Prepping For A Cost-Effective Finishing Session

revised July 2007
To ensure the smoothest possible edit with a minimum of extra expenses we offer you the following tips (in no particular order):
  • Bring your own tape stock. It's almost always less expensive than buying the stock from us (to which we have to apply a healthy markup to justify keeping it on hand).
  • Get us involved as early as possible. Send us a screener of your offline and we'll be able to give you much more precise guidance on how to approach the finishing session.
  • Remove any color correction filters you've applied. Ask us about any Black & White, Sepia, or Colorized you may have applied. Sometimes they're useful as guidance.
  • If you're handling your own uprezzing: On analog tape decks (BetaSP) have your assistant editor or editor set up to color bars. On digital formats (DV, Digital Betacam), do not have them adjust hue/video/setup from the deck. And never adjust colors on the tape deck on a shot-by-shot basis. Why? If there's a hardware failure and your material needs to be recaptured, our color corrects will be useless since the recaptured source footage will never ever exactly match what was given us... If, however, they follow our guidelines any recaptured material will match the original footage - saving us headaches.
  • If you're working from DV, do all your captures and outputs via Firewire. It's the best way to preserve the quality of your footage. If we decide we want to uprez your footage, we'll use our DSR-1500a which has SDI outputs and does an excellent job of uprezzing - maximizing the quality of your footage. For finishing, never capture DV via analog composite or component.
  • Clean up your timeline. One of the things that slow us down are timelines that build upwards, as editors leave old choices in their timeline covering over it with new choices. It's a huge benefit to us (and your wallet) if your editor cleans up the final timeline and pulls everything down to only the minimum number of tracks / shots required to play back your project. Yes, your editor might complain so you'll have to decide if the money you save is more important than the grief they'll dish :-)
Questions? Contact us.