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Lynette Gilbert
Overwhelmed: what is the best solution?
on Jul 17, 2012 at 5:19:02 pm

I work for a non-profit organization that has a very, very small budget when it comes to video. (I am the entire department, and I'm only part-time.) We work with a LOT of tape (we have thousands of tapes in the archives, and I pull stuff all the time for one reason or another). We haven't even upgraded to HD yet because of the cost.

I've worked exclusively in FCP since becoming a professional (i.e. getting out of school). I use it here at work and in my freelance work at home, which is fantastic, because if I need to work on things from home (which I occasionally do for various reasons), it's super easy to just dump everything to a portable drive.

Most of my freelance work lately (believe it or not) has been DVD authoring. Consequently, I've become an expert at DVD Studio Pro. To lose that would be absolutely terrible.

Meanwhile, I've been told at work that if I want anything new this year, I need to have it submitted in the next few weeks. Well, I've been looking at FCPX for the last year, and I really don't like what I see. However, I've spent the past few days reading everything I can about it, looking at everything on apple.com, and going through CreativeCow archives. And now, I'm almost terrified to do anything new. I'm feeling VERY overwhelmed.

My situation is very unique. I work for a large zoo, and we turn out videos on a daily basis for one reason or another (we post to YouTube, produce PSAs, and do a LOT of internal video). I make several DVDs per week, whether it's to give someone a copy of a presentation that was filmed on Hi-8, a compilation of animal behaviors that was pulled off a Umatic tape, or a copy of another DVD. So even at work, to lose DVDSP would be problematic.

To give you an idea of how ancient our equipment is (outside the video room), I only stopped getting requests for copies on VHS in the last year. Most people at least have a DVD player in their computer, but some computers are so old that they don't even have a DVD drive. I work primarily in DV, though I often need to pull footage from Beta as well. I'm just now starting to get requests for copies in .mov format, and that's only because people are starting to use video in their Powerpoint presentations. Everything else internally is delivered on DVD. Some local stations only accept Beta (especially if the piece is more than 2 minutes), and some sports teams (who put our video on their Jumbotrons) also only accept Beta.

The point is - we are very much behind the times as far as video technology, but it can't be helped.

My concern with FCPX is that it will limit what I'm able to do as far as all this other stuff that most people don't have to worry about. I know I can continue to use DVD Studio Pro for now, but what happens when I get a new OS?

Do I try to hang on to FCP7 for as long as I can, or do I switch to FCPX and then figure out what is just gone for good? I want to add PPro at home, but I also want to upgrade to FCPX. (Aside from the whole sudden DVD business that I've got going on, I certainly don't have the worries that I do at work.)

One reason that I've really been avoiding FCPX in my freelance career is that I LOATHE the interface of FCPX. It looks like iMovie, and the few times I've had to work in iMovie (usually to teach someone else how to do simple editing), the interface has made me want to scream. It's like a program you'd design for a 10-year-old. Granted, I haven't played with it myself, just watched tutorials.

Anyway, it doesn't seem like switching to FCPX is really simple, because you need so much other software to do the things that the FCP Suite did. I know I'd have to get a Kona LHi, but it's not compatible with the way our myriad decks are configured, so to sort that out would be another expense. Plus, at this point, I have to choose between FCPX and upgrading to HD; we certainly can't afford both this year. Part of me wants to just ditch FCP altogether and move to PPro (which I'll be adding to my workstation at home), but then I can't access my old projects anyway. I don't relish the thought of starting over with everything (which is one reason I am glad that I put 90% of what I do on a DV master). Plus, some of our PSAs are reused from year to year with only a few changes - I'd have to rebuild all of those as well.

I honestly do not know what to do. Like I said, I've been inundated with information for the past several days; I'm overwhelmed and feel like there is no good solution. Being 100% responsible for whatever we purchase, I'm under a lot of stress here; if I make the wrong decision, it's something I just have to pretty much live with. I worked very closely with AJA to purchase a Kona LHi last year, and it ended up not being compatible with our setup, despite assurances from them that it was.

If anyone has a similar situation, please let me know if you've come up with a solution.


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Herb Sevush
Re: Overwhelmed: what is the best solution?
on Jul 17, 2012 at 5:30:40 pm

[Lynette Gilbert] "Part of me wants to just ditch FCP altogether and move to PPro (which I'll be adding to my workstation at home), but then I can't access my old projects anyway."

You can export your old FCP projects as an XML which can then be read by PPro. There are tutorials all over the place to show you how to do it. If that's the only thing stopping you, then you don't have to worry about switching to PPro.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Lynette Gilbert
Re: Overwhelmed: what is the best solution?
on Jul 17, 2012 at 5:38:27 pm

[Herb Sevush] "You can export your old FCP projects as an XML which can then be read by PPro. There are tutorials all over the place to show you how to do it. If that's the only thing stopping you, then you don't have to worry about switching to PPro"

You're right - I did know about that, just forgot. Thanks! [One small bit of panic evaporates.]


