Tuesday, February 22, 2011

CF update

Very happy to report that after a week of CF delivery we are all very happy with the results. Encore, our Telecine facility, has a system with checking in and out the CF cards with a bar code on each. Our post crew is dumping the files to hard drive and Technicolor is swapping out hard drives weekly. No one seems to miss the DVD-RAM's at all, which was my hope all along.

The PDF sound reports are the big hit. Not only are they easily read and shared, but they are attachable to the project and searchable. Search for scene 23B, and the proper report shows up with all the details.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Goodbye DVD-RAM...

...at least on Glee. Since the pilot of Glee we have used DVD-RAM media our our primary delivery of sound recordings to telecine and post production, as do most shows in network television and motion pictures. At least here in the United States. For years now I've had the desire to move away from DVD-RAM, to a more efficient, less fragile, higher capacity media like Compact Flash or other solid state media. Beginning with our episode 216 of the second season, we'll be giving that a go.

Over the past several weeks I've been doing tests using Compact Flash media with our post production facilities and personnel. Our telecine process at Encore in Hollywood uses MTI Control Dailies which uses a computer as it's source for sound. It will see anything on a drive, if properly formatted, as it's audio and can sync up accordingly. We are not limited to the Fostex DV-40 as our audio source, that being DVD-RAM only. We ran tests this past week with both Master and Back-up CF and the cards read fine. We are also not limited to track count, which has been an issue at times with the Fostex machines.

Upon completion of the telecine transfer and sync process, the CF cards are returned to Glee post production where they are dumped to a Hard Drive to await the weekly swap out to Technicolor. Technicolor can then routinely store and log all the audio media for dialog edit after picture lock. No more waiting for picture, then all day dumping slow DVD-RAM media onto a server for the DX.

The new Glee sound delivery process:

Here's the new process:
1) I record to CF, both Master and Back-up. The Master CF will have the multi-track and the Back-up CF will have only a 2 track mix.
2) Encore will receive these CF cards in the same manner as we did with the DVD-RAM media and telecine as usual.
3) When Glee post picks up the HD edit master, the previous day's CF cards and case will be picked up from Encore.
4) Glee post will then copy the audio files from the CF cards to a Hard Drive supplied by Techinicolor.
5) CF cards and case will be returned to set. I'll have 5 sets of cards in rotation so there is no time pressure on returning.
6) Weekly or periodically, Technicolor will swap out the Hard Drive from Glee post.

An additional change will be the use of pdf sound reports. I will be creating my reports via my laptop on set and sending them to all who need it via email at the end of each day. The same report will be placed on the Master CF drive.

I'll report on how this process is doing after we get it going for a while. I'm looking forward to it.