An Introduction to Cinema Tools Databases

A Cinema Tools database contains records that:

You generally create a database for each film or video project. Alternatively, you can create databases for sections of your project and later merge them all into one large database.

When you work on film projects, the database makes it possible for you to export film lists that tell the negative cutter how to cut your original camera negative. When you work on projects using a digital intermediate workflow, the database makes it easier to manage your original full-resolution media.

Beyond creating film lists, you may want to use the database as an organizational tool. It can function similarly to the code book traditionally used in the post-production of film, tracking important elements such as the scene, shot, and take; the camera and lab rolls; the edge code numbers; the video reels and timecode numbers; the sound rolls and audio timecode numbers; and the source clips.

Depending on your situation, you may be able to simplify the database creation process by building the database from a telecine log or by creating just one database record per camera roll.

Understanding the Basic Structure of a Cinema Tools Database

A database is made up of records, and each record describes one source clip. There are three different types of source clips for which you might create a database record:

  • If you used a scene-and-take transfer: You’ll have one database record for each take, where each source clip is one take.
    Figure. Diagram showing a database record that corresponds to a source clip containing one take.
  • If you used a camera-roll telecine transfer: You’ll have one database record per camera roll, where each source clip is one camera roll (typically containing several takes).
    Figure. Diagram showing a database record that corresponds to a source clip containing one camera roll.
  • If you have broken down source clips into groups of takes: Each database record is associated with one source clip that contains several takes.
    Figure. Diagram showing a database record that corresponds to a source clip containing multiple takes.