The present and future of post production business and technology | Philip Hodgetts

Archive for December 2010

New version of Sequence Clip Reporter now offers JPEG “thumbs” for all Clip in-points (optionally) as a folder of images at the selected size from thumbnail up to 640 x 480/360 (for 4:3 and 16:9 respectively)  http://tinyurl.com/35yojfg

Sequence Clip Reporter is our tool for taking a Final Cut Pro sequence and generating a wide variety of Clip reports for music reporting, stock footage, etc with reel-by-reel, filter and marker reports all available.

Dec/10

16

If you have an iPhone 4 I thoroughly recommend a Glif!

If you hae an iPhone 4 I thoroughly recommend a Glif http://www.theglif.com/

The Glif is a tiny (fits in pocket) tripod adapter and stand – I was using it tonight to angle the iPhone so I could watch some TED video while barbecuing  our steaks. (I know it’s after Labor Day but I still like a nicely done steak.)

The Glif is an amazing piece of design, and the injection mold for mass production was crowd-funded via Kickstarter.com.

Dec/10

16

Had an Epic in my hands today!

Had an Epic in my hands today at BandPro’s One World event.

It’s amazingly small and lighter than you’d expect.

The studios will lose the “war” with Netflix http://t.co/zzHT0kh From Terry Heaton’s PoMo Blog

A very insightful article on why Netflix more truly connects with its customers than the “studios” do, and why that maters:

The first rule of Media 2.0 is that you ignore consumers at your own peril. The people formerly known as the audience are now fully in charge, as Rishad Tobbaccowala noted in 2004:

We’ve entered an era in which consumers are God, because technology allows them to be godlike. How will you engage God?

This strikes at the heart of all that is disrupting media, for legacy media has a history of ignoring consumers in the name of revenue growth. It’s a blind spot that threatens everything today and will continue to do so.

Dec/10

16

Assisted Editing has a new tag line…

Assisted Editing has a new tag line – “Taking the boring out of post” because that’s what our tools do. http://tinyurl.com/2fvw8to

We originally settles on “Smart Tools for Smart Editors and Producers” but in reality our goal is to take all the boring work out of post production, whether it’s syncing audio and video sources together, copying log notes from one bin to another or doing a series of first cuts to explore your content we want to take the boring, tedious, slow parts out so editors are free to focus on the truly creative work of making an edit emotionally compelling and visually stimulating.

Dec/10

15

YouTube May Buy NextNew Networks

YouTube May Buy Video Production Company http://tinyurl.com/2ck84rz

Mmm, my prediction may be paying off. http://tinyurl.com/37e5b5g It might be easier for Google (and Apple) to commission their own work instead of relying on user submissions. At least with internally generated content Google know the quality and “salability” of the content.

As companies like Hulu and Netflix offer more shows and videos online, and as Google tries to lure people to watch YouTube on their televisions through its Google TV software, YouTube is increasingly focused on providing professional content and figuring out how to attract audiences and advertisers to the programming.

Next New Networks, a start-up based in New York, was founded in 2007 to create original Web television shows, and has found success with series like “Barely Political” and “Indy Mogul.”

Dec/10

14

The Terence and Philip Show Episode 16

The Terence and Philip Show Episode 16 http://tinyurl.com/34ahexb Is their any evidence piracy hurts the industry? Apparently not.

With the US Government Accounting Office dismissing RIAA and MPAA “research” as being lacking in any factual basis, is unauthorized distribution hurting or helping the industry?

Great article by Lee Schneider at Technorati – Humans and Machines – Technorati Gadgets http://bit.ly/gXYg6s Page 2 features our prEdit but it’s not the only reason to read the article.

Thomas Edison once famously said that “Invention was 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration”. I’ve been led to think about that again since the response to my recent post on our new competition “There’s not an App for That… Yet!”.

Andy Mees in our comments, and Anthony Burokas in response to Scott Simmons post at Studio Daily both raised the question that “a free copy” of the application seemed to be unfair compensation for the idea for an application. They raise a fair question: after all we’re asking people to submit the idea and hand over rights for the developed application to Intelligent Assistance.

So, how valuable is an idea? In practice pretty much nothing. Consider:

Ideas vs Execution “To me, ideas are worth nothing unless executed. They are just a multiplier. Execution is worth millions.”

Ideas vs Execution (different site) “Startups – your idea isn’t nearly as important as you think it is.”

Is Execution More Important than Vision? “… the visionary is usually the one that gets the shaft in Silicon Valley.”

