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It’s amazing to me how this debate (pc vs mac) is still going strong for so many years. It seems like centuries ago I got my first laptop PC (Packardbell 486) back in ’94
.Flash forward to ’96 and my first gig in a major production house force-fed me mac os 7. Way different interface from pc, but doable. At that time for digital production (graphics and video) mac really was the only game in town.In ’97, I got my first pc workstation and with photoshop and premiere was doing amazing stuff at a fraction of the cost my former gig paid for their $50k media composer setup. I looked into building my own mac workstation (remember mac clones?) but by’99 mac put the kibosh on all of that.
By 2000, I was on my own and starting my own company and still couldn’t stare down the barrel of paying for a mac setup + software + support gear and production gear. However, Sonic Foundry (now ameobically absorbed by sony) came out with some godsend software based tools; sound forge and acid. So, working with an adobe / sonic foundry pipeline I could get some really amazing stuff done at a fraction of the cost using a mac based system. I didn’t hate macs, just couldn’t afford them.
Fast forward to `02 through some major funding, I trained on avid media composer (mac), symphony (pc) and got a copy of avid dv express (production bundle pc/mac). FCP was just getting started and couldn’t compare to avid at the time. However, I was still using premiere to get short fuse jobs done. You just couldn’t beat the adobe/sonic foundry pipeline for getting things done on the cheap. One of the previous posters said something about ‘FCP’ being the tool of the independent filmmaker. Well, for the ‘insurgent filmmakers’ like me (no bankrolling studio, few if any investors, no distribution deal withjust a solid plan, skill and determination) mac has not remotely been an economical choice. Now, though I like another poster, can build powerful workstations that could vaporize a comparable mac for less money the new problem is the old one. Whereas before you could mix and match software (and platforms) to get the job done, it’s now getting harder because companies are making their ‘pipelines’ more proprietary. Though this makes for more streamlined work within the pipeline, it makes mixing and matching more difficult and more expensive.
Now unfortunately, I hate macs. Not because they don’t work (they do) or don’t crash (they do.) I hate the dogma that ‘you’re not serious unless you use macs.’ I know that’s all based on marketing and people’s attitudes, but I do get a nice cold feeling when people see my company’s work and can’t believe we ‘did it’ without a single mac in the process. Now, I’ve got my beefs with microsoft too! However, unlike mac it’s still ok to go out and build your own (but that’s changing).
Am I going to run out and spend untold amounts of money to retrain and retool to accomodate a transistion to mac? Not likely. I do however insist my collaborators work cross-platform because that’s the reality of the industry. So I do my best to make sure we use programs that can ‘play nice’ with others because ‘it’s on’ when it comes togetting the job done.