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Mark Sanger (Oscar Winner for Editing - Gravity) Avid vs FCPX

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Craig Seeman
Mark Sanger (Oscar Winner for Editing - Gravity) Avid vs FCPX
on Nov 21, 2014 at 11:44:36 pm

He mentions FCPX at about 4:25. Consider his (time) frame of reference. It really reveals the "conservative" Avid mindset. Heck, he thought Media Composer went into "strange new territory." I wonder if he still drives a stick shift and his TV at home is still has a tube.

OK now we get to have some "old fashioned" Debate again.









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Michael Gissing
Re: Mark Sanger (Oscar Winner for Editing - Gravity) Avid vs FCPX
on Nov 22, 2014 at 12:24:22 am

Having spent most of my career at the bleeding edge, I find it interesting to see such a conservative mindset. Whenever I hear someone say "If it ain't broke don't fix it" I cringe. Software doesn't have to be broken to improve it. It is also always broken so apart from needing bug fixes it can improve.

That said we should be acutely aware that stability and working (but older) paradigms are perfectly valid if the software is dong the primary job. I had a long chat many years ago with Gerry Hambling who was proudly the last editor to cut big features on a Moviola. He made it work and he got the result.

So although Mark may be out of touch with how X has gone in the past three years, I fully understand this methodology. That is why I hate software that deliberately breaks forward or backwards compatibility as it means people like me who try to be current have post workflow issues because some companies cut such long form projects adrift. The reason AVID is still the preferred system for features is that it doesn't ask for leaps of faith and complete mindset changes. With big budgets comes a desire for stability. It is exactly the area of the industry where paradigm shifts and rapid version turnover is actively shunned.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Mark Sanger (Oscar Winner for Editing - Gravity) Avid vs FCPX
on Nov 22, 2014 at 12:39:08 am

It also shows the major business problem developers have in supporting that mindset.

You're selling a product to a market that isn't inclined to pay for upgrades very often and when it does, it's inclined to be averse to major feature changes that might require any significant rethinking.

With a subscription model, the developer gets steady income whether or not the Post Production team takes advantage of new features.

It would seem a tough market to cater to and make profit should of selling big iron that require expensive support contracts and upgrades as project demands increase commensurate with production demands.



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Tim Wilson
Re: Mark Sanger (Oscar Winner for Editing - Gravity) Avid vs FCPX
on Nov 22, 2014 at 2:26:08 am

Talking about conservatism in contexts like this is the ultimate straw man argument. There's not one person in this forum who was looking for a new NLE in April 2011. Not one. Or if there is, you haven't spoken up until now. If you COULD have stayed with a less disruptively upgraded FCP, you would have.

Change gets treated like an ethical imperative around here sometimes when 3 years ago, most of you hadn't changed for years, and weren't looking to.

I'm going to risk dipping into a metaphor because the "old dogs" thread brought it up. In this context, working dogs aren't asked to learn new tricks. They're drilled on the old tricks over and over, until they can perform those tasks surrounded by flames, underwater, while someone is coming at them with a knife.

Which is why it's ridiculous to refer to experienced Avid editors as inflexible. There is no group of editors on earth more flexible at solving problems, because no group of editors faces more problems. LOL

Some of those are endemic to life with Avid, but some of them are endemic to large-scale operations that are under constant pressure. They're underwater, surrounded by flames, and people are coming at them with knives. Learning an NLE which even its fans concede requires a bit of rewiring isn't in the cards, nor should it be.

Here's the thing. Many of you have trained students in NLEs. I've trained dogs. To extend our metaphor, the point isn't the age of the dog. Its the suitability of the current tricks to the current tasks. Listen, sit, stay, fetch, come, find. That's pretty close to the entire range for the dog's entire working life.

To put it another way, the goal is to teach NEW dogs OLD tricks. There have been some nuances in HOW to train over the centuries, but the tasks haven't changed much.

Not to overstate the nobility of editors or editing. There's not a noble bone in the lot of us combined. LOL We're howler monkeys hurling our own feces through the bars of the cage. Working dogs may incline to nobility, but they still lick their balls and pretend they didn't fart.

My point is that the KINDS of editing that Avid editors do hasn't really changed. Not since the days of film. Timelines are simple, so don't fgjking mess with my timeline. Don't make it do different stuff because you think it will be neato. I don't have time to follow your neato suggestions, because I have a profoundly NOT neato client and an even less neato deadline.

I'm reminded of what Jeremy Garchow said re: Windows machines being faster back when we were wondering if Apple would release a new Mac Pro. He conceded that Windows machines probably ARE faster, if for no other reason than you can load up more RAM and GPUs -- but how MUCH faster would it have to be to make up for the time he lost learning Windows? His answer is the correct one: it's almost inconceivable.

And coming back to the beginning, not one of you was looking for a new NLE in April 2011. Some of you still aren't.

To the extent that you have, many of you have stretched the process out for a couple of years. You've had the mental, occupational, and temporal bandwidth that a feature editor, or a TV editor working in a feature-style workflow, simply doesn't.

Not because Hollywood-style workflows or work are "better" than your work. It's almost surely not. Most movies and TV shows bite. LOL Those editors aren't necessarily more professional or superior in any way. But they have a set of luxuries that most of us haven't: a purpose-built set of tools, provided by a company with only one basic constituency for those tools, and workflow parameters that have stayed largely the same for over a very long time.

Nor do they have what many of us had to face over the years: a company that couldn't figure its market out and collapsed (Media 100), or blew up established workflows for a neato future, and in some cases, still not provided a suitable replacement. I'm still positive that if Apple hadn't changed course, virtually none of you here would have either.

FCPX guys are self-selecting as WILLING to change, because they've HAD to do it to get here in the first place, whether they've liked it or not, or I think maybe even more often, guys who LIKE change, who WANT new things, and have the time to make those changes.

