LOS ANGELES—My career as a freelance VFX and assistant editor began more than 14 years ago. I started from the ground up, working as a PA, eventually joined the Motion Picture Editor’s Guild and carried on from there. Over the years, I’ve worked on many notable projects from “X-Men Days of Future Past” to “A Good Day to Die Hard,” and welcome the change of scenery and pace my job affords.
I’ve been working with AJA gear for years, dating back to 2005, when we first used Kona cards with Final Cut Pro on “Little Manhattan.” I’ve always had a fantastic experience with its gear, because it’s high quality and reliable.
The AJA IO 4K allows analog 5.1 audio without a digital-to-analog converter.FROM SET TO SCREEN
Currently I’m working as an assistant editor on a project that I can’t talk about just yet. It’s being shot with Arri Alexa 65s and an Alexa Mini. Our team is working with a company that processes dailies at Avid DNxHD 115, and we’re cutting in 5.1 audio, which is one of the main reasons we’re using AJA’s Io 4K capture and output hardware for the project. It’s small, portable and one of the only boxes that allows us to use analog 5.1 audio without a digital to analog converter.
AJA’s Io 4K is a really mobile solution that has simplified our screening process, and the fact that it’s Thunderbolt-based is awesome. We can easily move from cutting onset to the cutting room and screening room and hook it up into a projector to preview the cut and play it back with fantastic audio. With Io 4K’s HDMI outputs, we can quickly tap into any screening room. Knowing that what we see and hear is exactly what was in our cutting room is invaluable.
ON THE GO
Regardless of the project, establishing a solid workflow ahead of time is key. I like to first consider the types of cameras that will be used, the amount of VFX involved and resolution we’ll need to cut at to get the right look. From there, I base the rest of it off the scope of work and schedule. However, I always carry one of AJA’s TTAPs in my gearbox because whatever I’m working on, I know it will get used. It’s one of my favorite products.
The T-Tap allows us to quickly run to set and plug into a monitor and also works with many other programs that will utilize additional displays. Its compact size makes it a perfect add-on to our mobile systems.
Today you come across a lot of solutions with so many options that you’re paying for, but not using or that call for expensive and bulky hardware investments. I like AJA because its solutions often fit all the features we need into a standalone unit that allows us to do what we’re looking to do, without emptying our pockets. There’s also the reliability factor; just being able to pick up the Io 4K, drive across town and know it will work is huge.
Ryan Chavez is a freelance VFX and first assistant editor. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information, please visit www.aja.comor call 530-274-2048.