This previous week, I was busy working with my DP on a pilot. He was busy shooting on various flash based media from XDCAM Blu Rays, XDCAM EX SxS, and SD cards off the GoPro cams. However, before I even began the edit, I sat down with my DP to discuss workflows to reduce confusion in post. This is something that I believe is crucial if given the opportunity.
Initially, we discussed possible workflows, as he would be dumping the footage off to a Macbook Pro. However, because of the complexity of the shoot, and time constraints, I suggested a simple copy and paste, forgoing my usual workflow recommendations. All that would be required is to simply copy the media onto a drive without any labeling, and pass it along to me. I would then have the freedom to transcode, and label with my own personal preferences. This was a suggestion I would soon later regret.
Once I received the footage, I began transcoding the footage and ingesting it. During this process I realized there was some footage missing, and worse some of the XDCAM footage would not import. Upon further inspection I realized that at some point my DP had unintentionally re-labeled the folder containing the metadata, creating an issue on import.
The folder had been accidentally re-named “Tej”, instead of the traditional main XDCAM folder labeled “BPAV”. By re-naming the folder back, I was able to log the footage. However, it did take several attempts as the metadata seemed to be corrupted from the re-naming of the folder. Luckily, this was the only folder like this, due to my previous conversation with my DP about not naming files, and simply copying them. I found no other issues with the XDCAM footage.
Now that the problem was rectified, I then began cutting again. While working late into the wee hours of the morning, I realized there was some B-roll I had requested was missing. I immediately thought to myself it must be another re-named folder. I began by looking through each folder on the drive just to be sure, and there I discovered a folder within another folder marked “untitled”. Note: If you create a folder on a Mac, and not label it immediately, it automatically defaults to “Untitled Folder”. Within this folder I found the B-Roll I was looking for. I thought to myself this is really one of those days!
Now this by no means is my DP’s fault, it is simply a result of our agreed workflow of simply copying folders over without any labels. This was a good learning experience for me as I was under a VERY tight time line, and did not have time to waste looking through folders for footage. The advantage of working this way gave me the ability to set up the clips the way I wanted, and prevented the bulk of the XDCAM footage from being lost. However, as you can see it also had a down side, of time being wasted searching for footage.
Learning from the mistake, we created another workflow that was not an elaborate post-production process for my DP , and yet organized enough for me to find the footage in a timely manner. By simply creating a folder marked with Date, Camera, and then dumping the footage in there, we would both be happy.
The moral is if you are given the opportunity to discuss with your DP the media management, then your really should. But remember they are not editors, and you can not expect them to understand everything about your workflow in post. However the simplest route may also not be the best route. You both need to come up with a solution that satisfies you both, and does not introduce more issues in either production or post – production. If you rush into the simplest route you may end up having just one of those days.
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