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'Max Payne' editors turn to Final Cut Pro, AJA Kona 3 for digital post workflow

The editing team responsible for "Max Payne," a new release from Twentieth Century Fox, relied on the AJA Video Systems KONA 3 uncompressed capture card and Apple Final Cut Pro to cut the film adaptation of the popular video game.

Directed by John Moore and starring Mark Wahlberg as homicide detective Max Payne, the movie premiered in the United States on Oct. 17.

"Using Final Cut Pro for high-definition editing works really well due in large part to the way that it integrates with the AJA KONA 3 card," said “Max Payne” editor Dan Zimmerman.

Zimmerman and first assistant editor Ian Silverstein got involved in the project just prior to principle photography. The film was shot in Toronto, and Deluxe Toronto completed lab processing, telecine and captured HD dailies into Final Cut Pro using a KONA 3 card to deliver media via SmartJog to the editorial team based in Los Angeles.

The team relied on four Intel-based Mac systems running Final Cut Pro — one each as an editing, assistant editing, VFX editing and rendering station. The three editing stations were equipped with AJA KONA 3 cards with breakout boxes connected to HD monitors and a 7TB Apple Xsan.

A unique aspect of this implementation of the AJA KONA 3 card was that it output DVCPRO HD QuickTime media for integration into the mix stage pipeline at Warner Bros. in Burbank, CA. The KONA 3 card enabled HD playback of the film on the mixing stage at Warner Bros. without the need to do additional transcoding, Silverstein said.

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