The Future of Picture Editing http://bit.ly/aNRLVA
I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Zak Ray when I travelled to Boston. I like people who have an original take on things and Zak’s approach to picture editing – and his tying it to existing technologies (that may ned improvement) – is an interesting one.
And yet, despite such modern wonders as Avid Media Access and the Mercury Playback Engine, modern NLEs remain fundamentally unchanged from their decades-old origins. You find your clip in a browser, trim it to the desired length, and edit it into a timeline, all with a combination of keys and mouse (or, if you prefer, a pen tablet). But is this process really as physically intuitive as it could be? Is it really an integrable body part in the mindâ€™s eye, allowing the editor to work the way he thinks? Though I can only speak for myself, with my limited years of editing experience, I believe the answer is a resounding â€œnoâ€. In his now famous lecture-turned-essayÂ In the Blink of an Eye, Walter Murch postulates that in a far-flung future, filmmakers might have the ability to â€œthinkâ€ their movies into existence: a â€œblack boxâ€ that reads oneâ€™s brainwaves and generates the resulting photo-realistic film. I think the science community agrees that such a technology is a long way off. But what untilthen? What I intend to outline here is my thoughts on just that; a delineation of my own ideal picture-editing tools, based on technologies that either currently exist, or are on the drawing board, and which could be implemented in the manner Iâ€™d like them to be. Of course, the industry didnâ€™t get from the one-task, one-purpose Moviola to the 2,000 page user manual for Final Cut Pro for no reason. What Iâ€™m proposing is not a replacement for these applications as a whole, just the basic cutting process; a chance for the editor to work with the simplicity and natural intuitiveness that film editors once knew, and with the efficiency and potential that modern technology offers.
It’s a good article and a good read. Raises the question though – if Apple (or Adobe/Avid) really innovated the interface would people “hate it” because it was “different”?