Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Mistake I Will Never Make Again

For the past month I have been capturing footage for a demo that I have been making for my future employer, Forever Wild Outdoors. This company is an outdoor production company with a focus on hunting and fishing. There are currently 4 outdoor related networks on television today and for me to combine my passion and my career in one is a dream. Each network has a different price that it requires each show to pay in order to get on the air. For the top two channels, Versus (which is changing to the NBC Sports Network on January 2, 2012) and The Outdoor Channel, the fee is in upwards of $200,000. These are the top two channels and they have both converted to HD format this past year. The other two channels, The Sportsman's Channel and the Pursuit Channel, have significantly less expensive fees which range from $35,000 to $75,000 depending on the quarter your show airs.

I am creating this demo to send out to sponsors in order to obtain support from different companies, so that these upfront massive fees do not have to come straight out of pocket. Unfortunately I ran into a problem during capturing footage that I hope to never do again.

Everyone knows that when you are going to capture footage from MiniDV that you have to reset your scratch disks to the proper folder you are saving your final cut project file too. Unfortunately because I was in a hurry to get going yesterday I remembered this "day 1" fact half way through my capturing process. I then figured if I just grab the folders that Final Cut puts in each scratch disk folder from the place where it began saving and put it on my hard drive that this would allow the files to be online. However when I tried working on my home computer, they became offline.

I don't know if anyone has run into this problem, but I figured I would share what to do to fix this and save you some valuable time instead of recapturing everything. The main issue with the files being offline is that Final Cut was looking for the scratch disk folder was on the Park computers desktop that the first half of my files were saved too. Of course I didn't have this folder on my hard drive, only the folders inside of it. The first step you need to do is find the clips that were captured within the folders, and they are split up in the capture scratch folder and the audio capture folder. Once you find these files, the next step is to reconnect them. In your project bin, highlight the files that are offline and right click and select reconnect media. In the window that pops us select search and a window will pop up that allows you to find the spot where your files are.

Once in the folder where your video files are select the first one and press connect. This should reconnect the video portion of your files, but they will still appear offline inside of your project bin. This only means that the audio is offline. When you drag the video portion into the timeline the video will be fine to render and work with but not the audio. In order to get the audio online you do the same process as before only when you search for your files again you will find them in the audio capture scratch folder. Select the first one again and select reconnect and this should reconnect each clip you previously rendered fully.

This was a very confusing process, but the way Final Cut handles the saving of each project, I have now realized how beneficial it is. My advice for myself and anyone with this same problem, is to first off always reset your scratch disks, and secondly if you make this mistake to always know where each clip your are capturing is located in each scratch disk folder that way if anything like what happened to me ever happens, the process of reconnecting your files can be easier than recapturing everything all over again.

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