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#8 Welcome to the Low End

COW Blogs : FCPX On-Air : #8 Welcome to the Low End
Hi everyone.

It's been over a year since we last made one of these walk through videos. There are many reasons we took so long. The first is that we've been too dang busy. The second is that it's pretty much impossible to feature the professional work we actually do in one of these as there are so many legal issues involved. Using a broadcast of cable show as part of a tutorial would basically get me sued into oblivion. I love to share our workflow - but not that much!

In order to provide you with great walk through fodder, I have to bide my time till we have a project we can feature.

Enter the pig.

Back in December one of those personal projects fell into my lap. It was for a Kalua Pig Imu cook in Kaneohe, Hawaii. My in-laws participate in this Kalua pig cook every year, and since I'm the family 'TV guy', they wanted me to shoot this. The fun part of the experience was they expected me to show up with lots of big cameras and lights - the typical array of impressive prosumer gear. Imagine their disappointment when all I had was a messenger bag and a few little pieces of gear.

This brings me to the bigger picture. I believe that the majority of FCPX users right now are one man bands, college kids, and smaller facilities. There's always a rush for everyone to declare work as 'high end', or a facility as 'high end' - I tend to find that terminology annoying. It implies that the speaker either believes that you, the listener, are easily impressed - or worse - that the speaker spends most of their time on the 'low end'. With that in mind, I wanted to make something that shows you can make something that doesn't completely suck using only low end tools.

I shot this video with a Sony RX100, iPhone 5S, a Joby mini-gorilla tripod, a Dolcina Travel tripod, and a Rode Smartlav, plus a few other little gizmos I got off of Amazon. The bulk of the project was edited on a very low end 13" Macbook Air.

There are two videos below - one is the walk through of the edit. I tried to show some of the tricks I used to get as much as I could from what I had, feature some of the tools I used on the shoot, and just analyze some things that maybe even more experienced editors aren't aware of. The second video is the actual edited piece. I hope you guys enjoy it - I'm sure I got some things wrong in my description. What do you expect? That's how things work on the low end.

One other thing. #9 - as well as all spots we create for network air - are mixed in Logic Pro X.

#8 Anatomy of a Pig




#9 Kalua Pig



Posted by: John Davidson on Apr 17, 2014 at 4:09:58 pmComments (35) FCPX

Comments

Re: Blog: #8 Welcome to the Low End
by John Godwin
Well done, John, like the food. My mouth is watering uncontrollably, regardless of the gear used to tell the story.

Best,
John
Re: Blog: #8 Welcome to the Low End
by Joseph Owens
Very nice little home video. Glad it didn't cost too much or was very difficult to do.

A. You carnivores disgust me.

B. It takes three times as long to explain how to do it as the clip proper?

C. I didn't really watch the FCPx video because of length. And I got distracted by that GoPro demo that pops up in the second row, third from the left when the cooking show ends.

jPo

"I always pass on free advice -- its never of any use to me" Oscar Wilde.
Re: Blog: #8 Welcome to the Low End
by TImothy Auld
Thanks, John. Growing up in south Florida there was always a pig roast on New Years Eve and that brought back memories. It looked beautiful.

My concern is audio editing. Doing what I do I would probably have to have made several hundred audio edits in that piece (with at least two on camera talent folk that I would have to seamlessly integrate.) So my question is: How could that kind of thing be accomplished simply with FCPX?

Tim
@TImothy Auld
by John Davidson
Oh gosh yeah - there were TONS of audio edits in that thing.


Keep in mind this is a massively zoomed out shot of the audio only. At this width you're not seeing all the ums and ahs I had to take out. Also, I broke David's interview into grouped topics because we revisited sections I wanted more clarity on in successive interview questions.

If you have multiple audio sources on multiple cameras you just do a multi cam like I did and you're off to the races. I probably should have done a synchronized clip instead of a multi cam, but I didn't particular care. The multi cam synced it instantly. I think that how I did it highlights FCPX's ability to accomplish a single task in many ways - something that FCP7 was great about.

John Davidson | President / Creative Director | Magic Feather Inc.
+1
Re: #8 Welcome to the Low End
by John Davidson
Thanks everyone for the comments. For the record I would charge way more for this, warts and all. $500 wouldn't even cover the plane ticket!

John Davidson | President / Creative Director | Magic Feather Inc.
+1
Re: Blog: #8 Welcome to the Low End
by Michael Garber
Very nice work, John! I learned more about the process of cooking the pig than from No Reservations. Tasty stuff!

