shot notes FCPX

Hot on the heels of the Lumberjack System, Shot Notes X is an application that takes the data from a script supervisor on set and makes it available in the edit. Sam Mestman explains for FCP.co "no dailies, no carts, no labs, and no transcoding!" 

So, I’m really excited to announce that Shot Notes X, an app from Kopto Studios we’ve been helping develop at FCPWORKS for a long time, is now officially available on the Mac App Store for $49.99. The general idea here is that as most films still hire a script supervisor to come on set and record what’s happening, this information might as well be useful in the edit and not simply placed in some giant binder, then tossed aside on some desk somewhere never to be used again.

Instead, we look at the script supervisor as the first line of defense for post production, as well as being the person who is in charge of making sure everything gets back to post and is immediately understandable to editorial.

One of the major goals with FCPWORKS is getting production and post talking more and ending the term “we’ll fix it in post” forever. With a little communication ahead of time between post and your script supervisor, it is now entirely possible to have a fully synced, properly renamed event come in to post that’s properly keyworded, with completely searchable notes based on character, shot type, whether it’s a circle take or not, or anything else you might possibly want to search for. And if you use jam synced timecode and Sync N Link X from Intelligent Assistance, it’s possible to have an event like this built in less than 10 minutes that you can start editing with. In many workflows, something like this can take up to 3 days to create. With Shot Notes X, it’s possible to get down to work on a fully prepped project, on set if you want, and immediately start working from your original material with no dailies, no carts, no labs, and no transcoding. We feel like this is a big deal.

This app was developed based on workflows on real projects that we thought could get easier. As opposed to hand typing in metadata, or copying and pasting from .pdf’s of script notes delivered from set… we figured it would just be easier if we could create a system where the script supervisor, already tasked with recording this information anyway, could simply work from a template that would be usable for post production, and then through XML, simply merge that metadata into something FCPX can easily recognize and apply to your source material. And what kind of template is everyone basically familiar with that requires no training and is virtually free for all productions? A spreadsheet.

Shot Notes X will work with any spreadsheet app that can export a .csv file, which means that it’ll work with Numbers, Excel, or even Google docs (we’re also working on ScriptE support). It’ll also work in conjunction with Movie Slate for iPad.

We wanted something that was going to be useful for big budget and no-budget filmmakers alike, and would allow them to get started editing with all their metadata as soon as humanly possible.

Most editors don’t know or care much about metadata yet, and I think it’s mostly because they haven’t really had a chance to truly understand how it can help them with their edits. We feel Shot Notes X and the just released Lumberjack System from Intelligent Assistance (basically does the same thing except it’s for reality and doc workflows) are going to change that, and are going to be the beginning of a movement that allows editors to stop focusing on the tech stuff so much, and start focusing again on the most important thing, which is their stories.

Anyway, below are 2 more videos of Shot Notes in action.  The first is from our FCPWORKS launch event in January:

 

 

The second is from NAB 2014 at the FCPWORKS suite

 

 

Sam MestmanSam Mestman has worked for Apple, ESPN, "Glee," and Break.com, to name a few, and is now one of the people behind FCPWorks, a workflow, training, and pro video solutions provider built around FCP X and the Apple Ecosystem.  He's also a regular writer for FCP.co and MovieMaker Magazine, teaches post workflow at RED's REDucation classes, and is the founder and CEO of We Make Movies (www.wemakemovies.org), a film collective in Los Angeles and Toronto which is dedicated to making the movie industry not suck.  If you’ve got any FCP X questions, or need some help putting together a system, drop him an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.