ACE: “AVID FTW”

Posted by · 4:02 pm · July 3rd, 2009

ACE/AVIDSorry, I couldn’t resist the anagram train on that headline, but this David Cohen story at Variety is interesting for us cinema tech hounds.  It seems the American Cinema Editors will be dishing out the first ever ACE Technical Excellence Award to Avid’s Media Composer software, amounting to”an unprecedented endorsement of a commercial product,” Cohen says.  Furthermore:

ACE is voicing both appreciation for its close relations with Avid and frustration with what it perceives as snubs from Apple, maker of Final Cut Pro, Avid’s biggest rival.

The subtext of the kudo announcement is also a message to producers: ACE’s members are frustrated about not having a choice of which tools they use, and they don’t like being forced to use alternatives to Avid.

All this is coming at a time when ACE editors are feeling restive over job security in the wake of the production slowdown and changes in TV patterns and orders.

It amounts to inside sniping more than an actual watershed moment for the craft as far as I’m concerned.  Cohen quotes ACE board member Harry B. Miller III as complaining that “Apple and Final Cut Pro doesn’t listen, doesn’t respond, doesn’t solicit [industry editors’] opinion.”  Let’s drag it out in public then, shall we?  Oy.




→ 6 Comments Tags: , , , , | Filed in: Daily

6 responses so far

  • 1 7-03-2009 at 6:02 pm

    Mr. Milich said...

    This is dumb beyond comprehension.

    I get the feeling Avid is scared because they’re losing market share to FCP because it’s cheaper. So they’ve set up some sort of sponsorship with ACE, and in return ACE makes this silly announcement.

    I’ve used both and I prefer FCP hands down. It’s more pragmatic and logical and user-friendly. Avid has evolved from an outdated system, so in order to maintain continuity it’s had to continue with a completely archaic set of procedures to do the same things that are obvious with FCP.

  • 2 7-03-2009 at 6:20 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Couldn’t have said it better myself.

  • 3 7-04-2009 at 1:43 pm

    Buttons said...

    Avid is superior. ACE just wants to support the superior software and equipment so that editors can choose what they want instead of having cheaper, less efficient equipment forced on them by production.

    Oh and don’t you want to update your editing Oscar picks? How can you list Hurt Locker for just cinematography? You also omitted Public Enemies. Clearly Locker was made in post-production. Enemies has serious editing too. Yet you list Amelia and Bright Star, costume dramas that haven’t come out yet ?

  • 4 7-04-2009 at 1:53 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    I just updated them and there’s no reason to think the needle has been moved one way or the other yet. So, no…I don’t “want” to update them. And I didn’t omit “Ememies” due to any blind spot or anything. Have you seen the reviews? Long climb up a steep hill for that film.

    Buttons, I think you frankly just don’t understand the process of predicting. It’s not about listing quality work (or else I’d have Hurt Locker all over the place, and ditto Enemies), it’s about understanding how the Academy ultimately nominates. Most of the time the editing category is a representation of the Best Picture nominees, hence my list.

    (And no, Hurt Locker was not “clearly made in the editing.” I’d say Kathryn Bigelow deserves most of the credit for the way she realized Boal’s script and brought an amazing performance out of Renner. Having said that, perhaps it will get the editing nod it deserves, but for now, it’s a summer film that has to last through the season before we start crowning it a sure thing for Oscar.)

  • 5 7-04-2009 at 3:43 pm

    Mr. Milich said...

    You know what makes a great edit? It isn’t the software. It’s the editor.

    So, Buttons, please save your talking points for elsewhere.

    BTW/ Buttons, I’m pretty sure Benjamin Button was cut on FCP.

  • 6 7-05-2009 at 6:26 pm

    Nicky said...

    I do agree with Mr. Milich on one thing: that the tools don’t make the editor. And, basically, Buttons is saying the same thing. The tools are simply the means to the end which is ultimately storytelling.

    However, I do think it should be up to the editor what tool they wish to work with on a given project and not up to some bean counter who doesn’t understand the relationship editors have with their tools. So if Mr. Milich prefers FCP, great, he should be entitled to use it, but if another editor prefers Avid, then they should be able to use that. According to the Variety story ACE took a survey of its members and the majority prefer to work on Avid.

    Either way, this isn’t the first time ACE has given out an honorary award. They’ve done it for journalists (the Robert Wise Award). So perhaps there are those that felt one journalist over another may have deserved it more than the one chosen to receive the award. There will always be some amount of controversy with these kinds of things but I would hardly call it “dumb” that an organization chose to honor a technology they appreciate and a company that’s been supportive of them over the years. It’s the same reason the Robert Wise Award “recognizes writers who have contributed to elevating public awareness of the role editing plays in the filmmaking process.” So this time around (I guess the FIRST time), the ACE board chose to recognize Avid. I think it’s a bit rude to call that “dumb” simply because one prefers a different technology.