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Question about working with 25 fps video and "24 fps" sound in Final Cut Pro 7

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Victor Dragomir
Question about working with 25 fps video and "24 fps" sound in Final Cut Pro 7
on Jul 5, 2012 at 9:29:42 am

Hi everyone. I recently wrapped shooting my masters short on Kodak color 35mm film and I'm encountering some problems in the beginning phase of postproduction. CreativeCOW forums have always been helpful to me, so I decided to post the issue here, in hope someone may shed some light on it. Here's how it goes:
I shot the film in 35mm 3 perf, on an ARRI LT, at 24 fps (of course). The telecine was done in 25 fps (again, of course), and presented to me on MiniDV tapes, along with 4 flex files. Now, the studio I'm going to complete postproduction at isn't in the habit of cutting the negative (and optically getting to a screening print), but using ARRI Scan to load the useful material up in Clipster and then ARRI Laser to bring it back to film. Therefore, I HAVE to import the telecine material using the flex files in order to later export an EDL for them to feed to the Scanner.
I batch captured the material in Final Cut Pro 7 after initially creating a Cinema Tools database of all clips indicated by the 4 flex files I had. The settings I used for the Cinema Tools database were 35mm 3 perf, 25 fps telecine speed, 25 fps video timecode rate and 24 fps sound rate.
Now, the guys at the lab told me they need the EDL from a 25 fps editing timebase, so it only makes sense to work with video that plays in 25 fps. The problem is (of course), my sound is synced to the film rate (24 fps).
My dilemma, so to speak, is whether to conform the video down to 24 fps in Cinema Tools or to pitch the sound up to 25 fps in Nuendo before beginning to edit.
My sound engineer having told me pitching the sound before editing isn't a common practice, I resorted to conforming the video material for a 24 fps editing timebase. The big issue with this, however, is that Final Cut Pro trims the material down to 24 by literally removing a frame. I noticed this by going frame by frame in the timeline and looking at the keycode. There's a frame missing in every second.
Obviously, this will later result in a faulty EDL, so I dropped working in 24 and convinced my sound guy to start pitching every sound file he recorded when shooting.
However, I find this a little ridiculous. We used multiple mics and booms and he's going to have to import 24 fps sync sound into Nuendo and then individually export the files at 25 fps. I keep thinking there has to be a way for Final Cut Pro to convert or interpret the material at 24 fps without screwing up one frame each second, but I can't figure it out.
So, if anyone has some insight into this, it will be deeply appreciated.
Thanks.


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Michael Aranyshev
Re: Question about working with 25 fps video and "24 fps" sound in Final Cut Pro 7
on Jul 5, 2012 at 3:54:23 pm

Conform 25 to 24 inside FCP, not in CinemaTools. You clips will carry 24@25 timecode and if you edit in the sequence with 24@25 timecode FCP will generate correct 25 fps EDL. This is actually a standard procedure for 24 fps film in PAL environment and was introduced to FCP after serious lobbying effort by a FCP group led by Will MacNeil.


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Victor Dragomir
Re: Question about working with 25 fps video and "24 fps" sound in Final Cut Pro 7
on Jul 11, 2012 at 10:58:18 pm

Well, long story short, it worked. Thank you. I'm officially editing now!


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Michael Aranyshev
Re: Question about working with 25 fps video and "24 fps" sound in Final Cut Pro 7
on Jul 11, 2012 at 11:30:46 pm

Good luck


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Michael Gissing
Re: Question about working with 25 fps video and "24 fps" sound in Final Cut Pro 7
on Jul 12, 2012 at 12:52:05 am

Also for future reference if you shoot 24, edit 25 and then your final is back to 24 you do not need to pitch change anything as the final will be back in pitch.

An alternative is to shoot 25, edit 25 and then pitch change the final mix for the 24 version. Simple and with the least problems for neg matching. Mixing frame rates is always going to set speed bumps and inaccuracies.


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