OT: It still works!
Off topic but worth a note.
I still have one On-line room here that is about to go Bye-Bye. I'm an editor but also the engineer here.
The room is pretty large since it was designed for that time when MANY clients might sit in on an edit...back when dinosaurs still roamed the earth. It's pretty valuable real estate within the building here and that's why it's finally going. I built this thing over 15 years ago and it still has a warm place in my heart. Not only did I build it but I spent countless hours doing edits in it as well.
Today, just for sentimental reasons, I went in and fired everything up to see what would work and what wouldn't. Much to my surprise, it all came up and was functional! It all worked.
I have a Sony 9000 editor, a Grass Valley 200-2 switcher, two channels of ADO, a Chyron SuperScribe a Soundcraft BVE-200 audio board and a lot of stuff to support all the other stuff. The ADO not only passed video, but it still looked good. And no rendering involved when doing moves either. Not bad for 15 years old. The Chyron actually booted and loaded fonts off of it's huge 42Mb hard drive. (That's 42 MEGA-Byte hard drive) And the Sony editor booted off of it's three 3.5" floppy disks and still came up with our old setup screen still intact. WOW! And the one remaining Sony BVH-3000 1-inch recorder still makes video as well. Man, they built stuff to last back in those days.
All of you other "old guys" will remember your days in the On-line environment. Those heady days of making lay-off reels, doing pre-read edits if you were lucky enough to have a D2 machine for mastering and asking the client if he REALLY wanted to change the color of the background under a 7-layer graphic. Remember trying to explain to him why it would be difficult to do and why it would take so much time? Those were the days when you really needed to plan ahead on a graphics build.
Hell, I even go back to the days of Ampex VR-2000 Quad decks equipped with "Editec". "Poke 'n Hope editing we called it. Back then it was a good edit if all lf the servos on the deck stayed locked as the edit was replayed.
Gawd, I'm getting old...
Anybody else got any good "war stories" from their early days? Anyone else still have a functional On-line, tape to tape room? Just wondering. Too bad it's got to go...
I agree with you, Tom. Yeah... I come from those days too. But there are so many folks here who wouldn't understand the aches and pains we had... but then again... we just traded those for new aches and pains.
And if you have noticed, with all of the technology we have, it still takes about the same amount of time to edit a spot or segment for a show that it did about twenty years ago. Yeah, we can do ten layers of video and awesome graphics now but it kinda makes you think, doesn't it?
Anyways... I still wouldn't trade my Mac for all of that stuff we needed to make a program back then.
I started out working for a PBS station in college and they were still using the top load 3/4" tape machines and their idea of A-B roll was two VO-5800s and you pushed play on both machines then used a Microtime switcher to dissolve or wipe between the two and you had better have someone else with you to work the Shure field mixer to do audio fades. That was our edit suite for my first two years. Any graphics that had to be built was done in our production truck that we used for college football games. There went another generation of tape... Mmmm.... those were the days.... Lots of long long hours and long long days... The box of Tums were you best friend. Wait a minute.... They're still on my desk... Oh well, some things never change.
I sometimes miss the old days, having the flock of clients in the room arguing over the size of the disclaimer super on a car spot, or working on Home Depot commercials (before they went national in the late 1980's.) My claim to fame is being the first editor to make an edit on the first D2 machine sold to a broadcast outlet in the US. (WXIA, the NBC affilate in Atlanta) I was very blessed to work for them, very progressive, eventually we ended up with a Quantel Harry and D-1 machines in our graphic suite. After freelance in the mid-90's I ended up working in the online rooms at CNN post production, again I was very blessed to work on great equipment, and with great people. I probably had my last linear edit session last year at Creative Digital Group in Atlanta, just assembling a vingette reel for a client. Now I slave away over my G5 in Texarkana Texas, doing TV for the Lord. Gone are the days of the client looking over your shoulder. Today producers just want to see the final product, not watch the blue render bar march it's way across the screen.
