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  • Tutorial DVD – input needed

    Posted by Shane Ross on October 9, 2006 at 3:35 am

    Hey gang.

    I am making a tutorial DVD for the Creative Cow on how to be organized in Final Cut Pro. I have a rough outline and I have recorded all of my current sections, but the DVD isn’t quite as long as I’d like.

    So…I am going to list what I have covered thus far:

    1-Setting up a Scratch Drive
    2-Organizing your project (based on TV documentary organization)
    3-Organizing your Narrative Project (based on narrative TV show organization)
    4-Multi-User organization (based on the methods used at Bunim/Murray productions)
    5-Organizing your music and sound effects using iTunes
    6-Archiving your project.

    I was thinking that I might also cover capturing your footage…the two ways to do it (log/batch capture and capturing full tapes/subclipping).

    Now…if there is anything you feel I have left out, or anything you would like to see me cover in a tutorial DVD that is related to organizing, please let me know.


    Littlefrog Post

    Shane Ross replied 17 years, 8 months ago 9 Members · 12 Replies
  • 12 Replies
  • Craig Alan

    October 9, 2006 at 4:30 am

    You might cover how good production organization practices help when moving into the editing process: labeling tapes, no time code breaks (and how to achieve this), extra media in and out of every shot, keeping a time code log of scenes and takes and director notes as to what might be the best take, not recording on the very beginning and end of mini-dv tapes. Etc. Not sure what you cover in archiving but you might devote some attention to what to save and in what form

  • Shane Ross

    October 9, 2006 at 4:41 am

    GREAT idea about starting the organization process in production. That is KEY…and does lead to a lot of issues in post. Good call.

    I do talk about what to archive (non-timecoded assets such as pictures, music, After Effects Comps, THE PROJECT FILE…etc) and what you don’t need to archive (footage from timecoded tapes). And I do talk about the various formats of archiving…Hard drives, DVDs, DLTs…

    and I mention wiping the drive when you start a project….so I might mention that you should wipe it again after.

    But I really like the production idea. Nice call.


    Littlefrog Post

  • Pat Defilippo

    October 9, 2006 at 5:08 am


    Organization is a good topic for a training DVD. I just finished the DMTS Final Cut Studio training DVD in February, and have re-visited it recently, and it does a good job with this topic but your DVD expands on it.

    After 23 years of editing linearly and non-linearly, the only things I could add to your existing list (which looks great) is the differences in how to organize for both scripted and non-scripted edit sessions. Scripted clips would more often be batch captured and non-scripted would more often be full tape loads & subclips. Interaction between an actual script and how it translates to an organized final product would be good to see in a training DVD. Include possible questions to have answered by the client or producer BEFORE an editor starts up a project.

    Also, I like to give scripts scene numbers (unless, of course, they already have them) and use that as my filename. It’s a lot faster and effient this way and helps any editor down the road when I write “03” for the file name (the leading “0” so that it sorts nicely later) instead of “Narrator VO for shot Number 3” or something like that, which can’t easily be sorted nor completely understood by all because it’s too wordy and long. Keep it short, simple and foolproof. After all of the clips are batched, with 2 seconds of heads and tails (or whatever), they can easily be sorted, copied and pasted onto a timeline in order, and then tweaked in one-by-one from there.

    If a session is unscripted and full tapes are loaded, going over color correction (and other “global” type filters) on the master clips BEFORE editing would seem to be part of organization. A lot of time finding and tweaking individual clips from the same tape down the road can be saved this way.

    Here’s an idea for the next training DVD and something I haven’t seen: tips and tricks specifically for Final Cut (not only Pro, but the entire studio). This is a rare, kind-of an advanced training. I’ll bet posting a similar question like you did with this topic would net you many great tips from a wide variety of editors.

    Thanks for doing that,

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    October 9, 2006 at 5:09 am

    Sounds like a great project

    Perhaps a segment on media manager and its usefullness especialy with ongoing projects.

    My tape organization used to be a mess untill I built a data base using filemaker pro, even though I only use it on one computer it is set up so that it can be used by multiple users on the same network acsessing it through a simple web browser. It tells me everything about a tape, its format, the date shot, who shot it, contents of couorse, time remaining on the tape, etc.

  • David Roth weiss

    October 9, 2006 at 6:15 am

    [Shane Ross] “I am making a tutorial DVD for the Creative Cow on how to be organized in Final Cut Pro.”


    Is this going to be a give-away for the Cow magazine? If so, does this make you a centerfold?

    I think you should make certain to mention “proper” tape numbering conventions, and mention the hazards of using “special characters.”


