Avid to Apple: Thank You, Thank You, Thank You

Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) may not care all that much if it loses the professional video-editing market following the launch of its controversial Final Cut Pro X program, but there are two companies that see that segment as important to their bottom lines. Adobe (Nasdaq: ADBE  ) and Avid (Nasdaq: AVID  ) are moving quickly to entice video editors to jump from Apple's Final Cut Pro to their own video-editing programs by offering huge discounts to potential switchers.

Earlier this month, Adobe announced a 50% discount on its Premiere Pro software to Final Cut Pro users, and Avid has recently brought back a 60% price break on its Media Composer program for Final Cut switchers. Avid originally had the offer beginning in April and ending on June 17, but it's taking advantage of this new opportunity and has announced that the discounts have been reinstated.

How important is this market?
Apple would hardly notice if it lost the professional video-editing market. Its 2010 software sales accounted for only 3.9 % of total revenue, and that includes all of Apple's software; it doesn't break out Final Cut Pro sales figures, which would be a small percentage of the total software number. But for Adobe, which offers a wide range of media-authoring programs geared to the professional, having more users for Premiere Pro means enjoying more opportunities to get those new users buying into the entire Adobe product workflow.

As for Avid, whose video-editing software is its core product, Apple has unwittingly thrown the company a life preserver. Avid has been foundering and hasn't turned a profit in the past five years, so this play for ex-Final Cut Pro users is of the utmost importance. It could also give Avid more than just a financial lift. Avid was the nonlinear-editing innovator in the early 1990s, and its Media Composer was that market's leader until losing out to Final Cut Pro in the early 2000s. Seeing that situation reversed would be sweet indeed for Avid.

Will the switching offers work?
For professional Final Cut Pro editors who are just starting out or moving into the middle tiers of the video-editing world -- the largest segment of that market -- these offers from Adobe and Avid may very well have an effect. But in the upper strata of the profession, which Avid still mostly still holds, probably not so much. Editors there who are using Final Cut Pro will probably decide to stick it out with the older version 7 and not make the change to Final Cut Pro X yet, if at all.

As Academy Award-winning feature-film editor Kirk Baxter, editor of The Social Network, told Entertainment Weekly: "I assume I'm going to be working on Final Cut 7 until they upgrade the new model to professional standards, and if they don't do it, then I imagine all of us will end up aborting and finding a new platform to work on."

Avid and Adobe are certainly hoping that happens.

To keep an eye on what all of this means for Avid, Adobe, and Apple, add them to your Foolish Watchlist.

Fool contributor Dan Radovsky has no financial interest in the above-mentioned companies.

The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Apple and Adobe Systems, creating a bull call spread position in Apple, and creating a diagonal call position in Adobe Systems. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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  • Report this Comment On July 17, 2011, at 2:25 PM, websterphreaky wrote:

    CrApple's ARROGANCE at work again, screww the users in that market segment for their needs and opinions.

    Just as a footnote, since none of the Hacks in the Media (like this author) bother to point out, but CrApple DIDN'T invent Final Cut ... THEY BOUGHT THE COMPANY and the Final Cut developers have an agreement to be separate from Apple, over in Emerville Ca across the Bay from CrApple.

    You see, CrApple never invents anything, they steal it or copy it or buy it .... Stevie Jobs, the great iNOvator.

  • Report this Comment On July 17, 2011, at 3:48 PM, bjcbjc wrote:

    Where do you think people GET the very high-end hardware used to run Final Cut Pro? They buy it from Apple. Apple could give Final Cut away for free and it would still be profitable because it sells their most expensive towers.

    With the Final Cut fiasco, I don't think Apple realizes just how many of their high-end, high-profit machines end up in editing rooms. Final Cut is (was) the standard in many types of production and Apple is throwing it away.

  • Report this Comment On July 17, 2011, at 7:10 PM, whirlwin wrote:

    Unfortunately Apple will suffer little from this. I think that FCX will rapidly overtake all older versions and all competitors at a dramatically lower price. It is because Apple does not need the film editing market, that Apple will destroy the film editing market with low prices for the product that no one can resist. AVID and ADOBE'S last chance. This is required to continue to sell their expensive hardware. They have destroyed several markets this way. Watch out LOGIC competitors. Going to happen there to. Apple is out to destroy professional level creative content software providers by creating most capable products at the lowest SW prices.