Michael Garber
5th Wall - a post production company
Blog: GARBERSHOP
My Moviola Webinar on Color Correcting in FCP X
My Moviola Webinar on Cutting News in FCP X
Re: Blog: #8 Welcome to the Low End
by Scott Witthaus
It's a great story, that's the key. I don't care what it was shot on. Concept is king.

Crap is crap no matter what it's shot on.

Scott Witthaus
Senior Editor/Post Production Supervisor
1708 Inc./Editorial
Professor, VCU Brandcenter
+1
Re: Blog: #8 Welcome to the Low End
by Gary Huff
[Scott Witthaus] "Concept is king."

Which is why Transformers and the Twilight series were huge moneymakers.
Re: Blog: #8 Welcome to the Low End
by Mark Raudonis
John,

I really enjoyed BOTH your finished piece and the "How you did it" explanation. Very informative.

Now, excuse me while I go find something to eat! I'm hungry!

Mark

Re: Blog: #8 Welcome to the Low End
by Mitch Ives
Nicely done John...

Bill's right, you don't need to manage anyone's expectations... it's a nice piece and I enjoyed it.

The fact that you did it with minimal equipment is anecdotally interesting, but it's your craft that made it interesting. An amateur with an Alexa couldn't have done that... just saying.

Mitch Ives
Insight Productions Corp.

"Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things." - Winston Churchill
Re: Blog: #8 Welcome to the Low End
by Gary Huff
[Mitch Ives] "An amateur with an Alexa couldn't have done that... just saying."

Amateurs usually don't get Alexas.

But give an amateur an iPhone and FCPX and it'll look like crap too.
Re: Blog: #8 Welcome to the Low End
by Mitch Ives
Unfortunately they did... and I ended up having to edit it. You'd be surprised what equipment students have access to these days, using your taxpayer dollars...

Mitch Ives
Insight Productions Corp.

"Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things." - Winston Churchill
Re: Blog: #8 Welcome to the Low End
by Gary Huff
[Mitch Ives] "You'd be surprised what equipment students have access to these days, using your taxpayer dollars..."

Exception proves the rule. They wouldn't have access in a non-student environment with a university that apparently has cash to burn on gear. And if they can't do it on the Alexa, they can't do it on an iPhone either.
Re: Blog: #8 Welcome to the Low End
by Andrew Kimery
[Gary Huff] "Exception proves the rule. They wouldn't have access in a non-student environment with a university that apparently has cash to burn on gear"

Unless they are in a saturated marketplace like LA. Just browse through LA Cragislist ads and you'll probably find two or three postings a week looking for editors or colorists to work on no-budget projects that were shot in 4K on Red Epics. High-end digital cinema cameras are apparently a dime a dozen out here.
Re: Blog: #8 Welcome to the Low End
by Jordan Mena
nice!

Jordan Mena | Editor | Colorist | Producer
Los Angeles, CA
jordanmena.com
Re: Blog: #8 Welcome to the Low End
by Bill Davis
John, amigo, I think you've got the instructions backwards on this.

Tell people to WATCH the final first.

THEN clue them in on what you shot it on, how you shot it, and your workflow.

Because 15 seconds in, I literally forgot I wasn't watching a network produced travel show.

I haven't used the new stabilization yet in 10.1 so thanks for the look at that, and also DAMN you for making me hungry like that.

; )

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.
Re: Blog: #8 Welcome to the Low End
by Gary Huff
[Bill Davis] "Because 15 seconds in, I literally forgot I wasn't watching a network produced travel show."

That's great, right? Why should producers of those shows be spending any more than $300-$500 per episode max? Clearly this is the future of television.
Re: Blog: #8 Welcome to the Low End
by Bill Davis
[Gary Huff] "That's great, right? Why should producers of those shows be spending any more than $300-$500 per episode max? Clearly this is the future of television."

Well, let me take you seriously.

Producers aren't stupid. (most of them anyway) They generally understand that they're not always paying for JUST raw skills. If they're smart, they're also paying for intangibles such as judgement, dependability, creativity, artistic sensibility. And those things cost a boatload more than the ability to press buttons.

Face it Gary, pure knowledge of processes is rapidly being devalued to near zero - and for a damn good reason.Everybody has access to most of the worlds PROCESS information in their pockets on their cel phones.

