What happened to this forum?
I honestly don't know whether this is a totally off-the-wall remark, or a trenchant, emperor-has-no-clothes observation:
Why has this forum, which used to be quite entertaining and informative, declined so much on both counts? Has everyone suddenly become shy, or have they figured out all the answers and don't need to ask questions? I have nothing against "newbie" questions, but they're not as interesting as the more sophisticated ones that used to populate this forum.
Where has the action gone?
Dunno, Bob... I posted the same question here a little while back, with no real answers.
Fortunately we ourselves have 1) been busy as one-armed paperhangers lately, and 2) haven't had any real problems that needed the forum's expertise. That will change, no doubt, as cycles do... but right now we're in a good place. Although very very tired.
I'm hoping that business is great for all my friends here, and that's the reason for the lack of activity.
But yes, it is as eerily quiet as a church in here. And there used to be fireworks galore... not even a "crackpot comment" or two to get people stirred up. We used to be able to count on those (although not naming names).
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
The action's all in Vegas this week. There should be an uptick after the Vegas Lull as people come to debate and discuss what came out of NAB. And I DO think a lot of people are busier than they were.
Agreed... but it's not just this week.
Been deadsville in here for months.
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
I'll ditto Todd. We've been VERY busy on a number of fronts with a LOT of out of town work. While I try to keep current with what's going on here I've had little time to post.
Hope things are cyclical.
That, and Nick has been lounging around with undeserved, unwarranted, and just plain blatantly-uncalled-for extended vacations.
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
A lot of the most energetic conversations that used to happen here about the state of the industry as a whole have been happening in the FCPX or Not:The Debate forum.
It has shifted a little bit for NAB, but on most days, no more than third of the posts are about FCPX. Over 20% of the people visiting that forum are coming from non-Mac computers.
In fact, it's so much NOT about FCPX that people keep suggesting we change the name of the forum. .. but the whole debate about what it means to be an editor anymore, and what it means to be a professional, only started because of FCPX.
So while the REST of the web is finding its way there, some of you guys should at least take a look now and again after the NAB-specific FCPX conversation dies down. Even if you're not on a mac and will never, ever consider FCPX. ESPECIALLY if you're in that category.
Okay, now THAT said, whaddya wanna talk about? Start a thread. I tried to do this a while back with the "How's business?" thread. It would be incredibly depressing to me if this was the most active thread since that one, so please, anyone, start something besides this.
As I'm typing this, I'm also thinking that this forum was part of the COW'S roots in the Media 100 community nearly 20 years ago. (No kidding, 19 years ago this month!!!) We were all in our 30s and 40s, owner-operators who spent $50-100,000 to start our businesses, in the days before a business model for our businesses actually existed. Many of us wouldn't have survived without each other's aid.
That's just not what the COW looks like anymore, and is less and less what the business looks like anymore. The COW is full of broadcast and "film" folks now. Corporate video for everyone from Elvis to Pfizer. (Talk about a business that barely existed 20 years ago!) Religious and educational facilities whose business is bigger than many corporate and broadcast settings. There are post houses in the COW with add many as 700 seats. The joint is crawling with cinematographers who barely edit at all. Even people coming in as real-live professional owner-operators have such a much lower barrier to entry that things don't seem quite so life and death. .. because they kind of aren't.
I could go on, but you get the idea. We started 20 years ago with a handful of people who ALL had the same needs along these lines. The COW now has over 250,000 members, almost NONE of whom (relatively speaking) have these needs. The guys at NFL Films, or managing Avid Media Composer-DaVinci Resolve workflow for Arri Alexa footage aren't worried about marketing their businesses.
I'm oversimplifying a bit, but I think you can see where I'm going. If there's something you'd like to talk about, fire it up.
In any case, it's been a while since I thanked the folks here who've made this such an engaging forum over the years. I don't think we're done here by any means, but I do think that the days are passed in which conversations will happen here just because the forum is here.
As far as the FCPX debate forum, well, I don't go there very often because of the name. Maybe it's my Catholic school upbringing, but I go by the name of things and like stuff neatly categorized. I visited it when I still had doubts. Now, I don't have doubts, and had no idea there were other off-topic things going on there. We in fact have bought FCPX now, as well as Premiere, and are planning to spend the year evaluating both before we standardize on one or another of them, so you can expect me to infect the FCPX techniques forum occasionally when I have a question about using that.