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Herb Sevush
Re: Overwhelmed: what is the best solution?
on Jul 17, 2012 at 5:43:24 pm

[Lynette Gilbert] "One small bit of panic evaporates."

No reason to panic, and also no reason to change just yet. FCP still works, I'm using it for at least another year, many are doing the same. Unless you plan on switching to Windows, or you are getting tired of transcoding difficult codecs, there is no pressure to switch anything. Investigate your choices, there are plenty of free trial demos out there, and make a change when it helps your workflow.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Lynette Gilbert
Re: Overwhelmed: what is the best solution?
on Jul 17, 2012 at 5:48:44 pm

[Herb Sevush] "No reason to panic, and also no reason to change just yet."

Thanks. My concern is that I only have one small window each year to decide what's going to happen technologically for the next 3-5 years ... It gets me incredibly stressed.

I'm going to step away from the computer for a while and go fix my Beta machine. As of this morning, it's only accepting 60-minute Betas ...


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Andy Neil
Re: Overwhelmed: what is the best solution?
on Jul 17, 2012 at 6:45:26 pm

[Lynette Gilbert] "My concern is that I only have one small window each year to decide what's going to happen technologically for the next 3-5 years ... It gets me incredibly stressed."

I wouldn't get too stressed about it. It sounds as if they're pretty far behind technologically and are fine with that. If I was in your shoes, I'd keep FCP 7 and get them to upgrade to HD with their cameras and decks. Leave the OS and software as it is since FCP 7 handles HD for a majority of workflows and have them switch out whatever component is incompatible with the Kona card because having a dedicated capture card solves so many issues. There's no need to move software if they haven't even embraced HD yet.

Though I don't see FCP X as being a good fit now based on what you described, I would point out that using it (or Premiere for that matter) doesn't preclude the continued use of DVDSP. Just don't upgrade the OS for the edit station past the point where it fails to run properly and you should be fine for the next few years.

http://www.timesavertutorials.com


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Lynette Gilbert
Re: Overwhelmed: what is the best solution?
on Jul 17, 2012 at 10:18:04 pm

Thanks!


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Paul Neumann
Re: Overwhelmed: what is the best solution?
on Jul 17, 2012 at 5:37:20 pm

Download the trial versions and see what you think. You'll get full function for 30 days with each. Should be time to for you to put it through some real world paces. FCPX or PPRO (and the suite) will do you just fine.

Take a breath and try 'em out.


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Lynette Gilbert
Re: Overwhelmed: what is the best solution?
on Jul 17, 2012 at 5:50:56 pm

[Paul Neumann] "Download the trial versions and see what you think. You'll get full function for 30 days with each. Should be time to for you to put it through some real world paces. FCPX or PPRO (and the suite) will do you just fine."

I do have FCPX downloading now - it's just a matter now of convincing IT to install it ...


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Franz Bieberkopf
Re: Overwhelmed: what is the best solution?
on Jul 17, 2012 at 5:46:58 pm

Lynette,


It sounds like FCP and suite are serving your needs right now, and likely for the next year. I'd suggest you think of this as a transition year and continue using your current tools while investigating alternatives.

FCP 7 currently works in OS X Lion (from what I have read) and should continue to work in OS X Mountain Lion (again, from reports I have read). Not sure about DVD Studio Pro but you could probably get responses on that in the DVDSPro forum.

There are many good postings here about PPro, Avid, FCPX and other alternatives. Adobe has a DVD authoring tool which is part of their package suite as well.

If you're looking at it from a budget perspective, I'd use the free 30 day trials where you can and consider budgeting for PPro and anything else you wish to try. If you can find small, manageable projects that you can use to test new software over the coming year then that will go a long way towards building your confidence in making the right decision. In the meantime, all the software listed above will be evolving over the next year and there will be clearer feedback on a wide scale when it comes time to make your decision.


Franz.


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Lynette Gilbert
Re: Overwhelmed: what is the best solution?
on Jul 17, 2012 at 5:51:42 pm

[Franz Bieberkopf] "If you're looking at it from a budget perspective, I'd use the free 30 day trials where you can and consider budgeting for PPro and anything else you wish to try. If you can find small, manageable projects that you can use to test new software over the coming year then that will go a long way towards building your confidence in making the right decision. In the meantime, all the software listed above will be evolving over the next year and there will be clearer feedback on a wide scale when it comes time to make your decision."

Thanks!


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Alan Okey
Re: Overwhelmed: what is the best solution?
on Jul 17, 2012 at 5:56:19 pm

[Lynette Gilbert] "I worked very closely with AJA to purchase a Kona LHi last year, and it ended up not being compatible with our setup, despite assurances from them that it was. "

I'm curious to hear more about that. I use a Kona LHi with Beta SP, DVCAM and SVHS decks. What about your particular setup precluded you from using the Kona card with your decks?


