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Old May 14th, 2012, 10:02 PM   #1
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Please help me avoid this nightmare becoming any worse

I was just an FCP toddler one year ago when I took on my first paid project, a shrimp farming video offered to me by a friend who was the project organizer and middle man.

Back then I did not know or understand about Capture Scratch or Waveform Caches or Render Files or even how to capture video properly from my recently purchased camera.

The 8 minute video was a struggle back then but eventually got it finished by trial and error. Once completed, I made sure that I kept everything in one file and backed it all up to not one, but two external terrabytes without any idea how to backup properly with Media Manager thus eliminating all unwanted media. Last November my laptop broke down badly and had the hard drive replaced so none of the render files/auto save etc... would have survived.

A year later and I am a little bit more FCP savvy, however - I received a call the other day informing me that one of Bayer's team needs the original project file to re-edit with voiceovers and subs for 7 different languages.

I have been given an external Mac Drive on which to put the updated project, and I have copied all related files plus the last project file onto it. Everything is a complete mess, I can reconnect about 30% of the media, none of the footage from my main camera can be found because at the time I didn't know how to capture properly and was converting MTS files into QT movs.

How should I set this up so that the least amount of rendering is necessary? The footage is a mixture of Mov's Mpeg's Jpeg's Png's GoPro footage and all sorts and i'll have to somehow capture from the saved PRIVATE files which contain the MTS files.

It's an absolute mess, it won't even render - possibly because I've tried starting a new project and re-setting the Capture Scratch to the drive I have been given and pasting the old timeline into the new one but it just didn't work.

I think I have painfully accepted that I am going to have to do it all again from scratch using the QT movie of the original as a template. But before I do this I want to make 100% sure that I have set everything up properly so that there is the least amount of hassle for both myself and the editor who takes over from me.
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Old May 14th, 2012, 11:28 PM   #2
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Re: Please help me avoid this nightmare becoming any worse

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Originally Posted by Cameron Poole View Post
But before I do this I want to make 100% sure that I have set everything up properly so that there is the least amount of hassle for both myself and the editor who takes over from me.
Are you sure the new editor wants the project and not just the original source files? In particular, does the new editor even cut with FCP?
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Old May 15th, 2012, 05:44 AM   #3
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Re: Please help me avoid this nightmare becoming any worse

Yes and yes, they want to make 7 foreign language versions.
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Old May 15th, 2012, 06:39 AM   #4
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Re: Please help me avoid this nightmare becoming any worse

For the sake of a short 8 minute video I would just cut my losses now and get editing. You have less work now anyway as you won't have to worry about sound mixing the voice overs.

BTW: the way FCPX is these days with its streamlined workflow (being able to quickly skim through footage while it renders, the way it automates mundane tasks) I find that I can usually hack out a rough cut in a day, and then fine tune it on the second day, do the audio mix etc. You would be able to cut through that project in no time with FCPX....

But anyway, as you have the original layout (and the original QT render) you should be able to re-edit it in a reasonable time frame?
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Old May 15th, 2012, 10:51 AM   #5
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Re: Please help me avoid this nightmare becoming any worse

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Yes and yes, they want to make 7 foreign language versions.
Assuming you still have a copy of the 8 minute DVD, then rip the DVD and place the video and audio from the DVD in a new track in your project. Align the new track so it is in exact sync with the 30% clips that reconnected. This will tell you what the missing clips where supposed to be. Now find them in your backup and reconnect them one at a time. You can check each clip by toggling the mute back and forth between the DVD and the rest of the project. When you are done, don't forget to remove the DVD track from the project.
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Old May 15th, 2012, 01:03 PM   #6
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Re: Please help me avoid this nightmare becoming any worse

I fell into the same trap early on in my FCP days... but had the IT background to come up with a relatively simple solution:

Step 1: after opening FCP for a new project, create a folder for that project.
Step 2: set the scratch disks to that folder
Step 3: save the FCP file in that folder

Everything for that project will now go to that folder. When opening FCP everytime:

Step 1: set the scratch disks to the folder of the project you're working on... every single time!

