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Opinions on what NLE to teach on a new BA in Film & Screen Media Production

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Daniel Hegarty
Opinions on what NLE to teach on a new BA in Film & Screen Media Production
on Feb 9, 2013 at 4:11:28 pm

Hi Folks,

I'm a freelance editor and documentary maker. I've been teaching FCP for a few years at Diploma level and I've been asked to give my recommendations on post-production training on a new 3 year Degree programme in Film & Screen Media Production here in Ireland. The programme is a general one with the option to specialise in Directing, Producing, Editing, Sound or VFX in the final year.

As FCP's been discontinued it doesn't make sense to teach it on the programme. I'd be interested to hear people's opinions on what they think would be the best NLE to teach students and why? At the moment my recommendation would be Media Composer on the basis that it's the industry standard and the most widely used NLE (especially among broadcasters and larger post houses) and so would give students the greatest opportunity of getting a placement as a trainee or assistant when they graduate.

Others are recommending FCPX and others Premiere Pro on the grounds that students can get up and running on FCPX more quickly than the other two and Premiere Pro on the basis that it integrates better with After Effects which they will be learning in their graphics module.

I should also say that at the moment we're thinking that in the 3rd year those who elect for editing as their specialisation will get training on whichever 2 NLEs are not taught in years 1 & 2.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts,
DH


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Opinions on what NLE to teach on a new BA in Film & Screen Media Production
on Feb 9, 2013 at 6:00:09 pm

What NLE(s) are most prevalent in Ireland and Europe? My pragmatic suggestion would be to teach what your students are most likel to encounter when the graduate. Also, with FCPX only being $299 that puts it much more in the range of personal affordability than Media Composer. With that being said the student discount for MC, at least here in the States, is $295 + 4 (5?) years of free upgrades. Teaching a different NLE to third year editing students is an interesting approach and would help hammer home the idea that they will be required to know how to use multiple NLEs if they wish to stay employed

Of course I can't skip over the required advice saying that teaching them how to edit is more important than what software they edit with. ;)


-Andrew




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Richard Herd
Re: Opinions on what NLE to teach on a new BA in Film & Screen Media Production
on Feb 10, 2013 at 8:52:23 am

Post Redacted.


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Opinions on what NLE to teach on a new BA in Film & Screen Media Production
on Feb 9, 2013 at 6:24:17 pm

Daniel,

Although Avid Media Composer is used extensively by high-end facilities, especially those specializing in advertising, broadcast, and film, it is certainly not the "industry standard," at least not in the sense of the number of licensed users, and by a long shot. I know it seems hard to believe, but if the sheer number of licensed users constitutes the industry standard, that slot has been, and continues to be held by Adobe Premiere.

The true answer to your question really cannot, and should not, be dictated by sales or popularity, but instead by the aspirations of your students, and by the aspirations of your school for its students, in terms of which segment of the industry they will most likely be able to work in, gainfully, after graduation. Is their employment most likely to be in corporate video, broadcast, film, or some other arena?

Or, is the real objective of your school not to specialize in video at all, but simply to teach students how to better communicate in the modern world, to better tell stories, and to better convey messages? In other words, is the language of video going to be taught as the new study of "English," in a broad curriculum, in which the overall objective is to learn to improve general communication skills, such as in a Bachelor of Arts degree, where students study a variety different subjects rather than churning out specialists?

David Roth Weiss
ProMax Systems
Burbank
DRW@ProMax.com

Sales | Integration | Support

David is a Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Apple Final Cut Pro forum.


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Opinions on what NLE to teach on a new BA in Film & Screen Media Production
on Feb 9, 2013 at 6:59:46 pm

[David Roth Weiss] "The true answer to your question really cannot, and should not, be dictated by sales or popularity, but instead by the aspirations of your students, and by the aspirations of your school for its students, in terms of which segment of the industry they will most likely be able to work in, gainfully, after graduation. Is their employment most likely to be in corporate video, broadcast, film, or some other arena? "

If the students aspire to work in b'cast & film and NLE X is most often used in b'cast & film in their region doesn't that mean that they should learn NLE X due to it's popularity?

Of course we shouldn't over think the issue as what they learn in school is going to be merely the starting point of their education (which is why I like Daniel's idea of switching NLEs in the final year).


BTW, nice to see you again, David. I feel like I haven't seen you around in ages.




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Steve Connor
Re: Opinions on what NLE to teach on a new BA in Film & Screen Media Production
on Feb 9, 2013 at 7:06:50 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "BTW, nice to see you again, David. I feel like I haven't seen you around in ages."

I'll second that!

Steve Connor
'It's just my opinion, with an occasional fact thrown in for good measure"


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David Lawrence
Re: Opinions on what NLE to teach on a new BA in Film & Screen Media Production
on Feb 9, 2013 at 10:50:47 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "BTW, nice to see you again, David. I feel like I haven't seen you around in ages."

[Steve Connor] "I'll second that!"

I'll third it! ;)

_______________________
David Lawrence
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David Roth Weiss
Re: Opinions on what NLE to teach on a new BA in Film & Screen Media Production
on Feb 9, 2013 at 11:33:37 pm

Thank you guys for noticing my absence over the last year. Interestingly, I'm still the #6 all time Cow poster, in spite of only posting about twenty times in the last year. That seems to indicate that I'm not the only one around here who's been posting less.

I've been at ProMAX now for a year, and if you guys think that sitting in a darkened edit bay telling stories for about 14-hours a day cuts into your free time, try consulting about workflow, hardware, software, and infrastructure all day, every day, for a worldwide customer-base of users, all of whom spend about 14-hours a day in their edit bays.

