"There’s so much to organize in a film cutting room," says editor Dylan Tichenor (Jazz’34, Magnolia) from his studio in Rye, NY. Managing and tracking movie dailies, visual effects, and music/scene continuity are among his chief concerns, but Tichenor, who took the job of editing Ang Lee’s forthcoming Brokeback Mountain after Geraldine Peroni (The Player) passed away, revealed one strategy he employs for staying efficient: ditching the main hand-written codebook.
Using FileMaker Pro instead, Tichenor and his team have added fields and constructed and evolved three separate, relational databases they have shared access to via a LAN. Tichenor considers two databases crucial to workflow. One serves as the "codebook," a record of each shot detailing information such as negative numbers and the camera roll and sound roll the shot relates to. "In the past, as the assistants sunk the dailies, they’d have to write down key numbers and then check and re-check," says Tichenor. The second database manages effects and opticals.
For Brokeback, Tichenor and his assistants work off three Avids with high-speed media drives connected via fiber. He stresses that the media itself does not connect with FileMaker, although he will export a JPEG still from every take from the Avid into FileMaker as a visual reference. "We have 1.5 TB of media. Avid itself has a powerful database, where everything also gets tracked. Where the Avid falls short is searching through the whole project. FileMaker tells us all the information about the media and allows us to make any kind of report or organize the information in any way."