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How much gear do you need to edit a movie in real time?

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Jeremy Garchow
How much gear do you need to edit a movie in real time?
on Jul 13, 2017 at 10:59:55 pm

Turns out, not a ton:

http://appleinsider.com/articles/17/07/13/baby-driver-cut-in-real-time-with...


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Oliver Peters
Re: How much gear do you need to edit a movie in real time?
on Jul 13, 2017 at 11:23:15 pm

Pretty misleading title and not very informative. Here's the full detail for folks who don't know:

https://digitalfilms.wordpress.com/2017/06/24/baby-driver/

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: How much gear do you need to edit a movie in real time?
on Jul 14, 2017 at 12:41:55 am

I don't know how much more real time than editing the scene on the front of a process trailer can get!


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andy patterson
Re: How much gear do you need to edit a movie in real time?
on Jul 14, 2017 at 1:13:53 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "I don't know how much more real time than editing the scene on the back of a process trailer can get!"

A live broadcast perhaps?

You can edit using laptop with most NLE. If you want to edit Red One R3D files at full 4K resolution a laptop might not work.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: How much gear do you need to edit a movie in real time?
on Jul 14, 2017 at 1:43:28 am

This forum used to be fun.

:(


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Herb Sevush
Re: How much gear do you need to edit a movie in real time?
on Jul 14, 2017 at 12:23:28 pm

But wait, you mean he cut this on Avid? How was that possible? We all know that Avid is slow and pre-historic, I thought it was positively illegal to use Avid on a laptop, like the "coolness" values of Avid were too low to for a macbook pro to work with, and it would spit out the software like it had eaten a bad burrito. There must be some mistake, he must have been cutting this on X without realizing it.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: How much gear do you need to edit a movie in real time?
on Jul 14, 2017 at 1:31:38 pm

[Herb Sevush] "There must be some mistake, he must have been cutting this on X without realizing it."

Now we are getting somewhere!



Despite the platform, I thought this was really cool, informative, and telling of what is happening, and not misleading. They are editing in real time, editing the footage against a storyboard, and then and only then, will they wrap. Process trailer work is tiring. Editing on the truck to make sure that you can complete primary shooting while your computer is strapped to an apple box is an entirely different matter.


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Oliver Peters
Re: How much gear do you need to edit a movie in real time?
on Jul 14, 2017 at 2:45:14 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "and not misleading. They are editing in real time, "

It's the "real time" part that's misleading. A take was edited into the sequence after it was shot. Then the crew waited until Paul confirmed it was a good take. Where's the "real time" part?

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: How much gear do you need to edit a movie in real time?
on Jul 15, 2017 at 2:35:44 pm

[Oliver Peters] "A take was edited into the sequence after it was shot. "

Within minutes:

"Roadside editing, you know, this is anywhere, anytime basically," Machliss told The Beat. "This was for a climactic chase sequence, and you could literally wheelit out of the main truck and be ready for Edgar in minutes."

[Oliver Peters] "Then the crew waited until Paul confirmed it was a good take. "

Having a crew wait around for an editor to import, process, edit, won't be cheap. So unless that whole process is moving very very quickly, it would become impractical. While no, it's not real time in broadcast terms, I'd say it's real time in film terms; like, you know ... money. A quote from Paul Machliss in your article:

"I could actually keep up with the speed of the shoot. You don’t want to be the one holding up a crew of 70."

I'm sorry you find my line of thinking misleading. I think this is a really cool set story from what looks like a fun movie with an obviously talented crew. They are executing an ambitious idea, conceived years ago, that requires such precision that it needs to be reviewed within minutes of it being shot and essentially approved by an editor before moving on to the next shot or take.

And, by the way, was done with a laptop and an Ethernet cable.

Here's some more cool stuff to read:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/27/movies/baby-driver-stunts.html


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Joe Marler
Re: How much gear do you need to edit a movie in real time?
on Jul 14, 2017 at 1:52:19 pm

[Oliver Peters] "Here's the full detail for folks who don't know:

https://digitalfilms.wordpress.com/2017/06/24/baby-driver/"


http://www.panavision.com/bill-popes-cinematography-baby-driver-has-panavis...

