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Moving from Final Cut Pro 7 to FCPX on French TV series Lazy Company

Lazy company FCPX

10 part French TV series Lazy Company had a split life in post production. Seven episodes were cut on Final Cut Pro 7 and three were cut on Final Cut Pro X. We speak to editor Olivier Galliano who gladly took on the challenge of using FCPX.

We have said it before, the articles that get the highest hits on FCP.co are user stories and we have to thank everybody for sending in excellent examples of FCPX in action on real life jobs.

We got an interesting email from Olivier Galliano who was assistant editor on the low budget French TV series 'Lazy Company.'  When we say assistant, that was for the seven post produced on FCP7, Olivier took on the job of main editor for the remaining three which were cut on FCPX.

Let's start off with a trail for the shows to which Olivier very kindly added English subtitles for those people like us who didn't pay enough attention during French lessons at school.

 

We will let Olivier take up the story from here, bear in mind his English is far superior to our French! We have put the FCPX screengrabs in at full resolution so you can have a look at how the project was organised and edited by right clicking on the image and opening it in a new window. You can quite clearly see the range based keyworded clips in the Event Browser.

 

Lazy Company
 
Lazy Company is a low-cost 10 episode French TV Series, cut by four editors, including me. We decided to use FCP7 because Empreinte Digitale is a production company (also a post company) where we've used this Apple software from day one, almost 10 years now.
 
When we discussed about the series post production in March-April, Final Cut Pro X was at 10.0.4. I've been using it since 10.0.3 on the majority of my work including TV Shows, trailers, etc…  As I also took the job of Assistant Editor on the whole series (in addition to the task of cutting three episodes), I asked myself, could It be done with FCPX?
 
As an experiment and because we had Xto7 & X2Pro, it was totally possible, so my producers were kind enough to let me try. I knew that I could go back to FCP7 if anything wasn't working, but of course, nothing went wrong.
 
The Lazy Company was shot with two Red Scarlets in 4K over a period of five weeks in Tours (about 200km from Paris). We had 2 Fusion D400QR5 12TB (and another two for backup). Twice a week I received the Red Raw media on a Lacie 2TB drive. I backed this up and converted the media to 422 proxy at a 1/2 de-bayer with Red-Cine-X.
 
Lazy company FCPX 2
 
 
I had 5 weeks to sync about 1200 shots (Thankfully I got help from a good and hard working editor trainee), and to prepare it for all editors and their different habits. I prepped Episodes 3, 7 & 8 in FCPX. Choosing organizing methods wasn't easy when you have so few experiences with the software.
 
Lazy-screen-FCPX-2
 
 
The first task was to find the right roles for everything. Then I essentially used compound clips to sync & rename footage with all different audio tracks from different mics. On the first syncing batch, I had to do it three times because I wasn't happy with my choices. 
 
I didn't use multicam because at this time Xto7 didn't handle the media perfectly. I organized all the clips with keyword & smart collections. I also used keywords to sort all footage by dialog, with a number keyword that refers to the script. It was a method from one of the other editors so we all decided to follow that lead. It was then easy for the director to have some continuity in methods between all the four editors. I had also done a little trailer (we didn't do dailies) with no sound but with music for the shooting team in middle of the production, done with FCPX with the help of 7toX to get all shots synced in FCP7.
 
Lazy-screen-FCPX-1
 
 
 
The editing machine was a 2x2.4 GHz Quad-Core Mac Pro with an internal HDD with 12 Gb of RAM, ATI Radeon HD5770 and Blackmagic Studio.
 
Lazy FCPX Edit Rig
 
 
The cutting was the best part of it. We had about 7 days to cut each episode and I cut each sequence into its own timeline. It began to be a bit hard for the computer when I assembled the 20 minute timeline with effects and music, but globally it worked like a charm.
 
I regret I didn't have the 10.0.6 update with the new compound clip functionality, it would be easier. Auditioning a clip was very useful too. The technical part of the cutting was really fast so I had time to think about the main story with the Director and do the assistant job alongside. 
 
