Technology Schadenfreude

Editors Guild by Mel Lambert

Taking advantage of adverse industry reactions to Apple’s recent release of Final Cut Pro X, which lacks many critical features considered essential within a professional workflow, Avid has been quick to directly address deep-seated concerns of the post community.On July 13, the company held a specially arranged industry gathering at the Stephen J. Ross Theatre on the Warner Bros. Studio lot in Burbank, where Avid CEO Gary Greenfield and COO Kirk Arnold provided an overview of the firm’s current video solutions and invited two well-respected picture editors to reveal to the packed audience the pros and cons of using Final Cut Pro and Media Composer.

After welcoming comments from Greenfield and Arnold––“this post community is our lifeblood,” Greenfield offered––Avid’s technical marketing specialist Matt Feury encouraged editors Jonathan Alberts and Alan E. Bell, A.C.E., to candidly share their experiences. Alberts, who cut the Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winning Like Crazy, recalled that back in 2001 he started using Final Cut Pro on independent features.“It was the producer’s choice,” he said.“But I’m now using Media Composer 5.0x,” working with three editors and two assistants using Unity networks and Nitris DX components. Alberts also edits HBO’s successful series Hung.

“I started using Media Composer during the early 1990s at Castle Rock,” recalled Bell, who worked most recently on 500 Days of Summer, Water for Elephants and the upcoming The Amazing Spider-Man. The editor soon became frustrated with Media Composer, he commented, “because Avid wasn’t listening” to our comments. The system’s pricing structure was also cause for concern, so Bell switched to Final Cut Pro and used it to cut 500 Days of Summer.

“Back then, you couldn’t make a living in the indie word with Avid,” Bell said, explaining that the industry norm was to buy the hardware and rent it back to the project. “Producers wanted more for less, and the ability to work faster,” he emphasized. But for The Amazing Spider-Man, Bell returned to Media Composer with Unity storage while working with a team of five picture editors. read more...

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