Tuesday, January 04, 2011


So here we are.  2011.

No flying cars or jet-packs, sadly, but I do have an iPhone- a hilariously powerful computer that fits in my pocket- so powerful in fact, that it's the diminutive size that constrains it's uses, rather than it's computing power.  I also have the magical ability to perform by job as a freelance editor from my home- to work interactively with clients a hundred kilometres away for all intents and purposes with the same interactivity as if they were here in the room with me.  And the truth is, they might as well be a couple thousand kilometres away.

Why aren't I living in Barbados again?

As of this year, I'll have been a professional editor for 15 years, and Disproportionate Pictures is 5 years young this month.  I count myself as fortunate that I entered the post business when I did.  Non-Linear Editing had taken hold by the time I took my first post-graduate job in 1996.  I say fortunate for two reasons-

First, because I did get a taste of the pre-digital world.  When I entered Ryerson Polytechnic University in 1992, the film program was still just that- a FILM program.  Shoot on film.  Edit on film.  Sound on mag stock.  The way it had been done for a century.  We dabbled in A/B tape editing as well, via the Rogers Radio and Television Arts centre.  At that point, access to AVID Non-Linear Editing systems were only just becoming available outside of the very high end, and it would be several years before Ryerson would get them.  My first look at one was through a co-operative that rented out suites to students and low budget filmmakers on an hourly basis.  And they were busy!!  Though there were a fair share of die hard film purists, it was clear by the 4th year of our program that this is where the future was going.

Secondly, I feel fortunate that I never had to use any of these antiquated techniques again once I left the academic world.  I'm a great lover of film history, and to a great extent I am a film purist.  I don't believe in colorization, or retrofitting decades old films with new effects.  But where technology can help to make the process of filmmaking better for the storyteller.  I'm all for it.

This year hopefully marks the beginning of a transition.

In the next few weeks I'll begin editing on my second feature, a wonderfully bizarre film by writer/director Alex Boothby called MR. VIRAL.  The film was shot on the RED ONE digital cinema camera with the new MysteriumX sensor.  This is the same camera David Fincher used to shoot THE SOCIAL NETWORK.  Looking back on my film years again, it's really remarkable; I remember many night shoots when you would be fighting for any kind of exposure, and now cameras like the RED can see just as well as the human eye.  You no longer need to light for exposure- only for look.

Work continues on my great passion, HOVERBOY- the 73rd most popular hero of the 20th Century.  There will be a string of wonderful updates of various shapes and sizes.  New contributors are lending a hand to the restoration of a lot of materials in the Hoverboy Archives.  It's early days, but my fondest wish is that the 1950's HOVERBOY DESTROYS CHRISTMAS!! special could be on the air by this Christmas.  Broader plans for a continuing Hoverboy TV series, featuring clips from many of Hoverboy's  TV and Film incarnations is also in the works.  This would truly be a dream come true for me.

There are also thoughts rolling around in my head for not one but two feature films which could under the right conditions take off this year.  MR. VIRAL and Ben Mazzotta's THE LIMITS [2007] have shown me that though there are many obstacles in the way, the biggest challenge to making a feature film is the determination to do it.

Over the course of this year, I'll be chronically my efforts on these various ventures, and providing some thoughts on the future of the business in which I work.  Specifically, the road to the new Final Cut Studio 4 rumoured to be coming in the coming months; my thoughts on the vision [or lack thereof] in the evolution of editing interfaces and hardware.

I don't profess to be a great expert on some of the things I'll be discussing, just a user who has a perspective.  So hopefully people with broader knowledge than mine can comment or otherwise illuminate on the topics here.  A forum for discussion if you will.

It should be fun.