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Lynette Gilbert
Re: Overwhelmed: what is the best solution?
on Jul 17, 2012 at 6:12:00 pm

[Alan Okey] "I'm curious to hear more about that. I use a Kona LHi with Beta SP, DVCAM and SVHS decks. What about your particular setup precluded you from using the Kona card with your decks?"

Honestly, I don't remember now. It was something really stupid, like it wasn't compatible with the switcher. Don't quote me on that, though.


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Michael Garber
Re: Overwhelmed: what is the best solution?
on Jul 17, 2012 at 6:34:06 pm

I have read in places that Premiere is working pretty well with tape import/output. But I'd be curious to hear other people's input on that one.

As has been said before, FCP7 does work on Lion. But I've found that it works a *little* better in Snow Leopard.

My gut says Adobe is probably the way to go for you for it's tape support. Still, I recommend playing with FCPX to see if it's something you might like. Given it's price, there might be an application for it in your future.

I'm becoming a big fan of Adobe Media Encoder. Since you make a lot of DVDs, you'll find that it's very fast. I like it much more than Compressor.

A long time ago I used Adobe Encore for making a DVD and a Bluray. I liked it. Barring bugs and weirdness that I don't know about, I think it's probably a great alternative to DVDSP. And it's integration with Photoshop and the rest of the Adobe Creative Suite is great.

Download the demos, try before you buy. Let us know how it goes :).

Michael Garber
5th Wall - a post production company


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Lynette Gilbert
Re: Overwhelmed: what is the best solution?
on Jul 17, 2012 at 9:46:54 pm

[Michael Garber] "My gut says Adobe is probably the way to go for you for it's tape support. Still, I recommend playing with FCPX to see if it's something you might like. Given it's price, there might be an application for it in your future."

Thanks so much for your input - I definitely want FCPX at home (in addition to PPro, which I'm hoping to purchase in the next few months) because even though I hate the interface, I need to stay with FC for my freelancing. And I've seen a lot more projects lately that request PPro, so that's why I'm purchasing it.

I'll probably wait on new software for now, based on what everyone has said so far, and tinker with it at home for a while before trying to integrate anything at work.


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Eric Santiago
Re: Overwhelmed: what is the best solution?
on Jul 17, 2012 at 10:32:49 pm

[Michael Garber] "A long time ago I used Adobe Encore for making a DVD and a Bluray. I liked it. Barring bugs and weirdness that I don't know about, I think it's probably a great alternative to DVDSP."
I am long time DVDSP user and have converted to Encore.
It was all thanks to BD and nothing else.
I use FCPX and Avid mostly with PPro time to time.
If you are ready to move to PPro, you at least have Encore to try and use as possible replacement for DVDSP.

Dont forget to have fun :)


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Lynette Gilbert
Re: Overwhelmed: what is the best solution?
on Jul 17, 2012 at 10:36:00 pm

[Eric Santiago] "I am long time DVDSP user and have converted to Encore."

That is great to hear, thanks!


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Bob Woodhead
Re: Overwhelmed: what is the best solution?
on Jul 17, 2012 at 9:13:55 pm

Does your budget only cover post? Or can it include production? If the latter, do what Craig said. Leave all post as-is. Buy something like a Panasonic AG-AC130. Fantastic optical lens (good for eyeball shots), all manual or all auto & anything in-between. SDHC card-based workflow. Ingest into FCP 7 will transcode into ProRes of your choice. Start delivering HD, or, worst case, start building an HD library.

If you *must* spend your budget on post (ie, software), buy the Creative Suite. And FCPX. And don't loathe X.... I did too, but then I started using it. Now I just dislike parts of it, like I do all the other NLE's. (Yes, including 7, but that had the fewest dislikes, lol.) And when you hold your nose and sit down to learn X, toss your thoughts of how a NLE should work out the window, do the tutorials (Lynda, Ripple, et al).... let the X way flow. Otherwise you'll hate it. But it's got a lot going for it, if Apple only fixes what's broke....

"Constituo, ergo sum"

Bob Woodhead / Atlanta
CMX-Quantel-Avid-FCP-Premiere-3D-AFX-Crayola
"What a long strange trip it's been...."


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Lynette Gilbert
Re: Overwhelmed: what is the best solution?
on Jul 17, 2012 at 9:56:16 pm

[Bob Woodhead] "Does your budget only cover post?"

My budget includes anything, but my budget is TINY. (Last year my big purchase was a new wireless mic.)

But, I love my job. I can't imagine working anywhere else. Everyone else suffers from lack of budget, from outdated equipment.

I do have several cameras on my wish list. I'm hoping I can get a grant that will cover some costs, but grants are very specific on how you can use the equipment (i.e. you can only use it for certain projects).


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Bill Davis
Re: Overwhelmed: what is the best solution?
on Jul 17, 2012 at 7:32:27 pm

Lynette,


Here's some food for thought.

Video has been traditionally very complex and technical and difficult to deal with. But we're in an era where it's getting less so.

It used to require TV stations and technicians to make. Now it requires an iPhone. Period.

