Matrox MXO2 Improves Rev13 Workflow

Tony Manolikakis
Rev13 films is an organization formed from a unique collaboration between two Montreal filmmakers. We provide services to independent production companies, corporations and artists.

Recently we've been repackaging episodes of "Moose TV," a Canadian sitcom that originally aired on Showcase Television but needed to be re-edited for use on APTN (Aboriginal Peoples Television Network). This project requireed both SD and HD dubs with closed captioning information. We've found a unique workflow with the combination of Final Cut Pro and the Matrox MXO2 input/output device that lets us do this work very inexpensively.


Our customer sends us HDCAM masters with closed captioning. Typically closed captions are lost when editing projects in Final Cut Pro, and they would have to be recreated after the editing was completed. However, the Matrox MXO2 lets us capture from our Sony HDW-F500 over SDI to HD ProRes 422 HQ, thus preserving the closed captioning data by encoding it onto an audio track using Matrox's 4VANC technology. Nothing is destroyed while we're editing, even when we have to do trimming or color correction, or even when we do more advanced edits, such as the blurring out of a logo.

Another advantage that comes with the MXO2 is its ability to downscale HD to SD in real time. This allows us to output both formats simultaneously. It also lets us monitor HD closed captioning data on a standard-definition monitor by moving the closed captioning data from the HD video's VANC to line 21 of the VBI portion of the SD video. As a result, we don't need to invest in expensive, specialized HD closed captioning monitoring equipment.


We can then deliver both SD and HD dubs with the original closed captioning intact. The customer saves time and money not having to recreate the captioning. In fact, by using this workflow we do the job at a fraction of the cost that many larger post-production houses with more elaborate equipment would charge. Not only does this system let us preserve and monitor closed captioning, it also lets us create closed captioning very inexpensively. Matrox has worked with CPC, a closed captioning software company, to develop an innovative solution that allows the MacCaption software to encode, decode, edit, and create HD and SD closed captioning for use with Matrox MXO2. We can deliver HD and SD masters containing newly created closed captions simultaneously.

Matrox MXO2 has become an integral part of our studio. We use it with all the applications in the new Final Cut Studio; for editing, grading, and effects; from RED ONE footage to SD. With the added functionality of preserving high-definition closed captioning, converting HD closed captions to SD line 21 and generating captions using CPC software, it opens up a whole new revenue opportunity, as we can now keep this work in house. It also makes things easier for our clients in terms of scheduling deliverables and minimizing the number of suppliers they need to deal with. As a small studio, we need flexibility and expensive single-purpose hardware is not cost effective. Tools like MXO2 allow us to stay competitive and creative.

Tony Manolikakis is a Montreal filmmaker, editor and post production supervisor. He may be contacted

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