In the same way, I think Avid editors are people who tend to prefer depth of experience, and a narrower range of improvisation, rather than expanding breadth of experience.

Is enjoying change for its own sake a negative? No. Neither is recognizing that change is being forced on you and adapting. But neither is being a cattle herding dog or a bomb-sniffing dog, who'll go their entire career with the FEWEST SKILLS POSSIBLE. Mastery matters more than novelty.

Hey, if your work changes, change tools. Or if you like change, change. But I don't think there's anything "better" about tending to prefer change, any more than I think it's "better" to prefer sticking with something that's working.

But you know what, someone sticking with what's working WORKS, whether or not it's something that works for YOU.


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Shane Ross
Re: Mark Sanger (Oscar Winner for Editing - Gravity) Avid vs FCPX
on Nov 22, 2014 at 3:22:34 am

Sorry...he's spot on. On big budget shows, you need a proven tool that works. Most people don't want something that's very new to the field, that doesn't have a solid workflow in place yet. There are a few that are pioneers, and they didn't go into things without issues. When Walter Murch used FCP 3 to cut COLD MOUNTAIN, even Apple said "don't do this." But he did, because he loved the control he had with audio. So they had a team of people on site making sure things worked, fixing things that didn't. And it wasn't until a few versions later, say FCP 5 or 6...that FCP started seeing use in the feature film market. FCP 5 and 6 is when it started creeping into TV as well. When things were more solid, and stable. Workflows ironed out and working.

FCX is being used on a feature...as is Premiere Pro. And yes, there were issues with both systems. Both needed a lot of hand holding and experts on hand to make sure things worked. They aren't proven. Until they are proven, many...nay, most...editors, and mainly producers and studios who need to ensure that things work right, and there are no hiccups...will trust those NLEs and use them.

I was a pioneer and champion for FCP. And yes, I used it on many projects, and encountered many bugs and figured out many workflows. And I became a champion for that NLE and had to prove it worked, and worked well, on many many projects. I was lucky to have someone trust me to use it on a project where Avid was a big issue. If Avid wasn't an issue with the footage we were shooting, I'm sure I'd be on an avid. But FCP was the solution to the issue.

Until FCX is a solution to something...people won't change. Especially on features, where all you do is straight cutting. Right now it, and Premeiere Pro...are the solution to dealing with 4K footage, because currently, Avid doesn't do it. Soon it will. But that's why they are being used...because they solve an issue in post. not because "hey, wouldn't it be cool to edit with FCX?"

FCX isn't the solution everywhere...which is why you might not see it everywhere. It doesn't do stuff I need done, so I don't use it. I used FCP 4.5 up to FCP 7 over Avid because it solved all sorts of issues that I had with Avid. FCX solved tons of issues in other areas of post...that's why it's popular and took off. And it's solving some issues in features, thus why it is being tried out.

But I will agree that one of Avid's biggest issues is people unwilling to change...unbending. Try to change one thing and people FLIP OUT! I know editors and post companies still using Avid MC 4...because they hate the smart tool. Forget the fact that you can disable it and work normally...they don't like the fact that it even exists, and takes up screen real estate. So they stick with their precious MC 4. THOSE people are a problem...and they do make it tough for Avid to innovate, because they cannot get all their clients to pay for the upgrades...many stick with what they have because, "hey, it still works."

FCX did innovate. It innovated in ways that many people needed. I didn't need it, therefore I poo-poo'd it. Said "it isn't for me!" And it still isn't. But I do see how it's perfect for TONS of workflows, tons of areas of post. When more and more people need it's solutions in TV and film...then you'll see it spread.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Mark Sanger (Oscar Winner for Editing - Gravity) Avid vs FCPX
on Nov 22, 2014 at 4:37:44 am

[Craig Seeman] "It also shows the major business problem developers have in supporting that mindset.

You're selling a product to a market that isn't inclined to pay for upgrades very often and when it does, it's inclined to be averse to major feature changes that might require any significant rethinking.

With a subscription model, the developer gets steady income whether or not the Post Production team takes advantage of new features.

It would seem a tough market to cater to and make profit should of selling big iron that require expensive support contracts and upgrades as project demands increase commensurate with production demands."


Avid certainly has a problem in that in controls a high end niche, with limited growth potential, and every effort it's made to compete down market (in the past with FCP Legend and now with X and PPro) has failed (the Xpress series, buying Pinnacle, etc.). Having to unbundle their I/O hardware from their software has certainly hurt as well. I won't say Avid has given up, but I think they know their strength lies more in the enterprise sector and that's where they rolling up new products like Avid Everywhere.

I agree with Sanger in that Apple targeted a much wider users base with X. I wouldn't have used the term consumer but Apple certainly made sure people that don't edit all day, every day (or even edit most days) could very easily and comfortable slip into X. Given the massive amount of video that is created each day it makes sense to have products targeting different demos just like Word, Pages and Final Draft all basically do the same thing but they each cater to different demographics.


Both Shane and Tim talked about how valuable proven workflows are and I think it's an important enough aspect to Sanger's segment of the market to underscore that point yet again. Knowing what pot holes in the road exist and how to avoid them can't be overstated in these scenarios. It's much easier to budget money and time around proven workflows than it is to lose money and time chasing down a problem you didn't know existed. Especially when there are a dozen (or dozens) of people working on the project together (literally day and night) and you don't know if the root of the problem lies with what Bob did five minutes ago when he tried to rebuild a database or with what Sue did 5 months when the media was originally ingested.

You also have to keep in mind that they might be running some custom software that can't be upgraded as easily as buying a new copy of an NLE. A buddy of mine did some work at a large facility and he mentioned that that facility was years behind switching from FCP 6 to FCP 7 because they had custom software that allowed their DAM to interface with FCP 6 but under the hood changes in 7 weren't compatible with the custom software. Once they deemed the cost of rewriting the software to be worth it they did so and then upgraded to 7. Needless to say they are still on 7 and are researching which NLE to switch too.

