Forbes by Anthony Wing Kosner
David Fincher?s latest film, ?Gone Girl,? opened at number one this weekend and earned $38 million. It was Fincher?s biggest opening weekend ever. It was also a veritable coming out party for the editing software his team used for the project, Adobe?s Premiere Pro CC. Film editors play a crucial supporting role in the filmmaking process. Fincher?s two-time Oscar-winning cutter, Kirk Baxter, is Oscar-worthy again.
Less visible, but crucially important, was the technology setup that enabled Fincher?s dedicated team to achieve the director?s vision. For ?Gone Girl,? Fincher?s production team worked with Adobe product managers and engineers to develop a system that could maximize creative freedom and minimize frustration. We don?t often think of it this way, but movies are exemplary big data problems. Making all of that data flow quickly is key to the tools enabling creative work rather than thwart it.
Each day of shooting produces terabytes of data that have to be organized and assessed before any creative work can be done with the footage. Once the data is in the pipeline, the editor has to be able to compare takes from each scene and roughly cut them together into sequences. These sequences are then passed to colorists and special effects people to make rough composites that the director will see as dailies. The director annotates the dailies and sends them back for refinement. And this process iterates over and over. Assistant editor and long-time collaborator, Tyler Nelson, has a quote from Fincher as his screen saver: ?Make it perfect and we?ll go from there. read more...