If anybody is interested I have a fully functional Sony BVH-2000 (with the built in TBC). My wife would probably want me to get some money for it. But if your ever in Texarkana I could be talked into giving it to you.
[Tom Matthies] " WOW! And the one remaining Sony BVH-3000 1-inch recorder still makes video as well. Man, they built stuff to last back in those days."
and the 3000 wasn' as robust as the 2000 series was! No one could match Sony at that time (apart from VPR-3 perhaps, but with other budget figures).
And speaking of D2 machines and stuff in storage, I still have a pair of Ampex VPR-200 D2 decks in my garage. They still work great. Just cant bear to toss 'em out. I just gave away a mint Ampex VPR-6/TBC-7 to a friend in Burbank. At least it will get some use there.
Such is this business.
I'm just a kid at this compared to you guys... I'm just in my first full-time editing job. But I actually had to capture some one-inch last Friday off of our Sony BVH-3100. I was told we bought it from some broadcast outlet for something like $50. It made me thankful not only for the G5 I captured it on, but even cassette tapes you can just pop into a camera or deck. It was an interesting experience. I'm kinda looking forward to years down the road when I have that time-tested experience you folks have... and I can have a "remember HDV" conversation.
Hope the replacement suite brings more good memories,
not many of you guys know me, and i tend to chime in on a few things here and there, so i am gonna hop on this memory lane bandwagon with a brief history of time, as it were, to kinda get my props out there
linear stuff i have worked on and with: CMX 3400, GVG 151, GVG 1600, 1680, 200, 300, 110 4000 CDL ???, RCA tr 600, (2") NEC TT 7000, Sony bvh 2000, 2500, bvu 500, bvh 10,20, 40, 65,70,75, DVW ??? Ampex D2, Sony D2 Chyron 4, (whats a Chyron for, anyway?) abekes a 72, A 62, A52, Ampex VPR 2B, VPR 6 w Zeus TBC Ampex ADO, Ace Keyboard and Touchscreen, GVG Kaleidoscope, Quantel Encore, (whew)
Non linear: Montage, avid, d-vision, avid, media 100, avid, discret edit (did i metion avid?)
started as a "tech" shading an RCA TKP 45 (similar to the philips pcp 90, you know, a dinosaur color tv camera in a psuedo portable housing) shooting on a BVH 50 portable 1 inch (portable was a bit of a misnomer, as it weighed 40 pounds) in 1979
I think the headahces we used to have with color framing on 1 inch (mysterious horizontal shifts etc) have transformed into render issues, as they are equally pervasive and unavoidable
I think this job is like peanuts. I know its bad for me, but i cant stop....
"I like video because its so fast!"
Greer & Associates, Inc.
Boy, this topic sure got us old timers coming out of the woodwork.
After 10 plus years in the non-linear realm, the linear world seems like a memory from a past life. But I do remember my first edits on 2 top loading U-Matic decks with a Sony RM-430 controler, no time code and having to do some of the edits over and over again, sometimes 6-10 times before I got it to lock up and hit the edit point. Then when I moved up to the online world of 1" tape, I remember practicing threading the tape up over and over again so I would be able to do it quickly when I started the job.
It occurs to me now that there was something very assuring about those old big tape decks and switchers. They felt "professional", and high end quality. The delicatness of the tape made you handle it carefully and with some reverence. The bay was big and there were buttons galore. This was not stuff that everyone had at home and knew how to use. And it was damn effing expensive! Oooohhh!Don't get me
wrong, I love my non-linear editing, but working in a small room or office (not even a real "edit bay" on a table with a computer keyboard on it, just doesn't make me feel as special and professional as back then. It's just not as impressive looking, is it? These little decks and cameras just don't have the gravitas.
Look for my series "Cash Cab" now airing on Discovery, weekdays 5-6pm. I know, who the hell is home at that time? You can also check it out on youtube.com. Well, I know it's a big hit here in NY where it is shot.
