Choosing the right nonlinear editing program…

…is a headache. Kinda like driving the same old rattrap car forever…when it dies there are way too many bright shiny new choices you’ve heard about but honestly really don’t know anything about.

So I’ve dumped Apple computers for a PC – a Dell. And I’ve been slowly trying to wean myself away from the white keyboard over to the dark and mysterious black keyboard. I’ve done some research and have narrowed the programs realistically down to AVID studio, Adobe Production CS5.5, and Edius. I also looked at Sony Vegas Pro and toyed with the idea of Pinnacle, but that was too many to review. The last two are good from what I’ve seen and heard, but as a friend (yeah, you Larry) told me – Cyndy, you seem to be stuck on the “pro” label. All too true…and not just for the label, but also the fact they are proven industry standards.

What exactly AM I looking for in an editing program? Here goes:

1. Ability to take in a wide variety of video formats into one project (AVCHD, SD, jpegs, TIFFs, etc).
2. Your basic drag and drop editing. Plus.
3. The “plus” should include filters to do color correction, audio sweetening, FX, transitions.
4. Able to take on plug-ins to add to the ability of the program to individualize projects.
5. Either have or be able to work with third-party DVD authoring and burning programs.
6. Ability to create all major video files (Quicktime, mpg, avi, wmv, flv, etc). Who knows what the client will want – I just want to be able to give it to them.
Oh – and some decent tutorials please. While I CAN and have edited my way out of some pretty deep holes, I need some technical assistance so I can find my way around the new desktop.

Stay tuned…I’ll try to keep you in the loop as I wander through the trial downloads of my prospective choices.

Done my homework and played with the programs. Almost…with a deadline fast approaching and unable to download and install Edius, I had to make a decision fast…and have gone with Adobe Production CS5.5. Avid was a breeze, but CS5.5 has all the goodies in one eacy package. And the learning curve is close to non-existent. Just need to make some fairly minor adjustments to my workflow and I should be back up to speed.

FYI – Sony Vegas did not make my cut. Too many difficulties in figuring out how to actually do an edit.

Now if I get that trial disk from Grass Valley and like the look of it, may just go for Edius as a secondary system.


Handling hype…

Once again Poynter has come through with a great overview of how to tell when a major story has been hyped.

Author Julie Moos’ definition:

Hype is the discrepancy between the real value of something and the perceived value of that same thing.

She also provides the some criteria to help you decide whether a story is hyped:

Amount of coverage: How much time and space is this news occupying?
Dominance of coverage: Is this news taking over a platform (website, newscast, front page) and/or dominating several platforms?
Prominence of coverage: How prominent is this news? Is it leading a newscast, on the front page?
Type of coverage: Is the news trivial or vital? Are respected newsmakers acting as if it’s vital? Is the event unexpected, rare?
Tone of coverage: How urgent is the message, how intense the delivery? Are the graphics and images conveying crisis?
Context of coverage: What else could or should be receiving our attention instead?

Hype sells news -both time and web space and newspapers. Headline and teases grab your eye. The more lurid, the better. However, if that lead-in doesn’t live up to the reality, then the reader/listener/viewer backs off a bit more each time, learning maybe not to trust so much the next time.

Apparently photography IS a crime in Ohio…

Thanks to Canuckcam over at b-roll for this little item. Congressman Steve Chabot had police confiscate cell phones and recording devices from constituents at a town hall meeting. His reasoning? To protect the identities of his constituents.

So below is the recording made by TV news cameramen at the event who were allowed to record the meeting.

And here’s what was caught when two citizen’s protested and one of their cell phones kept recording.

Now YOU tell me what is wrong with the scenario. First – freedom of speech was squashed. Second, freedom of the press (and no – in this country NO ONE can define who is and is not media).

And strangely enough I’m not as upset at the police officer as the Congressman who gave the order to confiscate the devices. Unfortunately I’ve run into many uninformed cops who do not fully understand media rights…and who are willing to believe whatever they are told by higher-ups. I don’t absolve him either.

Yah think the Congressman has a chance of re-election?

Thanks to Amanda Emily for this update: the news has hit the mainstream media fans. Here’s the latest.

youtube nation…

When news strikes, I go hunting for video. Just an old habit. I want to see for myself what it looked like.

So after yesterday’s 5.8 earthquake back on the East Coast I went to youtube, thinking that I might be able to see some rocking.

No such luck. What was there were myriads of folks posting what THEY felt and saw. I must have gone through dozens of “eyewitless” accounts ranging from “I’m okay” to “Hey we had an earthquake” to “I’ve never been so scared in my life.”

Oh – and the fake earthquake videos. Don’t even get me going. Why anyone would shoot something that is pretty obviously NOT an earthquake defies imagination. Right up there with Jackass movies.

Hint: in a real earthquake everything is moving – not just the guy in front of the camera. Shaking the camera doesn’t make it look real. Falling on the floor doesn’t make it look real.

In the end I found a few actualities. But I also probably wasted more time than I should have. So much for citizen journalists. (Don’t tell me what I know…show me what I missed.)

End of rant.

Sigh…wrong in every way…

When I saw this, I just sat back and sighed. Law enforcement making arrests based on their aesthetic judgements. If a cop on the beat determines what you are doing ain’t journalism or art, then it’s off to the slammer with ya. Shades of 1984.

Old dog…new tricks…

Life is change…sometimes we seek it, but sometimes it thrusts itself upon us.

What’s up?

In recent months I’ve made a difficult decision – to shift from thirty years working with Apple computers to PCs. The point of no return was Wednesday when my new Dell laptop arrived. With the help of friends (both nearby and online) the computer has been updated and I’ve learned my way around the desktop and innards.

Now PCs are not totally foreign to me. I can use them and find the necessary programs and even dive into the system a bit. But this is not the everyday “breath in breath out” type of familiarity I have with my Mac. So I’m in for a bit of a ride here.

That ride will get even more intense next week once I’ve downloaded the free trials of PC based nonlinear editing programs. MovieMaker yesterday. Pinnacle today. Over the weekend will be AVID, Edius, Premiere Pro, and Vegas.

All of this part of the final big decision – which program to make my primary editing choice. I lean towards Premiere personally because it seems to have what I want – the ability to do basic edits, motion, create movie files, and burn DVDs. I lean towards AVID and Edius because they are news industry standards.

But the bottom line, as with many of you, is the bottom line. What can my budget handle.

And the bottom-bottom line is that how stories are told varies. It’s not about the camera, editing program, or even the storyteller. So while I want to keep to professional editing software, I will use what works for each situation. (When I first tried digital editing, my station was unknowingly airing stories edited in iMovie.)

If you have suggestions or ideas, go ahead and comment below.

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