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James Steele
Editing System decision
on Feb 25, 2010 at 4:50:14 pm

I own and operate a small production company, I'm a one man band, I've been working on outdated equipment for a long time, I have an avid xpress pro editing system that I can barely keep working. I do most of my work in after effects and output to DVD most of the time on my laptop so I rarely need the avid system. I need to be portable now that I do a lot of production for concerts so I'm buying a macbook pro soon, and I'm tired of all the troubles from windows.

I'm on a very tight budget which makes final cut express appealing but I'm worried that I won't be able to use the footage from the person who shoots for me. He started shooting on a cannon 5dmk2 and he says final cut is the only system that will handle the format, can anyone tell me if you can import and edit the footage from the cannon 5dmk2 in final cut express?

I get the educator discount and I just discovered that I can get avid media composer software for about 300 dollars, I'm familiar with avid, if I were to go with media composer can I output through my avid mojo to my beta deck?

Sorry if I'm all over the place, I have a lot of decisions and not much time to make them so any information would help a lot.


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Tony Brittan
Re: Editing System decision
on Feb 25, 2010 at 5:04:48 pm

Of you're doing pro work and or working with HD, Final Cut Pro (FCS2 or FCS3) is a MUST! There are too many reasons to discuss...posting from my iPhone. Trust me, you'll be glad you went with Pro!

Tony Brittan
Apple Certified Pro - FCP
islandshoreproductions.com


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Shane Ross
Re: Editing System decision
on Feb 25, 2010 at 5:13:04 pm

Cannot work with Canon 5D footage with Express. It needs to be converted to an editable format, so FCP and the PRORES codec is what you need.

Can barely afford FCExpress? You need to charge more. Or get better clients...and charge them more. Someone with 5D footage...yeah, that's gonna cost more than DV footage. Conversion time, extra storage needs.



Shane



GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Scott Sheriff
Re: Editing System decision
on Feb 25, 2010 at 6:55:16 pm

I agree with Shane.
This is not a cheap business, unless your doing it for a hobby and maybe not even then.
If your having money issues at the software level, I think things will just go downhill from there. You don't have your Mac yet, and your talking about getting MBP in the future, so there is that. And if you are going to do much work, your going to need more drive space, which is more money.

I know a lot of guys on here use a MBP as their main machine, but IMHO this is a poor choice. MBP is a great second machine to support a proper workstation, but from an upgrade, speed and professional presentation standpoint, I think you will always be running second to others that have a workstation, or both.

The other thing I don't understand is if you are a 'one man band', and are operating a production company, how are you in a position to get an 'educators discount'? I don't believe that is the intended purpose of the education rate.

Scott Sheriff
Director
SST Digital Media
http://www.sstdigitalmedia.com


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James Steele
Re: Editing System decision
on Feb 25, 2010 at 10:08:09 pm

I feel the need to defend myself, I started my company about 10 years ago, I built a capable but modest Avid Express Pro system, I was shooting on Beta which was still the industry standard at the time. Business was good for a few years. 2 years ago my son was born and my wife and I decided it was the right decision for me to take care of him, so the business took a bit of a back seat. I still have a few clients, my main client is a concert promoter and I do concert design and direct live shows, I do about 10 concerts a year so I need to be able to work on the road, a workstation would be nice but it's not completely practical.

I AM a student, not a full time student but I take classes at the local university regularly, you may not think this is the intended purpose for the discount but in this economy and when you are working your way back toward a successful business, you have to take every advantage you can.

I just came on here asking for some advise and I feel like I'm being attacked, I'm just a guy trying to make a living working really hard for myself, I don't rely on anyone else for my paycheck, the editing system I sit at all night actually belongs to me, it may not be up to your standards but as long as it gets the job done and my clients are happy that's all that matters.



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Scott Sheriff
Re: Editing System decision
on Feb 26, 2010 at 5:20:43 am


I think the reason you feel like your being attacked is that you have unrealistic expectations, and don't want to hear the truth.
Shane was right, you have to charge more. But the other side of that coin is that if you charge more, you have to be able to deliver, and have a system that is somewhat current. If you don't charge enough to pay the bills and be able to upgrade your system occasionally, I don't know what else you can do, except give up owning your own system and get a gig working for someone else. There are only so many corners you can cut, before someone comes along that can spend the $$$, and they take your client(s).
Your situation of using your system to pay the bills is not unique, as I would say the majority of the editors here own their system and face this decision everyday. Your idea of going from a 'boat anchor' system, to another less than adequate system (MBP w/FCE to edit HD) just doesn't make technical, or business sense.
So as was said before, if the cost of FCS3 vs FCE is a deal breaker, how are you going to afford a laptop fast enough to run FCS3, or an external HD to put your media on?
Maybe the better idea is to only hire shooters that can continue to shoot SD, or buy a used SD camera and shoot the stuff yourself.

Scott Sheriff
Director
SST Digital Media
http://www.sstdigitalmedia.com


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Shane Ross
Re: Editing System decision
on Feb 26, 2010 at 5:38:41 am

Sorry, I don't mean to attack, I meant to help. You need to charge enough for overhead...that is for stuff like office space, utilities, and the extra you need to put away so that you can upgrade and stay current. You aren't just paying YOU, you are also renting out the system. That system rental needs to be a part of the fee you charge. You buy equipment...that's your investment. You bill for that. Soon it is paid off, so you are now making a PROFIT on the equipment rental, as it is paid off. You should put that in a fund so that when you need to upgrade, you can. Or you can use it to get other equipment, other software...additional items to make your job better, slicker, easier.

Then when you need new equipment, if you have the money, you buy it. If not, you get a loan, but it, and the rental fee goes to pay off the loan.

Remember, they aren't just paying for YOU, unless you are using their equipment. They are using you and your equipment.

See, I am $60/hour, for example. So if I am hired by a company to work on their equipment, that is what I get. If they want me to use MY equipment, well, then that is an additional $50/hour (for example), or if long term, a daily or weekly rate.

You gotta budget this.



Shane



GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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