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Build Rough Cuts for Final Cut Pro X with AVScript

Have you ever wanted a director or journalist to be able to build rough cuts for FCPX without having to run the app itself? AVScript is a simple web app that allows the creation of rough cut projects that can be imported into FCPX for finishing.

You might have seen a few social media posts about a companion SAAS web app for Final Cut Pro X called AVScript. We were curious and reached out to the developer Tomislav Brdjanović who told us more -

 

This project is primarily an “scratch your own itch” solving problem. I've been thinking about it for a long time, about three years now.

For the past 15 years I've been working as a freelance videographer and video editor with various journalists and broadcasters, and the problem that bothered me was following: after shooting the video material, I would return to the studio, do the backup and then send the video material to the journalist. The journalist would watch the video in VLC, write the timecodes in text editor and then send me the 'script'.

After receiving the script, I'd start entering the IN's and OUT's. Each time I'd entered a clip timecode, I'd remember that the journalist had to write that timecode and that we were essentially doing the same work twice. I was crazy about it. Time was wasted unnecessarily.

I started digging for solutions but was not satisfied with options offered. Also, everything that seemed good was expensive and part of some bigger broadcast system.

The first thing I wanted to do was make it easy for a journalist or a storyteller to watch the video at one place, using the keyboard shortcut to select IN's and OUT's. I realised that the script should be arranged as a playlist, because I think that journalists or storytellers are more acceptable for upright linearity.

I was thrilled with the new FCPX feature of magnetic timeline, so I wanted the same solution for moving and arranging clipboards with a drag and drop function, that the story can be written with a mouse.

avscript fcpx 2

Also, I wanted the journalist to preview the script and its total duration, so he can better use his creativity to tell the story.

That's why I wanted to have three preview functions.

  • The first function is 'play all clips in script'.
  • The second function is 'play all from selected clip'.
  • The third function is 'play single clip'.

With these in place, previewing the script was - in my opinion - enough for the journalist to get a better picture how his story looks on screen.  All the information to make decisions were present: the duration of a single clip and the total duration of the script, which is always clearly highlighted.

I thought of other functions to speed the process: each clip can be described and a black slug can be added to tag segments or voiceover.  Each clip and slug can get a text description, which will appear in the FCPX as a basic title for the duration of the clip (that later proved to be great, because it makes it easier to search clips by description).

avscript fcpx 1

When I put everything I could think of on paper, I started looking for technology. Of course, the first choice was the FCPX that I have been using from the first version and have not stopped since.

I remembered the possibilities of the Web3.0 system and started looking for developers. This process lasted for a long time, because besides avscript I had my own production company to run, so It took time to get some loads off to work on a new project.

At one point a small propulsive team gathered - and the result of our teamwork (and my frustration) is avscript.tv :)

Ultimately, we will have the following workflow:

  • Editor puts all the raw material in FCPX timeline, selects all clips and makes a compound clip.
  • He exports the mp4 and xml file from FCPX and uploads it to avscript.tv.
  • User then logs in to avscript.tv and makes the script, entering INs and OUTs and arranging them in desired order.
  • When he's satisfied with the script, he downloads the xml and sends it to the editor.
  • The editor imports the xml as a FCPX event into the existing FCPX library, relinking the missing reference files.
  • And voila, the assembly cut appears in editors timeline with each clip's description displayed as basic title.

I'd like to paraphrase Noah Kagan: 'We do not care about market size. We only care for our satisfaction as we made avscript.tv.' There's gotta be others like we are.

All interested can contact us for early access. (At the moment, the dev version doesn’t support import of xml,which is currently in development)

 

Many thanks to Tomislav for sharing his development story with FCP.co, we will be watching how AVScript progresses with interest.

 


Written by
Top Blogger Thought Leader

I am the Editor-in-Chief of FCP.co and have run the website since its inception ten years ago.

I have also worked as a broadcast and corporate editor for over 30 years, starting on one inch tape, working through many formats, right up to today's NLEs.

Under the name Idustrial Revolution, I have written and sold plugins for Final Cut Pro for 13 years.

I was made a Freeman of Lichfield through The Worshipful Company of Smiths (established 1601). Though I haven't yet tried to herd a flock of sheep through the city centre!

Current Editing

great house giveaway 2020

2020 has been busy, the beginning of the year was finishing off a new property series (cut on FCP) for Channel 4 called The Great House Giveaway. I also designed and built the majority of the graphics as Motion templates. It has been a great success and the shows grabbed more viewers in the 4pm weekday slot than any previous strand. It has been recommissioned by C4 for 60 episodes, including prime-time versions and five themed programmes. The shows have also been nominated for a 2021 BAFTA.

Tour de france 2020
Although both were postponed to later in the year, I worked again on ITV's coverage of the Tour de France and La Vuelta. 2020 was my 25th year of editing the TdF and my 20th year as lead editor. The Tour was the first broadcast show to adopt FCPX working for multiple editors on shared storage.

 

BBC snooker the crucible

BBC's Snooker has played a big part in my life, I've been editing tournament coverage since 1997. I'm proud to be part of a very creative team that has pioneered many new ideas and workflows that are now industry standard in sports' production. This is currently an Adobe Premiere edit.

amazon kindle BF

Covid cancelled some of the regular corporate events that I edit such as trade shows & events. I was lucky however to edit, from home, on projects for Amazon Kindle, Amazon Black Friday, Mastercard and very proud to have helped local charitable trust Kendall & Wall secure lottery funding.

As for software, my weapon of choice is Final Cut Pro and Motion, but I also have a good knowledge and broadcast credits with Adobe Premiere Pro, MOGRT design and Photoshop.

Plugin Design & Development

I'm the creative force behind Idustrial Revolution, one of the oldest Final Cut Pro plugin developers. It hosts a range of commercial and free plugins on the site. One free plugin was downloaded over a thousand times within 24 hours of release.

I also take on custom work, whether it is adapting an existing plugin for a special use or designing new plugins for clients from scratch. Having a good knowledge of editing allows me to build-in flexibility and more importantly, usability.

FCP.co

Now in its 10th year and 4th redesign, running FCP.co has given me knowledge on how to run a large CMS- you are currently reading my bio from the database! Although it sounds corny, I am pretty well up on social media trends & techniques, especially in the video sector. The recent Covid restrictions has enabled live FCP.co shows online. This involves managing a Zoom Webinar through Restream.io to YouTube and Facebook. 

The Future

I'm always open to new ideas and opportunities, so please get in touch at editor (at) fcp.co. I've judged film competitions, presented workflow techniques to international audiences and come up with ideas for TV shows and software programs!

 

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