Phillip Hodgetts – Metadata Genius

November 8, 2014 Tags: , ,
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Yet another great story on with far reaching implications:

The moral of the story is that Phillip Hodgetts is still smarter than the rest of us when it comes to metadata… but in practical terms, the things he’s talking about are extremely useful as post production continues to step into the 21st century and begins to embrace concepts found in the rest of the computing industry… tags, metadata, spreadsheet style editing, etc.

What it really boils down to is… “what kind of information do you need to know/need to share?”

At this point, there is so much info living within the files and databases that a more curated approach to delivering XML’s, etc. is becoming needed, and that’s why playing with the built in/custom metadata views in FCPX matters.

You need to send specific reports specs for a music supervisor? Make a custom metadata view for it.

You need to get to Logic X? Make an audio XML.

You need to send a markers only XML for producer’s best friend? Make a marker review XML.

And when you start bringing in bigger picture products like data asset management and automated dailies/proxy/batch exporting they type of information that is being read or written becomes critical. As camera manufacturers are now finally coming around to embedding metadata on files directly, or even sending it out wirelessly, managing and tracking what’s in clips and passing it out along the chain from camera to script supervisor to DIT to the studio in the cloud to the assist editor to the editor to the sound designer to the colorist to the VFX department to the archive vault… well, when all those people need to see something, maintaining correct metadata from department to department quickly becomes the biggest time/cost saver you can have in the post production process.

The less time you have to spend looking for/manually fixing things, the more time you get to spend on what ends up on screen, and the smaller your post budget becomes.

Metadata matters.


Sam Mestman

Sam Mestman, FCPWORKS.

This blog post contains the personal musings of FCPWORKS’ Workflow Architect, Sam Mestman. Sam’s also a regular writer for and MovieMaker Magazine, teaches post workflow at RED’s REDucation classes, and is the founder and CEO of We Make Movies, a film collective in Los Angeles and Toronto which is dedicated to making the movie industry not suck. If you’ve got any FCP X questions or need some help putting together a system, drop him an email at and you can follow him on Facebook or Twitter at @FCPWORKS.


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