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Old January 4th, 2012, 03:08 PM   #1
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Curious: what would have been your workflow here?

This is purely an organizational/efficiency question.

You receive about thirty 10-15 minute files of snowboarding footage that looks very similar - runs/jumps in different places, but essentially mostly the same gliding-forward view on a similar backdrop.
The files need to be converted, reviewed, logged, and edited into something watchable with graphics and music. You are not sure until you get into the project where everything will go. The clips will not be going in a linear fashion - so they will be scattered about the project.
After awhile, all the footage starts to look the same and you are cross-eyed. =) It's hard to tell the jump in front of hill one from the jump in front of, well, hill two.
The files are HD and you have an older system, so you have some space to work with, but size could become an issue past a point.
You have three hours to create a web clip (however, you're prepared to go over).


What is your workflow for logging, tagging, capturing, editing, etc, the footage? (Please be detailed in describing your steps).
How do you keep from getting lost in your footage during this whole process? Especially during review?

Do you:
Capture in all, and log the good parts later?
Log the good parts on a hard copy, and capture only those (in this case, in/out in Mpeg Streamclip)
How long does this take you? How do you estimate/charge for log time?

Once in FCP, do you:
Cut up the footage in the timeline and drag those clips into a bin?
Set i/o points in the original clip and make subclips?
Have a different workflow?

How do you prefer to organize, label and tag the footage in your bins?
How do you keep track/log when you are juggling multiple footage sources that are coming in mid-project?
How do you keep track of what's been used/not used, especially when it's changing all the time?
What would you have done in preparation for this project? Would you have sketched it out before starting? Or would you simply dive into the editor with a basic idea (as I did)?

Would you approach this system differently if it was a large project with hours and hours of footage? How?

In this case, since the footage also included memories for the client, after getting mired in an organizational tangle, I ended up going back to him and asking him to log the parts he wanted. This ended up with a very long, detailed list of i/o points that was laborious, but helpful. It became confusing to incorporate it with what I had already started, so I rebuilt it from scratch with his new clips. I set each master clip into its own bin, logged i/o points in the original clip, created subclips named after the i/o points (i.e.1:15-1:19) and stored them in the corresponding bin, and dragged the subclips to the timeline for editing. Then I changed the subclip label to turquoise to indicate that this clip had been utilized. SOme of the clips repeated on two master clips though, which became confusing.

Just curious what your most efficient workflow for this project would be. Thanks in advance.

Last edited by Kell Smith; January 4th, 2012 at 04:08 PM.
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Old January 4th, 2012, 05:01 PM   #2
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Re: Curious: what would have been your workflow here?

Hmmm.... 45 views...no takers? Anyone want to share their methods/efficiency secrets with the rest of us mere mortals? =)
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Old January 4th, 2012, 05:15 PM   #3
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Re: Curious: what would have been your workflow here?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kell Smith View Post
You receive about thirty 10-15 minute files ...You have three hours to create a web clip ...
I can't speak for anyone else, but it's clear you don't have a workflow problem. Your workflow looks fine. But where did the three-hour limitation come from? Did you bid this? Did you bid three hours to review five to seven hours of footage?
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Old January 4th, 2012, 05:33 PM   #4
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Re: Curious: what would have been your workflow here?

I underestimated the number/length of the files and the time it would take to review them, thinking they were little short files. I was hungry; I took the job knowing if I estimated more time, he would withdraw the job since he didn't want to buy an eight hundred dollar Christmas present for his kid. When I did see the files and saw the length, I didn't think it would be a long review since I could just forward through and look for the jumps. It's not like I was logging dialogue or something very involved, but it did take much more time than planned and there was more to it.

I'm not used to getting footage from others; usually I'm working with things I've shot. So I found the whole 'go through and log someone else's footage' thing to be quite a task.

As for workflow...
The workflow I described was the end result of a number of workflows that didn't work well at all. So, this project actually did reveal some workflow and organizational issues, esp, when it comes to reviewing, categorizing, and logging footage.
That's why I'm wondering which methods work best for others on the board - to see what might work better.

Last edited by Kell Smith; January 4th, 2012 at 10:03 PM.
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Old January 6th, 2012, 03:14 PM   #5
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Re: Curious: what would have been your workflow here?

I'd import the lot, although your hint at "older computer" might make that problematic - I've got 3Tb available, so import EVERYTHING...

Preview it in whatever way you want that will let you sort the "garbage" clips, or cut the junk... I'd suspect that out of 30 10-15 minute files, that unless it was professionally shot, there's probably 70-90% unusable footage in there... you don't want to throw "good" bits onto the cutting floor, but you don't want to waste precious editing time on stuff that won't be usable. Once done, take a good break...

THEN, take the remaining good clips and start to drop them onto multiple tracks so you have some room to work (3-4 tracks usually works for me).

I'll guess you have a song track to mix to? Lay that down, and start to see how everything feels, shuffle clips, add EFX... Mix/edit/cut to the beat, hopefully it will fall into place naturally by this point!
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Old January 6th, 2012, 11:55 PM   #6
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Re: Curious: what would have been your workflow here?

Thanks Dave,
I'm with you as far as importing it all.
I know what my method ended up being - subclips - but let me ask, what is your method for sorting the 'garbage' and for keeping track of what is where, and what's been used? What have you found to be most efficient in your workflow?
I've got some curiosity here around other people's methods.
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Old January 7th, 2012, 01:29 AM   #7
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Re: Curious: what would have been your workflow here?

The easiest way that I can think of would be to have a shot logger with the cameraman, logging all the shots as they're being shot.

Depending on what video camera they are using, some are capable of recording timecode in free run clock mode. (This is entirely different from the burned in time and date stamp!) In that case, the logger roughly syncs his wristwatch with the camera's timecode, and logs down the shots as they're being taken. Once you get his shot list, you'll know exactly what time every shot was recorded. Depending on how good the shot logger was, you'll also know exactly what shots to use and what to throw out. You could also instruct the logger ahead of time to only log the good takes, and not bother with the bad ones at all.
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Old January 10th, 2012, 11:31 AM   #8
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Re: Curious: what would have been your workflow here?

Hmmm. Now that's an interesting idea.

I'm the shooter, so it would be hard to do that myself, but that's actually a really good idea for a time when I have a helper. Thanks Warren. That would it much easier.

I do wish there was a way to make tape logging more painless when working on my own. I guess there's not much of a way around it.
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Old January 10th, 2012, 04:26 PM   #9
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Re: Curious: what would have been your workflow here?

I know I sound like an old geezer here (look like one, too!), but Warren's suggestion is actually based on the way things USED to be done. A Production Assistant would be assigned to note the time code of takes, note good takes, and make any other necessary notes. Budgets these days just don't allow for such a thing very often. Of course I used to have to hike to every shoot through snow up to my waist, and it was uphill - both ways...

Rob
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Old January 10th, 2012, 09:28 PM   #10
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Re: Curious: what would have been your workflow here?

Rob, were you barefoot? Frostbite's a b**ch. =)
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Old January 10th, 2012, 09:30 PM   #11
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Re: Curious: what would have been your workflow here?

When you don't have the added help, what's the best/most efficient method you guys have found when it comes to logging/sorting/organizing your footage? When it's yours, and also when it comes to you from someone else and has to be reviewed?
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