Avid editors gaining in popularity

AVID ABOUT AVID: The digital editing juggernaut just keeps rolling along as now more than 50 television shows airing this fall are utilizing Avid Technology’s Emmy Award-winning Media Composer and Film Composer digital non-linear editing systems. Even the highly touted “David Letterman Show,” is being edited on a Media Composer.

At the beginning of the 1992 season, only six programs were using the technology, which allows shows to be edited entirely on a computer, which is faster and less expensive.

According to Avid’s Martin Vann, the regional manager for the company’s Hollywood office, it’s not only the editors who are excited about using the systems on TV shows. “Producers and directors can get more involved in the editing of their shows at a much earlier stage,” Vann said. “They now have immediate access to what was shot, where as before they didn’t.”

Among this season’s shows hopping on the Media Composer systems bandwagon are CBS’ “Northern Exposure” and “Picket Fences,” NBC’s “Sisters,””Dateline NBC, “”Saturday Night Live” and “Empty Nest,” ABC’s “NYPD Blue,””Street Match, “”Dinosaurs,””Moon Over Miami” and “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman” and Fox’s “X Files” and “The Adventures of Brisco County Jr.”

And while we’re talking about Avid’s Film Composer, it seems the system was used to edit Castle Rock’s “Needful Things,” which opened last weekend, the runaway hit “The Fugitive” and the soon-to-be-released “The Getaway.” It’s also being used on Paramount’s “The Naked Gun 33 1/3” and James Cameron’s “True Lies, ” both of which are currently in production.

“ROBOCOP” REDUX: For those of you who just can’t seem to get enough of that wacky “Robocop” experience, you might consider trekking to the Pomona County Fair to check out “RoboCop: The Ride,” which will make its debut Sept. 10.

Developed by Iwerks Touring Technologies and based on the Orion series of films, the ride will be shown in the Iwerks Reactor, a portable seat motion-simulation theater.

Using state-of-the-art hydraulic technology, the ride provides the feel of a roller-coaster ride. The ride also features the latest high-definition laser technology projection system — the Sony HD Laser Source — and a digitally recorded and mastered six-channel SurroundSound system.

According to Iwerks, the ride creates the effect that each member of the audience is actually part of a high-speed motorcycle chase — in other words, for five minutes, you are RoboCop. Personally, we’d rather be David Letterman for five minutes, but that’s a different story.

This is the latest ride from Iwerks, which also created the rock video ride “Mindblender,” the aviation chase film “Afterburn” and the intergalactic adventure “Space Wars.”

Following its debut in L.A., which runs through Oct. 3, “RoboCop: The Ride” will tour the country at over 150 air shows, fairs and festivals in conjunction with the Nov. 5 release of “RoboCop 3.”

SOUND REVOLUTION: A new process, Virtual Post, developed by Tricor Technologies, completely revolutionizes the way that sound editorial and mixing have been performed for four decades.

In the past, hundreds of hours of dialogue, sync effects, Foley, ADR, effects and music cues were transferred to thousandsof feet of magnetic stock during sound editorial and pre-dubbing.

The time and expense tied to these steps are eliminated with Virtual Post, as every piece of audio information is digitally recorded to computer hard drives, making it possible to instantaneously edit and sample sounds. The system can be used on any mixing stage.

Tricor Technologies is a subsidiary of Tricor Entertainment Inc., the independent production company headed by producers Howard Kazanjian, Craig Darian and Peter Saphier.

“We’re not hardware manufacturers and we’re not even software manufacturers,” Darian said. “While we deal with these two mediums, we’re really only filmmakers who have focused upon an integral part of the filmmaking process and harnessed a series of technologies, which together have heightened the creative standard and cleaned up many steps along the way.”

BITS & BYTES: Digital Domain, the Venice-based, next-generation production studio co-owned by James Cameron, Stan Winston, Scott Ross and IBM, has purchased Accom’s RTD 4224, the industry’s first 10-bit component digital disk recorder. The unit’s equipped with Accom’s unique Cine-Play feature, enabling real time conversion between film and video frame rates. … L.A.-based Metrolight Studios, the award-winning computer animation company, has been chosen to produce the computer-generated imagery for “Viper,” the new one-hour series produced by Pet Fly Prods. and Paramount Television for NBC. The company’s work on the show involves the creation of elements that transform a Dodge Viper street car into the “Defender,” a high-tech police vehicle of the future. … Any of you worried about someone listening to your portable phone conversations with scanning equipment — especially if it’s with alleged madam Heidi Fleiss — might want to check out Secure-Net’s cellular voice privacy unit , which provides scrambling of your calls. The unit easily installs into the jack of your cellular telephone, making it impossible for anyone to listen in on your calls.

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