BTW, as far as FCP7 still being so popular 20-months after it was EOL'd, that's because it is still the easiest NLE for most to learn; by far, is the easiest of all the NLE's to use collaboratively; and, by far, is the easiest to use in a shared storage environment (unless you're using Avid Isis in an all Avid environment). These are things I deal with every day now, and you would all be surprised at just how many facilities are still FCP hold-outs.

David Roth Weiss
ProMax Systems
Burbank
DRW@ProMax.com

Sales | Integration | Support

David is a Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Apple Final Cut Pro forum.


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Franz Bieberkopf
Re: Opinions on what NLE to teach on a new BA in Film & Screen Media Production
on Feb 9, 2013 at 11:40:16 pm

David,

I'm not so surprised, as this lines up with my own anecdotal observations.

I would be very interested to hear more about your observations and interactions around this very interesting "transitional" phase.

Franz.


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: Opinions on what NLE to teach on a new BA in Film & Screen Media Production
on Feb 10, 2013 at 12:27:04 pm

alright there david - howdie do.

FCP holdouts all over london. I think it has to shift this year though surely. right?

http://vimeo.com/user1590967/videos http://www.ogallchoir.net promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Steve Connor
Re: Opinions on what NLE to teach on a new BA in Film & Screen Media Production
on Feb 10, 2013 at 12:52:47 pm

[Aindreas Gallagher] "FCP holdouts all over london. I think it has to shift this year though surely. right?"

I know a couple of Production Companies who have buried their heads in the sand and aren't even looking at other options. I also know one that is still using an Avid from ten years ago!

It still might take a while

Steve Connor
'It's just my opinion, with an occasional fact thrown in for good measure"


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Opinions on what NLE to teach on a new BA in Film & Screen Media Productionu
on Feb 11, 2013 at 10:47:38 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "BTW, nice to see you again, David. I feel like I haven't seen you around in ages."

[Steve Connor] "I'll second that!"

THNX guys! It's nice to be back.

And Steve, per your wanting to hear my thoughts on the industry that you mentioned in a different thread, I do have many new perspectives on the state of things now and things to come. Dealing with the realities of editors and facilities here in LA and around the world for the last 365 days has been very enlightening to say the least.

David Roth Weiss
ProMax Systems
Burbank
DRW@ProMax.com

Sales | Integration | Support

David is a Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Apple Final Cut Pro forum.


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David Lawrence
Re: Opinions on what NLE to teach on a new BA in Film & Screen Media Productionu
on Feb 11, 2013 at 11:30:18 pm

[David Roth Weiss] " Dealing with the realities of editors and facilities here in LA and around the world for the last 365 days has been very enlightening to say the least."

Sounds great, really looking forward to hearing all about it! Welcome back!

_______________________
David Lawrence
art~media~design~research
propaganda.com
publicmattersgroup.com
facebook.com/dlawrence
twitter.com/dhl


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Opinions on what NLE to teach on a new BA in Film & Screen Media Productionu
on Feb 12, 2013 at 12:32:09 am

[David Lawrence] "Sounds great, really looking forward to hearing all about it! Welcome back!"

Thanks David! Let's catch-up sometime soon.

DRW

David Roth Weiss
ProMax Systems
Burbank
DRW@ProMax.com

Sales | Integration | Support

David is a Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Apple Final Cut Pro forum.


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Bill Davis
Re: Opinions on what NLE to teach on a new BA in Film & Screen Media Production
on Feb 9, 2013 at 7:35:22 pm

I second David's overall message.

Editing isn't done by a NLE program. It's done by a person.

Every editing software from Windows Movie Maker to AVID can assemble scenes.

If your goal is to train for "personal" editing competence, I'd still tilt toward FCP-X simply because it has a wide modern focus that goes beyond timeline operations, incorporating data handling basics, taxonomy, and web deployment - tools for al of which are all built in.

If your students are looking to work into filling seats as professional editors where the bulk of what they'll do is precision timeline editing and full production - focusing on AVID would be smart.

Many who don't like AVID and feel that X is to "non-standard" feel really comfortable with Premier Pro. As part of the creative suite, it's a really good doorway to editing in the more traditional mode.

My view anyway.

Also if you're teaching editing, you might check out my sig line.

SEN is totally software agnostic and comes with licensed practice content built precisely for classroom editing use.

Hope that helps.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Richard Herd
Re: Opinions on what NLE to teach on a new BA in Film & Screen Media Production
on Feb 10, 2013 at 8:48:32 am

[Bill Davis] "If your students are looking to work into filling seats as professional editors where the bulk of what they'll do is precision timeline editing and full production - focusing on AVID would be smart. "

I know what you mean. But you didn't say that. First, a student has to get results they intend. Avid is clunky and ridiculous except for those in a niche market that has nothing to do with storytelling abilities. I mean the crappiest movies in Hollywood are cut on Avid. That has nothing to do with the software.

Get the students telling stories ASAP! Then, once they have a bit of a reel and a knack, then they can look at markets and job skills. This is pedagogy, here. X is a deep program.


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Franz Bieberkopf
Re: Opinions on what NLE to teach on a new BA in Film & Screen Media Production
on Feb 9, 2013 at 8:22:13 pm

Daniel,


Your issue is very much in line with questions I faced last spring and summer (and may well be facing again) - I designed and taught a 3rd year University level editing course. At that level, the students were already familiar with the software, and the course was focused on creative issues, but of course technology and workflow were also central.

I stayed with FCP7 for that experience, for several reasons.

First, it was what I was (and what I still am) using professionally. It's incredible to me that some 18months on, this so-called "dead" software is still the software of choice for me (for flexibility, reliability, familiarity in something like that order …).

Second, it was what the students knew, though most had a familiarity with Avid and Premiere as well. The media lab was outfitted with towers and FCP7 licenses (though Creative Suite was also on those machines ...)

