The present and future of post production business and technology | Philip Hodgetts

Apr/11

6

Doesn’t anyone shoot video on video cameras any more?

The project is not mine, but that of a client where I was called in to see if the “crew” (mostly just one guy) was going to be able to shoot content that will integrate with the existing project.

The thing is that  the rest of the project is HDV, XDCAM, DVCPRO HD, AVC-I, AVCCAM, some SD – so today we add DSLR!

This is not an art project so there’s no big advantage of a “shallow depth of field”. Most of the b-roll is coming from achieve SD video of varying quality, but because it was shot over a long period, without anyone keeping track of formats we end up with this sort of mess. A young and reasonably competent “editor” was on the job but totally unaware of the complications of having every known frame rate and format in the project (except DSLR until today).

Every different format complicates the project and adds additional processing time to bring everything to a common format before starting the edit, including mixing 23.98 and 29.97 frame rates.

And while Premiere Pro and Media Composer (and probably Final Cut Pro X) can deal with all these formats natively, I hope no-one would recommend that as a workflow for a large documentary project. Certainly AMA for Media Composer is a great way to choose selects from the native format and then transcode to DNxHD for the edit.

This is simply madness. Every one of us needs to educate producers and directors that mixing frame rates and formats is going to cost them a lot of money in post production. And then make sure the message communicates by charging what it costs.

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3 comments

  • Moze · April 6, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    Love to have one but mostly as a toy kind of thing. Yes it is a cool tool for the toolbox.

  • Andrew Richards · April 6, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    Are people not charging for transcode time? This kind of sloppy planning adds DAYS to the post schedule. Bill those hours!

  • Steve Oakley · April 7, 2011 at 10:04 am

    transcode WHAT ? I’ve been native editing for years now in mixed formats. NLE’s can eat all this material up w/o problems… well at least FCP and PP can, avid is getting there.

    if your NLE requires one frame rate / format, time to upgrade / change your tools to accommodate what modern post is. if you are limping an old tool along time to get one that gets it.

    I mix old SD material with HDV, eos, QT, and whatever else comes in. get over it. it doesn’t cost anything extra with the right NLE.. this also isn’t going away, in fact there will be more of it as new formats come out just about every month. transcoing to a complete total utter waste of time. just stop doing it…

    and BTW you didn’t call me to shoot 🙂

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