  • Report this Comment On July 17, 2011, at 7:21 PM, Superstef wrote:

    websterphreaky needs a heavy dose of castor oil to get rid of all that bile. Perhaps then he'll be willing to concede that Randy Ubillos (Apple's Final Cut guru) was the guy who also wrote Premiere, which last time I looked is Adobe's video product... the one they bought from Macromedia. Just like they bought Photoshop from the Knoll brothers. High tech is like that, people move on, things change.

    The idea Apple doesn't invent anything is surely the result of a very jaundiced eye.. there's a cure for that, too, somewhere.

    He obviously doesn't care for Apple. That's OK. What's not OK is to spew nonsense as though it is factual.

  • Report this Comment On July 17, 2011, at 11:37 PM, postguru wrote:

    First, I'd like to clarify that I have been a faithful Apple user for 30 years, but as a consultant I have worked with Windows, DOS, CP/M, etc, and still do for my work. I own loads of Apple stock - but this REALLY upsets me. Yes, I love Apple, but I am NOT an Apple fanboy - they often do stupid things and when they do I am not going to blindly dismiss it. And this is really stupid - Apple has NO clue of how far reaching the impact of this botched launch will actually be.

    Here are the facts - Final Cut ONLY runs on Macs. Avid and Premiere are cross-platform and run on Macs AND Windows. EVERYONE using Final Cut MUST buy a high end Mac. So those switching to Premiere or Avid now have the option of using a Mac OR a Windows machine, when they were "locked" into the Mac with Final Cut. This IS going to have an impact.

    Case in point - I have been a multifaceted consultant for over 30 years and I have a large percentage of Video and Graphic clients. Also, my daughter just graduated from Drexel University's Film and Video program. Although she can do anything in the film industry from compositing to sound to writing, her passion is editing. She is such a great editor that in her sophomore year 4 seniors asked her to edit their final projects, and I was told by the head of Drexel's film program that seniors asking a sophomore to edit their final project was virtually unheard of. One of the films she edited went on to win the Philadelphia Film Festival. She started her own production company two years ago and has a lot of contacts in the industry already. Everyone in her "circle" of contacts has already said they are dropping Final Cut and moving on to Avid. In addition, Drexel University has ALREADY made the decision to drop Final Cut and move to Avid, and my daughter told me of a least one other university that has done the same. My daughter is also taking up Avid on their offer, even after I gave her some "fatherly" advice from someone who has been in the computer/software industry for over 30 years. My advice was that times come when any software program needs to be rewritten from the ground up to take advantages of advances made in technology, and all Apple was doing is moving Final Cut ahead by rewriting it to properly take advantage of 64 bit multi-core Intel Macs, and that a program like Final Cut can't be rewritten overnight. I told her it is common for a software developer to rewrite software from the ground up and release a "less capable" version for the first go around, and then add features back in (I was the Tech/Customer Support Manager and IT Manager for a software developer doing the 90s, and they did exactly that in 1993 with GibbsCAM). And I explained that she could go on using her Final Cut until Apple caught up and added all the pro features back (which they have said they will - and I have some contacts at Apple that have confirmed this). But the way that Apple botched the PR on this launch - by not fully explaining what their plan was to the Pro Users and making it appear that their plan was to "dumb down" Final Cut for the prosumer market - has the Pro users running scared and making hasty decisions. This could have been avoided if Apple had handled the launch differently - but Apple really gave the impression that they were abandoning the Pro market and going for the average Joe.

    This leaves the users that are switching, and they ARE switching, with the option of dropping the Mac at some point. And the Mac is where the "real" money comes from. Keeping the media creators locked into the Mac was genius on Apple's part, and this bonehead move by Apple has me seriously considering selling all of my Apple stock.

  • Report this Comment On July 18, 2011, at 2:11 AM, Davewrite wrote:

    all these final cut articles have got it azz backwards.

    adobe, avid etc should be the ones terrified.

    a powerful modern $299 editing suit will hurt them. The prosumer market is many times larger than the high end pro market which is estimated max 10,000 worldwide. (10k is peanuts. 10k = 3 million bucks. Apple makes $10 BILLION i.e: ten thousand million! off iPhone alone a quarter!)

    AND Apple has already said it will add the missing features to Final Cut X high end pros want, so eventually it'll get many of the high end pros as well (many aspiring filmakers in years to come will have cut their teeth on iMovie and the cheap Final Cut X so studios will use it as they will have steady stream of ready trained staff).

    If you switch on the high end whiners and look at the consumer reviews, they all say Apple has a killer product in Final Cut X. Even PC Magazine (PC!) gives it 4 stars out of 5 saying "Apple has built a completely new, faster, cleaner, and more intuitive digital video editing package".

