SAN FRANCISCO - Jonathan Jackson, principal at San Francisco based Repertoire Productions (www.repertoireproductions.com) used the Dell mobile workstation on his recent production of the TEDx San Francisco event. Jackson was faced with taking hours of talks and getting them all online within 24 hours.
"Our Dell 6600 series mobile workstation is faster than any of our iMac desktops," says Jackson. "It's our first PC. (Adobe) CS6 utilizes all four cores on the i7, and all 16 gigs of RAM." Compressing files, he says, is approximately twice as fast as their next fastest desktop Mac. "The only reason it takes us 24 hours to deliver these videos now is the fact that we like to custom tweak the slides and video assets in post production. AKA, transcode all of the video assets, and cut in the full resolution photo assets.
"The workstation is the perfect tool for the job," says Jackson (pictured), "as we would never set up a tower on set because we're already bringing three SUV/truck loads of gear and it's too cumbersome. Why set up another component based desktop system when we have this available to us?"
Making the switch, continues Jackson, from Final Cut Pro 7 to Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 has been relatively painless. They are still working on micro tweaking their compression techniques. It took them a long time and a lot of research to master the process. "But we're going into CS6 with a vastly greater understanding of compression, codecs and workflow."
He says he's not completely dumping Mac, but rather, transitioning towards faster PCs and completely away from Apple's Final Cut Pro.
"I love my retina display MacBook Pro. Both the retina MacBook and the Dell 6600 series are excellent tools, and I love them both equally. The retina is sexy and streamlined and the 6600 is rugged and powerful. But when we need the brute force of a desktop, we now do our heavy lifting on the M6600 - both on-set, and in the office."