The Mentoring Room - Ask the Working Pros

Mentoring Room

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This is a Public Topic geared towards first-time filmmakers. Professional members of The D-Word will come by and answer your questions about documentary filmmaking.

Monica Williams
Pro

I'm getting ready to buy my first Mac. Some have told me that a macbook will suffice for what I want to do, which is basically to gather and store footage and images for my editor and eventually work on a rough-cut for him. Others say that I should invest in a macbook pro. Since I'm not the editor, would anyone like to weigh in on why I might need a pro in the future?

Thanks!

Wolfgang Achtner
Pro

Chris,

Thanks. I wasn't sure how the hide feature works. What do you do? Just click Hidden section?

Joe Moulins
Pro

The basic Macbook works fine as a FCP machine if you're working with DV and/or HDV material. I have a first generation Macbook set up with an external keyboard and trackpad, and a 24 inch Dell monitor. It's much faster than a 3 year old G5 workstation, and feels very close to the Mac Pro for most functions.

But Motion won't run on it, and it doesn't have a card slot or Firewire 800 so expansion possibilities are somewhat limited.

Christopher Wong
Pro

what doug said, wolfgang. clicking "add hidden section" will open up a new text box for you – everything that goes in it will be hidden. everything in the normal text box will still be visible to all.

Matt Dubuque
Pro

In reply to Doug Block's post on Tue 29 Jan 2008 :

Thanks Doug... I'll check out the Grapes of Wrath again (great flick!) and I've added Sullivan's Travels to my Netflix queue.

Your mention of Grapes of Wrath reminds me once again of

this "recurring image" theme I find so fascinating.

As I start to immerse myself in the Soviet montage school (which heavily influenced James Longley) I'm intruiged by how they focus on the EDIT and the juxtaposition of two scenes rather than just American and continental narratives with their focus on the SINGLE scene and its Mise-en-Scene.

For example, I've previously mentioned the possible role of the recurring butterfly in Goodman's Stone Reader and the group walking in the field in Bunuel's Discreet Charm, cross edited into that film.

The book Grapes of Wrath actually alternates each chapter with an ongoing parable of a tortoise, walking in the sun, apparently unrelated to the plot line. Every other chapter returns to the tortoise....the movie, however, left that out.

And the Soviet montage director Vertov was really into juxtaposing different clips with a single scene. I think there's a lot of potential there to allow people to infer new creative contexts to my message.

Looks like I'm heading down to southern Mexico this year to film some exotic bird life to use for this purpose... should be very interesting... I think the end result will be both cool and thought provoking, judiciously applied of course.

Matt Dubuque
Pro

In reply to Erica Ginsberg's post on Wed 30 Jan 2008 :

Darla, I've seen The Plow that Broke the Plains, but I have yet to see what is generally regarded as his greatest work, The River. Now I will, thanks to you!

Thanks for the link!

this "recurring image" theme I find so fascinating.

As I start to immerse myself in the Soviet montage school (which heavily influenced James Longley) I'm intruiged by how they focus on the EDIT and the juxtaposition of two scenes rather than just American and continental narratives with their focus on the SINGLE scene and its Mise-en-Scene.

For example, I've previously mentioned the possible role of the recurring butterfly in Goodman's Stone Reader and the group walking in the field in Bunuel's Discreet Charm, cross edited into that film.

The book Grapes of Wrath actually alternates each chapter with an ongoing parable of a tortoise, walking in the sun, apparently unrelated to the plot line. Every other chapter returns to the tortoise....the movie, however, left that out.

And the Soviet montage director Vertov was really into juxtaposing different clips with a single scene. I think there's a lot of potential there to allow people to infer new creative contexts to my message.

Looks like I'm heading down to southern Mexico this year to film some exotic bird life to use for this purpose... should be very interesting... I think the end result will be both cool and thought provoking, judiciously applied of course.

Wolfgang Achtner
Pro

Sorry about that guys,

since I actually don't like writing that much, I'd only intended to knock out two sentences re translations, then the keyboard just went on by itself....

Darla Bruno
Fan

Yes, well, I appreciate these explanations. I understand better now. Seems my dp would be the best translator, since his Italian is great and his English is excellent (and he gets the meaning of what these people – older people in a remote village often speaking in proverbs, etc...) are saying. But I don't know that I'm going to have him actually edit b/c after we finish shooting, I go back to NYC and he goes to Milan. I think it would be offensive to ask him to log/translate (obviously I'd pay him) but not edit . . . so I'm a little stuck. Well, not stuck. Just feeling in a bind. We're here for 10 more days and we've got a lot of good material (and information) already. I want to cut a trailer to enter into a grant/contest for April 1, so just wondering if I should cut our shoot like 4 days short and translate/log . . . edit . . . with him . . . (for the trailer, perhaps). I can still come home with all my footage and work with another editor down the road. This is only going to be about 20 hours of footage . . .

Christopher Wong
Pro

unless your DP is very unusual, he shouldn't object to doing the logging and translating with you (and not the edit). he might object to logging and translating in general, but he'll certainly understand that you need to edit this locally back in NYC.

one thing to keep in mind is that logging and translating almost 20 hours of footage (or even 10 hours) will take a LONG, LONG time. for every 1 hour of footage, i would estimate at least 4 hours to turn that footage into a transcribed, translated, timecoded document – and i believe that is a very conservative estimate.

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