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OT-ish: This can't be good

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Scott Witthaus
OT-ish: This can't be good
on Jun 27, 2016 at 10:46:55 pm

https://www.thelayoff.com/t/HT3mFz5

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


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Bob Zelin
Re: OT-ish: This can't be good
on Jun 28, 2016 at 1:39:08 am

I have heard all of this. Not only including Glass Door, but about reviews of AVID products on competing sites to Creative Cow that are not necessarily true.

But now matter what is said, there will remain the die-hard "don't you tell me - every major motion picture and TV show is edited on AVID Media Composer". They don't say that they don't own an AVID, but rent them from the large rental facilities in LA, that provide a temporary home for these AVID's while a show or movie is in production, and then go back to the rental warehouse. And certainly these rental facilities have no incentive to say "hey, you guys should really check out this cheaper and better system, so you can work more efficiently, and I can make less money on the rental".
And again - the die hards are all my age (over 45), with lots of experience (and lots of incentive to not learn anything new).

I lived thru this over and over again. Real movies and commercials could only be cut in film. Then on CMX. Then on AVID. And 4K and RED would never replace a 35 mm Arri or Panaflex. I was at a company today, where the excellent 30 year old editor simply REFUSES to learn Premiere (or X) because he just wants to use FCP 7. This trait defines getting old. Even if you are only 30.

And every "professional" knows that FCP-X, FCP 7, Premiere, Resolve, and everything else just sucks. See you gentlemen on the unemployment line.

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
bobzelin@icloud.com


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Neil Goodman
Re: OT-ish: This can't be good
on Jun 28, 2016 at 3:12:36 am
Last Edited By Neil Goodman on Jun 28, 2016 at 3:16:03 am

And apple has factory workers in China with horrible conditions where people are offing themselves. Whats worse? I dont know.

[Bob Zelin] "And again - the die hards are all my age (over 45), with lots of experience (and lots of incentive to not learn anything new). "

Im an avid "die hard" and I just turned 36. I know all the software packages including FCPX. I stay up to date.Call me crazy but I still choose Avid. The places Ive worked all choose Avid. I mkae more scrilla using an Avid. What can you do?

Every big corporation's has layoffs. I've skated through 5 of them myslef and seen great friends lifes change in an instant after 20 years of solid serice. Its just the way it works when that much money if flowing around and someone has an idea on how to save more.


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Darren Roark
Re: OT-ish: This can't be good
on Jun 28, 2016 at 4:17:26 am

[Neil Goodman] "And apple has factory workers in China with horrible conditions where people are offing themselves. Whats worse? I dont know. "

That is a misleading oversimplification of the situation. The claims that Mike Daisey sensationalized ended up being false to the point that "This American Life" and NPR had to issue full apologies after he admitted to making most of it up when they fact checked his claims.

The labor laws in China are deplorable, so much so that getting jobs at foxconn are considered the best of an otherwise terrible reality. People camp out just to apply as Apple sets much higher standards for their vendor's factories than what is legally required there.

People keep saying the 5K iMac is the one to get, but I sleep a tiny bit better knowing my 'trash can' was assembled in Texas.


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Andrew Kimery
Re: OT-ish: This can't be good
on Jun 28, 2016 at 4:50:07 am

Not good, though if we thought FCP 7 was a Zombie program I can only imagine how long MC will keep going if it's plug suddenly gets pulled.


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Darren Roark
Re: OT-ish: This can't be good
on Jun 28, 2016 at 4:52:56 am

[Andrew Kimery] "I can only imagine how long MC will keep going if it's plug suddenly gets pulled."

If it's anything like how long people are keeping ScriptSync alive by not updating MC or their OS, probably quite a while. Yeesh.


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Tim Wilson
Re: OT-ish: This can't be good
on Jun 28, 2016 at 7:34:50 am

[Darren Roark] "[Andrew Kimery] "I can only imagine how long MC will keep going if it's plug suddenly gets pulled."

If it's anything like how long people are keeping ScriptSync alive by not updating MC or their OS, probably quite a while. Yeesh."


If the timetable is anything like FCP Legend, we can assume its post-plug-pulled life is >5 years.

