Yet Another "Largest Film Ever Edited on Final Cut Pro"

On another site, the headline would read, "Walter Murch edits Cold Mountain, but on MacCentral, the headline is "Final Cut Pro used to edit Cold Mountain."

Posthouse DigitalFilmTree set Murch up on four full FCP stations and several PowerBook-based "satellite stations, " which they used when there was massive amounts of footage. DVD Studio Pro was used to burn and distribute the dailies to everyone, and special effects went back and forth for review via Quicktime.

Apple, thankfully, lets Murch--who is an editing legend, if for no other reason than surviving the year-long torture that was editing Apocalypse Now--do most of the talking. If you like that interview, you should definitely read his book, In the Blink of An Eye, which recounts some Apocalypse Now tales while exploring the theory of why editing works in the first place.

Related: Murch also praised FCP for enabling him to give his assistants experience editing professionally shot material. In a sidebar on and an article at Post Magazine, he explains how he'd create tutorials with dailie and his notes, and let the kids have a go at it. Nice work if you can get it.

And if that's not enough for you, check out Millimeter's detailed article on Cold Mountain's workflow, including putting 600,000 feet of film into the shared storage/access system; creating change lists and synching FCP with post-production sound tools (both challenges which the new FCP4.0 addresses handily. time to upgrade, I guess); and color-correcting. After all that, you, too will be able to finish a $130 million Romanian epic. But by the time you raise the money, the whole process'll be available on a laptop.

Since 2001 here at, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting that time.

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greg [at] greg [dot ] org

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first published: January 6, 2004.

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