Award winning editor, Walter Murch, best known for his work on films such as Apocolypse Now, Cold Mountain, Jarhead and The Talented Mr. Ripley, gives his first video interview describing his use of FileMaker Pro databases in the making of many of his landmark movies.
Video interview highlights:
• B.C. (Before Computing) index cards were used to capture details of each scene and each shot. Each card was manually numbered, entered into a logbook and the entry was correlated with film stored in large cans. He remembers thinking back in the 70’s, “Someday we’ll be able to have a computer in the editing room, and we won’t have to do this all by hand…it was kind of lusting after something that didn’t exist.”
• In the mid-80’s, Macs arrive in the cutting room and FileMaker followed soon after to greatly improve the information-gathering process. “That’s the nature of a film, that there is a huge amount of information about every shot. How you access that information as quickly as possible, and then derive results from that, can inform how you shoot the film and how you edit the film.”
• FileMaker makes storyboarding of screen captures possible. Images of key moments in a specific shot are gathered, printed and posted to a board in the editing room. The process makes it clear to everyone on the team what the most important actions, expressions or moments are to a particular scene. “FileMaker is the database repository for all of those thousands of photographs that we extract from the film, which are very valuable things for me in editing…”
• As the industry moves to digital, “more film…just increases the information overload. You need a tool of some kind, like FileMaker, to get access to (and) to penetrate through that jungle of information.” Based on his experience, “…if you put the right information in, and you manipulate it to give you the right information out, it can…allow you to predict things later on. It could save millions of dollars ultimately because you’re predicting the future….it’s a limited slice of the future, but it really is a significant one.”
Mr. Murch describes and demonstrates three databases used to organize and manage his film projects:
FileMaker, Inc. (http://www.filemaker.com) develops award-winning database software. Its products include the legendary FileMaker Pro product line for Windows, Mac and the Web, and the new Bento personal database for Mac. FileMaker Pro won 46 awards, more than its next eight competitors combined, from 2003-2007 in the U.S., and a total of 129 awards worldwide during this time. Millions of customers, from individuals to large organizations, rely on FileMaker, Inc. software to manage, analyze and share information. FileMaker, Inc. is a subsidiary of Apple Inc.