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Automatic Duck s Elegant Workflow, Flawless Execution Helps Filmmaker, Jim Dodson Deliver Newest Film to Cannes on Time

(June 24, 2008)

DMN Newswire--2008-6-24--As the deadline for the 2008 Cannes Film Festival loomed heavily on the horizon, filmmaker Jim Dodson had mounting deadline challenges.  After nearly 16 weeks in the editing rooms, piecing together sequence after complex sequence, there were a few work items on the table he knew would put them past their deadline and in danger of missing the festival.  But that was clearly not an option; Dobson had a secret weapon.

His film project, a Hollywood production releasing this fall by MGM Studios called “The Other End of the Line,” was already rife with editing challenges.  Here’s a typical scenario facing the edit team; The star, Jesse Metcalfe, plays an ad executive who falls in love with a credit card phone operator in India.  Naturally, as part of character development, it’s up to Jim’s crew to also create a believable environment for the character.  To create a realistic ad agency look and feel, Dodson needed to create a series of “fake” television commercials -- mock-ups that Metcalfe’s character pitches to his clients.  Sounds straightforward.  But when these ‘fake commercials’ consist of 250 layers, edited in Final Cut Pro and need to be exported to After Effects, things suddenly grind to a halt.  That’s when the filmmaker reached for Automatic Duck Pro Import AE.  Dodson had used an earlier version of the product extensively on Behind Enemy Lines 2, and he knew he would be depending on it even more heavily on this project!

“We were really under the gun with this project,” said Jim Dodson, famed Hollywood filmmaker, whose credits include ‘Behind Enemy Lines 2,’ ‘Catch that Kid’ and ‘Sunset Strip.’  “We edited all the fake commercials in Final Cut Pro and needed to export all the sequences into After Effects to add in all the special effects.  But with 250 complex layers, this is an impossible task.  Automatic Duck performed flawlessly, elegantly and with amazing speed and accuracy, importing 250 layers with all stacks perfectly in tact and in the right order!  We could not have done this without Automatic Duck, nor would we have made it to Cannes in time!”

“Another thing Automatic Duck provides us is the freedom to do so much of our work in Final Cut Pro.  We didn’t have to compromise our workflow, and it enabled us to operate worry-free because we knew that, if we needed to export into another tool or platform for some finishing work, we could with no effort, no lost time, and no pulling our hair out.”

Dodson, who prefers Final Cut Pro, also works extensively with Avid and After Effects.  “When the trailer house edited an entire three minute trailer on the Avid, and we had one day to do a Hi Def online on Final Cut Pro, it was Automatic Duck Pro Export FCP that read in the Avid timeline and gave us a flawless Final Cut sequence.”

With Automatic Duck Pro Export FCP also as a staple in his tool box, Dodson has extreme flexibility.  “We were building a number of slow motion shots in Final Cut Pro, including all the ins and outs.  With Automatic Duck, we’re able to simply send one cut to our Avids to take them to the next level.  It’s so fast, there’s no reason not to build all your shots in Final Cut Pro.  It’s perfect for us.”

“Automatic Duck is now a critical part of my workflow.  It works so well, I can confidently tackle my most massive undertakings, the most audacious of tasks.  I buy a lot of plug-ins; they all have their bugs, quirks and eccentricities -- qualities you can’t afford when you’re under the gun like I so often am.  Automatic Duck has none of these personality issues.  I won’t work without it!”

“The Other End of the Line” made it’s debut last month at the Cannes Film Festival, where it was received with critical acclaim.  It will be released nationwide this fall.

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Related Keywords:Automatic Duck, Jim Dodson, Pro Import AE, Pro Export FCP, video editing, post production


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