• Jay

Avid, Premiere, Cineform, Doc Workflow


As I’ve been working on my new feature doc “Unheralded” (web site coming soon). I’ve been struggling with edit technology. 90% of this film is going to be cut on my MacBook Pro at home. Since I’m using Cineform master files, they don’t play back nicely enough on my MBP in Premiere to edit (Adobe’s fault)- they’re fine on my octomac at the studio though. I needed a proxy.

I decided to use this opportunity to learn myself Avid. I picked up a copy of Media Composer for the Non-Profit price of $295 and started importing my Cineform masters (about 25 or so hours of HD). A side benefit to editing with DNxHD 36 proxies is that the files are small enough I can fit my entire project on one set of 500GB drives at RAID 0 on my CalDigit VR Mini. So now my entire editing setup includes one 17″ MBP, power supply and my VR Mini via FW400 (also doubles as the VR Mini’s power supply). Pretty sweet.

Now, Cineform is coming out with a Mac importer for CS4 that will greatly enhance the Premiere/Cineform editing experience. You FCP guys already have decent goods on that (see here and here).

Now boys, play nice!

As far as playing nicely together, Premiere to Avid via EDL works great. Just make sure you don’t use subclips from your Pr sequence. And I spent the rest of my allotted 2 week demo playing around with importing my Avid AAF’s and EDLs into Premiere and relinking to my Cineform masters which I’ll be doing for final color and mastering- I hopefully have an American in Bangkok to work on my VFX and titling using Cinema 4D and Motion. More on that later.

So don’t overlook Premiere as a solid go-between for Avid and After Effects or FCP and After Effects. Adobe’s Dynamic Link makes even the smaller stuff that much easier to work with sans rendering or outputting of more files. You can find out more about that here. Incidentally, my workflow is somewhat backed up by what the guys did on Avatar. (Watch the second vid clip under “making of” here).

New Year’s Workflow

2010 for the blog will have me talking a lot more about the production of Unheralded and continued discussion of non-profit media. I’m looking forward to it!

I’ve got another large teaching resource, a series of promotional web videos (hopefully shot with a VDSLR), and other random work for the non-profit this year, I’m heading to the middle east in May-ish for a pre-production trip on the next documentary and look out for some more workflow goodness with the Cinedeck, Cineform and Avid and Premiere.


©2019 by Jay Friesen.

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