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TOPIC: Lightworks Stories

Lightworks Stories 6 years, 4 months ago #67818

  • ArteD
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Hi everybody.

I wanted to start a thread where users could share Lightworks stories and curiosities. Things Lightworks related that you have come across during your Lightworks journey. Positive experiences, funny stories, trivia and basically any events that involve Lightworks.

Lightworks has been around for over two decades now. I'm sure there are many interesting stories to be told.

There are no limits. Post as many stories as you would like. I just ask to please post them in different posts for easy following. You can also give them a title using the "Subject" field.

But this is not a complain thread. Please keep those in the appropriated forums.

Lets please keep the thread on topic as well. It's OK to reply to the stories to comment on them or maybe share a similar story. But this is not a debate thread. So let's keep debate off of it.

Let's have some fun and kickback.


Cheers!
I'm not employed by or officially represent Editshare or Lightworks. I'm just a Lightworks user.
Last Edit: 6 years, 3 months ago by ArteD.

Re: Lightworks Stories 6 years, 4 months ago #67845

  • jwrl
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Well, I'll kick it off with a story from the dim, dark past, when Lightworks was a reasonably spectacular double width floor standing computer with a separate floor standing drive bay, both painted a very sexy metallic dark grey (or gray for the north Americans).

I was supplementing my income as an editor by also providing technical support on a call-out basis through the local agent for Lightworks. Late one day as I was about to go home there was a panic call - Lightworks had stopped functioning, could I come and fix it please?

So muttering about late mealtimes off I headed. It didn't take long to find the fault, and there wasn't a thing I could do about it. Someone had been concerned about the risk of overheating when they had an air conditioning failure, and had undone the back panel of the mainframe and slid the equipment bay out.

When the air conditioning was fixed they hadn't done everything up again. Mice decided they liked the nice warm environment, and moved in. The mess that they made was compounded by the fact that they relieve themselves without concern for their living environment. Mouse urine and electronics do not co-exist happily.

One new motherboard and a total rebuild later and the post facility was up and running again. But they were very unhappy with me because the problem took so long to fix.

Re: Lightworks Stories 6 years, 3 months ago #68409

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The following stories are based on true events
and are my observations and opinions alone.

Stories from the frontline
My introduction to Lightworks - 01
In the early days of Lightworks I am guessing but it would be about 1990 a demo was to be given in Melbourne, Australia. All the local Editors were invited. No one knew anything about Lightworks in those days.
I was lucky I had been shown a UMatic tape Demo of the proposed Avid computer Non-linear system, it edited in Black & white on an early Mac, I was intrigued. So I was aware of the idea of computer editing.
Sadly the Lightworks piece of edit equipment sitting in front of us had a long way to go to be able to edit a job with, the picture quality was very low but it was in colour. But we were all intrigued about the future the possibilities. Paul Bamborough talked with compassion about his vision for the future of the editor.
Sometime later there was to be another Lightworks demo again in town. This time Lightworks had sent a freelance editor from Canada, not a Lightworks person.
All the usual suspects turned up to see the progress of this mythical edit machine.
We all fell in love with the console and how well it worked with the computer interface. It was based on a Dos system, all the system did was edit, a purpose built editing computer. As opposed to software running on a computer. The picture quality had improved but still poor. But there was still a way to go to compete with systems we were using. Film flatbeds and video edit systems. Most we very suspicious of computers, being well aware of the problems in those days and Hard drive capacity.
The demo was all very informal, someone asked what would happen if there was a power outage.
Something we all dreaded, losing work. The Canadian editor said he didn’t know, so he reached over and yanked the power cable out of the Lightworks in the middle of an edit session. We all gasped with horror.
He inserted the power cable in again and low and behold the computer restarted. To our amazement Lightworks had not lost any edits.
Sometime later when editors were editing on a Mac with Avid software, it was not uncommon to lose an edit. Sadly something editors at the time accepted but were not happy about.
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Re: Lightworks Stories 6 years, 3 months ago #68410

  • Schloime
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Just some trivia:
In Berlin, Germany, there is a "Museum für Film und Fernsehen" (museum for movie and television). Last year they had a special exhibition about Martin Scorsese and his influence, and one corner was reserved for Thelma Schoonmaker. There was a picture titled "Thelma Schoonmakers editing seat", showing basically a chair, a table and a computer in a darkened room, but on the screen you could clearly see Lightworks running. (taking pictures was not allowed...)
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Last Edit: 6 years, 3 months ago by Schloime.

