FORUMS: list search recent posts

In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus

COW Forums : Apple Final Cut Pro X Debates

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
Noah Kadner
In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 25, 2015 at 6:11:42 pm

For the folks who've been curious about how this went:

http://www.apple.com/final-cut-pro/in-action/focus/

Noah

FCPWORKS - FCPX Workflow
Call Box Training


Return to posts index

Steve Connor
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 25, 2015 at 6:29:28 pm

That's a great feature, I hope it's going to get FCPX some well deserved attention from Filmmakers.


Return to posts index

Claude Lyneis
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 25, 2015 at 7:03:25 pm

I will be going to see it. Maybe more interesting will be all the pro and con editors and proponents and detractors weighing in on the future of FCPX on this forum following this release. Let's hear from the Avid's, the PPRO's and the Xer's.


Return to posts index


Jimmy Holcomb
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 25, 2015 at 8:44:19 pm

USA today article

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2015/02/25/final-cut-x-used-for-hollywoo...


Return to posts index

Steve Connor
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 25, 2015 at 9:33:02 pm

I note the usual "FCPX isn't professional" c**p is still being spouted in reaction to this story on other forums.


Return to posts index

Steve Connor
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 25, 2015 at 10:25:44 pm

I thought they'd be a bit more reaction about this story on here, unless you're all busy watching the footage of Madonna falling off the stage so spectacularly at the Brit Awards this evening.


Return to posts index


Bill Davis
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 25, 2015 at 10:45:33 pm

Those of us who've been arguing for 4 years that X has a great set of developing tools that look like they'll evolve to become fully professional and change the way that some part of post are done, really don't need to comment much. It's kinda self evident now.

Some who firmly planted their flag on the other side and who left X behind feeling it would never be "fully professional" have to re-think at leas a bit of their position now.

Hopefully (honestly!) most will remain happy with their choices, particularly if those approaches do everything they need. If so, they'll be fine. Or they can feel just a tiny bit that they might have missed a bit of the forest for the trees, in their choice. That's going to be largely individual.

Honestly, I'm interested in what is said at the Lightiron event coming up. How much extra efficiency do the filmmakers feel X was actually responsible for? Little? Some? A lot? And is the X workflow something they feel is evolving to be a truly superior workflow, or just another viable option? That's going to be determinant for many. If the buzz ends up being "it's a lot faster and saved us a ton of money" - thats pretty powerful stuff. And there was that line in the announcement about coming in "under budget" which perked my ears up. OTOH, if it wasn't that big a difference and X is just a viable alternative, then the change in impressions won't accelerate that much. Going to be an interesting few months coming up, tho.

And we move on.

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.


Return to posts index

Oliver Peters
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 25, 2015 at 10:34:12 pm

A nice article, but a HUGE puff piece. For all the discussion about a faster edit, the editing took 11 months. While that's not uncommon for a studio feature - and is likely due to all sort of things, but not due to the choice of editing systems - it doesn't make a good selling point for FCP X.

The biggest benefits touted in the article are not really FCP X, but rather in using a native workflow, which tends to be uncommon in a structured studio film. OTOH, it's the way many indie films have been done for years. FCP 7 has been doing such editing with ProRes4444, too.

Go back and read the "Gone Girl" press by Adobe and you'll see that Adobe is making similar points in favor of their tools. Both are good moments - maybe even watershed moments, but neither is going to change the industry very much.

- Oliver

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


Return to posts index

Andy Neil
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 12:14:44 am

[Oliver Peters] "The biggest benefits touted in the article are not really FCP X, but rather in using a native workflow"

Well, except for the whole bit about searchable metadata and smart collections to grab clips based on script supervisor info.

Andy

https://plus.google.com/u/0/107277729326633563425/videos


Return to posts index


Oliver Peters
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 12:25:35 am

[Andy Neil] "Well, except for the whole bit about searchable metadata and smart collections to grab clips based on script supervisor info."

Well, that saves time for the assistant, but not necessarily the editor nor the overall post schedule. Remember that these solutions are a way of giving FCP X what Avid editors have when they use script-based editing (aka ScriptSync). Searchable metadata has existed in Avid and FCP "legacy" for years and years.

- Oliver

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


Return to posts index

Andy Neil
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 12:58:53 am

[Oliver Peters] "Well, that saves time for the assistant, but not necessarily the editor nor the overall post schedule."

I don't see how that doesn't qualify as a benefit. Also, time savings is time savings, and I completely disagree on it not saving time for the editor. If you have detailed smart collections and regular collections of clips that fit the way the editor works, of course it will save the editor time. A big difference is how smart collections don't require clip moving or duplication like they do in Avid; they're sorted automatically. And a single clip can appear in multiple places without duplication simple by how the collections are sorting things.

[Oliver Peters] "Remember that these solutions are a way of giving FCP X what Avid editors have when they use script-based editing (aka ScriptSync)"

I don't think they're the same thing or even trying to be. ScriptSync is a very specific use and FCPX doesn't have anything like that. But then again, you have to purchase ScriptSync so it's not like it's a part of the base Avid software. And ScriptSync also has a great deal of set up involved. It's magic when it gets to me, but I do realize that AEs put in a lot of work getting the clips synched to the scripts.

My issue was that, despite this being a puff piece, there were legitimate FCPX features being touted that are beyond the scope of Avid and Premiere. It wasn't all about native workflow.

Andy

https://plus.google.com/u/0/107277729326633563425/videos


Return to posts index

Oliver Peters
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 1:18:26 am

[Andy Neil] "But then again, you have to purchase ScriptSync so it's not like it's a part of the base Avid software. And ScriptSync also has a great deal of set up involved. It's magic when it gets to me, but I do realize that AEs put in a lot of work getting the clips synched to the scripts"

Yes and no. Script based editing (seeing a lined script as text in a bin with linked clips) is part of Media Composer. The purchased option (currently not available with 8.3 due to contract talks) is the automated alignment of clips based on the audio track. And yes, I agree it takes a lot of assistant time.

Whether of not smart collections and keyword collection are faster than moving clips to bins really boils down to personal preferences. I've seen some pretty wacky workflows that people develop because of how they like to work or not.

I agree that time savings is time savings. My point about time is that the overall workflow was more affected by native media and associated workflows than the speed of the editorial side. Most feature films involve an awful lot of media wrangling to support an offline/online style of working.

- Oliver

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


Return to posts index


tony west
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 1:55:51 am

[Andy Neil] "It wasn't all about native workflow."

Indeed.


It's right up front in the article

"Sustaining complex misdirection required an editing tool that was just the opposite — clear, straightforward, and accessible enough that the directors could edit footage along with lead editor Jan Kovac."

Translation? The director found X so user friendly he could cut right along side the lead editor.


Return to posts index

Oliver Peters
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 2:07:36 am

[tony west] "It's right up front in the article"

Seriously? This is an Apple marketing piece. C'mon.

[tony west] "Translation? The director found X so user friendly he could cut right along side the lead editor."

I don't doubt that for a moment. It's part of the reason they were able to convince the studio to do this (as well as considerable testing). However, there are plenty of films being co-edited by directors using Media Composer, Premiere and/or FCP legacy. I'm sure these directors all find their choice to be user friendly. So what's the point?

Examples: Jim Cameron, Robert Rodriguez, Kevin Smith, Ben Affleck, the Coens.

- Oliver

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


Return to posts index

tony west
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 2:13:38 am

[Oliver Peters] "Seriously? This is an Apple marketing piece. C'mon."

What it is, is reality slapping you upside your head ; )


Return to posts index


Oliver Peters
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 2:18:05 am

[tony west] "What it is, is reality slapping you upside your head ; )"

Don't make me laugh. I was cutting a feature film in FCP X two years ago. I just delivered a different film to theatrical release (which I didn't cut) that was done with native ProRes 4444 Alexa media in FCP 7. I think I have a pretty good handle on reality.

- Oliver

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


Return to posts index

tony west
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 3:20:31 am

I quoted the director of the film. If you have a problem with the quote then you are calling him a liar.

I don't see you as having any standing to do that.

I'm sure he doesn't need you to tell him his craft at this point in his career.


Return to posts index

Oliver Peters
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 12:37:04 pm

"I quoted the director of the film. If you have a problem with the quote then you are calling him a liar.
I don't see you as having any standing to do that.
I'm sure he doesn't need you to tell him his craft at this point in his career."

Wow! Talk about an overreaction!! I did no such thing and you seem to want to put words in my mouth and attribute motives. It's a quote about a director who likes the tool he used. He is by no means unique in that and there are plenty of examples of other directors who edit that have said the same about the NLE they chose. That's all I was talking about. Certainly NOT a contradiction or a denigration of his statement.

Oliver

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


Return to posts index

tony west
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 1:46:39 pm
Last Edited By tony west on Feb 26, 2015 at 2:27:33 pm

I actually quoted the article instead of him, but here is his quote

“What I love about Final Cut Pro X is that it allowed me to be involved with, and in control of, every aspect of making our film.”

What does that statement mean to you?

He is saying this experience is different than the others. If it were the same, the statement would make no sense.

I'm sure he could have been involved before this point. He has plenty of skills or he wouldn't be where he is. He just didn't want to until he saw this product.

That's what some people don't seem to get about X

It makes people want to use it who previously didn't want to be as involved with other NLEs

THAT'S what's different about it. You keep trying to act like X is no different.



Return to posts index

Robin S. Kurz
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 2:04:04 pm

[tony west] "that slams it in your face."

Not sure why you feel you need the continued uncivil, rather belligerent undertone. I personally find it rather inappropriate. We can all have different opinions without "slamming" anything in each others faces.

- RK

____________________________________________________
Deutsch? Hier gibt es ein umfassendes FCP X Training für dich!


Return to posts index

tony west
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 2:26:51 pm

You are correct


Return to posts index

Oliver Peters
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 3:18:14 pm

[tony west] "He is saying this experience is different than the others. If it were the same, the statement would make no sense."

I don't dispute what he's saying. Obviously that's his experience and very valid. But his comparison is his use of this tool versus his use of previous tools. All I'm saying is that I've heard multiple directors say exactly the same about the tool that they prefer. It's entirely a personal experience that may or may not translate to everyone.

[tony west] "It makes people want to use it who previously didn't want to be as involved with other NLEs
THAT'S what's different about it. You keep trying to act like X is no different."


This is true for SOME. It's equally true that others try it and want to throw the computer against the wall.

I feel that it is different, but is is also very much the same. All NLEs have innovations and pros and cons. This is simply a new variation on a theme.

- Oliver

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


Return to posts index

Robin S. Kurz
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 5:39:27 pm

[Oliver Peters] "It's equally true that others try it and want to throw the computer against the wall."

So basically the exact same reaction *I* would have, if I sat down at the most recent incarnation of say AVID for the first time in about 8 years. No surprise there.

And from 4 years experience on the subject, I think I can easily say that 99 out 100 times that is purely due to the fact that a) that person didn't even learn the most basic basics of how things work/are different beforehand and/or b) tried using it like whatever other NLE they have been using, unwilling to rethink or give into even the most basic conceptual differences. Not because they wouldn't have *factually* been unable to edit anything they wanted to with it. Because, you know, they're the pros and know the best possible way to edit and ain't havin' APPLE tell them nuttin'. If Apple ain't doin' it THEIR way, then it's the highway... yadda yadda yadda... ;)

- RK

____________________________________________________
Deutsch? Hier gibt es ein umfassendes FCP X Training für dich!


Return to posts index

tony west
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 8:26:22 pm

[Oliver Peters] "[tony west] "It makes people want to use it who previously didn't want to be as involved with other NLEs
THAT'S what's different about it. You keep trying to act like X is no different."

This is true for SOME. It's equally true that others try it and want to throw the computer against the wall."


But we are not talking about SOME. The article is not about SOME. This article is about a specific director in charge of a large budget Hollywood film. The kind of project that many said a director would not make this decision on. They were wrong, because he did. That's all I'm saying.


Return to posts index

Shane Ross
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 5:21:30 pm

[tony west] "“What I love about Final Cut Pro X is that it allowed me to be involved with, and in control of, every aspect of making our film.”

What does that statement mean to you?"


That the director likes and uses FCX. But there are many many directors that know and use Avid, or FCP. Michael Mann, for one, is always tinkering away on an Avid. James Cameron is credited as an editor on his films. There are many others that also know the software being used to edit, and like to cut along with the editor, or have their own pass, or whatever.

The fact that FCX was used in this case is no different. The only difference is that the director likes using it...and apparently so did the editor, so they did what they could to make it work. But it isn't the sheer fact that FCX was used that allowed the director the creative freedom to work alongside the editor and also edit. This is done all the time with other NLEs. It's not unique in that respect.

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


Return to posts index

Jeremy Garchow
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 5:37:43 pm

[Shane Ross] "The only difference is that the director likes using it...and apparently so did the editor,"

Everyone say this very slowly. Out loud. Three times. Really fast.


Return to posts index

tony west
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 9:48:36 pm

[Shane Ross] "The fact that FCX was used in this case is no different."

I disagree Shane.

Avid has been out there for a long time during his career. He could have gotten more involved with the process then.

But he didn't until now.

If you jump around and talk about other directors you miss the point. You have to stick with this one guy and see how HIS behavior was changed and why.


Return to posts index

Richard Herd
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 27, 2015 at 12:24:08 am

[tony west] "“What I love about Final Cut Pro X is that it allowed me to be involved with, and in control of, every aspect of making our film.”"

That quote jumped out at me too.


[tony west] "What does that statement mean to you?"

Is the editor a monkey on the keyboard, a "human user interface" that the director controls instead of a keyboard?


Return to posts index

Michael Gissing
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 27, 2015 at 12:41:53 am

[tony west] "“What I love about Final Cut Pro X is that it allowed me to be involved with, and in control of, every aspect of making our film.”"
[Richard Herd] "That quote jumped out at me too."

Me too. That sort of motherhood statement is marketing and doesn't stand a moment of scrutiny. An NLE has no impact on writing, casting, set design, costume, makeup etc. It might play a tiny part in camera choice but not really unless the editor controls the choices of a DP. But it shouldn't.

Then the NLE has its part to play but only if it works with the whole backend. VFX, sound design, score, grade & finish. X doesn't control that unless it lacked the basic tools to get the edit out of the box and into a collaborative workflow. That isn't a matter of control. The fact that X can, with third party help, reliably do that means it is like other NLEs and it no longer hinders that workflow. To me that is the real progress to brag about here. X is reliable in a collaborative workflow.

Marketing writers do need to acknowledge the actual role any piece of hardware or software makes in a film. Controlling EVERY aspect? Get real.


Return to posts index

Robin S. Kurz
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 27, 2015 at 10:18:56 am

[Michael Gissing] "That sort of motherhood statement is marketing and doesn't stand a moment of scrutiny. An NLE has no impact on writing, casting, set design, costume, makeup etc. "

You're not seriously suggesting that that is anywhere near what he meant to say with that, right??

:-D

And I have yet to see a single project, let alone FEATURE, where the director didn't play an active and integral part in the editing process. Whether he actually meant in the sense that he actually wanted to (or did) do it himself no one here can know and would be (as with certain other things here) pure conjecture. But even if he did e.g. do rough cuts... erm, so? Big... whoop...

- RK

____________________________________________________
Deutsch? Hier gibt es ein umfassendes FCP X Training für dich!


Return to posts index

Shawn Miller
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 27, 2015 at 1:02:02 am

[Richard Herd] "
Is the editor a monkey on the keyboard, a "human user interface" that the director controls instead of a keyboard?"


Had to laugh at this. For some directors and producers, this is absolutely the mindset. Sadly, it's an attitude that exists at all levels. One where, some people don't see their fellow contributors on a project as craftspeople at all; actors are just childlike people who are good at lying, camera operators just point the camera where you tell to and press record, voice over artists are just guys with deep voices, the list goes on. To me, it's an especially odd mindset for a filmmaker to have, since filmmaking is (or should be) such a collaborative process.

Shawn



Return to posts index

tony west
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 27, 2015 at 1:21:17 am

[Richard Herd] "Is the editor a monkey on the keyboard, a "human user interface" that the director controls instead of a keyboard?"

hahaha

I guess we will have to wait for the book to find out my brother : )


Return to posts index

Shane Ross
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 27, 2015 at 1:45:28 am

[Richard Herd] "[tony west] "“What I love about Final Cut Pro X is that it allowed me to be involved with, and in control of, every aspect of making our film.”"

That quote jumped out at me too.


[tony west] "What does that statement mean to you?"

Is the editor a monkey on the keyboard, a "human user interface" that the director controls instead of a keyboard?"


Yes...that. Hee. Also that it'll make the tool so simple that the directors might not THINK they need an editor anymore, because, hey, THEY can now use the software, so why do they need an editor. Although many many smart directors know the value of a good editor, as do producers and studios. But I'm darn sure that having directors editing alongside editors, might muddy the creative waters.

But, whatever. As long as the NLE does what is needed, and everyone is comfortable using it, who am I do say "that NLE sucks for this...how dare they edit a mighty feature with iMovie PRO!" Of course not. If it works, and everyone likes it...fine.

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


Return to posts index

Oliver Peters
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 27, 2015 at 1:54:17 am

[Shane Ross] "Yes...that. Hee. Also that it'll make the tool so simple that the directors might not THINK they need an editor anymore, because, hey, THEY can now use the software, so why do they need an editor."

On a smaller scale I work on projects like that all the time. I get called in at the end to clean up the mess. ;-) OTOH, I've also worked with some hands-on director/editors who are quite good.

- Oliver

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


Return to posts index

Chris Harlan
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 10:48:00 pm

[tony west] " quoted the director of the film. If you have a problem with the quote then you are calling him a liar.

I don't see you as having any standing to do that.

I'm sure he doesn't need you to tell him his craft at this point in his career."


Wow, Tony. You certainly read between a lot of lines that I don't even think are lines. I don't know what you thought Oliver was saying, but I'm pretty sure he wasn't saying it.


Return to posts index

tony west
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 11:33:09 pm
Last Edited By tony west on Feb 28, 2015 at 11:56:55 pm

[Chris Harlan] "Wow, Tony. You certainly read between a lot of lines that I don't even think are lines."

OK, here is what I see. The director is speaking about his personal experience with this product on his film.

This is this man's personal experience. If you doubt his experience and figure, for example he had a horrible experience but is saying that he had a great one, that would be like someone claiming he is lying about his experience.

Kind of like that quote that Bill posted from somebody saying that Apple had paid them to use it for the film.

If a person is claiming that he is not being truthful about his experience what is the evidence to back that up?


Return to posts index

Oliver Peters
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 11:38:54 pm

[tony west] "If you a person is claiming that he is not being truthful about his experience what is the evidence to back that up?"

Tony, I just don't understand how you read my reply in a way that indicates I ever said I doubted what the director was saying about his personal experience as it related to him. That interpretaion just seems very weird to me.

- Oliver

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


Return to posts index

tony west
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 11:59:59 pm

[Oliver Peters] "Tony, I just don't understand how you read my reply in a way that indicates I ever said I doubted what the director was saying "

I think it was when you wrote this

"Seriously? This is an Apple marketing piece. C'mon."

To me this says, don't take the article serious and since the article uses quotes from the director you are dismissing those quotes also.

OK, so now you can clarify, which part should I take seriously?


Return to posts index

Oliver Peters
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 27, 2015 at 12:21:24 am

[tony west] "To me this says, don't take the article serious and since the article uses quotes from the director you are dismissing those quotes also.
OK, so now you can clarify, which part should I take seriously?"


I think you are getting wrapped around the axle and losing sight of the context. I never challenged the article's accuracy or the quotes. To say otherwise is creating something that simply doesn't exist.

That response above relates to my answer to Andy. The discussion boiled down to the fact that I felt efficiency was gained through the native workflow and he and you contended it was primarily through FCP X. You tied that to quotes in the article to which I pointed out it's an Apple marketing piece, which has nothing to do with the quotes. Of course, it going to promote all things Apple and downplay other factors. And that's a matter of picking the right quotes. Of course they're true.

But is it the entire story? For example, if the film had been cut in Premiere but use the same native workflow, would there have been much difference? Given this team, sure, because of the preference for using FCP X. But given another team, not necessarily.