It appears this movie was shot on film, not digital. The Panaflex Millennium XL2 camera has a video tap which was run through an In2Core QTake encoder, apparently producing 2k ProRes output for editing on Avid: http://qtakehd.com/


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Oliver Peters
Re: How much gear do you need to edit a movie in real time?
on Jul 14, 2017 at 2:42:52 pm

If you read my article, Paul clearly states he was networked into the video assist operator's storage. He AMA-linked those media files. Not the live feed from a camera. Then, in down time, he background-transcoded Avid media from these linked files in order to create his own store of Avid media independent of the video assist storage. He tested those takes to make sure that the action properly coincided with the music, which is an integral part of the story and how the film was produced. Plus, of course, best performance.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Bill Davis
Re: How much gear do you need to edit a movie in real time?
on Jul 15, 2017 at 1:59:17 am

I think lots of people here are still missing the real point.

It's not "can" you functionally and usefully edit on a <1" thick battery powered device in 2017. That was a BIG question for decades. But Its obviously gone now.

Now the question is more twofold, IMO.

The first is what type of editing do you wish to do at what stage. Trimming stringouts for review? Grabbing camera shots - tossing a LUT on them for near real-time review? Matching Action? - all those things are kinda trivial now - any laptop can play. Mostly any software too.

The next stage may be how much of the expected back end processes now start to collapse toward the shoot. Will there be an assistant editor on-set tagging selects as they are shot? If he or she is talented and assembles scenes with a refined esthetic, will that be a place the editor needs to eventually move so they can remain relevant?

Or will the editing be entirely on-line and cloud based where it doesn't technically matter who touches what from where such that the Director, DP, AE, EDITOR and maybe the freeking Producer are all capable of futzing around with the image stream.

I kinda chuckled today in a Pre-Pro call when the Agency Art Director basically implied "I have Creative Suite on my laptop - if you're cutting in Premiere - you could just send me your project and I could insert the titling and adjust the edits as needed to make the titles work best on my end - then send the work back your way...

Is the era of the ArtDirector/Collaborative Editor upon us?

And I'm not surprised. When everyone in every shop - creatives, admin, sales, (cleaning crew?) etc - ALL Have 24/7 access to the exact same hardware and software - the temptation to think familiarity alone breeds expertise is pretty powerful.

And so it goes.

Creator of XinTwo - http://www.xintwo.com
The shortest path to FCP X mastery.


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Herb Sevush
Re: How much gear do you need to edit a movie in real time?
on Jul 15, 2017 at 1:07:46 pm

[Bill Davis] "The next stage may be how much of the expected back end processes now start to collapse toward the shoot. Will there be an assistant editor on-set tagging selects as they are shot? If he or she is talented and assembles scenes with a refined esthetic, will that be a place the editor needs to eventually move so they can remain relevant?"

The need for "on-set" editing has to do with making sure cuts work and coverage is complete, especially for action sequences. Nothing "aesthetically refined" goes on until you get back to the edit room where the editor and director are taking the time to get things right.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Bill Davis
Re: How much gear do you need to edit a movie in real time?
on Jul 15, 2017 at 5:53:31 pm

[Herb Sevush] "Nothing "aesthetically refined" goes on until you get back to the edit room where the editor and director are taking the time to get things right."

For you, perhaps Herb.

But while I was chatting with Jan Kovac - the editor of Wiskey Tango Foxtrot - we talked d about how he and co-director Glen Ficarra were constantly trading "editing ideas" on-set (and in the production trailer base camp and in their respective hotel rooms - etc. and that the ability to pull up the rushes and work with directly with the footage in the field at every stage of production was a change they heartily embraced.

This mirrors my general experience.

Editing is no longer something that must be done at an "editing station" anymore. Rather, it's something that can be done whenever and wherever the editor has the time and need.

This is the direction the entire industry has been moving since processors on both desktop and laptop computers got to the place where moving frames through any computer system became trivial. And we've been there for a LONG time now.

That recent "look at this!" article about Baby Driver showing an editor working via AVID on set - seems to have created a bit of a "wow" moment for some editors. But in truth, that same "wow" moment for me came more than 5 years ago when I realized that I could do everything I could do in my office - anywhere.

It's liberating to be ABLE to edit anywhere - even if you decide you prefer to work from the same desk 95% of the time.

That's all.

Creator of XinTwo - http://www.xintwo.com
The shortest path to FCP X mastery.


