So you’ve maybe been in this situation before – you’re at a post facility, and you’re trying to move a file from one location to another on a server, and you’re prompted for a password. Or instead of moving the file, it copies when all you did was try to drag it from one location to another. Or you try to write to the file, but it won’t let you save your work. Sup with that? It’s user permissions, my friend. It’s really fun, you’re going to like it. Maybe you’ve never been in any of these situations and it doesn’t seem relevant right now. But trust me, for an assistant editor, this is a really useful thing to learn, and it will save your butt eventually.
What is Forscene?
Forscene is a utility used by unscripted entertainment and documentaries, where there’s an edit producer who wants to do some kind of cutdown, but either doesn’t know Avid, production has decided they don’t want to rent another editing suite for the EP, or due to location it is not feasible to have an editing machine.
Forscene has the advantage of being much more user-friendly than Avid or other traditional NLEs. Its footage is stored on the cloud, which means that EPs can work from anywhere.
The Forscene machine is connected to one of the editing terminals, and then it is instructed to watch a specific folder that the media will be ingested to. It then transcodes the files locally and uploads them to the cloud, preserving original clip names and timecode. The EP can then rough out a sequence or pull selects and then export the sequence back into the NLE for the editor. The Forscene editing program is browser-based with minimal system requirements, and can be used anywhere a reliable internet connection is available. It is therefore well suited to remote work.
In freelance life you’re constantly learning new workflows, new equipment – and it can take a few moments to get used to everything. I like my mouse scroll set up fast. I like some Gestures and not others. I used to fix these things one by one, and then I made a list of all my favourite settings, so whenever I start on a new show I switch everything over at once! It only takes a few minutes.
There are two fundamental ways to bring media into Avid, and which one you should use depends on which program you intend to finish in. If you’re finishing in Avid or Baselight via Avid, then the AMA workflow is recommended, as it ensures you get a good relink and don’t lose any metadata. If you’re intending to finish anywhere else, then using a third party program is recommended, as it’s generally a faster and more reliable transcode than doing it in Avid, does not interfere with the relink (when properly executed), does not take over your system so you can continue to work in Avid while transcoding, and of course allows better options for doing dailies colour correction.
This workflow will use Black Magic’s amazing DaVinci Resolve to create master clips that are brought directly into Avid without consolidating or transcoding. This workflow was used in Resolve 12.5 and Avid 8.6 in OS X Yosemite, however I expect it to be stable in the current Resolve 14 and Avid 8.9 as well, in either OS X or Windows.
These programs fit on a USB stick to carry to every job. You never know when it’s going to come in handy, and you might not have a reliable internet connection, so it’s best to be prepared.