Oh, and speaking of antiquated tech, George R. R. Martin probably gets that crown as he still uses DOS word processing software to write his books.


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Richard Herd
Re: Mark Sanger (Oscar Winner for Editing - Gravity) Avid vs FCPX
on Nov 22, 2014 at 10:12:05 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "It's much easier to budget money and time around proven workflows than it is to lose money and time chasing down a problem you didn't know existed."

This is true of every business in the whole world.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Mark Sanger (Oscar Winner for Editing - Gravity) Avid vs FCPX
on Nov 22, 2014 at 2:22:33 am

[Michael Gissing] "Whenever I hear someone say "If it ain't broke don't fix it" I cringe. Software doesn't have to be broken to improve it. It is also always broken so apart from needing bug fixes it can improve."

In fairness, when Mark Sanger said that, he was talking about their decision to stay locked on the same version of the Media Composer throughout the course of post on Gravity (three years) -- in other words, not upgrading in the middle of the project.

Also given that time context (>3 years ago), perhaps his remarks on FCP X are less controversial.

The "strange new territory" remark about MC could easily be taken out of context. That was about all the changes that happened between when they started Gravity (circa MC v4 or v5) and when Gravity wrapped. That possibly covers the smart tool and both the birth and death of PhraseFind, and definitely covers the 64-bit transition, Open I/O, a tabbed interface (!), major changes in AMA, steroscopic support, source-side LUTs, background encoding, new flavors of DNxHD, FrameFlex, and the latest licensing changes. I don't think a negative connotation was implied; rather, he was commenting on the increased rate of change versus previous releases.

When he wrapped Gravity and looked at what had happened with Avid while he had been working, he echoed some of the sentiments often expressed in this forum: "I was history" and "If you don't keep up, technology will overtake you."

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Bill Davis
Re: Mark Sanger (Oscar Winner for Editing - Gravity) Avid vs FCPX
on Nov 22, 2014 at 5:57:32 am

I'm still not buying this threads central premise. Not even a little.

Tim is right to this extent. I wasn't looking to change from FCP 7 after 12+ years of editing. But it was largely because I was a vastly more ignorant fool then - than I am today. I thought that the traditions of the A/B roll editing I'd been involved with for 20 years plus were still the best way to approach editing - except in a few specific areas where the pain was significant. For example, I absolutely was looking around and noticing that not everyone was still paying the "render tax" that I was day in and day out. And that was bothering me in 2010 big time.

Still, I was generally content because I only knew ONE aspect of the software where I could reasonably expect timesaving improvement. If you'd told me I could have FCP 7 with NO rendering and some incremental improvements - I'd have been giddy with delight and signed up for another 10 years, like everyone else.

But then Apple came along and showed me that I didn't even have a CLUE how much better editing could be. I didn't know I'd want an internal asset management database, I didn't know I'd enjoy a magnetic storyline.I didn't know I'd want one-click sharing to Vimeo. Or Roles, or Instant switch proxy/original workflow, or a dozen other things in X that I think Apple improved on and that save me actual time and therefore money today day in and day out.

So sorry, but arguing that just because nobody had a clue that there might be useful alternate ways to think about editing - also implies that there was no reason to explore those different ways to think about editing IS conservatism. By definition. And the type of destructive conservatism that misses potentially beneficial change.

It's the conservatism that says that what we have RIGHT NOW is plenty good enough. So there's no compelling need to change. Conservatism says SLOW DOWN and change less. Change carefully. Change after a big poll and the guys who do it best right now ALL get to weigh in on how the change is supposed to be done. And for gods sake don't break anything we have right now. All the paychecks depend on it!

Conservatism is "this is how it's done professionally, so don't screw that up."

And my counter argument has always been that that's a fine strategy when things are going along just fine. When you're meeting all your deadlines and the money is rolling in and your next three jobs are set - THEN it's perfectly smart to be as conservative as you can be. Because what you're conserving is outstanding.

The problem is that this describes a ridiculously tiny fraction of the creative shops out there that I know of over the period of the past 5-10 years.. For most real folks in the real world, that old professional model had largely been DESTROYED. Utterly. Budgets for everything perhaps except the top of the top end are still in the toilet. Where once there were 50 projects to sustain small operators - suddenly there were THREE. And two of those were probably cancelled before they were funded.

And so it's great that yet another Oscar Winner is defending the AVID ecosystem. And I'd recommend that if you're an Oscar Winning editor, you too should darn well be fluent as to editing on AVID as well.

But in the rest of the NON Oscar-winning world. Some of us desperately needed innovation even if we didn't actually realize it at the time.. We needed to pay less. (A LOT less, considering how most of our billing were under so much pressure.) We needed to get more capabilities - and not just more of them but different capabilities. We needed to edit in weird mixed codecs and on laptops and in the CAR. Basically, we needed a tool for this generation. And Apple was far sighted enough to work hard to give us exactly that.

I don't shoot with the same type of cameras I did in 2008. I don't watch the same TV Shows. I don't read paper magazines off a newsstand any more. I don't edit on the same types of computers. And I just don't think trying to hold on to THE software of the last decade makes a whole lot of sense either. For me. I have no clue what you need.

For Mark Sanger - it absolutely does. And that's great. But it's NOT evidence of the value of conservatism in editing. It's evidence of the value of conservatism in editing for editors who don't have any compelling need to change all that much. If you're one of those. Bless you. Great. Congrats. But I"m not that. And sorry, but spending orders of magnitude more money and assembling a Oscar Level multi-user edit system is a stupid goal for most content creators in this market in this day and age, in my opinion.

