Hollywood's editing divide

Variety by Gregory Solman

Cutters in two tech camps -- Avid or Final Cut

The easiest way to start a fight at the Eddie Awards: Shout that you prefer to edit pictures with either Avid or Final Cut.

The feud is practically inbred in editors. The first reaction to a friendly pictorial history of Avid's early days, posted on founder Bill Warner's blog, prompted editor Sachin Agarwal to write, "Working on Final Cut Pro, we were taught to hate everything Avid."

Anonymous ripostes on the American Cinema Editors' site, directed to Avid Technology and Apple-owned Final Cut executives, include "Apple, get out of my editing room!," "Final Cut does not have as good an interface, but has many features that are leaving Avid in the dust," and "Final Cut Pro is the Easybake Oven of editing software."

"Is there anything (Avid) DS does in real time?" asked a frustrated cutter on another site: "Yes," came the answer. "It f***s you in real time."

"I think it is a matter of taste," said peacemaker Mary Jo Markey, who has edited movies (2009's "Star Trek") and television shows ("Lost," "Alias") on Avid. "There's no need to malign another because of their taste. But that's show business."

Avid has always run on Apple computers, so Avid has never encountered the full zealotry of Apple evangelists. However, there was a time when PC partisans claimed it was more stable on Windows NT. Now the Apple platform undergirds up to 87% of both systems (see sidebar), and neither platform has an edge in stability. read more...

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