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Old August 13th, 2005, 09:59 PM   #1
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First indie feature as assistant editor, need fcp general advice

Hey all. Well I have my first real gig since moving to LA on a super16 feature indie film as assistant editor. We're working on fcp HD (on a g5, I haven't seen the edit bay yet so I don't know the exact specs) and the editor needs me to be savvy in fcp tweaks and performance gains etc. Ofcourse there's the trashing preferences path that we all know and love, but I'm looking for advice in a few other areas:

1. We'll be working with two 250 gig drives with the footage already captured onto them by the lab, any special advice to keep them running solid? Locations of all render files should be kept on the internal machine drive or on the externals?

2. A good site or location for general mac system performance tweaks and things to keep in mind for the system to run as fast as possible...

3. Reccomendations for long form project layout ie. what's the maximum amount of scenes we should have in each project (break it into acts, scenes, every couple scenes), how many projects is ok to have open at one time?

I've worked as editor on a feature length film before but it wasn't exactly professional and was just fly by the seat of your pants. I want to hit this one strong and know as much as I can going into this thing. Thanks everyone!
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Old August 13th, 2005, 10:37 PM   #2
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Bryan check out www.larryjordan.biz it has a lot of stuff on optomizing your FCP system, lots of tutorials and you can subscribe to his free newsletter too.
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Old August 14th, 2005, 12:02 AM   #3
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Your main job with making sure everything is HIGHLY organized and easy for the editor to find. Organization is your life.

Now, for your questions:

1. Renders stay on the render drive. Renders are Media, therefore need to reside on the media drive. FCP puts several folders on the capture scratch drive for a reason. Leave them there. The only thing you want on the main drive is the Project File and Autosave Vault

2. Repair permissions every so often. Weekly for maintenance, daily if you have problems. Look into Tech Tool Pro, and Disk Warrior.

3. Don't know firsthand. I haven't tackled longform in FCP. But I hear that sequences should be no longer than 30-min, and you should have 1 project for each sequence. How to organize that...I don't know. Look for anything that Walter Murch wrote about his experiences editing with FCP.

I will be experimenting with the project lengths and project sizes when I tackle an HD Documentary for The History Channel in November.
(http://homepage.mac.com/comeback/ibl...209/index.html)

Back up nightly. Back up the project nightly to an external drive. Not the media drive (although you can do that as well for ADDITIONAL backup). I mean like Zip Drive or Flash media reader. If the machine goes down, you take it in for repair and load the sequence onto another G5 and continue.
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Old August 14th, 2005, 12:07 AM   #4
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Bryan,
Your job as an assistant editor is far more than dealing with the technical stuff in FCP. Yes, you have to cover your Editor's butt, not just in what he may not know in the software, but everywhere.
Organizing his lined script, keeping bins organized, keeping track of what has and has not been cut yet, keeping track of opticals and doing all of the film counts (if it is film) or making sure that optical sessions are organized and move smoothly. The list goes on and on. Basically, you are the one who does everything in the cutting room that needs doing except the cutting. On big features it can be 90% logistics. Once you have done everything and when there is time left (or on your own time) that's editing time.

Since the transfer house is logging the clips and loading the drives for you, make sure there is an easily accessible back-up of the media. It sounds like you won't have the original dailies tapes in the cutting room and if you lose a drive, then what?

Have fun.
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Old August 14th, 2005, 08:34 PM   #5
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Ah, this is all perfect advice and information, thankyou all!
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Old August 14th, 2005, 09:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shane Ross
But I hear that sequences should be no longer than 30-min, and you should have 1 project for each sequence..
I'm curious as to why you say that Shane. Are you speaking from an organizational or technical perspective? I edit archive videos of our operas which are often between two and three hours. Each opera is a project, and I generally create one sequence for each act, which are almost always more than 30 minutes. There will be maybe 5 or more sequences in each project. Never had any problems with this, and it would just complicate things to split into shorter sequences, or limit a project to one sequence.

Sorry, maybe I'm not understanding what you meant though...
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Old August 16th, 2005, 08:42 AM   #7
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Possible Virus

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate Schmidt
Bryan check out www.larryjordan.biz it has a lot of stuff on optomizing your FCP system, lots of tutorials and you can subscribe to his free newsletter too.
I have been to the larryjordan.biz site before and it's great...however, today I followed the link above and received the following message from AntiVir, my antivirus program:

------------------------
C:\WINDOWS\TEMPORARY INTERNET FILES\CONTENT.IE5\8FO1SZ63\CLKOPA762.COM[1].HTM
Contains signature of the exploits EXP/VBS.Phel.V

The file has been moved to the quarantine directory.
------------------------

I tried it a second time, and received the same message shown above.

I did some web searching which indicates that this is a Trojan, exploit type virus:

"These utilities are designed to penetrate remote computers in order to use them as zombies (by using backdoors) or to download other malicious programs to victim machines. Exploits use vulnerabilities in operating systems and applications to achieve the same result."

I am not a computer virus expert, but wanted to let you know what happened to me when visiting the site. If someone knows the owner of the website, you might want to contact him so he can make sure things are okay.

Hopefully I am wrong, and all is well with this excellent website.
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Old August 20th, 2005, 07:45 AM   #8
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I tried the LarryJordan site again today and no problem. Maybe I had some trojan hanging out in my temp files, and for some reason it decided to try and activate at that particular time...who knows! Anyway, all is well with the world now.

Sorry for the interruption, now back to regularly scheduled programming...
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Old August 20th, 2005, 01:19 PM   #9
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Just wanted to say, everything is working out really well. The information in your posts and the website were invaluable and I just learned all of it the couple of days I had free before I began work. The editor is quite impressed with what I knew and what I could bring to the table (she was expecting a bit less I think because my age). Anyways, we still have 3.5 weeks left for this feature, and thanks again to everyone.

By the way, you guys know about FCP Rescue right? The program that will trash and restore an old preference set with the click of two buttons, it's been nice to easily trash and restore preferences everynight.
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