I can really identify with that last post. I edited in the Atlanta area for 19 years, and in the early years (when the ego far exceeded the talent) I felt so special because I could operate this $750K room that the average layman wouldn't have a clue how to operate. In fact I thought it was so much cooler than being a Delta pilot (my lifelong dream) because in 1990 or so there were probably only 100 or so online editors in Atlanta but airline pilots were a dime a dozen. Now I work with a 23 year old who's been editing for 5 or 6 years and if he's not better than me now, he soon will be. My 16yr old went to camp 2 weeks ago and did stuff on my 17" G4 laptop, that I would have had a hard time doing with my ADO, A-62 and D-2 machines back then. But whether it's editing with a CMX Omni, or FCP I still love to edit! Can I here an Amen.
I really dig your show "Cash Cab!" I've caught a few episodes and youyr doing a great job on it.
Talking about "old" gear a few years back I did some work at a PBS station that was running Sony 1" machines in master control (4 if memory serves) along with DigiBeta decks, Beta SP and U-matic SP. We'd edit on FCP and Media 100 and linear on Digibeta depending on the project.
Absolutely fun times and good memories there!
Let me hop onto memory lane also. I started my career running camera on Bosch/Fernseh cameras and creating and lighting sets for the program I ran camera on. I moved onto RCA TC 44s and actually ran a TCP45 in a studio and on remotes. It was portable like the RCA TR 10 VTR. I started travelling doing telethons and ran a lot of GE PE 250s and began directing. GVG 1600K was the largest I used but also an RCA TS 100 and a Richmond Hill 3 ME switcher. Later after a stint as director and production manager I moved into the tape room with 4 RCA TR 70cs. I learned to punch & crunch doing insert edits where you hit the button 20 frames before the edit went in. We had RCA Editec but that scratched more quad tape than we could stand. Then we got TR 600s and Ampex VPR 2bs but by then I was on the RCA/EECO nixie tube time code editor. A controller for each machine the size of a BetacamSP deck. An engineer modified the machine for RS 170A so we could do match frame edits and dissolve on a GVG 100. We had an Ampex VPR 20 "portable" VTR also. Without a hand truck it was tough to carry. With batteries, around 80 lbs.
Then we got a CVS Epic editor (later Harris bought CVS) with 4 Sony TH 1100As while we waited for RCA to finish the TR 800s. Had a GVG 300 swr with MarkII DVE and Chyron 4 (added on to become a 4100EXB). Audio passed through a Neve audio board and we had a time code controlled Ampex 1/2" audio recorder. Sweet machine! Later we added in an AVR2 to the 4 TR 800s.
That company folded and I freelanced as a tape op, editor, vacation relief master control operator and whatever. Those Sony 2000s in an NEP truck were sweet for slo-mo.
Then I moved to my current job and edited on a Sony 9000 with GVG 200 swr and Abekas A53D and A72. Soundcraft BVE 200 audio board. We had up to four BetaSP machines (if they weren't needed elsewhere)and 2 VPR 250 D2 machines. Sony was very gracious to write software for those machines and it took 3 months, during which time I was on a borrowed (from Ampex) ACE 200. While we didn't have the digital composite switcher like the Abekas A82 we still did pre-reads (which weren't supposed to work in the 9000 software interface). After 4 passes hue had to be adjusted now and then but I put 10 dogs in a room at the same time and they never knew the other dogs were there :) We had an offline room with a Sony 900 component setup.
We borrowed modules from that room's Soundcraft BVE 200 when ones in the main room went bad.
Then 6 years ago we went from analog to digital and we purchased HD production capability. A Philips DD35 Seraph HD switcher with 4 LDK 6000 Mark II cameras and the Abekas HDveous. Pixel Power Clarity HD CG (awesome - 2 independent channels). Editing went Discreet with off-line on edit (still trucking along) and on-line in smoke for SD and fire for HD.
