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Changing Video Production Technology

Posted on: March 9th, 2016 by Tom McDonald

 

Celebrating our 10th anniversary at Fireside Production not only gets us excited about the next ten years but also provides a chance to reflect on the past.  What strikes me from a production standpoint is just how much things have changed – and yes, improved.  Any company that is reliant on technology can attest to how equipment can be like a shiny new toy one year and absolutely obsolete the next.

A Timeline of Technology Innovation

Fireside production technology timelineWhen Fireside Production launched in 2006, we were jazzed to own the new Panasonic DVX 100B camera. This camera captured in standard definition on Mini DV tapes. Over our first few years, we captured on more than 625 tapes. That’s around 37,500 minutes of tape!

From tape and standard definition, we moved with the rest of the world to high definition and P2 video cameras.  Fireside purchased a Panasonic HVX 200a followed by a Panasonic HG 250.  These record on P2 cards at about 1gb per minute of finished video. Let’s just say we use a lot of hard drives!  More on that later… We still use those cameras from time to time but today, capture predominantly on Panasonic AF 100a cameras.  This camera captures on SD cards.  The footage is absolutely beautiful and uses just a fraction of the hard drive storage space. Yay!

On the edit front, Fireside started a decade ago with the MAC G5.  That soon became obsolete.  So, we replaced it with two MAC Pros.  These looked a lot like the G5 on the outside.  They are big, silver and sweet but yes, they too became somewhat obsolete for what we do. In 2015, we updated to the latest version of the Mac Pro.  These units are much smaller, much faster and keep Fireside on the leading edge with editing tools.  We’ve also acquired two Mac Book Pro laptops that allow us to edit out at Client locations for quick-turn videos.

For editing software, we have remained loyal to Final Cut Pro, although the platform has changed dramatically.  We started out on Version 5.  Then upgraded to Version 6 and then, Version 7.  In 2014, Fireside moved to the total remake of FCPX.  We absolutely love it and often say that this platform has brought a lot of joy back into the edit process!

Our hard drive library is extensive.  For years, we’ve used G-Tech G-Drives and today, we have a total of 23 2tb drives and seven 4tb drives.  I was never a great mathematician, but I believe that is 74tb of footage.  Wow!

While the technology in video production has evolved so much over the years, some things here at Fireside have remained the same.  Our team continues to bring spirit, creativity and innovation to our work each and every day.  Many of our Clients have been with us for years – and we are so grateful for that!  We are looking forward to the changes and discoveries that lie ahead for Fireside and for the video production industry and hope you will share that journey with us!

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