Apple is starting to **** me off again

04:00 am, January 1st, on my final day of edit for a long term project, my production computer decided that it would not be able to face 2016 and summarily offed itself. I mean FOUR HOURS!!! into the year and the gizmo had already lost all hope. Logic board done.

Now, I’ve been up against it for a spell. It’s bad enough that 2015 was a real mofo and was grinding up people I know for dog food. That general malaise led to me not posting on this blog for awhile as I waited to see where all the pebbles would fall on the rice paper. Now, in partial vent mode, I return to the finger dancing arts with a typo-phobic rhumba that no virgin eyes should witness.

I have a stack of 6 dead Powerbooks dating as far back to the Titanium 500 mHz. The problem: Logic boards. Logic board is motherboard in Apple-speak. I’ve had at least 3 desktops bow out with terminal logicboarditis. And replacing a logic board outside of warranty is basically saying “buy a new rig, holmes” because the part itself costs so much. Know an option? Let me know. (The old PC laptop took a dump 2015 also, but that’s not a logic board issue).

It seems that maybe I work these rigs too hard but come on, 9 logic boards? But that’s what’s not getting me. I need to spec out what I can get that runs what I need. The “genius” at the Genius Bar, after taking 1.25 hours to confirm that the logic board was at issue couldn’t tell me the lowest end Mac that can push consumer level 4k. Oh how genius. The fucking site and its award-winning UI makes it a fucking nightmare to find info on the main program that I use a Mac: FINAL CUT PRO X. Ultimately, I type in the “/finalcutpro” or do a click from a search. I’m mean what fuckery is that?!

Apple couldn’t give a flying snot about what I think as they pledge increased diversity in hiring yet exclusivity in product while oversimplifying their product line and their web site. Suck it, Apple. I fucking hate all permutations of Windows but all applications that I run of my Macs run on the PCs, too. Well, not FCP nor Logic. Plus last year for the first time in over a decade, I made all but one of my external drives Mac-only. The quantity of Terabytes that I’d have to transfer to have that data production ready returns me back to my safe word: FUCK!!!! I am a little irritated today as you might have noticed.

I lost a couple of “clients” because losing the computer in such a bad timing (post December expenditures, etc.) crippled what I could immediately do, but honestly, those people wanted the works and don’t pay like they deserve my attention. I’m much better off without them. I need to get the job done and it seems again like Apple wants to make it difficult for me to do that. I should not have to sift through a bunch of BS and a million clicks just to get to the info I want, asshats. “Macs, iCrap, OSX, Apple Software, More iGadgets and shit…” That’s my free UX consultation for you sons of Jobs. The first hit’s free.


“I thought he would cuss a lot more than that. Should I be scared or something?”

Gears & Sprockets: Production Notes 1

June 1st is the launch date for OvercookedVegan, a vegan cooking show that I’ve had on the idea shelf for years. I started in earnest in pre-production in January 2015 after sporadically doing camera tests over the course of a year and a half. Given the budget of negative bazillion, I needed to figure out how to make every bit of gear that I had or could get could work. I already have enough personal projects choking because gear deficiency.

megafunk - bell pepper

Stuffed Bell Pepper

I’m fairly ignorant of cooking shows, even now, but I knew I wanted to do something that was different or at least a different spin than the individual personality on a set look that I had known since seeing Pasadena-born Julia Child on those shows in the 70s. That fact that I’m very low key about my diet led me to the natural course of stories that I wanted to show. The problem that came to me during I initial scheduling: It was taking multiple communication attempts just to get fake responses. “Sure. Let’s do it. I’ll call you back Wednesday!” I guess they didn’t specify which Wednesday.

After stewing in irritation for awhile I reached out to a caterer who I had met during an APA portfolio review. She enthusiastically agreed to do a segment and that got me started to at least get my feet wet and be able to assess what I could actually accomplish. Immediately I saw how I would need to change the narrative as well as the shooting style. I needed to keep everything as streamlined as possible. The lifestyle aspect of the show had to be tempered until I could guarantee more idealized talent and I needed to run and gun solo but not obsess over the light. The basic set up involves a camera on sticks (when possible) and 1 hand held, an audio recorder, 3 650 tungsten/halogens in the bag, assorted gels and diffusion material.


