MPEGstreamclip/avid settings
on Feb 17, 2012 at 11:26:40 pm

thanks shane - yeah, because you can do edit points in Streamclip you can have small files which is why I was wondering - why not use the Avid 1:1 codec and not have to compress in that step. And i readily admit my pathetically crude understanding of how codecs co-mingle along the path of the workflow. I suppose if you are transcoding material from a DVD - it is already at a high compression and doesn't warrant using a less compressed codec. I will have to test different options as you said.
James


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Shane Ross
Re: Actors Demo Reel - MPEGstreamclip/avid settings
on Feb 18, 2012 at 12:20:06 am

Go 1:1 if you have the space. The less compressed the better.

And hey, grasping codecs is QUITE a task. And don't try to get me to act anytime soon...THAT is tough.

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


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Annaël Beauchemin
Re: Actors Demo Reel - MPEGstreamclip/avid settings
on Feb 21, 2012 at 7:22:11 pm

I would add that using Avid DV50 is easier than the other Avid codecs since it is a 720x480 codec, just like MPEG2-DVD.

Others Avid SD codecs are 720x486, which can mess up the fields when converted, unless you add black lines on top and bottom to pad for the difference (which is a bit awkward to achieve in MPEGStreamclip).


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Alan Mackulin
Re: Actors Demo Reel - MPEGstreamclip/avid settings
on Feb 17, 2012 at 9:44:55 pm

James,
You were great as the dad on 90210!


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James Eckhouse
Re: Actors Demo Reel - MPEGstreamclip/avid settings
on Feb 17, 2012 at 11:29:51 pm

thank you alan!


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