Third, it's a good tool.

I may well be facing such questions again in the coming months, and while I am less certain what my answer would be, FCP7 would still be in the pool of consideration.

One discussion I had around this issue has stayed with me - that, in fact, the idea of deciding which NLE the students should use is less and less a useful question. If the students have tools and can edit on them, they should be able to use the NLE of their choice. There are issues with this, of course (which NLEs for the school to purchase, the question of accepting any number of project formats for evaluation and discussion) but it seems to me the way things are going.

The question of NLEs is no longer a monolithic choice.

Which is to say, I don't have a good answer for you - but in the first case I wouldn't discount FCP7 from the discussion, and I think your inclination to teach more than one NLE is a good one. From my perspective, we're still in a transitional phase of some sort as FCP7 limitations become less acceptable and the new tools develop - I'm pretty wary of those who think the transition is over. Teach the uncertainty.


Franz.


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Lance Bachelder
Re: Opinions on what NLE to teach on a new BA in Film & Screen Media Production
on Feb 9, 2013 at 9:05:07 pm

Everyone goes to film school for different reasons - some want to write, others direct, some to become cinematographers and some to edit etc.

As an all-around program for aspiring filmmakers I really love FCPX as it would allow students to to do polished work on picture and sound in one app. I have a strong feeling that FCPX will become the NLE of choice for young filmmakers everywhere in the next couple of years just like FCP7 was.

For those that aspire to become Editors, I agree it's important to learn the NLE's that will get them work when they finish school - whether that's MC, Premiere, FCPX or some other program. Final year editing majors could easily spend a semester with Avid and another with Adobe.

Lance Bachelder
Writer, Editor, Director
Irvine, California



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David Lawrence
Re: Opinions on what NLE to teach on a new BA in Film & Screen Media Production
on Feb 9, 2013 at 10:52:43 pm

[Franz Bieberkopf] "From my perspective, we're still in a transitional phase of some sort as FCP7 limitations become less acceptable and the new tools develop - I'm pretty wary of those who think the transition is over. Teach the uncertainty."

Agreed. Well said.

_______________________
David Lawrence
art~media~design~research
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publicmattersgroup.com
facebook.com/dlawrence
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Dan Stewart
Re: Opinions on what NLE to teach on a new BA in Film & Screen Media Production
on Feb 9, 2013 at 9:35:05 pm

Identify what program is being principally used in the student's likely eventual market. Teach them that.

(Nb: It's not FCPX)



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John Davidson
Re: Opinions on what NLE to teach on a new BA in Film & Screen Media Production
on Feb 9, 2013 at 11:39:20 pm

Unless they're ALL on macs, I'd say teach them premiere. It's platform independent and open to the widest audience, be they PC or mac. I can't tell you to teach them X because X is changing and evolving heavily. What you teach today likely wont be usable in 3 months, 6 months, or a year.

It's not a question of which program I think is better but more about what's most easily accessible to each student, especially after the class is over. Considering a creative cloud account is a monthly 50 buck purchase, that makes it the easiest program for all the kids to get.

John Davidson | President / Creative Director | Magic Feather Inc.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Opinions on what NLE to teach on a new BA in Film & Screen Media Production
on Feb 10, 2013 at 3:08:54 am

I do my share of teaching editing students each year at a local college film class. Last year and this, it's become a real dilemma as to what I should teach them. You have to decide whether you want to teach editing concepts or teach students to function as working editors (independently or as entry level assistants at companies). If job skills are a factor, then Avid Media Composer or Adobe Premiere Pro are the way to go.

But here are some other interesting considerations to factor in:

1. If you aren't tied to the Mac platform, you might look into Lightworks, which is free (or minimal cost for the pro version).
2. Also on the PC, EDIUS and Vegas are solid choices.
3. If your students all have access to iPads, you might look at the new TouchEdit. This would be more for teaching editing concepts. It would require an iPad 2or higher.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Lance Bachelder
Re: Opinions on what NLE to teach on a new BA in Film & Screen Media Production
on Feb 10, 2013 at 7:22:02 am

It's a dilemma for sure - you're not just learning software, you need to tell a story effectively and at a high level. Learning Vegas for instance (which I love) and becoming a great Vegas Editor could be a problem if your demo reel lands you an Avid gig and you've never touched the NLE! You're in for a major shock.

I think a class that gave students hands-on experience with a variety of NLE's and their strengths and weaknesses might be cool as long as they had ample time to actually learn the program well enough to run it in a paid situation.

The truth is it takes a long time to really learn any NLE and all its ins and outs, fretboard shortcuts etc to the point where you're just being creative and not thinking about the software and able to work effectively with a client breathing over your shoulder.

Lance Bachelder
Writer, Editor, Director
Irvine, California



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Richard Herd
Re: Opinions on what NLE to teach on a new BA in Film & Screen Media Production
on Feb 10, 2013 at 9:02:36 am

John, I show my first year students your video on editing because of the editing time lapse. They get the a-ha moment! It's crazy that some of them like the "link clips to the gap" approach and other like the "build it in the timeline" approach.

Question: How long did it actually take to cut "The Decider" Promo?

Thanks!


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John Davidson
Re: Opinions on what NLE to teach on a new BA in Film & Screen Media Production
on Feb 10, 2013 at 11:09:48 am

Really? That's awesome!

Actual physical time editing was probably 3 hours. The graphics took a bit longer than the edit. In the middle of the cut I rewrote the spot, so that took a little extra time. I was also going slower initially because I was talking, and then about halfway through the cut I got the idea that I would speed up the playback of the edit in the tute. At that point I quit talking and it started going much faster. Seeing the edit sped up turned out to be my favorite part.

That's pretty cool that you're showing it to your class.

