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Electronic sound reports


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Movie Slate is a really, really slick application. Over the past five years, I've seen my end of the business go from 100% paper reports to 100% PDF email sound reports. In some cases, those have been invaluable to the post team, particularly when they have to hunt for wild lines, room tone, and so on. Even better when it has detailed notes like "plane noise," "NG," "jackhammer 5 feet from actor," and so on.

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My reports HAVE to be electrono, and have for years.  And they have to have TC starts on them, which, as I recall, was a major pain in the ass when I was doing hand written reports.  The TC starts and the filenames are must have show-stoppers now: the posties are really counting on having them.  

p

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Well It's been 4 episodes now that I've been using Movie Slate and am very impressed with the program and how user friendly it is. I have one question. Lets say scene 1 has 8 takes and in the heat of the moment I have rolled on the recorder but forgot to hit "Log the Shot" in Movie Slate. Now we have done 6 takes on scene 2. Can I go back and insert a take to scene 1 without relabelling the first 6 takes of scene 2? I can enter the take into the shot log with the correct meta data but it does not let me drop the take into scene 1 to make the shot log in order and correct.

 This is really great in the studio but how have people found it outside in sub zero temps using the iPad? I imagine it's like trying to use your iPhone with gloves on, impossible.

Bill

 

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This topic made me look into when I first used metadata to generate electronic sound reports and for me it was Sept of 2005. I was using the Cantar which was definitely ahead of it's time in that regard and the folks at Aaton seemed to grasp this. They made use of bluetooth for input and the metadata in the audio files to make sound reports. At the time I had a Palm pilot kind of rig and at the end of the day printed it out. That early but kludgy version used to take about 4 minutes for me.

Many versions and mutations have happened since then but post has always been appreciative of an organized, together report that's easily distributed and has more data than I could ever have put in a paper report.

These days I use Pixnet via my laptop or a small wireless keyboard to input characters to the metadata. Wave Agent reads the metadata and generates a report that goes on the CF card that I am reading the files from. I output to a printed version (Canon ip90) happens in less than a minute after we wrap. Easy, fast, looks great, uses the info that are from the audio files, and goes wherever I want it to quickly. 

I put up all our sound reports on a folder in dropbox so post can go there before they bother me during my off hours as we tend to be on very different schedules.

While I want to see the value of Movie Slate it seems there's a big gap in that the data one inputs never gets embedded into the metadata of the actual file. I'll buy in when that happens. Yes it looks great but double entering info twice to make a pretty report seems goofy and I do think it's more important to have the metadata used than to have a report file appendage that gets lost in the file shuffle of life. Say if one were to have a report that didn't accurately reflect the what was recorded, i.e. track not armed but shown on a sound report. This would only make things more murky as far as I can see when trying to deduce what is there and what isn't.

Another aspect of the electronic sound reports is how many of us can pull up sound reports from 10 years ago in under a minute?  It can be a good thing to be able to do at times.

 

Scott Harber

 

 

Edited by S Harber
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Yep I use the 10 comments in my SD644 or add comment using a blue tooth keyboard I use BWF Widget Pro for the sound log I have an Excel template for track and ISO usage All on computer added to rushes delivery No soggy paper or pens in the wet mike

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I like File Maker Pro and have a custom made template which fits in with a script supervisor data base designed by the same person. The great thing about this is that a clever boffin at Park Road Post designed a program to run with Pro Tools so that a search on the FMP sound log would find the sound on the Pro Tools Project , of course thats a detailed and specific workflow that not everyone is going to need or want but is great for large projects with a marge amount of Data It can be saved as a PDF and that looks good too. On an iPad you can run File Maker Go App which costs a fraction of the price of FMP and is a smart looking sound report and infinitely customisable ., mm is that a word?

TJ

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On my current show I use three different recording rigs and two of my recorders have built-in sound report generating functions.  On the third I still do paper reports.  In my experience and from conversations and discussions with many different dialogue editors and post folks, no matter how meticulously we fill them out or deliver them, sound reports rarely get used in feature and episodic workflow, beyond production and telecine noting what was delivered and telecine using them to verify any discrepancies of what takes are on a given roll.  For post, they're usually working off a conformed cut, and there's no efficient cross reference in place (that I know of) being employed to access reports and notes or track assignments from daily rolls.  I can't tell you how many times over the years people have come back to me with questions about something, whether it be the telecine lab or post during conversations, and I pointed out that the answer to their query was noted and dutifully explained in the sound report, followed by ponderous silence.   Unfortunately, sound reports seem like a relic from the previous model that desperately need an upgrade in production/post workflow to be able to be used efficiently by those folks.  I completely understand nobody wants to cross-reference info from the EDL and dig through a bunch of production sound rolls and files or paperwork and spend all that time just to see if we'd delivered a note.  (And as one dialogue editor humorously told me once, "When you guys put, 'AIRPLANE NG', I'm like, 'I KNOW'").  Given that the upgrade hasn't happened yet, my response has been to keep their creation and delivery as simple as possible, given the extreme likelihood that they will not be used for much beyond a list of what exists on what sound roll during initial transfers.  In theory it'd be great for post to be able to access track lists and notes with a quick click, but in practice (even though this probably should exist at least in metadata) it never seems to.  My .02

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I have been told time and time again that sound reports are rarely ever seen.