At the end, I broke apart every compound clip and did an export with X2Pro for the sound team. I think the dialog editor was happy with all the different mics sorted by role in his Pro Tools sessions. That was a lot of time saved for him. I also exported XML for color grading on DaVinci Resolve. Everything went smoothly, no huge problems at all. The finishing and export were done in FCP7 to harmonize titles & everything. There wasn't enough time to try this in FCPX, but for next season I'll consider it.
 
Lazy-screen-FCPX-3
 
 
So the "experiment" were a huge success, it was a really a great experience. It was so fun and efficient that each time I have to go back to FCP7, it is very painful. Now I'm trying to convert all my fellow colleague editors to FCPX. I'm also looking forward to updating my organizing & cutting methods in FCPX for the next season of the series. I hope to use FCPX on more this time, maybe for finishing too. 
 
 
Many thanks to Olivier for sharing his story with us. If you woud like to tell the FCPX community about your production, please get in contact.

 


Written by
Top BloggerThought Leader

I am the Editor-in-Chief of FCP.co and have run the website since its inception ten years ago.

I have also worked as a broadcast and corporate editor for over 30 years, starting on one inch tape, working through many formats, right up to today's NLEs.

Under the name Idustrial Revolution, I have written and sold plugins for Final Cut Pro for 13 years.

I was made a Freeman of Lichfield through The Worshipful Company of Smiths (established 1601). Though I haven't yet tried to herd a flock of sheep through the city centre!

Current Editing

great house giveaway 2020

2020 has been busy, the beginning of the year was finishing off a new property series (cut on FCP) for Channel 4 called The Great House Giveaway. I also designed and built the majority of the graphics as Motion templates. It has been a great success and the shows grabbed more viewers in the 4pm weekday slot than any previous strand. It has been recommissioned by C4 for 60 episodes, including prime-time versions and five themed programmes. The shows have also been nominated for a 2021 BAFTA.

Tour de france 2020
Although both were postponed to later in the year, I worked again on ITV's coverage of the Tour de France and La Vuelta. 2020 was my 25th year of editing the TdF and my 20th year as lead editor. The Tour was the first broadcast show to adopt FCPX working for multiple editors on shared storage.

 

BBC snooker the crucible

BBC's Snooker has played a big part in my life, I've been editing tournament coverage since 1997. I'm proud to be part of a very creative team that has pioneered many new ideas and workflows that are now industry standard in sports' production. This is currently an Adobe Premiere edit.

amazon kindle BF

Covid cancelled some of the regular corporate events that I edit such as trade shows & events. I was lucky however to edit, from home, on projects for Amazon Kindle, Amazon Black Friday, Mastercard and very proud to have helped local charitable trust Kendall & Wall secure lottery funding.

As for software, my weapon of choice is Final Cut Pro and Motion, but I also have a good knowledge and broadcast credits with Adobe Premiere Pro, MOGRT design and Photoshop.

Plugin Design & Development

I'm the creative force behind Idustrial Revolution, one of the oldest Final Cut Pro plugin developers. It hosts a range of commercial and free plugins on the site. One free plugin was downloaded over a thousand times within 24 hours of release.

I also take on custom work, whether it is adapting an existing plugin for a special use or designing new plugins for clients from scratch. Having a good knowledge of editing allows me to build-in flexibility and more importantly, usability.

FCP.co

Now in its 10th year and 4th redesign, running FCP.co has given me knowledge on how to run a large CMS- you are currently reading my bio from the database! Although it sounds corny, I am pretty well up on social media trends & techniques, especially in the video sector. The recent Covid restrictions has enabled live FCP.co shows online. This involves managing a Zoom Webinar through Restream.io to YouTube and Facebook. 

The Future

I'm always open to new ideas and opportunities, so please get in touch at editor (at) fcp.co. I've judged film competitions, presented workflow techniques to international audiences and come up with ideas for TV shows and software programs!

 

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