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This movie has been a highly collaborative project from the beginning, and we started it knowing that several people would be working on it. Exactly who and in what capacity has changed as necessary, but from the point that we had all of the footage actually shot and it got into postproduction, it's been primarily three folk: avindair primarily editing, Conrad Zero on music, and me on postproduction. There was some blurring of the lines: Fearless Leader did some scratch effects during the editing process which made the final cut because of time constraints, and used some royalty-free music in places.

The frothy thing is that we are in three different locations, using three different systems with different software. avindair prefers Premiere (which I'm beginning to despise), I use Vegas Pro (which is not without its problems), and Conrad uses primarily Sonar.

Technically, that shouldn't be an issue. Since we're dealing with data files that should be compatible across systems, it should be seamless. As you might suspect, that is not entirely the case.

First, there seems to be a couple of issues with Premiere. First, the project was started with Premiere 6.5, then bumped to Premiere pro 1.5 part way through, which may have caused some unspecified weirdness. Second, I did the color corrections in Vegas (Vegas has some really nice tools for doing that very thing), but Premiere seems to think it can do them better, and it changed the files on rendering. This may be an issue of settings, or codecs, or something else unexpected, but it pisses me off to no end.

This means that it's about 90% likely that I will have to recreate the final edit by hand in Vegas so I can use the real color-corrected footage, and not the "Premiere's choice" stuff.

But the most egregious issue: after I handed back the color-corrected files to Tony and he rebuilt the project in Premiere, it managed to drop 30 frames in the process, without changing anything else in the project. That is unforgivable IMHO, and is reason to throw Premiere out the window strapped to a big exploding rocket.

Okay, it's been a ride. There's been a tremendous amount of learning along the way, mostly about process. And for posterity, some things that are going to be changed with/added to the production process:

1.) Location sound: we WILL do wild takes of every scene as necessary to capture the actors dialogue cleanly. This is not optional.

2.) Captured footage will be backed up to non-volatile storage (DVD-R or something similar).

3.) Captured footage will be cleaned up (both sonically and visually) before editing.

4.) Video footage that undergoes any processing will be written in a format that has more resolution and less loss than DV25/4:1:1/NTSC, even if it was originally captured from DV.

5.) Rather than editing a section and rendering that to a file, then taking those rendered files and combining those, any section that is done will be saved as a project, then the project files will be imported and assembled. This will eliminate unnecessary re-rendering of footage and the associated loss.

More later. Now is time to go to home.

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