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Old May 20th, 2004, 10:36 AM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Albany NY
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Advice on LP conversion?

I have a bit of a problem to deal with here at work. I have to produce a 15-20 graduation video for our police academy. Footage was shot on an xl-1 by one of the instructors at the academy. Unfortunately, all the footage (25+ hours) was shot onto mini-DV in LP mode. To top it all off, there are numerous timecode breaks per tape. This is footage of a 6 month long academy, beginning to end, so it can't be re-shot.

Our editing deck is a DSR-60, a very expensive, professional playback deck that cannot handle tapes in LP! Our editing suite is still analog, (FAST Video Machine!) and we cannot do anything by Firewire into the editing suite. (really frustrating, since I could do all this with my home suite - but I'll be d&^%$ed if I'm going to do this at home!

My initial plan is to do a firewire transfer from camera to camera, with Camera A in LP Player mode and Camera B in SP record mode. This is going to take forever to do, but the only option I can think of.

Anyone else have any ideas?
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Old May 20th, 2004, 11:02 PM   #2
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Location: Eugene, Oregon
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My basic response is to let the dufus who shot 25 hours of this stuff on LP, edit it himself. Does he shoot a gun in the same style, at everything that moves? Maybe that's why they've got him off the street and working at the academy. That's ridiculous, taking that much footage and expecting someone else to choose just a small part of it and make it into a bang-up finished production, that covers all the bases. With all that much raw material, no matter what you do, you'll leave out things that many other people wanted included. This is a no-win project for you.

Now that I've said that, tell this cameraman to make up a list of the important subjects and scenes he thinks should be included in the edit. That'll give you a starting point and you can show the list later to cover yourself when people complain about what you omitted. I'd then buzz through each tape and re-record just the sections from which you'll draw, onto SP. Then use those roughly-cut segments to make a fine-tuned edit.

Make sure your employer understands the magnitude of time and work involved in this project. Get a solid committment about how much of their resources they really want to devote to it.

Steve McDonald
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Old May 20th, 2004, 11:56 PM   #3
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Location: Chicago, IL
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Mike, I have to agree with Steve in spirit and content. LP format and time code breaks aside, just capturing (or transferring) this much footage will require at least three normal working days.

The fact that you have incompatible equipment for the job at work should absolutely not place the burden on you as an employee.

I would take some time to carefully, and emotionlessly, document the logistical and technical challenges of the assignment for your sergeant/commander/general, including the equipment issues. Your department needs to face the matter as a budgetary issue, not simply as an employee project assignment.
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