It used to live on tapes and big heavy machines. Now it lives in virtual files on-line and on thumb drives.

Your present job seems to revolve around technology that isn't merely changing, it's largely already changed. Permanently.

Videomaking is increasingly moving on from being a "company endeavor" - to being a "personal" one. We don't really need to rely on a big company to "equip us" anymore. Anyone good at video can typically get the tools and assembled without much cost or hassle.

So I'd just encourage you to veer a bit away from viewing video as something that's done "at your company" and move, instead in the direction of investing in yourself, not your workspace.

No matter what tools you go with - don't just let your business own and control them and be their worker - own and learn and control your own toolset. That way, no matter where you go - you're ready to produce quality work without the resources of others being required.

I think FCP-X fits perfectly into that concept - but if you'd rather go with a more "traditional 'editing program like Premier, feel free. Just make sure you don't tie it too much to their computer and their chair and their decks and their hard drives. Because if you do - they control things.

And someday you might be happier if YOU control things for yourself.

Translating between the old stuff (tape, etc.) is trivial. A $200 BlackMagic video recorder will take a feed from any old analog deck, transcode it to H-264 - and get you a universal video file that you can use in lots of ways. And once you translate it once, the old analog version is functionally obsolete. Just archive the new digitization and get rid of the tapes, one by one. Because someday there simply won't be a deck around to play them. You can start fixing that now - or get stuck later when you can't get a replacement pinch roller anymore.

And trust me, all those people still using DVD's? They'll stop the moment they realize that they can get the same result from an on-line video that never gets lost and can be linked to anyone else on the planet in seconds - or that sticking a thumb-drive and double clicking on the video file in their laptop gets them the same result as loading up the breakable plastic disk. And so they'll want DVDs right up to the second they realize that they'll never want another one again.

Looking forward is what works today. Trying to keep working hard to be good at the way things used to be done? Not so much. Sorry to be harsh, but there it is.

New tools like FCP-X are designed for the way things will be increasingly done in the future. The people who dislike them the most are the ones who have convinced themselves that the key to success is to keep doing things the way they used to be done - and I simply reject that.

I think that's a losing strategy - and whatever program you choose please, DO NOT try to simply use it to do the same work in the same way you used to. That path is stagnant. Use whatever tool you choose to learn in order to do things more efficiently and better.

Take those old "rote" processes in re-invent them.

Make it EASIER for your clients to get the content they want. Not as hard as it used to be. Even if they don't know there's a better way yet. YOU want to be the person to help them understand that. This make you more valuable.

You have a lot of emotion expressed in your post. If you can translate that from fear and concern into excitement and joy at being in an increasingly important industry you'll do really well. You're at a unique point in the history of video production where everything is in upheaval and nobody has a superior chance over YOU to master the new stuff - and quite a bit of the new stuff is inexpensive and accessible - then it can be positively transformative experience, IMO.

Good luck.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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Jules bowman
Re: Overwhelmed: what is the best solution?
on Jul 23, 2012 at 12:13:34 am

Lynette,

In case you do trawl through Bill's evangelical post which from the little I read seemed to ignore your current set up in terms of formats you use and the fact the zoo probably doesn't have the budget for wholesale changes despite, apparently, the past being eradicated last June, do take into account he is like the Jehovah's Witnesses who knock on your door trying to sell you Jesus, though unfortunately there is no way or saying 'sorry, fundamentalism isn't for me and I believe in Darwin' then shutting the door on the forum.

Stick with FCP7 for now. Demo PP6. The future is changing for some but to be honest X isn't the editing messiah, it is just a very naughty boy.


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Lynette Gilbert
Re: Overwhelmed: what is the best solution?
on Jul 23, 2012 at 12:53:59 am

::snort:: You just made my day.

From what everyone is saying, it looks like PP6 might be the way to go in the future. Since I'm thinking of getting it for my home setup, we'll see how it goes on the editing front before I try to worry about if it will work with my configuration at the zoo.

Thanks!


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Chris Harlan
Re: Overwhelmed: what is the best solution?
on Jul 23, 2012 at 7:53:57 am

[Jules bowman] "Stick with FCP7 for now. Demo PP6. The future is changing for some but to be honest X isn't the editing messiah, it is just a very naughty boy.
"


And remember to always look on the bright side of life.







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Jules bowman
Re: Overwhelmed: what is the best solution?
on Jul 23, 2012 at 9:31:09 am

Indeed :)


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Craig Alan
Re: Overwhelmed: what is the best solution?
on Jul 17, 2012 at 8:16:43 pm

Lynnete,

Not sure what your small budget is but I would get a card based HD camera. I would get the needed accessories for it like a lens filter, a good tripod, a bag, a card reader, an extra media card. I would stay with FCP 7 as I learned FCP X. X does not meet everyone's needs, but I don't see these needs for a one-person producer. I am just learning X now and hated it initially but am coming around to what is cool about it. I would start shooting HD and I would set up a website for the zoo where all their videos are posted. Though DVDSP can still be used with any NLE, the best workflow being via compressor, I would start training your people to check out the video on-line or if they insist ask them for a thumb drive that you can copy the file to -- just tell them that unless they have a blueray player there is no way they can get the real quality on a SD-DVD. Not to mention that it is really time consuming.

