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July 2017

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www.postmagazine.com 21 POST JULY 2017 Transformers: The Last Knight, which was shot on a combination of Alexa 65 and Red cameras in 3D and 2D ranging from 4K to 6K (as well as a few smaller formats for drones and crash-cams), was edited on Avid Media Composer 8.53, running on Mac Pros. The ream relied on several Avid ISIS and NEXIS servers for its storage/asset management infrastruc- ture. EFILM processed dailies into Avid DNX36 (2D) format for the offline edit. A FEW TECH SPECS separate and distinct to the process. "Michael was interested in hearing from us and bringing options to him," she says. "We know the format we're work- ing within, but we all had ideas he was interested in hearing. That's our individual contributions." Neil-Fisher says one example of the way each team member brought something unique was that, because of her background editing comedies, Bay initially had her working primarily on scenes that contained comedy. "But once I earned his respect and proved I could make him laugh, he started to have me cut scenes that were dramatic or action oriented too," she says. "Each of us entered the show with certain strengths, but by the end, we were all cutting all the scenes." "It was constantly collaborative," Sanger agrees. "There was never any 'you take this scene, I'll take that scene and I'll see you later.' It was constantly, 'Hey, what do you think of this, does this work for you?' or 'I tried that here, how does this work with a scene you're working on later?' We were doors away from each other, always jumping in and having conversations." Adam Gerstel (Disney's The Jungle Book, previs editor on Star Trek Into Darkness) says he found the open door policy a complete pleasure. "Normally, when you're under pressure cutting on your own and there's a knock at the door, it's an intrusion," he says. "For us, it meant someone's showing you something or asking your opinion, and to be constantly moving from room to room we had a lot of fun." THE DIGITAL DILEMMA Like the on-set supervisor, the editing team has to deal with framing a lot of action that happened there on the day, but they have the added burden of all the digital effects too. In a Transformers film, it's even more critical. Not only are many of the main characters completely dig- ital elements, they're made of hard, shiny metal, which means making an extra effort to ensure that the continuity is there in their movements as well as in their interaction with light from the environment. Refoua says everybody has to use his/her imag- ination quite a bit. "We're using a lot of intense dia- log and sound effects to know how long the scene should be. There's so much there, in terms of the environments and actors, but you have to envision the Transformers that aren't there yet. It's not like there's a previs to use for pacing it." "You come on and somebody's already cut a whole bunch of sequences in previs form and they go back onto the set and shoot the footage to match them," Sanger adds. "I can't speak for John when he did Avatar because he was probably not as confined in that [all-digital] environment, but definitely big visual effects movies are often constrained by the shoots, the prep of the shoots are constrained by some of the editorial decisions that have gone on in pre-production." Many Transformers characters are completely digital elements. Director Bay onset.

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