Thursday, May 12, 2005

Workflow On A Studio Pilot

By Harry B. Miller III, A.C.E.

Project: BONES, a pilot for Fox TV and Network.

Capture: Shot on 35mm 3 perf film. 1 VFX shoot day, 14 shoot days, then 2 days of re-shoots. Most principal shoot days were two camera.

Telecine: film was processed at FotoKem and transferred to D5, with audio sunk in telecine. Audio from the source was mono. Outputs to Editorial were to DVCam, DVD for producers, and VHS for the studio.

The producer was not completely happy with the dailies color timing, as instructed by the DP and director. The producer wanted more neutral timing.

Editing systems: two Avid Composers, running Mac OS 9, version 11. Unity storage, with 500 gigs available. Editor system included a 42” Sony client monitor.

Additional software: QuickKeys 5, Toast, Hyperprism (an Audio Suite sound plug in by Arboretum). ProTools with an Mbox was used on an outboard PC to record wild lines.

Tech Support: Systems supplied by New Edit. The systems were well configured with a DVD recorder, DVD and VHS players. No audio decks were provided. The assistant system suffered from memory problems whenever the printer was used.

New Edit was very timely and helpful with support.

Avid Project: 24fps, 3perf project, 48k audio.

Input: Dailies were digitized at 14:1. Only one channel of audio was digitized. Music from CD was imported to 48K. Sound effects from SDII files were 48k.

Audio importing of music CDs was extremely slow, as the Avid had to convert each track from 44.1 to 48k.

VFX: a day of VFX shooting (material to be comped into BG plates) suffered by being transferred without flex files. This lack of 3/2 coherence was a constant problem. Timecode was used to order HD QuickTime files for the VFX vendor. Temp shots were posted on the vendor’s ftp site, and downloaded as low-res QuickTime files for input to the Avid and evaluation.

DVD’s were made for the director for review.

On-line: Avid video-only bins were e-mailed to FotoKem to an Avid DS Nitris, and re-assembled in HD. After the first on-line, the VAM was digitized and cut into V4, along with the mixed audio laid back to the VAM.

Color timing: tape to tape at FotoKem, on a DaVinci.

Sound editorial:
production audio media was copied at the Finder level to a firewire drive for sound editorial, which would link to OMF2 files sent from editorial. Sound Editorial was able to link to all subsequent OMF2 files without having to resend media.

ADR: ¾” tapes were made for the stage from DVCam outputs. ADR was shot on ProTools systems, which allowed easy transfer into the Avid for the editor to cut.

Music for the stage was cut by the editor, and output to OMF2 with media for the stage.

Sound Mix: audio was mixed at Todd-AO Burbank, Studio C, on ProTools systems with ProControl mix panels. The mixers worked without cue sheets, seeing the audio on the monitors. Simple fixes, i.e. cutting and pasting or extending dialogue takes, was easily managed by the mixer. This also allowed for easy conforming, as the sound editors could conform the mix and the units in master sessions. Todd-AO has servers that allow quick media transfers between remote stages. Sound was mixed LT-RT.

The ProTools mix setup was extremely efficient. The only problem was a firewire drive with the conformed mix would not mount on the final day of the mix. This was solved by moving the drive to a different mechanism.

Re-Edit: the CTM (Color Timed Master) and VAM (Video Assemble Master) were transferred to DVCam for editorial. Audio was transferred from the mix to four channels: dialogue, effects, and 2 music channels. The picture was cut on to V4 of the master editing sequence, the four channels of audio replacing effects and music channels. The original production track was muted.

Finished: Total running time 42:15 with no head or tail credits.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great info. Very helpful.

6:04 PM  

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