    Apple is company that has the balls to make something new from the ground up instead of adding features to creaky old software. Avid etc can NOT radically change their software to something better as they will lose huge percentages of their revenue so they are stuck making only incremental improvements unlike apple.

    I'm sorry some high end guys think they got burnt but as a business Apple is making the right decisions.

  • Report this Comment On July 18, 2011, at 3:47 AM, postguru wrote:

    @Davewright -

    Thanks for your post. You are right. I was looking at it from the Pros' point of view since my daughter is a Pro using FCP in her business. After she told me how all of her friends, Drexel University and other universities were dumping FCP for Avid, I was panicking because I saw this as Apple losing the Pro Media market - and although this is a small market, it does result in a lot of high end Mac Pro sales.

    But I was not looking past this initial "knee-jerk" panic reaction by the Pro users, and the fact that I even pleaded with my daughter NOT to drop FCP

    for the same reasons you mentioned (that it is a necessary complete rewrite and Apple will be adding back the Pro features as time allows) makes me feel dumb for not looking past my nose.

    You are 100% right - Avid and Adobe are going to get a short term shot-in-the-arm, but long term the move to the $299 is really going to hurt - and I'll bet that most of the Pro Users that are panicking and switching to Avid will eventually end up coming back to FCP once the "missing" features are back. Heck, it will only cost them a few hundred bucks to "fix" their mistake! And in the meantime, Apple will end up owning the video editing market with a product like FCPX selling for $299. I can even envision a percentage of Windows users switching to the Mac just to get access to FCPX.

    Looks like it's not time to consider selling my Apple stock after all! (I was not seriously going to sell it over this - I was just "venting" my anger over what I thought was a bonehead move!).

    Again, thanks for putting things in their proper perspective!

  • Report this Comment On July 18, 2011, at 4:46 AM, realtvguru wrote:

    I find some of these comments interesting. FCP never had the high end market, that's a myth from the Apple marketing machine. They made great inroads but Professional Editors (and I'm defining these folks as high end Feature Film and Network Television professionals) mostly use and prefer to use Avid.

    American Cinema Editors (A.C.E.) does an equipment survey every year. Statistically, Avid overwhelmingly is used in major feature film and television. I believe the most recent one was a 76% Avid to 19% FCP?

    When Apple puts out their stats about being every major studio, it's not likely in the high end areas of the market. It's in some promo departments, or internal video with a few exceptions to the rule, ie the famous ones. Walter Murch, Kirk Baxter, Scrubs, and a few others. But everybody else? They're on Avid in the high end.

    One of the reasons is that Avid has superior networking capability for collaboration. When you're working in a high end market, you need an open, connected network that allows easy file swapping, OMF, transfers for color correct, visual effects, and more. FCP Studio always struggled with this. FCP X is clearly designed for a single user environment. News broadcast has also benefited from Avid's Interplay and News Cutter systems. And regardless of what the picture was edited on, ALL of the movies were mixed on Avid Protools. It's the standard.

    In my opinion, Apple doesn't need FCP Studio to push the Macs because most creatives who use Avid and Adobe prefer working on a Mac anyhow. In the same survey mentioned above in this comment, 87% overwhelmingly preferred Mac to PC. So why waste money trying to appeal to a tiny market, when that market is already going to buy the hardware anyhow?

    Plus, Apple doesn't care if those desktop sales drop. Because over half of their profit last quarter came from iPhones. They're a consumer products company. They make Billions on consumer products and innovating for the Apple lifestyle.

    As with every major pro app before, Apple has once again simplified FCP into destruction. Where is Shake today? At one point Shake was the number one visual effect software in the world. Lord of the Rings was built on it. Where is DVD Studio Pro?

    But in contrast look at the development on iLife, iPhoto, Mail, iMovie, iDVD. The new OS's have been designed to accommodate full integration between computer, phone, tablet, cloud, and likely in the future... television (based on the rumors). Does a high-end editing pro app fit into that ecosystem? Not really. But a consumer one certainly does.

    This is a great day for pros who depend on Avid's solutions, the stability of their networks, and the collaboration tools that make working together on big movies and television shows possible.

  • Report this Comment On July 18, 2011, at 6:29 AM, filmmanvick16 wrote:

    I am not even going to go into it. Final Cut Pro X is a completely unusable application for even the ambitious high-end prosumer editor.