Re: Lightworks Stories 6 years, 3 months ago #68448

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Another story from the dim, dark past, this from the time that I was up and running with my own Lightworks.

An editor friend of mine wanted to get a feel for Lightworks to see whether it was appropriate for his needs. I had arranged for him to bring in the footage for the latest of his very upmarket coffee commercials, and to bring his producer with him. I transferred the footage before he arrived.

He was very nervous. This was a Friday, and he had a flatbed booked for the following Monday. I sat down to train him.

By 11-11.30 am from a 9 am start he was not only trained, he had cut the commercial, complete with real time dissolves, not chinagraph marks. He and the producer looked at each other and asked "what do we do now?" They had allowed two and a half days in post and wrapped in under half a day.

I made a suggestion. "Call your client and tell them a window opened that you couldn't miss". In the early afternoon they came in and approved the cut unchanged.

We were renting rooms in a post facility. I rang the booking office and asked for a half-hour window. By 4.30 pm they had a finished, graded 1" videotape master in their hands.

I then made my final suggestion. "You've got a few days free, now. Do you play golf?"

They cancelled the flatbed booking.
Last Edit: 6 years, 3 months ago by jwrl.

Re: Lightworks Stories 6 years, 3 months ago #68454

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The following stories are based on true events
and are my observations and opinions alone.

Stories from the frontline
My decision to buy a Lightworks - 02
I was editing a lot of TV Commercials and had decided I needed to by a Non Linear edit system as they were called in those days, but film was still very nonlinear to me. I preferred the term random access editor. The year I am guessing would be about 1995. Remember these new computer edit systems were very, very expensive at the time and it was a very big decision to spend on a computer Non-linear system.
There was a lot of talk about Avid. I had not heard a peep from Lightworks only, it was being developed by 3 guys in a shed.
It so happened my very good friend was working at VHQ the leading Post facility in Singapore; they were the first to get an Avid in Asia. They raved about it, it was the future. So when Broadcast Asia came around in Singapore that year, I thought this was my chance to decide on a non-linear system.
I had decided to buy an Avid, their demonstrations and marketing was superb and you could get into one cheaper, great leasing deals. Lightworks was more expensive and had only one model, no deals. At the Avid stand I watched eagerly, as Tom go through a rehearsed demo, step by step, you could not interrupt his flow. He was fast on the keyboard going through his routine. There was a lot of excitement, lots of people, lots of interest. It was a big stand, lots of signage, lots of business men in suits handing out brochures and cards lots of smiles and handshakes. I was excited. It was a great team. I was on board. I watched 2 full demonstrations and stared at the lovely pictures coming off the pre-recorded system. I wondered off, I felt good about my decision to buy an Avid, even though the editing approach didn’t make sense to me. I still was unhappy with the fact that the computer locked you out while it saved, which happened often. It was like a word processor that had been adapted to edit pictures. I came from a film editing background and then Video offline, with Shotlister, each had there drawbacks but they were simple and robust. I saw the EMC demo, I liked the shuttle knobs, it reminded me of Lightworks.
Then I remembered the Lightworks editor system, I wondered what happened to them. Would they be at Broadcast Asia this year? I walked off clutching the wad in Avid brochures. It took some finding, to track the Lightworks stand down, there was no hoopla, no crowds, no rehearsed demos, no suit. It was in a back corner a very small stand like an afterthought, in fact just one lonely editor Malcolm, one edit machine on a card table. No glossy brochures. Just a small sign that said Lightworks and the silhouette logo above. It was laughable and quite sad, he was not busy.
Out of interest I asked about the L/Works system, he went through the interface the hand console. The picture quality was better than last time but still poor compared to the Avid demo. He said the picture quality would improve soon. Anyone could see it was quicker than the Avid, less steps to do an edit. But then he showed me how the strip view worked and how to do a dissolve in real time and then change it again in real time. Best of all the edit interface was simple and intuitive. Intuitive was a word I heard a lot at the Avid stand. But Lightworks really was intuitive.
I went back to the Avid guy and told him about the Lightworks, he dismissed it as a mirror irritation. Then I told him I had decided to buy a Lightworks, he asked me why?
I said the hand console. He told me Avid is working on a hand console and showed me a prototype, it looked cumbersome. I said dissolves in real time. That stopped him. He said no way, not possible.
I told him I just saw it with my own eyes at the Lightworks stand. He summoned a couple of Avid techo’s and another salesman and asked to be show the way.
He was all business and demanded to see a demo of the Lightworks making a dissolve in real time. Which the Lightworks editor did, time and time again. The Avid guy not happy, turned to his techo guys and said how is this possible. They said it must be some trick system there must be two computers hooked up or it is pre-recorded FX. The Lightworks guy just shrugged, he was not a techo, he was a freelance edit hired for the day. He did not know how Lightworks did it, it just worked. They demanded to see inside the computer box.
That was the day I decided to buy a Lightworks. Later sitting behind my friend while he edited on the Avid only supported my decision. The Avid was slow, and every dissolve had to be rendered, it lost edits often, it was all keyboards and mouse clicks, still the picture quality was poor. It constantly saved, which interrupted the editor process. The Lightworks saved in the background it never held the edit process up. The problem for me was in the Avid DNA.
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Re: Lightworks Stories 6 years, 3 months ago #68460

