An avalanche of footage landed on my desk in the form of a hard drive containing the last two days of filming. All of that prep work has paid itself off. Immediately I felt the thrill of the edit session as I finally gazed upon what the crew has been capturing so far for Antisocial 2.
First step was transcoding the footage through REDCine-X. As much as I will always have a soft spot for Final Cut, my first editing love, the tedious extra step of transcoding footage before anything will forever leave a bitter taste in my mouth.
Transcoding is an often necessary step at the start of post-production where the raw footage from the cameras is processed into a smaller package. This is done so that the computer doesn't have to work so hard to handle the LARGE video files while editing, therefore allowing the editor to work faster. However it sucks having to wait for it to finish.
Even with the beastly RED Rocket Card equipped, it took 8 hours to transcode all of the clips to ProRes LT.
Meanwhile the gents and I took a break and shared some stories from the day. After all, 1am may be the start of my work day but it is the end of theirs. One of the benefits I enjoy most about editing on-site is that I actually feel more like part of the crew. Since I've been away from set this whole time, this is a part of the day I look forward to a lot.
But there is still MUCH work to be done and it's time to punch it into overdrive to catch up. Start a pot of coffee and slap the headphones on. Before waiting for every clip to finish transcoding, there is still work I can do in the meantime. I take the clips from both cameras and lay them on a timeline labelled SYNC. This is where I sync up the audio. "But Nick, can't you use PluralEyes to sync up the audio automatically?" I hate PluralEyes. Always have. Always will. We've never gotten along, although I understand it works well for some editors out there. All the power to ya!
My days of editing broadcast videos for OMAFRA on an AVID machine has gotten me very comfortable using the keyboard hotkeys to quickly navigate through an NLE. Ever since those days, syncing up audio in FCP has been a breeze. It may sound funny but I kind of enjoy doing it. It's a very satisfying task for me. And with my fingers flying across the keyboard, it's the closest thing to playing piano that I'll ever get.
Plus it forces me to watch a bit of each clip, which is what an editor should do first and foremost anyways. There isn't always a shotlist with notes on each take for the editor to use (there isn't one on this production anyways) so watching through the footage is important to see all that was captured. Get familiar with each take because that's how you sort them into golden takes, scraps and bloopers.
The clock reads 9:30am. Transcoding has finished, all clips have been synced to audio, and the first scene is roughly edited. Time to say good night, high five the crew as they wake up and head to set, and grab some shut-eye. Not a bad start so far.