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

Archive for October 2014

Over on IndieGoGo there’s a project for MOX – an open source mezzanine codec for (mostly) postproduction workflows and archiving. The obvious advantage over existing codecs like ProRes, DNxHD and Cineform is that MOX will be open source, so there is significantly reduce risk that the codec might go away in the future, or stop being supported.

Technically the project looks reasonable and feasible. There is a small, but significant, group of people who worry that support for the current codecs may go away in the future. There’s no real evidence for this, other than that Apple has deprecated old, inefficient and obsolete codecs by not bringing them forward to AVFoundation.

I have more concerns for the long term with an open source project. History shows that many projects start strong, but ultimately it comes down to a small group of people (or one in MOX’s case) doing all the work, and inevitably life’s circumstances intervene.

MOX is not a bad idea. I just doubt that it will gain and sustain the momentum it would need.

As Final Cut Pro X – and other modern video apps – are built on Frameworks from the core OS, those Frameworks sometimes provide clues to Apple’s thinking. One that we care a lot about is AVFoundation, which is the modern replacement for QuickTime at the application and OS level. We’ve seen this in the transition from QuickTime Player 7, which is built on QuickTime (both QTKit and the older C API). Unfortunately AVFoundation has lacked many features that are essential for video workflows, so I watch the features added to AVFoundation as a way of understanding where video apps might go.

Firstly, there has been a massive update to AVFoundation in Yosemite, and it appears we get reference movies back.

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Oct/14

5

Adobe’s Hollywood Debut Party!

Today, Adobe held a “family and friends” screening of Gone Girl on the Fox lot. It felt very much like Adobe’s formal Debutante appearance in Hollywood – the world of Studio films. For those who do not know, David Fincher’s Gone Girl was the first studio film edited on Adobe Premiere. It must be a proud day for the entire Adobe Premiere Pro team, but I couldn’t help but reflect on what a great day it must be for Adobe’s Mike Kanfer, who has worked tirelessly promoting Premiere Pro within the Hollywood Filmmaking community to see this day happen.

It’s a damned good film, you should go see it, although I was a bit squeamish in one part.

Anyway, Greg and I – aka Intelligent Assistance – were very proud to have been a small part of Adobe’s success story, by providing the crucial Change List tool for Adobe Premiere Pro. We’ve still to commercialize it into an Adobe Panel, but it’s coming.

We were also very pleased with a “Special Thanks” credit on the movie itself. It’s right at the end but we’re in good company.

This interview was recorded a couple of months back, and I’ve been waiting for it to come out, as I think it’s one of my three favorite times as interview subject of all time, along with recent interviews on That Post Show (Episode 13) and FCPX Grill. This one is interesting because it focuses more on my adventures in business rather than production or post production. Apparently during the interview I talk about (from Scott’s description, not my own):

  • How to recover when forces outside of your control destroy your entire business model.
  • Moaning and complaining is a rather poor business approach.
  • To always be on the look-out for new opportunities.
  • When to tell your clients to go pound sand.
  • How to concentrate on things to advance your company’s goals.
  • That marketing is education.
  • What is the best way to eat a giant animal.

The Podcast’s full name is The Video Crush with Scott Markowitz and I’m up in Episode 3.

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October 2014
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