Loreak, the official Spanish submission in the best foreign language film category for the 2016 Oscars has already received many great reviews. The editor, Raul Lopez Romero tells us how the film was shot on a Red Epic at 5K, then ingested and edited with Final Cut Pro X running on a previous generation 2009 Mac Pro.
There are a few things that make this film worth noting. It is the first Basque-language film that Spain has selected for its official submission to the Ocars. It was also the the first Basque-language film to screen at the prestigious San Sebastian film festival and that success has led to many impressive reviews around the world.
And of course, the interest for us is that Loreak was cut on Final Cut Pro X. The editor, Raul Lopez Romero very kindly put together a short description of his FCP X workflow on the film.
Before we get into Raul's post production process, let's take a look at the trailer for Loreak.
My Journey to Final Cut Pro X
In the past, I worked with Avid Media Composer and Adobe Premiere on Windows and, even though the apps were not bad, I had a lot of problems with the PC OS itself. I’m talking about 10 years ago, 2005 approximately, that’s when I switched to Mac and I started editing with Final Cut Pro until today.
In April 2013 I started working on the movie “Loreak” and I considered editing it with FCP X. I had been working with this new version of the app and it looked like a good option for this movie. The producer didn’t see it that clearly since we didn’t have any other films to reference that had been edited with FCP X and, at that time, the app was lacking some functionality. It did look like it was coming together quickly with the fast pace of the updates.
Coming from FCP 7, the advantages that FCP X was already offering looked interesting to me because of the simplicity of executing edits and that made it really accessible to the directors of the movie. I like that at any given time the director of the movie can get in front of the computer and change any take and FCPX, because of its simplicity of execution, makes that possible.
Although I had already worked on several projects with FCP X, I had not edited a feature length movie with it yet and I didn’t know how the app would behave with larger sequences.
A month before we started editing the movie we made sure that once it was finished in FCP X we wouldn’t have any problems exporting it to any other application that was going to be used to grade and finish the movie. We looked for a way to export an FCPXML of the project for video and to export an OMF/AAF for audio. I used Marquis X2Pro Audio Convert for that, because with FCP X you can’t export AAF straight from the app.
I had a 2009 Mac Pro 2.26 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon with 20GB RAM — enough to edit with ProRes Proxy. I was lucky enough to work on the assembly of the movie with 2 other editors, Laurent and Egoitz. We all prepared a first assembly of the movie and they worked with FCP X on an iMac and a Macbook Pro connected to USB3 hard drives containing the media. They were basic setups, but enough to edit single scenes of the movie.
The movie was shot on RED Epic 5K. The files were imported straight to FCP X and then all converted to ProRes Proxy to start work. That process was achieved at the end of the day so as to not slow down the editorial process. It was better to let the footage transcode overnight and have everything ready the next morning.
We started the assembly on the very first day of shooting. The three of us worked throughout the 6 weeks of shooting. We received the RAW files everyday from the previous day, checking everything from that day of shooting. We synchronized audio and video in FCP X and we were quickly editing the scenes shot on the previous day.
A week after shooting was over, we had the first assembly of the movie to show the directors. Weeks later, we were able to finish the movie in FCP X without any problems, exporting an XML and creating an AAF as expected.
All post of the movie was done at the post house IRUSION where they graded and made the VFX for “Loreak" with Autodesk LUSTRE.
At that time FCPX 10.1 still wasn’t available. The app has changed a lot in these last 2 years, and now it’s even more comfortable to work with 10.2. I hope it keeps going this way!
Many thanks to Raul for his story and we must also mention Marc Bach who very kindly did the translation.