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An Interesting observation

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craig slattery
An Interesting observation
on Apr 14, 2013 at 12:37:42 am

This past week I have been inundated with calls from a number of directors that Ive worked with in the past, now working on other productions, asking technical questions about editing in FCPX. It appears some have started sync pulls and small edit preparations in X before handing the job over to their craft editors. I had a call from one director, who is about to start post in a matter of weeks and has been himself cutting and reviewing rushes in FCPX in preparation before his edit begins. He asked if I was available to cut the program in FCPX, I had to say no a). because the gig was in Scotland and b). because Im booked solid. On thursday, the young director for my next 1/2 hr called to say she had started using FCPX and would I mind if she created some smart folders and favorites before we started the edit? Absolutely I said, you go for it!

I find this interesting because, although staff have had access to both FCP7 and Premier Pro on their laptops or workstations in the past, and have been encouraged to use either platform in prep for their edit. Until now, Ive not seen directors attempt anything more than a paper edit.


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David Cherniack
Re: An Interesting observation
on Apr 14, 2013 at 1:52:04 am

Perhaps it's because most directors are editing-ignorant. As an ex-broadcast director I can say that of the dozens of directors I knew, not one had any technical editing skills, whatsoever. In that respect the magnetic timeline, leading to an assembly cut, makes some sense...as it does for print journalists being forced to shoot and edit some online video content. A related question is will this lead them to further their editing skills? In most cases, as I knew them and their interests, probably not.

David
http://AllinOneFilms.com


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craig slattery
Re: An Interesting observation
on Apr 14, 2013 at 10:11:06 am

[David Cherniack] "A related question is will this lead them to further their editing skills? In most cases, as I knew them and their interests, probably not." I totally agree, One of the surprising things about cutting in FCPX in my experience, has been just how quickly directors and producers get to grips with the concept of cutting in X. Visually they understand it almost from the get go. One guy said to me last week. 'Often I sit next to the editor and think, what the hell is he doing? but this is quite clear'.
Its not about them becoming editors but I think removing a level of mystery definitely encourages positive creative collaborations.


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Craig Seeman
Re: An Interesting observation
on Apr 14, 2013 at 3:23:23 pm

[David Cherniack] "is will this lead them to further their editing skills? In most cases, as I knew them and their interests, probably not."

Over a decade ago I was tasked to train a group of producers who had virtually no editing experience, to become their own editors for network broadcast, on Avid.

With FCPX I think many will go much further with editing skills than they would otherwise. I think may will become editors. I think the industry economy is moving in that direction. I think this is the "attrition" battle Apple will lead in. That you currently discern these people as not primarily editors is, in fact, misplaced as time goes on. They may not be primarily editors (in you estimation) but many of them will be. I saw that movement over a decade ago and I think it's going to accelerate. I suspect it'll hit the corporate and low budget broadcast market primarily (at first) but that's a very large market.



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David Cherniack
Re: An Interesting observation
on Apr 14, 2013 at 3:43:36 pm

[Craig Seeman] "Over a decade ago I was tasked to train a group of producers who had virtually no editing experience, to become their own editors for network broadcast, on Avid."

Your point is that you were training them to BECOME editors. Craig S's situation is completely different and will more than likely be the rule rather than the exception in any multi-tasking based scenario - which is again, far more likely than an attrition based one. Managers know you cant turn a horse into a cow...(you can switch by predilection which animal is associated with which job :)

David
http://AllinOneFilms.com


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Craig Seeman
Re: An Interesting observation
on Apr 14, 2013 at 4:00:55 pm

[David Cherniack] "Your point is that you were training them to BECOME editors."

They remained Producers... who edited their own production. As time goes on more producers will be editors. This is especially so on lower budget projects This will be the norm in corporate video. I see it happening on some lower budget broadcast (non narrative) shows.


[David Cherniack] "Managers know you cant turn a horse into a cow...(you can switch by predilection which animal is associated with which job :)"

Again I'm talking about a Manager who made this decision in a network broadcast show (non narrative though). Over time evolution takes its corse and a beast with aspects of horse and cow may happen. A while back there was a post to an "evolutionary" analysis and I find that very appropriate to what I've seen.



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Chris Kenny
Re: An Interesting observation
on Apr 14, 2013 at 5:04:20 pm

[Craig Seeman] "They remained Producers... who edited their own production. As time goes on more producers will be editors. This is especially so on lower budget projects This will be the norm in corporate video. I see it happening on some lower budget broadcast (non narrative) shows."

One also has to think about how this is going to evolve over time. Today's aspiring directors, who are taking advantage of dirt cheap digital workflows to go out and start shooting their own no-budget projects... odds are they're editing their own stuff. Who else is going to do it?

Some of these folks will actually be working directors sooner or later, and although some of them will likely hire 'real' editors as soon as they're working on projects that allow for that, others will likely decide that they just want to keep on doing it themselves.

