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Old June 26th, 2006, 06:50 AM   #1
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Editing HD100 Footage

I've got about 18 hours' worth of footage of a pilot and second episode of a potential television series. Shot it on the HD100 with a professional cast/crew, and it looks fabulous. I'll be doing a rough cut, then bringing in a seasoned, professional editor to help me clean it up, tighten, etc. Then possibly to a post house for audio work. I've got the Premiere 2.0 Production Studio, but I was wondering if I should go FCP instead (I haven't started editing yet). My reasoning is that most editors and post houses I'm familiar with have FCP in at least one bay (and many, maybe even most, don't use Premiere), and it will make it easier to work with them. I know about the workarounds required for FCP, and I do have Cineform Aspect HD to use with my Premiere stuff, but since FCP seems to be the standard (at least at my budget level), is there wisdom in biting the Apple?

Thanks any and all...

(BTW, to the untrained eye, the footage absolutely looks like 35mm.)
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Old June 26th, 2006, 07:54 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Ward
I've got about 18 hours' worth of footage of a pilot and second episode of a potential television series. Shot it on the HD100 with a professional cast/crew, and it looks fabulous. I'll be doing a rough cut, then bringing in a seasoned, professional editor to help me clean it up, tighten, etc. Then possibly to a post house for audio work. I've got the Premiere 2.0 Production Studio, but I was wondering if I should go FCP instead (I haven't started editing yet). My reasoning is that most editors and post houses I'm familiar with have FCP in at least one bay (and many, maybe even most, don't use Premiere), and it will make it easier to work with them. I know about the workarounds required for FCP, and I do have Cineform Aspect HD to use with my Premiere stuff, but since FCP seems to be the standard (at least at my budget level), is there wisdom in biting the Apple?

Thanks any and all...

(BTW, to the untrained eye, the footage absolutely looks like 35mm.)
I take it you shot in 720/24P?

If you did, and you need to edit now, Premire sounds like the easier solution. Once it is done, transcode it into a file that FCP (.MOV) can support.

If you can wait a few wonths get FCP.

If you don't mind the workaround you can get FCP now, but that will mean a new computer I assume.

Then you can use either MPEG STREAMCLIP (Free), HDVxDV (Which I hated), or Lumiere (Haven't Tried, but heard it was good).
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Old June 26th, 2006, 08:38 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Steve Benner
I'll be doing a rough cut, then bringing in a seasoned, professional editor to help me clean it up, tighten, etc.
The other possibility is have the editor come over to your place and tell you what to do. A lot of movies get cut with the director saying "cut there".

I'd start hunting for your editor now, explain your situation to them and see what they come up with. If the two of you create a plan ahead of time everything will work out.
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Old June 26th, 2006, 11:25 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Ward
I've got the Premiere 2.0 Production Studio, but I was wondering if I should go FCP instead (I haven't started editing yet). My reasoning is that most editors and post houses I'm familiar with have FCP in at least one bay (and many, maybe even most, don't use Premiere), and it will make it easier to work with them.

May I piggyback on Keith's question? Around here the preferred NLE systems seem to be FCP and AVID. I too am running Adobe, but unlike Keith I'm still using PPro 1.5.1 and After Effects 6.5. If I stay with Adobe I have to upgrade, or I bite the bullet and switch to something else. Because of other software in my system I can:

1. Upgrade to Avid Liquid 7.0 for about $300

2. Get academic version of Adobe Production Studio (suite) for about $650 or $700 (hobbled for commercial use?)

3. Switch to FCP HD and start over - new computer and all for ?????

I hate the thought of starting all over, especially since I have never used a Mac, and that goes all the way back to 1983. But I also need the ability to partner for the long haul. I'm just not sure what the best course to follow at this point might be. For the cost, the Avid Liquid is a tempting switch, but I don't see many people talking about it here (2 Steves excepted). Most of the chat I do see about Avid seems to be assuming Avid Xpress Pro. So I think Liquid would be a lateral move both in functionality and for partnering with someone else using the same software. And if the dual monitor support is still not there, or HDV preview on an HD monitor, or MultiCam support, then the Avid would not be as good as upgrading to PPro 2.0, let alone to the whole production suite. Somebody can set me straight on those thihgs.