John Davidson | President / Creative Director | Magic Feather Inc.


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Richard Herd
Re: Opinions on what NLE to teach on a new BA in Film & Screen Media Production
on Feb 11, 2013 at 5:33:22 am

[John Davidson] "That's pretty cool that you're showing it to your class."

Thank you for making it available!


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Richard Herd
Re: Opinions on what NLE to teach on a new BA in Film & Screen Media Production
on Feb 10, 2013 at 8:44:00 am

I'm a teacher.

I taught Premiere Pro for the last 2 years. This year I purchased FCPX and am teaching it. I teach a lesson on dialogue editing. In PP, it took a week. In X, it took 50 minutes. L-cuts, J-cuts, audio mixing. It really sucks because now I have to come up with 4 more days of curriculum. I think we'll do dubstep remixes of Sinatra tunes.

In my opinion as a teacher and a freelancer (yeah, I've made 1,000 effing ads in a dead market, soul-crushing environment, can't wait to move), X is best. The folks who say X ain't for film are wrong.

The decision for Avid and PP has nothing to do with actual storytelling, editing for content type stuff. Avid is so clunky as to be embarrassing. PP still has that weird rendering-but-not-rendering in the bottom right but thankfully it integrates nicely with AE. Whew. Otherwise, we'd get it for free and let it sit on our HD for a decade.

(Swore off this damn forum. Hate to be back.) Truth is ... no... my experience mandates that your students touch X first. Get the story going. What editing is: it is not the most important part of a move. IT IS THE MOVIE!

Another detail, my first year students shoot on consumer panasonic cameras. My second year students shoot on Canon XA10. Actually, the Canon stinks to get the footage into the system.

You should've seen the first year students huddled around the iMac, collaborating, discussing shots and angles, and which one to use. This was day friggin' one. By my curriculum that's 10 times more efficient. When they have a question, I show them the next buttons and how deep the program actually is.

Look: If they can tell a story with motion picture and they have the drive for the entrepreneurial hustle, then maybe they can be so lucky as to get a shared corporate IT, low-risk permission, anti-hacker environment gig Avid is so proud of. Me? I installed a SAN and taught them how to make password protected sparse images to protect their work.

Ok. I'm very proud of my students.

Premiere upgrade arrives in 2 weeks.
Avid arrives in August.

They gotta know all three.


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Ian Bailey
Re: Opinions on what NLE to teach on a new BA in Film & Screen Media Production
on Feb 10, 2013 at 1:33:22 pm

I'm also a teacher.

After running legacy FCP for ten years, we made the decision to switch to FCPX and couldn't be happier. The students love it and they're producing fantastic work. The two things that students always struggle with: the initial setting up / ingesting media and the exporting of their final piece are handled so much better in X than other NLE.

We always run a six hour film challenge with our first years: plan, shoot and edit a factual piece on a particular theme. In previous years we always gave then 30-60 minutes longer for them to finish their edit. When using FCPX they finished before the deadline.

People have been saying that we should teach students what the industry uses now. I believe we should teach them what the industry will be using in 3-5 years time. I also think that graduates entering the industry will influence what technology will be used. Film students embraced legacy FCP several years before it was taken seriously by the media industry.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Opinions on what NLE to teach on a new BA in Film & Screen Media Production
on Feb 10, 2013 at 3:24:19 pm

[Ian Bailey] "I believe we should teach them what the industry will be using in 3-5 years time. I also think that graduates entering the industry will influence what technology will be used."

You are obviously making the assumption that will be FCP X. You could be completely right, however, there's nothing yet to indicate that being true, so it's just as much of a gamble as any other NLE. That "bet" is track-based versus trackless. If you teach FCP 7 or Premiere Pro, they can adapt to anything track-based later and in fact, moving to FCP X is also possible (with some head scratching). If you teach FCP X first, the transition to track-based (should they need to do so for a PAYING GIG) will be much harder.

Of the students I have taught, who are savvy to both technology and editing, many have found they prefer Media Composer, once they get used to it. And that's with prior exposure to FCP 7, FCP X and Premiere Pro. In fact I taught them FCP 7 (or earlier) and they later picked up Media Composer.

In my experience, I can have any class of students working productively on any NLE within two weeks time. This means that part of the answer is whether you actually teach them the mechanics of the NLE or give them the basics and then let them figure the rest out as they go along. In the first situation, any NLE will work. If the latter, then FCP X wins out.

But to put that into perspective, it's the same thing as comparing a Canon 7D to a RED or Alexa, if you are teaching cinematography. That isn't a low cost or high cost, consumer vs. pro statement. Rather one of simplified tools versus advanced tools that take a deeper dive to learn properly. If the goal is to teach lighting, optics, camera movement, then the Canon 7D is a great tool. If you want them to be employable in a market with more pro tools, then it does them a disservice. I see plenty of shooters who have worked on higher end cameras turn in great work with the HDSLRs. I rarely see it coming from folks who have attacked it from the other direction.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Richard Herd
Re: Opinions on what NLE to teach on a new BA in Film & Screen Media Production
on Feb 11, 2013 at 5:40:06 am

[Oliver Peters] "should they need to do so for a PAYING GIG"

Who cares? I'm not a corporate trainer. I teach film -- narrative stuff. Nor am I a job to work program. I'm teaching literacy -- film and video literacy. My goals are such that I want my students to be able to tell a story in motion picture. My courses are big also in writing and camera coverage too.

A quick note on homophones:

Video + literacy = viteate -- a person literate in video

Video + idiot = vidiot -- a person who believes everything they read screen.