- Oliver

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


Return to posts index

tony west
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 27, 2015 at 12:43:06 am

[Oliver Peters] "I think you are getting wrapped around the axle and losing sight of the context. I never challenged the article's accuracy"

I'm sorry, from the axle it looked like you were kind of dismissing the article when you called it this

"A nice article, but a HUGE puff piece."

If you are saying the article is accurate then I guess we agree : )

[Oliver Peters] "But is it the entire story?"

No it's not, the story is that somebody chose X over AVID and Pr for a large budget Hollywood film. Something many didn't see happening early on.

Now the goal post must be moved to somebody getting an Oscar cutting on it, and when that happens, somebody will say...............it only has one ; p


Return to posts index

Oliver Peters
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 27, 2015 at 1:37:59 am

[tony west] "I'm sorry, from the axle it looked like you were kind of dismissing the article when you called it this
"A nice article, but a HUGE puff piece." "


Merely reacting to the cheerleading tone. Goes against the grain.

[tony west] "Now the goal post must be moved to somebody getting an Oscar cutting on it, and when that happens, somebody will say...............it only has one ; p"

Sure.

- Oliver

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


Return to posts index

Bill Davis
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 27, 2015 at 5:17:25 am

[Oliver Peters] "Merely reacting to the cheerleading tone. Goes against the grain."

Amigo - what's wrong with cheerleaders? I know a few. They're really nice people. Healthy. Athletic.. Loyal as heck. The kind of people that when they're around kinda make life less a drudgery and more a celebration!

Seems to me, cheerleading is, on balance, pretty positive. Our fans cheer when we try. The opponents cheerleaders go to work when they try. Whoever wins gets to celebrate, and whoever loses, hopefully, holds their heads up, re-commits to try harder next time, and pats the winning team on the back.

Sometimes the players screw up. Sometimes the coaches. Sometimes somebody makes an exceptional play and gets the glory. And sometimes theres' a goat. It's life after all. The Cheerleaders just keep the team motivated. Sounds pretty useful to me.

When you win - sure it's fine to sit quietly by yourself and feel the warm glow of self satisfaction knowing that you weren't wrong all along thinking that your team could play at a pro level.

BUT

The function of cheerleaders is that when the team works hard over the whole game or a whole season, - and gets a great result - there's somebody prepared to help acknowledge the success of the efforts by helping to shape the celebration.

It's kinda accepted practice, since it not only motivates the fans - but it's just FUN.

(Remember fun? That elusive and hard to quantify thing that some X editors keep harping about???).

Without the cheerleaders, heck - we might as well be all watching golf!

(quietly tapping fingers to palm and whispering...)

"Jolly good show boys." "Perhaps we can have another go after a spot of tea?"

Boring.

; )


(just having a silly bit of fun.)

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.


Return to posts index

Oliver Peters
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 27, 2015 at 1:01:49 pm

;-)

- Oliver

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


Return to posts index

tony west
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 27, 2015 at 1:47:45 pm

[Oliver Peters] "Merely reacting to the cheerleading tone."

Exactly.

I'm just pointing out the inconstancy.

I didn't see you saying Pr was "cheerleading" when they or folks who like to use it talked about Gone Girl.

Everybody does this. AVID, Pr, RED with their cameras. Everybody.

It seems silly to me to call Apple out for doing what EVERYBODY does.


Return to posts index

Oliver Peters
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 27, 2015 at 2:23:42 pm

[tony west] "I didn't see you saying Pr was "cheerleading" when they or folks who like to use it talked about Gone Girl."

Actually I did in this post.

"[Scott Witthaus] " I find this far less a puff piece than almost every Avid press release"
Funny. I think they are all about equal, except Apple's have a more gushing tone (to me at least). But in the end, they are there to push one or more products, and as such, aren't very instructive if you want detail."

- Oliver

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


Return to posts index

tony west
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 27, 2015 at 2:45:46 pm

I don't see the word "cheerleading" in there but I do see "puff piece"

Not sure who was "cheerleading"

Noah started the post with no fan fare at all.


"For the folks who've been curious about how this went:

http://www.apple.com/final-cut-pro/in-action/focus/

Noah

It looked like you started by responding to Bill, who I'm not sure was really "cheerleading"


Return to posts index

Robin S. Kurz
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 27, 2015 at 2:56:20 pm

[tony west] "… who I'm not sure was really "cheerleading""

Just call it obligatory, preemptive, copy/paste pi**ing on the parade. The NLE or film are ultimately completely irrelevant. It's to keep us annoying little fanboys at bay and take the wind out of our sails, not because it's actually happening. ;-D

All those damn whipper-snappers making all that unqualified noise, when they don't know what is was like back in the day, I tell ya!!



:-P
- RK

____________________________________________________
Deutsch? Hier gibt es ein umfassendes FCP X Training für dich!


Return to posts index

tony west
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 27, 2015 at 3:02:32 pm

hehehe yes


Return to posts index

Jeremy Garchow
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 3:54:03 am

[tony west] "What it is, is reality slapping you upside your head ; )"

Oh snapple!!!

[Oliver Peters] "A nice article, but a HUGE puff piece. For all the discussion about a faster edit, the editing took 11 months. While that's not uncommon for a studio feature - and is likely due to all sort of things, but not due to the choice of editing systems - it doesn't make a good selling point for FCP X."

[Oliver Peters] "Both are good moments - maybe even watershed moments, but neither is going to change the industry very much."

What I take away from the piece, and we can call it speed or whatever, is that FCPX is a creative tool, and it helps people achieve creative goals from set, to directors, to editors, to the finish. I have long argued that while X might not turn an 11 month edit in to 3 months, you can get to the creative editing much more quickly, and you can view multiple takes, cuts, and angles extremely easily in X if you use it the way it was designed to be used. X is faster becuase you can create faster. This article also proves that X can "talk" via fcpxml to other high end finishing systems.

This same story could not have been told a few years ago.

Is it going to "change the industry", I doubt it, but the industry seems to be changing around fcpx so the developers/managers responsible for fcpx need to adapt or die. This piece seems to prove X is adapting.


Return to posts index

tony west
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 2:00:50 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] " I have long argued that while X might not turn an 11 month edit in to 3 months, you can get to the creative editing much more quickly"

and you have long been correct Jeremy.

It's not that people can't learn any software that's out there. It's never been easier to learn stuff. It's not like we are working for NASA trying to land something on anther planet.

Our jobs are important contributions to society like theirs but in a different and creative way. X gets you to the fun creative part like you said.

I enjoy doing the Series but I don't enjoy tearing out the truck afterwards. That's just part of the job so I can do the game.

X is like the ops manager saying to me "you can just do the game and walk away at the end" ; p


Return to posts index

Oliver Peters
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 2:15:43 am

Also from the first page: " It needed to be fast so they could experiment with scores of alternate takes. It had to be flexible so they could easily move between cutting on Mac Pro in the edit suite and working with MacBook Pro on location. And it had to be robust enough to reliably organize and process 2K Apple ProRes 4444 footage from production through multiple stages of post."

I would point out that the first part is the very essence of feature films editing. Together with the rest of it, every modern NLE can do the same.

Look, I'm not trying to take away from the accomplishment. I'm merely trying to tamp down the irrational exuberance. That article was written for mass consumption and people in the business should be able to take off the rose-colored glasses.

BTW - did you miss the last part? That grading and finishing was done on Quantel Rio at Light Iron. Not your average desktop system.

- Oliver

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


Return to posts index

Andrew Kimery
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 3:16:35 am

[Oliver Peters] "Look, I'm not trying to take away from the accomplishment. I'm merely trying to tamp down the irrational exuberance. That article was written for mass consumption and people in the business should be able to take off the rose-colored glasses."

To me all of the marketing testimonials put out by companies (be it Apple, Avid, Adobe, etc.,) are too saccharine to read. Same with any company road shows or demos. It's the company trying to sell their products so of course everything is going to be awesome if you use their product and horrible if you don't.

I find reading stories here on the COW (or even Bill's favorite site, FCP.co ;) ) tend to be much more revealing to how things actually work (or don't work).


Return to posts index

tony west
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 3:23:37 am

[Oliver Peters] "BTW - did you miss the last part? That grading and finishing was done on Quantel Rio at Light Iron. Not your average desktop system."

I did see that and agree.


Return to posts index

Andrew Kimery
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 5:28:03 am

[Andy Neil] ". A big difference is how smart collections don't require clip moving or duplication like they do in Avid; they're sorted automatically. And a single clip can appear in multiple places without duplication simple by how the collections are sorting things."

I recently worked on a doc (using Avid) where people and events could fall into multiple categories. Initially we organized everything by date because, being a historical doc, going by dates was the most logical. Eventually we became so busy that dropping things into multiple bins became a pain in the ass because 1. I never quite got them into all the bins the media could maybe/sorta/possibly fit into and 2. I was working with another editor offsite so every time I updated my bins I would have to send him a copy too so our projects stayed exactly in sync.

My solution? Just add unique metadata to each clip (in the form of Markers) and use Avid's Find command (which is very robust and quick). Used the same thing in the old FCP (which had a surprisingly good Find tool too). Not as slick as Smart Collections in X, but certainly effective. I haven't used the latest version of PPro yet, but from what I hear they did a lot to beef up their Find command too.


Return to posts index

Robin S. Kurz
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 9:46:52 am

[Andy Neil] "Also, time savings is time savings, and I completely disagree on it not saving time for the editor."

Agree 110%. No idea how the work that the assistant is doing isn't for the editor?! And for the sake of saving time. And clearly if he's saying time, that translates to the editor getting to work faster, too.

Whereby I personally also find the notion that any other NLE, old or new, is or was anywhere near the level of FCP X in terms of metadata rather ludicrous. You plain cannot do a plethora of work relevant things in other NLEs as you can in FCP X. Starting with e.g. smart collections to one click favoriting (and display of the same), all the way to range based keyframes (sorry, sub-clips are not the same). As if being able to enter "metadata" in the form of clip notes, setting markers or the likes compared by any stretch of the imagination.


[Jeremy Garchow] "I have long argued that while X might not turn an 11 month edit in to 3 months"

Who knows? But for anyone to say that "Ha! It took just as long as with any other NLE!", as suggested by others, is utter polemic hubris imho as long as you have no clue what the challenges and needs of the production were over all. For all you know they could have had to wait eight months for a VFX shot, had reshoots, had unrelated technical issues etc. etc. etc.


[Jeremy Garchow] "you can get to the creative editing much more quickly, and you can view multiple takes, cuts, and angles extremely easily in X if you use it the way it was designed to be used. X is faster becuase you can create faster."

Precisely.


[Helmut Kobler] "I can't imagine someone editing a complex feature given how sluggish performance currently is."

:-)))) Right. Because your experience is the global yard-stick for X. They therefore had the exact same issues, only their tolerance level is MUCH higher and they're of course not nearly as demanding as you. Gotcha. :-D

- RK

____________________________________________________
Deutsch? Hier gibt es ein umfassendes FCP X Training für dich!


Return to posts index

Walter Soyka
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 4:58:58 pm

[Steve Connor] "I note the usual "FCPX isn't professional" c**p is still being spouted in reaction to this story on other forums."

Real working editors still hold this opinion? What do they prefer?

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


Return to posts index

Bill Davis
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 5:25:31 pm

[Walter Soyka] "
Real working editors still hold this opinion? What do they prefer?"


Hard to get a sample of just those, Walter. But in the wider "editing" universe, the confusion lives on...

Below are some of the comments posted on MacRumors site after a feature story on the Focus Project was posted - every single tired meme about how X is not "professional" and how NOBODY with a clue about professional editing will EVER use it immediately all popped up again.

Some quotes from the comments section:

" Phew, they finally were able to pay someone to use their software for a movie! Final Cut X isn't used by nearly anyone. It used to be but they ruined it."

"nobody uses FCP X professionally, with the exception of this movie and one tv show. zero commercial houses. period. professional commercial/film/tv video editor here, freelancing in LA for the past 14 years....i have never seen anyone professional use X and i never will. congratulations apple, on killing the product that made me and many like me switch to using apple computers in the first place. enjoy your prosumers, because no professional editor will ever use you again."

"But in all honesty it's really not that big of a deal. FCPX was just used to assemble the film, and for them they found tagging the best. But all actual exporting happened from a Quantel system, all actual VSFX and green screening happened in another system, and all titles probably happened in a third system."

"Dear Apple
FCPX is just a really bad program. You ****ed up. Never call me again."

My absolute favorite was this:

"I think the only things holding it back are now iMovie lingo and a lack of "folders" (in the traditional sense, anyway. I'm aware you end up making the same thing via tagging, but the lack of making folders/ flexibly arranging files in bins seems to really bother some of my coworkers)."

Note to the X team. Folders dudes. What X needs to really succeed is more FOLDERS!

Gotta LOVE the interwebs!

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.


Return to posts index

Walter Soyka
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 5:34:59 pm

[Bill Davis] "Hard to get a sample of just those, Walter. But in the wider "editing" universe, the confusion lives on... Below are some of the comments posted on MacRumors site after a feature story on the Focus Project was posted - every single tired meme about how X is not "professional" and how NOBODY with a clue about professional editing will EVER use it immediately all popped up again. "

Wow.

Some interesting nuggets in there when you read past the tone and emotion, though! A couple of those statements could have been things like:

"I'm not seeing opportunities for freelance FCPX editors in my niche."

"FCPX has a really strong toolset for creative/offline editorial."

Maybe those could have lead to more meaningful discussion.

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


Return to posts index

Bill Davis
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 27, 2015 at 5:23:50 am

[Walter Soyka] ""I'm not seeing opportunities for freelance FCPX editors in my niche."

"FCPX has a really strong toolset for creative/offline editorial."

Maybe those could have lead to more meaningful discussion."


Agreed, But that's NEVER been the tone of the cold edge of the X opposition.

It's always had a nasty undertow of aggrieved anger. The "Apple is an evil monster that gutted my expertise and left me no better off than my competition - how DARE they!!!"

If you think people have trashed my "X positive" rhetoric in the public forums, you should read some of the private correspondence I've had the past 4 years. There was some very real, deep seated HURT out there. And in fact, there still is.

Most of the truly professional forums have long since moved on to more rational discussions. But out in the cold cruel wider world, there are still people who truly feel that Apple created X just to screw up their personal chances at success.

It's kinda spooky.

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.


Return to posts index

Helmut Kobler
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 25, 2015 at 11:58:23 pm

I can't imagine someone editing a complex feature given how sluggish performance currently is. I started to get frustrated with delays and sluggish UI just editing a demo reel.

I agree with the "puff piece" designation.

-------------------
Los Angeles Cameraman
Canon C300 (x2), Zeiss CP.2 lenses, P2 Varicam, etc.
http://www.lacameraman.com


Return to posts index

Oliver Peters
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 12:06:19 am

[Helmut Kobler] "I can't imagine someone editing a complex feature given how sluggish performance currently is"

They used new machines, which may have helped. When Mike Matzdorff's workflow e-book is out, it may help to explain the workflow in ways that mitigate this issue.

[Helmut Kobler] "I agree with the "puff piece" designation."

Since I said it, I want to clarify that I'm only talking about the way Apple wrote it, which is certainly to be expected. That's Marketing 101. It's still a nice process for those involved, especially given that they are trying to change the general way a feature is posted and that takes nerve (in a good way) in Hollywood. Same for Fincher's crew.

- Oliver

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


Return to posts index

Tim Wilson
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 12:10:23 am

[Oliver Peters] "it doesn't make a good selling point for FCP X."

and

[Oliver Peters] "you'll see that Adobe is making similar points in favor of their tools. Both are good moments - maybe even watershed moments, but neither is going to change the industry very much."

I'm always amused by "The Cold Mountain moment." I can't think of anything that did more to cement Avid's place in feature editing for the next 10 years than reading about the workflow on Cold Mountain.

On the contrary, I think the Cold Mountain Moment was a turning point for people who were already using FCP, an affirmation that they were on the right track, and that their faith in Apple wasn't misplaced.

[Insert trenchant observation of your choice here.]

For THAT, the value of the Cold Mountain moment was incalculable.

As you note, Oliver, this doesn't entirely apply to indie film. Although it does more than many people think. We can argue about the long-term costs, but for a project of finite duration, renting is cheaper, and for most of the past decade, even for purchase, the difference in cost between FCP and Media Composer wasn't worth talking about.

It really REALLY doesn't apply to the overwhelming majority of the early push into FCP from Media 100 guys who'd come to the end of that road, and would go on a murderous rampage culminating in self-immolation on the steps of One Infinite Loop, begging for mercy in the next life before they'd consider Avid.

None of which has anything to do with the notion that, whether one agrees it's ready or not today, X will continue to get better and better for feature editing. There's simply no question, at least not in the COW. There's just not.

But it also has nothing to do with whether or not X is suitable, now or ever, to the way I want or need to work. Forget Cold Mountain. I need it to work on my molehill.

So "The Focus Moment" and Light Iron might tell someone everything they need to know about why NOT to use X...even as it will surely provide affirmation to people who already use it.


Return to posts index

James Ewart
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 9:04:28 am
Last Edited By James Ewart on Feb 26, 2015 at 10:12:10 am

It's just nice to have it out there officially isn't it? So that the people who accused those of us who did take the plunge, of using something vastly inferior and unsuitable for anything professional, can finally shut up.

It is the Cold Mountain moment for me.

And wasn't there a thread to which many of the usual suspects contributed about 6 or 9 months back when everyone was doubting this story because Apple had not announced it yet or used it as part of their marketing.

And we all said "give them time" because the studio will want to have finished all their stuff before they are happy for Apple to do their own marketing on the back of the movie. So that time has come now too.

I'm sure Oliver is right from an editor's perspective in his comments (not much new). But for the wider world who go on what they've been told (production personnel especially), this is a great bit of ammunition for them to use over a martini or two on a Friday night when somebody sneers at them for admitting their latest production is using FCPX.



Return to posts index

Andrew Kimery
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 9:23:57 pm

[James Ewart] "But for the wider world who go on what they've been told (production personnel especially), this is a great bit of ammunition for them to use over a martini or two on a Friday night when somebody sneers at them for admitting their latest production is using FCPX.
"


If someone is sneering at you for using X, bringing up Focus isn't going to do much, IMO, because that person will see it as an outlier, not a success story. Widespread adoption/acceptance in a market segment the sneerer finds relevant is the only thing that might start to sway them.

At some point, and I'm not directing this at you personally, people have to stop looking for external validation and stop throwing stones if they choose to live in glass houses.

I remember using Premiere (the original, not Pro) back in the day and getting looked down upon by both FCP users and Avid users. I think this is around the time I stopped worrying about what I used (and stopped being sympathetic to the whole victim mentality in post in general) because the same FCP users who would whine about being ridiculed by Avid users would never pass up a chance to ridicule Avid, Premiere or Vegas users. Hypocrites deserve what they get, IMO.

Even at the height of FCP 7's popularity it was still seen as a lesser NLE by some (and some saw Avid as the lesser NLE)...


Return to posts index

Robin S. Kurz
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 10:34:37 am

Here also a surely far less biased report from USA Today with some additional insight:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2015/02/25/final-cut-x-used-for-hollywoo...

One of many notable quotes for me:

[Glenn Ficarra] "We have a whole generation of kids learning on iMovie, they'll be familiar with this tool when they get into the real world."

Something I'd say has been overlooked, is highly underestimated and why I think X has a huge edge over many/most/all in the long run. So if someone wants to call it "iMovie Pro", great (even if iMovie, as of v10, is in fact FC Express, if anything). Is that supposed to be an insult? :)

I for one know from teaching and my trainings first hand, that there are a considerable number of iMovie users of all ages moving to FCP X, yes. It's the obvious choice (as opposed to e.g. PPro and PElements if you ask me). First timers also will go for X first, because it just makes sense to them and they get results much much faster. The vast majority would never even have considered FCP 7, let alone PPro, even in its current incarnation. Avid is a complete unknown fwiw. "Pros"? Mostly not, no. But I don't see how that matters in the end either.