Of course, there's still a long, long way from an unspecified number of layoffs to the end of active MC development. I didn't see anything in the snapshot linked even hinting that the cuts are overweighted in engineering.

On the contrary, Avid development is on a huge roll right now. Did you really check out Avid's NAB stories? Hugely ambitious, with a scope all-but-unmatched in a year of largely incremental announcements elsewhere. As I wrote in my NAB summary, I'm a huge fan of increments, but I'll add here that I'm also a fan of swinging for the fences. My summary included some very specific examples of Avid doing exactly that.

Again speaking only on the basis of a couple of paragraphs, I don't see any evidence that, after going pedal to the metal for a very long time to bring those product lines to fruition, non-specified (and as yet unconfirmed??) layoffs suggest that Avid is suddenly slamming the brakes on development.


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Scott Witthaus
Re: OT-ish: This can't be good
on Jun 28, 2016 at 1:20:17 pm

[Tim Wilson] "Avid development is on a huge roll right now. Did you really check out Avid's NAB stories? Hugely ambitious, with a scope all-but-unmatched in a year of largely incremental announcements elsewhere"

That's the problem, Tim. Avid is getting hammered for what many see as unrealistic goals based on the overall market and it's marketshare. I really don't think they have a vision of what the "restructured" Avid is going to look like in 2017. What is this "huge development" roll going to do right now? I mean, the PR department is pretty good because we see all these releases about what film was cut on Avid and that some community college in Connecticut just bought a storage system, but what is the goal in realistic terms?

They are losing money, taking on debt and still have another employee adjustment supposedly coming this week. Oh, and how about a forced furlough at the end of a financial quarter for upper ranks and a "suggested" furlough for lower ranks just to show their loyalty to the company just for yucks? All the while paying tens of millions of dollars out in upper management bonuses (and their CFO quit in April or sometime recently).

I made a good living on Avid up until about a decade ago when it started to become harder to find a system to use. I like the product with friends still working at Avid, but I am with Bob in that I think the company is rotten at many places at the top. It just feels like a "break up and sell" policy happening. Just my own humble opinion. It's gotta be a shitty place to work right now and if I am Adobe or BMD, I am doing what it takes to pick off the best and brightest left over there.

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


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Tim Wilson
Re: OT-ish: This can't be good
on Jun 28, 2016 at 6:50:51 pm
Last Edited By Tim Wilson on Jun 28, 2016 at 7:24:02 pm

[Scott Witthaus] "What is this "huge development" roll going to do right now? [...] What is the goal in realistic terms?
"


The goal is to keep going, which they will either do or not do. I have no predictions about that, except to observe that people have been saying that Avid is done for most of this century, yet on Avid chugs. They're not just talking about new stuff. They're delivering it. On time, performing to expectations.

My specific point is also that people are saying "No no no, wait a minute -- all those OTHER times I said that a new round of layoffs meant the end of Media Composer development and it didn't happen? Forget it. THIS is the round of layoffs that means the imminent end of Avid."

I have no way of knowing whether or not that's true, but neither do they. But I do have historical and current evidence on my side that development continues, for Media Composer, NEXIS, and every product line I can think of. (Not that I know all of Avid's product lines anymore. Does anyone?)

I'm going to go a step further. Given that this is the boldest we've seen Avid in years, and that they're actually delivering on these ambitious plans -- well, maybe, just maybe, the layoffs have been doing exactly what layoffs are intended to do: cut overhead, focus effort, and streamline efficient delivery of products to market.


[Scott Witthaus] "It's gotta be a shitty place to work right now "

I can easily imagine a certain amount of whistling past empty desks right now, for sure. But if I were a product person, I'd also look at what's been released in the past few months, and look at what's coming and think, wow, I'm working on cool stuff that customers like, and is being used in some cool places. And if I was in marketing or PR, I'd be thinking, wow, I have some cool stories to tell. That's rewarding.

Now, if C-level turmoil and lack of human resources were leading to slashed development, late, buggy releases, and customers at the gates with torches and pitchforks, that's different.

