Ranting about wannabe editors

New from the MySociety genii:, capsule the curiously-capitalised PlaceOpedia. Think Google Maps ? Wikipedia. Brilliant. Except that, as I write, all the links read


  1. Hmmmm… interesting take. What exactly do you mean by “post-production facility houses who’ve no idea about the web video workflow.”
    I’m inrigued.

  2. Scoble’s video is an example of ‘just cos you can do something doesn’t mean you should’. A 19 minute video on the web??! Surely, the story warrants 3 minutes at most… The difference for me between ‘amateur’ and ‘professional’ is the ability to edit. By that I don’t mean, of course, simply being able to use FCP, but an ability to edit out the superfluous rubbish and just leave the important stuff.
    You are absolutely correct that people will watch what they are given…

  3. @Scott – good question. One of those things that felt right as I wrote it, but now you’re making me work it through. I’d assumed I was thinking about the weird experiences I’ve had where post-production facilities have wanted to go from DV source to Quicktime output… via AVR3 and a conform to DigiBeta, then a re-ingest. Which is plain ridiculous. And certainly, I can’t think of any TV facilities house I’ve worked with that really knows about desktop video compression. Several who claim to, but they just twiddle the defaults.
    But that’s not really it, is it?
    I think it’s back to production, actually. The ‘old way’ was to have a production team, with researchers finding stories and pitching them to a producer, who’d make editorial judgements and commission directors to go and film successful pitches.
    The ‘new way’ involves the researchers calling themselves ‘producers’ (or ‘self-facilitating media nodes,’ if you spot the reference), shooting stuff themselves, and often cutting it too. Where’s the Production in such a circumstance? Specifically, where’s the production value?
    One way out of this is to have not ‘post-production houses,’ but plain ‘production houses.’ The place you go to do your video project – both as a story on film, and from a project management perspective.
    That model would imply editors gaining a stronger editorial voice, and post-production coordinators turning into production managers. Both these situations are common already.
    The trouble is, we’re continuing to make the editing process cheaper, simpler, and less mysterious. People are buying Final Cut and finding they can operate it, without assistance.
    So I worry when post-production facilities are places I regards as integral to the programme-making process, but inconsequential to the web video process. For the web, I do it all myself. I’m not at all sure what the future holds for post-production houses, but I’m convinced the video we watch will suffer as a result.

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