You don't need an expert anymore to ACCESS and OPERATE the white balance system on an Arri Alexa. You can look that up on your iPHone. You DO need somebody on the set who understands when the light has changed and is conditioned to notice that.

Will folks try to pay $500 to get videos like this? Of course. And while a few of them will get lucky and succeed, the vast majority of them will fail to achieve the results John did. Because they don't have his sensitilities.

The tools he used ALLOWED him to take on a simple, enjoyable family project and achieve the result he did with minimal stress and hassle.

What in hells name makes you think that because he is enabled to do this, that means that somebody with a serous business requirement will opt to hire cheap talent and risk project success and their reputations just because it's possible?

You're essentially saying that ALL producers are predatory and stupid and just in it for every extra buck they can squeeze out.

I simply don't think that's any more true today than it's ever been. And maybe it's a lot LESS. Why? Because we are more connected.

It's a new world. Nobody can hide. We all are who everyone we touch SAY we are. If I show up and am incompetent, or treat my crew like a grinder - it won't take long before that becomes part of my public record.

Welcome to the connected world. Things are going to change fast, IMO.

My 2 cents.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.
Re: Blog: #8 Welcome to the Low End
by Gary Huff
[Bill Davis] "Producers aren't stupid. (most of them anyway) They generally understand that they're not always paying for JUST raw skills. If they're smart, they're also paying for intangibles such as judgement, dependability, creativity, artistic sensibility. And those things cost a boatload more than the ability to press buttons."

I am not seeing anything substantially different here than what most videos of these types look like. Do you really think a typical producer will notice the difference between something like this and what their fresh-out-of-film-school relative would turn out? Besides, when shooting with the iPhone, it is just pushing a button: the record one.

[Bill Davis] "Face it Gary, pure knowledge of processes is rapidly being devalued to near zero - and for a damn good reason.Everybody has access to most of the worlds PROCESS information in their pockets on their cel phones."

But they don't use it. Seriously, the amount of people who can't seem to Google basic information is staggering.

[Bill Davis] "
You don't need an expert anymore to ACCESS and OPERATE the white balance system on an Arri Alexa. You can look that up on your iPHone. You DO need somebody on the set who understands when the light has changed and is conditioned to notice that."


But we are not talking about an Alexa. That is a red herring. We are talking about a cell phone video camera that automatically does everything for the shooter (except set proper headroom apparently) and you just said that you couldn't tell that you weren't watching a network travel show. So why should they bother with the cost, weight, and professional opinion of someone who is watching the lighting when the iPhone itself will do all of that for the operator?

[Bill Davis] "Will folks try to pay $500 to get videos like this? Of course. And while a few of them will get lucky and succeed, the vast majority of them will fail to achieve the results John did. Because they don't have his sensitilities."

Again, let's step back and separate the messenger from the message. I don't see that big of a gulf of difference, no matter what you would like to tell yourself.

[Bill Davis] "If I show up and am incompetent, or treat my crew like a grinder - it won't take long before that becomes part of my public record."

And these people still continue to get work for some reason, so it's not entirely a sure thing that your public shaming on someone random crew member's Twitter feed will turn into anything at all.

But that's still a red herring.

I responded directly to your expressed inability to tell the difference between this piece and something much more expensive. So you are essentially saying that those producers and shows who strive for a more controlled environment, with manual cameras and lighting, are essentially wasting their money for no gain when it comes to the viewer, are you not?
Re: Blog: #8 Welcome to the Low End
by tony west
This is a good topic Bill and Gary.

I think it's a mixed bag at this point.

I never thought I would see the day when producers on major networks would be broadcasting phone footage on major sporting events, but I'm seeing it now.

On the other hand I still haven't gotten less work because of it.

Some things I don't think they would have paid for in the past anyway but they can now get with their phone.

There is such a range of needs. A producer grabbing a shot of players coming off a plane with his iPhone
but then the owner of a MLB team is going to take you on a tour of their new museum.

They don't trust the walk and talk with the owner to a phone at this point. Maybe down the line.
but right now, you have one chance at that shot and if it gets blown, somebody is in trouble.

To me, it comes down to how important is the shot or shoot and will somebody be fired if it's not right seems to determine if I get hired.


