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Lance Bachelder
Great FCPX Event today in Hollywood!
on Mar 7, 2015 at 11:48:24 pm
Last Edited By Lance Bachelder on Mar 7, 2015 at 11:48:54 pm

Special thanks to Michael Cioni of Light Iron for a really well organized and informative event in Hollywood today. I got there before 10AM and there were already over 100 people in line. I really think this will be bigger than the Cold Mountain story had on FCP3 as hundreds turned out to learn about the workflow on FOCUS. LightIron, ARRI and yes even APPLE were there showing the post benefits of FCPX and ProRes.

1st Asst. Editor Mike Maztdorff showing some FCPX workflow tips at the morning reception:


It was at a Vegas premiere that I resolved to become an avid FCPX user.

Lance Bachelder
Writer, Editor, Director
Downtown Long Beach, California
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1680680/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Great FCPX Event today in Hollywood!
on Mar 8, 2015 at 12:40:58 am

We really should've done a better job of coordinating a COW meet up. Well, that's assuming we actually want to meet each other! haha I found Bill, but no one else.

I too thought the event was well done. Good job to Light Iron for coordinating/hosting it. The presentation broader in scope than I had anticipated which means there wasn't a lot of nitty-gritty detail but the book and the FCP.co articles can fill in those gaps.


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Charlie Austin
Re: Great FCPX Event today in Hollywood!
on Mar 8, 2015 at 12:50:48 am

It was good wasn't it? Great turnout too. Nice to see some X skeptics there, and interested, as well. :-)

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

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


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Scott Witthaus
Re: Great FCPX Event today in Hollywood!
on Mar 8, 2015 at 2:09:32 am

Wait. FCPX and Hollywood? That just can't be! I mean, really...

;-)

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


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Charlie Austin
Re: Great FCPX Event today in Hollywood!
on Mar 8, 2015 at 3:30:22 am

[Scott Witthaus] "Wait. FCPX and Hollywood? That just can't be! I mean, really..."

lol, I know huh? Seriously though, while light iron was obviously interested in selling their services, and Apple was there with hardware and running demos, this really was about the process of using FCP X in the workflow of the film. And from the point of view of the folks involved (co-director, producer, editorial, color, DIT etc) it was nothing like the Cold Mountain Clusterf*ck. Not without hiccups, but they really enjoyed it. The editor described it as "the happiest year of my life".

Anyway, pretty cool event, and there was free lunch as well. Very important! :-)

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

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


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Great FCPX Event today in Hollywood!
on Mar 8, 2015 at 3:47:17 am

[Charlie Austin] "Anyway, pretty cool event, and there was free lunch as well. Very important! :-)"

More important than the free lunch was the free beer!


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Scott Witthaus
Re: Great FCPX Event today in Hollywood!
on Mar 8, 2015 at 12:25:05 pm

[Charlie Austin] "The editor described it as "the happiest year of my life"."

Ddi the editor talk about his/her experience in the past? What platforms, software, etc.. And why this year was so happy?

I was at a Sony /Avid 4k thing last week and the Avid demo artist just went through a list of features. I think she must have been tired. She just read off a piece of paper and it was like "oh this is cool, you can go to this menu and change ratio...." That type of demo. Nothing inspiring. Would be interesting to know why that Focus editor was so happy.

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


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Lance Bachelder
Re: Great FCPX Event today in Hollywood!
on Mar 8, 2015 at 4:20:47 pm

The Directors are also Guild Editors so along with Editor Jan Kovac and 1st Asst. Michael Matzdorff, all praised FCPX over all otter NLE's they've used and said they figured there was a 3 to 1 less clicks ratio advantage over Avid.

They all liked it enough that they're already using it on their next feature and Warner Bros. is totally cool with it. They also mentioned Dean Devlin is cutting his next feature on it also.

It was at a Vegas premiere that I resolved to become an avid FCPX user.

Lance Bachelder
Writer, Editor, Director
Downtown Long Beach, California
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1680680/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1


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tony west
Re: Great FCPX Event today in Hollywood!
on Mar 8, 2015 at 4:54:57 pm

[Lance Bachelder] " Dean Devlin is cutting his next feature on it also."

Lance, is this the same guy that was on Leverage? Wasn't that an X show?


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Lance Bachelder
Re: Great FCPX Event today in Hollywood!
on Mar 8, 2015 at 5:17:56 pm

Yes and there's a profile for his studio on the FCP site. Probably his next movie "Geostorm"? He wasn't at the event but apparently its a Warners show so FCPX alive and well on the lot.

It was at a Vegas premiere that I resolved to become an avid FCPX user.

