Saturday, February 28, 2009

OS Progress

The upgrade of the OS on my mac has had another surprising downside: I can no longer map Avid keyboard commands to keys F5-F9. The Mac OS has uses for them now.

I mapped my various Avid toolsets to those F keys and could rapidly bounce between them depending on the job I was doing at the moment. I find using the pull down much less convenient.

Its the little details that make a difference in useability.



I was reminded this week how limited my AfterEffects skills are. I'm a three-trick pony in AE, which doesn't get me very far.

That is the frustrating aspect of my industry- the skill set is so wide, the requests are so broad, that it is challenging to be competent at everything you are asked to do. Specialization is most effective, but those of us who in the One-Man-Band role have a tougher nut to crack.

There are lots of jobs where technique takes a back seat to getting the job done. But if you have bad AE skills it is really obvious. I'm exhibit A. I see tutorials in my future.


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Data Loss

I've been playing catch up this week due to data loss.

An upgrade of the OS went off as scheduled, but it unfortunately erased about two years of projects that were stored on that computer. When the system was added to the shared storage array, the projects were still being stored locally. Pilot error that didn't kick in for about 18 months.

The primary effect was losing the bin data on a half dozen projects that are in production, but it will also mean that if asked to make changed or simply recreate an old project I will be starting from scratch.

In the old CMX days there would have been pages of notes and perhaps a paper EDL to work from on the rebuild, but not anymore. Digital does have drawbacks, and I'm living them this week.


Friday, February 20, 2009


Personally, I'm appalled that one of my local affiliates, which chose to delay their DTV transition to the new date, is marketing their actions as a "looking out for you, our viewer, and not wanting you to be without our signal" public service.

The fact that their main competitor went ahead and made the switch is merely a coincidence.

I guess their definition of "public service" is pretty broad, and includes the Billy Grahmn specials that sometimes blow out their prime time lineup and the infomercials they run on Saturday afternoons.


Sunday, February 8, 2009


I digitized several hours of content this week, and took that time to thumb through the pile of industry trades that had piled up on my desk the last few months.

Despite consolidation within ownership of the trades, thin margin have forced one group of magazines to recycle content across many of their titles. I saw the same article verbatim in four different magazines, pictures and all.

The trades are more and more a mirror of the industry they cover.

One of the trades I had found interesting, Studio, if only because it focused on "How To" articles on creating looks using specific software tools has now gone all-digital, with no printed version. I am curious if their business model will be more successful by bypassing the printer and USPS.

If they are, my employer has some lessons to learn from Studio.