Back to the Future !!!

Yes it’s been a year since I last posted and yes a fuck load has gone on.

Currently life is getting even more exciting as we move once again but this time to the real world where internet speeds are back to normal. Hooray. About bloody time. A year of dealing with 16 meg speeds and a separate laptop across town doing the heavy footage download which has to be fetched every morning and the 60 gig daily caps on home internet and 3 separate internet accounts just to continue working are almost behind me.


And more good news is that I picked up a gig on a new International TV series for a few episodes and I’m chuffed as hell. Except…

It’s cutting on Avid Media Composer.


I last edited on Avid way, way, way back in the early 1990’s on a South African & French co-production feature film of the soft core porn variety that was so popular at that time in Europe.

So when the director of this new show called me after he fired his current editor I jumped at the opportunity to do the job. It’s big and bold and all actioney and has names attached so could not say no. Even if I’ve almost exclusively worked in FCPX for the last 5 years.

First things first, download Avid Media Composer First so I could rattle the cobwebs of my brain and see if I even still knew anything about it, and lo and behold for the angels doth smile upon me…

It’s exactly how it was in 1990whenever.

Well kinda. Obviously the interface is all new, wait scratch that, it’s just darker but you can manipulate the interface and move panels around. Gosh, I’m getting giddy.

Then they have made improvements to bin structure and sometimes you can even do stuff while the timeline is actually playing. And to be honest it looks more like a scaled down version of Premiere without the added benefit of 4 million daily crashes. Somebody stop me.

But for the most part Avid is still the same, sorry I will rephrase that, Avid is still the fucking same.

But then again, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, right?

I decided I was wrong to be intimidated and proceeded to upgrade to the full version so I can do the job. Cool.

First, remove all of Avid’s keyboard shortcuts and replace them with my FCPX set. Easy enough and worth it as I still have jobs to do in X for other clients and don’t wanna be having keyboard errors make my life difficult because I pressed the wrong key. and then I spend less time remembering where the KB shortcuts are for each NLE and just get on with cutting.

Next, kinda practice at moving around the interface and cut a scene.

And this is where the world turns to shit.

I do like MC, it’s stable, reliable and for the most part likable except that I have spent 5 years without tracks, 5 years without the constraints of having to think about where things go.

I am so used to just having things move out the way when I drag and drop and I am not having to worry about overwriting something when I move stuff around and I now have to be aware that on track 14 is music which if I insert something in the middle of something is no longer going to be in sync with where it used to be and it’s fucking frustrating having to switch tracks on and off so when I insert or overwrite it doesn’t destroy what’s in the timeline and it’s driving me fucking nuts that I have to stop and deselect or reselect tracks or unlink stuff, or ungroup stuff and then edit using a million buttons or shortcuts or right clicks/double clicks to see the footage in the source window because there’s no scrubbing in the bin and…


Then I thought let me cut in X and round trip the fcpxml via DaVinci Resolve AAF back into Avid but that is a fucking nightmare because it fucks with the folder/file structure set by Post Supervisor and clips won’t link to the original source material and so on.

Oh boy.

It really didn’t take me long to figure out how to use Avid again, it’s very basic in its operation, not just because it hasn’t changed much but also because I have been editing for a very long time and I pick things up easily. Luckily. Even so, there was a few hours of You Tube, help and tutorials for this that and the other and the chimney was swept.

Thank god for the Internet.

I’m a big boy and know when to admit defeat. I will do my damndest to make this ancient pig in lipstick and curls work. It is a bit like going back in time to work on a 1990s piece of kit to make changes on a 2019 timeline.

But who knows it may just be the best thing since sliced bread. Oh wait

it still is sliced bread.


Peace love and vomit.