The Final Cut Studio centric facility

digitalfilms by Oliver Peters

Back in the day, the last large mainstream facility that I helped design, install and manage was geared towards episodic TV series post. We had several dedicated linear bays, DaVinci film transfer, graphics/VFX and audio mixing suites. This was a powerful (but expensive) combination for the time, however, it lacked the versatility to change the dedicated function of any of these rooms into something else. If you needed more edit bays or 2 film transfer suites for a short period of time, there was no way to do that other than simply shuffling clients around or running extra shifts. It kept our operations folks quite busy adjusting the schedule.

Fast forward to this century. Although nonlinear software has changed the facility paradigm, I’m not too sure that many facility managers aren’t still operating their rooms as if they only served one function. One of the biggest benefits of the Final Cut Studio bundle of applications, is that it truly replicates all the parts of most facility service offerings: edit (Final Cut Pro), audio editing/mixing (Soundtrack Pro), color grading (Color), motion graphics (Motion) and compression/web/authoring (Compressor, DVD Studio Pro). Apple has done this better than its competitors, making it easy to stay within the Apple/Final Cut ecosystem. Adobe’s Creative Suite comes closest, but Soundbooth isn’t as strong as Soundtrack Pro and there is no equivalent to Color. Avid’s bundle is strong for editing, but the rest of the apps are designed to augment Media Composer without providing equal strengths in other areas. read more...

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