The cradle rocks above an abyss, and common sense tells us that our existence is but a brief crack of light between two eternities of darkness.

Vladimir Nabokov, “Speak, Memory”

final cut online collaboration

As part of a screendance project "Anamnesis" that I am developing with Cormac Lally, David Corbet and Bagryana Popov, we have been attempting to work with final cut project files collaboratively and online. We use simple 'cloud' technology – a programme called Dropbox – that automatically updates the fcp project files (or any files) remotely as I work on a file locally. It informs the others in the project when the file has been updated, and they are then able to open the project file and view the work I have been doing (and vice versa). In the case of video projects, this is of course all dependent on each of us having copies of the media files (about 300GB of data).

We then use google docs to edit and add to notes about our choices, and possible ideas (which has exposed Final Cut as a poor collaborating choice in that there is no way to add notes, or colour code the timelines).

It has been fascinating developing the project this way ??? each giving the other ideas to push against, to take on board, to leave behind. The final edit will still be Cormac's, but in this way we are able to keep abreast of the form-content of the project as we all contribute to its video and audio edit.


‘We’ve always been more associated with image, and our physical work,’ he says of Ex Machina, the company he founded 15 years ago. ‘We have always been as much fascinated by text, music and voice, but I guess because our visual sense is stronger, it kind of eclipses sound in the work. Lipsynch is still, of course, highly visual (you are who you are), but in this show, what’s important is what comes to the ears before what comes to the eyes.’

Robert Lepage
speaking in The Australian, 2 January 2009,25197,24863143-16947,00.html