2 Euro¢ from my neck of the woods. ;)
- RK

____________________________________________________
Deutsch? Hier gibt es ein umfassendes FCP X Training für dich!


Return to posts index

Scott Witthaus
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 12:56:49 pm

Good read. I find this far less a puff piece than almost every Avid press release (I am a stockholder, so I get those releases via E-Trade). At least there was a bit of workflow in it, versus "Avid Everywhere Takes Over the World" sh**.

The point of this is that where Avid touts "you gotta work with Avid to work in Hollywood" is just not true anymore. You can be Hollywood with a computer and the App Store. Yes, Avid still holds the vast vast majority of that niche but it's getting bit around the edges.

[Robin S. Kurz] "I for one know from teaching and my trainings first hand, that there are a considerable number of iMovie users of all ages moving to FCP X, yes. It's the obvious choice (as opposed to e.g. PPro and PElements if you ask me). First timers also will go for X first, because it just makes sense to them and they get results much much faster. The vast majority would never even have considered FCP 7, let alone PPro, even in its current incarnation. Avid is a complete unknown fwiw."

Agreed. I see this every day. It's down to PP and X at this point for my students. I think it's PS and AE that keeps folks I teach on PP, not the editing tool itself. X is the preferred editor where I teach. A push on Motion marketing, integration, and development might just change that even more in favor of X.

Skate to where the puck is going to be....

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


Return to posts index

Simon Ubsdell
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 1:03:34 pm

[Noah Kadner] "For the folks who've been curious about how this went:"

One rather curious aspect of this production for me is that this is the very first feature film of any kind that the Editor Jan Kovac has cut, acccording to his imdb entry.

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm5552644/

Even his TV work is not especially extensive.

Clearly the decision to use FCP X for Focus was driven entirely (?) by Ficarra and Requa and their desire to be extremely hands-on with the edit.

Although it's great to see X being used at this level, it's a very unusual case history.

I was also very struck by this:

"The directors were happy enough with the animated opening credits — created by editors using the standard text tool in Final Cut Pro X — that they decided to use them in the final movie, which is extremely rare for a high-production feature film."

Why would you not want a graphics expert to do the titles for a movie of this scale in a dedicated graphics environment? Bizarre.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo-uk.com


Return to posts index

Robin S. Kurz
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 2:05:26 pm
Last Edited By Robin S. Kurz on Feb 26, 2015 at 2:08:28 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "One rather curious aspect of this production for me is that this is the very first feature film of any kind that the Editor Jan Kovac has cut, acccording to his imdb entry. […] Even his TV work is not especially extensive."

I don't understand how that is "curious". Would you have felt/said the same if they had edited it on Avid, PPro, Vegas or any other NLE?

Of course I might unfairly be reading a "no actual experienced editor would have voluntarily edited on FCP X" sub-text into it. Since, again, I don't see the relevance, since what would have been different with any of the above?


[Simon Ubsdell] "Why would you not want a graphics expert to do the titles for a movie of this scale in a dedicated graphics environment? Bizarre."

Why? Or have you seen them and they're somehow insufficient? If so, yes, bizarre. If not... who cares? But then I don't know how you define "dedicated graphics environment" either, nor what is better about one.

I've worked on a couple of big name broadcast series where all the titles were layed out in whichever NLE was being used. Nothing unusual about it from my experience. Of course none of them, or this, were/are Marvel comic epics either. :)

- RK

____________________________________________________
Deutsch? Hier gibt es ein umfassendes FCP X Training für dich!


Return to posts index

Simon Ubsdell
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 2:50:38 pm
Last Edited By Simon Ubsdell on Feb 26, 2015 at 3:19:56 pm

This was not really an observation about FCP X so much as an observation about this project.

The directors didn't feel that an experienced feature film editor would have anything useful to offer. That's a bit surprising.

Equally they didn't feel that an experienced titles designer could bring anything of value. That too is interesting.

What was interesting about the Cold Mountain moment was that a legendary feature film editor made the choice to use FCP - what's striking about this case history is that it's the directors' choice, because they wanted to minimise the input from the editor and maximise their own.

Maybe this is a healthy development, but it's certainly worthy of comment - perhaps even more worthy of comment than whether keyword collections are a superior organizational tool.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo-uk.com


Return to posts index

Andy Neil
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 4:21:47 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "they wanted to minimise the input from the editor and maximise their own."

Maximizing the directors' input doesn't automatically mean minimizing the editor's. It could be that, but somehow I doubt it. I see two likely scenarios.

One, they needed a seasoned FCPX editor for their film. Most of the studio film editors out there (hell, maybe all of them) don't work with FCPX and probably don't know how to use it. There may be a few out there but you also have to coordinate on schedule and such. So perhaps they needed to look outside of the usual suspects to find an experienced FCPX editor.

Two, (and my suspicion) this editor is a friend of theirs, perhaps even the guy that turned them on to FCPX in the first place. They got a big H-wood movie, and they brought their friends along. The hard part was convincing the studio to go with FCPX. Once that hurdle was over, they would've been able to hire whoever they wanted under the justification that "this guy knows X".

I would be insulted if someone assumed I was basically a monkey, button-pusher on this film simply because the directors wanted a closer relationship to the post process. I don't think it's a good idea to make that assumption.

Andy

https://plus.google.com/u/0/107277729326633563425/videos


Return to posts index

Simon Ubsdell
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 5:15:27 pm

[Andy Neil] "One, they needed a seasoned FCPX editor for their film. Most of the studio film editors out there (hell, maybe all of them) don't work with FCPX and probably don't know how to use it. There may be a few out there but you also have to coordinate on schedule and such. So perhaps they needed to look outside of the usual suspects to find an experienced FCPX editor."

This is the part I find really interesting. They thought it was more important to cut on FCP X than to draw on the talent of an experienced feature film editor.

Am I the only one who thinks this is quite surprising? Is the convenience of the software more important than the experience of the editor as this decision clearly implies?

I'm sure Jan Kovac knows what he's doing and goodness knows everyone deserves a break but I'm sure he'd be the first to admit he's not on anyone's A-list of feature film editors. His highest profile job before that was "editor: syndication version" on three episodes of Curb your Enthusiasm.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo-uk.com


Return to posts index

Walter Soyka
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 5:26:30 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "This is the part I find really interesting. They thought it was more important to cut on FCP X than to draw on the talent of an experienced feature film editor. Am I the only one who thinks this is quite surprising? Is the convenience of the software more important than the experience of the editor as this decision clearly implies?"

Time for a new forum! It's Not About the Tools, It's About the Talent Or Not: The Debate.

Alternately, Feature Film Workflows Are Irrelevant to the Broader Editorial Market Or Not: The Debate.

Bonus points to anyone who can synthesize a back-and-forth argument by quoting only themselves from previous threads here! (I bet I could pick up a few points this way myself...)

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


Return to posts index

Simon Ubsdell
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 5:43:59 pm

[Walter Soyka] "It's Not About the Tools, It's About the Talent Or Not: The Debate."

This does seem to be a particularly remarkable and high-profile example of the tools being considered more important than the talent. I wonder whether this is where things are ultimately trending with the film-makers taking far more control over the creative process and sidelining the specialist talent.

Maybe this is a great thing - but then again maybe it's not. I genuinely don't know - though you'd have to say it comes down to whether the film-maker has the requisite natural talent.

Of course, neither Ficarra not Requa has a single editing credit to their name if we can believe imdb, which makes it even more interesting.

[Walter Soyka] "Alternately, Feature Film Workflows Are Irrelevant to the Broader Editorial Market Or Not: The Debate."

Oddly, the importance attached to the "Cold Mountain moment for FCP X" disregards the fact that feature film editing by no means represents the most complicated editing process for all that it is esteemed as the pinnacle of the profession. There's no particular reason why you shouldn't very successfully be able to cut a feature film on iMovie - the media wrangling would be a bit of a pain but then in Hollywood circles no-one cares about that, since it's the job of the support staff to make happen whatever the creative team wants.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo-uk.com


Return to posts index

Andy Neil
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 6:16:44 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "They thought it was more important to cut on FCP X than to draw on the talent of an experienced feature film editor."

Productions make equipment-based decisions all the time, there's nothing wrong with that. And feature film experience is no metric for editing talent. Mediocre films are cut all the time by mediocre film editors.

When digitial cinema was in its infancy, there were DPs who understood it, and others who did not. Some of the ones who worked only on film were probably highly experienced DPs and there was a new crop of DPs who were learning all there was to know about digital. If a production chose digital over film, they were making a business decision or aesthetics decision and its only natural to hire people who are comfortable working with that equipment.

Andy

https://plus.google.com/u/0/107277729326633563425/videos


Return to posts index

Simon Ubsdell
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 6:34:18 pm

[Andy Neil] "Productions make equipment-based decisions all the time, there's nothing wrong with that. And feature film experience is no metric for editing talent. Mediocre films are cut all the time by mediocre film editors. "

Why, in your estimation, did they not go with an editor with some feature film experience in this case?

It could well be true that as you say there are many mediocre feature film editors but I don't see that as an argument for going with someone who's never actually edited a feature film editor at all (until now).

This is a big-budget Will Smith movie - I'm not sure when a Will Smith movie was last edited by a complete tyro.

For example, Hughes Winborne who cut Seven Pounds has 33 feature editing credits, Steven Rosenblum who cut After Earth has 24 credits, and so on.

Surely you'll admit this is an unusual choice in this case?

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo-uk.com


Return to posts index

Andy Neil
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 7:15:32 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "Why, in your estimation, did they not go with an editor with some feature film experience in this case?
"


I thought I answered that. They made an equipment decision and went with someone who could operate the equipment. Same as if they went with a digital camera at the start of the digital cinema age.

[Simon Ubsdell] "It could well be true that as you say there are many mediocre feature film editors but I don't see that as an argument for going with someone who's never actually edited a feature film editor at all (until now)."

You're misinterpreting me. It's NOT an argument to go with someone with no film credits. I'm saying that hiring someone with film experience is NO INDICATOR that you're getting a good editor. They could have liked his interpretation of the film when they met with him, or they knew him already (as I mentioned before as a possibility). Who knows what went into their decision to hire a guy with no film credits. But guess what? He has one now.

[Simon Ubsdell] "This is a big-budget Will Smith movie - I'm not sure when a Will Smith movie was last edited by a complete tyro."

I'm not sure what you're trying to say. Those other editors you mentioned with all the film credits cut on Avid, right? Well, you can throw a rock and hit a feature film editor in LA who cuts on Avid. Nearly all the films of the past 30 years that came out of the studio system were cut on Avid. Finding a feature film editor with Avid credits isn't hard. It might be hard to find one who can cut on FCPX (or wants to).

If they made an equipment decision (which I've now said multiple times), and it's fine and not unusual that they did so (as evidenced by all the equipment decisions that get made all the time in film, then it's also not unusual that they went with an FCPX editor even if he had no film credits to begin. So, no, I don't find it an unusual choice.

As far as Will Smith goes, I have faith that the studio (or Smith himself) wasn't going to let a shitty edit make it through to the theaters. Obviously this guy passed muster with the directors, the studio, and the star because the film is out. He didn't get fired. Unlike the guy who cut Couples Retreat.

Andy

https://plus.google.com/u/0/107277729326633563425/videos


Return to posts index

Simon Ubsdell
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 7:25:26 pm

[Andy Neil] "If they made an equipment decision (which I've now said multiple times), and it's fine and not unusual that they did so (as evidenced by all the equipment decisions that get made all the time in film, then it's also not unusual that they went with an FCPX editor even if he had no film credits to begin. So, no, I don't find it an unusual choice."

We'll have to agree to differ here. I think you're absolutely right that the decision was made to cut the film on FCP X and then a suitable editor was looked for.

This to me seems an extraordinary decision.

In the normal course of events it's surely the case that the director and/or producer will first of all look for the editor whose track record tells them that s/he can best tell their story and the choice of NLE is virtually irrelevant in the scheme of things. Who wouldn't consider the talent first and the kit later - if at all?

It would be equally bizarre to decide on the camera before hiring the cinematographer.

The presumption here that I find strange and revealing is that the editor's skillset is less important that the kit he's cutting on - which is a point that I think we're agreeing on.

You don't find anything odd in that - I do.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo-uk.com


Return to posts index

Andy Neil
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 7:42:43 pm

Let me put it to you this way.

Before Avid, film was cut primarily on flatbeds, right? There were plenty of editors out there who could rock a Moviola or a Steenbeck. But probably not that many who could or even wanted to cut in the computer world. I've heard stories of editors resisting the idea of cutting a film on a computer. Seems strange to think of it nowadays.

To break that outdated notion that one way was better than another, someone had to make the decision to use Avid regardless of the people he'd be able to work with. Decide to go with the system and then find the people willing to join the revolution.

FCPX has a terrible (not wholly undeserved) reputation in Hollywood, and it's probably worse with the higher echelon of film editors. It's stupid to be so against a software for no good reason, just as it's stupid to blindly follow a software and gloss over it's imperfections and problems. The industry needs people like the Focus directors to help push Hollywood to look past the hype of a product and use it if it fits the workflow. That's the smart way to work.

Eventually, there'll be plenty of film editors who can edit on Premiere or FCPX. We're just at the beginning stages right now.

Andy

https://plus.google.com/u/0/107277729326633563425/videos


Return to posts index

Simon Ubsdell
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 8:02:13 pm
Last Edited By Simon Ubsdell on Feb 26, 2015 at 8:10:05 pm

[Andy Neil] "To break that outdated notion that one way was better than another, someone had to make the decision to use Avid regardless of the people he'd be able to work with. Decide to go with the system and then find the people willing to join the revolution. "

Yes, this is clearly the thought process involved here.

But am I really the only person who is a bit stunned that the technology was put before the talent in this case?

Clearly the view was that the advantages of FCP X were so overwhelmingly convincing that finding an editor skilled in the craft of feature film editing was not considered to be of importance.

It's the exact equivalent of a feature film production saying that a hypothetical new innovative camera is so much better than every other camera that's come before it that it has to be used even though the only person who can be found to drive it has never shot a feature film before. The camera is so outstandingly good that a DP's knowledge of lighting is just not needed.

Is it true to say that FCP X is so far superior to any other NLE that the editor's actual experience becomes a distant second in the creative process?

That's quite a claim.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo-uk.com


Return to posts index

Shawn Miller
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 8:20:38 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "But am I really the only person who is a bit stunned that the technology was put before the talent in this case?"

Nope, I don't think it's just you. :-)

Shawn



Return to posts index

Simon Ubsdell
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 8:33:38 pm

[Shawn Miller] "Nope, I don't think it's just you. :-) "

Whew, I was getting worried ;-)

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo-uk.com


Return to posts index

Walter Soyka
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 8:42:40 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "But am I really the only person who is a bit stunned that the technology was put before the talent in this case?"

The most interesting talent in the world! "I don't always cut feature films, but when I do, they have $50 million budgets."

I'm kidding, of course, and I don't know Jan Kovac or anyone involved in the production or intend any offense, but it would be interesting to know more about the politics behind the workflow as well as the workflow itself. An unproven editor using an unproven NLE doesn't square with the risk-averse Hollywood image that's so often painted here.

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


Return to posts index

Simon Ubsdell
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 9:20:04 pm
Last Edited By Simon Ubsdell on Feb 26, 2015 at 9:21:50 pm

[Walter Soyka] "it would be interesting to know more about the politics behind the workflow as well as the workflow itself. An unproven editor using an unproven NLE doesn't square with the risk-averse Hollywood image that's so often painted here."

Yes, the decision is a really intriguing one from so many different perspectives.

What I think is definitely implicit here is a devaluing of the craft of editing at the highest level.

Maybe that's a good thing - maybe there isn't in fact anything special about being able to cut a feature film, but having seen close up the breathtaking brilliance of some of the world's top feature editors and the utter havoc that inexperienced editors can wreak on the material, I have yet to be convinced that you're not better off focusing on the talent rather than the tech.

But maybe FCP X is the turning point ... maybe it's the point at which directors start to cut their own material and the specialist editing discipline starts to die out.

In a sense of course, the Coen brothers started that process with FCP Legacy but I kind of think there's something freakishly special about their all-round film-making talents rather than that all directors are automatically going to make the best editors.

The trouble with cutting your own material - and this applies at all levels of editing - is that you rarely have enough distance from the creation of it to make suitably objective judgements and I've seen this on loads of features where the director got too close (often the issue with novice film-makers). This is something that you lose if the editor gets replaced ...

But maybe that's were we're headed - if so, please discuss as it's genuinely fascinating, perhaps even more so than metadata :-)

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo-uk.com


Return to posts index

Walter Soyka
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 27, 2015 at 12:23:03 am

[Simon Ubsdell] "What I think is definitely implicit here is a devaluing of the craft of editing at the highest level."

[Simon Ubsdell] "But maybe FCP X is the turning point ... maybe it's the point at which directors start to cut their own material and the specialist editing discipline starts to die out. "

Admit it -- Aindreas ghostwrote these paragraphs!


[Simon Ubsdell] "The trouble with cutting your own material - and this applies at all levels of editing - is that you rarely have enough distance from the creation of it to make suitably objective judgements and I've seen this on loads of features where the director got too close (often the issue with novice film-makers). This is something that you lose if the editor gets replaced ..."

I wonder the same thing about cinematographers being too involved with color. The advent of digital grading and the convergence of grading and compositing (versus simple color timing from not all that long ago) created a new independent artistic position that increasing DP involvement might destroy.

Of course, many cinematographers would disagree with me.

For that matter, we could also talk about the transition from the camera department to editorial.

Interdepartmental lines are being blurred all over the place. Good for auteurs, bad for specialist independence... but does it mean for movies?

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


Return to posts index

Bill Davis
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 27, 2015 at 6:04:51 am

[Simon Ubsdell] "But maybe that's were we're headed - if so, please discuss as it's genuinely fascinating, perhaps even more so than metadata :-)"

Sorry my friend, but I think you're really stretching for this point.

Look at fine art. There are great masters, excellent fine artists, technical craftspeople, dilettantes and absolute hacks.

Editing is NO different.

If you're looking for fine art for the wall of your modest living room - it might be "nice" to get a great work - but you're likely going to have to settle for something less. And for the masses of movies being made, there will be some that require BRILLIANT editing and other movies that don't. Christopher Nolan's Memento was very nicely edited, but even if the cutting was 20% less precise the construction of the movie would still have carried the audience along.

And so I suspect it is with most movies.

Sure, sometimes an editor gets his or her hands on a piece of work and truly elevates it to something worth studying for decades to come. But mostly not. Even really good, popular and even loved movies don't need every single cut examined and stressed over for weeks. They work just fine. So leave them along.

That doesn't "devalue" editing. It just puts it in the same league as human endeavors like fine art. Lots of it should be created. Some should darn well be extraordinary. Hopefully the majority of it will be very professional and totally suite the project. And some will widely miss the mark and drag down whatever it's attached to.

Same as it's always been.

My 2 cents.

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.


Return to posts index

Herb Sevush
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 27, 2015 at 10:33:06 pm

Creating a film is much more like architecture than it is like fine art. It is a massive team oriented enterprise that at it's best expresses a singular point of view but, one hopes, at it's worst will keep you dry when it's raining. For both it is in the merging of the technical with the intuitive that the art, if there is any, exists. I would be as hesitant to trust the building of the Freedom Tower to a novice as in hiring a first timer to cut a Will Smith movie, but Frank Lloyd Wright had to start somewhere.

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


Return to posts index

Andy Neil
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 9:39:29 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "Clearly the view was that the advantages of FCP X were so overwhelmingly convincing that finding an editor skilled in the craft of feature film editing was not considered to be of importance.
"


Be careful that you don't equate experience with skill. Clearly Jan has the skill to cut a feature film. It was just not quantified (in IMDB credits). There's no magic amulet required for cutting a film. The same skills are required for editing a good story whether it's on TV, film, or the web.

