As a digital media strategist, I work with many filmmakers to bridge the gap between vision and execution, which essentially means I do a lot of problem solving. Being a digital media strategist for Henninger Media Services (Henninger) as well as an amateur filmmaker, I’ve learned that production and post production support from my co-workers has proven to be invaluable. I’ve recently found myself in need of support (from Henninger’s talented team) with my own filmmaking. I completed the editorial portion of my project using Final Cut X. I was at picture-lock, and like a homeowner trying to fix his own plumbing, thought I could do it all with my own tools. Sadly, I was mistaken, and fortunately, I knew where to get help.
The first post production dilemma I ran into was blurring. To give you a little background, film festivals will not allow unlicensed logos, trademarks, faces, license plates, etc. to make an appearance in a film, even if it’s in the background, and let’s just say, “Office Depot” had made an unwanted appearance. I sat down with Henninger Senior Editor, Greg Deist, and he showed me how to blur background images using Premiere Pro. Turns out blurring background images is a regular practice for some of Henninger’s broadcast clients, and Premiere allows you to seamlessly add what Greg referred to as an “adjustment layer” over my project. I had covered my tracks with editorial, but another problem arose: audio.
I learned the hard way that Final Cut X does not export OMF or AAF audio files, which is needed for professional sound mixing. Thankfully, in the edit suite next door to Greg was Henninger Senior Editor, Polly Bryan, who could capture my project in Avid and then output the deliverables I needed, along with split track audio files. I was in the clear again and cruising, with a little help from my Henninger friends.
There was just one last burden I had to deal with, my own second-guessing and hindsight, which came about during the color correction phase of my project. While working in DaVinci’s Resolve with our Senior Colorist, Dave Markun, I had an epiphany on a better way to start my film. This put me at a loss because I thought to make the change, I would have to go back to my initial project file in Final Cut X, re-export, and then bring it back to the color suite. However, Dave is expert in Resolve, and could make editorial changes in a software that is primarily used for color correction. Yet again, crisis averted.
So, what’s the moral of the story? If you are already proficient in Final Cut X, Premiere, Avid, and Resolve, then kudos to you! But if you’re like me, or the many filmmakers I work with, please know that there are options, and don’t think you must attach yourself to one editorial choice. Seek guidance as early in the process as possible, as this will save you time and money. Since I’ve been through the production and post production process first hand, feel free to reach out. I can take you through the pros and cons of not just Final Cut X, but Premiere, Avid, and Resolve.
Justin Radano is a Digital Media Strategist at Henninger Media Services. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about Henninger Media Services, contact us at email@example.com