Heck, look around. We're down to SIX media conglomerates who create the vast majority of ALL the content we all consume. SIX!!!!! Thats not SHRINKING opportunity - it's SHRUNKEN. Done deal. Six portals that control whether you can get to a national audience unless you do it via the web. Six gatekeepers for your Movie or your TV show in the US.

And down here in the weeds I've come to realize that imagining that I can storm one of those six stone castles, might not be all that smart. Particularly since every single other content creator or editor will ALSO be trying to storm the same six castles. So maybe a tool like FCP X can help me polish my craft, continuously improve, and leverage nearly the same quality of results - and do it all for a couple of hundred bucks. And maybe I can find a path that doesn't require me to get in the same line as everyone else trying to get a seat in the same six castles.

It's GREAT that we get to read about the guys cutting at Mark Sangers level. And if we pay attention, we can learn a lot. But I"m not sure how practical the lesson will be in an era where there will be 200 or 500 - or even 1000 seats cutting Gravity style features are out there. Viewed agains the hundreds of thousands of seats I'm pretty sure will develop cutting stuff out in the rest of the real world where tools like FCP X can kick butt.

Who knows. Maybe we'll all be feature editor film editors some day. But I'm kinda not holding my breath.

FWIW.

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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Bernard Newnham
Re: Mark Sanger (Oscar Winner for Editing - Gravity) Avid vs FCPX
on Nov 22, 2014 at 10:35:16 am
Last Edited By Bernard Newnham on Nov 22, 2014 at 11:23:36 am

Tim, you are a wise man.

Bernie


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Scott Witthaus
Re: Mark Sanger (Oscar Winner for Editing - Gravity) Avid vs FCPX
on Nov 22, 2014 at 12:15:14 pm

Bill, great post. Have been doing a little work on Premiere recently, and you realize what you miss from X and didn't know you needed before X was released!

Having done beta-test cycles for Media Composer (and DS), yeah, the MC crowd is conservative because that workflow is solid and proven for them. And that's a good reason not to upset the "apple" cart. Being on the beta run when the Smart Tool was released certainly re-enforced this notion (granted, it was a pretty 'dumb tool' when it was first released). This conservatism also has Avid using R&D dollars on doing version patches for software that may be one or two full versions old. And that slows things down too. Again, for their core market, this is a good reason not to go too fast or get too radical. It simply has to work for them.

But that's a small niche. What system Gravity was cut on really means nothing to me and my market (there are no Avid suites left, so MC is not even in the conversation). Coming from an Avid shop and then losing places to use that skill, I had to find a replacement, which was FCP-Legacy, and then three years ago there was another fork in the road. You pick the path of what gives your client the best product and let's you make a profit. Might be X or not. I am keeping my Premiere chops up because there may be another fork. Same with Resolve. So yes, I am actively looking at other alternatives simply to be as marketable as I can going forward. But it has nothing to do with "Gravity" or any other blockbuster for me.

Just my humble opine on a cold frosty morning! ;-)

Scott Witthaus
Senior Editor/Post Production Supervisor
1708 Inc./Editorial
Professor, VCU Brandcenter


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Michael Phillips
Re: Mark Sanger (Oscar Winner for Editing - Gravity) Avid vs FCPX
on Nov 22, 2014 at 2:33:56 pm

Just some historical context on SmartTool... When it was first released, you could not turn the functionally off altogether and it took several point releases to get it to the state it exists now. Before those issues were addressed, you have to remember that navigation was anywhere in the timeline - muscle memory sets in. With SmartTool in its first few releases, one had to remember to only navigate via timecode strips out outside tracks. For existing users, that was a lot of muscle memory to undo.If they did not pay attention, something was potentially changing in the timeline.

It was brought up several times before beta even released that SmartTool should be an option that is defaulted on, but the user could turn off completely. This way the more progressive user base would have it available from the get-go and long time users can introduce it when they needed or wanted to. This would have eliminated the first impression syndrome that existed with the first (bad) first release and point releases that still linger today.

I will also say that this user base is not so much resistant to change if done well. But it has to be better and not done for the sake of change. There were a lot of "new" things in v6 that were done for the sake of change, but did not add functionality and in some cases made it worse for many users.

My two cents.

Michael


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Mark Sanger (Oscar Winner for Editing - Gravity) Avid vs FCPX
on Nov 22, 2014 at 4:07:21 pm

Person 1: Why does Bob do things like that?
Person 2: He does things like that because for reasons X, Y and Z it's a very reliable solution to the problems he faces.
Person 3: Stop telling me I should do things like Bob!
Person 2: ???

No one is saying what system Gravity was edited on or what thought process the editor had should be a litmus test for any and every editing scenario possible. The thread was started by what seemed like a lack of understanding of where Sanger was coming from so people chimed in to shed light on a number of reasons why it works for Sanger (and others in similar situations).


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Craig Seeman
Re: Mark Sanger (Oscar Winner for Editing - Gravity) Avid vs FCPX
on Nov 22, 2014 at 4:30:54 pm

I understand well where Sanger is coming from. I was an Avid editor myself for about 12 years. My work was TV and higher end corporate though.

The current Feature Film (and only slightly lesser extent) Broadcast is a conservative and relatively small compared to the entire market for NLEs.

When you have a market that is not inclined to update, even for good reason, it's not a great market for software developers looking to make income on new sales and upgrades.

The very thing that makes Avid attractive in that market, limits its growth in the other, larger, markets. That NLE market was much more profitable when a turnkey Avid system was north of $100k. Fortunately Avid makes much of its revenue in infrastructure hardware and support and service which still has a high cost of entry and profitable maintenance contracts.,

While FCPX certainly wasn't even remotely capable of doing what that industry needed at the time he started post on Gravity, it was smart of Apple to pursue a broader and more profitable market. That market was NOT specifically "consumer."