Lance Bachelder
Writer, Editor, Director
Downtown Long Beach, California
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1680680/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1


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Charlie Austin
Re: Great FCPX Event today in Hollywood!
on Mar 8, 2015 at 5:26:45 pm

[Lance Bachelder] "Yes and there's a profile for his studio on the FCP site. Probably his next movie "Geostorm"? He wasn't at the event but apparently its a Warners show so FCPX alive and well on the lot.
"


Yep. and Ficarra and Requas next film, cutting in X with the same editor, is for Paramount, so clearly the "x isn't for pros" stigma is wearing off...

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

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


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Charlie Austin
Re: Great FCPX Event today in Hollywood!
on Mar 8, 2015 at 5:56:41 pm

[Scott Witthaus] "And why this year was so happy?
"


I dunno, I have his contact info so maybe I'll ask him. :-)

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

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


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Great FCPX Event today in Hollywood!
on Mar 8, 2015 at 7:11:27 pm

[Scott Witthaus] "I was at a Sony /Avid 4k thing last week and the Avid demo artist just went through a list of features. I think she must have been tired. She just read off a piece of paper and it was like "oh this is cool, you can go to this menu and change ratio...." That type of demo. Nothing inspiring. Would be interesting to know why that Focus editor was so happy."

I think that can just be the difference between a demo artist who's made the same speech 100 times before and possibly never used/needed the features they are demoing. Where as a user, if they have a really good experience, will have an really good story to go along with it.

For example, the first time I made multicam clips in Premiere Pro CC I wanted to jump up and hug the iMac I was working on. I was completely floored that, literally, what would've been hours worth of work in Avid or FCP 7 was done in minutes in PPro. The producers I was with were like "Yeah, that's pretty neat." and I was like, "Man, you are not appreciating the mountain of awesome that towers before us!"

Prepping for multicam was one of the few things I truly loathed while working as an AE and the fact that PPro (and FCP X) have made the task almost completely automated and much more flexible (ex. being able to tweak things after the fact if need be) is freaking amazing. It's been nearly a year and half since my first experience with the multicam in PPro and I still get excited when I think about it and will talk your ear off if you give me the chance. ;)


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Scott Witthaus
Re: Great FCPX Event today in Hollywood!
on Mar 9, 2015 at 11:58:16 am

[Andrew Kimery] "I think that can just be the difference between a demo artist who's made the same speech 100 times before and possibly never used/needed the features they are demoing. Where as a user, if they have a really good experience, will have an really good story to go along with it."

I agree. If this Avid demo artist could have wrapped a workflow, or even a real world project into her demo, it would have been much more effective. As it was, she didn't sell any MC subscriptions that day.

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


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Great FCPX Event today in Hollywood!
on Mar 10, 2015 at 12:18:19 am

[Scott Witthaus] "I agree. If this Avid demo artist could have wrapped a workflow, or even a real world project into her demo, it would have been much more effective. As it was, she didn't sell any MC subscriptions that day."

During the X panel there was a rep from Arri that gave a short presentation and he was very nervous. Good technical info but the DP from Focus probably could have done a better job at 'selling' the camera than the official rep did.


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Bill Davis
Re: Great FCPX Event today in Hollywood!
on Mar 8, 2015 at 2:09:51 am

Really fun day! Got to hang with Andrew and Patrick and Leo and others. Matzdorff was kinda mobbed so all I had time to do was wave hi and goodbye. Bummed I missed others. Only sorry we didn't do something formal-er as well. Phil and Greg were generous to provide transport - and Mike Horton joined us for for beers. Felt a bit ike a mini NAB preview. Based on what was said from the stage, a big day for X. Cioni's talk about "cost per frame" and the general tone of how after all the testing and tuning, X turned in a stellar workflow performance on Focus was really nice to hear. And not just from one perspective, but department after department. Stage mention of Dean Devlins next project and other hints say this will not be a one time thing. There appears to be a legitimate new workflow in town. Who knows what's next in FCPX land.

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


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Mark Raudonis
Re: Great FCPX Event today in Hollywood!
on Mar 8, 2015 at 6:51:59 am

My favorite line of the day from Mr. Cioni: "Don't settle for a "default future"!

That's good advice for everything in life... not just post production.



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Lance Bachelder
Re: Great FCPX Event today in Hollywood!
on Mar 8, 2015 at 8:02:12 am

I concur Mark - I was sitting there in the theater (2 seats from you by the way) thinking this guys the next CEO of Apple - very inspiring. His company/staff was just on it al day - far better than many of the NAB seminars etc.

It was at a Vegas premiere that I resolved to become an avid FCPX user.

