- June 2, 2020 at 4:50 pm
This is NOT a political statement, just an observation.
The social unrest over the past few days is just one more reason WFH will become a permanent part of our post production world.
The conversation has now shifted to why WOULDN’T you set up a WFH situation. Tech issues and cost issues will be worked out.
We’re living through a tectonic shift in technical, social, and creative endeavors. Enjoy the ride.
- June 2, 2020 at 5:23 pm
[Mark Raudonis] “The conversation has now shifted to why WOULDN’T you set up a WFH situation. “
That’s how I look at it too. There is a list of reasons that people are not going to be able, or even willing, to go in to a central location, but are willing and able to do the work. It would be in company’s best interest to have a WFH setup available. It can and will be worked out.
- June 2, 2020 at 7:07 pm
well, I have been dying to discuss this, but I was nervous about saying anything too politically incorrect.
I watched in horror, the looting of Melrose Mac in Hollywood last night, in the safety of my home. It made me sick.
OK – so now, let’s talk about the REALITY of remote editing once again (a more professional discussion
for these forums). I was contacted by an editor in LA, late yesterday, about doing editing at home, or remote editing. He is doing a series for Netflix, and is going to work from home now. All Media Composer. He is getting his AVID’s from Pacific Post. So I went to Pacific Post’s website.
They offer everything you need, at what appears to me to be very very very reasonable prices –
$999 per month for an AVID workstation (with Adobe CC) all with HP RGS remote.
IS THIS TOO MUCH MONEY for a professional editor who is doing a series for Netflix ?
I then saw on the same page – I saw that you can get an AVID Nexis with 40 TB of storage for
$799 a month. IS THAT TOO MUCH MONEY for a professional editor who is doing a series for
Exactly what is going on here. Are there ZERO BUDGETS and everyone is getting paid pennies ?
All of this makes me angry. When I see the kids on the editors forum on Reddit who are literally working for $50 bucks to make a complete YouTube video for someone – is this what our industry is becomming ?
Rescue 1, Inc.
- June 3, 2020 at 12:33 am
[Bob Zelin] “Exactly what is going on here. Are there ZERO BUDGETS and everyone is getting paid pennies ?”
Most veteran editors that I talk with would have no need to purchase or rent an Avid system or Avid storage. Working on television series from home has been a reality for awhile. And while it’s great that there are facilities offering this gear, it’s very unattractive from a hiring perspective. In 2020, editors need to have their own full edit systems at home to remain competitive.
- June 3, 2020 at 5:02 am
[greg janza] “In 2020, editors need to have their own full edit systems at home to remain competitive.”
Except that renting a system and “having a full edit system at home” aren’t contradictory. Imagine a freelancer saying, “I have the latest versions of Media Composer and Creative Cloud, I’m completely set up for an RGS workflow, oh yeah, and I have a 40TB Nexis.” Netflix or whoever is doing the hiring will say, “FANTASTIC! When can you start?”
They will NOT say, “Wait a minute — did you pay cash for that, or are you renting it?” They won’t care.
I mean, we got caught in this fever of “NOW YOU CAN AFFORD TO BUY IT” in the 90s, forgetting the lessons that Hollywood learned in the 40s — ownership is for chumps. LOL Or to put it in business terms, it’s financially advantageous to rent. They rent EVERYTHING. Lights, cameras, Avids, you name it. That’s because you cover the rental cost in the production budget and take it as a straight deduction. Production companies only last as long as the project is in motion, so there’s no time to amortize a purchase. It makes no sense to buy.
(This is one reason why FCP’s price had ZERO impact on FCP’s footprint in Hollywood. They weren’t buying Avids. They were renting them, and few companies cared to provide the rental inventory AND onsite support that Avid dealers were. So for them, FCP would have cost more, and come with less support. The exact opposite of a good idea.)
And a lot of companies making stuff for Hollywood can’t build stuff that anybody could afford to buy, ever. Like that famous lens that they used for the long shot at the well in Lawrence of Arabia? That cost $250,000 in 1960 dollars. That’s over $2 million today. Not even a $200 million production has $2 million in the lens budget today, but Panavision rented out that lens for years. They made their profits over TIME, and lots and lots of people got to use it.
Same for ARRI with Alexa. Nobody in Hollywood says, “Wow, a $75,000 bare camera — you gotta be kidding me. No way.” They say, “Ah, a few thousand a week completely tricked out, configured and delivered. We can definitely fit that into the budget.” That’s why Alexa is the most popular camera in town. It looks dynamite, and EVERYONE can afford it. They key to affordabilty: not buying it. Let the production pay for it.
This isn’t just a Hollywood thing, by any means. It’s true all over the moviemaking world. Moviemakers come out way ahead of the game when they rent.
I just checked Miami for grins because I know that market well. (I ran a video production company an hour south of there for a dozen years.) Alexa, four Master Primes, CF cards out the wazoo, viewfinder, batteries galore, charger, matte box, follow focus, all the attachment plates, etc. — $5700/wk, set up and delivered. https://www.sharegrid.com/miami/l/22056-alexa-mini-with-master-prime-lenses-package?type=rent SET UP AND DELIVERED. In fact, they deliver as far away as New York in ONE DAY.