He even states Avid went into "strange new territory." Making critical comments on Avid's attempts to broaden their product appeal does not do service to Avid, which is already hampered by a conservative customer base with regards to NLE development.



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Andrew Kimery
Re: Mark Sanger (Oscar Winner for Editing - Gravity) Avid vs FCPX
on Nov 22, 2014 at 6:07:14 pm

[Craig Seeman] "When you have a market that is not inclined to update, even for good reason, it's not a great market for software developers looking to make income on new sales and upgrades.

The very thing that makes Avid attractive in that market, limits its growth in the other, larger, markets. That NLE market was much more profitable when a turnkey Avid system was north of $100k. Fortunately Avid makes much of its revenue in infrastructure hardware and support and service which still has a high cost of entry and profitable maintenance contracts.,"


Yeah, I agree with that (I mentioned Avid's struggles in my previous post) though there is still room for enterprise level solutions (for lack of a better term) and I think Avid is focusing on that area with the Avid Everywhere strategy. A few months ago Philip Hodgetts went to a closed presentation for Avid Everywhere and came away very impressed with the scope and direction of Avid's plans.


[Craig Seeman] "While FCPX certainly wasn't even remotely capable of doing what that industry needed at the time he started post on Gravity, it was smart of Apple to pursue a broader and more profitable market. That market was NOT specifically "consumer.""

I too think it was smart for Apple figure out the demographic they wanted and then create something very well suited for that demographic. I don't think every product should be aimed at the broadest possible market though. If companies like Avid or Quantel can run a healthy business aimed at niche users then I think they should go for it.

I feel like this is circling around to the potential problem that Walter has brought up multiple times which is what happens to software developers (especially ones that create niche software) when software becomes a race-to-the-bottom, add-on type product?

[Craig Seeman] "He even states Avid went into "strange new territory." Making critical comments on Avid's attempts to broaden their product appeal does not do service to Avid, which is already hampered by a conservative customer base with regards to NLE development."

Were the critical comments of Avid later in the interview? I only watched the section you pointed out (the mentioning of FCP X and how they decided not to upgrade their NLE in the middle of the movie). I don't find the "strange new territory" comment as being critical (in a previous post Walter nicely illustrates how much Avid has changed) and Sanger even says he needed to get up to speed on the new version of Avid which, in his opinion, is the best NLE out there (he says it has "overtaken everything else").


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Charlie Austin
Re: Mark Sanger (Oscar Winner for Editing - Gravity) Avid vs FCPX
on Nov 22, 2014 at 5:12:15 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "Person 1: Why does Bob do things like that?
Person 2: He does things like that because for reasons X, Y and Z it's a very reliable solution to the problems he faces.
Person 3: Stop telling me I should do things like Bob!
Person 2: ???"


lol. Gravity was cut on MC because it suited their workflow. That dual story Honda thingy was cut on X because it suited their workflow. There are plenty of situations in which editors who would benefit from things available in FCP X don't use it for pretty stupid reasons ("nobody uses it!", "it needs tracks!", ad infinitum.)

Sangers decision -3 years ago- was perfectly reasonable. If he made the same decision for the same workflow reasons today it would still be reasonable.

-------------------------------------------------------------

~ My FCPX Babbling blog ~
~"It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools."~
~"The function you just attempted is not yet implemented"~


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Oliver Peters
Re: Mark Sanger (Oscar Winner for Editing - Gravity) Avid vs FCPX
on Nov 22, 2014 at 8:41:33 pm

Wow, what a mountain out of a molehill. First of all, there's really nothing about FCP X vs Avid in his comments. His "strange territory" comment really relates to the fact that they made no software updates in a three year period and that Avid had made a lot of changes in that time. He's not criticizing these changes at all. In fact, he specifically indicated the need to catch up in order not to be "history".

I completely agree. I wouldn't upgrade in the middle of a project like this either. Heck, I've got an indie film that I cut last year in FCP X. It's STILL waiting for some changes, so it's frozen at 10.0.9. There's no way I'll risk messing up a large project with a lot of sequences and media by an upgrade gone wrong.

In fact, I'd wager that Sanger has gone through far more changes in his work than many on this list, having come from a film background and then doing assistant editing, VFX editor and feature editing.

- Oliver

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


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Charlie Austin
Re: Mark Sanger (Oscar Winner for Editing - Gravity) Avid vs FCPX
on Nov 22, 2014 at 8:52:09 pm

[Oliver Peters] "Wow, what a mountain out of a molehill."

I'd say out of an ant hill. ;-)

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Andrew Kimery
Re: Mark Sanger (Oscar Winner for Editing - Gravity) Avid vs FCPX
on Nov 22, 2014 at 9:35:52 pm

It's the FCP X or Not forum, we'll debate about anything! Isn't that someone's sig?


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Craig Alan
Re: Mark Sanger (Oscar Winner for Editing - Gravity) Avid vs FCPX
on Nov 23, 2014 at 4:28:48 am

Six portals that control whether you can get to a national audience unless you do it via the web.

"... unless you do it via the web," which has become a serious player, a viable means of distribution for professional content.

Mac Pro, macbook pro, Imacs (i7); Canon 5D Mark III/70D, Panasonic AG-HPX170/AG-HPX250P, Canon HV40, Sony Z7U/VX2000/PD170; FCP 6 certified; FCP X write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Bill Davis
Re: Mark Sanger (Oscar Winner for Editing - Gravity) Avid vs FCPX
on Nov 23, 2014 at 7:16:38 pm

[Craig Alan] ""... unless you do it via the web," which has become a serious player, a viable means of distribution for professional content."

Yes, Craig.

And that's a place (video creation and distribution specifically for the web) where X has always had their eye directly on the ball.