Or consider the Winkelvoss brothers who could be reasonably considered to have had the “idea” that ultimately became Facebook. They sued to prove it and did, indeed win a $65 million judgement (in Facebook shares, not cash). Given that Facebook was valued at $5 billion at the time, that’s just 1.3% for the idea and 98.7% for execution.

So let’s take a practical case: our Transcriptize application. Like almost all of our applications this one came as a suggestion from a friend, Larry Jordan. At his 2009 business Christmas gathering, Larry suggested the idea to be able to read and convert Soundbooth transcription XML to something more useful. Good idea Larry, so let’s make it.

Greg (my programming partner) had to learn how to read Soundbooth XML (which is a different format than FCP XML, of course) and then build an algorithm to convert it to text, spreadsheet and Final Cut Pro markers. The basic conversion was done the day after the Christmas gathering after about six hours work. (For reference, a programmer with his experience bills at $150 an hour or more.) But that wasn’t an application. It was still useless, but has incurred a “cost” of $900.

To turn that algorithm into a real, shipping product took another week’s work between us (that’s another 40 hours or $6K) to design and build an interface, to troubleshoot and test multiple outputs for Final Cut Pro, to add extra features as we thought of them, to add in updating frameworks, security framework, feedback framework, design an icon, write copy for and design a website page, set up serial numbers and the product into the Intelligent Assistance store, write and send out media releases and start marketing and promoting the application.

That’s with a full e-commerce site already developed that automatically talks with the payment processor so that, when payment is confirmed, issues serial number, and with a robust security system already developed and in place. Neither were developed specifically for Transcriptize bu together they represent another 60-80 hours of work that has to be amortized across all sales.

Opportunity cost for us to create Transcriptize (without allocating any from the store or security) was over $8000. We have yet to sell 10 copies at $149 each. The value of the app free is $149, the return to Larry at 5% to date would be $37.25 as we come to the anniversary of the apps release.

Pretty much every one of our utility applications to date have been suggested by friends and associates as you can see in the credits for any application:

Transcriptize was suggested by (as I said) Larry Jordan;

Sequence Clip Reporter suggested by Les Perkins who had to wait nearly a year to be able to run it on his system after he upgraded with a massive number of feature requests from early adopters;

Sync-N-Link was suggested by Ted Schilowitz of RED Digital Cinema;

Finisher was suggested, during the First Cuts beta, by Loren Miller

ExceLogger was suggested by a First Cuts Studio customer;

Log Note Replicator came from a suggestion of a LAFCPUG user who had been using ExceLogger in a convoluted way to do what Log Note Replicator became;

Clip Info Titler was requested in various ways by multiple people, including Shane Ross

Is Clip Used? was a multi-wished feature request over at the LAFCPUG forums.

The question of a royalty never came up: these people were just happy to see the application created so they could use it, so we thought the same would apply to the competition.

The other applications: First Cuts (originally The Assistant Editor); prEdit, Matchback Magic and miniME came from internal ideas, because – quite frankly – no-one much thinks that far out of the box.

The “idea” is important, but if you have to choose between the idea and execution, always bet on execution.

On the other hand, if you do have an idea you’re convinced will sell thousands of copies to Final Cut Pro users and you’re prepared to put in a whole lot more than just the idea, come talk with Intelligent Assistance. We do a lot of custom programming for workflow support and we could likely build the app for you. But the reality is that few products sell a thousand copies, even fewer thousands. Of the nearly 300,000 applications in the iOS store, there are 290,000 that are making their developer nothing.

But, so that no-one can feel that they are hard done by, the winner of our “There’s not an App for that… yet” competition will have the choice of either getting the application for free, or taking a perennial 5% of net sales (after credit card charges and fees are deducted from the income). In most cases you’ll be better off taking the free app, but to be fair, the details of expected return, compared to the returns we’ve made on apps, will be set out for the winner so their choice is well informed.

Ever said to yourself “There should be an app for that?” Or you’ve had an idea for an app but have no idea of how to get it made?

Well, here’s your chance. My company, Intelligent Assistance, is running a competition from now into February, to find the top app that absolutely needs to be made.

First off we’re seeking ideas, hence the questions above. Between now and the end of January suggest an idea for an app. Then in round 2 during February we’ll be putting all the ideas (the ones we can make) up for voting. The winning app – the one most voted on – will be made and the person who suggested it will get it FREE.

Even better, those who vote for that app will also be eligible to buy the app at half price!

All the details are at http://assistedediting.intelligentassistance.com/competition/

If you’ve got questions, ask them in the comments.

[Update] Because of the comments here and at Studio Daily we’ve modified the competition terms so that the winner will now be offered the choice of the app for free, or a 5% royalty on sales from the app.

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