Lance Bachelder
Writer, Editor, Director
Downtown Long Beach, California
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1680680/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1


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Charlie Austin
Re: Great FCPX Event today in Hollywood!
on Mar 8, 2015 at 8:09:05 pm

[Mark Raudonis] ""Don't settle for a "default future"!"

Here's an interesting Comparison... Both= Focus and Gone Girl cut on "unproven NLE's. Bothe were chosen in some degree to suit workflow needs, Pr for AE integration, X for the ability to collaborate and cut with camera original media. However, I think these quotes give a good comparison of a big difference in why they chose a particular NLE...

Gone Girl Editor: "As an editing platform, it's similar to the others I use,"

Focus Director: "We worked with Avid editors on our features and it struck us that things just hadn’t progressed. There was this huge reinvention of how you edit and then it stopped. We had shot a movie digitally, but it felt as if we were still cutting on a flatbed."

Kind of interesting. The Focus director said he started using X because everyone hated it.. :-)

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

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


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Charlie Austin
Re: Great FCPX Event today in Hollywood!
on Mar 8, 2015 at 11:05:48 pm

You can't hide Ubsdell, I get email notifications! ;-) FWIW, I wasn't commenting on the quality of the product no matter what they used, from razor blades and tape to todays fancy digital thingies, I just thought it was an interesting philosophical contrast. :-)

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

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


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Great FCPX Event today in Hollywood!
on Mar 9, 2015 at 4:39:46 am

[Charlie Austin] "Kind of interesting. The Focus director said he started using X because everyone hated it.. :-)"

Given the 'pirate' attitude they talked about I was surprised they shot on Arri (one of the oldest of the old guard) as opposed to, say, RED. And, interesting enough, Gone Girl shot on RED (though I think that was more for the 6K than for Jannard's attitude). ;)


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TImothy Auld
Re: Great FCPX Event today in Hollywood!
on Mar 10, 2015 at 12:45:44 am

In all of this did anyone notice that Panavision had purchased Light Iron?

Tim


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Great FCPX Event today in Hollywood!
on Mar 10, 2015 at 12:55:21 am

[TImothy Auld] "In all of this did anyone notice that Panavision had purchased Light Iron?"

Until you mentioned it I had forgotten about that. Though there was a thread about it when it happened.
https://forums.creativecow.net/thread/335/75741#75741


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Great FCPX Event today in Hollywood!
on Mar 10, 2015 at 3:40:36 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "Given the 'pirate' attitude they talked about I was surprised they shot on Arri (one of the oldest of the old guard) as opposed to, say, RED. And, interesting enough, Gone Girl shot on RED (though I think that was more for the 6K than for Jannard's attitude). ;)"

The Alexa is hardly old guard.

The Alexa is very easy to use, produces awesome imagery, and has a very easy workflow. Sound familiar? :)


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Great FCPX Event today in Hollywood!
on Mar 10, 2015 at 4:34:48 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "The Alexa is hardly old guard.

The Alexa is very easy to use, produces awesome imagery, and has a very easy workflow. Sound familiar? :)"


Arri has been in the motion picture camera business since the early 1900s. If that doesn't qualify as old guard, I don't know what would. ;)

I'd argue a large part of their success in going digital is because they gave post and production a camera and workflow that seems familiar (as opposed to REDs approach of trying to blow the whole thing up).


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Tim Wilson
Re: Great FCPX Event today in Hollywood!
on Mar 10, 2015 at 7:07:13 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "Arri has been in the motion picture camera business since the early 1900s. If that doesn't qualify as old guard, I don't know what would. ;)"

For film cameras, obviously, but hey, Apple has been around since 1976. In tech years, that's ancient. Certainly longer than Adobe, Avid, Pro Tools, Autodesk, and virtually any company here but the Japanese camera makers among us.

Microsoft is only 1 year older than Apple. HP workstations didn't come along until the 80s. Olllllld guard.

The point about Alexa NOT being in the old guard is that she was the first digital camera to record to ProRes. At Alexa's launch, she ONLY recorded to ProRes. Not the case anymore of course, but still. Hardly the behavior of the old guard.

Old guard thinking is sticking to RAW and proprietary formats, and trying to strong-arm manufacturers into supporting it. How many camera companies have done this over the years? Until Alexa, damn near all of them.

New guard thinking is to let customers dictate your corporate strategies -- which both Blackmagic and AJA (who of course pioneered hardware encoding to ProRes) learned from Alexa very, very well indeed.

Alexa remains critical to messaging about FCP/FCPX workflows because roughly 90% of episodic shooting is on Alexa, and while I don't have specific numbers, she dominates feature shooting as well. Not walking hand in hand with Alexa means marginalization, full stop.

NOT because Alexa is old guard, but because she combines the benefits of old guard commitment to imaging, with cutting edge adoption of and adaptation to what customers are actually doing, and want they want to do going forward.

