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View from the top, pre NAB 2014: Larry Jordan on the state of video editing and post production

3 minute read

Larry JordanLarry Jordan

Larry Jordan is a well known video industry figure, whose webcasts are listened to in 175 countries. We asked him about editing, color correction, the cloud, and whether he's looking forward to April's NAB - the biggest show of the year

RedShark: Do you think color correction/grading should be part of an NLE or kept separate from the editing workflow?

Larry Jordan: There are good arguments for both.

For editors on a budget, working within the NLE makes for faster workflows. However, the stand-alone tools offer more features and increasingly tight integration between the NLE and the color grading software.

What about cloud solutions? What would you want from a cloud provider?

Solid answers and not marketing hype to three questions:

1. How do you assure the security of my assets on your system?
2. If you go broke, how do I get my assets back (in other words, who owns my media)?
3. How does this service save me time when I have very limited upload/download speeds to the web?

I am SUCH a skeptic about The Cloud. It is great for pre-production collaboration and script-writing.  It's fine for sharing address books and calendars. It's even fine for final distribution. All the videos on my website, for example, are distributed using Amazon S3 servers and their Cloudfront CDN.

Not a day goes by but that we read about yet another "major US corporation" that was hacked, assets stolen, and, "gosh, we are really sorry about this..."

Storing media on The Cloud does not give me warm and fuzzy feelings.  I could go on, but you have a page limit.

There are big changes on the editing front. What do you think about Avid's future? And what about Lightworks (especially for Mac?)

Avid is a HUGE cause for concern. You can't survive as a business unless you are making money. And Avid hasn't been making money for years. Avid is in a very difficult position for the long-term. I wish them well because they are a good competitor, which benefits all of us; but am I concerned? Yes.

I haven't played with Lightworks. I'm looking forward to seeing it at NAB.




Do you think Premiere is up there with FCP X/Avid now, or possibly beyond?

Adobe has been rocking with all the upgrades to Premiere Pro CC. From my point of view, Adobe finally surpassed FCP 7 with their latest release. There is virtually nothing you could do in FCP 7 that you can't do with Premiere CC  faster and better.

We now have a three horse race: Adobe, Apple and Avid (listed in alphabetical order). All three are excellent. All three create professional results reliably. And any of the three are a solid choice for any editor.

What you are choosing is the interface, the ease of use, the depth of plug-ins, the support from the user community -- all the intangibles that make learning and using sophisticated software right for you.

Personally, I'm a big fan of both FCP X and Premiere CC. But, the more competition, the better for all of us.

This is one of those wonderful situations where anything we choose can get the job done. The question is no longer "whether," but "how."

There has never been a better time to work in post-production. The tools are excellent and continuing to improve. We have format choices we could only dream about a few years ago. And a talented and growing pool of third-party developers to support each of these editing platforms.

Are you looking forward to NAB this year?

How can you NOT look forward to going to NAB this year???

Thanks to Larry for giving us his views! We agree with most of them, but not about the Cloud. To hear why, go to the next page.

Dave Shapton's response to Larry's comments about the cloud

First, it's important to understand that cloud workflows are in the early stages. Not everyone has enough broadband speed to use them realistically. If you don't, then the cloud is not the solution for you, yet. But don't forget that some services, on the distribution side, will work even if you have a relatively slow connection. We're not talking about editing here: if you have a 30s or 4m clip you want your colleagues to see, upload it to a cloud service (even from your phone in some cases) and send them a link. They don't have to download it: they just watch it as it's being streamed.

Security: yes - rightly an issue to be concerned about. But we send money to and from our banks every day. If it's secure enough for them - and most cloud solutions use the same kind of security - then it's secure enough for your media, isn't it?

Not everyone is going to use cloud services to store their full resolution media, although it may happen if there's enough broadband. If a provider goes bust, it's an issue, but you should probably keep local copies of your finished projects or assets if they're that valuable to you. Don't forget that the cloud is part of your workflow, not necessarily where you keep all your stuff. And remember, your house could burn down. At the very least, cloud storage could be part of your multifaceted backup strategy.

That's not to say that the cloud providers shouldn't be careful and responsible. They need to take care of your credit card and other personal information.

Hacking is always a worry, but it's no worse with the cloud than with, say, Gmail or Dropbox. There has to be a point at which we are able to use these services or we have to decide to stay in the dark ages and never use them!


Larry Jordan is the executive producer and host of the Digital Production BuZZ. Larry is a renowned media expert, Apple-certified trainer specializing in Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere training, author, and member of the Directors Guild of America and Producers Guild of America.


Tags: Post & VFX