Is Automatic Script Mimic a Killer Feature?

A friend of mine is working on a well-known series that’s being shot on HD video. He gets four to five hours of dailies — every day. The show employs several Meridien systems for off-line editorial.

He’s very eager to get his hands on Avid’s upcoming “automatic script mimic” software, which listens to your tracks and quickly lines up your dailies with an on-screen script. He thinks that’ll make it a lot easier to sort through all the material he receives.

And that got me thinking. He’s certainly not alone. Many shows, particularly those originated on video, are shooting more now. Is automatic script mimic the killer feature that will finally push editors, especially TV editors, to upgrade their old Meridien systems?

Also, keep in mind that script integration, which was originally created by Ediflex, is patented. It’s not likely to be seen on a Final Cut system any time soon. So is script integration destined to become an important differentiator between FCP and Media Composer — a reason that editors will stick with their Avids?

What do you think?

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3 Comments on “Is Automatic Script Mimic a Killer Feature?”

  1. Liam Says:

    When i first heard your report a week or so back about auto script mimic i was pretty impressed/excited. Since then i have been thinking about this whoile idea and i have my doubts. Firstly how solid is this? Actors fudge their lines, put in different words/sentences, will these altered performances be missed as a result of an actor not sticking to the lines? It sounds like amazing technology but diving in to the dailies and getting the best performance seems like time well spent to me.
    L

  2. editblog Says:

    I don’t know if it will be the “killer feature” or not but it can be vrey handy. If people will think of this as not only for feature films but for other uses it might just catch on.

  3. Steve Says:

    I’ve seen this feature demonstrated and it’s quite fast and surprisingly accurate when the actors stick to the script. I don’t know how well it deals with ad libs. And I don’t know what it’ll do if actors back up and do a line or a series of lines again.

    The problem with the Ediflex was that it encouraged you to cut line by line and you missed the subtleties of a performance. I’m not sure I’d use the script feature when first-cutting. I do think it would be helpful in quickly comparing takes, especially when recutting or working with a director or producer. You drag a marquee around a series of lines/takes and it plays them all back to back. In Ediflex parlance I think that was called “play across.” Useful when answering the question, “what else do we have here?”


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