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Craig Alan
Re: Opinions on what NLE to teach on a new BA in Film & Screen Media Production
on Feb 10, 2013 at 6:25:50 pm

I'm a video production teacher at a High School. I've been driving myself nuts the last year or so trying to make the same decision. I have come to two conclusions. A: it doesn't matter as long as your students can produce projects. Their reels and their contacts will get them jobs, not what NLE they used at school. However, they should be able to say at a job interview, "Yeah I can edit on that." So -- B: have stations with all three contenders for those students serious about being professional editors. Tell them they need to know it all including sound editing, color correction, special effects, 3D, etc. The ability to tell a story on a timeline doesn't change. Even FCP X with its reworking of everything still slips slides rolls inserts overwrites, applies transitions, etc. They can call it what they want, it's still a timeline and when you hit play it's still linear. That said, if your students learn AVID MC they can learn the others. Maybe not the other way round. It is also $300 for multiple years of free upgrades. It is rock solid and no one claims its not professional. I'm going with FCP X for now with copies of MC for the serious ones. I am still conflicted about the choice; but after some time since Apple EOLed FCP 7, no one knows how the future will play out. Maybe it is for the better that one company does not dominate. On the other hand, it would be nice if we spent more time on our craft and less time learning new software.

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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Andrew Kimery
Re: Opinions on what NLE to teach on a new BA in Film & Screen Media Production
on Feb 10, 2013 at 10:38:14 pm

[Ian Bailey] "People have been saying that we should teach students what the industry uses now. I believe we should teach them what the industry will be using in 3-5 years time. I also think that graduates entering the industry will influence what technology will be used. Film students embraced legacy FCP several years before it was taken seriously by the media industry."

Who can predict the future though? How many students learned FCP Legend only to have it EOL'd around the time they hit the job market? Speaking of hitting the job market, how many students actually graduate and walk into a job in the cutting room? I'd wager not many (especially in larger markets). We all obviously agree that teaching students how to edit is ultimately more important than teaching them how to use an NLE, but in the real world knowing how to use certain software is a requirement more often then not. I think students interested in post production today would be getting the short end of the stick if they weren't exposed to multiple NLEs (and in the U.S. at least Avid MC should be one of them).

I'd say low budget filmmakers (especially docs) embraced FCP Legend well before it was widely accepted and that started the trickle down to universities and students. If FCPX starts getting traction in the same areas that FCP Legend did then we could very well see a repeat scenario but so far that hasn't happend. In part because the landscape is much different now than it was at the turn of the century. Lots of people still use FCP Legend, Avid is more affordable than ever, Premiere is getting serious looks from areas of the industry that typically wouldn't touch it with a 10-foot pole...

As a final thought (for this post at least) since Avid MC does have the steepest learning curve why not spend class time teaching it as opposed to FCPX which would be easier for students to pickup on their own time?




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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: Opinions on what NLE to teach on a new BA in Film & Screen Media Production
on Feb 11, 2013 at 12:02:31 am

[Andrew Kimery] "If FCPX starts getting traction in the same areas that FCP Legend did then we could very well see a repeat scenario but -so far that hasn't happend. In part because the landscape is much different now than it was at the turn of the century"

indeed - and then the rant -
above is quite hard to see right? Plus it's really hard to make netscape navigator era comparisons anyway?

ARGUMENT:

the success of FCP was based on the - then - apple engineers corp directly engaging their surroundings and delivering a competitive judgement.
FCP was their competitive judgement.


But the point surely is that apple have felt no such onus this time around.
This time, they really, really didn't care what anyone else was doing.
as a corollary to FCP 1999, and as to basic motivation, I kiiiiind of think this gets overlooked.

[Andrew Kimery] "low budget filmmakers (especially docs) embraced FCP Legend well before it was widely accepted and that started the trickle down to universities and students."

Indeed.
can we not at least agree that, in FCP legend, they were, in craft terms, answering avid, they were facing off to them directly and intellectually for a fraction of the price, at a truly desperate time for apple? They were hungry for editing practise, and they heavily analysed it. I got a physically malleable timeline and a whole bunch of stuff. they built a classic plane under duress. Thats how classic planes get built.

Say It's like Lucas and Star wars - the first shot was almost surreally good, the constraints squeezed quite a bit of genius. Apple in a very tight spot, that will likely never hit again, poured out a very specific thing to drive hardware.

SLIGHT PROBLEM:

If you are going to be in a game, you need to need to be in the game.
if you are in the game, and everyone -avid and adobe - has 250 bucks, and you have now 11,254 billion and change - that's a mental problem.

Because even when you win, the casino chips don't mean that much to you - that has to be a problem.
Valid Relative Scale, competition, hunger and impetus are all valid drivers.

Personally FCPX feels like Star Trek software -I've got a sexy dark interface, everything moves, and, as Picard's tea cups were wonky, my colour corrector is square and insane - but also there are the real future moments: surreal footage tagging capabilities, drill down skimming, not half bad footage analysis, and if they ever broke out the API's - quite literally star trek real time masking and effects operation, with transfer modes, for about a grand's + worth of hardware - at HD.

Unlike 1999 - I think apple did whatever they felt like here.
The very real problem is that they could not have done ANYTHING as ludicrously insane as they chose to do to the FCP install base in almost any other context, as into say:
well I don't know: OSX? iOS? Pages? Numbers? Keynote?

their remaining pro software is alone on Mengele's island.

Does no one else at all feel a burning magnifying glass here?
is it because it makes Apple literally no money bar a rounding error?

PPro 7 people. Seriously: it's verging on excellent and they lack God scale psychological problems.

http://vimeo.com/user1590967/videos http://www.ogallchoir.net promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Chris Kenny
Re: Opinions on what NLE to teach on a new BA in Film & Screen Media Production
on Feb 12, 2013 at 1:23:09 am

[Aindreas Gallagher] "the success of FCP was based on the - then - apple engineers corp directly engaging their surroundings and delivering a competitive judgement.
FCP was their competitive judgement.

