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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

What is an industry standard?


Recently I was introduced to the funkily named bit of scheduling software called "WattWenn!", crazy spelling, no wonder I couldn't find it on Google.

Seems like a nice development and more suited to a low budget film maker than a lot of the old guard scheduling software such as MovieMagic. I was pleased to find something more adaptable and that you can fiddle with, next to the script. My knowledge of scheduling was locked to about 10 years ago so this was all new. Even WattWenn has been around a while, there are probably even newer, faster, better tools out there.

One question that always gets kicked back when new ideas are raised is; is it industry standard? This is a fair question in many ways. Who wants to invest in software that isn't being used elsewhere? I get that. However, recently a lot of these industry stalwarts are being eroded. Final Cut is not taken so seriously, Final Draft is being overtaken rapidly and of course cameras come and go at a crazy rate.

All of this makes this an ideal time to reiterate a phrase that I was taught years ago, but which needs dusting down yet ago.

"The software shouldn't be industry standard, but your work must be."

Final Draft shouldn't be an industry standard, but knowing how script layout works most definitely is. It doesn't matter what you edit on but you must really understand your technology (data rate, codecs etc) so you can deliver what is required. Heck, you have to know your editing techniques before any of that.

Software and technology always get replaced. Use what you like, but be you must be ready to change. Your long term success instead comes from really understanding WHY things work as they do.

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