As an owner of a major video post-production house, and a former film editor, I read with great interest Keith Bradsher's Aug. 23 story ("New Video Editing Techniques Are a Cut Above Film") regarding new and improved methods of post production for television production. As with all new methods and technologies, there are mixed reviews for electronic editing. Promoters (and I do mean promoters) have emphasized the efficiency and cost effectiveness of the electronic methods, while detractors bemoan the loss of quality and the shortsightedness of using the electronic process.
As a seller of video services, I would be well-advised to keep my mouth shut and simply play this electronic thing for all it's worth. The truth is, however, that the long-term goals of a producer are hurt, not helped, by the ever-increasing dependence on electronics. Technology can be intoxicating. Bradsher presents the questions of cost, quality and speed. Another important question concerns the long-term benefits to the producer.
The trouble with electronic post production is that you no longer have a film negative carrying the entire script. The final product is only on video tape. When advances such as high-definition television become widely available, the poor quality of the tapes edited through the electronic process will be made obsolete just as fast as you can say Beta.