Archive for June, 2011

iPhone to FCP – video conversion (& droplet)

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

  • Suppose you shot video on an iPhone and want to edit it in FCP:
    • iPhone records to 720p24 h.264 with 44k aac audio+
    • FCP can part-handle the H264 but not any kind of compressed audio.
      • It will play H264 video but not any Real Time (RT) effects.
  • Transcode it e.g. by using Compressor:
    • Drag your video file into Compressor
    • Under Settings type LT into the search box.  The top hit should be for Apple ProRes 422 (LT).  Select it.
    • Duplicate it (since only a duplicate can be altered).
    • Fix the audio:
      • Select the duplicate in the top window and the inspector will light up.
      • The first Inspector tab is for the Summary – we need to press the second one to get access to the encoders.
      • On the Encoder tab, switch the audio from Pass-through to Enabled.
      • Then, to its left, press the Audio: settings button.
      • Change the Format to Linear PCM, Stereo (L R), 48kHz, sample size 16 bits. Press Okay.
  • How to make a Droplet to do this conversion:
    • In Compressor’s Settings window, Clear the Search field.
    • Open the Custom Group (not essential)
    • Select the iPhone to FCP (ProRes LT) and press the button at the top left of the Settings window that looks like a video file with a down arrow.
    • Save the droplet to your desktop (say).
  • Now you can drag your iPhone movies to the droplet (no need for Compressor to be open), it’ll throw up a dialog box, press submit and Compressor will transcode them to a ProRes format suitable for FCP.

ClipFinder for Final Cut

Sunday, June 12th, 2011

Avid: AMA versus MediaFiles

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

(Retrospective-publish – got held-up in Drafts – hence earlier posts may possibly address this) (As I understand it…) Avid traditionally manages media files (ingested to its own media formats in its own [Avid MediaFiles] folders where they are identified by pesudo-random file-names) in a database-like manner, enabling media and projects to be “shovelled around like stuff” between actual storage disks etc.  This is in contrast to (most? all?) other editing systems where the user must manage consistency of project-expected and actual file locations and names – though that “manual” task can be assisted by automatic search/relink tools (part of the editing system).  In contrast, the new AMA feature allows Avid projects to link directly to “alien” (to Avid) media under the control (and naming etc.) of diverse systems, be they user work practices or media recording/management systems.  The latter is certainly immediately convenient, but what about longer-term?  Is the traditional Avid media management essentially eroded?  Does it matter in practice?  Do people in practice only use AMA for rushes or rush-jobs?  Web-research this!

London Filming Permits

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011
  • London Underground (“Tube”)
    • Student/Non-professional permit:
      • Crew max Five; Lightweight, handheld equipment only.
      • Fee £40 (inc VAT) – Valid one month from issue
    • “We generally need 2-3 weeks notice to process applications, but dependent on the request we can some times turn these around more quickly”
    • Great video of film-making on the Tube, at
  • River Thames
    • Filming and photography on the River Thames requires the prior written permission of the Port of London Authority,
        • The Port of London Authority (PLA) owns and operates Richmond Footbridge, Lock and Weir, situated between Teddington and Richmond, which offers a wonderful location for any type of film and television productions as well as still photography.
        • permission to film on or by the Thames requires a filming license issued by the PLA’s Corporate Affairs department.
    • Location “scouting”: Some on-line film clips:
  • Buses
      • “We don’t usually allow filming on buses that are actually in service. However, outside peak commuter hours you can hire a bus that will look like the bus on the route you wish to film, complete with driver.”
      • “In most cases you will need to give at least seven days’ notice.”

Avid AMA Limitations & Workflows

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

Avid’s AMA allows direct use of media files in proprietary formats such as XDCAM-EX (BPAV folders etc.) , no need to import, just link.  However there are limitations, according to the Sony XDCAM and XDCAM EX AMA Plug-in Guide (as of 2011-06-08, relates to Media Composer 5.0):

  • No automatic relinking:
    • If the path to the AMA media changes (e.g. when files moved or a drive’s letter gets accidentally changed) then error message complains “Offline”.
      • Windows UNC (Universal Naming Convention) paths are not supported with AMA media.
        • To link AMA media, map it to the drive.
      • The Dynamic Relink option is not supported with AMA clips.
  • Avid does not support MultiCamera editing with AMA clips.
  • When the AMA setting is activated (default), the traditional import options [File > Import P2 (and Import XDCAM Proxy)] do not appear in the File menu. Deactivate the AMA setting and restart Avid to display those option.
    • But only AMA mode preserves the XDCAM metadata e.g. from camera settings and (presumably) any user/clip/log information entered via Sony’s Clip Browser.
  • You should not mix workflows. Either use the AMA method or use the traditional import/batch import method.
  • Some suggested workflows:
  • The following gives a great practical guide, based on a range of shoot-types (news, doc etc) and also explains aboutRELINKing from AMA to media that has been copied to Avid storage.