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: How much gear do you need to edit a movie in real time?
on Jul 15, 2017 at 8:09:59 pm
Last Edited By Simon Ubsdell on Jul 15, 2017 at 8:19:31 pm

[Bill Davis] "That recent "look at this!" article about Baby Driver showing an editor working via AVID on set - seems to have created a bit of a "wow" moment for some editors. But in truth, that same "wow" moment for me came more than 5 years ago when I realized that I could do everything I could do in my office - anywhere. "

I had to check back to remember exactly when I started using a laptop on set to edit as we shot and I discovered that it was very nearly ten years ago.

Once I'd started, I was doing it pretty much all the time because obviously it makes a huge amount of sense. We were also doing live keying, again with the laptop, using Conduit, to see check green screen shoots. And we were even doing rough comps in Shake on set!

I'm therefore a bit puzzled that it's seen as some sort of novelty here in our 2017 world.

Edit: Having said that, I'm a huge fan of Edgar Wright and I love what they are doing here creatively - that's what's cool, more than the technology, I think.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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Oliver Peters
Re: How much gear do you need to edit a movie in real time?
on Jul 15, 2017 at 9:08:01 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "I'm therefore a bit puzzled that it's seen as some sort of novelty here in our 2017 world."

I don't think Paul Machliss saw it as a novelty that you can do rough cutting on the set. I think that part of the discussion seems to be getting perverted. The novelty is the extent to which editorial decisions effected the production and in a sense, the interactivity of it. In this case, it was essential to the success, but on other films, it's a nice-to-have. And in fact, most editors and director resist it. This will hardly change how other films are edited in the future - laptop or not.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: How much gear do you need to edit a movie in real time?
on Jul 15, 2017 at 9:18:26 pm

[Oliver Peters] "The novelty is the extent to which editorial decisions effected the production and in a sense, the interactivity of it."

Yes, indeed. The novelty was in the creative choice/necessity and how these sequences were preconceived/previsualised and seems to be almost nothing to do with the state of technology.

That said, if you're not editing on set, you really are missing a trick. It takes nothing to set up and can save you huge amounts of heartache - and cost.

A lot of the shoots that I used to do were very technical and this is where it really pays off. Making sure that what you think you've got is actually going to deliver the results when you put it all together can often be crucial. Not least in commercial projects where the client/agency/producer wants to know immediately how it's going to work.

Where you have an edited storyboard/animatic, it is a real advantage to be able to drop the shots into that as you go.

It's perhaps less useful for looser types of shoot where you're just going for generic coverage, but if you have to know that Shot A is going to match Shot B, then you'd be crazy not to be working this way.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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Misha Aranyshev
Re: How much gear do you need to edit a movie in real time?
on Jul 15, 2017 at 10:13:02 pm
Last Edited By Misha Aranyshev on Jul 16, 2017 at 3:04:51 am

It's all about trust. Back when you had to wait for dailies to get back from the lab you had to trust each other: client, producer, director, DP. Nowadays everybody is insecure and wants to check the take while it's still rolling. This and the prevailing culture of instant gratification is the main thing behind editing on set phenomena. It shouldn't be confused with the needs of stunt or VFX guys. They do need the ability to cut and match shots on set, it's just has very little to do with actual editing of the film.


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Andrew Kimery
Re: How much gear do you need to edit a movie in real time?
on Jul 15, 2017 at 9:23:33 pm

Things that I thought were interesting about this:

1. The fact that the choreography created during pre pro was so tight and integral that they needed to develop a workflow like this in the first place.

2. The glowing remarks about MC's AMA feature. Editors had been pleading with Avid for years to expand MC's ingesting options yet the original version of AMA wasn't very robust at all. Since you don't get a second chance to make a first impression many people had basically written off the feature even though Avid was improving it. Maybe this story will get people to revisit it.

3. Need for someone to make a cool looking 'editing cart' so editors on set don't look like they were just given a bunch of hand-me-down parts. ;)


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: How much gear do you need to edit a movie in real time?
on Jul 16, 2017 at 3:48:00 pm
Last Edited By Jeremy Garchow on Jul 17, 2017 at 4:17:18 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "I'm therefore a bit puzzled that it's seen as some sort of novelty here in our 2017 world."

It's not necessarily that editing on a laptop is new. Most of us here have probably been using a laptop since fcp3 or so, at least as a supplemental tool if not a daily driver. I use a laptop every time I go on set since the turn of the millennium.

What is a bit different is not only having near set capability, but having the editor check takes before moving forward ON set. Thinking about all the things happening on set, all the pieces and parts, and the ever constant tick of the clock to chase away the overtime, this is a new level, or at least taking the near set capabilities a little further in terms of editorial and having a lot of influence in the directing *clears throat* in real time and not in an editing room six months later.

