Media Composer Keeps Editing in The ‘Community’

TV Technology by Jake Aust

Recently renewed by NBC for a fourth season, the hit comedy “Community,” has once again validated our concept of keeping editing and production largely in-house. This show is so creative and pushes the envelope in new ways almost every week. We’re extremely fortunate to have the bandwidth, talent, and tools right here to make it happen.

We shoot the series with multiple ARRI Alexas and record to XDCAM in the HD422 format at 50 Mbps. We then ingest content into a file-based workflow, and as we’re working with Media Composer 5.5, nothing further has to be done to the file. There’s no transcoding—it’s just unwrapped and goes right into the Media Composer environment. And as XDCAM is a “persistent media,” we don’t have to juggle SxS cards and spend time constantly backing up media.

This approach gives us several primary advantages to the traditional offline/online setup. First, as we’re pulling files directly from the XDCAM discs, we don’t need any processing of dailies by a lab—our night assistant editors can handle everything. And the process is fast; we can ingest an average of 10 hours of footage to our 32 TB Isis 5000 server in just a couple of hours, as the import speed is about two-and-a-half times faster than real time. If this were a real-time ingest, we’d barely get all of the footage ingested overnight. read more...

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