Sunday, February 06, 2011

Goodbye DVD-RAM... 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.



Woody Woodhall said...

Thanks for sharing the process Phillip. The show sounds great!

Phillip W. Palmer said...

Thanks Woody! Much appreciated.

Wes Kawaja said...

I'm in awe that your sharing workflows. This is awesome! Thanks for taking the time to share your knowledge!

Phillip W. Palmer said...

No problem Wes. It's been working great in this flow for over a year. Several other shows in LA have adopted it as their procedure as well. Hope it helps out.