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CJ Wallace

Adding 16mm keycodes/edge numbers in FCP7 for negative cut

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I'm shooting on 16mm and will be editing on Final Cut Pro 7.  I plan to get a negative cut (yes old school) for archival reasons. 

I've learned that FCP 7 does not allow film keycodes in its EDL. Is this true?

Is there an alternative way to add keycodes into FCP 7

Also, is the only option when it comes to keycodes, is to have them 'burned into the picture" during the film to video transfer.  

Any suggestions


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Sadly Final Cut was never designed to work with film. There were a few plugin's made by Automatic Duck that helped that a bit, but getting a flex file out of Final Cut 7 is impossible. So the only way is to work with a burn in, but honestly that doesn't help because you still can't create the file required for the negative cutter. 

For a negative cut, you need to use Avid. Any version will work really and for $199 you can get a year subscription. It's a bit of work to get functioning, but it does work way better than FCP7 and all of these "film" issues are solved. It has so many options for film it's kinda crazy. 

On a side note, negative cuts on 16mm kinda suck for many reasons. The big one is that it's a multi-reel A/B/C standard. They do this to cover up the splices and it works well, but it's really annoying to cut AND to print, using a multi-pass system. You would not only need to do a negative cut, but also make an IP for archival reasons. This means, you'd have to spend the time and money to do a color pass and dissolves on film, which lowers the quality of the final output. Far better to scan all your negative at 2k using a lower-end system. Then simply re-scan the sections you need at 4k for the final cut. Then you can laser back your film onto 35mm with soundtrack and use that as your archive. 

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