Condensing FCP7 files and folders on long-term doc project
I have been working in fits and starts on a long-term documentary project, and need some expert advice as I shift gears to streamline folders and files for the final edit, as well as my thoughts on the last bit of shooting I'll be doing this month.
I started shooting in SP (24pADV footage shot on a Panasonic DVX100a - with some clips shot at standard 24p but converted using a Natress plugin to import to the 23.98 timeline). I know, I know, you've all zoomed ahead to HD and 4K and whatever K's are coming up the pike. But I think the most prudent thing to do with one more interview and a smidge of Broll left is to shoot those bits the same way I shot the others, and then upres the final cut.
I have worked with editors and assistant editors logging and capturing footage shot over a long period of time, and like others I've read about on this forum, am now finding nested CAPTURE SCRATCH & PROJECT FILE folders, as well as disparate locations of both CAPTURE SCRATCH & AUTOSAVE folders.
I will work with an editor - having been warned not to take this on myself as a semi-NLE-literate director/producer - to copy my clips from 4 500GB Gtech HD's (bought one at a time as footage increased) to a 4TB GTech and use the 500's as backup.
I'd like to streamline the footage a bit for better organization, but again, I will work with an editor on that.
Hope this sounds Kosher so far. I realize if I move clips around I will have to reconnect media.
My BIG QUESTIONS: can I merge AUTOSAVE files, keeping the most recent one of each chain of saves? I'm also trying to merge several different PROJECT FILE VERSIONS.
(*I am going through bin by bin VERY CAREFULLY to make sure each clip is represented - same TC, etc)
And can I merge RENDER, AUDIO RENDER, WAVEFORM CACHE and THUMBNAIL CACHE folders?
I certainly don't want to confuse the program - but if I can come up with a more streamlined, centralized location for these it will likely keep my sanity and definitely preserve that of the editor I hire.
I am still on FCP 7, working for now to organize the files (not doing a lot of clip processing) on a MacBook Pro running OS 10.7.5, 2.53 GHz Intel Core i5 with 4GB 1067 MHz DDR3.
I have been told to NOT update my OS mid-project (many sequences already edited) and I can't get an iMac at this point for editing since apparently FCP 7 won't run on it (?).
Hope to gain some insights, advice, and perhaps a few stern warnings :)
Light Years Film
[Claire Panke] "My BIG QUESTIONS: can I merge AUTOSAVE files, keeping the most recent one of each chain of saves?"
You can archive the latest ones if you want. But you don't need to save all of them. Those are there in case you crash....so really, you only need the latest ones. Unless you want to look back at what the project looked like 4 years ago. I occasionally clear mine out, only keep the last 5 or so.
[Claire Panke] "I'm also trying to merge several different PROJECT FILE VERSIONS."
Why do you have multiple project files? are there captures in some, but not others? Yeah...this really needs to be organized..organization is the key to smooth editing, and being able to find footage. If you can get yourself to one project, that's best. But if it's going to be too huge, you can have multiple projects. One for the music and audio, one for footage, one for the cut. There are dangers in doing this, like not being able to match back too footage in a bin from a cut in one project to the footage in another. It's up to the tastes of the editor. But organization is key.
[Claire Panke] "And can I merge RENDER, AUDIO RENDER, WAVEFORM CACHE and THUMBNAIL CACHE folders?"
Yes. In fact, you only need to worry about the RENDER and AUDIO RENDER...if even them. Others get rebuilt automatically. As for the renders...if you move them, FCP might lose the link to them, and might not be able to reconnect. WHich might be fine...these represent the times you RENDERED in an FCP timeline. If you have the time, just toss those and re-render what you have. Something that can be done overnight if you have a lot. If you haven't started much cutting...these can go.
[Claire Panke] "I am still on FCP 7, working for now to organize the files (not doing a lot of clip processing) on a MacBook Pro running OS 10.7.5, 2.53 GHz Intel Core i5 with 4GB 1067 MHz DDR3.
I have been told to NOT update my OS mid-project (many sequences already edited) and I can't get an iMac at this point for editing since apparently FCP 7 won't run on it (?)."
Right. FCP 7 is 7 years old. Discontinued 5 years ago. If you want it working smooth, you have to keep it running on an older OS...and that means and older computer. Stick with this.
As for all of the footage....moving that is also dangerous. Because if you move anything, FCP will lose the link with it, and you'll have to try to reconnect and hope it all connects, hope you don't have duplicate names and such. What I would do in this situation, is duplicate the project file that links to this footage. Then copy and organize all the footage from the four drives to one drive. Open the duplicate project and try to link that one to all the footage on that one drive...keep the 4 drives offline. If everything connects, GREAT! Use that project moving forward. The old project will be linked to the old media...just in case things don't work out.
And yes, hire an editor who's GOOD with organization and highly technical. not all editors are. Many rely on Assistants to keep things organized.
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Thank you Shane for that detailed response!
Really helpful and especially valuable from a trusted source like you. You have helped me in the past during the long journey to get my film made.