Your hypothetical is also flawed because no one (not myself nor the directors) is saying that FCPX is a "superior" NLE. Only that it was the best choice for their chosen workflow. A better comparison would be the choice of a digital camera over a film camera. Sure, you can make a VFX spectacle on both, but the VFX workflow is a lot more streamlined when your entire workflow is digital. The decision to use a digital camera is one to fit the overall workflow of the film. You still need someone to frame and light the shots and shoot the thing, but maybe you want someone more versed with VFX workflows than one who isn't so you can avoid the kinds of "gotchas" that have already happened when these types of workflows were in their infancy.

The unique element in this example is that FCPX is still a pretty new program comparatively, and with the resistance from the film editor community, they probably found it impossible to hire a veteran film editor who was willing or able to cut in FCPX. Probably wouldn't have been an issue with Premiere because it shares a paradigm with Avid and Premiere doesn't have the unreasonable hate attached to it that FCPX does. Does this mean they should throw out their entire proposed workflow because one guy doesn't want to use one program? Or do you find a good editor and give him a break?

Andy

https://plus.google.com/u/0/107277729326633563425/videos


Return to posts index

Simon Ubsdell
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 10:05:43 pm

[Andy Neil] "Be careful that you don't equate experience with skill. Clearly Jan has the skill to cut a feature film. It was just not quantified (in IMDB credits). There's no magic amulet required for cutting a film. The same skills are required for editing a good story whether it's on TV, film, or the web. "

This is a truly extraordinary claim. Are you really saying that the "skill" of operating the kit is all that it actually takes to cut a feature film?

There is really nothing special that the top Hollywood editors bring to the table than an assistant working on a TV show wouldn't be able to pull off?

I must have misunderstood you, surely? But what else am I to make of "There is no magic amulet required for cutting a feature film"?

[Andy Neil] "Your hypothetical is also flawed because no one (not myself nor the directors) is saying that FCPX is a "superior" NLE. Only that it was the best choice for their chosen workflow."

OK, so what was so vital in terms of their workflow that meant it was so completely unachievable in Media Composer or Premiere that the only option was to hire a novice in order to be able to cut it in FCP X? I guess there are many things we don't yet know but I'd be surprised to hear that there really was a deal-breaking factor. Beyond, of course, the desire of the directors to be extremely hands-on with the edit ... which is quite another story.

[Andy Neil] "The unique element in this example is that FCPX is still a pretty new program comparatively, and with the resistance from the film editor community, they probably found it impossible to hire a veteran film editor who was willing or able to cut in FCPX. "

I'm not sure I believe this. I'm sure there are plenty of experienced editors who if approached would have agreed to get sufficiently familiar with X to be able to take on this job and do it very well. For my part, I'm always astonished that anyone thinks that X is that difficult or time-consuming to learn for an experienced and reasonably intelligent editor - it really isn't, unless of course you have training to sell.

There is a desire on the part of X enthusiasts to claim that it is so ridiculously complex that it takes years of dedicated training to achieve anything like proficiency. I'm really not convinced by this. Experienced editors have adapted to many changes in their tools and while there are some that are resistant, there are plenty that are not.

The notion that all experienced editors are resistant to FCP X and therefore the only editors who can be employed to use X are those with assistant-level editing experience seems pretty far-fetched.

The reality us surely that Ficarra and Requa, whether rightly or wrongly, don't believe that an experienced editor brings that much of value to the party.

Still, I wish them all the best with their movie and hope that the results prove they made the right choice.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo-uk.com


Return to posts index

Steve Connor
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 10:20:48 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "[Andy Neil] "Be careful that you don't equate experience with skill. Clearly Jan has the skill to cut a feature film. It was just not quantified (in IMDB credits). There's no magic amulet required for cutting a film. The same skills are required for editing a good story whether it's on TV, film, or the web. "

This is a truly extraordinary claim. Are you really saying that the "skill" of operating the kit is all that it actually takes to cut a feature film?
"


No, clearly that's not what he's saying! He's saying that Jan could be a great Editor WITHOUT the IMDB Credits


Return to posts index

Simon Ubsdell
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 10:30:57 pm

[Steve Connor] "No, clearly that's not what he's saying! He's saying that Jan could be a great Editor WITHOUT the IMDB Credits"

No, sorry, I don't get that either.

I don't see how can you be a great feature film editor without a reasonable amount of experience as a lead editor on drama even if it's only TV ... which is clearly not the case here.

Sure, there's an element of natural talent to being a great editor, but experience is a massive factor that can't simply be discounted.

Anyone who's ever cut drama will know that you keep learning and you keep getting better - the more edits you make the better editor you become. It really is as simple as that. I've never seen anyone who can cut immaculately without first having the experience, although I've seen a lot of beginners who were very impressive out of the gate - there are always gaping holes where their experience lets them down. Talented experienced editors just are better than talented novices and there's no getting around it.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo-uk.com


Return to posts index

Steve Connor
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 10:34:16 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "No, sorry, I don't get that either.

I don't see how can you be a great feature film editor without a reasonable amount of experience as a lead editor on drama even if it's only TV ... which is clearly not the case here.

Sure, there's an element of natural talent to being a great editor, but experience is a massive factor that can't simply be discounted.

Anyone who's ever cut drama will know that you keep learning and you keep getting better - the more edits you make the better editor you become. It really is as simple as that. I've never seen anyone who can cut immaculately without first having the experience, although I've seen a lot of beginners who were very impressive out of the gate - there are always gaping holes where their experience lets them down. Talented experienced editors just are better than talented novices and there's no getting around it.
"


Perhaps they'll call you next time Simon


Return to posts index

Simon Ubsdell
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 10:35:01 pm

[Steve Connor] "Perhaps they'll call you next time Simon"

They darn well better ;-)

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo-uk.com


Return to posts index

Andy Neil
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 10:36:20 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "Are you really saying that the "skill" of operating the kit is all that it actually takes to cut a feature film?"

If I didn't know you on this forum, Simon, I would assume you were just trolling. Of course that's not what I said. Here's my quote again:

[Andy Neil] "The same skills are required for editing a good story whether it's on TV, film, or the web"

Translation: If you want to tell a good story, you need to understand character, pacing, plot, tone, theme, etc. This has nothing to do what you cut on. The difference between you and me is that you seem to think you have to have at least 10 IMDB credits on your resume before you're qualified to do that kind of editing.

[Simon Ubsdell] "OK, so what was so vital in terms of their workflow that meant it was so completely unachievable in Media Composer or Premiere that the only option was to hire a novice in order to be able to cut it in FCP X?"

Again, you're going off the reservation with your assumptions. Nobody said anything about this workflow being unachievable in another program. Only that the directors obviously believed that FCPX was the BEST option.

[Simon Ubsdell] "I'm not sure I believe this. I'm sure there are plenty of experienced editors who if approached would have agreed to get sufficiently familiar with X to be able to take on this job and do it very well."

Well, I'm not so sure. I work in TV and I have a hard time convincing my peers to even look at FCPX. I think you underestimate both the reticence in Hollywood for FCPX and the "grumpy-old-manishness" of experienced film editors. Of course, this is conjecture on my part, I could be completely off base so who knows? I only know a few film editors and none very well. But the idea that FCPX is not a professional tool still sits like a festering sore over a lot of editor's opinions.

[Simon Ubsdell] "There is a desire on the part of X enthusiasts to claim that it is so ridiculously complex that it takes years of dedicated training to achieve anything like proficiency."

Who are you talking to that says anything of the sort about FCPX? Pretty much every single person on this forum and others who you would classify as FCPX enthusiasts, are constantly talking about how easy it is to use. We all agree that it's different and may require a different approach, but that's not the same thing as calling it complex. It's FCPX dis-enthusiasts who think X is some weird, mythical creature that can't be understood.

[Simon Ubsdell] "The notion that all experienced editors are resistant to FCP X and therefore the only editors who can be employed to use X are those with assistant-level editing experience seems pretty far-fetched."

Wow, you must really have something against this editor. He went from inexperienced in film, to novice, to assistant editor as your replies have continued. I'm an experienced editor. I have over 15 years experience in broadcast tv. I even have two film credits. And I like and use FCPX. So clearly, I'm not saying that experienced editors can't or won't learn FCPX. You, on the other hand are suggesting quite adamantly that if you don't have IMDB credits to your name, you must be a newb to editing in general. You're so shocked that experience has taken a backseat in the editing workflow for this film, but you seem to have no care for skill or talent or any of the other things that make an editor. Credits are the only measure by which you seem to judge Jan's abilities. Let's hope he doesn't get regulated to "intern" on your next reply.

Andy

https://plus.google.com/u/0/107277729326633563425/videos


Return to posts index

Simon Ubsdell
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 27, 2015 at 10:02:05 am

[Andy Neil] "Wow, you must really have something against this editor. He went from inexperienced in film, to novice, to assistant editor as your replies have continued."

I really have nothing at all against him and wish him all the best as I do all the editing community - it's tough enough earning a liviing as it is without having other editors sniping at you,

But since you wanted to labour the point, I went back and looked at his credits again.

His full credits on imdb (and yes, it's not an ultimately definitive resource but it's the best one going) are as follows:

10 credits for "digital mastering" on Maron in 2013.

And three credits as "editor: syndication version" on Curb your Enthusiasm in 2009. I checked the actual Film Editor on those three episodes of Curb and two were edited by Roger Nygard and one by Steve Rasch. I don't know enough about American TV to know what his credit actually means.

That's it. That's the full story according to imdb. Apart from Focus and the upcoming Fun House from the same directors.

Of course, he's doubtless done a vast amount of editing that's not going to feature on imdb, but then most editing doesn't qualify for listing there. However editing experience relevant to your feature film cutting credentials does tend to get listed, unless you're just very shy and/or want to distance yourself from the projects you've been associated with.

Surely you can see that this is quite unusual?

If your agent put you up for editing Focus 2, there would be a lot of hard-headed decision makers at Warners wanting to look at your publicly-listed lead editing credits, and in the normal course of events, unless they included clear evidence you had worked at feature film level or at least the equivalent in TV, it would be extremely unlikely that you'd get the job.

That's all I've been trying to say.

Jan's appointment as editor of Focus is very unusual given his publicly available track record.

Are you not able to agree on that?

And this is absolutely not a comment on his abilities as a lead editor which could be outstanding - we simply have no way of knowing anything at all about that until Focus comes out, and doubtless not even then, given how hands-on the directors will have been.

But to reiterate I absolutely wish him all the best and congratulate him on delivering this landmark project. Now that is genuinely something to impressed with.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo-uk.com


Return to posts index

Robin S. Kurz
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 27, 2015 at 11:56:47 am

[Simon Ubsdell] "But since you wanted to labour the point"

You didn't actually just write that after a full 17 posts of your own on the subject, did you? :D

[Simon Ubsdell] "A lot of feature film editing is actually problem solving of one kind or another and it's experience that makes you better at it. That's all I'm saying - I'm not sure why this is contentious."

Maybe it's simply that you have yet to explain why the obsession with the "feature film" part of it all is relevant? I don't even know why "feature film" is even explicitly in that sentence, since that applies to ANY editing job imho. What is it in your mind that an editor that has edited any amount of narratives (for all we know very well), couldn't possibly do when hit with a feature film? Whereby, again, "feature film" purely says something about its *length*, namely longer than 40 minutes. Nothing else. I don't know of any somehow hugely unusual requirements that would need to be met other than great story-telling abilities (which you obviously couldn't know if he has or not, experience or not). Aside from maybe needing extremely good organizational skills, which, as we know, the vast majority was already taken care of by the time FCP was even opened. And I don't see how the amount of money or actor involved is any reflection or gauge of his abilities as an editor.

You yourself said that it's a huge budget movie with a huge star in it. So either everyone involved was having (as you seem to want to imply) a "let's gamble with a lot of money and some reputations!"-day (only by virtue of their choice of EDITOR?)… OR… there is a bunch of relevant information that neither you or any of us are privy to at this point. Namely information concerning the editor, his qualifications and/or the production process relating to the editing process, that would make the whole decision a completely sane one with no spectacular or curious undertones. Making the whole topic a classic and text-book mountain and molehill dispute, no?

I'll personally go with the latter until proven guilty.

Maybe we should all read this first (which I am) and come back afterwards: https://itunes.apple.com/de/book/final-cut-pro-x-pro-workflow/id971472119?l... :)

- RK

____________________________________________________
Deutsch? Hier gibt es ein umfassendes FCP X Training für dich!


Return to posts index

Robin S. Kurz
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 27, 2015 at 10:13:52 am
Last Edited By Robin S. Kurz on Feb 27, 2015 at 10:18:43 am

[Andy Neil] "Again, you're going off the reservation with your assumptions."

... and conjecture, and unsubstantiated claims, and odd obsession with IMDB as the holy grail and only true measure of anyone's abilities. :)


[Andy Neil] "Who are you talking to that says anything of the sort about FCPX? Pretty much every single person on this forum and others who you would classify as FCPX enthusiasts, are constantly talking about how easy it is to use."

I, too, have never once heard anything else either. The only people that I have heard suggest anything similar were in fact those who haven't seen more of X than maybe some screenshots, but certainly never actually used it. I also have a few years of teaching X (and another 5 years teaching 7 before that) under my belt at two different schools here that use both X and PPro. The speed that the students get up and running on X and have their first cut out is unparalleled. Primarily because its complexity is completely hidden from sight until needed (IF needed).

Not some comparatively intimidating, constantly in-your-face barrage of tabs tabs tabs hiding behind each other in an excessively button-riddled, cluttered, patchwork GUI. Something I also hear from every single trainer I know, of which there are many, spread across 6 countries and two continents in the same or a similar environment. To say that PPro is anywhere near as comprehensible, especially for anyone with no or little experience editing, is utterly ludicrous imho. I have only seen that happen when the person teaching X simply did not know the first thing about X or were just plain inept as a teacher.


[Andy Neil] "Wow, you must really have something against this editor. He went from inexperienced in film, to novice, to assistant editor as your replies have continued."

I noticed that, too. :-))))


[Andy Neil] "You're so shocked that experience has taken a backseat in the editing workflow for this film, but you seem to have no care for skill or talent or any of the other things that make an editor. Credits are the only measure by which you seem to judge Jan's abilities. "

Apply that to directors and never mind that if everyone were actually to go by IMDB as a measure for anything, then we wouldn't have a huge list of features to enjoy. Such as ones from Chris Nolan, Ben Affleck, George Clooney or even Alejandro González Iñárritu. How DARE someone give them their first break based on anything... just not IMDB. Tsk tsk... ;)

I guess companies like RED and ARRI really lucked out then, too. But I guess there were a plethora of Epic and Alexa experienced operators lined up around the block before the first features were shot with them? Exact same difference.

- RK

____________________________________________________
Deutsch? Hier gibt es ein umfassendes FCP X Training für dich!


Return to posts index

Herb Sevush
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 27, 2015 at 10:54:38 pm
Last Edited By Herb Sevush on Feb 28, 2015 at 3:47:02 am

[Robin S. Kurz] "[Andy Neil] "Who are you talking to that says anything of the sort about FCPX? Pretty much every single person on this forum and others who you would classify as FCPX enthusiasts, are constantly talking about how easy it is to use."

I, too, have never once heard anything else either. The only people that I have heard suggest anything similar were in fact those who haven't seen more of X than maybe some screenshots, but certainly never actually used it."


This has been part of the standard two headed argument "FCPX is very easy to learn, young students pick it up right away" combined with "well if you tried FCPX and didn't like it, it's because you didn't give it enough time to learn it thoroughly because you were trying to make it work like your last NLE and you have to unlearn your old habits." Apparently FCPX is both way simple and way complex, depending on what point you're trying to make.

Bill Davis has repeatedly said that it takes months to truly master FCPX in all of it's depth and that it is especially hard for experienced editors who have to first "unlearn" so many of their old habits. He has stated that he thinks it will be a financial boon to him that he has jumped on the FCPX bandwagon early as it gives him a head start on those poor benighted editors that refused to go where the puck was headed.

Now if you want to make me go back through the forum and find those explicit quotes I will, because there have been many, but only on the condition that you post a picture of yourself eating crow when I do.

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


Return to posts index

Bill Davis
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 28, 2015 at 3:23:44 am

Wow Herb,

Thanks so much for acknowledging me as the sole and leading authority on how X operates for the entire universe and particularly for how X works for everyone reading Creative Cow.

It's also good to know that my writing has the weight of FACT when all I thought it was was opinion (occasionally supported by at least half assed reasoning.).

That said, I seriously doubt I ever used the term "benighted" - since the word kinda bugs me.

But basically, it's nice to know I matter.

; )

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.


Return to posts index

Herb Sevush
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 28, 2015 at 3:42:54 am

[Bill Davis] "Thanks so much for acknowledging me as the sole and leading authority on how X operates"

The quote I was responding to was -

"I, too, have never once heard anything else either."


So I was presenting you as the antithesis of "never once" as I do consider you a "once in a while."

[Bill Davis] "That said, I seriously doubt I ever used the term "benighted" - since the word kinda bugs me."

You got me there, I was exaggerating for effect.

[Bill Davis] "But basically, it's nice to know I matter."

Your welcome.

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


Return to posts index

James Ewart
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 28, 2015 at 8:02:56 am
Last Edited By James Ewart on Feb 28, 2015 at 8:30:49 am

[Herb Sevush] "This has been part of the standard two headed argument "FCPX is very easy to learn, young students pick it up right away" combined with "well if you tried FCPX and didn't like it, it's because you didn't give it enough time to learn it thoroughly because you were trying to make it work like your last NLE and you have to unlearn your old habits." Apparently FCPX is both way simple and way complex, depending on what point you're trying to make. "

Both statements are true in a way I think. I unfortunately have clients who used to play with iMovie who are able to cobble things together with FCPX. But they do not understand the depth of the software, the workflows, the audio, smart collections, keywords, auditions, connections and all that jazz that comes under the bonnet. But they found it pretty easy to get started with. Does it annoy me that suddenly they are empowered to put together little things themselves? Yes it does! It worried me a bit too at first. I've lost a lot of bitsy little jobs that I didn't like doing but helped pay the bills.

I think a lot of professionals don't like that it has this more approachable streamlined interface. That it looks like I movie. "Easy". "Unprofessional". And then a lot of them have a go with it and don't like it all over again because you can't just jump into it from Legacy or Premiere because it works differently.

So the people who don't like it don't like it for both reasons. It's too easy and it's too complicated!

Weird innit?


Return to posts index

Robin S. Kurz
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Mar 1, 2015 at 2:15:52 pm

[Herb Sevush] "This has been part of the standard two headed argument "FCPX is very easy to learn, young students pick it up right away" combined with "well if you tried FCPX and didn't like it, it's because you didn't give it enough time to learn it thoroughly because you were trying to make it work like your last NLE and you have to unlearn your old habits." Apparently FCPX is both way simple and way complex, depending on what point you're trying to make. "

No, actually you just have to understand it in context. Never mind that I (and others) clearly differentiated between experienced editors i.e. people with any type of previous experience with an NLE and complete tyros. It only appears contradictory when you (conveniently?) forget to differentiate. In which case ANY experienced user of ANY one app will generally have more problems with ANY other similar app that sways too much from what they are used to, most likely even EXPECT. For simple reasons of muscle memory alone. There's a huge difference between a "What??! Why??" reaction and an "Oh... I see" in terms of ability and/or willingness to learn something new. There is absolutely nothing FCP X specific about that.


[Herb Sevush] "Bill Davis has repeatedly said that it takes months to truly master FCPX in all of it's depth and that it is especially hard for experienced editors who have to first "unlearn" so many of their old habits."

Right. Because the one opinion that suits your argument is the only possible valid one and the measure for all others after that. Got it.



- RK

____________________________________________________
Deutsch? Hier gibt es ein umfassendes FCP X Training für dich!


Return to posts index

James Ewart
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Mar 1, 2015 at 2:36:51 pm

[Robin S. Kurz] "[Herb Sevush] "Bill Davis has repeatedly said that it takes months to truly master FCPX in all of it's depth and that it is especially hard for experienced editors who have to first "unlearn" so many of their old habits."
"


To be fair that was the case with me - it did take me months to feel I had mastered FCPX. Actually all these apps seem to take me a few months before I feel I have mastered them.

