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DigitalFilm Tree Creates FCP Editing Workflow for Walter Murch’s Editing of Cold Mountain

DigitalFilm Tree (DFT)

, a post and design company specializing in Final Cut Pro (FCP) consultation and implementation, announced that it worked closely with Walter Murch to pioneer a Final Cut Pro editing workflow for his groundbreaking editing of the Anthony Minghella film “Cold Mountain,” due in theaters December 25, 2003.

The custom editing system from DFT, ultimately installed at Kodak Cinelabs in Bucharest, Romania, comprises four Apple Power Mac G4 dual-gigahertz computers running Final Cut Pro, Cinema Tools (formerly Film Logic), and DVD Studio Pro. The systems are equipped with IgniterRT 311 video capture and edit cards from Aurora Video Systems, which handle real-time 24fps digitizing for a seamless film-editing experience in Final Cut Pro. A Galaxy 60 Fibre Channel Storage Area Network (SAN) from Rorke Data provided the four networked systems with 1.2 terabytes of Seagate drive storage.

Murch, whose credits include Apocalypse Now (for which he won an Oscar for Best Sound and an Oscar nomination for Picture Editing), all three of The Godfather films, Ghost (which was nominated for Picture Editing), The Unbearable Lightness of Being, and The English Patient (for which he won Oscars for both Picture Editing and Best Sound).

Following a series ofintense discussions with Editor Murch and First Assistant Editor Sean Cullen regarding possible design and configuration alternatives, DFT built and tested the custom FCP editing workflow that was later deployed near the Cold Mountain film set outside Bucharest. DFT staff developed and tested an end-to-end digital workflow and configured a system that would function reliably once shipped half a world away. The resulting workflow and system performed without a hitch. Two of the Power Mac G4 units were used by Murch and Cullen as individual edit stations, while a third was dedicated as a digitizing station for synchronizing dailies. The fourth system was used for exporting files and burning media to DVD.The final version of the workflow for Cold Mountain was developed by a close collaboration between DFT, Cullen, and a global network of consultants.

Directed by Academy Award-winner Anthony Minghella (The English Patient, The Talented Mr. Ripley) and based on Charles Frazier’s best selling Civil War novel of the same name, Cold Mountain tells the story of Inman (JUDE LAW), a wounded confederate soldier who is on a perilous journey home to his mountain community, hoping to reunite with his pre-war sweetheart, Ada (NICOLE KIDMAN). In his absence, Ada struggles to survive and revive her father’s farm with the help of intrepid young drifter Ruby (RENÉE ZELLWEGER).