Apple has been boasting for some time that they offer a total solution for their consumer and education customers. While one television show may not win the war for Apple in Hollywood, the adoption of a total Apple solution by Touchstone Television and NBC Corp. for their hit medical comedy Scrubs, is a step in the right direction.
Scrubs has been on the air for two seasons, with the premiere of the third season set for tonight. The editors of Scrubs have used Mac hardware for the first two seasons, but opted for Avid software instead of using Apple products. Late last season the editors decided to give Final Cut Pro a try and are now using all Apple hardware and software for the production of the television show.
"Between season two and three the editors decided that we should try Final Cut Pro," Tim Serda, Assistant Editor for Scrubs, told MacCentral in an interview from his Los Angeles office. "We became beta testers for Apple to see if it was capable of doing what we needed it to do -- it worked for us and we felt comfortable making the switch for this season."
Besides Final Cut Pro 4, the editing team is using Power Mac G4s, three Xserve RAIDs, an 802.11b wireless network and 17-inch PowerBooks for each editor. Serda said that with the PowerBooks, a FireWire hard drive and Final Cut Pro, editors often do work on the road or at home, which makes everything more productive. When the editors come to the studio, they upload the changes to one of the Xserve RAID systems and keep working.
"The big test came after we switched to Final Cut Pro 4 when the Executive Producer worked with the Editor to lock a show," said Serda. "The editor gets into a mode of clicking and editing quickly and the application can't crash or slowdown on us. Final Cut Pro passed the test -- from that point on we were locked in to using Final Cut Pro."
The use of software isn't limited to Apple's Pro products. The composer uses Logic and the production staff use iDVD to burn quick productions for executive viewings of upcoming episodes.
Serda thinks that Apple is on the right track with its latest releases and knows of other studios in Hollywood that are testing out Apple products or using them in the production of features and television. One feature that is a necessity for Apple to make serious headway in Hollywood is support for multi-camera viewing. Scrubs is a one camera show, so they don't need that support, but many more studios could use Final Cut Pro with multi-camera support, according to Serda.
"It [Final Cut Pro] is getting there," said Serda. "As time goes on, new features will be added that will accommodate the needs of more studios. If the multi-camera feature comes in, Final Cut Pro will be seriously considered by all of the Networks."
This story, "NBC's Scrubs adopts an all Apple solution" was originally published by PCWorld.