  • jwrl
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One final story from me, then I'll let others have a go for a bit.

I was Lightworks consultant on a feature film in the early '90s. It was shot in the US, and partly cut there on a rented Lightworks. However the director was Australian, and wanted to return home to be with his family. The system was crated up and shipped to Melbourne.

Unfortunately the director was a fan of a certain Californian wine, and had shipped some of those as well. When we uncrated the external hard drive tower, red wine ran out of it. It looked like it was bleeding to death. And it was dead.

The director was still a week or so away. We managed to source more drives, reinstall them (not trivial with SCSI hard drives at the time - low level formats could take 24 hours per drive) and redigitise the media, finishing literally as the director walked in the door. He was able to resume editing exactly where he left off, that same day.

Make a note: red wine is not good for hard drives!
Last Edit: 6 years, 3 months ago by jwrl.

Re: Lightworks Stories 6 years, 3 months ago #69125

  • suitepost
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The following stories are based on true events
and are my observations and opinions alone.

Stories from the frontline

I am not a particularly fast editor but some people thought I was and being a good editor I never corrected them.
I have always thought a good editor is like a Magician, all sleight of hand and misdirection.

Lightworks vers Avid story - 03

Just thought I might share a true story with you all.
A few years ago I was editing a feature on the Heavy Works in Australia.
The film was almost fine cut and everyone was happy
when two US producers arrived to make a few changes.
These were take no prisoner type of guys very business like. I didn’t even catch their names.
They arrived first thing in the morning and unrolled a long list of changes.
The director was not happy and fought every suggestion.
I worked hard and was able to quickly show them the original scene and the re-cut with the scene changes they wanted back to back. Alternate takes, trim shots etc.
I did any of the changes as they suggested them.
That way it was easy to make decisions quickly,
most of arguments the director won. But the guys could see it, in near real time.
At least they were able to have their say and put any concerns to bed.
By late lunch time we had been through the whole film five spools [5 rooms]
Everybody was happy once again.
The producers had no time for chit chat.
Not even a thank you for your good work.
But when they got up to leave one asked me a question that really surprised me.

"What model Avid is that?"
I asked, why he asked that?
He said he noticed it was very fast.
He went on to say they do changes all the time on films and they knew how long a list of changes like this would take, and they had allowed a full day.
It was no point in telling them it was not an Avid but a Lightworks,
because they had probably never heard of Lightworks and they were busy people.
Anyway they would never know the difference.
But they knew it was a quick editor.
I told them it was the top of the range the Black model.
[Avid was all white in those days and Lightworks was dark grey.]
He nodded and left.
(for those who are not aware Heavy Works is a Lightworks product)
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Re: Lightworks Stories 6 years, 3 months ago #69212

  • ArteD
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Thanks everybody for posting all the stories. What a great read. Keep them coming.


suitepost wrote:

"What model Avid is that?"

I'm not employed by or officially represent Editshare or Lightworks. I'm just a Lightworks user.

Re: Lightworks Stories 6 years, 1 month ago #72247

I have a little story t share here.

I'm far younger than you folks and discovered Lightworks with the v10 beta.
you have to realize that all my surrounding people there are only Avid, premiere or final cut that can be considered decent, and I sometimes feel a bit miserable when I proudly say I use Lightworks, and they look at me a bit like a weirdo... I also have to add that I don't have a single diploma and work mainly as a benevolent, and they often have BTS(I'm in France) and/or some experience in the industry... So I feel in a bit of a weird position.

