Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Transfer Windows™

I propose a fight.

It’s been a long time coming, but it is so overdue. Macs versus PCs. A one shot deal, winner takes all. Bill Gates against the freshly zombified Steve Jobs, locked naked in a cage until only one is left standing.

Oh no – Andy. Macs are sooooooooo the way forward. Get with the programme.

Yeah. Whatever. As a recent Mac pressgangee whose hand was forced by the fact that all our editing software is OSX based, I could fire off ten things I like about both, and another two hundred times where both operating systems have irritated me. But whatever I’d say, it’d be lost in the noise of the crushing tedium of trying to sensibly share data between the two.

This has all come to a head over the last few days, as we take a break in the post-production routine to kick off our behind-the-scenes DVD extras. Over the course of the shoot the highly awesome Chris Marley followed all the filmic action around with another camera, and managed to fill 21 one-hour tapes with all the set nonsense that goes on when the Directors aren’t looking. At the end of August he presented us with a bag of 21 full DV cassettes, and they have sat in the bag ever since waiting for us to do something with them.

So, last weekend I did something with them. I downloaded them all onto the Mac.

OK – I’m already making that sound less of a ball-ache than it was. You need to download the DV tapes in real time, so the whole weekend saw me sat in my flat rewinding tapes, swapping them out of the machine, pushing the go button, renaming all the files and then finding something less boring to do for the next 55 minutes. I felt like Desmond in Lost. When I come to list my favourite moments of the production, last weekend is not going to feature very highly.

Anyway, I digress. By 2 am Monday morning it was all done. Disco. 21 hours of footage. All ready to go off to Ian McIntyre to edit into a compelling 45 minute documentary, full of people doing bad Schwarzenegger impressions, complaining about the food, and Danny’s arse.

And then the real ball-ache started.

Ian is so the best person to be putting together our making-of documentary; he did a great job on the 90 minute equivalent on Julian Gilbey’s Rise of the Footsoldier (or BAFTA-nominated Julian Gilbey, to give him his preferred moniker). But Ian edits on Avid. On a PC.

It’s late on a Tuesday night, and I have spent the better part of the last two days trying to find a format for the footage that Ian’s bloody PC understands, and then a sensible hard disk partitioning format that allows me to physically give the data to him. Suddenly I am racked with pangs of nostalgia for the glorious weekend just passed.

The good news – finally we have arrived at a solution. The bad news – it’s going to take four days to convert all the footage into something his computer can read.

And the really bad news – somehow every computer-related fan in my flat has decided to give up the ghost over the weekend. The one in the Mac, the one in the hard disk where all the data is stored, and even the one in my son’s laptop (a PC, to maintain a spirit of even-handedness). It’s apparently something to do with dust clogging up the bearings, but it’s going to take more than that to convince me to put the hoover round.

In fact, there is only one fan in the whole building still working. And so, while Britain snuggles down into the throws of an Arctic freeze, at least one family in Winchester are keeping the memories of summer alive.

Grrr. So, who’s up for a fight and a massive IT bonfire? Itching.

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