Don't all these applications take everybody a few months to learn? And aren't we all continuing to learn about them all the time? I know I am.


Return to posts index

Robin S. Kurz
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Mar 1, 2015 at 3:12:44 pm

[James Ewart] "Don't all these applications take everybody a few months to learn? And aren't we all continuing to learn about them all the time? I know I am."

Most certainly. But here, too, you need to differentiate between "learning by doing" (which I may unfairly be assuming was the vast position of your learning X, for arguments sake) and learning in a structured classroom environment with a trained instructor. Or do you not believe you would have learned FCP (or any app you use for that matter) better, more efficiently and most of all sooner that way? Whereby I'm not talking about "to an expert level" either, but to the point that you're only left with dealing with details, not struggling with mere basic concepts. And you, too, were not a novice on the subject either going in. ;)

But yes, Apple leaves us little more than 3-4 month increments to believe we know everything there is to know about X. :D

- RK

____________________________________________________
Deutsch? Hier gibt es ein umfassendes FCP X Training für dich!


Return to posts index

Simon Ubsdell
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Mar 1, 2015 at 3:34:41 pm

[Robin S. Kurz] "you need to differentiate between "learning by doing" (which I may unfairly be assuming was the vast position of your learning X, for arguments sake) and learning in a structured classroom environment with a trained instructor. "

That sounds great. Can you recommend any training that might be particularly suited to, say, a German-speaking user?

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo-uk.com


Return to posts index

Robin S. Kurz
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Mar 1, 2015 at 3:46:46 pm
Last Edited By Robin S. Kurz on Mar 1, 2015 at 3:49:11 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "Can you recommend any training that might be particularly suited"

Wow. Now you're just trying way too hard. To the point where it's just...

But yeah... a LOT and in many languages: https://aatcportal.apple.com/AATCWeb/locations ... take your pick. Let me know if you need help figuring it out.

- RK

____________________________________________________
Deutsch? Hier gibt es ein umfassendes FCP X Training für dich!


Return to posts index

James Ewart
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Mar 1, 2015 at 4:50:32 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "That sounds great. Can you recommend any training that might be particularly suited to, say, a German-speaking user?"

;-)


Return to posts index

James Ewart
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Mar 1, 2015 at 4:40:24 pm
Last Edited By James Ewart on Mar 1, 2015 at 4:56:45 pm

[Robin S. Kurz] "Most certainly. But here, too, you need to differentiate between "learning by doing" (which I may unfairly be assuming was the vast position of your learning X, for arguments sake) and learning in a structured classroom environment with a trained instructor. Or do you not believe you would have learned FCP (or any app you use for that matter) better, more efficiently and most of all sooner that way?"

I did a one day course "introduction to" which I found pretty useful but only to a point. The helped me with the terminology that was doing my brain in "ahh so match frame is called reveal in event browser". All that stuff. Really helpful (not being sarcastic it helped get me going with X when I was close to jumping ship to Adobe). But I think I only get to grips with software when I am using it "in anger" albeit on a personal project that I have generated for that purpose.

I actually found the Ripple tutorials incredibly helpful however because I could dip in and out. Try stuff out. Go back to it.

Ideally I would have liked an instructor sitting next to me for a month but that was being my budget unfortunately.

I was never a particularly successful classroom scholar so it may just be me.


Return to posts index

Scott Witthaus
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Mar 1, 2015 at 5:29:49 pm

[James Ewart] "I actually found the Ripple tutorials incredibly helpful however because I could dip in and out. Try stuff out. Go back to it. "

I also found Lynda.com very helpful with both X and Premiere. I like the fact that Lynda is broken down into small chapters that I can easily jump to if I need a refresher. Having a site license for Lynda helps a bunch.

Ripple is fantastic as well.

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


Return to posts index

Simon Ubsdell
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Mar 1, 2015 at 2:37:07 pm
Last Edited By Simon Ubsdell on Mar 1, 2015 at 2:38:50 pm

[Robin S. Kurz] "[Herb Sevush] "Bill Davis has repeatedly said that it takes months to truly master FCPX in all of it's depth and that it is especially hard for experienced editors who have to first "unlearn" so many of their old habits."

Right. Because the one opinion that suits your argument is the only possible valid one and the measure for all others after that. Got it.
"


I know Bill is way too modest to blow his own trumpet, but for anyone, like Robin, unfamiliar with the notion that Bill Davis is a recognised authority on FCP X, you might want to have a look at this:







And this:

http://www.fcp.co/final-cut-pro/articles/1491-replay-the-third-edition-of-t...

In the latter, Bill Davis trades FCP X tips with other world-leaders in the FCPX field including Mike Matzdorff, Sam Mestman, Steve Martin and Mark Spencer.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo-uk.com


Return to posts index

Robin S. Kurz
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Mar 1, 2015 at 2:49:18 pm
Last Edited By Robin S. Kurz on Mar 1, 2015 at 3:50:12 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "a recognised authority on FCP X, you might want to have a look at this:"

Wow, thanks Simon. I totally hadn't seen or noticed ANY of that until now. What an eye-opener.

Never mind that I never once questioned Bill's competence in any way shape of form (let alone use his name), nor was that even vaguely the point. But hey, never mind. I get where it's coming from.

- RK


Edit: Oh, actually I did leave his name in. My bad. Selected too much text upon quoting. Oh well.
Edit 2: Either way, I don't see how any of your links are even vaguely relevant to teaching/learning in a classroom (i.e. the actual subject at hand). Because... they're not. But again, never mind. It was never about him. And never mind that he himself responded nearly the exact same way in response to the same post.


Return to posts index

Herb Sevush
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Mar 1, 2015 at 3:26:37 pm

[Robin S. Kurz] "Right. Because the one opinion that suits your argument is the only possible valid one and the measure for all others after that. Got it."

Robin, when you pin your argument on the line "never once" and somebody shows you the once, you can either acknowledge your overstatement while defending your basic argument, or you can act like a Fox news anchor.

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


Return to posts index

Robin S. Kurz
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Mar 1, 2015 at 3:44:05 pm
Last Edited By Robin S. Kurz on Mar 1, 2015 at 3:47:47 pm

[Herb Sevush] "Robin, when you pin your argument on the line "never once" and somebody shows you the once"

Gotcha. Because the moment that you read the contrary elsewhere, then my claiming that I myself have yet to hear it clearly has to be an exaggeration or even lie. Of course. Mea culpa.

I once heard a veteran editor say that PPro totally stinks. So I guess that totally negates any other opinions or experiences I come across! Wow... that makes things so much easier, thanks! Great system.

:D

Enjoy any further "discussion"...


Return to posts index

Jeff Markgraf
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Mar 1, 2015 at 11:36:24 pm

Robin -

I feel your pain in this thread. Seriously. Let's summarize:

1. Curiosity about an unknown and possibly inexperienced editor working on a major studio film quickly becomes a virtual attack on this guy's skills and credibility.

2. The original subtext (yes, subtext carries over very well on the internet) that there's something odd or shady going on with this project (producers who want to run every aspect of the process, etc.) morphs into clear evidence that "there mischief afoot!" and "he/it/this whole thing can't possibly be professional, etc."

3. It's more fun to quote people out of context in order to support a weak premise.

4. It's more fun to misunderstand or misrepresent points in order to fan the flames of very old arguments.

5. Any opportunity to bash Bill Davis must be taken, especially when presented in an "oh,so reasonable, just stating the facts, ma'm, why u mad?" fashion.

6. Anyone trying to both call the bs and cut through the bs is clearly a provocateur.

I applaud you for fighting the good fight.

I'm reading Mike Matzdorff's e-book now. Perhaps we can have some useful discussions afterward (and after seeing the actual movie!) Pretty much everything else here is primarily speculation and agenda-promotion.


Return to posts index

Simon Ubsdell
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Mar 2, 2015 at 9:33:33 am
Last Edited By Simon Ubsdell on Mar 2, 2015 at 6:00:54 pm

Hi Jeff,

Insofar as you are referring to me here, which seems possible, can I (politely, I hope) answer your first two points?

[Jeff Markgraf] "Curiosity about an unknown and possibly inexperienced editor working on a major studio film quickly becomes a virtual attack on this guy's skills and credibility."

I certainly didn't intend to question Mr Kovac's skills or credibility - I merely thought it was relevant to flag up his apparent lack of experience as a Hollywood feature film editor, which seemed to me to be worthy of note in this context. The two things are very different but seem to have been confused here.

Cold Mountain was a landmark moment in large part because the choice to use it was made by a universally acknowledged giant in the feature editing world and it was for that reason almost more than any other that Legacy "suddenly" acquired a perceived legitimacy it didn't have before. Walter Murch's reputation and experience were the seal of approval that validated the product. You could almost say that his talent as an editor was not relevant in this case ...

Focus may well come to change a lot of people's minds about FCP X but in comparing this moment with the Cold Mountain moment, it is surely not inappropriate to point out that in this case the reputation and experience of the editor are not in the same league. Kovac may well be a super-talented editor, despite his lack of imdb credits, but he doesn't bring the same credibility to the party as Murch did.

I just don't see how this can be considered contentious, and mentioning it is really not a disparagement of Jan Kovac, though you seem to have read it that way.

[Jeff Markgraf] "The original subtext (yes, subtext carries over very well on the internet) that there's something odd or shady going on with this project (producers who want to run every aspect of the process, etc.) morphs into clear evidence that "there mischief afoot!" and "he/it/this whole thing can't possibly be professional, etc.""

I think, with respect, the morphing is taking place in your imagination. I can't speak for anyone else, but I use FCP X professionally and was well aware, long before Focus, that it was a viable tool for editing features. In many ways, I like it a lot, and just like any other piece of software I have ever used, there are ways in which is dislike it. (And of course, as I've mentioned in the past, there are specific missing features which make my particular niche workflow a bit of a pain, but let's not go over that again here.) For better or worse, I just can't bring myself to be partisan, either for it or against it.

What I think does more damage to FCP X than almost anything else is the frothing zealotry of a handful of its most extreme adherents - it really does put a lot of people off who might otherwise be more receptive, though of course their enthusiasm is otherwise highly laudable. At least that's what I think.

The internet is a very strange place where the majority of communication reveals the failure to communicate.

So apologies for failing to communicate in this instance ... and of course, peace and love to all.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo-uk.com


Return to posts index

Bill Davis
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Mar 2, 2015 at 5:08:30 pm

But Simon,

Without judicious frothing - the world would be without cappuccino OR meringue OR margaritas - and therefore a much less hospitable place.

Frothers of the world UNITE!

(grin)

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.


Return to posts index

Simon Ubsdell
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Mar 2, 2015 at 5:22:51 pm

[Bill Davis] "Without judicious frothing - the world would be without cappuccino OR meringue OR margaritas - and therefore a much less hospitable place."

All good points. I will duly revise my opinion of froth and its place in the world ;-)

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo-uk.com


Return to posts index

Jeff Markgraf
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Mar 2, 2015 at 7:23:55 pm

Simon-

I re-read all the relevant posts in this thread to see if I may have been projecting or misunderstanding.

Here is a sample of my concerns addressed in my first two points:

The directors didn't feel that an experienced feature film editor would have anything useful to offer. That's a bit surprising.
Equally they didn't feel that an experienced titles designer could bring anything of value. That too is interesting.

The presumption here that I find strange and revealing is that the editor's skillset is less important that the kit he's cutting on - which is a point that I think we're agreeing on.

The reality us surely that Ficarra and Requa, whether rightly or wrongly, don't believe that an experienced editor brings that much of value to the party.

I don't see how can you be a great feature film editor without a reasonable amount of experience as a lead editor on drama even if it's only TV ... which is clearly not the case here.


I thinks there's quite a leap here, for a couple of reasons:

1-The assumption that anyone is in fact valuing the equipment over the editor.
Conjecture, but we really don't know that.

2-This guy is not an experienced editor, at least not an experienced feature editor.
Again, conjecture. Neither of the two features I've edited has, as fas as I know, made it on to iMDB. Don't know if the one I'm currently cutting will, either. Nevertheless, after almost 30 years in postproduction, I do think of myself as experienced - albeit less so as a feature editor, I will grant you.

3-Lack of (credited) feature experience = not suitable for major studio feature editing.
Perhaps you're right. Then again, I've seen plenty of truly horrible films edited by editors with plenty of Hollywood credits. Even then, I'm not prepared to assume it's their fault. Way to many people are involved who have the power to ruin a film.

4-While I've not quoted the relevant posts here, the build up from "I'm curious" to apparently being truly astonished at this editorial choice seems a bit overwrought. Perhaps I'm reading too much into the near constant repetition of the surprise. Given the number pf people I know who have been hired because they are friends of the producer/director/exec. producer, etc. in both film and television, I'm very reluctant to presume to know why someone was hired or not hired. And, for what it's worth, being a friend of the director is certainly not automatic grounds for suspicion or a presumption of incompetence.

I do think the overall tenor of these exchanges has been rather unfair to the editor in question and to the production team. I think a lot of assumptions have been made as to motivation and process, and the leap from assumption to what seem to be negative conclusions is all too short and unsupported by actual facts.

Now, I may be guilty of making my own assumptions based on these posts. If so, I do apologize if I've misrepresented your thoughts. It's all too easy to come across as rigid and snarky in forum posts, whether intentional or not.

As for the other points, it's the usual suspects with the usual agendas. Not something I've ever seen you be a part of, and off-topic for this thread, anyway.

Cheers, etc.

Jeff M.


Return to posts index

Simon Ubsdell
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Mar 2, 2015 at 7:48:07 pm

[Jeff Markgraf] "I do think the overall tenor of these exchanges has been rather unfair to the editor in question and to the production team. I think a lot of assumptions have been made as to motivation and process, and the leap from assumption to what seem to be negative conclusions is all too short and unsupported by actual facts. "

OK, now you've quoted all that back to me, I'll agree that I over-egged the pudding more than once, though I think I tried to be generous to Jan Kovac at all times, but apologies all round if I seem to have failed in that.

Inevitably on this forum one gets dragged into arguments that one never meant to get involved in - I think I found myself arguing against the contention that feature film editing experience has no real relevance and all that counts is "talent", which did strike me as a curious position. I still don't find that I can agree with this position, I'm afraid. But then again, perhaps I was misunderstanding what others were saying - it wouldn't be the first time.

Let me just restate the reason for wanting to bring this up. In fact, rather than restating it in different words, let me just copy and paste from my last post:

"Cold Mountain was a landmark moment in large part because the choice to use it was made by a universally acknowledged giant in the feature editing world and it was for that reason almost more than any other that Legacy "suddenly" acquired a perceived legitimacy it didn't have before. Walter Murch's reputation and experience were the seal of approval that validated the product. You could almost say that his talent as an editor was not relevant in this case ...

Focus may well come to change a lot of people's minds about FCP X but in comparing this moment with the Cold Mountain moment, it is surely not inappropriate to point out that in this case the reputation and experience of the editor are not in the same league. Kovac may well be a super-talented editor, despite his lack of imdb credits, but he doesn't bring the same credibility to the party as Murch did.

I just don't see how this can be considered contentious, and mentioning it is really not a disparagement of Jan Kovac."

Obviously, Focus is important to everyone, not so much as confirmation that X can be used for feature editing, which I think a lot of us knew already, but rather for the PR value of having had a major Hollywood movie choose it.

From that point of view, it is interesting to know who made the choice - if it was Ficarra and Requa rather than Kovac, as everything seem to suggest, who made the choice, then the PR value is of a different order to the Walter Murch/Cold Mountain choice. They've made a couple of pretty decent films but I don't think anyone considers that they have a reputation as editors, though again in the shadows of the cutting room, their talent and experience may be considerable for all we know. But the fact is we don't know and that in itself is the point.

Within this context, Kovac's apparent inexperience is surely not without relevance, in the sense that it's unlikely that he drove the decision single-handedly if at all, and from a Hollywood perspective his validation of FCP X necessarily carries less weight than if it had come from an editor whose work is well known and universally respected.

He may be well-known and universally respected after Focus, but there's no way you can say he was before now - again with every respect to his undoubted talent.

Does that make sense, or am I still overstating it?

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo-uk.com


Return to posts index

Jeff Markgraf
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Mar 2, 2015 at 8:40:06 pm

Hi Simon.

You may be surprised that I agree on all points.

Focus is certainly not X's "Cold Mountain moment." I don't think such a moment will ever happen again.

As far as directors who make a big deal about being intimately involved in all aspects of the film process: that sort of statement usually puts me on guard. When the natural and appropriate involvement of a director has to be explicitly highlighted and pointed out as something unusual and/or tied to a particular system, it makes me wonder why? All good directors are involved in the entire process, unless they are kept away by the studio or for other reasons.

As for Kovac: yes, his apparent lack of mainstream feature experience made me curious as well. Not because of any doubts about his skills, but because of what I know to be true of the Hollywood process. Politics reigns supreme. It's usually only in the indie world that non-big name people get their chance. All of which makes me wonder if the studio sees this as more of a vanity project for the star than a major release. Again, no implications as to the skill or artistry of all involved.

In the end, I agree with you and several here that this is less about editing a movie on X than about delivering a movie on X. In that sense, the real "hats off" and attention should be paid to Mike Matzdorff and his team.


Return to posts index

Simon Ubsdell
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Mar 2, 2015 at 9:09:07 pm

Hi Jeff,

Well, actually, I am in total agreement with all of that.

Not least that ultimately Focus as a production is a story about the skill and dedication of the usually unsung backroom guys, who collectively clearly pulled off a phenomenal feat here, and all credit to them.

Apple, of course, won't be spinning it as a story about anything quite as dull as that and they will make sure that the details of what went down get lost in the wash. And again, why not? It's all about PR at the end of the day.

But, as you say, Cold Mountain it is not.

On the other hand, if Walter Murch turns round and embraces FCP X after all, then that will be a really big story - and that would actually be Cold Mountain all over again.

And who knows, there's every chance that he might.

Or someone equally high profile whose reputation does add genuine lustre to the choice.

Has FCP X's reputation been enhanced by this in terms of its appeal to crusty old editors who need more evidence that it's a serious proposition? I think not really ... and that's a shame.

My contention is that having a big editing name attached is the factor that will make the major difference and that hasn't happened yet.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo-uk.com


Return to posts index

Jeff Markgraf
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Mar 2, 2015 at 11:20:06 pm

Hate to sound like a mutual admiration society, but yes, I also agree on all counts.

It will likely take as long for the crusty old Hollywood editors to embrace X s it did for them to embrace FCP Legacy, as it did for them to embrace Avid and Lightworks, as it did for them to embrace flatbed over vertical Moviola.

Same as it ever was.


Return to posts index

Robin S. Kurz
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Mar 2, 2015 at 9:53:25 am

Cheers Jeff.

[Jeff Markgraf] "6. Anyone trying to both call the bs and cut through the bs is clearly a provocateur."

You get used to it. If you don't have enough blogs and/or YouTube channels or haven't been registered since 1983, then you have no "street-cred" here. It's an amusing ego-dance to watch. In a morbid sort of way. :D Agree or shut up, but don't dare question the blog channel powers that be. And when certain people are reduced to embarrassingly jejune personal attacks and jabs, logical fallacies and random misinterpretations, apparently for lack of any real arguments otherwise, and you're "punished" with the silent-treatment, you know you're on to something. ;-))


[Jeff Markgraf] "I applaud you for fighting the good fight. "

Don't know about good, but certainly tiring, yes. I didn't know you had to open your virtual zipper here first and slap it on the table to be allowed an opinion. :D I'll have to keep that in mind.


[Jeff Markgraf] "I'm reading Mike Matzdorff's e-book now. Perhaps we can have some useful discussions afterward (and after seeing the actual movie!) Pretty much everything else here is primarily speculation and agenda-promotion."

Ditto. Some really good stuff in there. Should be interesting if others go to the same trouble also... ;)

- RK

____________________________________________________
Deutsch? Hier gibt es ein umfassendes FCP X Training für dich!


Return to posts index

tony west
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 10:11:08 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "But am I really the only person who is a bit stunned that the technology was put before the talent in this case?
"


Everybody has to have a first feature film. Why can't this be this guy's?

