Future Media Concepts Presents: Editing Tech 101

Heavily involved in many aspects of post-production, Word Wizards realizes that editing is where the magic begins. And choosing the right editing software for your project—Adobe Premiere, Avid or Final Cut—is essential. A huge thank you goes out to TIVA who recently sponsored an incredibly informative panel discussion at Future Media Concepts, Comparing Editing Platforms, which addressed the issue. Panelist included three talented editors, Virginia Quesada, Sylus Green and Matthew Nagy. Attendees spent half an hour with each editor to learn about their preferred editing software.

Avid Media Composer:

Avid editing platform.

 

Virginia Quesada a well-known trainer and editor at Future Media Concepts demonstrated Avid Media Composer. She explained that the software easily handles transcoding and consolidation. And how the software efficiently cleans movie files and copies them for editing. According to Quesada, Avid Media Composer imports and accommodates footage from the 4K camera without difficulty while the point tracker effects allows you to simply and seamlessly change the frame of an object within an image. The corrective effects like color correction are smooth are easy to use by editors of all levels.

Adobe Premiere

Adobe-Premier

Editor Matt Nagy explained why he is such a big fan of Adobe Premier. The importation of files by the software does not require transcode and works with most formats. Premiere also plays seamlessly with the rest of the Adobe family of products including Photoshop or After Effects. For example, an audio clip you are adjusting in Premiere can be dropped into Adobe Audition for tweaking then returned to Premiere.  And the warp stabilizer that smoothes out your footage gives more of a steady cam look. Important to note: Adobe offers comprehensive support for camera formats and plugins immediately after release.

Final Cut Pro

Final-Cut-Pro

Editor Sylus Green explained that Final Cut Pro Version X is very different from Version 7 and this has frustrated many users since it was missing some features they had become used to. Because of the criticism, Apple returned some of the functionality that editors demanded into the program through updates. This included reinstating features such as multicam editing, XML support, Red camera support with native REDCODE Raw Editing and editing individual audio channels right into the timeline.  And the cost of FCP X at $299 is less expensive when compared to other editing software. Green praised the keyword and smart collection tool in FCP X that aids searches, and is a favorite among documentary makers. The retiming tools of X allow you to manually affect the speed of a clip by simply dragging a bar over it. In FCP X the multi-cam editor easily and quickly syncs your work, a big change from the clunky FCP 7.

The Perfect Fit for You

While each of the different software had their own strengths, there were a few downsides. Instead of simply purchasing the software, with Adobe you must subscribe on a monthly basis to use all the features. However, Adobe, Avid and Apple all allow you try their software for a trial period. Different editors like different features, so try before you buy!

 




Going Postal – Financial Troubles Ahead For U.S. Mail

In the wake of the Fiscal Cliff fiasco, a smaller, but still important, financial issue remains under the national radar. The U.S. Postal System is rapidly running out of cash, and they are almost out of options. Even worse, the legislative branch is completely distracted from this problem with the looming debt ceiling and sequestration negotiations dominating congressional discussions.

USPS Logo in Blue

Staying Afloat

A Ship overturned sinking in the arctic.

Leaders of The U.S. Postal System are trying to do everything in their power to avoid entering official bankruptcy. On one side, they obviously need to cut costs to continue providing their services. At the same time however, they are trying find a way to preserve as many jobs and services as possible while still keeping their heads above water. A fiscal boost from Washington would likely be the easiest way for The U.S. Post to continue business as usual. However, as CNN reports, “The U.S. Postal Service is, by law, an ‘independent establishment’ of the executive branch. The agency doesn’t normally use tax dollars for operations, except for its loan from Treasury. In 2005, the Postal Service had no debt.”

CNN Money Reports – U.S. Postal Service faces fiscal cliff

Pulling Up The Boot Straps

The U.S. Postal Service is doing everything they can to pull their operation back from the brink. In 2012, the Postal Service cut operating hours at thousands of post offices. It has also combined many of its facilities, which led to a 28,000 drop in its workforce, according to their spokesperson, Sue Brennan. All of it was achieved through attrition, which includes retirements and departures by employees who couldn’t relocate or take up new jobs.

Closed sign over a Post Office.

Down the street from our office is a giant hole in the ground that used to be our local Post Office here in Silver Spring. The entire operation has been relocated and combined with another location nearby. Postal workers continue to feel the squeeze as everyone works hard to try and save their jobs. The situation is grim, but just like every other company in this country right now, The Postal Service must do what they can to stay relevant and stay alive.

Technology vs Tradition

As Bob Dylan once eloquently wrote, “Oh the times they are a’ changing.” In its infancy, The U.S. Postal system provided a service that nobody else could do at the time. In an age when an E-mail sent right now can reach someone in China five seconds later, the primary market for postal deliveries had evaporated. It seems that these days, the only mail we get is from marketers and bill collectors. People just don’t seem to keep in touch via letter like they once did, causing massive drops in revenue for The U.S. Post over the last 15 years. Not to mention that Americans are accustomed to an insanely low fee for standard mail services. For example, I could send a letter to California from here in Maryland for less than $1, you cant even buy a stick of gum for that these days!

“So you better start swimmin’ or you’ll sink like a stone, cuz the times they are a’ changing!” – Bob Dylan