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

Archive for September 2011

Episode 35: The Templatorization of “Creativity” A new episode of The Terence and Philip Show

The trend toward basing creative endeavors on templates has been a trend for many years, culminating in Hollywood’s use of its history as templates for its current production. Is it a case of profit over creativity?

Whether this is a good or bad thing depends on whether you value your personal creativity, or you’re pushing a budget to get a project finished.

I was a little shocked to find people posting on Twitter and Facebook that they had tried to import Final Cut Pro 7 XML into Final Cut Pro X with the new “import XML”. That would be like opening a Word document and complaining that it didn’t translate from Spanish to English while opening the file.

By itself, XML tells you nothing. It is a generic term that tells you as much about the content as having a “Text” document tells you about the content. As I wrote four years ago for XML stands for eXtensible Markup Language.  You may be familiar with another markup language: HTML, or HyperText Markup Language.  In HTML only the WC3 consortium can add new tags because it is not extensible. On the other hand XML is “extensible”, meaning  anyone can extend it to mean whatever they want it to mean.

And that’s true for every type of XML.  In the case of XML for editing applications, the XML represents the underlying data structures from the application. So, we have:


An interesting little side benefit that I hadn’t noticed about Roles, is that Final Cut Pro X will give a read-out of the duration of the media tagged with a specific role, throughout the whole Project.

A summary of duration appears in the Timeline Index header.

Select a role and, as well as all clips tagged with that role being highlighted, a summary of duration appears in the header of the Timeline Index.

At LAFCPUG’s special meeting at DV Expo we showed, for the first time a brand new app from Assisted Editing (my day job): Project X₂7 (10 to 7), which takes the brand new FCP X Project XML export and converts it through a simple drag and drop applet to FCP 7. FCP 7 sequence XML is generated and loaded directly into FCP 7. (more…)

When I wrote on Saturday about how tracks have evolved from their compositing role, to one where they became defacto metadata I had no idea Apple were about to release the first Final Cut Pro X update (I only found out on Monday). I also wrote in Conquering the metadata foundations of Final Cut Pro X:

Apple teases us with Audio Role metadata that seems to have no current use within Final Cut Pro X.

If you open the Info Pane and select the Info tab, you will see the pop-up menu in Figure 20.1. showing the Roles

One magic way for this to be useful would be as a solution to the missing audio output options. In the near-magic, near-future I expect that a future version of Final Cut Pro X will use this Audio Role metadata to route audio outputs. At version 1 Final Cut Pro X’s audio output options are very basic, and there’s improvement coming, for sure.

So you can imagine how excited I was to open Final Cut Pro X 10.0.1 and see that those fairly limited audio roles (no doubt implemented specifically to enable export to OMF/AAF) had evolved into not only customizable Audio Roles, but to have the same option available for Video clips as well. And a Title Role comes rolled in!


While watching the LAFCPUG “X Night” videos I noted that Michael Wohl advises that “all edits should be in V1” and not doing that is a sign of a failure to commit.  Similarly reviewing some FCP 1 release videos, they once again (and again from Michael) seem to advocate a mostly single track approach.  That would certainly parallel historic ways of working with video or film where only one track, or an A/B configuration was standard.

I think the use of tracks has evolved since then. One of the reasons that people became concerned when Final Cut Pro X took away the traditional track layout was simply because those tracks have become valuable metadata. A typical audio example might be


Blackmagic Design are using three “hero” shots for most of their website and press ads in support of the very excellent DaVinci Resolve. (more…)

Without copyright art would not exist?

The arguments of the MPAA and RIAA reduced to the level of the absurdity that they are.

If TV Companies Released Authorized Torrents With Ads, Would People Download Them?

Other than legal constructs that make them different, in practice a download with embedded ads and a real-time broadcast with embedded ads should be the same thing. And yet, no-one in the TV industry has even thought of the possibility, despite it being a very old idea.

For years, I’ve been referring to Mark Pesce’s Hyperdistribution model – both here in the blog and also in some of my public presentations – as one viable alternative to the current situation that would allow more consumption flexibility without changing the economics.

The responses are mixed. There are, certainly, a lot of people who insist they would never do that because they hate all advertising. I still think those people really just hate bad advertising, and don’t realize that they actually like good advertising (for example, the TV shows they download? They’re just “advertising” for other episodes of that TV show). But there are two types of answers that stand out and are seen throughout the comments. The first are that some people would agree to do this, having no problem supporting the TV folks. The second are people who say they hate commercials and wouldn’t do this, but that they would pay for a similar thing without commercials.

I generally dislike advertising, although more correctly I should say that, like others, I dislike irrelevant advertising, so I’d prefer to pay the equivalent (not the inflated prices attempting to be charged via iTunes et. al. ) but might be prepared to receive relevant advertising. Now, I don’t have children, am happy with my current car and already know what will replace it, not planning on going out to dinner or movies anytime soon, really don’t buy many clothes, don’t buy cosmetics…  I am a little non-consumerism, so just what advertising won’t be horribly intrusive and irrelevant?

What are your postproduction nightmares? Preparing for my DV Expo session

If you’ve got a post-production nightmare let me know in the comments so I can make sure I address it in my “Avoiding Post Production Nightmares” DV Expo session.

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September 2011
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