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Crossing over with The Finish Line

Zeb Chadfield, owner of The Finish Line, explains why he decided to move to Blackmagic’s DaVinci Resolve for finishing and delivery

The decision to drop Avid in favour of DaVinci Resolve was really a transitional thing rather than an overnight decision.

I’ve always been an advocate for using the best tool for a job and that’s lead me to working on all different platforms, I won’t bore you with the list but it’s safe to say I’ve used everything from tape based linear editing to all the current editing and grading tools. I used to always have a preference based on the type of work but we have hit a point now where there isn’t anything that can be done better in a different tool. 

The main change we have made is that we no longer go back to the tool in which the project was cut for the final online and all of our delivery processes are now in DaVinci Resolve. We started with Resolve in 2011 and as the developers have added more and more it just kept getting so much better. At this point I just can’t see any reason to use anything else. That won’t stay that way I’m sure, this is a technology driven industry so it will come down to development and features, but as long as BlackmagicDesign keep going the way they are I can’t see a reason to move.

I suppose the decision is a bit controversial because in the long form television world Avid is still strong. From our point of view as a picture finishing company it’s normal for us to switch between different applications constantly. It’s also normal to use different tools for different jobs but in offline or ‘craft’ editing Avid Media Composer is the staple and all the post facilities tend to still finish in Media Composer because their talent has been working that way for a long time and retraining can be complicated when you are dealing with such a high turnover of work.

It’s also always been easy to stay in the app that a programme was cut in to avoid rebuilding all the captions and effects. But that’s just not an issue anymore with Resolve. All the new captioning and subtitling tools along with the far better quality of the results make it crazy to continue to work in the old way.

We have also been using the EditShare Flow tools now that it has become available as a SaaS solution for automation. Clients are also using this for remote editing with us and we can take a file direct from Flow Story into Resolve for conform and finishing so there are some exciting possibilities there. We also use a lot of custom built tools mostly on AWS for various parts of our processes.

We are very excited about the AI in Davinci Resolve 16 because on every level it will help us work faster and more efficiently, even with simple things like finding the faces of people that may need blurring in a programme. I’d love to see that feature expanded on to find other objects and even automated blurring for faces or branding. Anything is possible!

Read Zeb’s full article in the latest issue of TVBEurope.