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Re: FCP X and long form

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Nicholas Kleczewski
Re: FCP X and long form
on Jan 17, 2013 at 3:24:50 am

I have posted on here before about this, but no one ever replies, I think my issues are a little over the average users needs, but yes I am currently editing a huge feature documentary in FCPX.

10,000 clips 300 hours of footage. Ive edited 10 feature docs, most larger in scale than this, so I'm a bit of a workflow junkie to say the least. Let me just say, I love FCPX for all the reasons anyone who loves it does, but doing this feature has been difficult.

First, media management. FCPX absolutely cannot handle huge Events. If you look at my last multi page post, you will see why working in multiple events sucks for long form verite style documentary and actually, breaking up over multiple Events actually gives you worse spinning beach balls than doing it all in one, when you need to search across all at any given time. (Kinda how documentary work goes when any shot could be the first, and any could be the last) So i started getting creative with workarounds. Again, read my huge last post to get more detailed info. But basically, I made Compound Clips and outside Multicam clips (Plural Eyes) of absolutely everything and imported that. Instead of 10,000 clips, there are now about 130 and even though it references the exact same number of media files, performance is completely different, not perfect, but manageable.

In my long post you will see how I discovered that FCPX handles merging of Events together in completely different ways depending on how you go about the process, and some really crazy results can take shape. I'll just say, I must have been on to something as an entity I shall not name (creators of said program) got in touch with me and are asking to collaborate on "huge project" workflow enhancements.

Another large issue, Favorites. Favorites are a decent trade off for subclips, but not entirely. For one, if you accidently hit F while overlapped with a current favorite in a master clip, all metadata you entered for the favorite gets immediately erased and the word "Favorite" simply returns. Worse still, in 10.0.6. Favorite creation behavior changed. Before when you pushed F and got a new favorite, it was then highlighted. You could, as footage still plays, hit Tab, name the clip, hit return, and keep going without ever stopping. I did a 60 min doc before this one that was much smaller and subclipping with this was a revelation. After 10.0.6 creating a Favorite makes the highlight jump back to the clip name rendering an all keyboard logging work flow impossible. Last issues are when searching with only Favorites on, you get a instances of the master clip with the favorite as a drop down returned, rather than just a list of clips that match. not a big deal if you have just a few clips, but 50 with drop downs for each blows.

So for this new film I am switching to Markers. Better work flow in that its possible to stay on the keyboard, but not great in other ways. Marker searches reveal all markers attached to the clip even if they don't apple to the search, and of course unlike favorites you still need to set an I/O around the area you want. But overall, this is working well for me.

A huge plus since 10.0.6 is really investing yourself into Compound Clips. When you start thinking about individual clips as just parts and pieces of what could be a large clip of alike footage, combined with the amazing power FCPX has to skim footage, it becomes hard to ever go back to another NLE.

Anyway, I'm considering doing a blog series on my experience since it seems like fairly uncharted territory.

Director, Editor, Colorist

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