Hence the "late" introduction of Alexa five years AFTER Red, but leaving it in the dust. Red is still trying to force old guard, workaround-laden workflows, and Alexa is way, way ahead of the game.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Great FCPX Event today in Hollywood!
on Mar 10, 2015 at 7:17:34 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "
Arri has been in the motion picture camera business since the early 1900s. If that doesn't qualify as old guard, I don't know what would. ;)"


Arri is an old company with a rich history. Sure.

The Arri Alexa is not an old camera.

I think there's a big difference. The thought and engineering that went in to the Alexa (and now the Amira) does not represent a company that is relying on the 1900s for inspiration.

The Alexa does borrow what works well on a film workflow, from exposure, to ergonomics, to color science, but adopts fairly easy digital workflows for modern post. It uses Sony SxS cards that can be used in other cameras, it shoots to ProRes, DNxHD, and Raw.

Red, on the other hand, has a different workflow where it puts Raw and pixel size, first and foremost, and all that comes with it.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Great FCPX Event today in Hollywood!
on Mar 10, 2015 at 7:53:33 pm

Oops. As always, Tim Wilson said it better.


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Great FCPX Event today in Hollywood!
on Mar 10, 2015 at 8:24:01 pm

Tim and Jeremy,

At the Focus event there was lot of rhetoric from the presenters (well, not the Arri presenter) about wanting to rock the boat, wanting to be pirates, not doing their jobs unless they are making people uncomfortable, etc., and that's what I'm riffing on (though it obviously wouldn't be apparent if you weren't at the presentation). It's the posturing, not the product choices that caught my attention. I mean, when was the last time choosing to shoot a feature film on an Arri camera was a rebellious, radical, middle-finger-to-the-establishment decision?

If the Focus teams said they set out to pick the bets tools for the job then that's one thing, but if you are selling yourself as a rebellious pirate bent on disrupting the status quo then, I'm sorry, you can't pick the most popular d-cinema camera made by one of the oldest companies in the film biz.haha Just doesn't fit the mantra. I dunno... maybe I'm just becoming more allergic to BS hyperbole in my old age. ;)

Arri set out too make a great digital camera that could easily slip in to existing production and post workflows where as Apple set out to make a great NLE that would disrupt existing workflows. Sometimes very good products come from relatively young companies, sometimes very good products come from relatively old companies. Sometimes very good products cause disruption and sometimes very good products fit in to place without anyone missing a beat.

For the record, the Arri D-20 (2005) predates the RED One (2007).


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Tim Wilson
Re: Great FCPX Event today in Hollywood!
on Mar 10, 2015 at 9:05:57 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "For the record, the Arri D-20 (2005) predates the RED One (2007)."

Yes, and D-20 is the quintessential old guard camera. Exactly the kind of camera you'd expect ARRI to produce, exactly the kind of camera that Red could plow under the ground in short order. And did.

I don't think it's fair to expect cameras to flip the bird. Which is the camera that did that? Red. Still flipping the bird. Yes, and innovating, with much innovating ahead of it. No disrespect intended. Fincher has been using them to fantastic effect.

(But, uhm, who else? Surely someone, but I can't think who.)

So I AM making the observation that ARRI flipped the bird to other camera makers with Alexa. Maybe not flipping the bird as much as "throwing down," an image I've always loved. Completely upended the entire approach to customers, including the relationship of camera makers to NLE developers. On the camera front, they forced even the "little guys" to meet them on ground that ARRI defined.

(Although ARRI DID keep the model of RENTAL. That's why most Alexa customers don't care what the sale price is. The client rents, not buys, and the client foots the rental bill, not the DP...and the client leases Alexa because it's cheaper than buying a similarly capable camera. Including Red.)

Maybe it's because of the difference in our ages -- I'm old enough to be your father, so get off my lawn -- but I don't think that disruption requires a middle finger. Which middle finger did Apple flip when they introduced iPhone? None of them.

The other thing to keep in mind is that, until BMD and now AJA, even the "flip your middle finger" smaller cameras all sat in the old guard space -- "We pick OUR footage format to cheat in favor of our own imagers. Working with it is YOUR problem."

I'm conceding that on the whole, cameras don't lend themselves to flipping the bird. But my point is that there are still baseline requirements for making big-time, big-budget pictures.

The point of X on Focus is NOT that "we can make a guerilla-style run and gun feature with X." The point of X on Focus is that we can do exactly what we need to do in order for X to be at the heart of big-budget blockbuster filmmaking. And for that, you need grown-up, get off my lawn, images.

