How do I move the moving pictures from the camera to the computer?
August 9, 2012 11:37 AM   Subscribe

I am in the application process for a really awesome job, and I just found out I have my second phone interview on Monday afternoon. Yay! It's a producing job at a start up web content company, and based on the first call, they're going to want to hire someone who can move data from cameras (sounds like I would be mostly working with DSLRs) into Final Cut Pro and prepare it for editing. I currently work in TV, where this job belongs to the assistant editors, and I don't even know how to begin to figure out this process. Please give me some weekend reading material to help me figure out if this is something I could quickly learn how to do. Thank you!

Sorry if this question sounds dumb, I have spent my entire career telling the camera operators what to shoot and then arriving at my office the next day to magically find that footage loaded onto my desktop editing system.

I really appreciate any advice/resources you may have!
posted by justjess to Media & Arts (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: My DSLR -> Final Cut flow goes like this:

1) Copy files from card to computer/HDDs. Make copies in at least two places.
2) use free software MPEG Streamclip to covert files to Apple ProRes for editing.
3) Import into Final Cut and organize in bins.

That will get you ready to edit, *if* they have the audio already on the clips. If the sound was done off-camera, you'll need to import the audio and link it up to create clips for editing with sound.

Hope that helps! It's really pretty simple when you realize what a great tool MPEG Streamclip is. Some people will recommend some Canon plug-ins that supposedly make a disk image of the memory card but in my experience this is

a) overly convoluted and unnecessary and
b) the plugin simply does not work
posted by drjimmy11 at 11:57 AM on August 9, 2012 [2 favorites]

(The reason for #2, btw, is that Canon DSLRs which you'll most likely be using shoot in H264 codec, which Final Cut does not play nicely with. It's a fine codec for watching, and you will probably want to "finish" in H264, but you don't want to edit in it.)
posted by drjimmy11 at 11:59 AM on August 9, 2012

Response by poster: That seems fairly simple, thank you!
posted by justjess at 12:23 PM on August 9, 2012

The advice above is solid, but I would also want to know if they are running FCP 7 (I would assume) or FCP X. MPEG Streamclip is great for conversion (there are some very nitpicky technical reasons people use other software, but don't concern yourself with that). FCP X will handle the transcoding of DSLR footage automatically - and will actually match external audio if it was captured off-camera (which it really should be).

If you can find out which version of FCP they are using, that will help. Drjimmy's advice still stands, but there are other options depending on 7 or X.
posted by shinynewnick at 8:24 PM on August 9, 2012

Yeah, I forgot to mention I have never used Final Cut X and hope to never use it, so my advice is FCP 7 oriented.
posted by drjimmy11 at 3:02 PM on August 10, 2012

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