Choices, choices, choices.
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Old June 26th, 2006, 11:37 AM   #5
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I myself had been seriously considering Avid, as it is widely used in the field. I thought about FCP too, but just won't do Apples anymore. Since I was also needing a new capture card, I looked hard at Liquid Pro with the BOB. It seems that you need a really high end PC to run it though, and the recent upgrades on my PC wouldn't handle Avid too well. Since I already know Premiere, I just upgraded from 6.something to PP2, and found a really killer deal on a Decklink HD Pro on ebay.

Which of course, won't work with the brand new mother board I put in a month ago... $#!+!
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Old June 26th, 2006, 11:51 AM   #6
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Well, IMHO Avid is still the best bet for serious, long-form editing and for all-round compatibility with most post houses BUT they don't seem to take this end of the market too seriously. They have been been promising full HDV1 support for over 8 months and still nothing. You can edit 720/30p HDV1 natively but that's it. However, when full support does come, Xpress Pro and above will give you access to the DNx codec, which really is excellent. We use Avid for our own good reasons but if I was only shooting on the HD100 I'd steer well clear until they start to support 720p/25/50/24. FWIW, Avid products don't support DVCProHD 720p/25/50 either.

As far as Liquid is concerned, I don't think it will last very long. It all looked good as a Fast product a few years ago but Pinnacle didn't do it much good and - in spite of what Avid are saying in public - I seriously doubt it will be around for much longer. My bet is they'll strip it for use in the original Avid range and possibly leave it as a consumer solution for the very low-end. Certainly, I'd be reluctant to buy into it at this uncertain point.

Have you considered Canopus Edius? It's a long way from perfect but it looks like the recent Grass Valley purchase could mean big things for this NLE. The crucial thing is that it fully supports HDV1 right now.
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Old June 26th, 2006, 12:02 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Antony Michael Wilson
As far as Liquid is concerned, I don't think it will last very long. It all looked good as a Fast product a few years ago but Pinnacle didn't do it much good and - in spite of what Avid are saying in public - I seriously doubt it will be around for much longer. My bet is they'll strip it for use in the original Avid range and possibly leave it as a consumer solution for the very low-end. Certainly, I'd be reluctant to buy into it at this uncertain point.
That's funny because it's exactly what I think Avid will do with XpressPro. Strip out the good stuff and dump it in favor of Media Composer software only and I see the Liquid line growing instead. Think about it, Liquid is the backbone of Liquid/LiquidPro/ChromeHD and Studio 10. There is no way Avid will cut off their own feet especially now that they have a quality consumer product that has a massive saturation.

JMO and speculation...
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Old June 26th, 2006, 12:44 PM   #8
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[Duplicate Post Deleted. Appeared for unknown reason.]
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Old June 26th, 2006, 12:45 PM   #9
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I reckon you're right that MC and AXPro don't sit to well together now there's a software only version of Composer. Yes, AXPro might disappear as we know it and MC might get a bit cheaper over time. But, if Liquid stays, I reckon it will live on only as a consumer/pro-sumer product, which is a terrible shame. The more expensive Liquid products are in direct competition with the established Avid products so I really don't see them staying. Either way, Avid already has an NLE that is much better than the Fast interface so why develop the latter? I wish someone other than Pinnacle had bought it in the first place and then we might have a good competitor to Avid by now and not just the FCP alternative.
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Old June 26th, 2006, 12:45 PM   #10
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My suggestion is to make a flow chart with the different options. Then call all the links and in the process the correct answer in your situation will be clear.

Some considerations I see.

