Fridthjof Film Prefers Editing on a Mac with FCP and AJA's Kona SD By Toke Rude Trangbæk, Post-production Coordinator

January 1, 2001

Fridthjof Film was started in 2000 - just as Final Cut Pro emerged for the professional editing industry. We are a 100% Apple facility specializing in not only editing on Macs with Final Cut Pro, but also selling and supporting Final Cut Pro systems. We are also a reseller of Shake, Apple, Panasonic, and AJA, so we have plenty of opportunity to try different systems and see what we really like to use.

Our main business, though, is the creative part – editing and post-production. We work on commercials, film, music videos, corporate work, and feature film DVD productions. Currently, we have 10 employees, 8 of whom are involved in the editing/post production process - and we are quickly adding more.

Much of our work is television commercials that have short timelines in which to film and edit. When Kona SD was first released, we were working on three commercials for SEAS – set editing with a lot of green screen effects. We wanted to have instant access to the takes so that the producer could be happy with the result before moving on to the next take. Ever since, we've found it to be very convenient to take a Power Mac loaded with FCP and Kona SD, a monitor, and a FireWire 800 Raid with us onto the set. We can capture live - and have instant access to the takes - and right there on set, go through the takes and make sure we are happy with the result before moving on to the next take. Not only has this setup been working extremely well for us, but, most importantly, the producer, graphic artists and so on love it.

Lately, we've been working on a huge project of 40 new commercials for "Super Brugsen" (a big supermarket chain in Denmark). The benefits of using a Mac with Kona SD and FCP are obvious. We have had to do a lot of special effects, including green screen. I can instantly pull a key and see if the take matches the 3D background or whatever is being placed behind it. Minimal time is taken to check the match or make a correction, and I can continue working without slowing down the production.

The absence of having to wait – whether for rendering or for a producer's approval or comments – has increased the creativity that takes place during post production. When a color correction is made, or a transition added, you can instantly see how it looks and if it will work. If it is good, you keep going, maintaining the momentum of our creativity. If it needs an adjustment, you can make it quickly and easily, modifying the color or the type of transition, and instantly see the change. It used to be that we would make a change, then send it to the producer for his review and hope to have an answer the next day. No more when we edit-on-the-set.

The good thing about working with the Kona card is that it's all in the computer – we just grab a PowerMac and are on the go! And, with the new fast FireWire 800, we can capture directly to FireWire disks and transfer to a RAID back at the studio. Another good thing we've found using the Kona card is increased speed. When we hit "capture" now in Final Cut Pro, we instantly begin the recording, unlike systems we have used previously.

Besides on-the-set editing, we use the Kona card with Shake and Combustion for compositing work back in the studio. The benefit of the Kona card in this setup is the live preview of your compositing work on a broadcast monitor – it's a real time view of the graphics on our desktop with full graphics resolution. The Kona card is currently the only solution when it comes to this functionality in Shake.

We have found that this proven solution for desktop editing is a tremendous money saver and creative tool for our post-production needs. Fridthjof Film has had increased flexibility that has enabled us to do a greater variety of projects in a shorter amount of time, and increased our company size. For further information about AJA Video Systems, please see their website at www.aja.com. For further information about Fridthjof Film, please see their website at www.f-film. com or contact Toke Trangbæk at toke@f-film.com.
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