I don't know that producers can tell the difference between their iPhone and my F3 and Zeiss primes

When you have to take in multiple wireless mics and control the levels coming in and send wireless HDMI
to the director's monitor from the stedi

the iPhone is not ready for that yet. Maybe next year : )


BTW, there was a lighting director that lit this for me.........and a sound guy, and hair and makeup and others.

I hope some shoots stay that way.

+1
Re: Blog: #8 Welcome to the Low End
by Gary Huff
[tony west] "
BTW, there was a lighting director that lit this for me.........and a sound guy, and hair and makeup and others."


The issue is that Bill, as a viewer, apparently doesn't notice the difference that much if you took that all away and paid you a paltry sum to shoot it on your iPhone.

So it was an entire waste of money apparently.
Re: Blog: #8 Welcome to the Low End
by Bill Davis
[Gary Huff] "The issue is that Bill, as a viewer, apparently doesn't notice the difference that much if you took that all away and paid you a paltry sum to shoot it on your iPhone.

So it was an entire waste of money apparently."


But Gary - neither *I* or *you* are the audience that gets to make this determination in the open market of commerce.

It's "the public."

And I defy you to put Johns video and say, a Ken Burns video up in front of any mass audience and then poll them to articulate ANY quantitative difference based on image appearance or camerawork or "watchability."

The difference will come from the interests of the audience members. Any audience member who is interested in cooking will be delighted with John's video. And any audience that is interested in the Civil War will be delighted with Ken's efforts.

And sorry, but the fact that Ken made his with an expensive crew and John made his with an iPhone is largely irrelevant - really, only "grizzled old insiders" even care.

You can try to force that to mean that the equipment doesn't matter if you like. But everyone here knows the truth of it. Ken Burns spends tens or hundreds of thousands chasing excellence, lasting quality and meaning. And to get that, he will likely spend a relatively small fraction of his overall budget on the cameras and lights. John simply used what he had and matched that to the needs of the production and achieved the same exact end result - a great looking piece that met the needs of HIS audience as well. Ken has months and hired expertise and all sorts of assets to toss at the project. John had a week and what he could shlep on the airplane.

And that makes notable what John achieved. And it doesn't diminish the Ken Burns approach in the slightest. Different processes for different levels of risk and reward. Perfectly in balance in the universe of value.

The ONLY difference in the two pieces is that there's ALWAYS been an industry that serves the big bucks mass audience - and only recently has there been an "industry" of solo practitioners with the skills and equipment to serve the needs of smaller projects and clients and one that pushes the results ever closer to the quality of the big crews - but with less risk. So more quality content gets created at ALL price points.

You seem to hate that and see it as a threat. That's too bad. I see it as a way to get MORE quality content for more audiences without having to make as many compromises.

I celebrate it. You fear it. We're likely both somewhat correct - and just as likely somewhat wrong.

And so it goes.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.
Re: Blog: #8 Welcome to the Low End
by Gary Huff
[Bill Davis] "The difference will come from the interests of the audience members. Any audience member who is interested in cooking will be delighted with John's video. And any audience that is interested in the Civil War will be delighted with Ken's efforts."

But that's Apples and Oranges, really. We're not talking differences in content, and I'm perplexed as to why you decided to try that argument. The question is, would a Travel Channel or Discovery or whoever be just as well to slash the budgets for each of their shows by 1/4 or more because you, Bill Davis, standing in for the audience at large, isn't bothered by the difference between, say, a C300 crew with lighting vs the producer's talented nephew with an iPhone. That's a huge savings for a zero net change in viewer appreciation that any number cruncher would be absolutely delighted over.

[Bill Davis] "And sorry, but the fact that Ken made his with an expensive crew and John made his with an iPhone is largely irrelevant - really, only "grizzled old insiders" even care."

It's not irrelevant. This who side-discussion started because you, Mr. Bill Davis, said the following:

[Bill Davis] "Because 15 seconds in, I literally forgot I wasn't watching a network produced travel show."

So you have now put this piece on par with The Layover, Bizarre Foods, ect. If you, as a viewer, can completely forget that it's "low end", then you are absolutely saying, by way of implication, that the money these shows spend to deliver a certain level of video quality, is being completely wasted. Why pay someone $600-800 per day to shoot when you could get whole shows for the same amount?

[Bill Davis] "You seem to hate that and see it as a threat."

I hate it just like I hate anything that gives producers ideas that makes it impossible to make a living doing anything like this. And no, it wouldn't be able to sustain itself at that level, but you and others can drive it down there with your constant trumpeting enough that the time it takes to swing back around is enough to drive people out of the business as they attempt to make a living.