Jamaican Vegan Plate

I try and keep each recording down to a little more than the prep time and the cook time. Also, I’m only buying the food same day if I don’t have history with the person or 1 day in advance if I have good history with the talent. Talent has been an issue but I’m using the web more for better or worse. My non-internet contacts have been exhausted but I feel talent problems will be alleviated as the first couple of episodes release.

Social media is a problem. I barely have time, interest and concern for megafunk’s entries. Now I’ve added twitter, facebook, etc. for Overcooked. It’s the natural of today’s beast but I admit I’m slacking. The past two weeks have been determining a workflow. I’m still putting together a proper folder structure and figure out FCPX’s wrangling of different projects without having to render out project plates to re-import. FCP X (TEN!) does not seem to handle sequential tifs with burns me up a bit given that they were supported in 7. I started cutting the trailer in Premiere Pro just for variety but I needed the speed and I can cut much faster in X.

Anyway, somewhere around midnight barring snafu I’ll upload episode one. More notes to follow. Trailer 1.

FCPX v2: The Flip Side

Media management. Since the days of the 2-pop forum and the formation of the former LAFCPUG people have complained about FCP’s media management. Man, I hate the further Apple-i-zation of this thing. The old media manager wasn’t the greatest show on Earth but this Share garbage is just that. As of 10.0.3, this ingests your media like iPhoto, an app I loathe and refuse to use. Little stinking files all over your internal hard drive combined with sloppy exports is getting me to look at other apps or add other ones. I mean SCRATCH drives, man!

Why the hell is everything internal? I needed to duplicate the entire media and edits and the best solution I could quickly find was to drag the source video (fortunately imported from a master folder on an external drive) and export out an EDL. That means re-rendering is due for the receiver. Honestly, I haven’t read the full manual and I haven’t upgraded to 10.0.6 because I’m mid-edit on a feature so my time to sift through has been limited. However, if the functionality is there it should be much more obvious.

Nesting comps is a sloppy endeavor. And the output from an HD source exported out to DVD looks nasty. Macro-blocked to all hell. It is possible that there is a process. The type of work exported to web has looked fine but the few samples to DVD I’ve seen thus far have been terrible. I’ll have to investigate in the near future. Too bad there isn’t a ubiquitous standard physical delivery method that can hold the full footage without needing to scale. BluRay is not it and with the cloudy push, there probably will not be.

scream, alice, scream

In FCP, no one can hear you scream!

Speed Whine X

People don’t like change. That’s why the zombie apocalypse started years ago. Life is change. Zombies don’t change; they deteriorate. Maybe I shouldn’t use such lofty clichés when describing software but most whining I’ve heard about Apple’s update of Final Cut Pro X have come from people who don’t even get the most out of its predecessor.

I had a project that I needed to get out of the door FAST. I had never launched FCP X before but I figured that it had to handle the cornucopia of fruity formats much better than the graceless FCP 7. Correct. SD 29.97, HDV 60i, DV 16×9, stills audio, ProRes 8 all got dumped in from a USB2 drive and were instantly editable. I did have to pause at the interface. Instantaneously I hated the iMovie look. However, I could actually see the text without using an electron microscope which necessary for all prior versions of FCP (I started at v 1.0.2). Many of the basic hot keys were the same but I could figure out where slide/slip was. It didn’t matter. I just had to chop and position.

Now I’m certain that several things aren’t right with FCPX but outright dismissing it as a toy is crotchety whiney b.s. The app edits fast, renders fast, background renders fast and got the job done on a 20 minute EPK. The same job on FCP 7 wouldn’t have made the deadline. In my years, I’ve yet to use Flint, Flame, nor any of that other bizillion dollar Quantel shit. But that’s like saying I can’t drive because I don’t have a Formula One rig. Well, Formula One doesn’t do shit for me in a post-apocalyptic street race with pot holes and cannibal snipers at every corner.

Update 7/31:

I’ve since edited a 2 hour 45 minute project and a few other long form things. I can see why someone whose main gig is invested in their rig being specific and familiar. I’m still learning the program by fire so I’m still missing elements that I knew instantaneously in FCP 6 and 7. However, I don’t think I have ever cut anything as quickly before with any other editing app. It’s not only the faster hardware (as I would like to max out the RAM before sending it to its rightful owner). It’s just easy as hell to drop footage in and move. Now, I going back to finishing the first real cut of this documentary that has been kicking my ass for years now. 9 hours of footage getting chopped down to an hour. Fun times.