Saturday, January 31, 2009


As a point of reference, the BBC needed over 20 years to turn off their Black and White transmitters after turning on their (non-compatible) color transmitters in 1964.

Our own DTV transition will take a while. Politicians fear noting more than little old ladies who can't watch their Matlock.

Our SD transmitters will be on for a while.



I have noticed this month a number of network shows that have abandoned the whole "protect for 4:3" workflow. Both The Office and SNL have had scenes with characters with speaking parts scattered across the 16:9 frame, like they were shooting a Robert Altman film.

The question moving forward for those who will be watching downconverted HD content on legacy 4:3 screens- will you watch the full frame image and lose some characters, or use the letterboxed view and tolerate the slightly smaller image?

If you get local channels through cable or satellite, like I do on a couple of TVs, will you have a choice?


Friday, January 16, 2009

Timeline Frames

Another missing Avid feature: when using frame view in the timeline, the head frame is the only that can be used, which isn't of much help when you have a transition of some kind on that head frame.

In a perfect world, the user could choose exactly what frame of each clip is displayed, like you can in the bins.

When I'm King.....


The Freelance Mentality

The company I work for laid off around 9% of its staff last week, and that resulted in an odd couple of days. While no one in my corner of the org chart got the axe, a few I new in other units did. I understand the math behind it- revenues have fallen off a cliff, and cutting loose those salaries will help margins for a quarter or two moving forward. But it still is no fun.

The hardest art to accept was that many of the layoffs had less to do with the quality of work and more to do with the part of the building you worked in. Some dead wood was cut away, but some high performers were let go because they had become a luxury from a financial standpoint.

I had a conversation with a freelance friend of mine who called to check up on me when the layoffs hit the news. He and I agreed that we each need to adopt more of the other's view of the working world- I need to approach each day as if that day's performance will determine if I get to come back the next, much like a freelancer faces each time he reports for a gig. My freelance friend needs to put energy into the long-term relationship he has with each of his clients, and lessen the "what-can-I-do-for-you-today" mindset that is easy to develop when you work for someone one day at a time.

At the base of it, we're all day-to-day, so we might as well act like it.