If people with more talent than him didn't bother to learn the new technology who's fault is that?

The only reason I learned X was because I didn't want people to have that advantage over me.
Then I ended up liking it.


Return to posts index

Simon Ubsdell
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 10:15:20 pm

[tony west] "Everybody has to have a first feature film. Why can't this be this guy's?"

Agreed. But do check out his credits on imdb closely. This is a truly extraordinary leg-up.

And not just to cutting a small indie movie.

It's a huge Will Smith movie with a big budget.

Something is definitely very unusual here.

I've got more feature film experience than he has and I can also use FCP X more than proficiently - nobody called me ;-)

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo-uk.com


Return to posts index

Bill Davis
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 27, 2015 at 5:47:51 am

[Simon Ubsdell] "Is it true to say that FCP X is so far superior to any other NLE that the editor's actual experience becomes a distant second in the creative process?

That's quite a claim.
"


Simon,

I've never heard a single soul make that claim. What I HAVE heard, is that theres a small but growing sense among the Hollywood film community that there are ways to leverage new computer techniques to make the field-to-theater production experience more efficient and much more cost effective. Some happening regardless of a program like X, but others actually being driven by it's database centric design.

When I was reading the stories about the workflow of Gone Girl, most of what I read about was the integration processes of After Effects and Premier in visualizing and delivering on the effects shots. That was the "this is better than what we were doing before" discussion. Which is great. Effects shots are important after all.

I suspect (we'll know for sure next week) that a good bit of the allure of the FCP X workflow on Focus was eliminating duplicated effort by establishing a metadata workflow that started on-location and carried through into edit and then on into the mastering suite. It appears that the filmmakers were happy because they were able to see things sooner, see them more like what they would look like in the final movie - and that because the front end processes were made more efficient - they therefore felt they had more time on the back end to tinker with getting the edit the way they wanted it.

That same message has been articulated by Thomas Grove Carter on the Honda Other Side production pipeline, and Mike Matzdorff has eluded to it publicly in his very circumspect pre NDA lifting public discussions about Focus.

That conforms to what I and most X editors I know have experienced. Editing before X was typically a very different allocation of our editing time.

A bit more organizational time up front - but then BIG benefits when you're actually assembling your master.

Again, we'll know much more when these public discussions happen over the next few weeks.

But that's my guess.

It's certainly not that creative expertise is ever unimportant. Just that the individual editor who was tasked with making the ultimate decisions (individually or collaboratively) of what goes where and why - appears to have enjoyed doing it this way.

Remember Mike M was NOT an X fan before Focus. (I believe he starts his new book with that very stark admission!) But he clearly is now. And his job was getting the editing workflow dialed in in order to do the job.

To me, the amazing thing is that they got it done largely BEFORE the 10.1 Libraries revisions were even in place. Those early edit sessions must have been quite interesting!


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.


Return to posts index

Herb Sevush
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 27, 2015 at 10:08:46 pm

[Andy Neil] "When digitial cinema was in its infancy, there were DPs who understood it, and others who did not. Some of the ones who worked only on film were probably highly experienced DPs and there was a new crop of DPs who were learning all there was to know about digital. If a production chose digital over film, they were making a business decision or aesthetics decision and its only natural to hire people who are comfortable working with that equipment."

Any producer who hired a DP because he was familiar with digital as opposed to a film DP who was familiar with lighting and would trust his assistant to figure out the digital details, deserves what they got.

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


Return to posts index

tony west
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 28, 2015 at 1:57:58 am

[Herb Sevush] "Any producer who hired a DP because he was familiar with digital as opposed to a film DP who was familiar with lighting and would trust his assistant to figure out the digital details, deserves what they got.
"


Sometimes what you may get is very good when you give an unknown a chance.

Any of you guys know Janusz Kaminsky?

My brother went to film school with him. When Spielberg was setting up for Schindler's List he want to shoot it in Black and White and he wanted somebody that knew their way around Poland.

Janusz had shot a small film in black and white and was born in Poland. He was not some A-list DP at the time, far from it, but Steven took a chance with him.

Janusz, as many of you may know won the Oscar for that beautifully shot film.

Just a cool little story that fits perfectly in this thread.


Return to posts index

Herb Sevush
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 28, 2015 at 3:28:20 am

[tony west] "Any of you guys know Janusz Kaminsky?"

My post had nothing to say about hiring unknowns. As I had posted elsewhere on this thread, everyone has to start somewhere. What I was commenting on was the idea that knowledge of a particular tool, in this case a video camera, trumps talent and experience. When I was switching over from 16mm film to shooting Betacam we chose to work with the great film DPs and figured they would get the most out of the video tools they were given. We were rewarded for that decision. It takes decades to master lighting, movement and framing; it takes a few days to figure out the video side of things.

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


Return to posts index

tony west
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 28, 2015 at 3:38:50 pm

[Herb Sevush] "What I was commenting on was the idea that knowledge of a particular tool, in this case a video camera, trumps talent and experience."

I'm not completely disagreeing with you here, but I'm old school like you and have seen the changes in the technology come a long way. I remember shooting with those betacams with all the switches on the side of the camera that you could easily get to.

Now, these cameras are so menu driven you could get lost on one or hold up the shoot if you don't know your way around it.

These new cameras are coming at us in waves.

A 7 year talented DP that had used the ALEXA many times might turn in a better job than the 30 year DP that had never used that camera before and doesn't know how to maximize it's strengths. Providing you had an experienced gaffer there.

Talent and experience don't have to go together. Janusz didn't have much experience but he had a great deal of talent.

Maybe this editor is in that boat.


Return to posts index

James Ewart
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 4:51:52 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "What was interesting about the Cold Mountain moment was that a legendary feature film editor made the choice to use FCP"

True enough. However in terms of non feature film market credibility there are a big number of production personnel working in commercials and corporate (I am talking about the UK only) who have heard bad stuff about FCPX. A lot of these (including editors) have never heard of Walter Murch (shame on them).

But they sure as hell have heard of Hollywood. Big budget Hollywood picture cut on FCPX. Box ticked.

I know Robin will say they amount to a tiny proportion of the market which I do not disagree with.

But we all look at what they are doing in Hollywood. And if I have a client who has doubts about FCPX because of something they have "heard" I can point to this movie and that's the end of the conversation.

So hurrah for Apple marketing.


Return to posts index

Brett Sherman
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 2:58:33 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "One rather curious aspect of this production for me is that this is the very first feature film of any kind that the Editor Jan Kovac has cut, acccording to his imdb entry."

Perhaps, this relative newbie status allowed him to evaluate the tools based on their merit and not on preconceived notions or inertia. I'm not sure it takes anything away. Proof is in the pudding as they say.

[Simon Ubsdell] "Why would you not want a graphics expert to do the titles for a movie of this scale in a dedicated graphics environment? Bizarre."

Really? For some productions, overwrought title sequences distract from the movie. I personally eschew any fancy-pants lower thirds for my videos. I think they are just terrible. That's not to say there isn't a place and time for fancier graphics, but it doesn't need to be all (or even most) of the time.


Return to posts index

Simon Ubsdell
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 3:10:51 pm

[Brett Sherman] "Really? For some productions, overwrought title sequences distract from the movie. I personally eschew any fancy-pants lower thirds for my videos. I think they are just terrible. That's not to say there isn't a place and time for fancier graphics, but it doesn't need to be all (or even most) of the time."

I totally agree about simplicity being preferable - in principle, and where it is appropriate.

The point though is that very, very few editors actually know anything at all about design or typography and even where simplicity is the object, or rather especially where simplicity is the object, a real understanding of design and typography will make a big difference.

It seems curious that one wouldn't want to access the knowledge and expertise of someone skilled in this area ...

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo-uk.com


Return to posts index

Robin S. Kurz
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 3:27:25 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "It seems curious that one wouldn't want to access the knowledge and expertise of someone skilled in this area ..."

So you've seen them? Or you know that no one with skill in that area put them together? Because otherwise those seem like a lot of fairly random presumptions, no? I say we maybe see them first and then decide. But if the titles in the trailer around 2:00 are any hint... easily doable and nice looking.

Btw, the titles I spoke of before were in fact predetermined in terms of font type, size, position etc. and were also all done entirely in FCP 7. There was no reason not to. A simple Motion template was made and reused as needed. Something that could just as well been done in this case also, though then that wouldn't qualify as "built-in", if that were in fact the case with them.

I also have been told what to edit on in the past if I wanted the job. Be it for reasons that the director/producer decided on or because it had to stay "compatible" with other service providers involved or what not. So that, too, I don't consider the least bit unusual.

And I still don't know what a "dedicated graphics environment" is. :)

- RK

____________________________________________________
Deutsch? Hier gibt es ein umfassendes FCP X Training für dich!


Return to posts index

Simon Ubsdell
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 3:43:06 pm

[Robin S. Kurz] "So you've seen them? Or you know that no one with skill in that area put them together? Because otherwise those seem like a lot of fairly random presumptions, no?"

"The directors were happy enough with the animated opening credits — created by editors using the standard text tool in Final Cut Pro X — that they decided to use them in the final movie, which is extremely rare for a high-production feature film."

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo-uk.com


Return to posts index

Robin S. Kurz
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 5:37:37 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "[Robin S. Kurz] "So you've seen them? Or you know that no one with skill in that area put them together? Because otherwise those seem like a lot of fairly random presumptions, no?"

"The directors were happy enough with the animated opening credits — created by editors using the standard text tool in Final Cut Pro X — that they decided to use them in the final movie, which is extremely rare for a high-production feature film.""


Brilliant. No clue how that is an answer to the question. Since that obviously in itself says absolutely nothing about the quality, good or bad, of the actual titles, which you clearly are decreeing as most likely unacceptable, sight unseen. Nor does it say anything about the person's (though it's plural) qualifications in term of design etc. So I guess you're simply dodging the questions, for whatever reason. Oh well.

Whatever. I for one will decide once I actually see the movie. If I even care. :D

[Simon Ubsdell] "Is the convenience of the software more important than the experience of the editor as this decision clearly implies?"

Again, pure conjecture. But yeah, maybe the "came in on time and under budget" was actually another driving factor. And they clearly thought X could give them that, too. Aside from not seeing, outside of maybe LENGTH, which horrendously unique tasks Focus could have required above and beyond what something like Curb Your Enthusiasm would have needed when it comes to plain EDITING. We're not talking celluloid or telecine here.

- RK

____________________________________________________
Deutsch? Hier gibt es ein umfassendes FCP X Training für dich!


Return to posts index

Neil Goodman
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 3:30:41 pm

Has anyone seen the movie? Is it good? Is the editing good?

Thats really what it boils down to me.

For me its not wether FCPX can do it or not. Its wether you like the timeline or not. That all it really boils down to for me.

Its also funny that in this thread there are people who continually say there not worried or concerned with FCPX getting certain features because they are "niche" and only usefull in hollywood big budget features now are all excited thats theres press about it doing it now being in that "niche".

As for those certain that Avid's market share in this is dwindling - I bring up this post about from the wonderful Marianna over at Avid.

Every winner and nominee in the Best Picture, Film Editing, Sound Editing and Sound Mixing categories at the Academy Awards relied on Avid.
http://www.avid.com/US/press-room/AcademyAwards


Return to posts index

Bill Davis
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 3:59:05 pm

I'm just going to note here that we have to remember, that Focus is actually a snapshot of where X as an editing tool was about 12-18 months ago. The work was done without Libraries, or anything after 10.0.3, iirc.

Just as the movies that were honored with Oscars last week were also snapshots of where the editorial industry was about a year ago.

My personal belief is that X will do well in Hollywood mostly based on the fact that many of it's metadata based processes do a superb job of carrying work from early in the filmmaking process into the later stages saving the need to re-do work that's already been done. It's the Intelligent Assistance wheelhouse.

That drives bottom line efficiency - and efficiency saves money - and saving money is ALWAYS a decision driver in every for profit enterprise on the planet.

"Great creative tools" are lovely. And everyone should celebrate them. But when push comes to shove, a great creative tool that ALSO saves money - well that's a whole different ballgame.

Period.

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.


Return to posts index

Andreas Kiel
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 4:54:03 pm

The article itself is just a marketing article about a feature cut on FCPX seen for other NLE sites as well.

So nothing exiting – though some are happy about it as shows Apple cares about pros.

As long nobody has seen the movie it's hard to say whether it's a good or bad cut. And even this will be subjective.

Probably Mikes book will be a better in depth reading.

- Andreas

Spherico
http://www.spherico.com/filmtools

"He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby
become a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will
also gaze into thee." - Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil


Return to posts index

Bill Davis
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 4:59:49 pm

I agree with this wholeheartedly.

Mike's book just went up for pre-orders on the iBookstores.

And FCP.co has a new announcement up today indicating they have TWO in-depth stories about to break that go into details about the workflow - talking to the entire team responsible for the effort.

So there will be all sorts of debate fodder to read up on during the coming few days.

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.


Return to posts index

Steve Connor
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 4:31:21 pm

[Neil Goodman] "As for those certain that Avid's market share in this is dwindling - I bring up this post about from the wonderful Marianna over at Avid.

Every winner and nominee in the Best Picture, Film Editing, Sound Editing and Sound Mixing categories at the Academy Awards relied on Avid.
http://www.avid.com/US/press-room/AcademyAwards
"


Doesn't prove that their market share isn't dwindling, Feature film Editing is not a very large part of the NLE market at all.


Return to posts index

Robin S. Kurz
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 4:44:23 pm

[Steve Connor] "Doesn't prove that their market share isn't dwindling, Feature film Editing is not a very large part of the NLE market at all."

Exactly. (cue the car metaphor) That would be like using the cars of international bank managers as a measure for how well certain car companies are doing. By that logic 98+% of the car manufacturers (and NLEs) would be on the brink of extinction and Bentley et al would have the opposite in marketshare.

- RK

____________________________________________________
Deutsch? Hier gibt es ein umfassendes FCP X Training für dich!


Return to posts index

Robin S. Kurz
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 5:31:24 pm

[Neil Goodman] "Has anyone seen the movie? Is it good? Is the editing good?
Thats really what it boils down to me. "


Only that's not what this is about. It's about whether or not an NLE—in this case FCP X, with Gone Girl it was PPro, etc.—is a viable candidate for feature film production at the Hollywood level. The quality of the editing or even of the movie itself is completely irrelevant in this context. Unless of course you want to tell me that every crap feature film cut with Avid (of which there are of course exponentially more at this point than have been cut with FCP X) was Avid's fault? :)

Although feature film work per se is irrelevant to an easy 98% of the market, yes, it goes by the trickle-down logic. Along the lines of "If it's good enough for them, it must be fine for me!". In which case it's very relevant for all users since it makes for far less tedious discussions with certain folk (and clients). ;)

- RK

____________________________________________________
Deutsch? Hier gibt es ein umfassendes FCP X Training für dich!


Return to posts index

Walter Soyka
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 4:47:45 pm

Congrats to the Focus team on a job well done!

I am fascinated by the discussion on metadata here, because it almost sounds like people think it was invented in June of 2011. I know that it's frowned upon here to critique software that one doesn't use, so I'd be most interested to hear the Avid/Pr detractors above describe their experiences with metadata-driven workflows in those tools and outline with some specificity where they fall short.

I don't mean this as a challenge or to prove anybody wrong -- please keep in mind my long-held stance that FCPX uniquely offers digital asset management for the masses [link] -- but rather to start some concrete discussion on workflow. If we're going to talk about using metadata, let's actually talk about using metadata.

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


Return to posts index

Jeremy Garchow
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 5:23:42 pm

Metadata, for me, has never been about a better Find tool. If you have a find tool, you have to know what you're looking for.

With the workflow that seems to have been used in Focus, and what Cioni has talked about with the Light Iron developed (and other) tools, is that a lot of the data that is generated on set, really useful metadata, is teed up so well in FCPX, and an editor can choose to use that metadata, or start their own metadata, with absolutely zero penalty.

Look at Andrew's story about trying to keep selects organized (and subsequently duplicated) in a bin structure.. It quickly becomes untenable as soon as someone starts to vary off of the structure. At that point, you have two choices, keep the organized structure, and don't let anyone touch it, or abandon it and try to sort it all out later.

If I send you a Project XML, you get all of my tags and you can choose to use them, or not use them. It won't effect what you've already done in your Library. If I start to use markers, then you have to know what to search for, with tags/collections, I can browse what I am looking for and know what I need when I see it.

I will be the first to admit, there is such a thing as too much metadata and you do have to curtail the overload, but that's what nice about X, is that clips can have multiple tags, multiple properties, multiple uses, and the way that X allows the user access to that is better than a bin system. I'm not even going to add "in my personal opinion" to the end of that, because I feel so strongly about it. No, I'm just kidding, it is my opinion that tags are better than bins.

So, while metadata was certainly around before 2011, the access to it wasn't all that great. I've been very interested in metadata form an editing standpoint, but also from an archive standpoint, for a long time. FCP7/Avid allowed you to enter a bunch of metadata, and it stored a whole bunch, but if you needed to find something with the find tool, it could be hard if you didn't know exactly what you're looking for, and the Find tool wasn't 100% accurate. X's find by sort system and Cioni gives a great demo of this with his Outpost/LivePlay software on the iPad which uses similar techniques is very very efficient.







Return to posts index

Walter Soyka
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 6:00:41 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "So, while metadata was certainly around before 2011, the access to it wasn't all that great."

I agree with this. Apple has certainly raised the bar on in-NLE metadata tools with the immediacy of the feature set, but more importantly, they've elevated the visibility of metadata by popularlizing digital asset management (largely by removing bins and forcing tag-don't-sort).

But I also think that FCP Legend editors tend not to think of all sortable columnar metadata that had been available to them -- in part because the default size of the browser window hid them in list view mode.


[Jeremy Garchow] "With the workflow that seems to have been used in Focus, and what Cioni has talked about with the Light Iron developed (and other) tools, is that a lot of the data that is generated on set, really useful metadata, is teed up so well in FCPX, and an editor can choose to use that metadata, or start their own metadata, with absolutely zero penalty."

Preface: I'm not trying to take anything away from FCPX on metadata.

But what about Premiere Pro and a Prelude Live Logger [link] workflow? Or what about any of the DAM panels [link] that integrate directly with Premiere?

Has anyone in this thread actually tried a heavy metadata-driven workflow with Premiere, or are we just saying that FCPX is uniquely positioned on metadata and disqualifying the other apps on principle?

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


Return to posts index

Jeremy Garchow
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 7:23:46 pm

[Walter Soyka] "But I also think that FCP Legend editors tend not to think of all sortable columnar metadata that had been available to them -- in part because the default size of the browser window hid them in list view mode.
"


But it is also the interface. When you do a find in FCP7, a new window pops up, shows you the relevant clips, you do what you want with it, and then close that window, losing that search forever.

And columns only work on bin level. If you have a bunch of bins, sorting by column does nothing for you when you need to backup and look at all of the media in the project (small p).

So while yes, FCP7 had a good find function, it was hard to use, and therein lies the difference. It assumes that you will want to use the find feature once, and never come back to it without searching it all again.

[Walter Soyka] "But what about Premiere Pro and a Prelude Live Logger [link] workflow? Or what about any of the DAM panels [link] that integrate directly with Premiere?
"


I tried to like Prelude, but I didn't prefer the marker ranges and subclips. It was a personal preference. They were hard to read and understand, especially once the edit started. They seemed a lot more permanent than tags, even though you could modify them whenever you needed, and a lot of it boiled down to interface for me. I just didn't prefer the marker based interface, just like I didn't really prefer subclips in FCP Legend.

I don't use a DAM, so I can't speak to that, but I have researched them. If you have a DAM, then you can send whatever you want to whatever NLE, and the sorting and tagging inside the NLE becomes a touch less relevant.

I am not disqualifying the other apps on principle. I think Prelude was invented to cater to a really specific user set, and that was mostly producers at really large media companies who needed simple assembly requirements, as well as some sort of transcoder to flip files to a common codec. I think that was a choice that wasn't quite imaginative enough, and that is my personal opinion. It bothers me what Pl calls a "rough cut". I just don't see why this has to be a whole separate app, with a separate development process. Pl now has transitions. Soon, it will be very similar to Pr. I just don't see the purpose.