Once you start using HD card based workflows you will not want to go home again. Once they view a file based HD content on-line or copied to their computer or thumb drive they will not want to use their slow to load SD-DVD drive again.

MacPro4,1 2.66GHz 8 core 12gigs of ram. GPU: Nvidia Geoforce GT120 with Vram 512. OS X 10.6.x; Camcorders: Panasonic AG-HPX170, Sony Z7U, Canon HV30/40, Sony vx2000/PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Lynette Gilbert
Re: Overwhelmed: what is the best solution?
on Jul 17, 2012 at 10:10:06 pm

[Craig Alan] "Once they view a file based HD content on-line or copied to their computer or thumb drive they will not want to use their slow to load SD-DVD drive again."

I wish it was that easy. Believe me, I've pulled us out of the dark ages, but it's taken me 6 years to get us even to where we are now. I'm just one part-time person, and I'm not high on the list of priorities; I'm doing the best I can given the circumstances.


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Craig Alan
Re: Overwhelmed: what is the best solution?
on Jul 17, 2012 at 10:18:26 pm

Money talks. Any chance some of your work could be sold to benefit the zoo, say split the profits between the general zoo funds and to help build the video "department". Or perhaps the videos posted on-line could be linked to ticket sales. Or have an admission to a video tour given at the zoo.

MacPro4,1 2.66GHz 8 core 12gigs of ram. GPU: Nvidia Geoforce GT120 with Vram 512. OS X 10.6.x; Camcorders: Panasonic AG-HPX170, Sony Z7U, Canon HV30/40, Sony vx2000/PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Lynette Gilbert
Re: Overwhelmed: what is the best solution?
on Jul 17, 2012 at 10:28:08 pm

[Craig Alan] "Money talks. Any chance some of your work could be sold to benefit the zoo, say split the profits between the general zoo funds and to help build the video "department". Or perhaps the videos posted on-line could be linked to ticket sales. Or have an admission to a video tour given at the zoo."

It's been explored. Believe me, this is a very sensitive topic and way too complicated to try to get into here. Let's just say that if I didn't have just about the coolest job in the world, I wouldn't be hanging around dealing with all this, I'd be curled up in a nice post-production house in the city editing my little heart out.


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Michael Gissing
Re: Overwhelmed: what is the best solution?
on Jul 17, 2012 at 11:09:42 pm

As you have a working FCP7 system, make sure you clone your drive before trialling FCPX. Personally, I wouldn't put FCPX on a working FCP7 system at all but partition or use a totally new boot drive. Others will disagree but they perhaps have time to do a total reinstall when FCP7 starts to play up. I also wouldn't update the OS on the FCP7 machine past SL and best advice has to always do clean installs for OS not overwriting. Same advice if you are trialling CS6.

A year after FCPX release I am staying on FCP 7 for at least another six months as it works, and it is compatible with the majority of editors who I post for. CS6 seems the most logical progression to me. As you are part of a system that uses tape, FCPX doesn't look like a good NLE for your application. As has been mentioned, Pr is able to take FCP7 sequences from XML and although third parties have made translation tools for going Xto7 and 7toX, my understanding is that they are less reliable than going 7 to Pr.


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Lynette Gilbert
Re: Overwhelmed: what is the best solution?
on Jul 17, 2012 at 11:17:10 pm

Thanks for the heads-up!


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Chris Harlan
Re: Overwhelmed: what is the best solution?
on Jul 17, 2012 at 11:20:35 pm

[Lynette Gilbert] "Thanks for the heads-up!"

Pr6 is pretty cool, and it is an easy transition from FCP. If I were in your shoes, I'd probably be thinking CS6. What's your i/o card?


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Richard Herd
Re: Overwhelmed: what is the best solution?
on Jul 17, 2012 at 11:31:06 pm

I feel your anxiety. I too work for a non-profit with EdDs who although quite smart are functionally illiterate on computers. My program lives and dies with grant money. We must submit a dollar amount for the grant every year or next year it looks like an unjustified capital increase year-over-year.

Good luck!!


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Lynette Gilbert
Re: Overwhelmed: what is the best solution?
on Jul 17, 2012 at 11:36:20 pm

[Richard Herd] "I feel your anxiety. I too work for a non-profit with EdDs who although quite smart are functionally illiterate on computers. My program lives and dies with grant money. We must submit a dollar amount for the grant every year or next year it looks like an unjustified capital increase year-over-year.

Good luck!!"


Wow, that's tough. My boss knows nothing about video, so that just adds to all the stress. Thanks, and good luck to you, too!


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tony west
Re: Overwhelmed: what is the best solution?
on Jul 18, 2012 at 12:02:56 am

Lynette, how much are you all spending on tape stock a year and maintenance on those old machines?

