Hi all,

I'm a picture editor and have worked on a couple of short films before, but have done basic sound designing myself (not ideal I know). For the project I'm working on now we have a pro sound designer but I'm not sure what I need to send her. She's asked for OMF and reference video (that bit I'm fine with), but also wants renamed rushes. I'm not sure how/why these need to be renamed. If it comes to it I can ask her to be more specific, but I don't want to come across completely clueless (even if I am!)

I hoped you guys would be able to tell me exactly what you expect (or want!) from the picture editor - the more detail the better.

Thanks in advance, Melidere

4 Answers 4


Usually a copy of all the original production audio is handed over (untouched), along with a copy of the audio media ex whatever app you have been editing in eg if cut on an Avid, it makes a copy on import & renames that media with its own unique file name and ID... She'll need the original files to access any eg multitrack files that you may not have used or wildlines etc, but she'll also want all that renamed media so she has everything you might have used in the cut, including any processed files, temp music etc...

With regards to the reference video, make sure your specs are correct with right size, codec (not h264!) and correct speed SMPTE leader with head 2 pop and tail leader with 2 pop

You would usually also hand over EDLs, and a list with FFOA and LFOA for each reel.

I'm not a dialogue editor, so others will be able to clarify exact specs etc...

  • Maybe they mean rename regions/clips? I've received OMFs often where the to track down an alt take in the dailies when all there is to go off in the OMF is something like fne4mor83er3r438.mov Good point about the dailies versus OMF - often the OMF edits used the mix track or (!) a wireless-fed scratch track sent to cam via a Comtek during production. So dailies are always a must, even on short film productions Mar 7, 2013 at 1:54
  • I think she must have simply meant renamed as in not just hardware generated file names - and these were all well labelled by the DIT with scene/slate/take. I've been editing in FCP so no Avid-style media management. I've sent them now anyway, and she seems happy! Why not h264 for the reference video? Thanks for you reply.
    – Melidere
    Mar 7, 2013 at 23:49
  • 1
    because h264 uses interframe compression, so it is VERY slow to play backwards or scrub video, which sound editors want to be able to do when they work. Providing h264 means they have to convert it to a different codec like PhotoJPG, which is not a big deal but a waste of their time....
    – user49
    Mar 8, 2013 at 6:22
  • That's interesting - and good to know for future reference. Though she has actually specified h264, so there we go!
    – Melidere
    Mar 12, 2013 at 23:22

"What do you expect from the picture editor?"

At the mix I always expect, "Can we hear what's in my OMF? I like what WE did."

  • Ahhhh Temp love.
    – user6508
    Mar 7, 2013 at 19:05
  • 1
    I like how you even emphasized the condescension. Mar 7, 2013 at 19:36
  1. A locked picture.

  2. All audio that was recorded, i.e. including audio tracks from takes that aren't used in the provided cut, so that they can be used, if needed. The tracks being full length, i.e. having "handles", and not cut to the film cut. Renamed in a way that they can be identified in relation to the picture and in groups, i.e. not for example having a file name that's specific to a video cut's file name, but more like a scene/script related descriptor.

But you should honestly discuss with the person that doing the work, instead of asking from here what he/she wants.

  1. Yes, a locked picture is nice (in a perfect world)

  2. Definitely handles. Without these, there's really not much to edit.

  3. A sensible track layout. Don't randomly put unlike audio on the same track. It takes time for a sound editor to go through and split these out and trust me, they'll be cursing you the whole time. For a typical documentary, I like something like this:


Dialog/Interviews (bonus points if each interview subject is on their own track)

Room Tone**

Nat Sound/Prod FX

Temp FX


** I've done many projects where I know RT was recorded on set, yet the editor has been too lazy to put it in the timeline. It takes time to hunt for it in a region bin (assuming it was named something logical). If it wasn't, then I have to spend even more time hunting for snippets of fill within a line or scene, and these are usually to short to make a decent fill loop.

Don't jam everything onto a half dozen tracks. Personally I don't care if I get 20 tracks in an OMF, as long as they make sense.

And obviously the correct TC frame rate, bit depth/sample rate, etc.

Thanks for asking. Don't worry about the sound dept. thinking you're a noob. If you are, that's ok! I think much more highly of someone asking me "How can I deliver assets so that you can do your job most efficiently?", rather than hand me a rat's nest of audio tacks and saying "deal with it".

  • Thanks for the detailed response! I'm really glad I stumbled upon this forum - although my main question was probably a bit redundant (stemming from panic at the thought of having to rename and reconnect all my audio files), it's been a great, practical insight into what the ideal way to deliver is. Lack of picture lock can be compensated by a beautifully laid out OMF, right? Thanks again to everyone who replied.
    – Melidere
    Mar 12, 2013 at 23:34

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