[Bill Davis] "I see it as a way to get MORE quality content for more audiences without having to make as many compromises."

We don't need more content. We need less and better. Humanity has video content streaming non-stop out of every orifice, far more than any one person could ever hope to catch up to see anything in an entire lifetime. I fail to see why championing even more content in this day and age is anything but a losing game. Unless you would be okay with making $10-15 per hour with your editing. Because there isn't enough money to pay people to live with all that content being created.
Re: Blog: #8 Welcome to the Low End
by Bill Davis
[Gary Huff] "But that's Apples and Oranges, really. We're not talking differences in content, and I'm perplexed as to why you decided to try that argument. The question is, would a Travel Channel or Discovery or whoever be just as well to slash the budgets for each of their shows by 1/4 or more because you, Bill Davis, standing in for the audience at large, isn't bothered by the difference between, say, a C300 crew with lighting vs the producer's talented nephew with an iPhone. That's a huge savings for a zero net change in viewer appreciation that any number cruncher would be absolutely delighted over."

Because you're having so much difficulty with this rudimentary concept, let me attempt to make it clear.

If you have an inverted pyramid filled with 100,000.000 dollars of fragile stuff, it makes total sense to invest in a reinforced tip section that is totally SURE to hold the weight, no ifs, ands or buts. The risk of investment is COMMENSURATE with the need to insure against failure.

THAT is actually is how professional work is budgeted. Investment commensurate with risk and return.

But if you have a similar pyramid that only needs to hold say, 100 pounds, you can construct a tip section that is no where NEAR as perfectly engineered. In fact, your project might be personal and failure is no big deal. It topples, you laugh and you move on. So you do the best you can with what you have.

That's all we're talking about here. Nobody with a brain sees these two examples and suddenly goes to "Hey, that artist did GREAT work with crayons - so let's demand that ALL artists use crayons in perpetuity. That's why the point you keep trying to make sucks. Success with cheaper gear does NOT lead to the REQUIREMENT for others to use cheaper gear. Those who value safety over dollar savings will always balance their larger pyramids on the strongest possible foundations.

You seem offended by the possibility that someone who doesn't employ a workflow that you feel is engineered to YOUR standards has no damn business making content. Well screw that.

John's project gets to exist. We get to enjoy it.

It's not a contest.

Actually, the saddest thing your thinking led you to write was this...:

"We don't need more content. We need less and better. Humanity has video content streaming non-stop out of every orifice, far more than any one person could ever hope to catch up to see anything in an entire lifetime."

Nobody sent me the memo, so I guess I didn't realize that you'd been set up as the arbitrator of the quantity and type of video the rest of us SHOULD need. I'll make a note of that. In the meantime, I don't care a jot if the content stream doubles. or triples, or grows by the power of ten. All I care is that when I want to watch something useful to me I can find it.

And John has made a very useful contribution to the cosmic video library.

Thank GOD you didn't get to quash it prior to release simply cuz the gear he used didn't meet your standards and he didn't toss enough dollars off to pay a big crew.

The rest of us definitely dodged a bullet there.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.
Re: Blog: #8 Welcome to the Low End
by Gary Huff
[Bill Davis] "That's all we're talking about here."

It's not all we're talking about here, Bill. I feel I have been perfectly clear that I am approaching it from your comment as a viewer. That you were carried away by the content and didn't notice much difference from the typical, much higher equiped and budgeted TV shows.

So let me ask you this: if the vast majority of, say, Travel Channel or Food Channel shows looked just like this piece, would you feel, as an audience member, a sense of anything missing? Would you even notice?

[Bill Davis] "
You seem offended by the possibility that someone who doesn't employ a workflow that you feel is engineered to YOUR standards has no damn business making content. Well screw that."


Wrong again. I wasn't offended, I just thought your comment about not noticing a difference was absurd, and used it as a jumping off point about where "good enough" could take an entire generation of content. I felt I was very clear in steering it towards that, but you are either unaware or unwilling to go there.

[Bill Davis] "John's project gets to exist. We get to enjoy it."

Nowhere have I even come close to stating that John's project should not exist. I found your comment about how there should be even more content meant for, I would assume, mass consumption to be ridiculous given the level we have already obtained. Had nothing to do with whether or not his project has the right to exist. This conversation is tangential to his project, actually, and has its roots entirely in a comment that you made.

