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Feature documentary mixed codec and organization question.

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Matt Scholes
Feature documentary mixed codec and organization question.
on Apr 6, 2013 at 5:06:34 pm

I'm taking over a project where the rushes are all over the place in terms of codec and organization.

Hope the following makes some sort of sense.

Half of the original footage is MTS (but without the file structure required for L&T in FCP). Most of this has been converted already, to AIC. Obviously loads of the clips have the same filename i.e 00001.mov, which is frustrating.

The other half of the rushes all have unique filenames and are in the EXCAM codec.

What I've done so far is renamed the AIC clips in FCP with the reel number (or card #) as a prefix
i.e F1-00001.mov and then used the function in FCP to match the filenames to these new FCP clip names, so that It's easier to know what I'm cutting and where it's from.

So, what I want to know I guess is should I re-transcode all the MTS stuff from scratch to match the EX rushes (which there are more of)? My problem is there's limited disk space and this would take about three days to do, at least (There are 40 cards). I want to avoid doing this if possible.

My preference would be to mix the codecs I have already in the cut, and then when picture is locked, media manage the sequence all to EXCAM or whatever delivery format. Is the AIC quality sufficiently good to do this (it'll be for broadcast), or would I need to go back to the MTS files, find whatever material I've used in the edit, transcode those clips with the new filenames, and then re-link?

The other half of my question is about organizing and making selects.

It's an Ob Doc, so there is lots to go through. Would a good way to organize be to use markers on the master clips and mark different colours for different characters and narrative themes? And make notes in the master comment column for other bits of info?

Then make subslips from these markers and move the material into bins for these relevant themes/characters?

Would be really interested in seeing how other people would approach it.

Thanks in advance.

If you aren't willing to change you shouldn't be editing" - Richard Marks


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Rafael Amador
Re: Feature documentary mixed codec and organization question.
on Apr 6, 2013 at 5:49:48 pm

AIC is a poor codec and will add compression to the already very compressed MTS stuff.
Get a HD and transcode the MTS files to Prores.
The XDCAM stuff cab e edited without problems in the Prores sequence.
Rafael


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Steve Eisen
Re: Feature documentary mixed codec and organization question.
on Apr 6, 2013 at 7:30:11 pm

Save your self time for editing and do what Raf suggests. Convert all footage to ProRes. May take a little longer on the front end but your editing will not be as hard.

Steve Eisen
Eisen Video Productions
Vice President
Chicago Creative Pro Users Group


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William Carr
Re: Feature documentary mixed codec and organization question.
on Apr 9, 2013 at 11:19:36 pm

It may seem like a lot of work right now at the front side of the project, but if you don't invest x-amount of effort now to transcode everything to a common format-- ProRes-- it will require x+y-amount of effort in the middle of your actual edit. A brand new HDD with lots of room is cheap. And get another one to back it all up and put on the shelf. For example, I have several FW800 G-RAIDs from 2-6 TB for editing, and then single-platter OWC HDDs with the same Capture Scratch folders duplicated on them in case a RAID goes down. A poor man's version of more expensive RAID 5 or 6 array. And I keep those back-up drives off site by the way.

Bottom line is, if you don't prepare a large project well, there are too many pitfalls that will reveal themselves at the worst times.

Another thing, if you're now the arbiter of the total media for this project you might want to batch rename all the clip groups to something helpful for organizing or ID'ing standalone clips. Not all projects need this but some do. You can keep keep some kind of original reel/card name code, and add short text/digits that represent the content. Some say it's blasphemous to remove the identical file name as it appears on the card, but that depends on who might need the clips down the line and for what purpose. A middle ground is to keep the newly named clips in groups of sequenced clips identical to the clip group and order in each original card, so it's easy to match them up if necessary later.

And as far as markers on clips, etc., why don't you first organize all the clips into subject bins, then as you do a familiarization pass you can decide whether markers are necessary. Personally I don't use markers for this, nor do I make subclips; I create a timeline for each interview or prolonged action clip and segment the the clip into the bites I like. It's easy to review and rearrange and pull from those sequences. Then again, I'm very object oriented, and prefer the paradigm of blocks of sequential footage.

Here's a real pro's excellent volume of advice on the organizing subject:
http://training.creativecow.net/dvd_store/get_organized_fcp/get_organized_f...


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