Lumberjack Makes Logging for Reality and Documentary Production Easier

Web App Offers Real Time, Keyword-Based Buttons

By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

When shooting longer form projects like reality TV or documentary interviews, you won’t normally use the words “action,” “take” or or even “scene.” Often it’s just recording what’s happening and trying to take notes as best as you can so you can, and choose which moment you want in post. Lumberjack from Assisted Editing is a web-based app that lets crews log moments in real time from their smart phone or tablet, and then merge the metadata with the clips in post.  Here’s how it works…

Narrative filmmakers have really simple logging, scene, shot, take.  Not so much with reality or documentary, where you’re really not sure what’s going to happen. – Phillip Hodgett

Developed by Phillip Hodgett and Gregory Clark of Intelligent Assistance, Lumberjack (interesting title) consists of a location web interface which allows filmmakers to use keyword buttons to log what’s happening into the clip’s XML metadata, which can then be married to the clip itself for import into Final Cut Pro X.   The on set assistant works with a portable audio recorder and an iPad or iPhone.

You navigate to webapp (because it would be compatible with just about any mobile platform) via Safari and input location and project data.  You can also add subject names, context activities keywords, and even comments.  And not only one person can have access.  As many people can log their impressions as you wish, and you can even rate the activities on a five star scale.   And if you’ve missed something, you can back log the action to catch up.  And that’s pretty much it.

Click for larger

Then you move into your NLE like Final Cut Pro X.  Export your clip’s XML and launch the Lumberjack Lumberyard interface to import it.  Choose your clip and adjust for time zone.  Then hit merge and send back to Final Cut Pro X.  And Lumberjack will marry the data to the clip without having to watch the clip all the way through.  And the string outs show the answers by keyword so you can put in a different camera angle without having to sync the audio.  Pretty cool.

It’s not perfect, Hodgett admits, but it will streamline your ability to log long form interviews or hours of reality raw footage without having to scrub through to get the proper context of the scene later when you’ve forgotten your initial first impressions.

And I like the fact that you don’t have to deal with a downloaded app that could crash when you need it the most or as time gets longer.  That’s what drives me nuts about Rode’s RodeRec app.  The longer your clip, the more likely it’ll crash on upload or recording.  This is web based and all you’re really doing in inputting one word impressions that the editor will use later after it’s married them to select the right scene for the narrative that’s emerging from the footage shot.  It’s like you’re starting the editing process in real time, as it happens.  And that’s really cool.

Couple it with Highlight Hunter, and you have a pair of powerful utilities that can shave hours off your reality or documentary post production.

Find out more at IntelligentAssistance’s Website.

About doddle 16509 Articles
Doddlenews is the news division of the Digital Production Buzz, a leading online resource for filmmakers, covering news, reviews and tutorials for the video and film industry, along with movie and TV news, and podcasting.

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