That was quite a learning curve but what a system! Version 7 is 64 bit and the timeline effects have been optimized so we wait a lot less for renders.
Everything is getting smaller, faster, and usually better. The story is still the thing but the new tools give more options. Thanks for the memories.
fire*, smoke*, photoshopCS2
Charlotte Public Television
Hell, yes, and I STILL do linear, not every day, but a couple times a week. Heck, I will finish today doing some simple cuts-only work inthat suite. Some things are still faster to do tape-to-tape than digitizing first,and the quality is good.
Our linear suite has three beta Sp decks, one DVCPro, one umatic, an S-VHS, Two Sony 1-inches, a grass 200 switcher and VPE 141 controller, which replaced a very sweet-handling but outdated EEECO EMME that had the best jog-shuttle wheel action EVER. And a control board trimmed in cherry wood! For graphics we used a Chyron VP-2, and it was a MAJOR upgrade when we got the single-channel Alladin to do CG and DVE and paint and etc. with. That is still running in there every day. We have a Video toaster 4 standing by to replace the Alladin when the genie no longer want to come out of his lamp. We maxed out the VT4 with a couple nice paint/animation programs, and it has a built-in NLE and DVD authoring as well as mulitchannel DVE which I still have not had time to master.
We have one NLE room for the workhorse Autodiscreet edit*6, and two spanking new FCP seats with identical gear and as many extra plug-ins and whatnot as I could think of. Our first NLE, a very easy to learn Panasonic Postbox, is in semi-retirement as a duplication feeder now. But when thay was new, we were the hot $%$% operation in town, man!;-)
The 1-inch and umatic are for playing back our legacy stuff, we used to ABC-roll to 1-inch masters but now master to the Beta SP or DVC Pro, and we have three NLE edit rooms that get daily workouts, but the linear room is also a live switch control room for studio tapings. It is often still used for the times one of us knows we can do something fater withthetime-worn gear and apps we really know well, than to fuss around with the computers on the NLE.
As far as what you do with the room that's being retired, I would look at re-racking the best parts into a mobile studio for IMAG and field switching jobs.
[Mark Suszko] "As far as what you do with the room that's being retired, I would look at re-racking the best parts into a mobile studio for IMAG and field switching jobs"
Because we're a quasi-governmental agency we had to sell the equipment but it was picked up and put into a local remote truck that does Jumbotron for the East Coast Hockey League and Clemson football.
CMX had some really cool ideas and hardware. It's too bad they couldn't keep the financing coming in. Perhaps they were just a little to far ahead of their time.
fire*, smoke*, photoshopCS2
Charlotte Public Television
I was waiting for a chance to chime in and I think I found it with Mark's post about the Panasonic Postbox.
Now, I'm only 30 but I've been in this business either in front of the camera or in back for at least 15 yrs. I did a local talent show with my father in the 80's and early 90's. The only "production" part I can recall is having to type out my lines on the typewriter but it could only be about 5 words or so per line because it had to fit onto the manual telepromter roller which was a wooden board with a roller on each side with a camera looking down at it. And if you did not tape the pages together perfectly, the words would obviously be crooked when readin. I could also recall my father showing me a brand new mic they purchased called a "boom" mic that you could hold farther away when interviewing or set on a floor stand to get tape dancers' tap noises better.
Then I went to college and we opened a production house where we also produce a local news for our cable system.
We started out using 1/2 inch. Then we got professional and went to the Sony Umatic 3/4" stuff with a Chyron Scribe Jr., a sony GVS-3100? switcher and a For-A dve. We had a tube camera and a 3ccd chip camera for eng shoots. Guess which one everyone wanted? :)
I was jealous of the other news crews cause they had the Beta SP cameras that you put this "tiny" tape in the side of the camera. Although, I became pretty good at physically cutting a portion of tape that was eaten and unusable, and scotch taping it back together and "saving the day" with just a couple of minutes or even seconds lost of tape.