But the point surely is that apple have felt no such onus this time around."


I think the success of FCP was based on the fact that it was a) cheaper and more approachable than other available systems, and b) designed from the ground up for the then-emerging disruptive forces of DV and FireWire.

FCP X is a) cheaper and more approachable than other available systems, and b) designed from the ground up for the now-emerging disruptive forces of file-based acquisition and delivery.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

You should follow me on Twitter here. Or read our blog.


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Bernard Newnham
Re: Opinions on what NLE to teach on a new BA in Film & Screen Media Production
on Feb 10, 2013 at 10:53:45 pm

At our London-based university students learn on Premiere Pro, mainly I think because someone a while back chose to go with the Adobe Production Bundle. You can get that in the education version for just over £300, and it includes all the standard stuff - After Effects, Photoshop, Illustrator etc etc. Not only that, it runs on PCs, so that the area used for editing can also do compositing with Nuke, 3d with Maya, and other stuff. Keeps the all-round cost down.

As for which editing system students should ideally use - it really doesn't matter. As someone further up says - it's the story that matters. I'd have that line tattooed on their foreheads. If asked and given an open budget, I'd probably - at this point in time - still pick PPro. It runs in a standard way - no magical new concepts - and gives an introduction to the way most editing systems work. Anyone who can edit on PPro would have little trouble switching to any other, especially Avid or Edius.

Bernie


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Patrick Murphy
Re: Opinions on what NLE to teach on a new BA in Film & Screen Media Production
on Feb 11, 2013 at 12:55:19 am

An interesting question. I've always thought high-end software, like NLE's, have at least a passing similarity to language. In both mastery begins by essentially memorizing a variety of arbitrary elements and also submitting to a overall logical construct to create and finish a coherent statement. The key variable of course remains the editor's insight, creativity, and commitment to doing the work necessary to a good job.

Like language, mastery of one specific form tends to lead to undue confidence that the path chosen is superior to alternate approaches. I think the psychologists call this "cognitive dissonance". It's a pretty rampant phenomenon in the technical arts.

Ultimately, I'd advise you to teach whatever application you personally know and like the best. But at the same time caution your students that they are not learning the key to editing, just one path that works. Whatever you teach them will not necessarily be immediately commercially useful, and in any case it'll probably be obsolete in 5 years, certainly in 10. So please also advise them that the best thing they'll get from your course isn't the ability to make application "X" jump through hoops, rather it's the skill, perseverance, and confidence necessary to absorb a relatively complex piece of software and use it for art or commerce. That's something that they'll need to do over and over if they expect to make a career in the field.



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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: Opinions on what NLE to teach on a new BA in Film & Screen Media Production
on Feb 11, 2013 at 1:36:04 am

[Patrick Murphy] "NLE's, have at least a passing similarity to language. In both mastery begins by essentially memorizing a variety of arbitrary elements and also submitting to a overall logical construct to create and finish a coherent statement."

a variety of arbitrary elements...?

But isn't language underpinned by broadly held grammar rules? as opposed to arbitrary elements?

Isn't the broad editing thoughtspace common logic of dis-interested tracks and universal immutable time (ala David Lawrence), something quite like broadly understood, disseminated editing grammer? To literally all involved reading this as editors? As a result of a few decades of investment and thought on all parts?

outside the zany new scientological sea-org secondary storyline school of FCPX?

Didn't the FCPX guys end up with some kind of tilde key to negate all their core basic operations some twelve months later?
Isn't that just weak intellectual sauce?

http://vimeo.com/user1590967/videos http://www.ogallchoir.net promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Steve Connor
Re: Opinions on what NLE to teach on a new BA in Film & Screen Media Production
on Feb 11, 2013 at 12:55:18 pm

[Aindreas Gallagher] "Isn't the broad editing thoughtspace common logic of dis-interested tracks and universal immutable time (ala David Lawrence), something quite like broadly understood, disseminated editing grammer? To literally all involved reading this as editors? As a result of a few decades of investment and thought on all parts?

outside the zany new scientological sea-org secondary storyline school of FCPX?

Didn't the FCPX guys end up with some kind of tilde key to negate all their core basic operations some twelve months later?
Isn't that just weak intellectual sauce?"


Aindreas, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence on here, from very experienced Editors that actually the timeline in FCPX is a perfectly creative and efficient place to edit, are you completely ignoring our experience? or perhaps you think we don't know what we're talking about?

It's perfectly OK not to like the FCPX timeline, I can understand why many people wouldn't like it and that's the beauty of the array of choice we now have in the NLE space.

FCPX works for many of us, get over it!

Steve Connor
'It's just my opinion, with an occasional fact thrown in for good measure"


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Patrick Murphy
Re: Opinions on what NLE to teach on a new BA in Film & Screen Media Production
on Feb 12, 2013 at 3:59:31 am

"But isn't language underpinned by broadly held grammar rules? as opposed to arbitrary elements?"

I'd agree that grammar is partly derived from fundamental cognitive process, but there's also a cultural dimension as well. In any case there's plenty of evidence that humans are pretty good at absorbing more than one form and working comfortably within it.

But I was thinking here more about vocabulary, which has much less attachment to absolutes and is subject to geographic and ethnic variables.

Mostly I'm trying to think clearly about editing by dividing into two spheres, the first concerns the editing application itself, which is an artifact created by an engineer. The second is the message itself, a far more complex product.

In terms of editing applications, I think we're still in a pretty early, possibly primitive, stage. The timeline makes sense to me, but I'm not ready to be particularly dogmatic about it. My point is simply that anyone starting out today, with maybe 50 years of productive work ahead of them, should resist commitment to a single approach, and should preserve their capacity to adapt.



