By Marc Loftus
Issue: August 1, 2004


This month, Post takes a look at the latest developments in nonlinear editing systems, focusing specifically on high definition solutions. As a magazine, we're in a position to get in-depth demonstrations on pretty much every NLE out there.

Personally, I've seen demos of pretty much all the SD tools available today, and most of the HD ones as well. Trade shows and special press meetings afford us those opportunities, and be it a high-end system from the likes of Sony, Avid or Quantel, or a lower-cost application from Adobe, Apple and Ulead (or Sony and Avid too), all of them have left me saying to myself, "Pretty cool!"

That being the case, I can't imagine having to pick just one if I had to. Yet, everyday, that?s a decision a typical facility is faced with.

Last month, in this space, I reported on LA Digital Post's new New York operation. The facility/rental house invested heavily in Avid systems - 40 of them - most on the PC platform. So how did they make the decision to go with PC-based Avid Meridien and Adrenalines?

VP/GM Jason Dunkel says it was their clients that ultimately dictated what they would buy. As an operation that caters to editors, many of their customers are freelancers hired through production companies. These freelancers tend to be Avid knowledgeable, says Dunkel, so that manufacturer's releases were a natural decision. But why PC? While the Mac is a popular choice for Avid systems because of the company's history, Dunkel says LA Digital first adopted Symphony on PC and later found the Adrenaline PC systems worked a little better than their Mac counterparts.

Lucha Libre is another facility whose business is based around nonlinear editing systems. The studio recently set up shop in Santa Monica - with plans to expand to New York and Miami too - and is specifically targeting the Hispanic commercial market with creative editorial services. Founded by Natalia Berry, Lucha Libre is home to several Apple Final Cut Pro systems, even though its veteran editors have deep-rooted experience with Avid NLEs. "I feel it?s a bit more intuitive and versatile," says Berry of Final Cut Pro. "And by the time you trick it out, it's nowhere near what a maxed out Avid costs."

Berry sounded pretty comfortable with her decision to go with Final Cut.

"We're having success with it."