About 95% of the content I consume on YouTube are mostly “influencers” who use Final Cut Pro (or as another YouTuber would sarcastically call it Final Slut Pro) or Adobe’s Premiere. No one from my research uses any versions of Avid. I suspect there are more indie users of ProTools than Media Composer by tenfold.
By no means am I favoring any company in this post, rather to highlight companies back in the 1980s where believe it or not, there was the technology possible to do what you theoretically do on your mobile device. In some ways, the technology back then still kicks the asses of anything modern.
This video above from now apparent defunct blog in 2020, interviewed the founder of Avid, of which at the time any “computer editing” was essentially a Grass Valley Group editing system that basically helped automate timecodes of specific edits. As you click into YouTube you can see the other 5 parts, and one of the underlying issues with linear editing (that means anything that was on video tape and not on a computer file), was if you wanted to move clip 10 seconds far or early; you had to redo the cuts all over again. In the days of analog, any non coded video was considered to the monitors as static or “snow” like when there is no signal coming from an analog TV. The practice I learned at places like the Londonderry Access Center was “assemble editing”; that was to “push the snow” as you would come up with your cuts.
See a semi exclusive demo of the new interface to the Avid’s Media Composer at the 2019 NAB show. (Head/earphone warning… turn down the volume as the South Hall is nortriously loud!)
The problem like I mentioned was if you were 10 seconds off, or wanted to add something half way through say a 15 minute clip, you had to then go from where you wanted to add something, and rebuild the 7 minutes cut by cut.
Consumers who had camcorders did editing, and this was done through doing multiple VCRs, but unlike in electronic news gathering or field production; you didn’t have the “gadgets” like the edit surfaces; and hence the Avid founder had similar frustrations. (personally, I never knew anyone who ever edited home movies; but my social circle was small and we never owned a functioning camcorder till I had my Canon PowerShot, which was capable of recording video.)
Also Avid’s initial interface (that hasn’t really changed until the infamous 2019 release) was based on the filmstrip metaphor; but ironically Avid never got into the film business until they bought out George Lucas’ Editdroid, of which in a way was the first non-linear (no use of film to edit) in the mid 1990s.
The Technology Being Abused; While Retaining the Broken Linear Metaphors
Today Gen Z, Millennials (if they even use social media today) are using the film metaphor of non linear editing. For whatever reason people like 24 frames per second. People like dramatic captures, and no one really cares about looking professional anymore. Let’s not even touch the 9:16 pushed by the Instagram and SnapChat. Most GenZ influencers “film”on digital cameras, and edit on say FCP or Premiere and there is cut every 5 seconds or less! They cut to the chase, but yet they talk like they’re doing the shoot for 5 hours! The whole purpose of FCP, Premiere and MC was to fix mistakes that was done in post in the first place not to fix pre production entirely in post.
To this day, I have been trying Media Composer in my post facilities, and I also use Final Cut Pro 7 for mostly on graphics and things where MC can’t do because of hardware limitations. I still use the “plowing the snow metaphor” but my cuts are not like film. This is so 1970s!
It seems like there was an attempt to be forward-thinking and yet we have gone 10 steps back. And to be honest, I don’t understand how these people can make a living on this content that is lower than casual. No one wants to step up their game. No one wants to learn history.