Full film/digital nonlinear editing workflow


New member
Hi all.

I have what I feel is probably a stupid question, but I'm having trouble finding detailed information about this (probably I'm looking in the wrong places...). If there's somewhere else I should ask about this, or a good writeup somewhere (or even a book I should buy), please feel free to send me on my way.

I'd like to better understand the entire modern workflow for editing a film-based project with a nonlinear editor like FCP or Avid. I've done a ton of video editing, including linear editing with old school editing beta sp decks and in Avid and FCP. But I've never worked with film at all, nor have I ever worked on a longform film. I'm confused about how it works in 2010 in a real-world modern high-end production (e.g. a major studio feature film).

I'm somewhat familiar with offline editing (though all my work has been online), and I think I get the basic concept there. You capture a low-res copy of the filmed footage (is this telecine or scanning?) and make your edits, with the deliverable being an EDL. But I'm not clear what happens after that. Does the next step still involve physically cutting the negative to make the real edits? If so, I assume this is automated (what are those machines called?). If not, how does the real edit happen? Is it still in the digital realm, with a higher res copy of the footage? How do Avid/FCP effects like transitions, filters, etc. work in this kind of setup? If the final edit doesn't actually happen in Avid/FCP, I don't understand how the effects could carry over. How does DI play into this all?

Or am I confused, and the state of the art is doing the actual final editing in the NLE, with full resolution footage? To be clear, I'm mostly interested in how this works with projects that are shot on film, not video.


Romuald Martin

New member

Kim Welch

Senior Member
Staff member
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