So, a few days ago with a good friend of mine we had to see a producer for whom we did a few shots for a little TV show he's producing. he had problems to read the footage we gave him, one of those hadn't been correctly exported, and the others were slow only because of his 6 year old computer.

It's an almost sixty year old guy, close to retirement with some successful production behind him.

While we were working, he saw my friend's premiere opened on his mac, and asked "Is that the new final cut ?" and my friend answered.

So by curiosity, and to see how he'd react, I opened a project in lightworks. I was also curious of his advice on that one.
And unexpectedly he said "Oh ! you're editing on Lightworks." I said "yes" and asked "How did you came to know Lightworks ?"
"Some years ago, I was producing a movie, and we had to do multicam editing and Avid wasn't able to do that. So we had to go for lightworks."

it was quite lovely to hear this kind of stuff

then he added that "studio Eclair" had dificulty with mannaging lightworks EDL because there was image sliping.

But still it was really nice to hear that lightworks was the first to have this now so essential feature.
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Re: Lightworks Stories 6 years, 1 month ago #72252

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very good stories. thanks all.

Re: Lightworks Stories 6 years, 1 month ago #72441

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IN 1995,I was attending my last year at a filmschool in Brussels trying to become an editor. In the days everything was cut on Steenbecks and CTM's (find your trim on the bottom of the bin).
Every director had to make a short-movie of about 5 to 10 minutes.
One of the aspiring directors contacted me and asked me to think about an alternative to the traditional way of cutting a movie.
He wanted to make a movie based on "raging bull". Basically it was about a violin player who during one of his concertos, thought he was a boxer.
The key in telling the story was to use very short clips as if the violinplayer had flashbacks of being a boxer. We both agreed that to keep our sync and our sanity we should try something different than a Steenbeck. I stumbled upon the Lightworks-system and immediatly it was clear to me that it was the way to go.
The movie was shot. We had to transfer the movie to a betacam-system and keep the keycodes intact. I had to learn the Lightworks-system.
The evening before we started editing I got a phonecall from the directors supervisor. He told me that the director I was going to work with was his best student and that if my edit failed I didn't even have to attend my own final exams and that I could start my year all over.
Needless to say that I was a bit nervous. It was the first time an offline-editing system was used in that school.
The next morning the director and I started editing on the Lightworks and when our first day was almost done, his supervisor stopped by.
He asked to show us what we had done so far. It was only the first day but we had already done a lot of work.
After we showed our work in progress he asked me to stand up from my chair. Not knowing what was happening I listened.
The guy gave me a hug and said that he was really impressed. The film got released under the name of "Fiddling bull" and did do very well.
Two years later they installed a few Lightworks-seats in the school.
After almost 20 years of being a professional Avid-editor I re-discovered the Lightworks. I'll have to test it some more but I might give it a shot
for some long-term TV-work.

Re: Lightworks Stories 6 years, 1 month ago #72575

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Here's a true story, not as impressive as many of the other ones in this thread but still worth sharing:

Today I filmed with some friends. The layout was simple and not professional, more because it's fun, just a storyteller and some friends acting randomly in the background. We had fun filming, and the quality was better than if they had filmed with their phone without a tripod.

Anyway, when it was time to edit everything together the director told me that I didn't need to edit it, she could do it in Imovie on her old macbook. But there where some problems that made it impossible to import the clips into Imovie (I don't know why). So I took up my 3 year old HP laptop, with a clean install of windows 7 and of course Lightworks. I made an edit as fast as I could and some of the comments I hear where: that program looks professional, that's fast editing. She were very impressed and glad that I edited it in about one hour instead of her spending the whole night in Imovie.

Lightworks saved the day, on a computer that should have crashed with many other NLEs.
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Last Edit: 6 years, 1 month ago by sennahojx.

Re: Lightworks Stories 6 years, 1 month ago #72576

  • shaunthesheep
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Excellent stories krisparis17 and sennahojx.

Perhaps when we have enough of these stories, they should all be published as a collection in a booklet?
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Last Edit: 6 years, 1 month ago by shaunthesheep.

Re: Lightworks Stories 6 years, 1 month ago #72601

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shaunthesheep wrote:
Excellent stories krisparis17 and sennahojx.

Perhaps when we have enough of these stories, they should all be published as a collection in a booklet?
Thanks. That would be great!
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Last Edit: 6 years, 1 month ago by sennahojx.
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