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Case Study with SFFILM

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SFFILM champions the world’s finest films and filmmakers through programs inspired by the spirit and values of the San Francisco Bay Area.

About SFFILM

 

The SFFILM Festival is the longest-running film festival in America. SFFILM is a cinematic discovery and major cultural event in the Bay Area. This year’s festival including 163 films, 12 World Premieres, and will showcase the work of over 200 filmmakers. SFFILM will show films in 36 languages from 52 countries.

Molly Stuart is a former SFFILM fellow and current FilmHouse resident, and we were fortunate to spend some time with her to understand SFFILM and the projects on which she worked as part of their residency program. She is currently working on a documentary short titled, Bedding. Her films have been featured at festivals around the U.S. and have been published in outlets that include The Nation and In These Times.

SFFILM’s FilmHouse residency program provides Bay Area-based filmmakers with artistic guidance, community building, office space, and mentorship from industry professionals. Stuart is an independent documentary filmmaker supported by SFFILM through the FilmHouse residency program. She first became connected to SFFILM in January 2018 through the Women, Peace, and Security Fellowship.

Tools of the Trade

Stuart explains her work with the fellow this way: “I edit documentary films at FilmHouse using the Puget Systems work stations. I share these workstations with several other FilmHouse residents who edit a wide variety of documentary and narrative films.

To that extent, her primary software tools consist of Adobe Premiere Pro, After Effects and Photoshop.

 

Technical Challenges

The technical challenges Stuart faces in editing feature films relate to the sheer weight of her Premiere Pro project files and her computer’s ability to process them at an efficient speed. The size of the projects put a strain on both the CPU and graphics card.

 

Before she had access to the Puget Systems at FilmHouse, her personal computer would regularly stall, crash, or take several minutes to save her files or render large clips. This was extremely disruptive to her work. Although she had a 2017 MacBook Pro, her goal was to improve both the performance and consistency of her workflow.

Once I began working on the Puget Systems stations, I no longer dealt with these problems and my workflow became much more efficient.

Why SFFILM selected Puget Systems

Stuart has recognized the benefits of moving her projects to a professional-grade workstation from Puget Systems.

The video playback in my project files is smooth and consistent. My project files do not stall or crash. And the Puget Systems computer reduced my export time by 500%. The presence of Puget Systems workstations at the FilmHouse has allowed me and other independent filmmakers to advance much more efficiently in our post-production processes.

 

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