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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Craig Alan
Re: Mark Sanger (Oscar Winner for Editing - Gravity) Avid vs FCPX
on Nov 23, 2014 at 9:56:55 pm

Exactly what I was thinking. This is the last piece of the democratization of media. It's not that the fat cats will go away. There will be continue to be ever evolving high end media creation. It's just that they can't continue to own mass distribution exclusively. Thus the battle over Net neutrality.

Mac Pro, macbook pro, Imacs (i7); Canon 5D Mark III/70D, Panasonic AG-HPX170/AG-HPX250P, Canon HV40, Sony Z7U/VX2000/PD170; FCP 6 certified; FCP X write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Mark Sanger (Oscar Winner for Editing - Gravity) Avid vs FCPX
on Nov 25, 2014 at 3:13:25 pm

[Bill Davis] "And that's a place (video creation and distribution specifically for the web) where X has always had their eye directly on the ball."

How? Is there more to this than one-click Vimeo export? What makes web content creation/distribution fundamentally different in your eyes, and how does FCP X specifically enable it?

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Mark Sanger (Oscar Winner for Editing - Gravity) Avid vs FCPX
on Nov 25, 2014 at 4:55:16 pm

And to be fair, OSX allows a one click upload to Vimeo right from the finder. You don't specifically need FCPX for this.


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Richard Herd
Re: Mark Sanger (Oscar Winner for Editing - Gravity) Avid vs FCPX
on Nov 25, 2014 at 6:24:47 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "OSX allows a one click upload to Vimeo right from the finder"

And now I have searched the Vimeo tools to find this thing, but cannot find it. Where/how does this happen? Thanks!


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Steve Connor
Re: Mark Sanger (Oscar Winner for Editing - Gravity) Avid vs FCPX
on Nov 25, 2014 at 6:31:37 pm

[Richard Herd] "And now I have searched the Vimeo tools to find this thing, but cannot find it. Where/how does this happen? Thanks!
"


Right click your video file in the finder- Share- Vimeo

Not sure if this is Yosemite only


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Richard Herd
Re: Mark Sanger (Oscar Winner for Editing - Gravity) Avid vs FCPX
on Nov 25, 2014 at 6:36:38 pm

It's Mavericks too. THank you!


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Bill Davis
Re: Mark Sanger (Oscar Winner for Editing - Gravity) Avid vs FCPX
on Nov 26, 2014 at 7:11:32 pm

Walter,

It's the sum of the parts that X incorporated from day one.

Lets start with all the "automated on import" functions such as basic color correction, basic audio correction, and even basic transcoding. These are not tools designed for the broadcast market, they're designed for users who might reasonably be targeting their work of the web - and who never need to be concerned about adhering to broadcast or movie standards.

Next, look at where X STARTED with regards to format agnosticism. It incorporated all the codecs that Apple has IP rights to - which included H264 and a pathway to H265 from day one. I've got to think that the Apple rejection of FLASH in favor of HTML 5 was another clear sign that they always felt they had to guarantee computational efficiency and therefore were keeping their eye on web delivery. FLASH was a processor hog. And when you're on a laptop deploying to the web - that's a bad idea.

Next, it's not JUST share with one-click formatting. IT's share with integrated web search tagging embedded. That's a part of the "preserve the metadata" functions that X was purpose-built around.

Once again, it's not that other developers, other computer companies, or other distributors didn't have anything like these tools. It's looking at the DESIGN goals of X and coming to the conclusion that the initial goals of X was NOT to be super compatible with the way video was created and distributed in the past - but rather look downstream how it was likely to be created and distributed in the future.

The single window initial structure - laptop and (arguably) eventual mobile-device friendly. The give the same weight to import of Cineform (GoPro) as you do to RedCine codecs. And don't expect that EVERY user coming to X would have a 10 year background in video engineering. Give them the simplest possible tools necessary to get the job done (color board rather than 3way - and one click 60z hum removal) and layer the complex and precisely targeted tools underneath those for the editors who wish to dive deep.

Basically, Apple was the first and the largest player to find value in making a break with the past. That's precisely what's angered the class of users who's lively hood depends so much on BEING compatible with traditional workflows.

That's perhaps half a dozen exemplars. I could come up with more if you like.

Like the $299 price tag? Enough to be hugely profitable for a wide audience, nowhere near enough to be more than a blip if the market is just folks that used to order $100,000+ cameras by the dozen.

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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Oliver Peters
Re: Mark Sanger (Oscar Winner for Editing - Gravity) Avid vs FCPX
on Nov 26, 2014 at 7:54:01 pm

[Bill Davis] "Basically, Apple was the first and the largest player to find value in making a break with the past. That's precisely what's angered the class of users who's lively hood depends so much on BEING compatible with traditional workflows."

I think all of your points are pretty spot on. Though I think it's work mentioning that the only users who were angered were Apple's own customers who had relied on FCP "legacy".

- Oliver

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


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Bill Davis
Re: Mark Sanger (Oscar Winner for Editing - Gravity) Avid vs FCPX
on Nov 26, 2014 at 8:12:25 pm

[Oliver Peters] "Though I think it's work mentioning that the only users who were angered were Apple's own customers who had relied on FCP "legacy"."

Completely, Oliver.

But those also were a general majority of the professional editing industry - both top, middle and bottom.

And they'd achieved that penetration in the industry via a better understanding what the broader class of "editors" actually needed. Particularly those who didn't have multi-seat shops and dozens of collaborative editors whose needs were paramount. They slowly developed that over years. Despite pretty constant derision and disbelief.

Seems to me they may be doing precisely the same thing today.

But time will tell.