As far as editing, it was deck to deck for news and for commercials we'd put the chyron through the dve to twirl it around and like one of the previous posts we'd do a/b roll by rolling to decks at the same time, mark our edit to match the last frame that was needed by eyeballing it either by the way someone's mouth was positioned or when thier hand passed there face and hoped the transition would not be seen. 50% of the time it was seen (usually only by us) but that was down and dirty editing for us and it needed to get done.
I also remember having to clean the heads every night and if the deck went down, there was no screen with a message that popped up showing you exactly what part was not working. We either had an engineer from a nearby station come in and fix it a la carte, or we had a friend in NYC where he drove 2 hrs, or we drove 2 hrs one way and then waited, praying that it would be an easy fix. We also bought a lot of used decks and ran them into the ground until the buttons fell off or the letters on the decks were totally wiped away. And it was also a bummer to have all this file video on 3/4 so when you needed to find video from 2 yrs previous, you first had to find which tape it was on by looking through papers at first, then on the computer later, then you had to find the tape, hope the video was still on the tape, rewind or fast forward FOREVER to find your spot, then finally, have to lose another generation of video becuase the original footage that was edited on there had and interview in the middle and now you only need the b-roll.
Then along came DVCPRO. WOW!! It was like a godsend. To be able to use only a camera on your shoulder, no deck to lug around, no extra 5 0r 6 long rectangular batteries needed to carry with you cause our camera took one and the deck took 2. No more big tapes to lug around and take up space on your walls, on the floor, in the car, in crates, in the garbage, everywhere!!! And those red record tabs were never in the tape you needed it to be in, so when you would crash to record it would only play and you'd shake your head and try to hit play and record again but nothing would happen, so you'd curse the machine for a while until you took the tape out to see that it was you who had the I-D-10-T error.
Another unique part about us is that we are basically the only ones on the channel besides KYW-Philly from 11-12am. So we created a lot of shows to runs during our times and we also have TV classifieds too. So of course you need to playback those shows by putting the vhs tape or 3/4 tape in hitting play and switching the show over. Well, sometimes the people we hired to do that job would forget to change it at the right time or a problem with the deck would occur, which made for an eventful night.
I was amazed at the picture quality first and the way you could still the video and have no pause line in the middle of the video so you could play it wherever you wanted, no pre-roll needed. And when you would edit your raw footage onto a master, you could hardly see any generation loss.
Before we got our Postbox, we had our first computer based editing machine called the Casablanca by Draco. It was a weird UI but it made our spots look a whole lot better.
Of course since we didn't have the money to go totally over to DVCPRO, we started with one dvcpro camera and one dvcpro deck. So that meant if it was used for eng, it would have to be dumped to 3/4 to be edited which took a bunch of time.
After the Casablanca used up it welcome (which by the way I still have sitting in one of my editing rooms waiting for the chance to fire it up to use one of it's weird filters on a project) we purchased the Postbox.
At this time, the Postbox was a great up and comer. Thinkng back I don't know really why. I mean, yes it had a video line, a key line, a title line and 4 audio tracks, a varitey of transitions that were real time, even some 3d effects that were real time. But it had no open architecture. No CD drive until 2000, so you had to sit there and upgrade your software using about 5 or 6 floppy's, the zip drive I attahced was a paralell port, and forget about usb's or ps2's.
Although, to be honest, I still have it in my editing room and it is still being used at least 3 times a week for smaller budget spots and we'll use it until a major meltdown occurs. (which will probably be tomorrow since I just brought it up) So we have definitely made our money back on that baby and still continue to do so.
Right now, we are 3 yrs. into using the ill-fated Media 100's 844x. A great system with no place to go. I'm learning After Effects slowly, but have found that the 844x does alot of the AE stuff.
