[Tig] History of Editing (and Telecine editing)

Marc Wielage mfw at musictrax.com
Sun Mar 4 10:17:42 GMT 2012

I don't know if anybody is interested in this, but there's a fairly
incredible -- roughly 2000-page -- "History of Editing" eBook that came out
last year, and I've slowly been working my way through it.  It literally
starts with hot splicers and cement at the turn of the 19th century, and
moves forward to sound, Movieolas, synchronizers, then progresses through
Steenbecks, KEMs, then through Ampex, Editec, RCA, CMX, Convergence,
D-Vision, Sony, EditDroid, Ediflex, Mach 1, Montage, Avid, Media 100,
Lightworks, Adobe Premiere, Final Cut Pro... you name it, they're all here.

All the big names -- Coppola, Lucas, Thelma Schoonmaker, Art Schneider,
Steve Jobs -- are there, along with many names from the world of telecine:
Jim Lindelien, Gary Adams, Jack Calaway, Bob Seidenglanz, even our own Rob
Lingelbach, plus inside looks at the pivotal contributions from now-faded
post-production companies like CFI, Vidtronics, One-Pass Video, Teletronics,
Compact Video, Laser Pacific, Post Group, Complete Post, and many names that
longtime LA colorists will remember.

The story goes on and on and on... a monstrously complicated, convoluted
history.  The missteps, mistakes, dead ends, bonehead decisions, genius
innovations, and brilliant inventions will absolutely boggle your mind.
Just the number of editing hardware companies that went down the tubes over
the years is kind of stunning; I think at least fifty companies went bust
over the last three decades, to finally wind up today with basically Avid
Media Composer, Apple Final Cut Pro, and Adobe Premiere as the last men

The book is written by Australian editor John Buck, both eBooks available
for a trifling $4 each:

Timeline 1: http://amzn.to/zUR3mH

Timeline 2: http://amzn.to/xTnY1w

Part 1 covers about 1900 to maybe 1975; part 2 covers about 1975 to the
present, with some overlap.  Both are actually pretty interesting; I
initially skipped part 1, then went back and was fairly surprised and
fascinated by the rich history I had almost bypassed.

John managed to track down pretty much everybody still alive who had
anything to do with the evolution of electronic picture and sound editing in
the last 50 years, along with many excerpts from past industry publications
and technical papers, and it's a pretty remarkable story. It's too long by
about half, but once I hit the section where I started actually knowing a
few of the players (1980-ish), it started getting pretty interesting.

No doubt the feature version will be more dramatic!

--Marc W.

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