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Can I fully produce a commercial in Final Cut Pro?

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Travis James
Can I fully produce a commercial in Final Cut Pro?
on Nov 7, 2012 at 4:34:15 pm

My company is looking to edit our commercials in-house.

My questions:

Is the Broadcast Safe Filter 100% accurate for ensuring our commercial will conform to the specifications required for television?

Do I need anything besides FCP to produce a commercial or can 100% of a commercial be produced using the Final Cut Pro suite?

If we're going to do this, we're looking to hire employees that know much more about this process than I do, but I don't want to move forward until I'm certain we can fully produce commercials by only using the FCP suite.

Thanks in advance for your reply!


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Mark Suszko
Re: Can I fully produce a commercial in Final Cut Pro?
on Nov 7, 2012 at 5:39:34 pm

Modifying your question: can you produce a complete spot in FCP-X, because you can't really buy Final Cut Pro 7 or the FCS 3 suite "new" anymore. I would say yes, you certainly can make complete spots in FCP7, people do it every day. I do it here all the time. Then again, the usual places I ship the finished program to are not what i'd call very OCD about quality to start with. The question of the levels being absolutely legal is trickier. The quick broadcast safe filter in FCP7 doesn't always solve everything.
You can take it out to Color, and fix that some more. I don't know enough about how X handles legal levels to have an opinion yet.


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Shane Ross
Re: Can I fully produce a commercial in Final Cut Pro?
on Nov 7, 2012 at 6:16:35 pm

FCP has been used to produce and deliver broadcast TV for many years. Many many years. Shows you see on TV...commercials you watch...infomercials...are edited using FCP. Some are even done with FCP-x. Most of the people on this board have delivered broadcast stuff with FCP.

So, yes.

Now...that said, you don't simply use the Broadcast Safe filter to BOOM, make the show fulfill broadcast specifications. No, that requires a lot of technical skill and knowledge. So yes, make DARN sure you hire someone with the experience needed to deliver TV shows that meet broadcast specs. Editor that can read and understand broadcast spec sheets.

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


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Scott Sheriff
Re: Can I fully produce a commercial in Final Cut Pro?
on Nov 8, 2012 at 3:26:22 am

[Shane Ross] "Now...that said, you don't simply use the Broadcast Safe filter to BOOM, make the show fulfill broadcast specifications. No, that requires a lot of technical skill and knowledge. So yes, make DARN sure you hire someone with the experience needed to deliver TV shows that meet broadcast specs. Editor that can read and understand broadcast spec sheets."

Agreed, but...In my experience you have a little wiggle room with commercials that you don't get with shows for two reasons. Shows are usually submitted at the network level, where standards and bureaucracy tend to be much higher. There are lots of national spots, but I'd say the majority of spots are local. Then there is the revenue/sales aspect of this. At the local level, a lot of stations tell the QC people to only flag large deviations in levels, wrong formats etc. Sales usually comes down on engineers/QC that constantly flag for minor things causing them to lose runs (meaning they're losing commission) on client spots. This practice is not universal but pretty wide spread, especially in the dismal economy. I wouldn't abuse it and turn in rush job crap, but it's also nothing to lose sleep over if your standards are high but there's a slight discrepancy.

Scott Sheriff
SST Digital Media
Multi-Camera Director, VFX and Post Production

The Affordable Camera Dolly is your just right solution!


"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur." ---Red Adair


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Travis James
Re: Can I fully produce a commercial in Final Cut Pro?
on Nov 9, 2012 at 5:38:51 pm

Thanks for the replies, everyone!


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