I'm actually kind of surprised there isn't a dedicated forum for the folks working in the "worship" category. It's not what I do, but it's a big niche market of the biz, and when I see someone from that community post, they find a forum specific to their problem, be it editing or shooting or whatever.
I dabble in various hobbies including radio control flying and sailing, and what I noticed at the "Creative COW version" of that community, RCGroups.com, is that they started with maybe twenty forums but each one kept fracturing into narrower and narrower slices. While it helps to ask a question about something very specific, and get a quicker answer, I found their over- specialization took away some of the useful "cross-pollination", the "encyclopedia browsing effect" you got, when the categories were fewer and more general, and people of different disciplines overlapped their expertise and fed off each other's perspectives.
In the broader categories, I would come across things that were interesting and useful, but I'd never have seen them in the more fractured, hyper-specific forums.
If you look at the Big Picture, what about forums like TED? They are all about mashing-up and cross-pollination of ideas in order to stimulate new thinking.
So is the future of forums in narrowness... or in "wider" groups?
[Mark Suszko] "As far as the FCPX debate forum, well, I don't go there very often because of the name"
Thanks Tim for that info about the FCPX forum. Like Mark, I have avoided that area, thinking it would bore my socks off. I'll take a look.
Tim's analysis of the way the business is evolving is the best thing I've read on this forum in a long time, and since comparisons can be invidious, I should add that I don't mean that as faint praise. I would really like to see more of those insights from Tim. Where should I look?
Oh, that's right -- the FCPX forum!
[Bob Cole] "I would really like to see more of those insights from Tim. Where should I look?
Oh, that's right -- the FCPX forum!"
Ha! You're right, without intending to at ALL, I post quite a bit there. I can't imagine a scenario where Apple gets another penny from me -- after starting with Apple in 1979, I haven't owned a Mac in years, and don't care for iDevices, iTunes and such -- but it's a really engaging forum. And as much as I'll never be a customer again, I admire what Apple did with X.
The place I post most, though, is the TV & Movie Appreciation Forum. I'd love to see more of you there! There's so much great stuff being made right now, especially on TV, and I really enjoy talking about it. I've also written a number of articles about it for the COW Library (including this one on Citizen Kane cinematographer Gregg Toland, and another on one night of the best TV title sequences, ABC Friday nights, 1971-72 (rather than just theme songs).
This one definitely used to be the forum I posted most in, no doubt about it. Let's think of some ways to fire it up again for all of us.
Thanks for thinking of me, Bob. :-)
Might have to give that forum a look sometime.
Probably like a lot of people, it would never have even OCCURED to me to even darken the doors of that forum. In fact, I would purposely stay away.
In all my years of doing this, not only have I never used a Mac, never cut on FCP... but I'm thinking very hard and don't think I have ever once even used an Apple product, ever... so it just wouldn't be a place I'd naturally gravitate to.
And the hullabaloo over FCPX and all the vitriol that it generated toward Apple held no interest for me... other than getting to watch with amusement and feel vindicated for having edited with Premiere my whole career.
It's not at all that I'm anti-Apple, it's just that for so many years the MacHeads were so militant about it that they were frankly not a lot of fun to hang out with (and I see that very firsthand in my own house, as my better half Kim is a graphic artist and thus a hardcore Mac gal). Much like the RED fanboys in its early days were impossible to even hold a conversation with unless you also worshiped at the RED altar.
I think the Mac folks have toned it down a bit now though... so might give it a shot.
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
I don't mean to say that there's NO FCPX there by any means. But there's a lot of wide-ranging discussion about what an NLE should be, what professional software means, what you want from a company whose products you buy, and so on.
For example, there's a lot of great conversation there right now about what it means for DaVinci Resolve to evolve into an NLE...or is it a finishing system with advanced editorial finishing features a la Symphony...or is it a suite of tools for both editorial and finishing a la Smoke....or...you get the idea.
That's also the forum where people are most likely to talk informally about cool stuff they saw at NAB. Definitely not in the NAB forum here, which is mostly about official stuff and registration codes.