We are still using DVCPRO but now have 4 cameras that work, 2 that are sitting around waiting to be used for parts cause they are too expensive to fix, we have 8 active decks used for digitizing, tape to tape editing, recording... and a beta sp deck to make dubs for others and to play from others, 2 vhs decks for client dubs and a dvd recorder for show files and client dubs.
We have a 1 yr old switcher from synergy and a 1 yhr old CG from Compix Media that are awesome.
We have been running our shows via computer for the past 4-5 yrs. using Leightronix and our TV classifieds have gotten a makeover from just being colored text and colored blocked backgrounds. with SCALA, we can import graphics now or full screen layout from Photoshop.
And this past month we've been experimenting with streaming all of our shows on our website 24/7. So whatever is running on our local channel, you can see on our site.
check it out by going to http://www.ssptv.com/live and check us out too at http://www.ssptv.com
Wow, what a post! sorry if it was too long, I got carried away but they were some good times, and some bad times.
Sam Lesante Jr.
V.P. / Prod. Mngr.
A Sam-Son Production
"Some people dream of worthy accomplishments while others stay awake and do them."
can you drop me a line off list
i am interested in your old video editing stories for a book that i am writing
velocite (at) gmail dot com
the kids at the cow moved this thread, so i had to dig around, and then checked my email
I forgot a couple of more esoteric things...the CMX 6000, NLE which used laserdiscs and could only do cuts (but it would superimpose graphics that mimiced film style markups, like dissolves and fades)
Also a system developed by Laser Edit in LA (now laser pacific) based around a 16 port edit controller kinda like an ampex ace. it was called the Spectra System and it drove custom made dual head laserdics players for offline editing, than the edl was loaded into an identical controller that ran one inch machines for online. the thing was huge, had backlit buttons, its own automated audio mixer, and did lookahaed assembly. (the closest to that at the time was the axial) wow what a beast! it also had the ability to learn and memorize switcher moves, so when you reached over and brought in a key, or switched between a 3 camera shoot, it all went into the list. unfortunately they were not for sale, but if you were paramount pictures, they would set up one on your set to cut your tv show. the sad thing was it never caught on with commercials or other single camera stuff.
"I like video because its so fast!"
Greer & Associates, Inc.
Quick Friday update:
Well gang, our old "Edit A" sadly is no more. It's now been stripped down to the cement floor, all of the equipment removed and retired. I now have three Grass Valley 200-2 switchers in storage in our studio-two in good working shape and one as a doner. Just doesn't seem right. The old linear room will get carved up into a Final Cut HD room and a smaller utility/logging/capture station. Everyone in the building stopped by at some time this week to pay their last respects. The Sony 9000 will live on as a tape logging station. A few of the consoles will be used in other locations. The rest is relagated to storage pergatory in the back of the studio. I think I will name the new FCP-HD room the "Phoenix" Suite. Just seems like a good idea, rising up from the ashes of the old suite.
Just for fun and good memories in our audio suite we took a small seldom used room off the main studio and reconstructed a simulated radio station control studio circa 1960 from old and donated radio gear. I have an old, 1956 Gates tube radio console in there that still works and still looks new. We've added numerous donated items over the last couple of years including an old floor standing ash tray-a true staple of the past. I'm still looking for an old gates or RCA turntable, but otherwise, it looks pretty much functional.
Maybe it's time to build the simulated TV Control room display as well. Sounds like a good project for this next long Wisconsin Winter.
Stand-By...film at Eleven...
I work for West Virginia University. We now have 6 Avids. We got our first Media Composer in about 1996. We still have two complete CMX 3600s and I hope we never get rid of them. One is connected to our Grass 250 switcher, the other is in our studio control room. The one with the 250 works great. It's sad that so many of our staff people are afraid of the CMX. I have seen guys spend a half a day digitizing commercials to make master reel. We intend to keep the systems running until they die. So far, they have outlasted about 10 revisions of Avid.