kentbye's picture

Progress on Collaborative Filmmaking Infrastructure

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In order to have more volunteers get involved with this project, then I need to build the infrastructure in order to put them to work in helping edit the film.

Lately, I've been able to make some promising advances and gain some new insights on my original plan for Collaborative Filmmaking. I completed some milestones that have allowed me to prototype the workflow and make alterations to the original flowchart.

Once I get these tools into place, then a lot of my writing will become less technical and geared more towards creating videos that will instruct others how to participate.

This is what my plan for collaborative media currently looks like:

Collaborative Filmmaking Flowchart Version 2.0

There are more details below...

kentbye's picture

XL Spreadsheet for Generating Final Cut Pro XML Sequences

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Here is an Excel spreadsheet that I used to generate valid Final Cut Pro XML.

Being able to generate Final Cut Pro XML means that it is definitely possible to generate sequences of sound bite clips within Drupal -- and provide some interesting possibilities for faciliating collaborative editing.

My intention with posting this is that at some point a PHP programmer will come along to code this spreadsheet into a Drupal module.

Note that being able to do this requires extracting the following eight variables from the Final Cut Pro XML data.

sequence id > media > video > track > clipitem id > in
sequence id > media > video > track > clipitem id > out
sequence id > media > video > track > clipitem id > name
sequence id > media > video > track > clipitem id > duration
sequence id > media > video > track > clipitem id > file id > pathurl
sequence id > media > video > track > clipitem id > file id > timecode > string
sequence id > media > video > track > clipitem id > file id > timecode > frame
sequence id > media > video > track > clipitem id > file id > timecode > reel > name

If you want to get this to work with sound bites and Final Cut Pro on your computer, then I suggest trying to recreate the XML with the spreadsheet first.

I copied and pasted the XML data into a Word document to remove all of the tabs (^t) and carrage returns (^p) before it would work.

I also created a special content type within Drupal that contains these 8 XML variables -- as well as the text of the sound bite.

Here is an example of a "Sound Bite" node from the Bill Plante interview -- and here is an aggregation of all of the Bill Plante sound bites.

So it is possible to assign each sound bite to a unique URL -- as well as collect metadata on each sound bite that could be fed back into Final Cut Pro.

For more information:
Collaborative Media with Drupal + Final Cut Pro XML
Preparing FCP Sequences for Distributed Editing via XML
Progress on Phase 01

kentbye's picture

FireANT RSS Feed Parsing Problems with Drupal & FeedBurner

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People can't subscribe to my vlog feed with FireANT at the moment -- although iTunes seems to work.

UPDATE: This has been fixed now. If you're running into this problem, then check down at the bottom for how to fix it. [Coming soon...]

It seems as though that Drupal may be causing a problem with my Drupal RSS feed for my vlog being sent to FeedBurner, which is causing the FireANT videoblog aggregator to not parse the Feedburner vlog feed correctly.

I'm still not totally sure if it's Drupal or FeedBurner that's causing the problems, but I'm posting more technical details below so that I can ask around in the hopes of trying to debug this issue.

kentbye's picture

Collaborative Filmmaking Flowchart

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I've completed a first draft of my first video blogging entry, and I realized that I needed a graphic to talk through just exactly how I plan on doing Collaborative Filmmaking by using Drupal and Final Cut Pro XML.

Here is the graphic that describes my vision of the Phase 01 infrastructure needed to collect folksonomy and quantitative metadata from volunteers on the soundbites:

Collaborative Filmmaking Flowchart

It's a bit difficult to convey everything in a soundbite or two, and so my second videoblogging entry may go into more details about it.

But for now, I'll just post this graphic online in a few places, and provide a brief overview and hook in my first vlog entry.

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Preparing FCP Sequences for Distributed Editing via XML

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I've been spending the last couple of days learning the ropes with Motion 2, Soundtrack Pro, Garageband and the new features in Final Cut Pro 5.

Lots of new tools that provide even more possibilities.