In fact, the longest threads in the FCPX Debate forum right now are all NAB threads that don't include much about X because there's just not much of that at NAB anymore. :-) There's a really long thread about Avid continuing to open up for example.
So, I'm not saying you'll find something interesting every time, but I've never met anyone as negative about Apple as me (ironically enough, OTHER than re: X -- otherwise, I really am very aggressively negative), and I still find stuff worth talking about there quite regularly.
[Todd Terry] "undeserved, unwarranted, and just plain blatantly-uncalled-for extended vacations"
Yea, Todd. That's why I'm self-employed so I can get a 7 day vacation after 16 months without one.
[Nick Griffin] " I'm self-employed so I can get a 7 day vacation after 16 months without one"
Sheesh. What a complainer. When I was a kid we had to make our own film emulsion in the kitchen sink, and grind the glass for our lenses. And vacations? We never even heard the word. I thought it meant "evacuation."
Face it, Mr. Griffin. You've attained success and you are going to have to learn to enjoy the rewards.
Meanwhile, I'm glad you're back on your real job, helping this forum stay relevant.
[Nick Griffin] "Hope things are cyclical."
Why? You're on a roll! But if you just get too overworked, just call some of your COW buddies to take on some of those shoots. That way you will have more time for your true calling: keeping this forum jumping.
I think your insights are spot on and thanks for chiming in.
Our social opportunity circles have also evolved over the years and we, at the moment, have greater access to have these discussions through multiple outlets where even a short 5 years ago the COW B&M was really the only forum that existed to have these conversations.
This particular forum used to be the very first thing I checked every morning with my coffee, even before email and has provided many useful insights in managing my freelance post biz. Fortunately, for me, because of this forum and a few others I have developed really great friendships with some folks who used to post often and most of the time nowadays I just pick up the phone and call them.
I sincerely hope that none of the folks who have been involved in the history of this forum and building the foundation of the COW will give up and leave because someday their sage advice will be needed by someone who is just starting out and the true wealth of your collective knowledge is invaluable to all.
"Think of everything in terms of building capacity."
Product Manager, Flanders Scientific Inc.
Co-Founder, Atlanta Cutters Post Production User Group
2.2Ghz MBP core i7
AJA IO XT
Aha! So THIS is where Bob Cole's been hiding out. And I thought you'd checked out of the COW. Nice to see you're still around. Peace.
A Vancouver Video Production Company
It's your fault, Don. I've been observing the same technical forums, but you've answered all my questions. And we already know that I don't know the answers, so why should I post anything at all?
To return to the Business Theme of this forum, sort of: There are a couple of people I'd like to thank explicitly, whom I've met through the COW.
I met Don through the Sony XDCAM Forum, then in Vancouver on a shoot. It's been a great relationship, both on a personal level and professionally. He's been a terrific guide as I learned a new camera system, and now, a friend as well.
Now, I'm not complaining about Sony. Sony has a great presence on the XDCAM Forum; one of their U.S. employees is extremely responsive and helpful. But they don't always have the user perspective the way someone like Don has. Thank you!
Earlier, as I was migrating from D/Vision to Discreet edit* to Final Cut Pro, my guide was David Roth Weiss -- and we followed the same path, melding a personal friendship and a professional one. Without David, I don't think I could've segued into the Apple Kingdom with anything like the success I've had. (I complained to David once about the smug-looking employees in the Apple Store, who were not as friendly as they are now; they were carrying themselves with the air of members of an exclusive club. He thought about it for a few moments, then said: "You're right about the arrogance. But all you have to do is buy a Mac, and then you're in the club." He was right.)
I don't have much to offer to the technical wizards, which is why I tend to post here, where just career experience can be helpful to others. But I do appreciate all the forums where I lurk. So Don, I'm still there -- I just don't have anything to ask or answer!
Meanwhile, Tim Wilson, thanks for steering us to the Final Cut X Debate forum. It's pretty wild over there - lots of fun to see what's being discussed.
Now you're embarrassing me, Bob. Thank you for your kind words. And as far as getting to know you on a more personal level: it's been my privilege.
A Vancouver Video Production Company
" And as far as getting to know you on a more personal level: it's been my privilege. "
You do NOT know what you're setting into play.
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