Magazine article American Cinematographer

Editing a Feature Film with the Aid of the New Intercraft/randomatic Information Retrieval System

Magazine article American Cinematographer

Editing a Feature Film with the Aid of the New Intercraft/randomatic Information Retrieval System

Article excerpt

A low-cost computer system that instantly "finds" any scene or take desiced gives promise of considerably speeding up the editing process

"Where is the long shot of Marilyn and George on the beach?"

"What was that pan with the better action?"

"Why didn't you use the tail of the insert footage?"

"Let's see all the two-shots of Dick and Jane."

"Where are those outs from the second rough cut of scene 83?"

Questions like these are asked every day in the editing room. And they get answered, more or less quickly or efficiently, depending on the organizational system set up by the editor, and depending on the editor and his or her assistants' opportunity to organize and retain complex data about a vast amount of material.

A low-cost computer system for the storing and instant retrieval of all script, cataloguing, logging, and coding information involved in the editing of films was shown for the first time at the recent SMPTE exhibit in Los Angeles. The concept and software were developed by The Intercraft Corporation of New York, the hardware by Randomatic Data Systems of Trenton, New Jersey.

Intended to eliminate search time and increase creative opportunities, the system is meant to logically store and retrieve pertinent data on all scenes and takes of an uncut film.

The system adds no step in the logging-in of a film. Instead of entering information in an Editor's Log Book, 5'' x 8'' index cards are used which can be retrieved instantly by scene and take number or by asking the file for any characteristics of the shot, e.g., location, type of shot, camera movements, actors or personalities appearing individually or in combination in the take. The cards are meant to contain all editor's notes, dialogue, director's and script supervisor's indications, time, code and key numbers, camera, roll and shelf or Cinetab numbers and status of the material in the current cut; in addition, cards with sleeves are available to hold borrowed frames from the head and/or tail of the take so that the visual set-up of the opening and close of the take may be seen.

The portable hardware consists of two or three units which fit on a table top. Cards are stored in card selector units in any order and are returned when queried through a twelve-button keyboard or the Datacode visual display.

The developers of the system believe it is perfectly keyed to aid the memory and increase the creative opportunities of the serious feature film editor.

These advantages are inherent in the same system, with similar programming, when used in the casting and production management of a film. The Intercraft/Randomatic "Memory" has other applications for the retrieval of stored information such as in music, newsfilm and stockshot libraries and in TV program and commercial spoT scheduling departments.

One of the most important features of the system - in that it permits filing of the scene data to be done very rapidly and, at the same time, eliminates the possibility of error in filing - is that coded cards may be put anywhere within the Selector Tray; they do not have to be filed in any specific order. They will pop up "on command" wherever they may happen to be. For additional convenience, dividers may be used within the tray. However, the system will select from the complete tray at all times.


RANDOMATIC is a means of automatically retrieving randomly filed cards, either singly or in groups, in less than two seconds. Up to 1,500 cards are stored in a selector tray and up to ten trays may be searched simultaneously. Retrieval is accomplished by merely indexing an alpha and/or numeric identification on a standard ten button keyboard or searching by features on the Datacode visual display unit. Indexing causes bars to be raised in the selector trays which match code notching along the bottom edge of the cards. Selected cards are ejected above the rest of the cards for easy manual removal. …

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