Adam Schoales
Editor. Geek. Tea Drinker.

Adam Schoales : : Blog

Thoughts, process, and other ramblings.


Spy Gear Video Walkie Talkies

Client: Spin Master
Producer: Buck Productions
Director: James Villeneuve
Director of Photography: Bob Lyte
Editor: Adam Schoales

October 2015

The commercial for Spy Gear's Video Walkie Talkies was an interesting project. For starters, it was the first where I really got to put Final Cut Pro X through the ringer, as well as experience first hand the power of its third-party plugins and third-party application integration. 

The director was a fellow editor and he knew the value of having me on-set to take detailed notes which could be fed into Shot Notes X. We had already explored this workflow for another project (which I have outlined in an earlier blog post), but this time I would actually be the one editing the piece, so I was able to experience the power first hand (as well as cater my notes to my own personal taste). Being on set also helped greatly with the edit process as not only did I have to spend less time watching through the material, but I also already had a sense of how things would be cut together, as well as what takes did and did not work. It further proved to me the value of having an editor on set and I highly recommend it to all clients moving forward.

FCP X's Spatial Conform tools make working with 4K in a 1080p timeline a breeze!

We shot the piece using a RED in 4K knowing that we would be mastering for 1080p. Final Cut Pro X has some really neat integrations with the RED files, so long as you make sure to install all the right codecs and plugins. Because we were working with 4K files I made sure to create proxies, but found that most of the time I could get by using the original source files just with the settings flipped to "better performance". Imagine my surprise that my 15" Retina MacBook Pro could handle the job with little to no performance hit. These 4K files were cut into a 1080p timeline, which Final Cut seamlessly resized to fit the new frame size, without losing any quality or having to create new files. 

A perfectly organized library with on-set notes fully integrated thanks to Shot Notes X

Using my on-set notes from SetReport fed into Shot Notes X, as well of making use of the incredibly powerful Sync-N-Link X to quickly sync all our on-set audio, I was able to get myself up and running in next to no time, especially when considering the old fashion way of prepping. These three tools allowed me to act as my own assistant editor faster than any normal human could work.

TrackX and mLowers were put to good use

Throughout the edit I made use of some neat third party plugins. CoreMelt's remarkably powerful TrackX was used to do screen replacement for a shot, and I made use of MotionVFX's mLowers package to create the cool futuristic call-outs. The built in LUTs in Final Cut Pro X also meant that when I sent off cuts for client review they had a close approximation of how the final coloured product would look, instead of something dull and flat looking.

When it came time for delivery to the colourist we did discover that DaVinci Resolve doesn't always play nice with FCPX's XML, which caused some minor obstacles for the online team to solve. However, because we were always cutting with the native R3D files it meant there was very little hassle prepping the picture locked project to our colourists.

In terms of audio, we once again relied on X2Pro to create our AAF for the audio mix. Once again, thanks to roles and the power of X2Pro we were able to deliver an incredibly clean and organized AAF to our audio team.

The end result is the work of multiple talented artists, and I am happy to have had a hand in making the piece come to life.


Lat 2013 15" Retina MacBook Pro
2.6 GHz Intel Core i7
16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3 RAM
NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M 2048 MB Graphics Card
9 TB RAID (4x4TB drives RAID-5)
Final Cut Pro vr. 10.2.2