We've seen this sort of transition before. Back in the long-ago pre-computer days, typing was largely a specialized skill. It was routine for pretty much anyone above an entry-level position to have a secretary, or at least access to a secretarial pool, to prepare typed documents. Often one wouldn't even write longhand, but would simply dictate.

Computers changed all of this, by making typing both easier (you didn't have to be nearly as accurate, because it was much easier to make corrections, for instance) and more widely useful. Now nearly every adult can type at least somewhat competently. And many people would find it quite frustrating to create any non-trivial document by dictating it — they prefer the more direct control provided by just working with the text in a modern word processor. This is particularly true for people who especially care about the details of what's written — exact phrasing, etc.

What's happening with video editing is largely analogous. It's becoming both easier, as technical constraints that previously required complex workflows disappear and editing UI advances, and more widely useful, as both the plummeting cost of acquiring footage and new distribution channels (the web, etc.) have dramatically increased the amount of video content being produced. We should expect to see similar effects in the long run, with a smaller and smaller fraction of total editing performed by specialist editors, and some people who particularly care about the details of the finished product (i.e. directors) feeling more comfortable just stepping in and taking a hands-on approach.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

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


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Andrew Kimery
Re: An Interesting observation
on Apr 15, 2013 at 12:36:18 am

[Chris Kenny] "One also has to think about how this is going to evolve over time. Today's aspiring directors, who are taking advantage of dirt cheap digital workflows to go out and start shooting their own no-budget projects... odds are they're editing their own stuff. Who else is going to do it?"

To take it a step further, in general video is becoming a form of common literacy all of its own. In the past just knowing how to shoot or edit and charging for your services was a viable business model but that's not true any more than just knowing how to read and write lands you a job writing copy or authoring a book.

I think we'll go through a wave of excitement as people go "Hey, I can finally do this myself. This is awesome!" and then a wave a realization that it's hard work, they aren't very good at it, and/or they don't have the time nor desire to do everything themselves. It's already common for editors to produce as well (I've done a lot of 'predator' work the past 7-8yrs) so I think it's only natural that tech will get to a point where producers can edit too. Of course there will always be projects that need both producers and editors to wear separate hats as there is simply too much going on for one person to effectively do both jobs.




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Greg Andonian
Re: An Interesting observation
on Apr 14, 2013 at 4:47:13 am

They'd be better off using Premiere, and doing this first assembly in Prelude. That way transferring it over to the editor would be much, much easier.

______________________________________________
"Up until here, we still have enough track to stop the locomotive before it plunges into the ravine... But after this windmill it's the future or bust."


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Nikolas Bäurle
Re: An Interesting observation
on Apr 14, 2013 at 9:12:51 am

By using FCPX the director assembles his rough, gives the event and project to an editor who continues working in X.

We use this method at Promiflash in Berlin, our producers assemble their stories during the day, in the evening the editor shows up and opens the rough cut projects. X is a very powerful software that is very easy to learn. It took our producers a few hours to get accustomed to the basics. I trained one of our editors one day before she started. They had hard time finding fast mtv style editors with X experience.

So far using FCPX has payed off very well for me.

"Always look on the bright side of life" - Monty Python



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Steve Connor
Re: An Interesting observation
on Apr 14, 2013 at 10:10:16 am

[Greg Andonian] "That way transferring it over to the editor would be much, much easier."

I don't think Craig was making the point that it was difficult, he was making the point that it was actually happening

Steve Connor

There's nothing we can't argue about on the FCPX COW Forum


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craig slattery
Re: An Interesting observation
on Apr 14, 2013 at 10:13:17 am

[Steve Connor] "I don't think Craig was making the point that it was difficult, he was making the point that it was actually happening"

Exactly


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: An Interesting observation
on Apr 14, 2013 at 2:04:44 pm

It's interesting in a way is that one of its sweet spots is rough first assembly by people other than editors doing footage review.

Given that's what became X was originally pitched to jobs as - by ubillos when he wanted to put it out as first cut - footage organisation companion for FCP.

Its definitely a valid role.

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


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Craig Seeman
Re: An Interesting observation
on Apr 14, 2013 at 3:15:39 pm

Actually it was iMovie pitched as First Cut in the stories I've read. It may very well have to do with iMovie import into FCPX. Rough cut in iMovie (First Cut) and into FCPX (Final Cut).



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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: An Interesting observation
on Apr 14, 2013 at 3:42:30 pm

oh wait that's right - so it goes - jobs tells him that that is to be for general editing - so he goes and makes the new imovie, then next goes for the full FCP overhaul.

quite right, quite right.

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


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Michael Aranyshev
Re: An Interesting observation
on Apr 14, 2013 at 9:55:29 am

Been there…

When FCP Legacy came out.


