Latest post Thu, May 4 2023 1:32 PM by Pat Horridge. 5 replies.
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  • Wed, May 3 2023 1:25 PM

    A roundtrip tech puzzle to solve

    Hello everyone, I'm faced with a pretty unique tech problem on a project I'm going to work on in the coming months.

    It's a doc in which the interviewed subjects must remain anonymous. Due to that limitation the director and I are forced to work in a completely isolated spot.
    The theory is no footage can leave the place where we're working.
    This has large implications on our comfort but also on our capacity to exchange with other key members of the team (vfx team, the composer, archivists and so on...).

    The plan is to have people access that "isolated" location once editing is done, meaning we will do vfx, sound editing and mixing, color grading at this secluded spot.
    The director and I are very sceptical of this plan, we believe that projects never work this way in real life, there's always a back and forth.

    What we're proposing to everyone involved is to make a large selection of raw footage, completely anonymizing it (picture and sound). Take that footage with us, editing it freely with contributions from all of the team, and going back to the secluded place reconnect to the original footage and finish there.
    We're on Avid 2020.10, and we can't find a way to export anonymized proxies and reconnect them once a large part of the edit is done to the non-anonymized originals which will stay on site.
    Our tech team is telling us that unless we're reconnecting everything by hand it's not possible because as soon as the footage is modified it's separated from the original clips.
    I'm sure there's a way to do it less painfully but i can't find it, so i'm calling for help from the hivemind.

  • Thu, May 4 2023 12:50 AM In reply to

    • jef
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    Re: A roundtrip tech puzzle to solve

    My first thought would be to use Resolve to make "dailies" where you do your anonymizing.  The workflow for making Resolve dailies for Avid is pretty well documented and reliable. 


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  • Thu, May 4 2023 12:51 AM In reply to

    • smrpix
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    Re: A roundtrip tech puzzle to solve

    Make your anonymized footage high enough quality to match your camera originals, lock up the originals and used the anonymized version as your sources for the rest of the project.  No need to go back.


    That said, as long as you have the filename and timecode you can almost always link back.

  • Thu, May 4 2023 1:36 AM In reply to

    Re: A roundtrip tech puzzle to solve

    Hu, Can I ask some questions? 

    What's the nature of the shoots? Is it one-camera per Interview (?) only, or multi-camera?

    Just to be clear- when you "anonymize " is that going to involve digitally blurring or masking faces or something else? Re: sound, are you running it through a harmonizer-type processor to treat voices or will you be completely replacing voices with substitutes? Would your anonymized footage be considered just a temp process only? Who is doing what with these top-secret proxies? Is it just to securely share a screener and a sense of how the doc/story is progressing? 






  • Thu, May 4 2023 6:58 AM In reply to

    Re: A roundtrip tech puzzle to solve

    It's a 2 cameras shoot, the subjects are already blurred in camera but we have to add a mask on top digitally. Sound will be modified as well, not replaced.

    The process is considered temporary because getting it to a final quality where everybody will be happy with it is probably going to take some time. We need to try multiple type of masking/pitching where we met the security standard while still having something nice to look at. We're expecting to have a lot of back and forth with a lot of people when we reach that point.
    At the moment only the director, my assistant and I are supposed to have access to the proxies only at the isolated location. So yes, it's to be able to share screeners with the rest of the team and also the producers/money people without them having to come to us.

  • Thu, May 4 2023 1:32 PM In reply to

    Re: A roundtrip tech puzzle to solve

    My thoughts:


    The work to blur/digitally obscure all the source footage and digitally process the sound is a massive task and would likley only end up with low quality results as its would be an endless task to do it all at finishing quality.

    So you will need to go the proxy route and using resolve to make avid proxies with embedded effects could work.

    You'd need to test and do the whole workflow back to conforming to the sources to be sure.


    But typically the edit and most of the work would normally be done by a team that is trusted and signs NDAs etc.

    Then when you started getting locked timelines and content to send to VFX (who will of course need the originals or high quality versions) you add the digital effects required.

    Plenty of very sensitive content is edited in Post with trusted people. If its that sensitive just being online maybe enough to allow somebody to track you down and physically access the content. 

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