Solutions

Footage File Relies on FileMaker Pro To Get to the Right Clip

Footage File

Over the years, technology has played an increasing role in video production and post production. Technology has done an exceptional job in meeting viewer demand for thrilling action, state–of–the–art graphics and visually stimulating scenes. However, some of the filmmaking techniques still being used are quite archaic. One of those antiquated techniques is the way scenes and sound bytes are catalogued. Wagner Worldwide is an independent consulting company that offers post production services to television and movie companies. Their Footage File solutions are used by production companies to find the 'perfect' video footage and sound bytes for a given production. Footage File's success is dependent upon immediate access to every scene and sound byte available for each project.

Overview

  • Footage File Relies on FileMaker Pro To Get to the Right Clip

Industry

  • Creative Services
  • Entertainment

Business Challenge

Smith–Hemion Productions is currently using Footage File to produce 'The American Film Institute's 100 Years, 100 Movies, America's Greatest Movies,' which will air on CBS in June. The production will include scenes and sound bytes from the top 100 movies of this century.

Post production supervisor Robb Wagner found that it was becoming increasingly difficult to keep track of sound bytes and video clips that might be used in future productions. Massive amounts of time and money were being wasted in the effort to find just the right footage or sound bytes to be included in a project. This process not only wasted a producer's valuable time and money, but often times, the 'perfect' clip or byte was left out because it was either lost or too difficult to find.

Successful Solution

Wagner has been a post production supervisor for television shows and studios for more than 12 years. For the past five years he has used FileMaker Pro to log tens–of–thousands of movie and television scenes and sound bytes for various projects. Each entry is logged with, descriptions, keywords and time code. For example, when he is looking for a scene in which someone says, 'You are under arrest,' he can type in the phrase and FileMaker Pro will find, from the thousands of logged clips, the tape and exact locations on each tape where the clips are located.

'FileMaker Pro saves my clients enormous amounts of time and money and facilitates their creativity. It shows them all of the editing options,' said Wagner. 'This solution makes me very popular with my clients. Producers spend a lot of money to shoot and acquire footage. They know the best editorial decisions are made because Footage File and FileMaker Pro show them all of their choices.'

It takes me five minutes or less from the time a scene is thought of, to find it using FileMaker Pro and edit it into the show. That compares to the hours or even days it used to take prior to using FileMaker.

— Robb Wagner, Footage File

This same thing can be accomplished with logging software found in editing computers, however, due to limited storage capabilities, Wagner would only be able to have access to a very limited number of clips and sound bytes at any one time.

Prior to using FileMaker, Wagner would have a scene in mind, which he needed (e.g., a house burning down), and would assign several people the task of reviewing stacks of videotapes to look for potential editing options. With Footage File, each tape has to be logged only once and then a simple keyword search lie 'house on fire' will bring up all of the available choices.

'It takes me five minutes or less from the time a scene is thought of, to find it using FileMaker Pro and edit it into the show. That compares to the hours or even days it used to take prior to using FileMaker,' said Wagner.

Customer Benefits

In addition, FileMaker Pro has enabled Wagner to make information available over a network or intranet, which allows co–workers to update and add to the database of clips. This system prevents bottlenecks and allows for notes to be written as to why or why not a scene or sound byte was used. Wagner also uses the database to track the status of a clip inserted into the final project by noting whether copyright approval has been given, if and what the clip will cost to use, etc.

In his current project for the American Film Institute, Wagner's Footage File has catalogued more than 6,000 movie scenes and 5,000 interview sound bytes from nearly 1,000 videotapes. Every scene from each of the 100 movies and 50 interviews involved with this project is logged and stored in FileMaker Pro. Contact information

For FileMaker:

Kevin Mallon
Public Relations Manager
FileMaker Inc.
408-987-7227
kevin_mallon@filemaker.com
http://www.filemaker.com

For Robb Wagner:

Robb Wagner
213-663-0464