Return to posts index

Walter Soyka
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 8:13:31 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "But it is also the interface. When you do a find in FCP7, a new window pops up, shows you the relevant clips, you do what you want with it, and then close that window, losing that search forever. "

I love smart collections and search bins. It's a great way to manage high volumes of data.

Before I moved from editorial into design, I edited the way you describe above, going back to maybe the FCP3 days. I think Bill calls it browser-based editing. I logged before I captured. I subclipped everything. I used those columns ("Good" was like a favorite for me) and I spent a lot of time in the find window. The OCD way I liked to work matches up really nicely with the FCPX workflow.


[Jeremy Garchow] "And columns only work on bin level. If you have a bunch of bins, sorting by column does nothing for you when you need to backup and look at all of the media in the project (small p)."

True, but then you are really using a rigid bin workflow, not a fluid metadata workflow. It was a choice in how you laid out your project. If you minimized your bin use, there was a lot of power in the old columns and find window. If you made bad binning choices, you forced yourself into hierarchical review. If you made good binning choices (bins are metadata, too!), you made finding the thing you were looking for easier.

I'm not saying that this is on par with what's available today in FCPX -- far from it -- but that really very few Legend editors practiced the metadata-driven workflows that were available to them even then.

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


Return to posts index

Walter Soyka
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 8:27:55 pm

[Walter Soyka] "I logged before I captured. I subclipped everything. I used those columns ("Good" was like a favorite for me) and I spent a lot of time in the find window. The OCD way I liked to work matches up really nicely with the FCPX workflow."

In thinking about this a little more, another editor in my department worked exactly the opposite way. He always had the browser in big picon mode and he sprayed selects all over the nether regions of his active timeline, always dragging and sculpting with the mouse.

The genius in FCPX is that organizationally, through metadata ranging from simple favorites to complex smart collections in conjunction with the skimmer, it suits both of our opposing styles very well.

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


Return to posts index

Jeremy Garchow
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 9:14:39 pm

[Walter Soyka] "The genius in FCPX is that organizationally, through metadata ranging from simple favorites to complex smart collections in conjunction with the skimmer, it suits both of our opposing styles very well."

That's right. With little to no penalty, as I mentioned earlier.


Return to posts index

Jeremy Garchow
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 9:13:06 pm

[Walter Soyka] "True, but then you are really using a rigid bin workflow, not a fluid metadata workflow. It was a choice in how you laid out your project. If you minimized your bin use, there was a lot of power in the old columns and find window. If you made bad binning choices, you forced yourself into hierarchical review. If you made good binning choices (bins are metadata, too!), you made finding the thing you were looking for easier."

The problem is, how do you know when you've made a bad binning mistake until you've realized you've made a bad binning mistake?

Again, to use Andrew's example, they didn't know it was bad, until they tried to do something that ended up being bad. They thought they were doing everything right.

What is nice about a tagging workflow (not even X, but the idea of it) is that things can be sorted multiple ways with no penalty. Be as sloppy or as methodical as you want, it can handle both.


Return to posts index

Walter Soyka
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 9:18:03 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "The problem is, how do you know when you've made a bad binning mistake until you've realized you've made a bad binning mistake?"

Well, it's not permanent.

How you know when you've made a bad tagging mistake until you've realized that you made a bad tagging mistake?

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


Return to posts index

Jeremy Garchow
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 9:31:27 pm

[Walter Soyka] "Well, it's not permanent.

How you know when you've made a bad tagging mistake until you've realized that you made a bad tagging mistake?"


I think it's very different. Especially with bins, where putting footage in them, especially if you are duplicating footage, is a much more finite operation. In order to find that piece of footage among thousands of other pieces of footage, you have to know what bin it's in.

With X, you can click the library and look at all the footage (of if you're like me, you keep footage in one event, and then tag it all from there, so I would click just the one Event). And if something is miss tagged, you can untag it, sort the browser by unrated clips, and rate it appropriately.


Return to posts index

Walter Soyka
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 9:41:23 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "With X, you can click the library and look at all the footage (of if you're like me, you keep footage in one event, and then tag it all from there, so I would click just the one Event). And if something is miss tagged, you can untag it, sort the browser by unrated clips, and rate it appropriately."

But surely finding the clip visually is non-trivial with the huge amounts of footage that tagging helps most with?

I think the bigger problem is not so much something tagged wrongly versus something wrongly untagged.

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


Return to posts index

Oliver Peters
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 9:58:05 pm

[Scott Witthaus] " I find this far less a puff piece than almost every Avid press release"

Funny. I think they are all about equal, except Apple's have a more gushing tone (to me at least). But in the end, they are there to push one or more products, and as such, aren't very instructive if you want detail.

[Scott Witthaus] "Yes, Avid still holds the vast vast majority of that niche but it's getting bit around the edges. "

I doubt it in the area of big budget film and TV. Indie film and the commercial/corporate world, sure. In fact, if the Oscars and other awards are to be a yardstick, this has been a stronger year for Avid than in the past, since the only big non-Avid film ("Gone Girl") wasn't in the running. If anything, right now Premiere is on the rise, not X, looking at the large increase of Sundance entries that were cut on Premiere.

[Scott Witthaus] "You can be Hollywood with a computer and the App Store. "

Of course that's complete baloney. Look at the list of tools they used, such as Nuke. Not exactly your kid with a Mac and some software. But yes, from an aspirational POV, it's certainly true and the real point that Apple is promoting.

[Scott Witthaus] "It's down to PP and X at this point for my students. I think it's PS and AE that keeps folks I teach on PP, not the editing tool itself. X is the preferred editor where I teach."

As we've discussed many times, my view is the diametrical opposite. Right now, I'm in the middle of my annual edit workshop. These are college students learning film technology to fill a wide range of below-the-line jobs. My little portion is a few weeks of editing - both lecture and hands on lab. Because of scheduling, this year I split the class in half (alphabetically) and did group 1 on Premiere and group 2 on FCP X. Each group had about 20-25 total hours of hands on to cut 3 commercials and 2 short long-form clips over 5 days (a short film and a scene from a film). Prior editing experience is none or very, very little. So this is a fly-by-the-seat-of-year-pants, boot camp approach.

I asked for a show of hands for prior experience. About 3/4 had some experience - mostly FCP 7 or Premiere. A few (3 or 4 per group) were "other" - Vegas, iMovie, etc. Mac/PC split was probably 50/50 at best or more PC. Sadly I see computer literacy among students declining over the years. They know Facebook and their smart phones, but actual computer ability is worse than before, IMHO.

So, as you can see - and I freely admit - these groups are pre-disposed towards a track-based system. The experience in the labs were that the group learning Premiere needed far less help from myself and my teaching assistant than I've ever experienced in the past. Conversely, the FCP X group really struggled at times with the concepts - including those with no prior experience. I think that if the classes were one month instead of one week, then the FCP X students would be doing well, but overall, I think both groups would be about even.

My assessment of what I'm seeing comes down to these three points:

1. A track layout is more logical to students. It's better organized visually and each track has equal value. The whole primary vs. connected is confusing and the jumpiness of the magnetic timeline is problematic.

2. The elegance of the FCP X interface is also a curse. Because you can open and close panels as needed, students tend to be confused. With Premiere, it looks more daunting at first because of all the tabs, yet it’s easier to know where to go once you’ve been introduced to what each tab tells you.

3. The FCP X behavior is unpredictable and finicky. Students tend to drag clips to the timeline, no matter how much you tell them not to. By doing this, sometimes things fall into the primary storyline and sometimes as a connected clip, just because you weren’t accurate about how you pulled in down. Doing this with tracks works more reliably and there’s a more direct correlation between hand action and results on the timeline. As students move clips around on the timeline, things jump up or down to avoid clip collision. Students don’t really comprehend why it happens, even when you explain it to them.

When I discussed options before deciding, I got plenty of visceral negative responses to using FCP X and Macs, in general. And yes, along the lines of some of the posts that Bill posted. These were clearly in the minority, but it's there. I honestly see those responses more among students than I do among pros, but I'm sure the students are effected by the chatter. However, when asking what they would have preferred me to teach (if the option would have been available) the overwhelming comment was Media Composer, when there was a preference.

[Robin S. Kurz] "So basically the exact same reaction *I* would have, if I sat down at the most recent incarnation of say AVID for the first time in about 8 years. No surprise there."

I was actually talking about my experience with the students. See above.

Honestly for me, this story isn't important because of FCP X, per se, but the overall workflow. Granted, a lot of that was facilitated by X - or at least the need for an external supporting ecosystem. Nevertheless, it's those experiences that provide the learning, not the fact that a given NLE was used over another.

In both the case of "Gone Girl" and "Focus" the editorial teams went through quite a lot of testing to make sure they didn't jeopardize the film. They provided valuable feedback to Adobe and Apple (I hope) that will benefit us all. That's a good thing.

- Oliver

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


Return to posts index

Scott Witthaus
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 11:44:12 pm

[Oliver Peters] "But yes, from an aspirational POV, it's certainly true and the real point that Apple is promoting."

So is it baloney or true? That broad-based comment is off base. Again, looking at Avid's marketing, it is aspirational as well. Avid sells MC and a desktop or laptop as the tools the "pros" use in Hollywood. No on talks about the supporting cast. Should we ask what 3rd party or finishing options all these award winning movies used beyond MC? Did they use the 15 year old Symphony color corrector and Avid FX for the finish? So if one is baloney, so is the other.

[Oliver Peters] "I asked for a show of hands for prior experience. About 3/4 had some experience - mostly FCP 7 or Premiere. A few (3 or 4 per group) were "other" - Vegas, iMovie, etc."

So basically you have a sample that are predisposed to track based editing. Of course they find X quirky and strange. I certainly don't think you can draw any conclusions from what could be a tainted pool. Of course they try and force X to do things the "track way" and then get frustrated. I teach 9 months out of the year to students who mostly have no experience in editorial and I find the opposite. Comparing my teaching of Legacy to X, X is learned so much faster with far fewer issues.

[Oliver Peters] "I got plenty of visceral negative responses to using FCP X and Macs, in general."

See above.

[Oliver Peters] "The elegance of the FCP X interface is also a curse. Because you can open and close panels as needed, students tend to be confused. "

Really? I don't see this at all. If anything, the elegant interface gets out of the way of telling the story. Of course, my students are required to complete the Lynda.com "FCPX Essentials" class in the first three weeks of the 15 week semester. That probably gets them ahead of the game and less confused. You can set that up pretty easily.

[Oliver Peters] "However, when asking what they would have preferred me to teach (if the option would have been available) the overwhelming comment was Media Composer, when there was a preference."

Makes sense as they want to be "Hollywood". My kids, who are advertising master students, have never heard of Media Composer. Sad but true. We have to remember that Hollywood is a niche market. High profile, but niche. Is there a reason you can't teach MC?

[Oliver Peters] "Honestly for me, this story isn't important because of FCP X, per se, but the overall workflow. Granted, a lot of that was facilitated by X"

No, this is an FCPX workflow story. How can it not be?

[Oliver Peters] "In both the case of "Gone Girl" and "Focus" the editorial teams went through quite a lot of testing to make sure they didn't jeopardize the film. They provided valuable feedback to Adobe and Apple (I hope) that will benefit us all. That's a good thing."

And in this we agree! :-)

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


Return to posts index

Oliver Peters
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 27, 2015 at 12:01:35 am

[Scott Witthaus] "So is it baloney or true? "

It's baloney if we are talking about impact on actual Hollywood. It's true if we are talking about planting the seed and dream for general users.

[Scott Witthaus] "Should we ask what 3rd party or finishing options all these award winning movies used beyond MC?"

Valid argument. But... how about AAFs, OMFs, EDLs, change lists, etc.? I think the claims Avid makes for what you can do with the tool are different than the claims Apple makes.

[Scott Witthaus] "So basically you have a sample that are predisposed to track based editing. "

Yes, I admitted that. Until enough folks come up through high school knowing iMovie or FCP X, I don't see that changing. The very high cost of Apple hardware is an impediment to these kids. We're talking blue collar folks and veterans, not USC students or Full Sail students.

[Scott Witthaus] " I teach 9 months out of the year to students who mostly have no experience in editorial and I find the opposite."

And how long do they work on just learning to edit? Mine have 20-25 hours in a structured editing lab and the rest of the year they are on their own.

[Scott Witthaus] "That probably gets them ahead of the game and less confused. You can set that up pretty easily."

Agreed. But no, I cannot set that up or require it. I can only suggest.

[Scott Witthaus] "High profile, but niche. Is there a reason you can't teach MC?
"


Not at all. It's a logistical process having to do with checking out and managing dongles for all the workstations. I'm doing this class in a general digital media lab and not on gear that belongs to the film department. That unit has 4 workstations with Pr, 7 and X. Two also have MC, so they can continue with MC on their own if they want. Teaching them a track-based NLE is sufficient foundation to move forward. But, my main focus is teaching editing concepts, NOT teaching software prowess.

[Scott Witthaus] "No, this is an FCPX workflow story. How can it not be?"

Agree, so people shouldn't interpret it as such. It's Apple marketing, which is what I've said from the beginning.

- Oliver

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


Return to posts index

Robin S. Kurz
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 27, 2015 at 10:20:29 am

[Oliver Peters] "[Scott Witthaus] "So is it baloney or true? "

It's baloney if we are talking about impact on actual Hollywood."


Not even the least bit baloney. He's absolutely right from a purely technical POV.

[Oliver Peters] "But... how about AAFs, OMFs, EDLs, change lists, etc.? "

Yes, how about them? His claim was "with a Mac and the App Store" you're "Hollywood" (which I take to mean you're at least technically set up to produce a movie that would easily sell/be shown in Hollywood). So which of those CAN'T you cover with the App Store? Spoiler: none. But you know that, so I find that assertion rather disingenuous. Aside from the fact that I didn't see anything in Focus' list of apps that aren't on the App Store, other than maybe LivePlay and a filter, so there you go. Scott is clearly correct.

And throwing NUKE of all things into the mix is the only thing "baloney", since that is purely VFX and far from being some sort of requirement for making a "Hollywood" movie. But even then, it's clearly only a matter of time before FUSION shows up in the App Store. Then even that is covered.

- RK

____________________________________________________
Deutsch? Hier gibt es ein umfassendes FCP X Training für dich!


Return to posts index

Andreas Kiel
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 27, 2015 at 12:56:26 pm

[Robin S. Kurz] Aside from the fact that I didn't see anything in Focus' list of apps that aren't on the App Store, other than maybe LivePlay and a filter, so there you go.

That's a list Apple published. Let's wait for the book.

- Andreas

Spherico
http://www.spherico.com/filmtools

"He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby
become a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will
also gaze into thee." - Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil


Return to posts index

Robin S. Kurz
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 27, 2015 at 12:58:19 pm

[Andreas Kiel] "Let's wait for the book."

Erm... it's out. ;)

https://itunes.apple.com/de/book/final-cut-pro-x-pro-workflow/id971472119?l...

- RK

____________________________________________________
Deutsch? Hier gibt es ein umfassendes FCP X Training für dich!


Return to posts index

Scott Witthaus
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 27, 2015 at 12:18:09 pm

[Oliver Peters] "It's baloney if we are talking about impact on actual Hollywood."

That's funny. Let's be honest, Oliver. You and I know Avid could give a sh** about "impacting Hollywood". They are there to move product. It's more about the impact BECAUSE of Hollywood versus the impact ON Hollywood for Avid. That is what Avid is looking for, and the monopoly Avid has had on Hollywood serves them very well. News like Focus and the Premiere film is more a threat from an image point of view more than revenue.

[Oliver Peters] "And how long do they work on just learning to edit?"

I can usually get them up and running on X after 3 90 minute class sessions and the Lynda.com course (which is about 7 hours of material). After that, that class time is used for finer editing tips, color correction etc. I teach another separate class on concept and visual storytelling. That's where X has been so much better as it allows me to focus on storytelling faster.

[Oliver Peters] "But, my main focus is teaching editing concepts, NOT teaching software prowess."

Agreed. Anyone can learn how to operate software. Concept and story execution are another entire deal.

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


Return to posts index

Jeremy Garchow
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 10:12:04 pm

[Walter Soyka] "But surely finding the clip visually is non-trivial with the huge amounts of footage that tagging helps most with?"

I guess it depends on what you mean by non trivial.

I can single click an event and speed through vast amounts of footage, or i can double click one clip at a time to load them in to a viewer and watch all the clips one by one in Legend.

X is faster and easier even when it's wrongly tagged or untagged wrongly (which is a sort mechanism and easily rectified) than bins.


Return to posts index

Michael Gissing
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 26, 2015 at 11:27:22 pm

I have said it before in previous posts about Focus and Gone Girl that the modern NLE market is unlike Avid Vs FCP at the Cold Mountain moment. That represented a change when a highly respected and credentialed editor dared to do it very differently.

That isn't what is happening here and so we seem to be arguing about the relative importance of this film for X or Gone Girl for Pr. Sure it is important for both but both tools are perfectly capable editors and it really isn't ground breaking or radical to find that there are currently five mature NLEs that comfortably do the job and suit high end workflows. (Avid, Legend, X, Pr, Lightworks)

More radical would be someone using Vegas or Resolve to do a $50mill feature. Even then that would not be a Cold Mountain moment. I doubt such a moment is possible again.


Return to posts index

Darren Roark
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 27, 2015 at 2:53:58 am

I find it interesting that the "Well... FCP X's strengths really only help out the assistant editor." keeps being brought up. I think the more producers start to understand the time savings at the start and end of post FCP X gives you it will start to be taken more seriously.

Currently I'm working on a lower budget film, under $5 million, shot on two Red epic cameras.

On the days where the camera crews used a Lockit box for jam syncing the timecode, and the sound person labeled the takes correctly I could sync and relabel the dailies in less than two minutes, and this is including dragging in the Red raw footage.

This gets the editor cutting scenes much faster during production, mistakes can be spotted in the footage faster allowing for reshoots when needed.

The iXML data even comes through into FCP X labeling all the multichannel WAV file tracks automatically for exporting to the sound mix. Avid cannot do this and it's a big pile of work entering in that information by hand.

I helped out on this film called "Starry Eyes", it had a great festival run getting into SXSW, and a small theatrical run.

This film was shot on two Red Epic cams and cut by one of the directors in FCP X in his kitchen on a 2011 iMac. This was the first feature for him, his only other editing experience was cutting his own short films.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2793490/?ref_=nv_sr_1

He had an assistant help prep the footage and worked with him on a rough stringout and then took over. He then cut in proxy mode till picture lock, flipped the switch back to 'original media' and exported to Resolve.

No days of conforming, checking sync, repositioning, all the handoff work was done.

The hiccup they had was creating the AAF as a result of improperly made multicam clips. (They didn't read the manual) This was fixed by Gregory Clarke via a doctored XML from Intelligent Assistance even though it wasn't caused by their software.

Having been through this, the bean counters are going to eventually take notice that certain set in stone time consuming and labor intensive costly steps can be avoided with FCP X.


Return to posts index

Andrew Kimery
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 27, 2015 at 4:28:58 am

[Darren Roark] "On the days where the camera crews used a Lockit box for jam syncing the timecode, and the sound person labeled the takes correctly I could sync and relabel the dailies in less than two minutes, and this is including dragging in the Red raw footage. "

Agreed that setting up multicam in X and PPro is w-a-y faster than in Avid or FCP Legend. The first PPro project I worked on was multicam (2-3 cameras plus second system sound) and I could do in minutes what would take hours in Avid.

[Darren Roark] "The iXML data even comes through into FCP X labeling all the multichannel WAV file tracks automatically for exporting to the sound mix. Avid cannot do this and it's a big pile of work entering in that information by hand."

Avid can read BWF metadata though so if one was working on a project that was going to be cut on Avid what would be the benefit of iXML?


[Darren Roark] "Having been through this, the bean counters are going to eventually take notice that certain set in stone time consuming and labor intensive costly steps can be avoided with FCP X."

