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



Lumberjack at the Hollywood Post Alliance Retreat Demo Room

After Terry Curren’s round up of last year’s Hollywood Post Alliance Retreat I decided I should attend this year. While I was working on marketing for Lumberjack – our real time location logging tool – I got an email from the HPA offering spaces in the demo room during the retreat. It was immediately obvious that this was the time and place to reveal what we’ve been working for the last 8-9 months.

The Hollywood Post Alliance is the trade association serving the professional community of businesses and individuals who provide expertise, support, tools and the infrastructure for the creation and finishing of motion pictures, television, commercials, digital media and other dynamic media content. If that describes you, then you should be a member. (I am.)

The HPA Retreat is definitely worthwhile attending – there are one day passes available.

What we liked about the Demo room at the retreat is that it’s more science fair than trade show (as they explicitly state), which means we can get feedback from Retreat participants. Here’s what we’ve put out there ahead of the retreat (with the video below):

Lumberjack: Onset Standardized Logging

Lumberjack uses all kind of portable devices for input into a server- based, onset logging system. Lumberjack uses keyword buttons for people, place, action, content and then directly associates the keywords with media using time of day.

Lumberjack is designed for reality & documentary production where scene/shot/take do not apply. It uses a standardized taxonomy that is customizable to the production and field updatable. The data transfers directly to clip information in FCP X, FCP 7 and Premiere Pro. With Lumberjack there are no unreadable notes, no data loss or misinterpretation.

Lumberjack can also create a first string out of a time range or story.

Lumberjack logs all data to a central server from multiple on-set devices. That data is merged with XML (FCP 7 or FCP X format) from a NLE by the OS X desktop application. Data is stored off-set in a standard mySQL database.

Lumberjack is extensible and we expect to build integration with metadata extraction tools. For the HPA Retreat we will also be demonstrating an innovative string-out function for people or metadata.


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  • Ben Balser · February 5, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    No mention of it interfacing with Avid? Just wondering out loud.

  • Author comment by Philip · February 5, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    When it’s as easy to interface with Media Composer using XML, as it is with FCP 7, FCP X and Premiere Pro, we’ll be right on it. 🙂 The binary AAF format is a level harder to work with.

  • Brent Altomare · February 5, 2013 at 10:38 pm

    I keep saying this about your products, but “whoa!” That looks like a really interesting tool! Can’t wait to see more.



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