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Settings for Feature Film Edit? (Switching from Premiere to FCP 7)

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Matt Wilson
Settings for Feature Film Edit? (Switching from Premiere to FCP 7)
on Jan 11, 2017 at 7:21:56 am

Hi,

I thought I'd ask some advice regarding setting up a feature film edit. I'm used to the world of Windows and Premiere Pro, but am now editing a feature in Final Cut Pro 7 on a MacBook Pro. (Original footage has all been converted to Apple PRORES 422.) I'm used to getting projects started properly with settings within Premiere Pro as well as general computer settings, but wanted to see what the best settings are for FCP 7 and Apple/Mac computers. Film may end up with final export on anything from DCP, Cable/Broadcast, Internet etc. My goal of course is to make sure I have settings set to maximize and safeguard image quality etc. So I have 3 questions:

1) In terms of the computer itself - what settings and preferences would you recommend for a feature film edit?

2) Within Final Cut Pro 7 itself - what overall settings, project settings, and sequence settings would you recommend?

3) In the event a DCP is needed, is the Apple PRORESS 422 adequate, or will significantly better quality be achieved by taking the original footage and converting that to 4444 quality and replacing with that 4444 footage for the DCP being created?

I had looked around for some discussion on this, and many older posts had pointed to Shane Ross' Getting Orgranized DVD, but the links were no longer active. I'm hoping to get some good advice to make sure my setup maintains the very best quality throughout the process. All feedback is much appreciated.

Thanks,
Matt


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Nick Meyers
Re: Settings for Feature Film Edit? (Switching from Premiere to FCP 7)
on Jan 11, 2017 at 8:10:10 am

to kick off, the first question has to be:
what format was the film shot in?
camera, codec, frame size?

nick


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Matt Wilson
Re: Settings for Feature Film Edit? (Switching from Premiere to FCP 7)
on Jan 11, 2017 at 8:14:56 am

Footage is .MTS 1920 x 1080 Progressive 23.976 FPS, which has been converted to ProRes 422.

Thanks,
Matt


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Shane Ross
Re: Settings for Feature Film Edit? (Switching from Premiere to FCP 7)
on Jan 11, 2017 at 7:33:53 pm

And why on earth are you editing with 7 year old software, discontinued nearly 6 years ago, instead of staying with the more current Premiere Pro?

Current computers with more current OS versions will have issues with the older FCP 7 software...it being discontinued and all. Best thing to use would be a MacPro silver cheese grater with OS 10.6.8. And a large RAID that connects via eSATA or SAS.

Your acquisition footage is 8-bit AVCHD...so ProRes HQ will be more than adequate. You'll gain nothing going to 4444.

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


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Robert Withers
Re: Settings for Feature Film Edit? (Switching from Premiere to FCP 7)
on Jan 11, 2017 at 8:46:55 pm

My FC7 runs fine on OS 10.8.5, which I understand was the OS it was optimized for. I do keep a "vintage" mac loaded with this OS and FCP version, just in case.

Robert Withers

Independent/personal/avant-garde cinema, New York City


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Matt Wilson
Re: Settings for Feature Film Edit? (Switching from Premiere to FCP 7)
on Jan 11, 2017 at 8:50:11 pm

Hi Shane,

I fully agree - I usually am on Premiere Pro or FCP X, but this is a project that was begun in FCP 7 some time back, and I'm now working on it. So I was hoping to make sure all my settings were correct for both FCP 7 and for computer. Any recommendations regarding setting everything up to make sure my image and sound quality stays at the very best possible as I edit?

Thanks,
Matt


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Nick Meyers
Re: Settings for Feature Film Edit? (Switching from Premiere to FCP 7)
on Jan 14, 2017 at 10:19:21 pm

ProRes422 is probably fine considering you source martial.
i'm not sure if ProresHQ would give you any more benefits. Shane would know better than me.
Prores4444 is complete overkill, and would just be a waste of resources.


within FCP, make sure you're working with the correct sequence settings,
one that matches your media.
yes, FCP can set a sequence to a clip thats being added,
but you can't rely on that, you have to have the correct sequence preset selected.

most audio is recorded at 24bit these days.
if that's what your audio is, then you should duplicate your sequence preset,
and change the bit rate to 24, and save it as a new preset.

while you're at it, you could also set the Motion Filtering quality (in the Video Processing pane of the sequence presets) to Best

Sequence presets need to be checked to be selected.

=======================================

1) In terms of the computer itself - what settings and preferences would you recommend for a feature film edit?

2 monitors!
if you;ve got some way to play out a video signal to a TV of sort then that;d be nice, but not essential
USB3 ot Thunderbolt would be needed for efficient playback, and for faster exports

=======================================

as for the work ahead, i'd suggest you don't try to edit the whole film in one project,
FCP can't handle really large projects.
personally i break the film into (generally) 4 dramatic acts, and have an FCP project for each act.

i dont tend to keep older versions of edits having around in the project, either.
rather after each "mile-post" version, which we generaly have a screening of,
we archive those sequences in their own dated project.


hope that helps,
nick


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Matt Wilson
Re: Settings for Feature Film Edit? (Switching from Premiere to FCP 7)
on Jan 18, 2017 at 12:17:19 am

Thanks Nick! Will be sure to incorporate all of this. Much appreciated.


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Misha Aranyshev
Re: Settings for Feature Film Edit? (Switching from Premiere to FCP 7)
on Jan 14, 2017 at 12:06:06 am

.MTS is just a way to pack bits. What codec, what color sampling?


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Matt Wilson
Re: Settings for Feature Film Edit? (Switching from Premiere to FCP 7)
on Jan 14, 2017 at 2:10:30 am

It's AVCHD, 8 bit, 4:2:0 I believe. Slight chance it might be 8 bit 4:2:2.


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