Ehhhh..... how much input bean counters have really depends on the budget and the project. Back in the day, FCP Legend really won the hearts and minds of the documentary community because typically doc budgets are tight and the cost difference between FCP and Avid was in the 10's of thousands of dollars. The cost savings was very big and very real. Today the cost difference between Avid, FCP X and PPro is pretty small and on projects with the budgets of Focus and Gone Girl the cost savings is trivial.

FCP Legend has always been less expensive than Avid yet Avid still remained the more used system in broadcast TV and film (at least in the US). If cost was always the deciding factor Avid would've closed up shop a long time ago.


Return to posts index

Darren Roark
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 27, 2015 at 6:13:37 am

I was working with a producer of some fairly well known films recently making changes on a locked feature that was cut in FCP X. He said he didn't want to work in anything else unless it had the post prep capabilities as FCP X.

FWIW, the prep lag between set and post that FCP X avoids is not going unnoticed.

I should have called 'bean counters' producers.


Return to posts index

Richard Herd
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 27, 2015 at 5:02:20 pm
Last Edited By Richard Herd on Feb 27, 2015 at 5:03:32 pm

[Walter Soyka] "I think the bigger problem is not so much something tagged wrongly versus something wrongly untagged."

You can start a novel with that sentence.

Also the skimmer/icon view ought not be overlooked as a kind-of metadata. Our belief that Shot-A is a Close Up is justified based on inductive generalizing. At that moment it can be decided as "wrongly tagged" or "tagged wrongly." Quick accurate access to the picture (skimmer/icon view) prevents that bigger problem. I can't recall if Legend could do a skimmer/icon view, and I don't know if Avid does either.

EDIT: Yes Legend had a kind-of skimmer view with the thumbnail, which could be skimmed to find which image would best represent that shot.


Return to posts index

Tim Wilson
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 27, 2015 at 5:03:38 pm

[Richard Herd] "[Walter Soyka] "I think the bigger problem is not so much something tagged wrongly versus something wrongly untagged."

You can start a novel with that sentence.
"


I've requested that that be engraved as my epitaph.


Return to posts index

Oliver Peters
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 27, 2015 at 6:06:29 pm

[Richard Herd] "I can't recall if Legend could do a skimmer/icon view, and I don't know if Avid does either."

To be clear, only iMovie and FCP X have "skimming". Premiere Pro CC has "hover scrubbing", which is like skimming, except that you are only seeing what's in the thumbnail frame - no filmstrip. Other NLEs let you scrub inside the thumbnail. With these and PProCC, the difference is holding down the mouse button or not. Avid lets you play a thumbnail from the bin with JKL and that also goes out through the video output path to an external monitor.

The big difference in FCP X is that you can skim a filmstrip - either in the thumbnail or list view of the event. Even if you don't skim, you can quickly see when a shot changes framing from wide to tight, for example. No skimming required, just look at the event in list view and arrow down through clips to see what's there. For me, that's the biggest single performance improvement in any NLE, when you first start looking at the footage. This starts for me before any elaborate key wording (other than Finder imports).

No other NLE gives you that. For me, it's a big selling point. A variation (though not nearly as fluid) is that with Avid, you can look at the timeline of any source clip (toggles with edited sequence). The timeline window can display a filmstrip track. So opening a clip and viewing the source timeline with the filmstrip track enabled, would give a similar method of looking at the visual display of the entire clip without playing or scrubbing.

- Oliver

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


Return to posts index

Richard Herd
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 27, 2015 at 11:26:24 pm

[Oliver Peters] "looking at the visual display of the entire clip without playing or scrubbing"

And that's the gist of it, knowing whether the metadata was right or wrong in a glance and not having to playback.


Return to posts index

Richard Herd
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 27, 2015 at 4:49:13 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "I tried to like Prelude, but I didn't prefer the marker ranges and subclips. It was a personal preference. They were hard to read and understand, especially once the edit started. They seemed a lot more permanent than tags, even though you could modify them whenever you needed, and a lot of it boiled down to interface for me. I just didn't prefer the marker based interface, just like I didn't really prefer subclips in FCP Legend."

Prelude is more akin to Legend's "Log and Transfer" window. But that logging of metadata stuffs is weak sauce, thin and watery, and that is a metadata metaphor. The workflow I tried to use was a series of 8 commercials (4 in English, 4 in Spanish), for a grocery store pitching its ingredients and the how-to of a recipe. It was great campaign. I was the guy who got the mountain of footage, and the chef was not a professional actor, so there were very many takes to wade through and off-script, ad-libs, and on-set rewrites. True editing: bring order to the pile of footage. I tried to use the metadata stuff in Prelude, by recipe name and corresponding script. And then I'd have all these nifty subclips. It really did not work at all, because the information I typed into Prelude did not show up in the clips unless I opened the clips and looked at the markers, the GUI problem. (CS6, fyi).

I am basically committed to Adobe (although I love X too) (and will continue to argue with accounting for CC). Having said that, I hope Prelude can include a true metatagging/keywording interface.

And now having said that I'll give Prelude another try.

One more thing: Audio from Premiere to Audition is lame lame lame because when the audio goes from Premiere to Audition, the media is transcoded and the timecode is re-written to where ever it is in the Premiere time line. This means conforming any picture changes is virtually impossible, and I literally have to use old-school metadata: paper and pen. This hopefully has been fixed in CC. And changing audio output settings (ergo omf) is simply ridiculous: new sequence, change audio settings, copypasta. Roles win for this every time. There is no reason this cannot be done in Premiere via the mixer interface: I need a little button [export stems], and then whatever name they are is what they are named. When someone else (say in ProTools) opens it up, they see exactly what my mixer is. ... and now I'm writing that as feature request


Return to posts index

Dennis Radeke
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 28, 2015 at 12:40:35 pm

[Richard Herd] "I tried to use the metadata stuff in Prelude, by recipe name and corresponding script. And then I'd have all these nifty subclips. It really did not work at all, because the information I typed into Prelude did not show up in the clips unless I opened the clips and looked at the markers, the GUI problem. (CS6, fyi).

I am basically committed to Adobe (although I love X too) (and will continue to argue with accounting for CC). Having said that, I hope Prelude can include a true metatagging/keywording interface."


Hi Richard. With CC2014, we now have access to the comment markers of Prelude searchable in Premiere Pro. In addition, we have the search bin feature which creates a bin based on your criteria. So, if you wanted to create a bin for "Tomatoes" you could enter in "Tomatoes" and "Tomato" and it would create a bin for that. We also have a tag panel in Prelude that allows you to create custom tags (also searchable) that would hopefully allow you to easily log footage as a pre-production process.

[Richard Herd] "One more thing: Audio from Premiere to Audition is lame lame lame because when the audio goes from Premiere to Audition, the media is transcoded and the timecode is re-written to where ever it is in the Premiere time line. This means conforming any picture changes is virtually impossible, and I literally have to use old-school metadata: paper and pen. This hopefully has been fixed in CC."

I think we've addressed this with later releases. Let me know if not.

[Richard Herd] "And changing audio output settings (ergo omf) is simply ridiculous: new sequence, change audio settings, copypasta. Roles win for this every time. There is no reason this cannot be done in Premiere via the mixer interface: I need a little button [export stems], and then whatever name they are is what they are named. When someone else (say in ProTools) opens it up, they see exactly what my mixer is. ... and now I'm writing that as feature request"

We agree 100% ;-)


Return to posts index

James Ewart
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 28, 2015 at 2:47:36 pm

What I don't understand is why somebody from Apple do not participate in this way.

I hate these stony silences and then out of the blue and update.

Why can't Apple keep us updated on their plans for the development of the software? I know it's all top secret but three months off why not give us the nod maybe?


Return to posts index

Oliver Peters
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 28, 2015 at 2:56:41 pm

[James Ewart] "Why can't Apple keep us updated on their plans for the development of the software? I know it's all top secret but three months off why not give us the nod maybe?"

They never do this. It's not how Apple generally operates. They might have in the past, but not for years. Part of the cross you bear for liking to work with their products.

- Oliver

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


Return to posts index

tony west
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 28, 2015 at 4:55:52 pm

[James Ewart] "Why can't Apple keep us updated on their plans for the development of the software?"

In fairness James, I don't think Dennis does that either. He basically comes on here and knocks down misconceptions about their products. (Apple maybe should at least do that also)

He is not going to give up any "plans" for the future, and in that sense they are not much different than Apple.

"Sorry guys, we don't (and I can't) comment on what we are working on. "

Just above.


Return to posts index

Steve Connor
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 28, 2015 at 5:03:50 pm

[tony west] "He is not going to give up any "plans" for the future"

Although sometimes he does hint strongly :)


Return to posts index

James Ewart
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Feb 28, 2015 at 5:28:06 pm

[Richard Herd] "And changing audio output settings (ergo omf) is simply ridiculous: new sequence, change audio settings, copypasta. Roles win for this every time. There is no reason this cannot be done in Premiere via the mixer interface: I need a little button [export stems], and then whatever name they are is what they are named. When someone else (say in ProTools) opens it up, they see exactly what my mixer is. ... and now I'm writing that as feature request"

We agree 100% ;-)

This was a bit of a hint though was it not. Nice to feel that God is listening.


Return to posts index

Scott Witthaus
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Mar 2, 2015 at 1:07:16 am

[James Ewart] "Why can't Apple keep us updated on their plans for the development of the software?"

What publicly traded company does?

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


Return to posts index

Andrew Kimery
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Mar 2, 2015 at 3:42:07 am

Intel has a road map:
http://www.zdnet.com/article/what-we-learned-about-intel-this-week/

Here's a roadmap from MS for Office 365:
http://roadmap.office.com/en-us

On the COW alone Todd Kopriva from Adobe mentions what the AE team is currently focused on (https://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/378/9884) and Peter Garaway, also from Adobe mentions, that they are working on better performance in PPro while using networked storage. Not to mention Dennis' own 'wink' in this thread to a feature request made by Richard.

No company is going to be 100% transparent, but Apple is notoriously super secretive, which I think is part of their allure and certainly drives the rumor culture, so I'm always surprised when someone implies that all companies are as super secretive as Apple. Apple doesn't interact with it's users the way that some other companies might and I doubt they ever will. And considering their success it's not like they need to change their MO anyway.


Return to posts index

James Ewart
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Mar 2, 2015 at 9:17:25 am

[Andrew Kimery] "No company is going to be 100% transparent, but Apple is notoriously super secretive, which I think is part of their allure and certainly drives the rumor culture, so I'm always surprised when someone implies that all companies are as super secretive as Apple. Apple doesn't interact with it's users the way that some other companies might and I doubt they ever will. And considering their success it's not like they need to change their MO anyway."

But wouldn't it be nice? After all we are customers. Be nice to b treated with a bit more courtesy. For example to give us hint at areas they are looking at developing and other things they are not. Are they worried we would leave in droves if they told us they have no plans ever for a "send to mention" feature for example.

It sure would be helpful for us to know a bit more and I am no corporate bigwig obviously but what harm could it do.

Yes Andrew a Roadmap would be nice.


Return to posts index

Andrew Kimery
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Mar 2, 2015 at 9:32:36 am

[James Ewart] "...but what harm could it do."

Osborne Effect ;)


Return to posts index

Bill Davis
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Mar 2, 2015 at 4:55:07 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "Apple is notoriously super secretive,"

(slapping forehead)

Of course. Hey, if you have time, can you show me the pictures of the car style coming out in a few years, you know, without all the camouflage body parts the car companies use to obscure the styling details?

And my wife likes perfume, What scent profiles are the big perfume houses working on for Christmas 2017? I'd LOVE to get some advance warning about that.

Oooh, and my kid loves fast food. What's coming out of the test kitchens for some of the big fast food places for the next few years? Will healthier make inroads? Or is it going to be all about bigger burgers?

---
Seriously, you simply can't point at a couple of examples of leading players who do things a different way - and argue that openness and disclosure is somehow an industry standard because of that. There are plenty of examples like the above where industrial secrets are a critical component of competitive advantage in industries across the spectrum.

You or I may not like it. But it's how things have always been done. So the whole argument for additional "openness" becomes silly at some level.

My 2 cents anyway.

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.


Return to posts index

James Ewart
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Mar 2, 2015 at 5:19:38 pm

[Bill Davis] "You or I may not like it. But it's how things have always been done. So the whole argument for additional "openness" becomes silly at some level. "

I'm just suggesting it would be nice/polite/courteous to feel we had a bit more of the two way dialogue that Adobe give their customers, I may be naive for wishing for it. But if somebody comes along giving me what Apple give me AND what Adobe give their customers I would jump ship tomorrow.

I do feel that Adobe seem to value their customers more than Apple do and that makes me think more and more about whether I am driving the right car.

All great Empires come to an end and usually it's when they start to get complacent.

And we are not just talking Rome and Alexander the Great. IBM. MySpace. Blackberry. We could write a big list.

So customer loyalty can be valuable, and has been something that kept Apple afloat in the past. Do we feel as loyal today to Apple as we did 10 years ago or more?

Love the products. Don't like the attitude as much.


Return to posts index

Tim Wilson
Re: In-Action Story on FCPX and Focus
on Mar 2, 2015 at 7:01:24 pm

[James Ewart] "All great Empires come to an end and usually it's when they start to get complacent."

Except with Apple, where disregard for customers is the bedrock that the company is built on. Steve was talking about how little he valued opinions from customers from the time he launched Mac. (Among the reasons why, even though the Apple II was built on openness, the first thing he did with Mac was seal it shut.) He loudly and viciously mocked companies who asked their customers for input from the beginning. As late as 2008, he was still bragging that they never asked customers for anything.

Obviously a bit rhetorically exaggerated in practice re: FCP/X, but in principle, pretty much on the money.

"Skating to where the puck is" is the nice way to put it. "You a-holes don't know what you want or what you need, so we're going to make you want what we WANT you to want, even if you don't need it" is the way that Steve probably phrased it in his head.

And more often than not, he was right. Apple customers generally like Apple stuff enough to put up with Apple. So I wouldn't use the word "silly" to describe the desire for openness from Apple as much as "futile" and "self-defeating."

The issue with openness for those companies who are inclined to be open has historically been revenue recognition. It goes a little something like this.

  • If I announce a feature, I have to ship it in 90 days. Hence all those NAB announcements that say "Shipping in June." June is in the same quarter as NAB in April.


  • If I fail to ship within 90 days, I have to set aside the revenue that that feature is worth. Basically placing it in escrow. I don't get to "receive" that revenue until I deliver the feature. The transaction isn't complete.


  • Some companies are fine with this. They consider it money in the bank...but it's not even worth talking about unless there's enough cashflow to not only keep the company on the rails (likely) AND to keep revenue for the product line on track (not necessarily as likely).


  • These kinds of calculations, though, are massively time consuming. I can give you an example from Avid. This is what EVERY company making promises used to have to go through, so I'm not revealing any secrets. I'm just offering some specifics.

    Just as I was arriving there in 2003, they were contemplating what to do about delivering HDV support. There was no way it was happening by June 2004 (ie, the first quarter after the next NAB, which would have made it okay to announce at NAB 2004), but September seemed likely.

    Okay, only deferring revenue for a quarter (ie, 90 days after the first 90 day grace period), so a tolerable risk.

    So what happens going into NAB 2004? They wanted to ANNOUNCE upcoming HDV support, but because they couldn't ship the feature 90 days, they had to defer that revenue, right? But HOW MUCH revenue?

    This is where things get crazy. Product managers had to work with salespeople and dealers and customers to answer this question: how many sales are we missing because of THIS FEATURE and ONLY this feature? And how much are we missing by? And for people who are buying a new box of Avid software, what's the exact amount of money that that feature is worth as a PROMISE to those people?

    That is, "I'm buying this BECAUSE of the promised HDV support" -- but customers can still get most of the value from the product before then. So what's the delta for not just the value of HDV in general, but the value of HDV for the next 90 days?

    So you take that incremental amount and add, you know, profit and stuff.

    It's real work that sucked down a tremendous amount of internal cycles from very conscientious, committed people, some of which would have been devoted to actual product development...but those people were busy trying to figure this stuff out.

    If you recall, btw, the answer was $49. If you didn't want HDV, you didn't have to pay the $49. HDV would show up in your next paid upgrade anyway. But if you wanted HDV in the next 180 days, Avid's calculation was that it would be worth $49 to YOU in September.

    So THAT's what the pitch at NAB was. "Get your box of Avid software now, and get HDV support in September for $49." That HAD to be part of the pitch, or they couldn't mention HDV at all. Couldn't even HINT at it without deferring the revenue based on the hint of a feature that wouldn't be delivered in that quarter.

    See why most people avoid all that? No promises, no penalties.

    NOW THEN, things are different for Adobe. They're getting a steady flow of money from customers, and they get it whenever a feature is delivered.

    However, there are STRATEGIC reasons for playing specifics close to the vest, even if there aren't LEGAL reasons. They still have to compete against other companies , so it's a delicate balance. Still, you see quite a bit of hinting from Adobe folks here, because there's no risk of running afoul of the SEC....

    ....and because they're by and large not dicks. LOL

    This is also why so many companies are going subscription RIGHT NOW. You can thank your friends Senator Sarbanes and Representative Oxley. These risks simply didn't exist a few years ago. But they exist NOW.

    You remember all that trouble Avid got in with the SEC and the Justice Department? It was because of the difference between a "bug fix" release, which you HAVE to give away free (because bugs prevent customers from receiving full value" vs. a "feature upgrade" release, which you CAN'T give away free, unless you had set aside the incremental dollar value of that feature (eg, $49 for HDV).

    Well, Avid gave away a release with a feature in it (oops), so they had to recalculate millions of transactions BY HAND, going back to 2008.

    (BTW, this is grossly oversimplified because I'm NOT an accountant, and I AM an idiot.)

    Which is also why, in the end, Avid's total revenue numbers were still by and large the same. There just needed to be a recalculation of which money for which features landed in which quarters. Fun fun fun.

    The workaround for Avid today? Either subscribe, or pay for a service contract, so we don't have to go through this again -- we can just give you fixes or features as they're ready, because the revenue is accounted for by promising "receive all upgrades during your contract."

    And the only thing you're promised when you drop OFF the contract is that you're going to have to either start over from scratch with a new box, OR pay for the upgrade AND the following year of service. No new features no matter what, and so, no revenue to defer no matter what.

    What. The.

    Anyway, this is what EVERY company making promises had to go through, pre-subscription.

    This is the advantage for Adobe that most people don't talk about: that product managers don't have to spend time assigning incremental dollar values to features, and do actual calculus to factor those multiple sets of dollar values against the vectors of a projected trajectory of development effort and product deployment, as well as the financial, and potentially legal, costs related to the difference between hitting the target and missing it.

    Instead, product managers can focus on...wait for it....products.

    AND THAT'S WHY MOST COMPANIES DON'T ANNOUNCE STUFF IN ADVANCE.

    But some can hint at some of it because of the vector between being dicks and not. LOL

    Andrew, to your point about Microsoft and Intel: there's a difference between a roadmap and a promise. Those companies rely on partners whose development cycles are years away. Using Microsoft as an example, their installed customer base is so massive that year- or years-long public beta cycles are critical for vendors showing up in the same place at generally the same time (although lord knows there are still drivers not ready, etc, for each new release). If you as a customer want a specific software feature now, you can have it now, for free, for a year or more, so the risks of deferred features are minimized.

    (Older folks here may recall that we debated this for weeks around the first announcement of X. Specifically, whether roadmaps exist at all, whether they're practical, and why Apple are suck dicks -- the latter of which wasn't much of a debate, since even Apple's biggest fans admit that they can be...well, you know.)

    But this is also why MSFT's key non-OS software is increasingly going subscription. Not just for maximizing revenue over time, but for minimizing very, very real risks. The risk to Microsoft being delisted has implications for world markets, and is just too big to ignore, even for a company that has built its business model on openness. These risks are new, so the response is new.

    But to the original point, saying that openness "can't" be achieved really is demonstrably nonsense. But this is an overlong, overly complex, but not entirely delusional look at the why of the thing.

    As always, I heartily invite corrections. This stuff really is interesting to me, and there's no telling what I got wrong until you actually tell me. LOL


    Return to posts index