I love the fact that Paul Machliss framed and hung his retired keyboard on the wall after the 15 weeks on set after what he claims was the hardest job he's ever worked as an editor. It's not the laptop, it's the capability and vision that is achieved by strapping a minimal amount of edit gear to an apple box on a process trailer.

VFX teams have been near set with computers for a decade or more. It's nothing new. It just so happens that a laptop is a viable tool for this movie, and I thought it was a very cool use case for some very cool film ideas. I hope I can find the time to go see this at the theatre.


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Misha Aranyshev
Re: How much gear do you need to edit a movie in real time?
on Jul 15, 2017 at 1:12:44 am

I did it 16 years ago on a Pismo PowerBook feeding camera video tap into it through a DV converter. It was clear back then on-set editing is just a gimmick. Everything you edit on the set ends up on the floor. I had half a dozen of features since them brought to me to conform from such cuts just to scrap it and start from scratch. The set is just not the right environment.


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Oliver Peters
Re: How much gear do you need to edit a movie in real time?
on Jul 17, 2017 at 12:55:03 pm

What is lost in this conversation is that on-set/near-set editing is entirely budget-dependent. It generally takes 10-weeks minimum to cut most films AFTER the shoot is complete. 10-weeks is a DGA mandate and most studio films get a lot more in post. So if you have an indie film that's budgeted an editor and room/rig for 10 weeks, then they aren't very likely to want to tack on another 3-4 weeks for the editor during the shoot.

Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Tim Wilson
Re: How much gear do you need to edit a movie in real time?
on Jul 18, 2017 at 5:31:23 pm

I think what's also getting lost is that this is maybe the most editing-intensive movie you've ever seen. Every single thing that happens in every frame is to a beat. It's a tour de force.

It's also fun, which counts even more....but THAT's the story here to me. Not that it's done on a laptop, not that it's being done during the shoot, but that the writer-director's vision was so fleshed out in pre-production that every set-up called for a go-no go. Nothing was going to get fixed in post. Re-shoots are out of the question. You HAVE TO HAVE IT before you leave the set.

And not just the shots. The BEATS. ALL of it.

It's a story about creativity, vision, preparation, and execution.

WE'RE the mullets who try to use these stories to make rhetorical last stands when there's nothing at all to fight about.

From a strictly tools and tech standpoint, t'd be nice if the first reaction isn't to find familiar elements in stories like these and shoot them down -- "I've been doing that for 20 years", "Mine can do that", etc -- but rather look for the unfamiliar. "I never thought of Media Composer as especially nimble," "wow, AMA has come a long way," "so that's what they think the advantages of working non-native are", whatever.

But more than that, my god, I wish every one of you gets to see this on a giant fgking screen with the best sound in your town. Being totally honest, I can't entirely get over the Ansel Elgort-ness of the whole thing, but movies like this make me fall in love with movies all over again. The giant brains and hearts applied to craft at this level -- you might get a couple of these a year if you're lucky. This is a real gift, the balm for all the half-assed tripe (or ass-and-a-half of bloated tropes) we sit through the rest of the time.

If anybody else has any more stories to share about it, I'd love to hear 'em. I don't care what you used to do it. I'm just glad you did.


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Claude Lyneis
Re: How much gear do you need to edit a movie in real time?
on Jul 18, 2017 at 5:42:28 pm

I thought it was a fun movie and I did see it in a great theater with great sound and projection. This stuff is so far above the average production, be it Youtube, TV etc. Although as I remember, the credits didn't need to roll into the thousands of names typical of today's blockbusters.


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Michael Gissing
Re: How much gear do you need to edit a movie in real time?
on Jul 19, 2017 at 12:33:07 am

[Tim Wilson] "And not just the shots. The BEATS. ALL of it."

The same could be said for Mad Max Fury Road. It too features framing, editing and practical effects that require a huge amount of pre planning and exquisite choreography. In the case of that film though the post shoot edit was massive but on set there was a constant assemble edit & check process with director George Miller in a vehicle with multiple screens - splits from the many cameras and often 2nd unit when they were within links range. Often the vehicles were moving. Tough place to be capturing camera feeds and cutting go takes to check framing and continuity.

I'll watch Baby Driver when it comes to a screen near me although I usually find guns and car chase films predictable and tired tropes. I'll trust Tim's take that this is well above that.


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