But when they are, notes pointing to an off camera line used as a "wild" line for something not good on camera, or showing where a few seconds of clean ambiance can be extracted, or noting what B1 and B2 are doing, etc., are useful. I don't note noises (they can here them too), as it just clogs reports. It could in theory make them not waste time listening to a bad take for a dialog edit source, but to each their own. 

I also note issues like wide/tight, bad location noises, bad directorial decisions, etc., so just in case they are thinking "This guy's an idiot" when they only have the picture edit to refere to, they might perhaps look to see why. We can dream. 

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If there are script notes, yes, the sound reports, in whatever form they are in, may not be used.  But, pity the poor anonymous assistant somewhere deep in the post process who is trying to recover from some data-fart, or is searching for something specific and is faced with a mountain of files names by scene/take or segment #--a report that they find in that sound folder may save them a lot of trouble.  Their silent gratitude will improve your karma.  And then there are the innumerable jobs where there is no scriptie, no script at all, really;  and the location soundie is the only person on-set thinking for the posties.  Then your report is the only report, and I find them VERY gratefully received in those situations.  Better yet--as was said above-- NOTES in the file's own metadata with report info--can't get lost until hosed-up by an NLE!

p

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This topic made me look into when I first used metadata to generate electronic sound reports and for me it was Sept of 2005. I was using the Cantar which was definitely ahead of it's time in that regard and the folks at Aaton seemed to grasp this. They made use of bluetooth for input and the metadata in the audio files to make sound reports. At the time I had a Palm pilot kind of rig and at the end of the day printed it out. That early but kludgy version used to take about 4 minutes for me. 

While I want to see the value of Movie Slate it seems there's a big gap in that the data one inputs never gets embedded into the metadata of the actual file. I'll buy in when that happens. Yes it looks great but double entering info twice to make a pretty report seems goofy and I do think it's more important to have the metadata used than to have a report file appendage that gets lost in the file shuffle of life. Say if one were to have a report that didn't accurately reflect the what was recorded, i.e. track not armed but shown on a sound report. This would only make things more murky as far as I can see when trying to deduce what is there and what isn't.

Another aspect of the electronic sound reports is how many of us can pull up sound reports from 10 years ago in under a minute?  It can be a good thing to be able to do at times.

 

Scott Harber

 

 

while the new versions of arcan (or whatever aaton is going to call it) are still in the works,  I use windows mobile device "athena" by htc,  to keep using the original one.  making changes and notes at the metadata level are the big seller.  if my .pdf notes are lost,  the notes I made are all in the metadata,  for someone else to resurrect.  the "athena" has a small fold out keyboard that is handy to tap out the notes (200 character max).  arcan allows me to make changes on any file that I recorded throughout the day.  handy for the hand-wringing approach by script,  to change a slate,  that was shot hours ago....

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I have done exactly the same thing as you, several times, where I have forgotten to log one take and we're well into the next scene. I haven't found a way to correct this other than going back and re-labeling as you suggest. 

I've had to fix my errors like this a few times, too. The best way i've found is to create another take, for example "Scene 6 Take 7" and log it. it will appear at the bottom of the existing take because they appear in the order that they were logged. To get that take in the proper order (after Scene 6 Take 6) you have to notice what the time of day was for Take 6 and the next logged take, then edit the time of day for Take 7 to be between those two takes. If you use the timecode logging feature, the timecode code be edited with the same affect, but I don't use the timecode feature.

 Once you no how to do it, it is much faster to do than to write this.

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Just fired 'er up to check. Attached screen shot shows highlighted "clone" of take 4 that I've changed to read take 5. Proofed the pdf sound report and it appears where expected. You "clone" by highlighting the previous shot in "history" then tap the little slate-looking image upper rightish next to "search box". Choose "clone this shot". Dunno how to  get rid of the "New Shot (date / time)" that is in place of the "slate" number but... 

My sort options are Sroll, Slate, Scene, Take (in that order).

IMG_0169.PNG

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Jan:

 cloning is not the issue, and again thanks for that tip. Using your example lets say you dont realize that you have failed to log a shot until you are on 21F. Its the file numbers that need to be changed in order to match the files on your recorder. If there was a way that they updated with the clone that would be great. Beacause on your clone of 21B you now have two 1051 file# so if you were on 21F you would now have to go back and change all the file# to match.

Bill

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Has any one tried using Movie Slate version 7.9 with IOS 9? 

IOS 9 requires upgrading to Movie Slate 8

Previously purchased  upgrades (Sound Dept & Time Code) are now based on a subscription plan, $9.99/mo.  The subscription plan includes all the Movie Slate upgrades and the data backup plan.  Previously, i believe, only the data backup subscription was included in the 9.99.  If you previously used the data plan then the new system is a wash.  As a professional subscription it is a tax write-off.

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IOS 9 requires upgrading to Movie Slate 8

Previously purchased  upgrades (Sound Dept & Time Code) are now based on a subscription plan, $9.99/mo.  The subscription plan includes all the Movie Slate upgrades and the data backup plan.  Previously, i believe, only the data backup subscription was included in the 9.99.  If you previously used the data plan then the new system is a wash.  As a professional subscription it is a tax write-off.

Are you fucking kidding me?!

$10/month? For sound reports? How is that a subscription service?

I really like movie slate and I run it on an iPad mini that is dedicated to the sound cart. I guess I won't upgrade the iPad or the app anymore. Ridiculous. 

 

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