The Interaction Model

Apple’s sneak peak of Final Cut 8 has encouraged people to start thinking about their wish lists: 64-bit, more native formats, background rendering, export to YouTube and many other ideas have been floated. That’s all great, but what I want is a new interaction model. Most of what we do as editors looks like this: play a clip or sequence, press stop, open a dialog box, make a change, hit okay, move the position indicator backwards, and play again. Over and over again, all day long. The idea that you could change a sequence that easily was miraculous in the early years, and the need for all that stopping didn’t seem onerous. But now it seems downright anachronistic. I want an application that keeps playing. We have the processor power to do this now, but our applications are full of low-level code that waits for you to hit stop before it’ll do anything.

In Pro Tools you can be playing your timeline in one area and go somewhere later in your session and make a change without stopping. When you get there, you’ll hear the change. Motion lets you loop your composition and change it while it plays. Final Cut lets you move around in the timeline while video keeps playing. Screenflow lets you save while video plays. And Sony Vegas lets you do just about anything without stopping.

What else would we get if we could have that never-stop technology?

  • Render while you work.
  • Never stop to save.
  • Import and export while you do other things.
  • Change bin data while watching dailies.
  • Play more than one clip at the same time, experiment with different placements of of music against picture, compare clips side-by-side.
  • Mix while you play without having to stop and hit record.
  • Live mute and solo.
  • Live editing.

To make music you need a musical instrument. Workflow enhancements are important. New features are important. But how the machine allows us to shape the material affects everything. The simplest potter’s wheel is more interactive, more tactile, more responsive than our best editing machines. It’s that kind of live interactivity that will change the way we work.


I’ll be speaking at the Editors Lounge this Friday in Burbank, as part of their pre-NAB panel discussion.

Panelists: Debra Kaufman, Lucas Wilson, Mark Raudonis, Michael Bravin, Terry Curren and me.
Key Code Media, 270 S. Flower St, Burbank, CA 91502
Time: Food at 6:15, Panel at 7.

DetailsBe Sure to RSVP

Explore posts in the same categories: Avid, Avid vs. Final Cut, Avid Wish List & Bugs

3 Comments on “The Interaction Model”

  1. Loren Says:

    Well, export to YouTube is already there– part of FCP’s Share function.

  2. Says:

    Live mixing of audio is there already too.

  3. Jerry Says:

    Rendering in the background would be my vote as most must needed change. With export in the background a close second!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: