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

Archive for November 2012



7toX for Final Cut Pro 1.0.15

The latest release of 7toX for Final Cut Pro available today in the Mac App Store includes:

  • Bug fixes for Premiere Pro XML (three separate problems this time)
  • Bug fix for audio linked to a phantom clip
  • Bug fix for audio levels
  • Bug fix for mono audio XML

The article of the same name at Techdirt starts with:

Just a few days after Joe Karaganis posted his response to the RIAA’s favorite researcher, Russ Crupnick of NPD Group, who suggested that Karaganis must be drunk and have little knowledge of statistics to publish a study showing that pirates tend to buy more — and then revealing his own numbers that showed the exact same thing — UK regulatory body Ofcom hascome out with a study saying the same exact thing again (found via TorrentFreak).


During the last week I caught up with the (in my totally biased opinion) excellent take on FCP X and the Future of Editing by David Leitner in Filmmaker Magazine. He outlines the process of democratization that has happened since Final Cut Pro 1, and how that affects what is needed from a modern NLE. That article set me thinking about how hard it is to hide complexity in a simple interface and how that affects the learnability of the software.


So curiosity took me through Ars Technica’s look at the Romney campaign’s technology – Romney campaign got its IT from Best Buy, Staples, and friends– and got down to the heading Picking a few things up at the Apple Store and see that Apple picked up a decent customer in the campaign. (more…)

While the major record labels and movie studios do what they can to shutter The Pirate Bay, thousands of lesser known artists are eager to become featured on the site’s homepage. Since the start of the “Promo Bay” initiative in January, 10,000 independent artists have signed up to be promoted by the world’s largest torrent site. Those who were lucky enough to be featured have enjoyed a healthy career boost and in some cases earned thousands of dollars from file-sharing fans..


Conventional wisdom is that there is no value in “free” distribution, yet 10,000 artists – probably more than signed to all labels combined currently – have taken advantage of the offer: free music for promotion.

Who’s looking out of step now? Not the artists, that’s for sure.

The conventional wisdom from the dinosaurs of the film, TV and music business is that all they need to do is get laws changed in their favor to “stop piracy”.

In Japan they got their way with a new, draconian, law going into effect:

Except, the reality is that consumers are spending less on music than they were before the bill became law. The article actually posits that the government has made some people so fearful of being arrested that they won’t do any downloading from legitimate sources any more — just in case it’s tainted. So even if they can cut out piracy (doubtful) there’s little evidence to suggest much increase in commerce as a result.

When will they realize it’s a business model problem. I repeat that no peer reviewed (i.e. legitimate) study has ever proved any damage to any organization from unauthorized distribution. Those “studies” that the industry produce have been pretty thoroughly debunked. It’s time stop suing and start thinking of new business models that embrace the publicity value from “unauthorized” distribution.

Good editing, they say, should be invisible. Great audio not only enhances the picture but a well designed soundscape takes the project to a whole other level. Similarly, we never notice the work of the “finisher”, or colorist (although at the most basic level) – or even the editor – who makes sure that all shots are balanced, and consistent.

It’s not something you notice, until a show comes along so bad that it affects the enjoyment of the show. These two shots are just one of the many, many, examples from the same show where shots are gray and washed out, or overly contrasty. Even when they are purportedly the same set up.

With just one shot between them, this is typical of the jarring jump in levels. They’re on green screen with the backgrounds matted in – very obvious when the hair line just gets blurred because, well, doing a decent key was too hard?

I know budgets are tight, but seriously, the rarely-great-but-never-this-bad color match feature from FCP X would be better than this!

These are stills extracted from a digital file, not screen shots. What was seen on the screen had slightly different gamma (not surprisingly) but otherwise was just as jarring.



7toX for Final Cut Pro 1.0.14

The latest release of 7toX for Final Cut Pro available today in the Mac App Store includes:

• Bug fix for scale when there is no aspect ratio set
• Bug fix for still images in an Event
• Bug fix for sequence markers
• Bug fix for track audio levels and pans in nested sequences
• Bug fix for badly formed XML
• Bug fix for open and save dialogs

That bug fix for sequence markers is a critical one, as it’s caused grief for quite a few customers.

Yes, finally, another Terence and Philip Show! This time Terence grills Philip on what really happened during the Solar Odyssey, the production lessons learnt and what else has come out of the experience.

A short article (from the Associated Press so it may time out, sorry) Director Thomas finds passion project online leads with:

 Director Betty Thomas neatly sums up the benefits of making a low-budget online series: a lack of high-level meddling.

“There’s no network saying, ‘Oh, Betty, I’m not sure viewers will like that character if she picks that banana up,'” the Emmy-winning actress turned director said. Mention that the character enjoys fruit, she said, and the network comeback may be, “But what does a banana symbolize?”


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November 2012
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