    Apple's move to essentially end support for a 10 year old, intuitive NLE shows how the company care's little about the needs of professionals. This is much more significant than just discontinuing a popular application. Apple has totally shattered the trust of the entire professional video community. Even if Apple does spend the next 5 years adding pro features back to FCP X - why would any post-production house spend thousands (and some millions) of dollars again investing in an FCP X workflow (as many did with Final Cut Pro 1-7) just to have Apple discontinue FCP X in 5-8 years claiming that "editing just changed again."

    As some mentioned above, FCP's two competitors, Avid and Adobe, have produced cross-platform NLEs. Now that Apple has alienated the entire professional community, why would any pro want to spend $20,000 for a Mac Pro setup when a high-powered Intel Xeon PC can be used for editing at a fraction of the price? I would not be surprised if Apple's Mac Pro line disappears within 5 years.

    I think Adobe Premiere is the real winner here. Adobe has seriously jumped on the HDSLR revolution that is sweeping through film schools, independent filmmaking markets, and even the Hollywood film industry. Right now, I can shoot 1080p at 24fps with shallow DOP on a sub $1000 Canon DSLR - something that rivals what 100K Sony CineAltra cameras were capable of capturing just a few years ago. My $2,500 Canon 5D Mark II has the equivalent of a VistaVision 8/35 sensor inside of its body (larger than even the 5K Red Epic), and is capable of pulling shallow focus at levels greater than Panavison or Arri's top of the line motion picture cameras. Case in point, this camera system, when used properly, can easily rival Super 35mm when projected on a 60 foot screen - and it does.

    Working with DSLR footage in Final Cut Pro 7 and Avid Media Composer 5.5 has been a real pain for me because both programs do not seem to work as natively or smoothly with the DSLR's H.264/AVC compression codec (with FCP 7 it was nearly impossible). In contrast, Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 can easily format sequences to DSLR 1080/24p/30p without having to convert files. In addition, I have found that there is absolutely no compromise in color space when it comes to editing DSLR footage in Premiere Pro.

  • Report this Comment On July 18, 2011, at 11:11 AM, zaxmalloy wrote:

    I wonder if this means they will walk from the pro music market as well? Apple Logic Pro Studio 9 is aging with no version of "X" on the horizon....AVID would have to be happy about that as well, as it would leave Pro Tools as the king of the castle in both the pro and home studio markets.

  • Report this Comment On July 19, 2011, at 4:12 AM, laeditor wrote:

    No offense to whirlwin and post guru above but the FCP vs Avid price point does not mean a thing. Editor salaries and overtime pay are a larger line item than post gear. Avid can do things that FCP is currently incapable of on the high end so you lose the savings you enjoy by going with apple pretty quickly when 10 hour days become 14 hour days and the union overtime kicks in. Anyone who thinks of cost as the price tag on the box of software is extremely short sighted and obviously does not work in the industry. And whirlwin, your whole post sounds like guesswork. Have you ever been paid to edit ANYTHING?

  • Report this Comment On July 19, 2011, at 4:18 AM, laeditor wrote:

    I posted this on a similar article, not this one. But allot of this may be relevant to some of the posts so far:

    I would like to respectfully disagree with some of your statements. I should say that I am a professional television editor having worked on over seventy five television programs for over thirty different networks.

    "Second, it was a small fraction of the cost of an Avid, which made it cheap enough for colleges to train the next generation of video professionals"

    Editors cannot be trained. It's an innate skill. You can only teach software. But colleges do not train video professionals anyway; as the vast majority of students in film school will never work in the industry and the vast majority of people who work in the industry never went to film school. Colleges do not influence the professional market in any way unless it's directors coming out of NYU or USC. I have been editing for twenty years and have met just a handful of editors who went to film school. It's rare. This is a common misconception though; that FCP has become ubiquitous in film schools ( because it's cheaper not better ) and therefore there will be no one left who knows how to operate an Avid so it will have to go belly up. Well, no one ever learned how to operate Avid or FCP ( to the point of being hire-able as an assistant ) in college and Avid or FCP jobs don't hire from colleges. You learn Avid or FCP professionally by working as an assistant editor over a period of years and most of those assistants have degrees in English or philosophy or something else other than film and video production. For the very few people in film school who do end up in post it always starts as an internship because you don't learn enough in college to be an assistant. Somehow students these days have been brain washed by film schools which have been in turn brain washed by Apple that FCP has somehow taken over and that Avid is dead. Not true. Then they go out into the world and cannot even get in as an intern because they don't know Avid. I have seen people show up for interviews and freak out when they walk by the edit bay and see an Avid because they somehow thought all professional jobs are FCP. They just assume this and then they have to tell the person they are interviewing with that they didn't know the job was on Avid. Even though ninety percent of professional jobs are on Avid they think it’s a FCP world because of articles like this because at that point in their life all they have are articles and blogs to go on. Needless to say they are shown the door. Why would would ANYONE show up to a professional job without Avid experience unless they were told ahead of time it was a FCP job or unless there is a serious disconnect between what is actually going on in the industry versus what students are being told. Well there is. That being said, to repeat my earlier statement, most people in post never went to film school anyway so the industry will never have to adapt to what is being taught in colleges because that is not where the talent comes from but the students who do want to be one of the lucky ones who do break in must learn Avid or it's a no go career.