But the question raised earlier in the thread was, how much longer will people keep using MC after the plug is pulled? My answer is at least as long as FCP 7 post-plug-pulling....and I should add as per Darren's observation about ScriptSync etc, probably a lot longer than that....

...with a follow-up question whose answer I haven't seen yet: what's the evidence that THIS is the fatal blow? Or the one that leads more directly to the end of things than any previous blows?

Sure, there's new unpleasantness. This isn't the first time, though. I think it's remarkable that no matter what has happened with the stock, the corner offices, moving the offices to cheaper digs, on and on and on, there haven't been any significant deviations from a pretty cool march of fresh, timely development.

At what point do we get to call it a pattern that bad stuff happens to Avid, or that Avid does bad stuff to itself or whatever, yet they keep delivering the goods? Maybe there's more than one ball to keep one's eye on, but this IS one of the balls to keep an eye on. This is a different conversation when the products themselves start turning ugly.

In the meantime, what better does any of us have to do with our days than keep our eyes on both of Avid's balls? LOL

Maybe this will be THE unpleasantness that zombies them out. At some point, pretty much every doomsday scenario comes to pass. I'm just waiting to hear from somebody whose doomsaying has a record even close to Avid's record of delivering under dire business circumstances. So far, everyone who said that each of those other times was THE time is exactly oh-fer.


I'll note here what can easily be discerned by the most casual look at previous posts of mine: my prognostication track record is mixed at best. If anything is going to put Avid under, it's going to be my prediction that they're not done yet.


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Scott Witthaus
Re: OT-ish: This can't be good
on Jun 29, 2016 at 12:35:09 pm

[Tim Wilson] " Given that this is the boldest we've seen Avid in years, and that they're actually delivering on these ambitious plans -- well, maybe, just maybe, the layoffs have been doing exactly what layoffs are intended to do: cut overhead, focus effort, and streamline efficient delivery of products to market."

Wow. I disagree with a lot of what you say, but respect your opinion greatly. However, I see the company in a bad place, catering to the same niche market and losing it's identity elsewhere...and maybe Avid doesn't care about "elsewhere", but only it's current niche it dominates. But what I see from outside the film or long-form broadcast market, is that Avid simply isn't in, or is minor player in, the conversation. But that's just my opinion and view

But here is a threat from the Avid-L that went up yesterday about more layoffs. Nothing ground-shaking but for the last post by Terry Curran, who had permission to post it:

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/Avid-L2/conversations/topics/129057

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


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Ronny Courtens
Re: OT-ish: This can't be good
on Jun 28, 2016 at 9:14:58 am

Bob,

If by "reviews that are not necessarily true" you mean the info we gave on FCP.co about the ISIS 5500 not working for Swiss national television, what can I say. They have tested it thoroughly, they even had an Avid reseller/integrator from Paris trying to fix things, and they found it did not meet their expectations at all. While the ShareStation that LumaForge installed was up and running in a fraction of the time they spent on other systems, and its still works to their full satisfaction.

They were pretty vocal about the other solutions they tried. We have recorded their reactions and we have published them word for word, with their permission and after sending the article to them for review. I even was so decent to cut the actual names of the other systems out of the video testimonials. If those people want to talk about a negative experience with Avid or any other manufacturer, they have every right to do so. And those people are not idiots. They are highly qualified video engineers who manage quite complex systems, just like you.

- Ronny


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Bob Zelin
Re: OT-ish: This can't be good
on Jun 28, 2016 at 12:01:54 pm

Hi Ronny -
to quickly defend myself, I am NOT talking about the fcp.co article, and I am also pretty anti AVID these days.
You know that I am a huge fan of LumaForge, although this product will not do AVID bin locking, required by most
AVID facilities. And why anyone would buy an ISIS when they can buy a Facilis, or EditShare (or SNS EVO or Tiger Share) is beyond me (yes, I know the AVID product is now the Nexis). I have no problem with Media Composer - it's a great editing program - I have a problem with the company and it's policies, and I have had this issue since they became a public company years ago and changed their policies.

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
bobzelin@icloud.com


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Charlie Austin
Re: OT-ish: This can't be good
on Jun 28, 2016 at 4:27:32 pm

[Bob Zelin] "You know that I am a huge fan of LumaForge, although this product will not do AVID bin locking, required by most
AVID facilities."


