July 10, 2011 · Editing Notes Notes

What Are Some Pitfalls In Editing?

You've got your footage shot. Awesome! But now what? One of the most annoying parts of (indie) filmmaking is the slow workflow of editing. It used to be that filmmakers would capture the image on tapes and those tapes would have to be transferred into the computer, then the scenes would be selected before the real work of editing could begin. While tapes have been replaced by cards, now one faces the process of transcoding as the information on the cards is too highly packed to be edited directly. This is a process that can from a few hours to a few days. Because the files are large, they cannot be shared directly over the Internet but must be lugged around on portable harddisks. These can get lost or stolen, or in some cases just break down. One of the solutions would be high bandwidth p2p file-sharing. And you have to make sure you actually have the rights to use the images you've got on the disk.


For anyone trying to use an external HD to swap files between an Apple and a Microsoft computer. In theory, MacOS and Windows 7 are both fully compatible with the exFAT file system (MacOS since version 10.6.5. and Windows since XP) but in reality when formatting your HD into exFAT you need to make sure to set the cluster size equal to or less than 1024 bytes. If you  set the value higher you'll get a "unable to mount" error on a Mac. I haven't found much information about this online, however this thread on Apple Support describes the same problem. I lost a lot of time on this small error. I hope you'll be able to avoid it. Also check out Vincent Laforet's blog to see how to switch between a PC and a Mac properly.

On a larger note though, from my experience with Tomé film editing on PC is a pain, because you'll be doing it alone. If you want to collaborate with someone, you'll fast find yourself stuck. I've been a PC-user since I was 3 years old so Premiere was what I had installed. I'd started editing on Premiere, happily back from shooting with 35+ hours of material to cut for Tomé. But here in Tallinn, Estonia, I soon  discovered myself on a deserted island with no other PC-using editors with Premiere to be found anywhere. I asked 25 people I knew, asked Facebook, contacted every editor I could find in Estonia that had a listing on IMDB Pro. But seemingly none of the editors in town were using Adobe Premiere. At least none of the editors I was able to contact. They were using Apple's Final Cut instead. So unless I wanted to edit alone, and wanted to collaborate with an editor - and first of all, transfer my footage. I'd better get a Mac.

So is this global? How many users does Premiere have vs. Final Cut? I mean even on Adobe's promo showcase of Premiere CS5.5. you'll see the indie filmmaker Gareth Edwards working all alone. Ok, so maybe I can continue working on my PC while my editor works on a Mac?

Interchangeability doesn't work well. On international projects where HDs need to be shipped across borders and continents, small mistakes like this can cost weeks to fix in post-production time. Reviewing the work of your editor (who's obviously will be working on Final Cut) means that you'll have to learn to use a Mac anyway.


Why Should I Go Through The Trouble Of Signing Model Releases?

↑ You wouldn't want to have this picture spread without proper clearance. Released under the Creative Commons Attribution License by Chris Willis and available on Wikipedia.

Working as a professional photographer or filmmaker means that apart from delivery a great set of photos/video that fits the client's indented style, mood, and message but also that your work can be used in the indented medium such as billboard advertising, online ads, mobile ads, etc, without legal problems.

Problems are avoided when it's clear to all participants of the shoot what they are getting and what are their rights. This is where a model release comes in. Any kind of work you do, you should always have your actors/models sign a release form. Good is clear and concise, but comprehensive enough to fill all the bases. Here's a list of the ones I've found online but there are just a starting point. You should make sure you're applying your local law as well as considering international rights as your work more likely than not will be used in more than one terrytory.

In English

Alamy Stock Photography Model Release Form

iStockphoto Model Release Form

In Estonian

Dreamstime Model Release  Form (For Minors)

Dreamstime Model Release Form (For Adults)

You can post alternative release forms you've found in the comments.

But this is not only aboyt being legally covered. It's just as much about being organized in editing.

Releasing the Content

Why Commit To Open Source Film?

The list of films in the Public Domain is quite extensive. Provided you can find them, there's a lot of source material you can edit together. Indeed, that's what video DJ's have been doing for years, with great results. One of my personal favorites is Dancing to Architecture from MINSKI media.

What's results from making a film with open source software, using public domain content, is an open content film, or an open source film.

Such endeavors are supported by the Open Source imitative. One community actively engaging in open film-making isMoviePals. What might be the others?


One, outline examples from open-source software development and the positive and negative experiences of the movement. Two, list films shared using an open source license. Three, visions for the future.

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