Now to back up and transfer data, it's all self encapsulated and can be moved by simply dragging and dropping the project folder without ever worrying about the contents... it'll all just be there for you -- assuming you use this method EVERY SINGLE TIME YOU USE FCP!

FCP likes to lump things the same folder with everything else and the intermingling of projects (especially if you don't save the project as a first step) becomes a PITA to sort out.

To transfer a project like this to the client then... simply drag the folder to a disk/large usb thumb drive and instruct them to transfer the folder, set the scratch disks to the copied folder, then open the project file from the copied folder.

They'll be ready to edit instantly.
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Old May 15th, 2012, 03:42 PM   #7
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Re: Please help me avoid this nightmare becoming any worse

That is excellent advice Cole. The issue is remembering to set the scratch disc every time - I still forget. How I wish FCP was intelligent enough to remember different scratch discs for each project, but that's a truly forlorn hope now!

And Cameron I assume from what you say you no longer what the missing clips are so simply control clicking each missing file and manually searching for it is out (or even using automatic search)? If so Eric's solution is a clever way round it.
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Old May 15th, 2012, 08:55 PM   #8
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Re: Please help me avoid this nightmare becoming any worse

Yeah, setting becomes habit after you force yourself to do it every time for a while. Once it's a habit, you're good to go. Until then, it's alot of mop up when you forget... which is usually a good motivator to learn the habit...

Like losing all your data a couple of times before you learn that backups are important :)
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Old May 16th, 2012, 08:23 AM   #9
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Re: Please help me avoid this nightmare becoming any worse

Thanks all of you, especially Cole in regards to setting up a folder with the scratch disk to have everything in one place. I have already started remaking the project using a QT compression of it like Eric suggested. I can even open up the old project to get the timeline exact (though tricky when it comes to the transitions). Geoffrey, yes that was how I started before surrendering to the fact that I would have to rebuild from scratch (no disk pun intended). The biggest "PITA" at the moment is that I still haven't figured out how to load clips of different formats into the timeline without getting that horrible red render line.

On a positive note - I recently made a new friend who's a more experienced editor, and a couple of weeks ago I lent him my GoPro Hero camera for a week for a job he was working on. He's very kindly offered to come over tomorrow to help me out so he couldn't be returning a favour at a better time.

I've even invested in a UPS so nothing can go wrong, it would be just my luck to have a power cut whilst working from the hard drive.

It's an education, and I'm learning the hard way but it needs to be done. To be honest, even if the project was intact and okay - it's still one hell of a mess with ten times more tracks than it needs so that wouldn't have impressed the editor who takes over.

The worst part is that it is the most boring video I have ever made, a dull corporate training video - but as has been said, experience is the only way to learn.

Thanks again - I will let you know the outcome.

C
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Old May 16th, 2012, 07:20 PM   #10
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Re: Please help me avoid this nightmare becoming any worse

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Originally Posted by Cameron Poole View Post
.. they want to make 7 foreign language versions.
Cameron, bit o/t but my outfit specialised in foreign language versions of English narrated corporate vidoes.

Over the years that speciality business built up big time till we had a solid stable of Asian and European translators and male and female narrators
whom we could always depend on. We eventually got biz from other prod companies here.

7 versions is a big job, if you haven't done anything that big before and you'd like some tips, maybe start another thread about that.

Cheers.
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Old May 17th, 2012, 05:00 AM   #11
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Re: Please help me avoid this nightmare becoming any worse

^ It's not me who's doing the job, it's one of the clients own video guys, I just need to provide the project file.

A fellow editor came over today and was a great help, almost everything is reconnected but I am still unable to render because 2 of the video files and one of the sound files are just white.

In the case of the video file, I have replaced it with the original and it turns white.

It should be easy, it's the first 17 seconds and I could even use the first 17 secs of the Quicktime file of the whole thing and I have tried that.

And it's white.

What could this be?
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