Real World Editing: From Avid to FCP and Back Again

Creative COW by Mark Raudonis

We make reality television. Lots of it.

It's a very post-intensive process. Our shows come alive in the editing room, so we're very sensitive to any changes in the editing process. We're constantly looking for ways to improve the process -- and wary of any, if this is a word, "deprovements."

I was invited to Cupertino in February 2011, to see the first incarnation of Final Cut Pro X -- virtually the same presentation that they gave at NAB a few months later. My feeling in February was, "This is interesting, but obviously it's not ready for primetime. I hope by the time they release it, some of these things will be addressed."

Over the last 10 months, Apple has addressed some of those issues, and they are working on others, but in my opinion they've diverted from what we, as a company, need.

Apple has been using a quote of Wayne Gretzky's that "you should skate to where the puck will be." They're doing what they need to do, but their needs just don't necessarily mesh with our needs.

When the big brouhaha began last April at NAB, I was quick to say, "We're not doing anything until 2012," because a large organization like Bunim/Murray can't just turn on a dime.

In fairness to Apple, I also wanted to give them a chance to address all of the criticism that came up. Since then, I've seen enough of their development to know that the direction they're headed in still isn't the right choice for us. As a result, after years of building our editing workflow around Final Cut Pro, we have decided to return to Avid Media Composer and Avid ISIS as the heart of our post process.

This was not a decision that we took lightly. Change is inevitable. But, different is not necessarily better. Our editorial process requires some specific features that seem to be disappearing from Final Cut.

In contrast, Avid offers an end-to-end solution that allows us to work efficiently on projects in a large shared storage, collaborative environment. The ISIS storage solution also allows the kind of workgroup interactivity that is essential to our workflow. read more...

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