Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor

Excert from

“Today brought more news from Avid that things are not too rosy in Burlington Massachusetts for the one time pioneer of NLEs. They are selling off the consumer M-Audio brand and more incredibly their consumer editing apps including Avid Studio for the iPad.

We were quite staggered in a few conversations during NAB when editing colleagues didn’t realise that Avid wasn’t in a great financial state. The heavilly promoted FCP switcher campaign that was offered in the run up to the FCPX launch and beyond might have given the impression that Avid were growing and were going to grow more in the future.

The actual picture is somewhat different.

Avid have been in poor financial health for a while, the company has been shedding jobs on a regular basis to try and keep costs down. In October 2011 Avid laid off 10% of their workforce and today Avid announced that they intend to reduce the headcount further by another 20%.”

HDW : Avid in my opinion should have gone for broke with Avid Media Composer 6 priced at around the £600 mark rather than the £1799 which enticed almost no one to jump, with FCPX at just under £300 and Premiere Pro at £700, Avid is well off target. Do what Adobe do and sell the editing software as a stand alone then add the peripheral sound and colour grading tools as a separate upgrade suite.

Avid is synonymous with the editing world and it would be a shame to loose it but for too long companies like Avid sat on their Laurels with overpriced out of date software and a reputation that filtered down through the broadcast market. As I have said so many times the video world is far bigger than broadcast and the spending power as a collective is huge compared to broadcast.

Back in the early eighties companies like Sony and Panasonic threw camcorders at broadcasters hoping that “their” brand would be taken on, Avid was one of the early adopters in NLE production especially in the “small” ever decreasing broadcast world and its no wonder that they are in financial trouble today as the market has now changed with independent production companies holding the significant purse strings. The Independent market has always suffered exuberent over pricing thanks to the broadcasters who buy in bulk and run the equipment into the ground, our local broadcaster STV bought into Panasonic’s DVC-PRO well over 10 years ago and are still using the dead 4:3 SD format, mainly for news.

As a for instance I was horrified with Apples early reincarnation of FCPX and was seriously looking to abandon ship my choice was Premiere Pro or Avid and I was serious enough to turn up to an Avid day at the Hub in Glasgow held by CVP during February this year but was not convinced enough to jump. There were many freelancers in the same predicament as myself and Avid had the chance to scoop us all but for the £1799 price, business is tough and getting tougher so as a collective we are hugh but as individuals we are small beer.

FCPX is far form satisfactory but is 10x better that its first incarnation, good enough to produce small 10min programs on, my point is that due to time and experimentation a lot of us are dipping our toes into FCPX and still using FCP-7 so the temptation to move on is rapidly decreasing causing a tidal wave down the ranks of people who have bought into FCPX now coming round to the fact that in time it will be a program we can all enjoy and depend upon and at £300 a pop is a mile ahead of Avids £1700 asking price. FCPX now edits 1080 50p AVCHD material and Canon MFX files as well as many other formats in-between that alone is very had to ignore and if like me you can edit between FCP-7 and FCPX you get the best of both worlds.


Having been working in the video business since 1988 I have amassed a great amount of knowledge of both the kit and production values over the last 30 years.

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