    “Avid didn't react fast enough to this threat, and by 2007 Final Cut Pro had taken over nearly half of the professional editing market in the U.S., with Avid holding only 22%”

    Not true. But this is an easy statistic to misunderstand if you are not in NY or LA working in either film or broadcast. FCP represents 52% of users, true and Avid represents 22% of users, true and I assume the rest would be spread between other softwares. But that 22% of Avid users represents ( a guess because who can really know ) about 95% of the professional industry. There is a difference between a user and an editor. FCP is a professional tool but Avid is a professionals only tool. Not everyone who ever went to the Apple store to buy FCP uses it professionally, some do but actually most don't. I know PA's who have FCP on their laptop ( I actually don't know any PA's who don't ) but are they taking in $3500.00 per week cutting things that millions watch? No they are not. Heck my dentist actually has a copy of FCP and uses it to cut his family movies. He asks me for editing tips all the time as if I was a colleague. Granted someone will always come back with a list of big movies and television shows that they copy and pasted from the apple website cut on FCP. Indeed, but it's still like five to ten percent of the professional industry. I have probably worked on some of them having had cut several television programs on FCP so I am aware of it's place on the professional side of things but it is minimal and in no way has taken over the professional industry like you stated. On the other hand most if not all Avids are being used professionally and only professionally. I get about fifty calls per year ( obviously I only take about three ) and I'd say about forty eight of them are Avid calls. So the 52-22 statistic in favor of FCP means nothing because when you eliminate the amateurs it's like 95-5 Avid ( at least in NY/LA film and television ) and that is all that matters to the pros. Everything else is just noise.

    "Avid still makes a good product, but the company is now such small potatoes in the video and audio editing biz"

    Not true. It’s actually a completely absurd statement. It dominates by a very wide margin with FCP being almost non existent with just a few exceptions and yes you can come back with a list of one hundred film and television broadcast projects on FCP but Avid can come back with a thousand but I have already elaborated on this above.

    "With Apple having just completed a bottom-up redesign of Final Cut, about the only hope that Avid has of regaining market share would be if Apple totally screwed it up. Possible, but not likely"

    Not likely? Care to retract that?

    "Avid has lost money the last five years, and about the best thing you can say for it financially is that it has no long term debt. However, with its cash pile draining down from $225 million in 2007 to $33 million today, Avid might need to raise debt or dilute existing shareholders soon if struggles continue"

    Now this I agree with. I think Avid is losing money in the hardware side of things. People just don't want to pay that much for hardware so they keep their hardware until it's EOL.

    With all due respect I can tell you that the reason the professional market is dominated by Avid is because it is capable of things that FCP isn't in terms of workflow. To get into specifics of that would take way too long so let's leave that out but one of the other responders touched on a few things. I can say that all of the FCP jobs I have been on have been a mess and it takes fourteen hours to do in FCP what you can do in a standard ten hour day on Avid. This is a fact. I have lived it many times. I have worked for seven companies that have switched from FCP to Avid and back because of this. Most companies never switch to FCP and out of the ones who do most switch back to Avid. Editor overtime pay piles up and they lose their savings with the apple choice ten fold. I have worked at companies that were half Avid and half FCP and the FCP guys where always there until midnight looking totally burnt out and the Avid guys where always chipper and well rested because they got out at 7pm and got more done. Anyone who knows what I know about the differences between the two workflows on a tv series with numerous editors working off of the same project would never write an article like this. But if you are so confident in FCP’s abilities then can I call you for help at 2am when I am on a FCP job when the project file size becomes to big for FCP to handle and the metadata rewrites itself and timecode hour 9 is now timecode hour 7 or the subclips won't matchback to the master clips? Can I call you when I can't get an output onto tape due to constant dropped frames or when I am passing flash drives back and forth to other editors all day long to share sequences? Can I call you when my render heavy sequence has chunky lag because FCP doesn't have playlength toggle or when it takes twice as long to replace master footage because FCP doesn't have phantom marks? Can I call you when I have to render 400 effects as opposed to 40 because FCP doesn't have expert render or when I have 9 cameras grouped together and three of them have timecode drift? Can I call you when I have to do footage counts without the decompose function or when I have to cut a tease without a clipboard monitor?