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Cameron Clendaniel
Re: Opinions on what NLE to teach on a new BA in Film & Screen Media Production
on Feb 11, 2013 at 3:34:45 pm

[Daniel Hegarty] "I should also say that at the moment we're thinking that in the 3rd year those who elect for editing as their specialisation will get training on whichever 2 NLEs are not taught in years 1 & 2."

Sounds like a solid plan to me. Expose them to multiple NLE platforms and teach the fundamentals upon which all NLEs are based. They're students - they pick this stuff up quickly. I initially learned editing on a Media 100 system. I've never had much of a problem jumping to new platforms as the industry evolves. There are so many accessible resources for learning different NLEs now on your own - teach all the stuff they can't get out of those.

Cameron Clendaniel
Film Editor, NYC
718-254-8027
cam@camclendaniel.com
http://www.camclendaniel.com



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Chris Kenny
Re: Opinions on what NLE to teach on a new BA in Film & Screen Media Production
on Feb 12, 2013 at 1:29:52 am

[Cameron Clendaniel] "Sounds like a solid plan to me. Expose them to multiple NLE platforms and teach the fundamentals upon which all NLEs are based."

This is, in my opinion, the only sensible approach. In particular, I'd teach at least Media Composer and FCP X; Media Composer because it's the established power in a certain segment of the industry (which even the old FCP never quite managed to penetrate), and FCP X because I suspect it will follow a trajectory very similar to the one FCP followed, and eventually emerge as the dominant option across other industry segments.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

You should follow me on Twitter here. Or read our blog.


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: Opinions on what NLE to teach on a new BA in Film & Screen Media Production
on Feb 12, 2013 at 2:47:42 pm

[Chris Kenny] "FCP X because I suspect it will follow a trajectory very similar to the one FCP followed, and eventually emerge as the dominant option across other industry segments.
"


I believe you're confusing it with premiere. the one with a tracked timeline.

http://vimeo.com/user1590967/videos http://www.ogallchoir.net promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Chris Kenny
Re: Opinions on what NLE to teach on a new BA in Film & Screen Media Production
on Feb 12, 2013 at 5:07:35 pm

[Aindreas Gallagher] "I believe you're confusing it with premiere. the one with a tracked timeline."

I'm reasonably certain that I'm not. While Premiere is cheaper and more accessible than Media Composer, it still doesn't do nearly as well in those dimensions as FCP X. It's not just about price and accessibility — though FCP X does beat Premiere on both of those. It's also about the fact that FCP X simply belongs to a new generation of software that doesn't involve intrusive copy protection, buggy installers, modal dialogs, contextual pop-up menus that barely fit on the screen, etc. I mean, look, practically anyone in a creative field ends up using some of Adobe's software, and I think everyone respects the feature sets Adobe manages to deliver, but seriously, I'm really not looking to extend this into more aspects of my workflow.

As for the track paradigm, well, much like, say, Media Composer, as far as I can tell, that's something that longtime users often can't see the faults with, but that makes thins more onerous on new editors. The truth is, between roles, the 'override collections' modifier, the position tool, and commands like 'Replace with Gap', the magnetic timeline offers a superset of the functionality of a traditional track-based timeline — it offers intelligent, non-destructive default behavior, that can be overridden as necessary. I discussed this reasonable defaults view at length a year and a half ago.

This is not to say that Premiere won't be somewhat successful on its own terms. Media Composer is an app that is, by any objective standard (i.e. according to pretty much anyone who knows what modern software looks like and hasn't been using Media Composer since computers still came in beige) is well past its sell-by date. Even Avid itself recognizes this internally; they tried some years back to build a next generation editing app, but backed out over concerns about disenfranchising the existing user base. Avid's prospects as a company also leave something to be desired, with possible implications for users. As the long, slow migration away from Media Composer continues, Adobe now may be in a position to pick up a respectable fraction of those users.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

You should follow me on Twitter here. Or read our blog.


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: Opinions on what NLE to teach on a new BA in Film & Screen Media Production
on Feb 12, 2013 at 8:31:43 pm

[Chris Kenny] "the magnetic timeline offers a superset of the functionality of a traditional track-based timeline"

yes, I'm really really sure it does. Also - Note the explosion in FCPX advertised jobs.

http://vimeo.com/user1590967/videos http://www.ogallchoir.net promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Chris Kenny
Re: Opinions on what NLE to teach on a new BA in Film & Screen Media Production
on Feb 12, 2013 at 8:56:03 pm

[Aindreas Gallagher] "yes, I'm really really sure it does. Also - Note the explosion in FCPX advertised jobs."

Note the lack of mass-scale migration from classic FCP to Premiere or Media Composer. This industry does not move very fast, in any direction. FCP X is a completely new app. We know how long it takes a new app to achieve substantial adoption in certain segments of this industry, because we saw how long that took for classic FCP. If we go by time since release, FCP X is about where FCP was circa 2001, i.e. two years before Cold Mountain, which is usually taken as the start of its process of breaking into 'more serious' market segments. We're starting to see the very leading edge of that now with FCP X, i.e. this very positive writeup in Filmmaker Magazine.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

You should follow me on Twitter here. Or read our blog.


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David Lawrence
Re: Opinions on what NLE to teach on a new BA in Film & Screen Media Production
on Feb 12, 2013 at 9:15:07 pm

[Chris Kenny] "Note the lack of mass-scale migration from classic FCP to Premiere or Media Composer. "

Yep. Oh, wait.

Film Unit Behind Saturday Night Live Embraces Adobe Video Workflow

_______________________
David Lawrence
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Chris Kenny
Re: Opinions on what NLE to teach on a new BA in Film & Screen Media Production
on Feb 12, 2013 at 9:30:35 pm

[David Lawrence] "Yep. Oh, wait.

