Shopping List

Three days of frenzied editing later, I find my ‘gear’ shopping list reads thus:

  • 8-port gigabit ethernet switch. 100-base doesn’t cut it for transferring DV, and every system I have has the right ports. Constantly replugging FireWire drives is a royal pain, but at the moment the fastest route. Crazy, given the price of gigabit switches.
  • Something more recent than my poor old Power Mac G4/933. It’s a workhorse, but last night I was colour correcting on resized and laterally flipped shots, and the render times were unbelievably dull. A Mac Pro would do nicely; any Mac Pro, but a quad-3GHz with 4Gb RAM, a terabyte of drive, and a nice big screen would save me about an hour or so a day at this point. Ouchie.
  • Final Cut Studio 2, on that Mac Pro. No explanation necessary, surely?
  • More short ethernet cables. Why do I only have really nasty long ones? Oh, that’s right – they’re spoils from, a weird online swap-shop style show we did for CITV one Christmas a few years back, for which I had a dozen or more iMacs in a TV studio, all running a bespoke web-app trading system I wrote. All my networking gear came from that. Interestingly, the other half of it is now running the Scottish Green Party’s Glasgow office. I wonder if that counts as a political donation?
  • A new keyboard. I’ve never really liked the one I have now.
  • A Mac Book Pro, also with Final Cut Studio. Then I could finish up films in the evenings, when I’m out on the road.
  • A sensible data plan with my mobile phone company. Ditto.
  • A mobile phone that works like a 3G modem. Is there a sensible option for this sort of thing beyond T-mobile, does anyone know?
  • Some clue of how I can force iMovie to import audio in a sensible format, rather than in such a way that moving the clips into Final Cut forces an audio render. Bizarre, and unbelievably irritating for a mixed iMovie/Final Cut workflow.
  • Time to have fixed comments here. They’re still borked, sorry.
  • A video camera that’s at least half-decent. I shot some smoke rings with the SciCast PD150 the other week and the footage is absolutely lovely, if I do say so myself; you’ll se the results hopefully later this week. However, the PD100s and PD150 I bought last year are all owned by NESTA, which means they’re effectively government assets. Drat. Drat drat drat. I quite fancy a Sony V1 at the moment, but cameras are a tough call. I hear a lot of talk that the 720p JVCs are particularly lovely, but I’ve yet to meet anyone who’s actually seen one, let alone used the things. Z1s are all well and good, but I’ve always thought they felt like a ‘v1.0’ product; the XL-H1 is allegedly wonderful but rather large for my purposes, particularly with the rear-mounted überbattery to balance it up; Panasonic’s P2 system strikes me as hideously expensive still; which leaves the V1 and the little Canons. Hmm…
  • A lottery win. Tot up the above and I don’t reckon there’s much change out of £15,000. Oops.

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