    With all due respect your article makes me question your qualifications. I checked your name on IMDB and I didn't see any credits. It makes me wonder why the editing enthusiasts outnumber the editors thousands to one? What's so exciting about watching editing from the sidelines? Clearly if you were in the game and knew the game you would not have made such obvious misstatements and stated untruths in this article, falling prey to rumor mill beliefs only held by people who have no choice but to view post production from thirty thousand feet because they cannot view it from the molecular level the way a professional editor can because they are not one.

  • Report this Comment On July 19, 2011, at 4:50 AM, laeditor wrote:

    @ Davewright

    "a powerful modern $299 editing suit will hurt them"

    No it won't because it isn't powerful. FCPX cannot work in the professional world. Period.

    "The prosumer market is many times larger than the high end pro market which is estimated max 10,000 worldwide. (10k is peanuts. 10k = 3 million bucks. Apple makes $10 BILLION i.e: ten thousand million! off iPhone alone a quarter!)"

    Prosumer purchases of any other software will not hurt Avid. It was never were it received it's revenue. FCP will make a thousand fold what Avid makes but that won't put Avid out of business. Taking over the professional market, their market will.

    "AND Apple has already said it will add the missing features to Final Cut X high end pros want, so eventually it'll get many of the high end pros as well (many aspiring filmakers in years to come will have cut their teeth on iMovie and the cheap Final Cut X.

    Eventually is exactly it. When? No filmmakers are cutting their teeth on Imovie and no filmmakers are even considering FCPX the way they utilized FCP7. Many things will have to change but for professional jobs and fledgling filmmakers alike FCPX is a no go. Maybe you should spend some time researching all of the things it cannot do. It doesn't even have a source timecode display.

    "So studios will use it as they will%

  • Report this Comment On July 19, 2011, at 10:29 AM, XMFDRadovsky wrote:

    Hello laeditor,

    I would like to disagree with you on a couple of things.

    First, your concept of editor training: Perhaps talent or intelligence cannot be drilled into a person, but I believe training can bring out a person's innate ability in anything. It's one thing to know how to do something, but if one doesn't get a chance to practice that ability how does one become better at it. That's where affordable equipment comes in. Whether it's at a college or a professional training entity, it's important for students to have access to an editing platform, especially a platform that many professional facilities use.

    Second, you are writing from the perception of an LA Editor. That reminds me of the famous New Yorker cover, the one where Manhattan takes up 97% of the map of the United States and anything west of the Hudson River is … well, monsters be there. By that I mean there is a whole world of professional editing that does not fall into the area of editing for theatrical or broadcast release. Perhaps 90% of editing jobs in Hollywood are cut on Avid – I'll take your word for it – but it is my experience that unless you are a staff editor at a house that uses Avid, being able to ALSO edit on FCP is a huge plus. And these days staff editing positions are not so slowly becoming extinct.

    The first article I wrote, "Does the A in Avid Mean Avoid" was not a dissing of Avid the editing program. It was a cold look at Avid the investment opportunity – two different animals. In the follow up article, after the FCP X release, I did indeed retract my statement that Apple was unlikely to screw up, because they did, royally.

    You say you searched for me on IMDB and didn't come up with any listings. That only reinforces the misconception that the only professional editors out there are ones who edit movies or television shows. I am not listed on IMDB because for 28 years I was a network broadcast news editor, and for seven or so years before that I edited in various other capacities. For a dozen years I cut on Avid. I thought my Avid was great. It was not my choice that our bureau switched over to FCP, but I accepted it gladly because it gave me another tool to use in any fight for editing survival I may be faced with in the future.

    The editing of films and television programs represents only the tip of the professional editing world pyramid. There is a huge foundation supporting that tip. You just have to look downward sometimes to see it. There are some samples of my editing work at my danradovsky channel on youtube, if you are interested. My work may not appear on the silver screen, but I'll stand by it as professional editing.

    Any other questions, you can write me at dradovsky@fool.com

    Happy cutting,

    Dan

  • Report this Comment On July 19, 2011, at 9:39 PM, laeditor wrote:

    "First, your concept of editor training: Perhaps talent or intelligence cannot be drilled into a person, but I believe training can bring out a person's innate ability in anything. It's one thing to know how to do something, but if one doesn't get a chance to practice that ability how does one become better at it. That's where affordable equipment comes in. Whether it's at a college or a professional training entity, it's important for students to have access to an editing platform, especially a platform that many professional facilities use"

    You learn by taking an Avid class, getting a job as an assistant and coming in every Saturday for 2 years to practice.