After all, Cold Mountain was shot on film. And for that matter, it wasn't the first feature cut with FCP. Who remembers Roger Avary's Rules of Attraction? Cut on FCP a full year before Cold Mountain, but it didn't move the needle. No feature shot on DV was EVER going to move the needle.

For that matter, Apple enthusiast Steven Soderbergh shot Full Frontal on DV at the same time Avary was shooting Rules of Attraction...and DP Soderbergh never asked Director/Producer Soderbergh to shoot DV again. DV was nominally revolutionary, but not in any way practical except for non-mainstream uses.

And the most revolutionary aspects of Cold Mountain and Focus is that they're mainstream. Big stars, big budgets, large format theaters, the whole thang.

Making the irony that, for maximum revolutionary bang for the NLE, the rest of the project has to flip the fewest birds possible. Or else the use of the NLE is part of the entire story of "this picture doesn't really matter for changing the game." That is, you have to PLAY the game to CHANGE the game.


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Great FCPX Event today in Hollywood!
on Mar 10, 2015 at 9:47:41 pm

[Tim Wilson] "I don't think it's fair to expect cameras to flip the bird."

I'm not expecting camera makers (or any other manufacturer) to flip the bird. I'm just pointing out that a group of self-professed pirate rebel disruptors of the status quo opted to use a camera that is as accepted by the establishment as their choice of NLE is rejected by the establishment.

It's like finding out Evil Knievel's favorite car is a nice, safe Volvo sedan. lol

[Tim Wilson] "The point of X on Focus is NOT that "we can make a guerilla-style run and gun feature with X." The point of X on Focus is that we can do exactly what we need to do in order for X to be at the heart of big-budget blockbuster filmmaking."

The presenters at the event repeatedly referred to themselves pirates (and had repeated calls to action for all the other 'pirates' in the audience) and if they weren't doing/saying things that made other people uncomfortable they weren't doing their jobs. Their words, not mine. RED, which makes nice looking images too, would fit that mantra better than Arri, IMO. Does it really matter? No, just an observation I had while at the event.

[Tim Wilson] "I don't think that disruption requires a middle finger."

Neither do I, which is why I'm enjoying poking fun at some of the over-the-top rhetoric used by the presenters. The apparent smoothness of using X on Focus speaks for itself so the rhetoric, IMO, was unnecessary. The crowd ate it up though so maybe I'm just not the target demo for that line of salesmanship.


Coming back full circle, Charlie made the observation that while both Gone Girl and Focus used 'unproven' NLEs, Gone Girl went a more traditional route with PPro and Focus went a less traditional (some might say hated) route with X. In a cheeky response I just pointed out that when it came to the camera decision the roles seemed reversed.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Great FCPX Event today in Hollywood!
on Mar 10, 2015 at 11:17:13 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "At the Focus event there was lot of rhetoric from the presenters (well, not the Arri presenter) about wanting to rock the boat, wanting to be pirates, not doing their jobs unless they are making people uncomfortable, etc., and that's what I'm riffing on (though it obviously wouldn't be apparent if you weren't at the presentation). It's the posturing, not the product choices that caught my attention. I mean, when was the last time choosing to shoot a feature film on an Arri camera was a rebellious, radical, middle-finger-to-the-establishment decision?

If the Focus teams said they set out to pick the bets tools for the job then that's one thing, but if you are selling yourself as a rebellious pirate bent on disrupting the status quo then, I'm sorry, you can't pick the most popular d-cinema camera made by one of the oldest companies in the film biz.haha Just doesn't fit the mantra."


I see. Well, yes. I wasn't there so I do not have the luxury of the presentation perspective.

In general, picking "Apple" (like picking "Arri") is a pretty safe bet, Apple computers (devoid of Apple NLEs) have a long standing film and digital film track record and pedigree. Picking the specific tool, (FCPX) is no where near as safe.

Not only that, for 85% of the film they used ProRes 4444, another Apple pick, rather than ARRIRAW (which they saved for VFX).

So while The Alexa has roots in an 'old guard' company, you could say that FCPX is from an 'old guard' company relative to their respective industries and time on Earth. What isn't old guard is the physical tool. The Alexa is tested, X is not. Not only that, they has to run this up the flag pole and get a studio to support them. That couldn't have been very easy and it included a contingency plan of getting the whole feature back to FCP7 if needed.

[Andrew Kimery] "Arri set out too make a great digital camera that could easily slip in to existing production and post workflows where as Apple set out to make a great NLE that would disrupt existing workflows. Sometimes very good products come from relatively young companies, sometimes very good products come from relatively old companies. Sometimes very good products cause disruption and sometimes very good products fit in to place without anyone missing a beat.
"


Arri's camera fit in to NEW existing workflows. Workflows where the offline and the online are not that far away from each other, where editorial and finishing are using the exact same media, where editing is happening right next to the set. That is a relatively new concept, and ProRes 444 with FCPX fits really well here, even on the consumer iMac computers being used on set. It's not that other NLE's couldn't do this, it's that FCPX can do this, and the Arri Alexa helps them to do this in a pretty efficient manner at an extremely high quality.

