Cut | Color | Post

Ryan Holmes Cut Color Post. Excerpts, quips, and musings on the production and post-production industry of editing, color grading, and deliverables.

The End of Advertising

Michael Wolff in USA Today:

This creeping development has been one of the underlying themes of modern American media and cultural life. Once upon a time, all video in the home, save for public television, was ad-supported -- even most ticket-supported movies were designed for ultimate television consumption and advertising payoff. Then came the VCR, premium pay television, DVDs, piracy, DVRs, streaming. Suddenly, a sizable part of video consumption was ad free. What's more, cable, by providing a revenue stream hooked to subscriber payments, started to wean content makers and distributors, in addition to audiences, off of advertising.


But we are arriving, ever-faster, at a new normal: a world, practically speaking, without advertising on television programs — in effect, the end of advertising as we know it.

I would like to know what world Mr. Wolffe is living in where advertising ends. Maybe he has not watched broadcast television, cable television, the Super Bowl, or visited Google, Facebook, Hulu, or YouTube in the last 5 years. And...oh yeah...there's also this just in. There is currently no world which exists that doesn't have advertising all over it.

Cinema, TV, Web - The Future Upends This Model

 David Cohen writing for Variety:

One of the more extreme predictions of the day came from Light Iron Digital’s CEO, Michael Cioni, on a panel on “The New Post-Production.” Cioni noted that today cinemas are the highest quality presentation, TV is next, followed by web devices. He predicted that soon that order would turn upside down, with web devices beating out TV and theaters trailing behind.

I think Mr. Cioni is right.

AJA Gets Into The Camera Business with Cion

AJA is following the lead of other 3rd party manufactures, like Blackmagic, and introducing their own camera called the CION:

CION™ is the new 4K/UHD and 2K/HD production camera from AJA. Record directly to Apple ProRes 422 and 444 at up to 4K 60fps or output AJA Raw at up to 4K 120fps. CION features an ergonomic design and open connectivity to give complete flexibility in the field or studio.

The price looks right at $9K MSRP for the features specced on the camera. The only other question I have is can they hit their shipping dates?

To 4K or Not to 4K Roundtable Discussion

Another follow-up from yesterday's discussion about 4K this time from Pro Video Coalition:

If having a presence at CES justifies the future of something, then we would all be doing 3D by now. The reality is that all but a very few of the home viewers will be able to perceive the difference between 4K and HD anyway. So we should all invest in brand new gear, handle 4x the bandwidth with the accompanying slow downs and data storage issues for the net result of no improvement to the consumer? And we should do all of this without being able to charge significantly more to cover the costs?

In 2014 the primary benefit to shooting 4K is for image stabilization or having the flexibility to pan/scan in post. But the challenges to working natively in 4K are tremendous - data rate throughput, storage, 1:1 monitoring, archiving. 4K doesn't magically make your productions better. Consider the other costs before jumping on the 4K freight train. 

Adobe Announces New CC Features for NAB

From Adobe's blog:

Editing and video content creation workflows are about to get easier and more exciting, with major updates coming soon to Creative Cloud, bringing more Adobe magic, expanded support for cutting edge technologies, and an even more connected creative experience. At NAB 2014 Adobe will preview the next wave of innovation in pro video, including Adobe Premiere Pro CCAdobe After Effects CCAdobe Prelude CCAdobe Audition CCAdobe SpeedGrade CC, Adobe Story CC Plus, Adobe Media Encoder CC and Adobe Anywhere for video. (See what we have planned for NAB 2014.)

Adobe TV has plenty of videos you can watch to see some of the new features in action. Scott Simmons for ProVideo Coalition has a good write-up highlighting the less glamours (but extremely helpful) updates:

Yes, the flashy new effects related additions to this updated version of PPro will get lots of press and deservedly so. Things like Master Clip Effects, After Effects text templates and built-in source clip Masking and Tracking are great additions and we’ll touch on them later. But for now … it’s these little things that many craft editors like myself will most appreciate. Under the hood changes which will make a difference in their day to day editing doldrums, much more-so than the effecty ones. These are a lot of the really nice, little updates I noticed while working with this new version.

Take a look at a write-up of all the Premiere Pro features from Adobe's blog. Adobe is very aggressively tackling the NLE market. Ever since they released CS5 (with the Mercury Playback Engine) in April of 2010 they've steadily added more and more features to all aspects of the video production apps. When Apple released FCP X in June of 2011 Adobe slammed on the gas in an attempt to take advantage of the traction lost by Apple and FCP at that time. I was among those that Adobe converted due to the limitations within FCP X at release, and the age of FCP 7. Truthfully, I don't miss FCP. Premiere Pro has proved more than an able replacement. I'm glad to see they haven't let up on adding useful, time-saving, workflow-improving features.

Why 4K Isn't a Safe Bet

As we lead up to NAB 2014 I thought this a fitting reminder for what we'll be assaulted with while at the various exhibits next week. Every manufacture will likely be touting some 4K aspect to their hardware, software, lenses, camera, storage, or compression. There is still no reliable way to deliver 4K to the end user.

John Bourbonais, Cinematographer, writing for Broadcast Engineering on 4K:

Camera manufacturers stoke our egos with the thought that if we shoot 4K, we’ll be able to improve the overall quality of our production, expand our business, be more creative, use the footage forever and become a Hollywood filmmaker. Since 1998, the advertising buzz surrounding technologies such as 24p standard definition, 1080i HD, 1080p HD, 720p HD, 720p Variable Frame Rate, 1” imagers and the like have had compelling reasons that drove their success. However, some touted technologies such as the biggest marketing debacle in the past 15 years — 3-D TV — have not lived up to expectations, and 4K technology is another flash in the pan despite what equipment manufacturers tell us. The most oft-repeated promises for improvement are in the areas of quality, post, delivery and future proofing, but here is why that will not hold up.

His writing about quality, post, and delivery are spot on. I've already written about some of the problems with 4K before, see here and here. While 4K has some limited uses for today's productions I don't think it's the magic-bullet that many in our industry are making it out to be (or manufacturing advertisers are making it out to be).