    "Second, you are writing from the perception of an LA Editor. That reminds me of the famous New Yorker cover, the one where Manhattan takes up 97% of the map of the United States and anything west of the Hudson River is … well, monsters be there. By that I mean there is a whole world of professional editing that does not fall into the area of editing for theatrical or broadcast release. Perhaps 90% of editing jobs in Hollywood are cut on Avid – I'll take your word for it"

    Thank you for taking my word for it but I thought that this was well known.

    "but it is my experience that unless you are a staff editor at a house that uses Avid, being able to ALSO edit on FCP is a huge plus. And these days staff editing positions are not so slowly becoming extinct"

    Not allot of staff jobs in NYC and LA outside of commercials but there are some. The benefit of learning Avid and FCP as a freelancer though in NY/LA film and television is the difference between knowing Avid only and having access to 95% of the market or knowing both Avid and FCP and having access to 100% of the market. Now in my previous post I did lay out some of the very specific issues you run into on a FCP job as compared to an Avid job. Allot of people think because of those issues it's best to leave the other 5% alone. Wouldn't anyone who knew better? But knowing better is the key.

    The first article I wrote, "Does the A in Avid Mean Avoid" was not a dissing of Avid the editing program. It was a cold look at Avid the investment opportunity – two different animals. In the follow up article, after the FCP X release, I did indeed retract my statement that Apple was unlikely to screw up, because they did, royally.

    Your article was right on target from a financial perspective. Avid's market was always a niche market limited to the high end and that used to be enough when their prices were higher and they had a monopoly. I don't see them sustaining themselves with such low prices and such a limited user base.

    "You say you searched for me on IMDB and didn't come up with any listings. That only reinforces the misconception that the only professional editors out there are ones who edit movies or television shows. I am not listed on IMDB because for 28 years I was a network broadcast news editor, and for seven or so years before that I edited in various other capacities. For a dozen years I cut on Avid. I thought my Avid was great. It was not my choice that our bureau switched over to FCP, but I accepted it gladly because it gave me another tool to use in any fight for editing survival I may be faced with in the future.

    The editing of films and television programs represents only the tip of the professional editing world pyramid. There is a huge foundation supporting that tip. You just have to look downward sometimes to see it. There are some samples of my editing work at my danradovsky channel on youtube, if you are interested. My work may not appear on the silver screen, but I'll stand by it as professional editing"

    I hear ya but I think that there is a perception in NY/LA film and television that, that is all their is or at least all that matters. It's just that when it comes to editing there are more fans than players. Players get their info in the edit bay on jobs and fans get their info from school, or the internet etc ... and their are allot of FCP myths that even the slightest bit of professional experience would debunk but not everyone is in the biz and some have to rely on articles like yours to spread the myths, and they will believe it because they have no evidence to believe otherwise because that evidence can only be gathered in an industry they will most likely try to enter but fail. Most everyone fails.

    The most commonly perpetuated myths are:

    1/ FCP is as sophisticated and robust as Avid.

    -Nope.

    2/ FCP has taken over the professional market.

    Your article:

    “Avid didn't react fast enough to this threat, and by 2007 Final Cut Pro had taken over nearly half of the professional editing market in the U.S., with Avid holding only 22%”

    and

    "Avid still makes a good product, but the company is now such small potatoes in the video and audio editing biz"

    -Nope. 52-22 is not a takeover when those 22% of Avid users represent 95% of the professional industry. Also VERY silly to call Avid small potatoes when most pros may never stumble across a FCP job EVER and all the pros do is wake up every day to only be surrounded by Avids at every turn. That's not small potatoes that's dominance.

    3/ Film schools influence what the industry uses.

    Your article:

    "Second, it was a small fraction of the cost of an Avid, which made it cheap enough for colleges to train the next generation of video professionals"

    -Nope. Colleges do not feed the industry. Doesn't work like that but could write an essay on how it really does work. But if you focus on FCP in college and not Avid you are screwed if you want to work in post and you will find this out too late.

    These three statements in your article only contribute to the utter confusion of the newer generation trying to suss out the industry. These statements could lead one to believe that Avid is dead and it's a FCP world only to get out there to realize the opposite.

    Your article was called Does the A in Avid mean avoid.