-- Contact Post houses and find one you might use. Find out exactly what they need and how they want the project brought in. On the face of it going from one system to another in the middle of editing does not make sense. Treat it as a print job, where you contact the printer and find out exact details of what she or he wants.

-- If you are going to do most of the editing, and you are ready to go (the footage is shot, etc.) then go with the system you know. That seems to be Premiere 2. If the program works on the computer you are going to use, that's a plus. Any new editor, even windows based, may pose serious compatibility problems with your existing hardware (particularly with Liquid, for example) Premiere is ubiquitous enough that I am sure you can find a Post house -- but do the checking and arranging before you start.

-- You say you are not sure yet how much you will do and how much you want and editor to do, and if you will do audio in a Post House. In this circumstance, Adobe Premiere Suite has all the high end/professional tools to do as much as you want -- considering AfterEffects Pro, Audition, Encore (for making check DVDs, etc.). In the Suite you have excellent integration for this kind of job. As soon as you start workaround and jumping systems, there are bound to be problems.

-- If you have done the editing and have the media management setup, etc. etc., it would be much easier to have the editor come to you than take the project outside. This way you have a chance to possibly bring in different editors who have different specialties or strengths for different sequences.

-- In this kind of situation, a pilot and episodes, it is likely that you will want to go back and make changes to the very end. Take the example of "24." Since the show airs in January, all shooting is completed before air. This enables them to make significant changes at the end of shooting that ripple through the season because they can go back and make script changes in the very first show, re-shoot and re-edit. You may not reshoot, but because of some magic moment in Episode 2, you may want to change the setup in the Pilot, etc. This all becomes easier when you have it setup on your system with easy access to everything.

--For a one-off video, I think Liquid, providing you have time to get the bugs out on your system, upgrade your system as needed, learn the workarounds to the "quirks, " etc. would be a good choice. When it is setup and working, Liquid is fast and slick. However, I don't think it is the right program to change to in the middle of the project, and I am not sure you are going to take a Liquid project in the middle of editing to a post house.

Anyway, I will go back to the flow chart recommendation. Diagram the possibilites and probabilities in your workflow, make the calls, and I "guarantee" the answer will be obvious!
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Old June 26th, 2006, 01:15 PM   #11
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Thanks everyone for the responses, and the interesting conversation. I talked to a very talented editor in my area this morning, who has substantial experience cutting drama, and may just work with him through the whole process and use his stuff (FCP). The advantage of that is it allows me to spend that money ($4-7k) on his services, rather than potentially dumping it into a new machine/software/etc.

Keith
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Old June 26th, 2006, 01:34 PM   #12
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Wise choice. But I would also check his references, to see what he's like to work with. There are plenty of horror stories about editers starting projects...
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Old June 26th, 2006, 01:46 PM   #13
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Good advice, Keith. Thanks!
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Old June 26th, 2006, 02:01 PM   #14
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No problem Keith... it happens on occasion ;)
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Old June 26th, 2006, 02:21 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Keith Forman
Since I was also needing a new capture card, I looked hard at Liquid Pro with the BOB. It seems that you need a really high end PC to run it though, and the recent upgrades on my PC wouldn't handle Avid too well. Since I already know Premiere, I just upgraded from 6.something to PP2, and found a really killer deal on a Decklink HD Pro on ebay.

Keith, how high end is "really high." I'm running a 3.46 Ghz Hyperthreaded P4 CPU which is interpreted as a dual but isn't really dual core; with a 400 Gig dedicated drive and a 250Gig boot drive, both SATA, 7200 rpm; 3.0 Gig of dual channel DDR memory. I just added a Matrox Parhelia APVe PCI-ex 16x dual DVI for multiple monitor HD output (which would be wasted with Liquid Pro, I think). I intend next to add another 400 Gig SATA which will be configured with the other in the system in a RAID 0, but don't have that just yet. Am I already good to go, or do I need more oomph in the CPU? Anything else I need to look at?
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