It seems to me that's how you sell getting an HD cam to them.

'We save this $ amount of money by getting out of tape."

I don't miss buying tape AT ALL.

As far as those folks who are asking for VHS I would just tell them we don't offer that anymore. It's not cost effective for us.


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Dave Jenkins
Re: Overwhelmed: what is the best solution?
on Jul 18, 2012 at 12:35:30 am

Lynette, I agree with Bill. You should be thinking about how to get away from tape! Invest in a system to digitize your tape library either to dvd, hard drives, or... Your productivity will increase and you will save money on repairing decks.

Dajen Productions, Santa Barbara, CA
MacPro Two 2.8GHz Quad Core - AJA Kona LHe
FCS 3 OS X 10.6 QT 10


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Rich Rubasch
Re: Overwhelmed: what is the best solution?
on Jul 18, 2012 at 2:31:58 am

If I added up all the money I spent on deck repair and tape, then I added up how much I spent on all the hard drives I've had to buy, enclosures, cables etc I'd go back to tape in a moment.

And I'd sleep better.

Now I am looking at LTO, another $3000 to throw at this "dream" of a tapeless workflow.

Still hard to not feel that the manufacturers left us in the lurch with this whole tapeless workflow.

Rich Rubasch
Tilt Media Inc.
Video Production, Post, Studio Sound Stage
Founder/President/Editor/Designer/Animator
http://www.tiltmedia.com


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tony west
Re: Overwhelmed: what is the best solution?
on Jul 18, 2012 at 3:58:32 am

[Rich Rubasch] " I'd go back to tape in a moment."

Wow, I've never heard anybody say that before. That's why I like coming on here.

A very wide spectrum of views.

How about loading in that footage in REAL time. I was just remember how much I miss that : )


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Walter Soyka
Re: Overwhelmed: what is the best solution?
on Jul 18, 2012 at 4:26:02 am

[Rich Rubasch] " I'd go back to tape in a moment."

[tony west] "Wow, I've never heard anybody say that before. That's why I like coming on here. A very wide spectrum of views."

Really? Tape has some big advantages: it's a predictable, known, and standardized (saying "send it to me on Beta" is more meaningful than "send me a QuickTime file") -- but more importantly, as Rich points out, tape is its own archive.

I've had to go to LTO for archive, too. Tapeless acquisition doesn't mean tapeless production.


[tony west] "How about loading in that footage in REAL time. I was just remember how much I miss that : )"

You have to watch the footage sometime...

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Andy Neil
Re: Overwhelmed: what is the best solution?
on Jul 18, 2012 at 5:05:33 am

[Walter Soyka] "Tape has some big advantages: it's a predictable, known, and standardized (saying "send it to me on Beta" is more meaningful than "send me a QuickTime file") -- but more importantly, as Rich points out, tape is its own archive."

Tape being it's own archive is nearly its only advantage. The other things you listed aren't even true really. There are tons of different tape formats (VHS, beta, digibeta, HDCam(SR), D1-5, DV, DVCPro(HD), DVCam, U-matic, etc.). Standardization is a "sometimes" proposition with all kinds of gotchas when two companies collaborate. Heck, there are even issues inside big companies with tape standardization. Take Disney for example who up until recent years had tape masters of their films on D5, but then switched to HDCamSR which created all sorts of headaches for people going back and forth, and issues when pulling video for edits. Plus, compatibility with all these standards required having at least one machine for ALL these tape formats which is a tremendous cost.

On top of that, tape has plenty of disadvantages including the fact that its locked into a format, is bulkier to store, projects can't be saved, only outputs, and is many times slower on import and export.

Tape obviously still has a place in production and post, but "going back to tape" just feels like moving in the wrong direction. Finding a solution to proper archive is important, but it's definitely not tape. Perhaps cost-effective SSDs, cloud servers, or some other technology yet to be invented will solve the archive problem and allow tape to go quietly into that good night.

Andy

http://www.timesavertutorials.com


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Walter Soyka
Re: Overwhelmed: what is the best solution?
on Jul 18, 2012 at 5:34:21 am

[Andy Neil] "Tape being it's own archive is nearly its only advantage. The other things you listed aren't even true really. There are tons of different tape formats (VHS, beta, digibeta, HDCam(SR), D1-5, DV, DVCPro(HD), DVCam, U-matic, etc.). Standardization is a "sometimes" proposition with all kinds of gotchas when two companies collaborate. Heck, there are even issues inside big companies with tape standardization. Take Disney for example who up until recent years had tape masters of their films on D5, but then switched to HDCamSR which created all sorts of headaches for people going back and forth, and issues when pulling video for edits. Plus, compatibility with all these standards required having at least one machine for ALL these tape formats which is a tremendous cost."

Sure, there are a zillion tape formats -- but my point was that there's significantly less variation within a particular tape format than is possible with digital files. File-based acquisition is pretty nearly sorted now, but delivery is still a flaming disaster.