I think the pirate comments are more about choosing FCPX and getting a studio to OK it, flying in the face of the internet backlash from professionals with loud typing voices that have been against the notion of FCPX from the very first day it was shown to the public.


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Great FCPX Event today in Hollywood!
on Mar 11, 2015 at 4:25:53 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "...it's that FCPX can do this, and the Arri Alexa helps them to do this in a pretty efficient manner at an extremely high quality."

And I'm certainly not trying undermine anything the team did. At the time it was just a weird juxtaposition where there was a lot of talk about all these readily available tools (iMacs, iPads, FCP X, a laundry list of apps from the Mac App Store, etc.,) and then Arri. Suddenly the "one of the these things is not like the others" song from Sesame Street starts playing in my head. haha

Speaking of the online workflow though, both the editor and director commented more than once about how easy it was to switch from the full res to the proxy files w/in FCP X which makes me think they utilized that somewhat often. With editing collaboration happening offsite it would make sense for the full res files just to exist onsite and for people to take the proxies w/them for offsite work. I didn't ask though so I don't know how often (and for what purposes) they switched between the online and offline quality footage.


[Jeremy Garchow] "I think the pirate comments are more about choosing FCPX and getting a studio to OK it, flying in the face of the internet backlash from professionals with loud typing voices that have been against the notion of FCPX from the very first day it was shown to the public."

They also dislike the current state of post audio (really, really dislike the current state of post audio) and I think any part of the workflow that isn't electronic. lol


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Great FCPX Event today in Hollywood!
on Mar 11, 2015 at 5:42:46 pm
Last Edited By Jeremy Garchow on Mar 11, 2015 at 5:43:20 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "And I'm certainly not trying undermine anything the team did. At the time it was just a weird juxtaposition where there was a lot of talk about all these readily available tools (iMacs, iPads, FCP X, a laundry list of apps from the Mac App Store, etc.,) and then Arri. Suddenly the "one of the these things is not like the others" song from Sesame Street starts playing in my head. haha"

I guess we feel differently about the Alexa in general. I see it, albeit rather expensive to shoot and rent on a day to day basis, as a very accessible and rather easy to use tool with exceptional quality. As Tim W points out, there's a reason the Alexa is so pervasive, and besides the image quality, it's also the workflow.

There's a big difference when using off the shelf production gear (let's just say something like a DSLR) and off the shelf post-production gear. It goes to show what a lot of us have been arguing over the last few years. How much of a sizzle core beast do you need to edit (truly edit) a feature? If you use the big budget movie of Focus as the example, it turns out, you just enough of snazzle and not a metric ton of sizzle, and yet you still are able to pass the quality on to the finish (which in this case was Pablo).

For cameras, on the other hand, there's a big difference between The Alexa and a DSLR. One day soon, those two technologies will also converge. We all know it's already starting to happen.

I wonder if you are you saying that FCPX isn't up to the task because it uses off the shelf hardware? I'd say that the Focus team proved that it could be done, and it took a lot of "yarrrrrggs!" to convince both the studio and the editing public. But even I don't think there'd be enough parrots and peg legs to persuade them to shoot on a DSLR.


[Andrew Kimery] "They also dislike the current state of post audio (really, really dislike the current state of post audio) and I think any part of the workflow that isn't electronic. lol"

Can you explain what you mean by this? Meaning they didn't use Sync-N-Link at first?


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Tim Wilson
Re: Great FCPX Event today in Hollywood!
on Mar 11, 2015 at 6:03:48 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] " it took a lot of "yarrrrrggs!" to convince both the studio and the editing public."

You're exactly right, illustrating to me exactly where this metaphor falls completely apart for me. The filmmakers are all "Woo-hoo! We're pirates! We chose X to piss people off!" or whatever, but you know what? Pirates used the same boats the navies did, maybe just better tuned to the task. But the reason they were able to run from navies is because their ships were state of the art, and every bit as expensive.

Not only were they no less pirates for those ships, those ships are all that enabled them to BE pirates. That, and pirate-y attitudes and, uhm, workflows. The pirate part is who's ON the ship...but no fancy ship, no pirates.

That's why Alexa and Pablo have ZERO to do with whether or not these guys were pirates. I'm 100% on board with acknowledging them as pirates (see what I did there?), but expecting them to have used cheap cameras or cheap DI to maintain pirate cred is the OPPOSITE of what a pirate would do in this situation. Can't be running on the high seas with DV.

