zodiac on showreel and the conform

This article in Showreel describes the technical workflow of the movie I worked on in the last months.
Since it was written a couple of months ago it is missing the online part: The movie actually gets assembled via a perlscript and a database: It reads the Final Cut XML. Asks the operator to load the camera negative LTO3 tapes into the tape robots that it needs. Loads those via all available tape drives and assembles the frames to one stream of dpx files. It takes about 20 hours to assemble a reel for the first time. But it can do unsupervised once the tape robot has the tapes it needs. Changes are faster of course. Only the missing material will be loaded. Doing the actual conform from the disk takes less than 2 minutes. For the last weeks I was watching split screens of on- and offline. Seing all cut’s line up was a very very pleasant thing. I handled terrabytes of data before. Those are worth something as well. But a 85 million dollar movie is a different story. Finding all frames where they should be was a big relief: I never trust anything or anybody. Especially my own code is highly suspioius to me. This paranoia got me my first gray har on this movie. But maybe it was also the reason why the ghost of the digital-movie-disaster landed on another movie, not “Zodiac”. Whatever it was, it worked, and that makes me very happy. Having finished on schedule: Priceless.

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