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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Oliver Peters
Re: Mark Sanger (Oscar Winner for Editing - Gravity) Avid vs FCPX
on Nov 26, 2014 at 8:40:21 pm

[Bill Davis] "And they'd achieved that penetration in the industry via a better understanding what the broader class of "editors" actually needed. "

I think that's a questionable assumption. They achieved it because of cost, the lack of dependence on proprietary hardware and because AJA, Bluefish, Pinnacle and others first stepped up to the plate for lower cost and more generic hardware substitutes. That filled the gap and made FCP more than a hobbyist's DV editing application.

- Oliver

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


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Craig Alan
Re: Mark Sanger (Oscar Winner for Editing - Gravity) Avid vs FCPX
on Nov 26, 2014 at 9:16:02 pm

If we are talking about FCP legacy, you need to add the Sony VX1000. That pretty much was the game changer in terms of Prosumerism.

Mac Pro, macbook pro, Imacs (i7); Canon 5D Mark III/70D, Panasonic AG-HPX170/AG-HPX250P, Canon HV40, Sony Z7U/VX2000/PD170; FCP 6 certified; FCP X write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Bill Davis
Re: Mark Sanger (Oscar Winner for Editing - Gravity) Avid vs FCPX
on Nov 27, 2014 at 12:19:35 am

I think it was all this and more.

DV-25 pushing aside Hi-8 on the bottom and 3/4SP at the industrial level - and being a fully digital alternative to BetaSP at the broadcast level. Increasingly fast computer processing.. Yes, FCP V1 being able to use Firewire in and out to Sony camcorders and the relatively cheap DSR series digital decks.

It was honestly the digitization of everything. For a little while, it was the guys using scopes verses the guys who didn't. And I remember being resistant to giving them up in the field - until a shooter I was working with was showing me switchable zebra settings - and it dawned on me that I didn't actually always need "scopes" - what I needed instead was just some form of reliable way to judge exposure values. And when the Marshall monitors came out with False colors mapped to exposure levels, the "value" of having scopes in the field shifted.

Basically, I had to evolve from thinking there was one RIGHT way to check things anymore. And instead, consider that there might be various "right" ways - and that it was up to me to learn about and understand the choices and not get stuck on thinking that the way I'd done it up to then would always necessarily be the best way.

And so it goes.

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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Walter Soyka
Re: Mark Sanger (Oscar Winner for Editing - Gravity) Avid vs FCPX
on Dec 1, 2014 at 1:36:48 am

Bill, I think I must still be missing part of what you see here. I don't really see how the web is anything but another deliverable in this context (or really how what Apple is doing here in terms of format support is special). A lot of what you are talking about seems to fall under the democratization umbrella, which may or may not overlap with the web.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Walter Soyka
Re: Mark Sanger (Oscar Winner for Editing - Gravity) Avid vs FCPX
on Nov 24, 2014 at 3:22:20 pm

[Craig Alan] "Six portals that control whether you can get to a national audience unless you do it via the web."

This is outside of my area of expertise, but it seems to me that mass electronic distribution is largely controlled or gated by Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Netflix and Google. Is that really so different?

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Craig Seeman
Re: Mark Sanger (Oscar Winner for Editing - Gravity) Avid vs FCPX
on Nov 24, 2014 at 3:50:34 pm

HBO soon to offer online option only.
Hulu but I do wonder how they're doing financially lately.
Vimeo is very indie friendly with their pay per view option.



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Walter Soyka
Re: Mark Sanger (Oscar Winner for Editing - Gravity) Avid vs FCPX
on Nov 24, 2014 at 4:00:11 pm

[Craig Seeman] "HBO soon to offer online option only. Hulu but I do wonder how they're doing financially lately."

If you want to get your show on HBO Online or Hulu -- don't you have to get it on HBO or TV first?


[Craig Seeman] "Vimeo is very indie friendly with their pay per view option."

Sure, and you could have done small-run, mail-order VHS duplication for your film 25 years ago, too. (No offense to Vimeo. I do think that Vimeo On Demand is really cool.)

I'd argue that even if distribution becomes trivial, marketing does not.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Craig Seeman
Re: Mark Sanger (Oscar Winner for Editing - Gravity) Avid vs FCPX
on Nov 24, 2014 at 4:11:48 pm

[Walter Soyka] "If you want to get your show on HBO Online or Hulu -- don't you have to get it on HBO or TV first?"

Hulu has original programming.
Arguable so does HBO but of course they're going to be using both avenues.

[Walter Soyka] "Sure, and you could have done small-run, mail-order VHS duplication for your film 25 years ago, too. (No offense to Vimeo. I do think that Vimeo On Demand is really cool.)

I'd argue that even if distribution becomes trivial, marketing does not."


I don't expect that to ever change. It's just that the "gate" is open with Vimeo and one can focus on marketing rather than getting past a gatekeeper.

It looks like we're just beginning to hit an expansion period for high quality original web only content. I wouldn't be surprised if we see expansion in some niche markets.

Mass audience always involves mass marketing, It's just that the "in between" is getting a lot bigger and I think we may hit an acceleration period in the next year or two.



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Walter Soyka
Re: Mark Sanger (Oscar Winner for Editing - Gravity) Avid vs FCPX
on Nov 24, 2014 at 4:24:49 pm

[Craig Seeman] "I don't expect that to ever change. It's just that the "gate" is open with Vimeo and one can focus on marketing rather than getting past a gatekeeper."

With studio-controlled distribution, getting past the gatekeeper was how you got marketing, right?

I mean this seriously, because I don't know. Is Vimeo on Demand a viable alternative to studio-controlled distribution? Is anyone actually successfully using it like this? Is Vimeo a viable way to reach the masses and get paid for it when TVs ship with Netflix buttons and Apple provides an end-to-end content infrastructure, or is it more analogous to an art-house theater?

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Walter Soyka
Re: Mark Sanger (Oscar Winner for Editing - Gravity) Avid vs FCPX
on Nov 24, 2014 at 4:27:47 pm

Rephrased: the hope for profitably getting independent work in front of an audience has increased. Does that match reality?