[Bill Davis] "And, IMO, the new reality will only threaten those who secretly feel that their work is balanced - not on a foundation of real value - but on a system of quality scarcity as it relates to expertise and resources - and that system IS changing whether or not you like it."

I find this comment to be totally off-base, your insinuation very clear about my supposed level of "real value"...whatever the hell that means. And no, I don't feel "threaten"ed by this, I find it a devaluation of the hard work and experience that I would bring to someone who would hire me to create content in this fashion for a much higher budget. Imagine if iMovie added an "auto edit" button, and I mentioned that some resulting video was just as good as anything I had ever seen Bill Davis himself edit. Wouldn't that be a devaluation of your experience and craft? If iMovie could automagically do just a good a job as an edit as you could, why should anyone ever pay the bill to hire Bill Davis? If someone could shoot video on an iPhone that is just as pleasing to the audience as an $800/day shooter with a C300 or F55, why should they pay that either?

Now, I figure you were just using hyperbole to show your support for John's project, and there's nothing wrong with that. But I felt I gave you plenty of opportunity to respond in that way, and yet you still want to continue on with oddly inappropriate analogies (this piece vs Ken Burns' Civil War? Really? You might as well have compared the audience for Citizen Kane), and an apparent mis-reading of my entire point. However, perhaps you honestly feel that if Discovery went full on iPhone 5 productions that the average viewer would hardly notice, in which case they would be saving a helluva lot of money.

And I'll be rooting for that "instant edit" feature.
Re: Blog: #8 Welcome to the Low End
by Bill Davis
[Gary Huff] "However, perhaps you honestly feel that if Discovery went full on iPhone 5 productions that the average viewer would hardly notice, in which case they would be saving a helluva lot of money.

And I'll be rooting for that "instant edit" feature."


You simply cannot be this confused about my points unless you're trying very VERY hard to be so.

Let me try it in simple, declarative sentences.

Like you, I understand that inexpensive cameras generally have less capability compared to less expensive cameras. I suspect John understands this too.

Sometimes that difference is critical.

For example, my last shoot was on a C-300. Why? Because the gig didn't need an Alexa or Red. I didn't shoot it on my iPhone because that was a poor match. But I DID shoot a couple of wander around booth interviews at NAB on my iPhone 5c. And the footage looks just fine.

What you seem confused by is that sometimes the difference between a C-300 and an iPhone 5s is NOT critical.

Johns project was a case in point.

He captured the story, was able to grade his footage to achieve a look that made his project a joy to watch. (He even showed how he used FCP-X to make the iPhone shots look great!)

This makes you angry, somehow. You keep essentially arguing that what John did THREATENS high end production in (presumably) the video and movie business.

I think that's bunk. My arguments are about how people with large dollars on the line will always use them to gain access to better, more reliable gear and talent. Because that's what makes economic sense.

Every client I ever landed, I landed because somebody else couldn't deliver - and I'd prepared myself to better compete. And not ONCE do I recall landing the work purely because I was cheaper. In fact, in mid career, I lost more work because my rates were too low! But generally, I got the work because someone became convinced that I'd be more reliable, more enjoyable to be around. or just a SAFER bet. And the perception of safety was WAY more valuable to my corporate clients than saving a few bucks.

Every time I got an introduction to the next executive up the chain, it was because my current corporate client trusted me not to embarrass them. And not one of them ever bragged on my price.

And I suspect that's still true today.

The folks that buy video tend to be in the middle of organizations. And they want to move up. So projects that FAIL from incompetence are more toxic to career advancement that those that come in 15 or 20 percent more costly. That's my experience anyway.

YMMV.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.
Re: Blog: #8 Welcome to the Low End
by Jeff Markgraf
Jumping into the Davis/Huff prize fight here, because, why not...

I think both of you are bound to keep making like those proverbial ships in the night, doomed to pass one another. Bill's hyperbolic prose butting up against Gary's unnecessarily gruff manner. Yet both of you have valid points.

It seems ironic that the race to the bottom Gary rails against is so prevalent here in Hollywood. The pressure to nickel-and-dime production and postproduction here is intense. Multi-million dollar companies doing their best to screw people out of $35 meal penalties. Doing ADR for network shows in barely soundproofed trailers outside a warehouse stage to save a fraction of a percent in post costs. Cutting production days while cutting personnel. Faster! Cheaper! It's relentless.

