Tuesday, November 06, 2007

IRON MAN update

An updated conversation with the editing crew on IRON MAN. Thanks to Dawn King for responding to my questions.

1. Where are you in the post process?

We have just had our first friends and family screening, which went great, and we are getting ready for some reshoots.

2. What have been the positives of working in DNxHD36? What have been the negatives?

Positives are the amazing picture quality, including the ability to screen an Avid HD output on a big screen in a theater and have it look super.

The negative is that the HD Adrenalines still have a lot of bugs that
Avid has been unable to fix.

3. With the amount of storage you have and the number of systems attached (how many at this time?) have there been performance issues? What version of Media Composer are you on now? What software changes would make life better?

The systems are a bit slower than the Meridiens were. We have 8 Avids working at present. We just updated the software to 2.7.5. It's too soon to tell which bugs have been fixed. It does seem to have addressed the issue of crashes being caused by external firewire
drives and jump drives being mounted and unmounted.

The only software improvement really needed is to fix the bugs!

4. If you have moved to the DI process yet, what has been the workflow for outputting to a DI, and what could be improved?

We have not started our DI process, but Sandra has been doing some tests with EFilm, and it looks like we will be using HD QTs for EFilm to use as a guide, instead of HD tapes. We will give them traditional cut lists. The VFX will come over as Hi Res digital files.

5. How are you outputting and communicating with sound?

We turn over AAF compositions and HD QTs to sound, which has been working well. We have a Final Cut Pro on a side car system which we utilize for making our QTs so that the Avids aren't tied up for long periods.

6. What will you do different next project?

We are weighing the pros and cons of using the MXF file format for audio. We used AIFF on this show and encountered a lot of problems with the database files rebuilding properly. Avid's preferred format is MXF. However, on the desk top level you cannot differentiate between MXF audio and MXF video files, which means you would have to be very meticulous in putting media on separate sound and picture drives if you are turning over all your audio media to the sound dept. (which we did). The other potential drawback is that most sound departments aren't using MXF, so they would have to convert all the Avid media, or they will need to start working with MXF also.

I would also discuss with the sound recordist the option of recording production audio at 23.98 instead of 30, to avoid that conversion in telecine and post. We also encountered a very nasty Avid bug that caused our audio TC to drop out towards the end of every shot in the movie (in the database). Avid was unable to determine the cause of that problem, but they suspected it may have been a pulldown issue. Now that we are working in 23.98 on the Avid there doesn't seem to be any reason to record sound at 30.


Blogger S2 said...

"We have a Final Cut Pro on a side car system which we utilize for making our QTs so that the Avids aren't tied up for long periods."

Here on "Pushing Daisies" we got a $90 USB device called The Elgato Turbo 264.
It saves a lot of time when compressing QTs. We make a reference QT from the AVID and go. Excellent quality in a fraction of the time.

3:39 PM  
Blogger matt_od said...

I also highly recommend the Elgato. Use it every day. It is amazingly fast because it does all the compressing on the device itself.

1:45 PM  
Anonymous il_editore said...

The timecode is only an overlay anyway. 23.976 is exactly the same speed as 29.97. What determines the speed is the sample rate, so as long as that's 48kHz everything is cool. There's no reason whatsoever to have 29.97 audio

10:47 PM  

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