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Bill Davis
Re: Mark Sanger (Oscar Winner for Editing - Gravity) Avid vs FCPX
on Nov 24, 2014 at 10:31:08 pm

Walter,

I believe it has, but it's in its infancy.

Not long ago, there was no independent distribution marketplace tied to an e-commerce back end that a small producer could hook up to and self-distribute niche content and make a profit.

Remember how YouTube and Vimeo originally had "no commercial content" rules in place.

That's what's falling away.

The pipes are large enough, the files are small enough, and YouTube and Vimeo have proved with their infant steps into the "pay per access" model that there's money to be made AND shared. Which is what didn't happen before.

The missing link was a simple to access virtual storefront with both secure distribution and the back end accounting stuff in place so that the indy content creator doesn't have to develop or maintain a large back end infrastructure.

When I just updated my Telestream ScreenFlow software a few days ago, It arrived with a promo for the new Platform Purple service, Josh Melikers new video distribution storefront model. As I looked over the terms and services It appeared to be an early signal to me that this new type of distribution service is going to be a hotbed of development soon.

I don't have an opinion on the viability of this particular deal, but it seems to me to be a good sign of where development distribution development might be headed.

FWIW.

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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Andrew Kimery
Re: Mark Sanger (Oscar Winner for Editing - Gravity) Avid vs FCPX
on Nov 25, 2014 at 6:54:47 pm

[Bill Davis] "I believe it has, but it's in its infancy.

Not long ago, there was no independent distribution marketplace tied to an e-commerce back end that a small producer could hook up to and self-distribute niche content and make a profit. "


Bill,

First off I want to say I very much share your concern over the consolidation of media ownership to just a handful of giant companies. I think in the mid-80's there were over a hundred major media companies and now, like you said, there are just 6.

I wish I shared your optimism as the Internet as a great equalizer though. I've worked on many projects that would not have existed prior to the Internet so I've certainly benefitted from the new and unique opportunities it offers, but I've also seen the landscape change in ways that makes me think we are headed from a land of old gatekeepers to a land of new gatekeepers (and the old gatekeepers are going to move over once the money makes it worthwhile)

Even 'for artists, by artists' digital/YouTube studios like Maker Studios and Machinima (two top YT content creators) have horrible business practices of many of these 'new media' companies are many times the exact same as the 'old media' companies that people like to rage against. The business is still a business even if it's on a smaller small screen. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. ;)

30 years ago the barrier of entry was largely one of cost (everything from cameras to editing equipment was specialized and expensive) but if you got something made odds are you could find a buyer/distributor. These days it's insanely cheaper to create content, which means everyone and their brother is doing it, so the hard part is standing out in a sea of similar faces. Self distribution to a global audience is easy peasy but getting noticed and monetizing your content is harder than ever. Marketing is still the game changer. Even Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, after years of feuding with his old label and going the self distribution route for a few years, partnered with a major record label for his latest album because he wanted/needed their marketing muscle. And this is a guy with an existing fan base of 100's of millions of people all over the world.


With all that being said, there's still no reason *not* to swing for the fences and do things that people say won't work. I mean, I moved out to Los Angeles looking to succeed even though I knew odds are I'm going to fail. It wouldn't be fun if it was easy, right? ;)


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Chris Harlan
Re: Mark Sanger (Oscar Winner for Editing - Gravity) Avid vs FCPX
on Nov 26, 2014 at 3:41:29 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "These days it's insanely cheaper to create content, which means everyone and their brother is doing it, so the hard part is standing out in a sea of similar faces. Self distribution to a global audience is easy peasy but getting noticed and monetizing your content is harder than ever."

That's the heart of it right there. To be able to see and be seen you need a tower. Ancient idea. My favorite extrapolation of it is in the Confucianist interpretations of the I Ching. Its also beautifully detailed in Kurosawa's High and Low.

Media conglomerates provide a tower. Louie CK can sell his video online, but only because so many people have seen him on the tower.


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Leo Hans
Re: Mark Sanger (Oscar Winner for Editing - Gravity) Avid vs FCPX
on Nov 27, 2014 at 12:37:35 pm

Bill,
I totally agree with you but in one thing: I don't think editing hollywood features are the top-professional goal of an editor. It may be if you are cutting features.

Every single kind of video has it's own amateur and pro editors. You can be the Oscar winning editor for a film but you may fail cutting a TV show or even a wedding. Again, every single video category has its own particularities and thus needs experience in that particular field. One may need the most poetic narrative sense from you, but other may need more speed, or more compositing knowledge, or more documentary experience, etc.

So, I do think that hearing about every success story is good, but big budget films are not the only one source of that.

Leo Hans
Editor AVID - Final Cut Pro (7+X)
http://www.leohans.com


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Bill Davis
Re: Mark Sanger (Oscar Winner for Editing - Gravity) Avid vs FCPX
on Nov 27, 2014 at 5:08:42 pm

[Leo Hans] "Bill,
I totally agree with you but in one thing: I don't think editing hollywood features are the top-professional goal of an editor. It may be if you are cutting features.

Every single kind of video has it's own amateur and pro editors. You can be the Oscar winning editor for a film but you may fail cutting a TV show or even a wedding. Again, every single video category has its own particularities and thus needs experience in that particular field. One may need the most poetic narrative sense from you, but other may need more speed, or more compositing knowledge, or more documentary experience, etc.

So, I do think that hearing about every success story is good, but big budget films are not the only one source of that.

Leo Hans"



On reflection, Leo. I agree with everything you wrote here. ; )

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: Mark Sanger (Oscar Winner for Editing - Gravity) Avid vs FCPX
on Nov 22, 2014 at 10:16:19 pm

And...

Obviously he hasn't used X :)


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