I know I'm belaboring a metaphor...but maybe THAT's what we should rename the forum. FCPX or Not: Belaboring Metaphors.

I do think this is an important one, though, and it speaks to the fundamental nature of a revolution like this, which necessarily includes absolutely state of the art tools. The point of the Focus with X story is to establish that X absolutely IS state of the art.

I mean, they're no less pirate-y for using Technocranes or a video village, either.


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Great FCPX Event today in Hollywood!
on Mar 12, 2015 at 12:12:23 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "I guess we feel differently about the Alexa in general. I see it, albeit rather expensive to shoot and rent on a day to day basis, as a very accessible and rather easy to use tool with exceptional quality. As Tim W points out, there's a reason the Alexa is so pervasive, and besides the image quality, it's also the workflow."

Maybe I spent too much time at REDUser back in the day and that warped my perception of Alexa. ;)

My not-big-budget narrative background might have something to do with it as well. On low budget narrative projects I've been a part of (typically as a colorist, not an editor) I'm used to online quality media being used throughout because the infrastructure and organization wasn't in place to facilitate an offline/online workflow. They'd rather spend more money on a faster computer and some bigger, better drives than have to deal with the offline/online process. It also seemed archaic to many of them since they came up during the digital revolution so shooting to a tape/card/drive and plugging that footage straight into the NLE was the normal thing to do.

When RED came along this same market was super excited at the price point and the quality of the footage. The RAW workflow was especially alluring since it offered more control over the image than the cameras they were used to which typically baked in Rec 709/601. Since then more cameras have starting shooting in some form of LOG so you get a happy medium between an easy to handle codec (as opposed to RAW) that is stuck in 709/601.

Where am I going with this? I have no idea. I stopped mid-post to feed the baby and completely lost my train of thought. I think I was just trying to give backstory on my perception of Arri, but lord only knows at this point. Feel free to correct anything I've gotten wrong here as the camera side isn't my forte though I do try and keep tabs on it.

[Jeremy Garchow] "I wonder if you are you saying that FCPX isn't up to the task because it uses off the shelf hardware? "

I never said (or meant to imply) that X wasn't up for the task. For what the Focus team wanted it was obviously up to the task. As far as off the shelf hardware goes, I feel like editorial has commonly been using off the shelf machines for at least a decade now. When I think of off the shelf I basically think any computer that can be readily purchased from a major supplier so, to me, even a super expensive nMP is still an off the shelf machine. Not off the shelf machines would be the SGI Octane boxes running IRIX that Smoke used to require or the heavy Resolve users that run Linux rigs with PCI expansion boxes. Maybe even Avid back before they started selling MC as software only (even though those were pretty much still off the shelf computers that just had Avid's BOB).


[Jeremy Garchow] "Can you explain what you mean by this? Meaning they didn't use Sync-N-Link at first?"

I don't have much detail, just that the director of Focus seemed very annoyed at the ubiquitousness of ProTools. If someone in attendance could have offered a viable alternative I think the director would've hired that person on the spot.


[Tim Wilson] "Pirates used the same boats the navies did, maybe just better tuned to the task. But the reason they were able to run from navies is because their ships were state of the art, and every bit as expensive."

The pirates in Captain Philips looked decidedly low-tech. ;)


I make one off the cuff remark and it completely hijacks the thread. I love this forum.


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Great FCPX Event today in Hollywood!
on Mar 12, 2015 at 3:53:33 am

Since they are shooting their current film on 'pirate cameras' (Blackmagic Pocket camera and a Sony A7S) I can now overlook their use of the mainstream, no-one-ever-got-fired-for-using-an-Arri Alexa on Focus. ;)

"The directors are currently in Santa Fe, where they are filming a new untitled comedy with Tina Fey.

They are shooting it on the Blackmagic pocket cinema camera, and the Sony A7S mirrorless digital camera, and editing on Final Cut again."

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


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Great FCPX Event today in Hollywood!
on Mar 12, 2015 at 4:12:06 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "They are shooting it on the Blackmagic pocket cinema camera,"

I wish them the best.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Great FCPX Event today in Hollywood!
on Mar 12, 2015 at 4:11:04 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "Maybe I spent too much time at REDUser back in the day and that warped my perception of Alexa. ;) "

It all makes sense now!

[Andrew Kimery] "When RED came along this same market was super excited at the price point and the quality of the footage. The RAW workflow was especially alluring since it offered more control over the image than the cameras they were used to which typically baked in Rec 709/601. Since then more cameras have starting shooting in some form of LOG so you get a happy medium between an easy to handle codec (as opposed to RAW) that is stuck in 709/601.

