(For those new to the column, Forward Migration is our term for companies moving from Wintel machines to Macs — or at least adding or increasing the number of Macs they use. A Forward Migration Kit is an overview of Mac OS products for a particular occupation, such as photography, optometry, etc.)
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There are a variety of stories on Apple’s Web site that shows the versatility of the Mac platform in a variety of environments.
features an interview with Alan Moulder, the twice Grammy-nominated producer/engineer behind moody alternative music from artists like The Jesus & Mary Chain (JAMC) and My Bloody Valentine, to Nine Inch Nails and The Smashing Pumpkins.
He tells how he uses ProTools for most of his recording work because he likes the way that it handles audio. He also uses Emagic’s Logic Audio, which he says “is great for MIDI and being able to use VST plug-ins.” Moulder also uses Reaktor for coming up with sequences and sounds you couldn’t do with anything else. In addition, he likes Reason for its immediacy and the ability to come up with drum patterns that can be scrolled through loads of different sounds with ease. Moulder runs ProTools, Logic, Reason and Reaktor on a Power Mac in the studio, and on a PowerBook for remote editing.
Get reel with iPod and Final Cut Pro
looks at how Rodney Charters, director of photography for Fox’s “24” and Warner Bros’ “Roswell” TV series uses Macs, iMovie and Final Cut Pro in his work.
“Anybody sitting at home quietly now with iMovie or Final Cut Pro and a small DV camera could write a story, shoot it, edit it, finish it and then put it up on the Web in a way that people could actually be inspired to talk to them about employing them,” Charters said. “For example, take that short film, ‘405’ where the airliner lands on the 101 freeway. That was made by two young digital artists — a very small, short film — very funny and brilliantly executed. And they got themselves talked to. They got jobs out of it.”
He’s also a big fan of the iPod. For years, he carried a tape recorder around to help him refresh his memory of the script dialog, prior to shooting a sequence or episode. No more.
“The iPod is an extraordinary little tool,” Charters told Apple. “When I was directing my last episode of ‘Roswell,’ I was able to use the iPod to play back all of the parts on my iPod. I used to do this on cassette tape, so I could play it back in the car as I was driving around.”
And there are extra benefits of doing this digitally on the iPod.
“I’m able carry around the whole script, and manage the script order using the iPod’s playlist cataloging system,” Charters said. “Plus, I can bounce between scenes, just with a click on the dial to flash through the movie — which is important because we rarely film scenes in script order. With the iPod, I can skip around very conveniently to see what the next stage work is and then go back to the script itself, to see what scenes come up after each other, just by bouncing around. And organizing all of that information is possible in iTunes, which transfers directly onto the iPod. I carry my iPod around the film set, bring it into the car and use it while driving to work.”
Pro and Con
looks at how director Jesse Moss used Apple products to make “Con Man,” a one-hour Cinemax Reel Life documentary. One such product was Final Cut Pro.
Moss told Apple that the greatest benefit of Final Cut Pro, besides the intuitive ease it offered him as a first-time editor, was flexibility in post production. With Pro, he could “cut the film to the place where it needed to be without this huge system and high overhead to maintain.”
“As an independent filmmaker, I’m attracted to the idea of owning the means of production. I was able to put together a system quite cheaply,” Moss said. “I experienced no technical compromises, it was as stable as it needed to be, and we scaled up media as we needed it.”
The filmmaker tells Apple he sees a general move towards Final Cut Pro outside the scope of his film. “In the lifespan of this project, things have changed in the documentary film community in New York,” he said. “There was some skepticism about Pro in the early days of my project, but since that time there’s really wide acceptance.”
Moss is currently using Final Cut Pro to edit his year-in-the-life verite documentary “Speedo.” It’s about the fast times and dangerous life of Ed “Speedo” Jager, a champion demolition derby driver.
Finally, an interesting letter of endorsement for new Apple hardware and Mac OS X from a new MacCentral reader named Rodd Johnson: “Years ago, I was a baseline technologist for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota. This was around the time when Microsoft came out with Windows 95, which was lame). Anyway, I had helped put in over 700 Apple IIci machines for general corporate use, as well as customized applications. Well, time marched on, and Apple didn’t go very far with the Mac operating system, and I moved on to mostly Unix, some NT, and eventually Linux.
“But what did I discover a couple of months ago? A Titanium PowerBook G4. I was shopping to replace a notebook for my company. I walked through the Mac area and was hooked. Now I have a dual G4 1 GHz as well. The funny thing is, I currently work on a supercomputer based application and all the engineers want to know about what I’m using. No, I don’t do graphics, nor much care about them. And that’s the point, I now have hardware with an operating system [Mac OS X] that can support me doing things other than what the normal Apple customer does. This is a big deal since it’s been the largest hang-up for potential corporate consumers since Windows NT surfaced. As a development platform, with FINK, Darwin, XFree86, Apple Dev tools, and Java, it can’t be beat!
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