The Checker Marathon and FCP-X

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"It's not personal, it's business." Sony Corleone, from The Godfather

"It's the plumber, not the wrench" Arnie Schlissel

From about 1956 to 1982, the Checker car company manufactured the Marathon and sold it to taxi companies around the country.  The Marathon became the icon of the NYC taxi and the taxi of every other large city in the US.  I can remember the moment in the mid 1980s when, because of gas prices, the bulk of NYC taxis went from Checker Marathons to Peugeot diesels.  Less than a year later, all of those Peugeots were gone, they had simply fallen apart.  But the seemingly indestructible Checker was already off the market.  NYC taxi companies have been struggling to fill the gap ever since then, using the largest sedan they could buy from either Chrysler, Ford or GM.  But the number of taxis on the street has pretty much remained the same because the number of taxi medallions is capped by NYC.  The fleet owners may have fretted and struggled over what model of taxi they wanted to buy, but the actual drivers simply climbed behind the wheel and hit the streets.

We, the editors, are in much the same spot as those taxi drivers.  We drive our clients from point A, the point of raw picture and sound, to point B, the point of a finished show.  Do we really care whether we do it in Checkers or Peugeots, Avid or FCP?  Sure, some handle better, are more comfortable, have faster trimming or better titling.  Personally, I care more about how fast my ride pays the fare.

If we're really professionals, we should, like a cab driver, be able to sit down behind the wheel of any model of NLE and drive it from raw footage to finished edit.  If we're not familiar with the particular NLE, it may be a bit painful and very slow at first, but by the end of the edit, the story should be pretty much the same.