Where am I going with this? I have no idea. I stopped mid-post to feed the baby and completely lost my train of thought. I think I was just trying to give backstory on my perception of Arri, but lord only knows at this point. Feel free to correct anything I've gotten wrong here as the camera side isn't my forte though I do try and keep tabs on it.
"


Ha! It wont be the last time that happens.

Getting off on yet another tangent, I think Red sold the indie dream for a really long time (4k for 4k, or 3k for 3k). Arri didn't have to. The ease of us of the Alexa vs the entire ramp up of the Red workflow didn't really compare, at least in my experience. The Red camera took a lot of study to families yourself with it. What button does what, what slider does what, what the FLUT does what? The Arri is much more of a film borrowed workflow. Pick an ASA, pick a color space, and shoot it. You can almost expose by eye, if it looks good there, it's going to look good later, and the idea of pushing and pulling exposure holds up in an Arri based workflow. Red has many steps in the process where that process is much harder to deal with and understand. The argument, though, is that since it's RAW, you can "redevelop" the footage to get what you need as long as it's not entirely over exposed.

Sure, Red was a more affordable camera (was, it isn't so much anymore as both companies offer some similar price points) but a Red workflow required lots of transcoding time. And if you didn't have that time, then you had to buy a Red coprocessor for a decent chunk of change. If you needed multiple computers to access the red raw footage, then you needed multiple red coprocessors for multiple decent chunks of change.

On the other hand, someone could hand you ProRes based Alexa footage without knowing a single things about Alexa footage, and you could import and start editing right away without any fuss and all at exceptional quality. You would have to figure out to put on a LUT, but that's really easy, easier than ever in FCPX, certainly.

Both cameras take fantastic pictures. They both deserve a lot of credit, but Arri did have the luxury of time while watching Red bumble around for while in the early days. Then there was corporate espionage, and the whole thing turned even weirder.

[Andrew Kimery] "I never said (or meant to imply) that X wasn't up for the task. For what the Focus team wanted it was obviously up to the task. As far as off the shelf hardware goes, I feel like editorial has commonly been using off the shelf machines for at least a decade now."

I guess I am still hung up on the "one of these things is not like the other" pirate comment. I wasn't there so again, I am probably missing the subtleties but I would assume they see themselves as 'pirates' because they took a chance on a product that was pretty much bad mouthed from day one, and ended up not only liking it, but introducing it on a big stage with the backing of a studio with big money. I'd feel like a pirate, too.

[Andrew Kimery] "[Jeremy Garchow] "Can you explain what you mean by this? Meaning they didn't use Sync-N-Link at first?"

I don't have much detail, just that the director of Focus seemed very annoyed at the ubiquitousness of ProTools. If someone in attendance could have offered a viable alternative I think the director would've hired that person on the spot."


Ah, got it. Thanks for clarifying.


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Great FCPX Event today in Hollywood!
on Mar 15, 2015 at 5:58:49 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "
Getting off on yet another tangent, I think Red sold the indie dream for a really long time (4k for 4k, or 3k for 3k). Arri didn't have to. The ease of us of the Alexa vs the entire ramp up of the Red workflow didn't really compare, at least in my experience."


I agree that RED's workflow was cumbersome. It certainly gave the user a lot of control but it took a lot of effort (relatively speaking). It was also constantly in flux. On one hand a lot of updates is good, but on the other hand trying to track what's going on becomes a full time job. After the RED One came out I tracked the workflow progress until the software hit build 15 or 16 and then I checked out. When I would get a RED project I would check-in, grab the latest software, see what the latest workflow was, etc.,, but I gave up trying to stay current all the time.

I guess that's the downside to being so 'open' with your process is that you drag the public though all the ugly iterations of the project. Some people love it though so horses for courses.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Great FCPX Event today in Hollywood!
on Mar 16, 2015 at 6:09:52 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "I guess that's the downside to being so 'open' with your process is that you drag the public though all the ugly iterations of the project. Some people love it though so horses for courses."

The folks that love it are the folks that have invested in Red gear. The others that don't necessarily love it (but don't hate it) don't want to buy Red gear! ;)


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Tim Wilson
Re: Great FCPX Event today in Hollywood!
on Mar 10, 2015 at 8:32:37 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Oops. As always, Tim Wilson said it better."

Longer, anyway. LOL


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Dean Neal
Re: Great FCPX Event today in Hollywood!
on Mar 11, 2015 at 3:54:21 am

I wonder how Aindreas Gallagher is these days?

Motion Pictures actually released with FCPX, Several TV Networks using the workflow including his beloved beeb.

:-)

Dean Neal...


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