I'll have to defer to Sam, but I believe they have implemented Bin Locking just recently via some sort of voodoo. :-)

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

~ My FCPX Babbling blog ~
~"It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools."~
~I still need to play Track Tetris sometimes. An old game that you can never win~
~"The function you just attempted is not yet implemented"~


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Ronny Courtens
Re: OT-ish: This can't be good
on Jun 28, 2016 at 9:20:09 pm

Hey Bob,

Sorry if I misunderstood your post, you know I value your opinion a lot.

As to Avid bin locking/project sharing on the ShareStation:

Yes, Sam and his team had come up with a solution to "kind of" support Avid project sharing, but we tested it and it did not really work to our satisfaction (I have a lot of client-friends who use Avid, though many of them are using FCP X and Media Composer side by side now). But since a few weeks a UK company called Indiestor has released a little application called Mimiq that does wat it says: it mimics Avid bin locking and project sharing on the ShareStation as if you were working off an Isis: http://indiestor.com/product/mimiq/

I have had this app tested by some Avid friends on a ShareStation running several Media Composer seats, and they said they were extremely happy with it. It's a per-seat license but it only costs 180£/seat or approx. 1200£ for 10 seats, which is very cheap when you know how much money you can save by not needing to buy an Avid server.

- Ronny


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Claude Lyneis
Re: OT-ish: This can't be good
on Jul 3, 2016 at 5:44:25 pm

I am no expert on AVID, but this story reminds me of disruptive technologies and the disappearance of Kodak and Xerox. These were great companies, but are now shells of their former selves. Of course Kodak can still supply film stock for the biggest Hollywood films, but what else? With feature films being edited in PP and at least two on X, (just rewatched Whiskey, Foxtrot, Tango last night and it looked great), it seems that AVID is in a tough place.

My limited experience with AVID products was getting a subscription to Pro Tools for a student class. The website was a mess, the requirement to separately purchase an iLok, registration of both Pro Tools, the iLok, cross connecting them etc, took me some hours of frustration. Talk about barriers to new customers.

But as long as thirty year old editors haven't switched from FCP7, there is hope for a long decay time constant.


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Misha Aranyshev
Re: OT-ish: This can't be good
on Jul 5, 2016 at 7:04:15 am

Technology didn't kill Kodak. Kodak was one of the leaders in digital imaging. (Mis)management killed Kodak.


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Scott Witthaus
Re: OT-ish: This can't be good
on Jul 5, 2016 at 1:38:45 pm

[Misha Aranyshev] "Technology didn't kill Kodak. Kodak was one of the leaders in digital imaging. (Mis)management killed Kodak."

Let''s just hope we are not saying the same thing in the future, just swapping the word Avid in for the word Kodak.

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


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Scott Thomas
Re: OT-ish: This can't be good
on Jul 5, 2016 at 9:16:31 am

From everything I've read, and from talking to people who were in the industry in the 1970's, Xerox was just as poorly managed, if not more so than Kodak. Check out "Dealers of Lightning" https://www.amazon.com/Dealers-Lightning-Xerox-PARC-Computer/dp/0887309895

Met a guy in Vegas who worked for IBM in the 1970's. You mention Xerox and he goes off on a tirade on how stupid they were. They did make money on the patents on the laser printer, but politics on the east coast kept them from fully benefiting.

Reminds me of Avid. I heard stories back in the day that the Tewkesbury engineers were rather protective of their domain.


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Neil Sadwelkar
Re: OT-ish: This can't be good
on Jun 28, 2016 at 12:01:44 pm

But didn't this happen in Feb?
http://www.betaboston.com/news/2016/02/29/avid-technology-slims-down-again/

-----------------------------------
Neil Sadwelkar
neilsadwelkar.blogspot.com
twitter: fcpguru
FCP Editor, Edit systems consultant
Mumbai India


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Scott Witthaus
Re: OT-ish: This can't be good
on Jul 4, 2016 at 12:28:06 pm

[Neil Sadwelkar] "But didn't this happen in Feb? "

This story was the announcement of the plans. They layoffs came about last week.

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


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