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[双语新闻] 用电脑完成电影剪辑

(2007-12-05 12:03:18)
分类: 课外阅视听

Editing On Films Is Now Being Done On Computers

Like any modern professional, Naomi Geraghty took her laptop with her when she went on a business trip in January. The machine got a lot of use -- but not just for email.

1月份出差时,娜奥米"杰拉蒂(Naomi Geraghty)带上了她的笔记本电脑──跟时下所有专业人员一样。她的电脑有很多用途,不仅仅是收发电子邮件。

Ms. Geraghty is a film editor and was spending 10 days at the Irish coastal home of Terry George, director of 'Reservation Road,' starring Joaquin Phoenix, which opened across the U.S. last week. Mr. George couldn't travel for the editing, so Ms. Geraghty loaded a copy of Avid editing software on her Apple PowerBook and went to him.

杰拉蒂是一名电影剪辑师,这次出差的目的地是《救赎之路》(Reservation Road)一片的导演特里"乔治(Terry George)在爱尔兰的海滨别墅,时间为10天。由于乔治没办法远行,杰拉蒂只好带着已经安装了Avid编辑软件的苹果PowerBook来找他。这部影片最近在全美上映,华金"费尼克斯(Joaquin Phoenix)在里面扮演角色。

Most people have a mental image of film editors hunched in the dark over editing consoles with lengths of film pinned to the wall behind them. These days, they sit at computers, moving scenes around as easily as paragraphs in a word processor.


Video files are so demanding, editing computers used to cost tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands, of dollars. But as Ms. Geraghty's tale suggests, even relatively low-end personal computers, laptops included, are now so powerful that Hollywood pros have joined student filmmakers and indies in taking advantage of them.


It's one more example -- along with music recording and graphic design -- of the way cheap computers are blurring the distinction between professional and amateur tools. Not that just having software makes you good at something, as a quick trip around the Web makes clear.


Ms. Geraghty says that while she enjoys the comfort of her regular editing studio, a notebook is not without its charms. 'I could look out over a fishing harbor,' she says. 'It was the best view I've ever had from a cutting room.'


Like 'Reservation Road,' the typical Hollywood feature film these days is an analog-digital hybrid. Reels of film might be developed at a lab such as Technicolor, but then $1.5 million scanners digitize them and put them on a $100 generic USB hard drive. From there, it's on to the editors.


Editing on computers is so much easier than editing physical film that it's how nearly all movies are now cut. USC's film school once had 50 editing consoles; now it has only two. Indeed, editing may have become too easy. 'You can easily recut your movie 10 times a day,' says Matt Furie, who teaches editing at USC. 'Some students go off the deep end and cut, cut, cut. We tell them they need to discipline themselves to push away from the desk, drop the mouse and just think.'

剪辑数字影片比剪辑胶片要简单得多,如今差不多所有电影都是用电脑剪辑的。USC电影学校原来有50台剪辑工作台,现在已经缩减为两台了。的确,剪辑可能变得太容易了。“你一天甚至能剪辑10次,”在USC教授剪辑的马特"富里(Matt Furie)说。“有些学生大刀阔斧地剪、剪、剪,我们总是提醒他们要控制自己,暂时离开桌子,放下鼠标,什么都不做,静静地思考。”

Like others, Mr. Furie suggests that one of the reasons there are so many rapid-fire cuts in today's movies is that editing software has made them so simple to do.


Editors are lucky in that theirs is one of the few industries with intense software competition. Anyone paying attention to computers the past 20 years will understand its dynamics.


Avid, of Tewksbury, Mass., is the long-established leader. Your average Academy Award winner typically is cut on an Avid. The company was one of the first in the field, and designed its software to work the way editors were used to working. For example, Avid's programs, like most software, use folders. But they're called 'bins,' after the canvas bags into which editors used to toss small lengths of film.


Avid software does just about anything you could ask -- for a price. The company's flagship Media Composer package runs $5,000. Philip Hodgetts, who follows the industry for Creative Planet, says Avid has an epic fight on its hands from newer, lower-cost alternatives. Apple sells Final Cut Studio for $1,300, while Adobe's Premiere Pro is just $800.

Avid基本上能满足你的任何要求,在价钱上自然也毫不含糊。该公司的旗舰产品Media Composer套装软件售价5,000美元。为Creative Planet跟踪该行业的菲利普"霍杰茨(Philip Hodgetts)指出,Avid一直在顽强抵抗那些新推出的低成本同类产品的巨大压力。苹果公司(Apple)的Final Cut Studio售价1,300美元,而奥多比系统公司(Adobe)的Premiere Pro只卖800美元。

While film still is central in big Hollywood features, it's unclear how long it will be before even the biggest feature movies go all-digital. The buzz in technical movie-making circles these days involves the two-month-old, ultra-high-resolution digital Red camera. Boosters say it looks nearly as good as 35mm film -- and costs around $30,000, or about the same as renting a 35mm camera for 10 days.

目前胶片电影在好莱坞大片中仍然占核心地位,但不清楚有朝一日连最大型的故事片是否也会变成全数字的。最近电影制作技术领域一个引人关注的事件是刚上市只有两个月的超高分辨率数字摄像机Red camera。拥趸们表示,Red camera几乎跟35毫米摄像机一样出色,售价在3万美元左右,相当于租用35毫米摄像机10天的费用。

Thanks to cheap computers, a similar sort of creative destruction is happening everywhere in the industry. Color adjustment used to require expensive oscilloscope-like monitors. It first moved to specialized -- and expensive -- software, but lately it's done with relatively low-cost (say, $200) 'plug-ins' by companies like Red Giant Software.

得益于廉价电脑的进步,类似这样的“创造性破坏”正在电影行业的各个角落里发生。色彩校正原先要求使用昂贵的类似示波镜的显示器,后来转向价格不菲的专业软件,但到了不久前,在电脑上使用Red Giant Software等公司设计的相对低成本的插件(比如200美元)就能够完成了。

Angus Wall, editor of 'Zodiac,' a film released earlier this year, says the real impact of all of this digitization is to bring simplicity and artistic control back to the process. He says postproduction work on the typical Hollywood movie is a vast assembly line of runners, technicians, assistants and others. With Murphy's Law in force at every step, it isn't always easy for filmmakers to get the results they want.

今年初上映的《十二宫》(Zodiac)的剪辑师安格斯"沃尔(Angus Wall)认为,数字化的真正影响在于使整个过程重新变得简单,艺术处理也更加灵活自如。他指出,一部常规好莱坞电影的后期制作是一个庞大的合成流程,涉及操作员、技师、助理等众多人员。由于每一个步骤都受到“墨菲法则”的约束,电影制作者要达到他们想要的结果并不容易。

The 'Zodiac' crew, by contrast, sought to rethink and streamline the process. Right on the set, the digitized film went into a computer; after that, just a handful of people were involved. While the skills were different, coordinating the work of these editors and others wasn't much more difficult than what happens in an average office with a typical PowerPoint presentation. 'It's revolutionary and empowering, because you don't have to worry anymore about some nameless person somewhere not doing their job right,' Mr. Wall says. 'You start to see the joy come back into the movie-making process.'




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