CAT | Business & Marketing
Although Final Cut Pro X’s initial release was four years ago today – June 21st – the story starts much earlier for me. Much more significant was the NAB 2011 preview that completely killed our software business for a couple of months, and even before that, with the speculation leading up to Apple’s formal release of a fresh approach to what a modern NLE should be.
There are important lessons from our experience.
As a small independent software developer we don’t have a huge staff. There are exactly two of us: Greg and myself, so if we’re traveling together we have to be able to support customers. That means Internet access and some means of answering the phone. These are not as easy as I’d like when traveling internationally, so I thought I’d share our approach.
In the first Terence and Philip Show for – well, too long – Terence Curren and I look back on the trends of 2014.
As it turns out, Gatekeeper wasn’t finished with us yet, as it turned out when Greg went to add another feature to Producer’s Best Friend.
Writing the code for a new feature is often the easiest part of the life of a small software developer. Two recent examples tell the story very well. Both involve updates to our reporting tools: Sequence Clip Reporter and Producer’s Best Friend. Part 2 follows tomorrow.
A recent comment in an article on CNET.com caught my eye:
“If I owned a studio, I’d make movie theaters pay me,” says Dana Brunetti, producer of “House of Cards” and “The Social Network.”
Needles to say I had to read the article. First note was that this comment was in the context of a web focused conference, so there may be an element of “playing to the audience”, but in essence the argument is that more online/web companies should follow Netflix (and Amazon, Google and Apple) into producing more original content.
With online and technology-based companies already threatening traditional distribution methods, the impact would be huge: “Once Silicon Valley can create content as well,” said Brunetti, “they’ll own it soup to nuts.”
I can’t argue with that. More original production means more jobs in the industry. (And yes, more clients for my day job’s business.)
What appeals to me is the push for “per program” content purchase. As long as the pricing issue is solved. It should cost no more (over a month) for a la carte purchases of limited programming, than it is for a full cable subscription.
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.
An article in Forbes this week asserts that Netflix’s eventual world-wide reach will prevent funding via pre-sales through traditional territory-by-territory strategy. While a shift is this necessarily a bad thing?
Indeed, Netflix will likely expand from creating original series to creating its own large budget films, with the initial premiere on-line. Netflix may be a vibrant, important source of new financing that disrupts the studio system and bypasses standard distribution channels.
We’ve seen all the new media giants start creating their own exclusive content: Netflix, Amazon, Microsoft (although that’s being closed down) and of course, Apple. Apple??? That’s right, Apple. Most people don’t realize that Apple is also in the content creation business, but the iTunes Music Festival is really about creating exclusive content for Apple’s ecosystem. Given this is the 8th year of the festival, Apple have been creating original content for their ecosystem longer than anyone else.