When I started 20 years ago, post production was still very much a film medium, characterized by flatbed editing machines, film bins and racks of workprint. Then came the transition to videotape as a film replacement, and, as world events and the influence of file-based news cameras brought data capture into acceptance, tape was superseded by file-based post.
As a post-production engineer, I’ve been lucky to be able to experience these three successive generations of production media first-hand. And my close colleague and frequent collaborator Mike Nuget, has lived the front line of these changes as one of PostWorks’ senior finishing editor and colorists.
The industry’s adoption of file-based workflows stands in stark contrast to film-based methods. Film as a medium is more than 100 years old; it is (or was) reliable, stable, mature. In great contrast, file-based workflows are in a constant state of reinvention; there is nothing stable about them. If film was a rugged old man, then files are impulsive teens, full of energy and possibility, but never quite the same from day to day.
To best understand what daily life is like in an all file-based world, consider the most basic question asked about every post production process: “How long will this take?”...[continue reading]