Yeah, I know, I know. I already knew this, and I have told many MANY other people that they should edit XDCAM as ProRes…but I thought that I’d just save a LITTLE time with these quick promos I am cutting and keep them as XDCAM, but render them out of Color as ProRes. I did a small test and it worked.

But, I didn’t anticipate a few things in this project. The big one being that the producers want timecoded dailies of BOTH angles. How this was done before was putting the A cam on V1, and the B cam on V2…making them both 50% and putting them side by side. Then we add the A cam again to V3, add the TIMECODE READER filter, and crop the picture until you ONLY see the timecode. The cameras are set to TIME OF DAY code, so they are only a few frames off…so this works fine.

Well, I did this, and then I went to render it. 45 min sequence for Reel 1…and the estimated time was 5 hours. The render bar was bright green, so I could edit fine, but render…oy vey! And I have TWO more reels to do…and they wanted this by tonight…or tomorrow at least. So I’d have to render for 15-18 hours…then export and encode for the web. Ugh.

OK, so I had the bright idea to SEND TO COMPRESSOR from FCP. This way I could export them, but continue to work (FCS 3 allows for this). OK…I did this, but after 3 hours, it said that it still had NINE HOURS TO GO! And not only that, the computer was reduced to a crawl, I couldn’t even edit in FCP without dropping frames and image skipping. I can’t work like this.

Well, it was now 2:00 PM and I needed to do something. So, I emailed the assistants who I worked with on the last show…all XDCAM, and asked about their process. See, we relied on them to do everything and prep the footage, so I didn’t now how to get from Point A to Point Z. They said that they used the XDCAM Transfer Utility to convert the footage from the cards to XDCAM…I did that too. Then they used the Media Manager in FCP to convert the footage to ProRes 422…and retain the timecode and the reel numbers. Fine, I’ll do that.

According to the display this process will take 3 hours. So, I am taking time to watch THE SECRET OF NIMH with my kids, and write this blog post. (Mrs. Brisby just saved Jeremy. Voiced wonderfully by Dom DeLuise).  When the conversion stops I’ll relink to the new ProRes clips, and then we’ll see how long this takes.


OK, after 3 hours the conversion is done…and it all reconnected beautifully.  Now I do the SEND TO COMPRESSOR and…well, 5 hours.  Better, but not great.  But something that can happen from now until the AM.  And I can do the tasks of merging second system audio with one angle, then making a multi-clip of this so that I can start editing tomorrow.

(If the producers would take a DVD, I could have played this out in Real Time to a DVD Recorder, and been done in 3 hours.)