    Let me ask you, imagine you were a professional television editor in Los Angeles and read this from my old post one more time.

    With all due respect I can tell you that the reason the professional market is dominated by Avid is because it is capable of things that FCP isn't in terms of workflow. To get into specifics of that would take way too long so let's leave that out but one of the other responders touched on a few things. I can say that all of the FCP jobs I have been on have been a mess and it takes fourteen hours to do in FCP what you can do in a standard ten hour day on Avid. This is a fact. I have lived it many times. I have worked for seven companies that have switched from FCP to Avid and back because of this. Most companies never switch to FCP and out of the ones who do most switch back to Avid. Editor overtime pay piles up and they lose their savings with the apple choice ten fold. I have worked at companies that were half Avid and half FCP and the FCP guys where always there until midnight looking totally burnt out and the Avid guys where always chipper and well rested because they got out at 7pm and got more done. Anyone who knows what I know about the differences between the two workflows on a tv series with numerous editors working off of the same project would never write an article like this. But if you are so confident in FCP’s abilities then can I call you for help at 2am when I am on a FCP job when the project file size becomes to big for FCP to handle and the metadata rewrites itself and timecode hour 9 is now timecode hour 7 or the subclips won't matchback to the master clips? Can I call you when I can't get an output onto tape due to constant dropped frames or when I am passing flash drives back and forth to other editors all day long to share sequences? Can I call you when my render heavy sequence has chunky lag because FCP doesn't have playlength toggle or when it takes twice as long to replace master footage because FCP doesn't have phantom marks? Can I call you when I have to render 400 effects as opposed to 40 because FCP doesn't have expert render or when I have 9 cameras grouped together and three of them have timecode drift? Can I call you when I have to do footage counts without the decompose function or when I have to cut a tease without a clipboard monitor?

    --

    Now, would you avoid Avid or run towards it if the above paragraph was your life? Not something you observe from a distance or copy and pasted from the apple website but your life? Simple question. Btw if you start talking specifics like the above stated, ya know stories from the trenches, it's enough to make any apple store employee or film student totally befuddled as if they have no clue what you are talking about but yet they are full of opinions. Hmmmm. Go figure ... They just don't know what they don't know.

  • Report this Comment On July 20, 2011, at 10:29 AM, XMFDRadovsky wrote:

    laeditor,

    Again, that first article was not a dis of Avid the product, but Avid the investment.

    The follow up articles discussed how Apple's heavy handed rollout of FCP X upset many professional editors who do use FCP. In addition, the articles go on to point out the opportunities to Avid and Adobe that were created by what I will call the Final Cut Pro Crisis. These are business articles not an Avid vs FCP comparison review. I'll leave that for someone else.

    My personal opinion is that these editing products are all just tools. They are not sacred objects, and neither Avid nor FCP are without their faults.

    Cheers,

    Dan

  • Report this Comment On July 22, 2011, at 12:47 PM, laeditor wrote:

    I should have posted my original post to the actual article ( does the A in Avid mean avoid ) I was responding too. I do understand and agree with the followup articles.

    You are absolutely correct in terms of Avid as an investment. If I had Avid stock I would sell, sell, sell. But you did swerve away from speaking solely about Avid as an investment and into the territory of talking about FCP's pervasiveness over Avid in the professional marketplace referring to it as small potatoes in the biz which I know is objectively incorrect. The internet is full of opinionated people who do not do large project/large market work and have absolutely no concept of what really is going on out there other than the myths gleaned from the apple website or college professors misleading their students into believing that FCP has taken over the high end markets which it has not and is virtually non existent. So I thought that a correction was in order from someone who has their boots on the ground working in both NY and LA both in film and in television. Allot of post production enthusiasts do make sweeping all encompassing statements based upon no knowledge of the high end industry ( the only place Avid is relevant ) or the misbelief that their very limited experience is somehow universal. And no I do not believe that my experiences are universal and outside of the large market/large projects Avid is indeed dead. You are obviously someone with allot of post production experience as well as a professional journalist so I would have expected a little more savvy-ness in terms of those comments. Sorry if I offended you and best wishes.

  • Report this Comment On July 22, 2011, at 7:13 PM, XMFDRadovsky wrote:

    No offense taken, and I hope to catch some of your work sometime.

    Just be forewarned though, I am working on a follow-up FCP X piece which will delve into how Apple's handling of the upgrade has affected college video and journalism departments' buying decisions. I think I know your feelings on the matter by now, but these folks are affected by the situation, and these are valid questions.

    Take care,

    Dan

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