When we first went non-linear, it was almost before Avid existed! We used a hybrid system called Video Machine developed by a company called FAST. It was brilliant – it could digitise in at a single field rate (saving storage, and also at a single stroke giving a “film” effect at the same time), but you could also put clips in the time line that linked to a Beta player, or DVCam deck that would get lined up, pre rolled and then played out to a master tape, all controlled by the edit system.
It was perfect for news systems, where large amounts of tape needed to be viewed and there was no time for digitising. Still – it never really caught on. We got one – and it worked extremely well for us. But soon FAST developed SILVER, a new fully non-linear system. We were keen to support FAST, and bought 2 Silver systems – only to discover you could only edit 15 minutes at a time on the time line!!
Then came Blue, an any in any out system, and then – well – Pinnacle took over FAST, Sliver became Liquid, and AVID took over Pinnacle. So we then used Avid Liquid for a considerable time – until we had to give in and now Avid rules the roost here. We have a nitrus system too – bought to help us deliver the 10 part series “Glamour Puds” to Channel 4.
We have seen some amazing changes in Motion Graphics too, and this is an area we are looking to develop in 2011, as well as getting into 3D with our friends at Can for clients in Qatar (TBC!!).
16 years ago – I had two panasonic SVHS decks and had to manually roll one as a player, and hit record at the right time! Video production has come a very long way!