If I tell you I'm sending you an HDCAM SR tape, you know exactly what you need to play it. If I tell you I'm sending you a QuickTime file, well...

But hey -- the great thing about standards is that there are so many to chose from!



[Andy Neil] "Tape obviously still has a place in production and post, but "going back to tape" just feels like moving in the wrong direction. Finding a solution to proper archive is important, but it's definitely not tape. Perhaps cost-effective SSDs, cloud servers, or some other technology yet to be invented will solve the archive problem and allow tape to go quietly into that good night."

Why do you think tape is the wrong direction? LTO is a great format for the foreseeable future. High data density, high bandwidth, good shelf life, relatively affordable, and broad cross-industry support. There is no such thing as "cost effective SSD" in 2012 (nor will there be for some time), and cloud storage requires more bandwidth than any of us have if you actually need to recover data in a timely fashion. I can't argue with you about technologies yet to be invented, but they won't help anyone in the here and now.

I personally don't pine for the days of tape acquisition and delivery. I've been using file-based workflows since well before they were cool. It just seems undeniable to me that file-based workflows have some challenges that tape-based workflows didn't.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Andy Neil
Re: Overwhelmed: what is the best solution?
on Jul 18, 2012 at 6:28:23 am

[Walter Soyka] "Why do you think tape is the wrong direction? LTO is a great format for the foreseeable future. High data density, high bandwidth, good shelf life, relatively affordable, and broad cross-industry support. There is no such thing as "cost effective SSD" in 2012"

My comment regarding emerging technologies like SSD and cloud servers wasn't to suggest that they are a current solution. I was looking forward to the future. SSDs will become cheaper as these things do and though bandwidth is a significant hurdle for cloud technologies, it's not an insurmountable one. Many larger companies right now use server storage as an archive solution which are connected via fibre or ethernet (essentially a "hard-wired" cloud service). But I admit that nothing is standing out at this moment as a magic bullet which is why I said that tape still has a place.

But let's separate LTO from my tape comment because when I said that "going back to tape" was moving the wrong direction, I was referring to an earlier post which said:

[Rich Rubasch] "If I added up all the money I spent on deck repair and tape, then I added up how much I spent on all the hard drives I've had to buy, enclosures, cables etc I'd go back to tape in a moment."

Clearly he was not talking about LTO. He was talking about tape decks and tape versus file based workflows. Going back to THAT is going the wrong direction in my opinion.

LTO is fine for right now, but it feels like a temporary solution. One for shops that want to continue acquiring and editing tapeless, but need a cost effective, yet reliable archive. The future is oncoming and something will present itself as a more definite solution down the road, but I seriously doubt it'll be a return to Beta.

Andy

http://www.timesavertutorials.com


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Lynette Gilbert
Re: Overwhelmed: what is the best solution?
on Jul 18, 2012 at 1:53:21 pm

The thing that worries me about archiving digitally is that remember, I have decades of archives that I work with. Well, I recently was handed a bunch of CDs from the 1990s and told, "we can't get these to work - can you?" Well, my computer wouldn't even recognize the discs; IT was able to open them, but they said the files were mpegs stored in a DAT file. IT says they have no way to open them. I haven't tried yet, but I don't have much hope. These files are now completely useless. And I'm sure that in 1997, they were created with cutting-edge technology.

Are the current formats that we use always going to be available? Or is someone like Apple going to say, "Quicktime is dead!" and stop releasing new versions?

So I do think that tape still has its place, and I'm WAY more comfortable having a tape backup for my digital files. Yes, I'd LOVE for everything I have to be located on a hard drive somewhere, but I also feel much more comfortable knowing that I also have a physical copy. If a tape breaks, it can be spliced back together. If a QT file breaks, it's gone.

Case in point - IT had me transfer all of my files from my hard drive to the Apple server a few months ago because they wanted to be able to back everything up. And then I found that I couldn't open anything that was over 3GB (I have a lot of files over 3GB). IT kept telling me it was fine, the files weren't corrupt, just not accessible for some reason (I'm not sure they ever figured out what the problem was). Well, I obviously need them to be accessible! It took them a WEEK to figure out how to copy my files from the server to a portable drive. Let me tell you, that was one of the most stressful weeks of my professional life. Luckily, since everything we do is on tape, if I would have had to reconstruct everything that I thought was lost, I could have, though it would have taken me a good month to do so.

So yeah, tapeless archival makes me twitchy.


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Andy Neil
Re: Overwhelmed: what is the best solution?
on Jul 18, 2012 at 4:34:10 pm

[Lynette Gilbert] "Are the current formats that we use always going to be available? Or is someone like Apple going to say, "Quicktime is dead!" and stop releasing new versions?
"


I appreciate your perspective and even share it to an extent. I was the archivist for a local news station with over 7 years of footage (which is a lot considering they produced over 5 hours of on air content each day combined with off air content like broll, interviews and such. But I'd just like to point out that your issue with files can also be found in tape archives as well.