    Here is what the FCP manual says:

    Avoiding Special Characters

    The most conservative filenaming conventions provide the most cross-platform
    compatibility. This means that your filenames will work in different operating systems,
    such as Windows, Mac OS X and other Unix operating systems, and Mac OS 9. You also
    need to consider filenaming when you transfer files via the Internet, where you can never
    be certain what computer platform your files may be stored on, even if temporarily.
    Most special characters should be avoided. Here are some suggested conservative
    filenaming guidelines for maximum cross-platform compatibility:

    File separators : (colon)
    / (forward-slash)
    \ (backward-slash)
    You cannot use colons (:) in the
    names of files and folders
    because Mac OS 9 (Classic) uses
    this character to separate
    directories in pathnames. In
    addition, some applications may
    not allow you to use slashes (/)
    in the names of items.
    These characters are directory
    separators for Mac OS 9,
    Mac OS X, and DOS (Windows)
    Special characters not included
    in your native alphabet
    ? ?

  • Uli Plank

    October 9, 2006 at 7:13 am

    Hi Shane,

    you might need to include explanations on formats and codecs to be used and when

  • Shane Ross

    October 9, 2006 at 7:19 am

    Pat…I do indeed explain the differences between long tape captures in documentaries and the shot by shot captured in narrative. Good call. I also go into the 6 character tape naming convention…a fall back to the limitations of tape-to-tape systems but I really like it. But I am not a fan of GLOBAL color correction. Lighting conditions change on a long tape and what was good 5 minutes in isn’t good 10 minutes in due to lighting condition changes for whatever reason. I am a shot to shot color correction guy. But I leave that to the color correction tutorials. And naming conventions is vital…keep it simple. Yeah…good points. Thanks.

    ZRB – I definately talk about the MM and how to use it to make separate clips from subclips, and to back up a project and all the media in it only. Good point on FileMaker Pro. I haven’t used it in a while, but all the companies I worked with use it as their library software. I will have to at least mention that.

    David…this is no give away. This is something the Cow will be selling. And the LAST thing you want to see is me in a Speedo. Well, no…the last thing you want to see is Marlon Brando in a Speedo. But I come in second…or third. I have been working out.

    Uli…I mention what Easy Setups to choose depending on the formats you are working with. Getting into the nitty gritty of the codecs might be a bit much…and seeing as I have never migrated a project from one edit system to another I cannot really talk about how to do that. But yes, it is a great idea to mention the Easy Setups and when to choose them and why…because many people don’t.

    Ooooo…all this GREAT information from you guys…LAFCPUG and Apple.


    Littlefrog Post

  • Paul Dickin

    October 9, 2006 at 9:08 am

    I recently worked alongside an experienced ex-Avid (PC) editor beginning to use FCP, both cutting seperate episodes of an archive newsreel show covering a year’s worth pulled together into a 75min show. After about a fortnight I realised that that whilst I had eight hours of source clips arranged into a two hour assemble in a 10MB project, his similar project had grown to about 180MB!

    He was creating a project with a long timeline and then taking fragmentary sections of each timeline into a new project as little chunks of nest. He was then discarding the original project – together with all the source clips which only existed in the original project’s bins.

    After he’d done that about a dozen times, with nests of nests of nests…etc, his project ground to a halt at just under 200MB, and I took over his edit – starting my own new project from scratch….!

    The moral of this sorry tale is – you can’t take ANY of the basics for granted.
    With editors coming from Avid, Pinnacle Liquid or Premiere backgrounds there is huge potential for complete misunderstanding of proper Mac/FCP procedures…

    To teach someone efficient editing procedures on a Mac with FCP you must ensure that the following is understood:
    1. Mac file management, as all the clips essentially belong to the Finder, rather than the application as in much/most? Windows software.
    2. Project amalgamation techniques – so that ALL the elements of your project are retained in the current main project, to prevent project bloat and slow-down.
    3. To that I would add a considerable measure of caution – I was a film editor in the 60-70s, then started NLE with Premiere v3 in 1993, and both activites in their different ways required a cautious (=methodical) approach, otherwise chaos would ensue…
    With FCP break huge timelines up, and spread assets (and render files) over disk sub-systems that are appropriately matched with the real-time preview/playout requirement of your project.

  • Shane Ross

    October 9, 2006 at 9:25 am

    Good point Paul. I break mine up as well. One project for the footage and several CUTS projects. The only problem I have found with that is matching back to the master clip…and matching back to the bin it is in. You can’t if your cut is in a separate project. If you match back to the clip and it loads in the Viewer, and say you want to export a small section to send to After Effects, you cannot export a self contained file. Quicktime Conversion is your only option. Because the original link has been severed. I find this to be a big issue, so I will touch upon it. Who knows…they may fix it and that will make that section of the DVD irrelevant.

    One can hope.


    Littlefrog Post

  • Peterson

    October 9, 2006 at 1:57 pm

    although you may already have planned this as part of illustrating the above content, several detailed real life workflows from location shooting to final product(s) always help bring it all home…

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