So Gary's anger and concern is legitimate, here in the Entertainment Capital of the World.

Yet I share your enthusiasm, Bill, for the new democratization of production. For all its visual warts and flaws, the iPhone video looks a damn sight better than that old JVC KY2000 we were raving about in 1982. And the fact that my entire 4k-capable editing system costs less than a single BetaSP deck back in the day absolutely blows my mind. Hell. I gave away my not so old FCP7 system to a friend and replaced it with a FCPX system for less money. Of course, he still can't edit his way out of a paper bag, but that's sort of the point.

My livelihood is threatened weekly, if not daily, by some punk Avid or FCP jockey who will work for half my rate. My friend's job is threatened daily by some snot-nosed kid cranking out crap ADR in his garage. But I can still kick their asses creatively and technically, and now I can do it for pennies on the dollar compared to ten years ago.

To be clear, I agree with much of what Gary says, if not -how- he says it. The stuff I see on cable (and, increasingly, network) TV makes me sick. I weep for this once-proud business. Yet I also agree, Bill, with much of your enthusiasm for the new possibilities. The new media-literate generation, who take this stuff for granted, are positioned to do some great things.

Now where's my Merlot, Lance?
+1
Re: Blog: #8 Welcome to the Low End
by tony west
Well done Jeff. The point I wanted to make just couldn't do it as artfully as you did.

A Cardinal fan having to give props to a Cub fan. Oh no. Oh well, it was that good : )

I'm working the Hawks Blues today, it will be a great series.

BTW, I really liked your video John
+1
Re: Blog: #8 Welcome to the Low End
by Gary Huff
[tony west] "I'm working the Hawks Blues today, it will be a great series."

For some reason I always thought you were British.
Re: Blog: #8 Welcome to the Low End
by tony west
[Gary Huff] "[tony west] "I'm working the Hawks Blues today, it will be a great series."

For some reason I always thought you were British.
"


hahaha, top of the day old chap

I wonder if anyone over there actually says that : )
Re: Blog: #8 Welcome to the Low End
by Gary Huff
[Jeff Markgraf] "So Gary's anger and concern is legitimate, here in the Entertainment Capital of the World."

Well said, but I am not particularly angry. Concerned, yes, but not angry. Nothing I rail against will change anything. Only do my best to ride it out, because I do believe that, by and large, quality will mean something again once people have cheapened the process so much that no one cares to watch. Then the first person to actually put some care back into a production will start a new craze.
Re: Blog: #8 Welcome to the Low End
by Aindreas Gallagher
thank god someone is still arguing on here.

http://vimeo.com/user1590967/videos http://www.ogallchoir.net promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics
+1
Re: Blog: #8 Welcome to the Low End
by Jeff Markgraf
Well, Ok. Perhaps the anger that I read between the lines is just my own projection. Certainly, many of the people I work with are actually angry, because the race to the bottom directly impacts their jobs.
Re: Blog: #8 Welcome to the Low End
by David Mathis
[tony west] "I never thought I would see the day when producers on major networks would be broadcasting phone footage on major sporting events, but I'm seeing it now."

It is becoming too prevalent for my taste. The image, in most cases suffers from one of many disorders. The first is vertical syndrome, which means those menacing and distracting black bars on either side of the screen. Second, a hand or finger gets in the shot. This has happened to me when taking a picture from my phone. Image quality does vary because everything is full automatic, for the most part.

I admit that I am control freak. I prefer to have manual controls, takes some practice but when done correctly it will yield better results. Auto everything really annoys me, kind of like that magnetic timeline. Well, actually I do like the timeline just put that part in for a laugh. Auto focus does not always work that great, nothing drives me crazy faster than things going in and out of focus.

Shooting a video with your phone as a camera is fine for sharing stuff with friends and family. I really do not believe that video shot on a phone is ever meant to be broadcast. Then again, it is part of the news story. My two cents, whatever it is worth.
Re: Blog: #8 Welcome to the Low End
by Scott Witthaus
[David Mathis] " I really do not believe that video shot on a phone is ever meant to be broadcast"

The question really is, what is "broadcast". We all assume it's on a television. Not anymore. Shot on a phone and viewed on a phone might look just fine...to some.

Scott Witthaus
Senior Editor/Post Production Supervisor
1708 Inc./Editorial
Professor, VCU Brandcenter


Working with FCPX in a broadcast environment.


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