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Michael Gissing
Re: An Interesting observation
on Apr 15, 2013 at 1:02:14 am

I go back to producers and directors who used to have Steenbecks in their garages. So the process of democratising the first stage of edit seems to me to be predictably changing.

As younger film makers who are tech savy become the norm and the price of edit software continues to come down, this use that you see with X may be no more than price and access rather than something specifically about X being more producer friendly. Anecdotes and small samples may well be the precursor to a trend but I a not seeing it in my small sample group where X is not really making any inroads, but active pre edit shot pulling/ assemblies are already common with Legend.


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Chris Kenny
Re: An Interesting observation
on Apr 15, 2013 at 2:29:28 pm

[Michael Gissing] "As younger film makers who are tech savy become the norm and the price of edit software continues to come down, this use that you see with X may be no more than price and access rather than something specifically about X being more producer friendly."

Price and access are pretty much what won the last round on the NLE wars for Apple.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

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


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Walter Soyka
Re: An Interesting observation
on Apr 15, 2013 at 2:41:54 pm

[Chris Kenny] "Price and access are pretty much what won the last round on the NLE wars for Apple."

I attribute two other factors to FCP's success: its relatively tactile UI, and its flexibility in workflow.

I can't be the only one who remembers what a revelation it was to be able to grab your media with the mouse and push it pull it, on the timeline and in the canvas. On workflow, FCP Legend wasn't there right away, but like FCPX, gained this ability over time -- though it did face a lower hurdle since its timeline spoke the lingua franca of tracks and absolute time.

FCPX is not the only "price and access" option out there. I think Adobe's Creative Cloud subscription option, giving users a much broader, arguably deeper toolset than Apple does with FCPX/M5/Compressor. Adobe's Ps/Il/Pr/Au/Ae/Sg/AME offering also includes some must-have industry-standard applications, and it costs less than a lot of folks spend on coffee every month.

In fact, even if you prefer FCPX to Premiere, you may still find a lot of value in Creative Suite or Creative Cloud, again illustrating how this is not a zero-sum game.

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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Andrew Kimery
Re: An Interesting observation
on Apr 15, 2013 at 3:07:55 pm

[Chris Kenny] "Price and access are pretty much what won the last round on the NLE wars for Apple."

Price and access was a big part in FCP Legend getting in the door but back then the difference between it and Avid MC were 10's of thousands of dollars and Avid-branded hardware. Today the difference is significantly less. Other NLE's like Vegas, Premiere (pre-Pro) and those from Pinnacle were also as cheap if not cheaper than FCP so FCP's attraction was more than just price.




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Herb Sevush
Re: An Interesting observation
on Apr 16, 2013 at 2:28:51 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "Price and access was a big part in FCP Legend getting in the door but back then the difference between it and Avid MC were 10's of thousands of dollars and Avid-branded hardware. Today the difference is significantly less. Other NLE's like Vegas, Premiere (pre-Pro) and those from Pinnacle were also as cheap if not cheaper than FCP so FCP's attraction was more than just price.
"


Yes and yes.

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


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Darren Roark
Re: An Interesting observation
on Apr 18, 2013 at 5:27:28 pm

The other thing to consider is that Apple only sold FCP to sell more Macs. They also made it really easy for people to loan their installers to other people. Avid and Adobe make their money from software, and make it pretty tough to share software.

So many people I know learned Final Cut that way over the years. And if they became professional, they either eventually bought it, or worked for a company that owned it.

I think piracy is wrong, but I suspect that Apple used that as a strategy.


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Craig Seeman
Re: An Interesting observation
on Apr 18, 2013 at 5:42:16 pm

[Darren Roark] "I think piracy is wrong, but I suspect that Apple used that as a strategy."

I once heard an Apple employee respond to the question of piracy and FCP to the effect "but you need to buy a very expensive dongle to use it."

FCPX presents a different story in that one uses the App Store with an account tied to a credit card but you can certainly log into your account and download it to a number of computers.



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Darren Roark
Re: An Interesting observation
on Apr 18, 2013 at 6:07:50 pm

Exactly! I never heard that story, but it makes total sense. I do think that in the end that X will become a standard of sorts for this reason.

A director friend of mine who's only editing experience was vhs deck to deck and also not tech savvy started to learn iMovie. He was making a no budget feature, having trouble getting free time with his editor. I suggested to him to try FCPX, he was able to cut whole scenes within a day. Sadly, he also grew quickly frustrated with how many layers he had, so he did what he did deck to deck, rendered out a timeline, and started cutting that up.

Urgh.

I guess this brings this full circle to the original point. I don't think directors will have less need for editors in the future as things become more accessible. The same way in literary publishing authors need their editors even though word processing has had auto spell for a long time.

As a director myself, I always prefer to work with an editor. Having someone who doesn't care how long a crappy shot took to set up and poorly execute will be what will matter.


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