Why Design Your Workflow in Advance?

Final Cut Studio provides numerous tools for performing the many tasks that each program requires, along with features for integrating industry-standard, third-party applications into your post-production workflow. A bit of forethought will allow you to use these tools most efficiently and to their best advantage.

What are the advantages of careful attention to workflow design?

You’ll save money

Working out what you’ll need at each stage of post-production can help you control your post-production budget. As you can imagine, there are many ways of spending money during post-production, whether by renting equipment like video decks for high-end tape ingest, booking time at a facility to do film-to-tape transfers, or hiring talent to perform specialized tasks that are outside your domain of expertise. The workflows you choose have a big effect on how much money you’ll spend on these types of details. For example, something as simple as choosing an appropriate ingest strategy can save you money down the road. You can determine the format of video that would be most cost-effective to ingest based on how long it takes for different offline formats to be reconformed, the amount and type of disk storage that is available to you, what degree of finishing and what mastering elements your program requires, and the video decks to which you and any facility you’re working with have access. During post-production, nearly every choice you make has the potential to impact your budget.

You’ll save time

Being careful about your workflow also eliminates unnecessary steps. For example, if you determine that the duration of your program is such that you can fit all the necessary media on your available storage disks, and the acquisition format is easily handled by your system at online quality, you may elect to work right from the beginning at online quality. This simple decision eliminates the entire step of reconforming offline-quality media to online quality, which can be a significant time savings. However, if you determine that the online-quality media will be so processor- and space-intensive to work with that you’ll lose time during editing, it may make sense to go with an offline/online ingest strategy after all.

You can focus on being creative, rather than on fixing problems

Lastly, working out your post-production strategy in advance lets you avoid problems before they come up. For example, if you’re working with film that was telecined to video as an inexpensive “one-light” transfer, and you know in advance that you’ll be requesting specific sections of the video to be retransferred at “best-light” settings, you can request a telecine log file. You can then import the telecine log file into Final Cut Pro to automatically create a database of the film edge code–to–video timecode correspondences prior to editing, so that later it’s easy to export a pull list for the retransfer. Neglecting to do this in advance can result in additional steps and potential hassle down the road (time that you’d probably rather spend creating an innovative title sequence in Motion).