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September 27 2010

Novacut, a new open-source video editor, owes its origins to Joss. "We're developing [this] video editor because there's no reason for Joss Whedon to ever have a show canceled."

Basically, they've developed this project in the hopes of encouraging truly independent film and television. Felicia Day and The Guild get a shout-out as well.

I admire the effort, but they've got the biz side of this wrong. You couldn't film something like Dr Horrible and distribute it under Creative Commons. You also couldn't air a creative commons fan funded series on TV, so you're kinda cancelled before you began.

Neat project; weird sales pitch.

[ edited by gossi on 2010-09-27 18:08 ]
Yes, the only reason Joss's shows ever get cancelled is because video editing software is just sooooooo expensive.

Very misguided business model.
I'm not up on this area, but under Creative Commons can't you specify which rights you keep, not necessarily making it completely free to use, meaning that something like Dr Horrible could be possible?
CC does allow you to create commericial works (even specifying if you want people to be able to use derivative works). But, yeah, if Dr. Horrible was free to distribute for non-commericial use, there goes a huge portion of the iTunes sales as well as the dvd sales. Yes, it was a small indie, done-for-fun project...that cost $200,000 to make with no assurances of anyone ever seeing a dime in return.

I'm all for controlling your rights, open source software, and this editor is great. I've been slowly transitioning my home recording studio over to linux (which CAN be done these days, as opposed to 10 years ago). But the whole "capitalism is evil" attitude just seems wrongheaded to me. You don't want to make back your investment making the music you love? That's fine. I do, however, and maybe one day that'll get me $200,000 to make an indie film project.
This is beautiful.
The whole "capitalism is evil" is why I love this - and it's wowsome to know that Joss's work is an inspiration for it.
This sounds like an open-source equivalent of, minus all the expensive licensing. So I'd say it makes sense.

And CC typically only applies to the software and its direct code derivatives, not to the works made by using the tools. A sculptor's art belongs to its creator, not the chisel manufacturer.
How cool to see the trails that inspiration blazes. I found this quite informative in realizing where costs and difficulties may come in when filming digitally (which is already much simpler and cheaper than with traditional film). Having never attempted to make a movie, it hadn't occurred to me all the roadblocks that storage and proprietary software could throw up.
I'm very bad with video editing, usually I just employ Avidemux (for Linu/Windows) or encode the with Format Factory or Winavi (Windows - The Mencoder of Linux is a bit difficult).
Pioneer One seams a good CC show. It's the only one I download heard of legally translated to portuguese
On the Mac, iMovie 6 is perfectly able to perform the quality video editing necessary to make your average TV show. So there's nothing monetarily in the video editing arena that's keeping budget-minded artists from making online video.

The main advantage to open-source is the source code is available. Bugs can be fixed and features can be added or modified by the user.
@quantumac. Lol. I would die if I had to edit something using iMovie. It's wayyyyy too limited. There are a lot of little nuances that go into making it everything flow correctly and to accomplish that efficiently the you need something up to par with Final cut Pro/Avid.

Anyway, this is definitely a good idea, and I'm surprised something like this has never taken hold for video editing. Hopefully the future will have tons of open source programs that will surpass the paid versions. But, I don't think the cost of an editing program is gonna make or break a series when it's soooo tiny compared to everything else that goes into it.
Oh yeah, iMovie is actually pretty amazing these days. A friend of mine just finished directing a thesis film, and then for an unrelated project used iMovie and said, "Wow, this is way better than Avid." Exaggeration (um, I think), sure, but still, high praise.
I appreciate the fact that these guys are inspired by Joss and Felicia but yeah editing isn't the problem with indie film making. Everyone indie filmmaker has access to iMovie or Final Cut Pro or has a friend that does. I have both. I think iMovie is great for small projects. You could probably do a short on it. But anything longer or requiring SPFX requires FCP.
All the differing opinions here is what's great and terrible about movie-making. On the one hand, the people doing it are by and large very creative folk with lots of ideas (good), on the other hand, that leads to much disagreement (bad, sigh)

I just want to add that shooting video, by and large, isn't cheaper in the long run than film. When you have a coming deadline, it takes money no matter what you shoot on to finish the thing on time. And they way digital is usually treated on set (shooting more takes "cause it's cheap" which makes the day run longer, so everyone gets paid more OT as well) means that post-production needs far more work than with film, which means far more money spent. It becomes a wash.

Indie peeps tend not to have hard deadlines, and can take as long as they like to finish. They have more time than money, and they have that copy of Final Cut they got for free a while ago (illegally) or maybe they paid for it, but it's been paid for for a long time. They can spend an hour after work every day and many hours on the weekends doing it in their spare time. It still looks like it was inexpensive, but that's just monetarily, they still spent a lot of free time on the project.

On a big TV show, like Dollhouse for example, shooting digitally means a savings of maybe $5k per episode just based on the format switch itself. That's nowhere near enough to justify the switch, that's pennies for them. The real savings comes in how the contracts change due to archaic holdovers. Everyone earns less money on digital productions. That adds up to big savings.

This is all generalizations. There are certainly exceptions, but they are just that, exceptions.

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