Heck, the couple of guys I know who own Alexas rent them out most of the time. That’s how THEY could afford to buy them — they let their friends make the payments. LOL
I’ve interviewed a lot of VFX companies over the years, and they rent EVERYTHING. They might have a couple of dozen staffers that keep the lights on with spots, titles, etc., but when it’s time to scale up for a big movie or prestige cable/streaming drama, they RENT DESKS to bring in people. They also rent processing power. They could never afford to buy beefy boxes for everyone to have their own processing, so it’s all skinny terminals with computing in the cloud.
I think you can see where I’m going with this. Maybe they just leave folks at home with their skinny terminals, save the desk rental price.
In a world that may be more WFH than not, most people aren’t going to be able to have a state of the art computer, the latest software, and 40TB of Avid storage sitting around idle, costing them money when no money is coming in. It’d be nice, sure, but that ain’t me babe.
But when you’re doing a project with an actual budget, $1700/month in the scenario Bob layed out is completely doable. Even if you have to pay it out of pocket, you deduct it STRAIGHT, right now, instead of amortizing a bunch of payments over years and years, even in months when it’s idle. That’s INSANITY.
Instead, you leave it parked at Pacific Post. When you don’t need it, you’re not paying a freaking dime for it. Not a penny. And when you need it, because now you have a job, you call Pacific Post and ask them to bring it to you. DONE and DONE.
Understanding that not every neighborhood has a Pacific Post, but certainly when it comes to Avid, you’d be shocked at how many places you can have a system delivered to you. Again, many of us came up in the “NOW YOU CAN BUY IT” era, whereas Avid folks have ALWAYS been about rentals.
I was friends with the Avid rental facility in Key West Florida. LOL I’m on an even more remote island in the middle of the Pacific (you can’t drive to this one), and I can have a system with Media Composer, FCPX, Creative Cloud, a full RED shooting kit with all the software goodies, plus monitors, speakers, and scopes on my doorstep in the morning. When I’m done with it, they’ll come and get it.
Not that most of us don’t have at least an iMac Pro if not something more muscular on whatever platform, but if you need to scale up to get a job, you should be able to only scale up when you NEED it. I bet that Caleb Deschanel owns more cameras than most of us, but I KNOW that also owns FEWER cameras than many of us. These guys RENT.
It’s certainly true that folks like Herb who’ve been building TV series with remote workflows for years have been able to load up for bear, and they’re ready for anything. But folks in their 20s and 30s who are buying less expensive gear for themselves will still be able to scale up IF they only need to pay for it when they’re using it, ie, when they have someone else to pay for it. They can keep training on their laptops in the meantime, and who knows. Maybe those are the skinny terminals that they use to log in remotely.
- June 3, 2020 at 5:32 am
[Tim Wilson] “It’s certainly true that folks like Herb who’ve been building TV series with remote workflows for years have been able to load up for bear, and they’re ready for anything.”
I fall into the Herb camp as a long-time freelancer. I’ve been fine tuning a home system for many years to be prepared for any type of project. I also fully remember the rental days of systems but over the years (at least in my market) as editors migrated much of their work to remote environments, ownership of full systems has been the tradeoff.
[Tim Wilson] “But folks in their 20s and 30s who are buying less expensive gear for themselves will still be able to scale up IF they only need to pay for it when they’re using it, ie, when they have someone else to pay for it. They can keep training on their laptops in the meantime, and who knows. Maybe those are the skinny terminals that they use to log in remotely.
Yes. I think you’ve hit on the real future for us cutters – thin terminals worked on remotely and connected to a server which stores the camera originals but which also creates proxy files for editors to easily work with until mastering stage.
- June 3, 2020 at 4:53 pm
And don’t forget when you are working on a union show for Netflix and you are using your own system, they pay you a rental or if you don’t have one they will rent it for you. This is the reality in Hollywood. As an editor, they rent my system or I go somewhere and sit in their chair that they paid for and just edit.
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- June 3, 2020 at 7:03 pm
What happens when the decision to WFH or in the office is yours, and you want to do BOTH? Let’s say you want to work two days a week at home ’cause you’d rather not spend an hour on the 405. Who pays for your system at home for those two days? Do you expect the company to pay for TWO systems?
- June 3, 2020 at 7:08 pm
It’s usually established where we are cutting before the show starts. I’ve never had the option, ‘hey you want to work from home 2 days a week?’ I’ve always had to either cut on my system and paid a rental or gone to a production office or post facility and used that system. Cutting a feature and the amount of footage doesn’t really allow a WFH 2 or 3 days a week.
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For Camera Accessories – Monitors and Batteries
- June 3, 2020 at 7:16 pm
[Warren Eig] “I’ve never had the option”
Just because you’ve never had the option, doesn’t mean there aren’t other companies out there where this kind of
“hybrid” arrangement may become the new normal. I know we’re considering it.
In this conversation of WFH, people seem to focus ONLY on their own situation. The one thing I’ve learned in the past few months is that EVERYONE has a different idea of what WFH means. Therefore, the solutions, costs and technology deployed to make it work is going to be different for everyone.
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