With the recent release of Final Cut Pro X and rumors about the MacPro line, we know many video editors been left wondering what hardware and software to use for their editing workflow. In response to this, Dell and NVIDIA have put together a film and video editing advisory program to help film professionals evaluate other hardware and software solutions to find what works best for their production needs. Dell’s Precision workstations combined with NVIDIA professional graphics and Adobe CS5.5 have been getting a lot of solid reviews and offer some of the features missing in other video editing hardware or software solutions. Some of the key advantages include: powerful CPUs; large amounts of RAM; fast I/O options for tremendous performance; up to 13X increase in performance with NVIDIA Maximus and Adobe Mercury Playback Engine; professional, ISV-certified graphics solutions; and PremierColor RGB LED IPS panels which offer high resolution; and 100% Adobe RGB color gamut for accurate color reproduction.

Dell is “The Official Laptop and Desktop Computer Sponsor of the SXSW 2012 Film Conference and Festival” between March 9 and 17 and using it as a platform to raise awareness around and demonstrate its video editing solutions. If you are attending the Film Conference and Festival, we invite you to come down and check out the Dell Film lounge and the panel we are hosting, “Moving From Final Cut – Progress or Perils?”.

The panel is hosted by Dell and NVIDIA and will be held on Monday, March 12 from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. CT in Room 2 in the Austin Convention Center and aims to move beyond the marketing and delve into experiences of real editors switching from Final Cut to Adobe CS5.5. We hope to cover improvements and challenges with switching from Apple Final Cut Pro / Mac Pro to an Adobe and Dell solution, unexpected surprises either positive or negative and provide advice for those considering switching.

Marc Loftus, Senior Editor and Director of Web Content for Post Magazine, will be moderating the panel of four video professionals, who are also participating in the Dell and NVIDIA video advisory program.  They all have different stories but have one thing in common – they have all used Final Cut Pro and Apple Mac Pro hardware in the past but are in the process of or considering switching to Adobe CS5.5 and Dell Precision workstations with NVIDIA Quadro professional graphics. One of the panelists, Tom Baurain, just posted a blog, “Switching, Dell Precision and SXSW”, about the program and his participation in the panel at SXSW. 

  • Marc Loftus, Senior Editor and Director of Web Content, Post MagazineHe has been with the monthly publication since 1992, reporting on new technologies and creative techniques relating to film, television and commercial post production. In that time, he has witnessed the transition from linear to nonlinear, analog to digital, stereo to surround, SD to HD, tape-based to file-based, and 2D to 3D. Marc is a graduate of The New York Institute of Technology.
  • Erik Horn, Creative Director, Arts + Labor - With more than 10 years’ experience in film and video, Erik’s diverse career includes directing award-winning music videos, creating cutting edge branded content, co-producing a television series for IFC, and managing multiple creative teams. His work includes a short cartoon series with Billy Bob Thornton, producing the video content for Dell’s Summer Rocks Tour, and creating branded content for The Plug Awards featuring comedian Michael Showalter. His music videos have showcased on MTV, Fuse, RollingStone.com, SXSW, and at The Edinburgh International Film Festival.
  • Tom Baurain, Visual Storyteller, Red Owl,  - a young filmmaker from Kansas City whose path to success has been anything but a straight line. Freelancing and doing primarily corporate video work for 2 years before getting any formal education, he left Kansas City to attend Madison Media Institute in the spring of 2010. There he learned immensely from experienced and knowledgeable teachers, and graduated with an associate’s degree in Video and Motion Graphics. Tom then returned to Kansas City and began freelancing once more. His work has been as varied as his clients, with a common theme of improving in the craft of storytelling and delivering cinematic images on a budget. One of his notable achievements since graduating would be contributing to Imogen Heap's crowd-sourced nature film "Love The Earth." He is also currently contributing to a collaborative documentary on Occupy Wall Street, titled 99%.
  • James Fox, Producer/Director, Owner and Operator, Dawnrunner Productions - California native James Fox cradles creativity with reason. As the son of a stationary engineer and fine artist, James found his path to film making through an artist's eye and an engineer's technical expertise. Part of his responsibilities include managing client relationships, developing new business, and encouraging creativity and innovation in all Dawnrunner crew members. James' professionalism continues to land the company great projects including locally airing commercial campaigns, web marketing videos, and music videos. Formal film training from the Academy of Art University amplified by his passion and charismatic personality make James not only easy to work with, but an advocate for the overall improvement of film and video production.
  •  Andrew Baldwin, Agency Producer, RD&F Advertising - With more than 15 years of experience in the advertising industry, Andrew works as an award-winning editor, producer, composer, photographer and cameraman for everything from 30-second TV commercials to long-format films. He is skilled with various hardware/software systems including Media 100, Adobe Premiere, Apple Final Cut Pro, Grass Valley Edius, Adobe After Effects, Apple Motion, Avid Pro Tools, and various Sony Professional products – having used them since version 1.0, and in some cases even earlier. Andrew enjoys the creative, hands-on aspect of working with small and mid-size agencies. Given the challenge, he would much prefer to be right there in the mix, rather than standing back and supervising.

In addition to the panel, we invite you to come by the Dell Film Lounge, located outside Exhibit Hall #5 on the Northeast side of the ACC, to check out the Dell and NVIDIA video editing solutions and tell us your video editing journey via a short video interview. We will capture, edit and post the content online with a Dell workstation which enables you to share your story throughout the festival.

We will also have the Phantom Cam, a high speed camera that creates slow motion film, that is powered by a Dell Precision workstation with NVIDIA Quadro professional graphics. Come by to shoot a fun 2 second film of doing something crazy like spraying silly string, popping a water balloon or spraying a water gun and turn it into a one minute slow motion film. The content will also be captured, edited and uploaded to your preferred social media channel so you can share it with your friends. Below is a video of some examples of the camera in use at Austin City Limits (ACL) music festival. It was a huge hit so don’t miss your chance at SXSW!

There will also be Dell experts in the booth who can help answer your video editing questions and share some examples of how we work with many other creative professionals to help them bring their film, music and other work to life using Dell Precision workstations. Here are few examples:

- Pixomondo, an international visual effects company, used Dell Precision workstations to create the 854 stereo 3D VFX shots featured in Academy Award-winning Hugo.

- “TC” Crawford, the lead engineer for Paul Oakenfold, calls his Dell Precision workstation his “creative power tool” that he uses to record, remix and produce his music.

- Live Nation Entertainment relies on Dell Precision to create and power dynamic visual experiences that are being showcased on the world’s largest video screen — the centerpiece of U2’s 360º Tour.

- Dell Precision workstations played a pivotal role in bringing Austin City Limits Music Festival and Lollapalooza content to millions of online YouTube viewers

SXSW is only the beginning of the Dell and NVIDIA video editing advisory program so stay tuned to see if we might be coming to a city near you. We are interested in hearing about your switching experience and getting feedback on our solutions so please share them here and follow the hashtag #DellSXSW on Twitter to get real-time updates.