Film Unit Behind Saturday Night Live Embraces Adobe Video Workflow"


We could probably match anecdotes all day. This is a market of several million customers; citing individual cases isn't going to get us anywhere.

The closest things we have to systematic data are summarized here, and tell us that as of April of last year, there were more FCP X installs than FCP installs, and Apple's share of the 'pro' NLE market had fallen all the way from... 55% to 52%. Basically margin of error.

This is all contrary to the hyperbole surrounding FCP X's release, and much more compatible with the position I advanced, that Apple had considerable time to build up FCP X's feature set and establish an ecosystem around it before the industry shifted very far toward competitors. And they have indeed been building.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

You should follow me on Twitter here. Or read our blog.


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Opinions on what NLE to teach on a new BA in Film & Screen Media Production
on Feb 12, 2013 at 9:36:03 pm

[Chris Kenny] "We know how long it takes a new app to achieve substantial adoption in certain segments of this industry, because we saw how long that took for classic FCP. If we go by time since release, FCP X is about where FCP was circa 2001, i.e. two years before Cold Mountain, which is usually taken as the start of its process of breaking into 'more serious' market segments. We're starting to see the very leading edge of that now with FCP X..."

Going by that metric FCPX won't be seen as ready for prime time for another 6 years or so. Then, once it really starts taking hold, it will languish for a few years before Apple kills it and starts the cycle all over again. Still not a very compelling argument for FCPX, IMO. ;)




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Chris Kenny
Re: Opinions on what NLE to teach on a new BA in Film & Screen Media Production
on Feb 12, 2013 at 9:56:46 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "Going by that metric FCPX won't be seen as ready for prime time for another 6 years or so. Then, once it really starts taking hold, it will languish for a few years before Apple kills it and starts the cycle all over again. Still not a very compelling argument for FCPX, IMO. ;)"

Heh. I'd imagine things would be a little faster this time, since FCP X is more technically capable (relative to market expectations) at this point than FCP was at a similar point in its lifecycle, and the underlying disruptive wave FCP X is riding — file-based, metadata-oriented workflow — is more applicable to the high end (mostly broadcast/feature markets) we're talking about here than the underlying disruptive wave FCP was riding (DV + FireWire).

That said, I do think the slow pace of FCP's rise is a useful illustration of just how conservative this industry is. As is the continued widespread use of Media Composer, really. Media Composer feels more 'legacy' than any other desktop app I've come into contact with in years — the labyrinthine interface, the bizarre approach to media management, the inability to perform pretty much any processing task without blocking the UI — and yet it's still the dominant power in some industry segments. This is an industry that practically requires generational turnover to embrace change.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

You should follow me on Twitter here. Or read our blog.


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Steve Connor
Re: Opinions on what NLE to teach on a new BA in Film & Screen Media Production
on Feb 12, 2013 at 10:00:25 pm

[Chris Kenny] "This is an industry that practically requires generational turnover to embrace change.
"


Which is why Apple may be playing the long game with FCPX

Steve Connor
'It's just my opinion, with an occasional fact thrown in for good measure"


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: Opinions on what NLE to teach on a new BA in Film & Screen Media Production
on Feb 12, 2013 at 10:58:33 pm

[Steve Connor] "Which is why Apple may be playing the long game with FCPX"

yes, there's a puck there somewhere, far far way.

http://vimeo.com/user1590967/videos http://www.ogallchoir.net promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Richard Cardonna
Re: Opinions on what NLE to teach on a new BA in Film & Screen Media Production
on Feb 13, 2013 at 3:08:52 pm

What ever you teach I belive PPro should be included its not just an app its part of a system that takes you from adobe story all through finnishing plus you can make your print campaign with it also.

RC


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Opinions on what NLE to teach on a new BA in Film & Screen Media Production
on Feb 13, 2013 at 11:53:24 pm

One thing that seems to get overlooked with FCP's beginnings is how flexible and scalable it was. Sure, it welcomed DV with open arms but invest in a capture card and faster storage and you could be cutting uncompressed SD (and later HD) with the same system. Avid had a tiered system for DV, SD, HD and even Media Composer for TV and Film Composer for film. FCP's one-stop-shop for formats and frame rates had a huge impact on its popularity. Price did as well but the price differences we are seeing today are no where near the differences of yesteryear.

I don't see the same standard being set w/FCPX. Tapeless acquisition is obviously its strong point but Firewire tape I/O is severely gimped and non-FW tape I/O was ditched out right. I know Apple is playing the long game but I wonder if they showed their hand too soon (I've wondered this since FCPX was launched). With how long it takes the industry as a whole to transition I think Avid and Adobe will have time to more gracefully bridge the gap that Apple abruptly jumped over. Time will tell though.




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David Roth Weiss
Re: Opinions on what NLE to teach on a new BA in Film & Screen Media Production
on Feb 14, 2013 at 2:32:01 am

[Andrew Kimery] "One thing that seems to get overlooked with FCP's beginnings is how flexible and scalable it was."

Not by me Andrew. I've been saying the same thing since June 22nd, 2011.

BTW, in addition, there is no easier NLE to use in a collaboative shared storage environment unless you're using Avid Isis in an all Avid environment. This is one of the primary reason why facilities continue to hold on to FCP legacy. If that weren't the case, I doubt there would be as many indies holding on as well. It's because the ecosystem in the bigger markets is dictatated by the bigger players, and the indies follow along because they have to remain conversant with the bigger players in their market if they want to remain viable, though they may not even realize it.

David Roth Weiss
ProMax Systems
Burbank
DRW@ProMax.com

Sales | Integration | Support

David is a Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Apple Final Cut Pro forum.


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