In another Disney story, I was compiling a tape master of Tron (the original). Well, in addition to the master being recorded on a D5 instead of the current archive model of HDCamSR, the surround mix was recorded on some strange audio format that I'd never even seen before (because D5 couldn't handle all the audio tracks for the film). It was a major headache just finding a way to make use of the audio files because practically no one had any idea how to get at them.

The one upside to the worry of something like Quicktime going away (which is seems to be), is that Apple isn't necessary to provide compatibility with QT. Plenty of products exist out there which can read and play QT files and convert them (when the time comes).

I don't see the tapeless archive as solving the problems of legacy content compatibility. That's a problem we're likely to keep no matter what becomes standard in the years to come. But it can potentially solve problems like space considerations, speed of access, organizational problems (finding footage), and even content degradation.

Andy

http://www.timesavertutorials.com


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Herb Sevush
Re: Overwhelmed: what is the best solution?
on Jul 18, 2012 at 1:42:18 pm

[Walter Soyka] "Tapeless acquisition doesn't mean tapeless production."

Most def. What is the value of X as a databased NLE if you don't store the data?

[Walter Soyka] "You have to watch the footage sometime..."

Having just loaded a location shoot from tape, it was a major pain in the A mostly because all involved, including me, had forgotten our "tape" work habits - not enough pre-roll, using time of day time code - after just 2 years of tapeless my work habits had degenerated and loading the shots in FCP, with it's awful handling of time code breaks, made me long for the log and transfer window.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Bob Woodhead
Re: Overwhelmed: what is the best solution?
on Jul 18, 2012 at 4:19:55 pm

Tape?

;)


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Alan Lacey
Re: Overwhelmed: what is the best solution?
on Jul 18, 2012 at 5:42:13 pm

Whereabouts in the World are you Lynette?

I've recently retired and have a shedload of modern production and post production equipment looking for something worthwhile to do. If you're in the UK perhaps I could help?

Alan (on the East Coast of the UK)

FlashXDR,XDcamHD,XDcamEX,D9 etc
FCS,AE,Combustion,LiquidSilver,Vegas,Edius,
G5,MBP,Vista64,XP


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Lynette Gilbert
Re: Overwhelmed: what is the best solution?
on Jul 18, 2012 at 6:00:06 pm

[Alan Lacey] "Whereabouts in the World are you Lynette?"

Thanks for the offer, but I'm in the US.

Lynette


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Robert Bracken
Re: Overwhelmed: what is the best solution?
on Jul 18, 2012 at 9:58:06 pm

Keep in mind how long it took for you to become solid with Final Cut 7.

It will take a few more years for FCP X to reach the level of FCP 7 but the foundation will stay the same. It's my opinion that FCP X is going to be far and above better than FCP 7.

I say get Final Cut X. Get some lessons from the Apple store. The one-to-one cost about $99 a year and you can do one lesson a week. And you'll find yourself hating the FCP 7 interface like I currently do!

Keep us updated!


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Jason Porthouse
Re: Overwhelmed: what is the best solution?
on Jul 19, 2012 at 9:08:46 pm

Well, I'll offer a counter view. I agree that going to HD would be a smart move - you'll have a library of footage that is much more saleable if you should ever choose to go down this route. But I'm of a firm view that if something ain't broke, don't fix it. You could go to PPro or Avid, but what in your shoes would it achieve? On a professional level you would become familiar with them, but they're not a million miles different from 7 and you could pick them up pretty quickly. It sounds like there's no budge for serious hardware upgrades, so I wouldn't bother. I've a very old system at home (the first gen Mac Pro with a Blackmagic Multibridge) and it's fine still - it'll cope with 99% of what my clients require (and I'm almost solely HD now) and the most I'll gain from upgrading is a better render/export time. If this ever became an issue for you a beefy iMac could be used as a render station pretty painlessly...

Meanwhile get hold of X for your home system, learn to love it (and hate it too - I have a kind of schizophrenic relationship with it at the moment) or not and keep a system that works in place at work. Sometimes the best tools are ones that have evolved to fit the job they need to and yours seems to work quite well - don't add to the stress by changing stuff unnecessarily!

J

_________________________________

Before you criticise a man, walk a mile in his shoes.
Then when you do criticise him, you'll be a mile away. And have his shoes.

*the artist formally known as Jaymags*


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Chris Conlee
Re: Overwhelmed: what is the best solution?
on Jul 20, 2012 at 4:54:05 pm

Since you're familiar with FCP7, moving to PP CS6 would be super easy. Also, you can get the cloud membership for only $50/month, which might help the organization's cash flow. With that, you could get a Matrox Mini (which works AWESOMELY with PP, btw) and you're rocking.

Once you start using Adobe Media Encoder, you'll wonder why you're still trying to use compressor. It's THAT much faster.

Like most others on this thread, I'd suggest you have no need for panic. If what you have now is getting the job done, then you're not in an emergency just yet.

Good luck,
Chris


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