Post Magazine

October 2010

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 49 of 59

special report Establishing The Social Network H By DANIEL RESTUCCIO The film’s workflow took advantage of Adobe and Apple tools. OLLYWOOD — How fitting that The Social Network, David Fincher’s new movie about maverick social networking entrepreneur Mark Zuckerberg, would employ a highly-inventive workflow using Apple Final Cut Pro 7 and Adobe’s After Effects CS5 and Premiere Pro CS5. “The principles are still the same for any given workflow,” says The Social Network as- sistant editor Tyler Nelson, who also worked on The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. “You still have to go from point A (your edit system) to point B, (your conform) to point C (your online to your DI).Anybody can do footage, files and visual effects in a master database. He wrote a script in Filemaker that took the Final Cut Pro EDL and sent it through RedLine in Red Alert to generate mostly 2K DPX files from the original Red footage for visual effects and final conform. The Social Network was conformed for digital intermediate in After Effects CS5. Nel- son imported the DPX sequences as a mul- tiple layered composition in After Effects and lined that up frame accurate to a QuickTime reference movie exported from the offline edit and imported into the layer above the DPX files. work.“So if anything needed to be painted, anything needed to be comped, additional repositioning, stabilization whatever needed to be done [we could do it].” At least 150 effects shots were done in-house using After Effects, SynthEyes and a plug-in called Immi- gration that was used to help auto relink of- fline layers to DPX image sequences. PUTTING IT TOGETHER On the story side, with a script by Aaron Sorkin, it fell to Fincher’s dynamic editing duo Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter to turn nearly 256 hours of footage into a movie that was less than two hours long. “It’s a human story about success and greed and clamoring to the top,” says Baxter, excitedly.“Someone invents something, and who owns it? It’s a timeless tale. It’s not just a study on Zuckerberg, it’s also about the key players around him.That’s the story; Face- book’s a vehicle for it.” “This movie demands a lot out of the au- dience,” adds Wall. “It’s obviously a lot of Tyler Nelson (inset, far right) was lead data wrangler on this David Fincher film. it, you just have to learn the tricks of the trade to do it in the most efficient way. “The footage is on our Xsan,” he contin- ues. “There’s no reason to call a studio and say,‘Can you scan these files for us?’When I output an EDL I can run it from six com- puters simultaneously to debayer what I need to debayer.We’re just accessing the files we have locally in a different way than we did on Button.” The Social Network was shot on the Red One using the Mysterium-X chip set mostly at 4K 2:1 4096x2048 Redcode 42 and re- leased as a 2K digital intermediate. Addi- tional high-speed photography was shot 4K 2.169 4096x1888 at RedCode 36. As lead data wrangler, Nelson first had the R3D files transcoded to ProRes 422 LT for offline editing in Final Cut Pro using the Red Rocket card and RocketCine-X. He used FileMaker Pro to keep track of all the 48 Post • October 2010 “I used Premiere as a stepping stone to get my EDL from Final Cut talking to After Effects,” describes Nelson. “Because Pre- miere and After Effects talk to each other, I was able to bring an offline into Premiere and open that same file in After Effects.This made all of my edits in Final Cut Pro and my layers in After Effects match.The tool that I wrote is the secret behind having my DPX frames match up to my offline edit.” The movie contains nearly 1,000 visual effects shots that were handled by Lola VFX, Savage Visual Effects, Outback Post, Eden FX and Ollin Studio VFX. Nelson provided mainly 2K DPX plates to the vendors de- pending on the quality of the image.There were some night scenes that were rendered at 4K and then processed by Lowry Digital for noise reduction and sharpening. Having the final conform in After Effects enabled Nelson to do additional effects words; it’s a lot of information. Our goal was to make it digestible and to stay slightly ahead of the audience in terms of what was happening, but not too far ahead.” “The script is so tightly put together,” notes Baxter.“We didn’t drop any scenes, we didn’t have to shorten scenes. It was very well written, and very well executed by David Fincher. It was easy to over cut the movie because the dialogue can be so rapid. We did have to be aware to hang back and not get too aggressive and too fast, and not just cut for cutting sake on each line.” Wall recalls,“The first scene in The Social Network is eight pages of dialogue. One of the things that I started doing on Zodiac was breaking the scenes down into micro-scenes or sub-scenes. David is very specific with his actors and he’s very close to the script. At first blush, the takes look the same, yet he’s really auguring in a very specific tone.The

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Post Magazine - October 2010