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  • FCPX Project Settings Feature Film shot on Arri Alexa Mini

  • Ali Leonard

    December 14, 2022 at 1:44 pm

    Hi,

    I am editing a low budget feature for cinema release and the production company uses FCPX which I haven’t used for over a decade. I’m a bit concerned with my project settings (although only at the stage of organising library and syncing). The raw Alexa files are 4480 x 1856.

    What res settings should I use for the film project timeline once I get there?

    Greatly appreciative of all advice!

    Thanks,

    Ali

  • Ben Balser

    December 15, 2022 at 2:26 pm

    I’d edit at the native resolution the project was shot on, if you have the hardware power to do that. Convert to another resolution when exporting for distribution. Do you have specific concerns?

    Just personal curiosity, why switch to FCPX suddenly for such a large project?

  • Oliver Peters

    December 16, 2022 at 7:37 pm

    There are actually a few considerations here. Are you going to be finishing the film in FCP or is this just the creative (“offline”) edit? If the latter, then how is the finishing going to be handled? Resolve or other?

    Then, as far as the footage, is this ARRIRAW or a flavor of DNxHR or ProRes? ARRIRAW is very taxing and will need to be transcoded first. Is it 1:1 pixel aspect ratio or anamorphic?

    Assuming that you are only doing the creative edit and not the finishing, then I would recommend that a DIT (or maybe you yourself) prep the footage as proxy media at the native resolution and frame rate.

    Regarding project settings, find out what the deliverable format is. For example, HD, UHD, or true 2K or 4K. 16:9, 1.85:1, 2.4:1, other? Edit in those sizes and aspect ratios and adjust framing on the shots as needed.

  • Oliver Peters

    December 16, 2022 at 7:41 pm

    PS: This FCP workflow guide by Knut Hake (German feature film editor) may be helpful.

    https://knuthake.notion.site/Final-Cut-Pro-Workflow-for-feature-films-8ba47cb0860049eebca48e4317ba2c09

  • Eric Kornblum

    December 20, 2022 at 11:24 pm

    I’d recommend finding out what the final delivery settings are going to be (hopefully the production company can provide clarification on that…) and set your project to match those settings. If the source files are too taxing on your machine/drives for those settings, FCPX will let you create proxies for the media so you can work on a more manageable set of files.

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