I thought I'd report some preliminary results from some of my experiments with the Final Cut Pro XML export capabilities.

There seems to be some promising possibilities for doing distributed editing of interview footage by using dummy MP3 audio files that are linked to offline static video & high-res audio footage.

Initial tests show that MP3 dummy files could serve as an effective timecode placeholder and a provide a bandwidth workaround for projects with a lot of media files. But I'll have to look into it further as there does seem to be some timecode slippage when converting from AIFF to MP3 (i.e. the converted MP3 files have more frames than the original quicktime/AIFF files).

Below is a rough sketch for How to prepare a Final Cut Pro sequence for distributed editing...

kentbye's picture

A Pitch for Phase 01

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As a result of my little Drupal tag cloud PR blitz this afternoon, a Drupal developer asked me to pitch some features to him for a development contest that he's entering.

I threw together an elevator pitch for technogeeks of Phase 01

Here it is:

A quick metaphor would be to say that I need del.icio.us-like capabilities within Drupal.

But the way I'd pitch it would be to say that I need a toolkit for Swarm Intelligence Journalism by collecting third-party metadata on soundbite Drupal nodes so that I can collaboratively edit my investigative documentary film about how the mainstream media became an Echo Chamber to the countdown towards war in Iraq.

If I had the Phase 01 toolset that I'm proposing, then I could start to tap into the collective intelligence of a set of diverse volunteers by making their subjective interpretations of politcal material more explicit through folksonomy tag clouds.

By associating pro-war and anti-war identities to third-party del.icio.us-like folksonomy tags on my politically contentious soundbites, then this tool could be used to bring about a deeper understanding to the common ground and points of departure between polar opposite poltical worldviews.

Incorporating this Phase 01 toolkit into Drupal will also facilitate collaborative film editing capabilities within Drupal by using the Final Cut Pro XML interface.

kentbye's picture

Collaborative Media with Drupal + Final Cut Pro XML

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I just wrote about the Choice and Freedom that XML provides consumers of products from software giants, and I'll talk a little bit more about some of the implications of being able to export Final Cut Pro projects into an XML format. Right now, a very limited number of Google hits on "Final Cut Pro XML" indicates that there are only a few proprietary software add-ons available to take advantage of this capability.

And what exactly does this amazing XML capability mean? Quoting from Volume IV of Final Cut Pro 5's user manual:

Because Final Cut Pro supports XML, you are no longer limited to creating clips, bins, and sequences within Final Cut Pro. This means you can create your own Final Cut Pro projects outside of Final Cut Pro, using any software or platform you want, as long as you generate a valid Final Cut Pro XML file.

This basically means that I can use an open source content management system like Drupal to collaboratively edit my film.

Drupal + Final Cut Pro XML = Echo Chamber Project (Collaborative Filmmaking)

How? ...

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XML: Less Power, More Choice & Freedom

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Steve Rubel points to a Reuters article that Microsoft will be switching over to XML as their default file format. This seems to be more evidence for what the technologists have been saying about 2005 being "The year of RSS." RSS being based upon XML.

I see XML is a metaphor for consumer choice. Consumers can choose how they consume web content by having it delivered directly to their RSS readers -- the pretty web design and other superficial graphical supplements are irrelevant when the "Content Will be More Important than its Container."

XML is also a metaphor for giving up centralized power and hierarchy. The fact that software giants are incorporating XML into their programs means that it'll make it easier for consumers to chose to take their content and use other third-party programs to manipulate their data...

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Phase 05: Use Collected Information to Inform Documentary Editing

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* Collaborative Content Development
* Media Transparency
* Exporting Data from Drupal
* Open Source Business Plan


* Develop a formal thematic taxonomy for the documentary that is informed by the emergent patterns of the folksonomy tags collected from volunteers in Phase 03
* Open Source the Business Plan to further discuss the target audience and strategic communication intentions for The Echo Chamber documentary.
* Normalize and export the quantitative data on sound bite Source Credibility & Quality, and import this data into Final Cut Pro editing software through Final Cut Pro XML.

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