Avid Customers Drive Creative Achievement at 80th Academy Awards


Tewksbury, Mass, 2008-02-29 Avid Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVID) announced today that all of the nominated and award-winning films in the Best Motion Picture, Directing, Film Editing, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Visual Effects, Documentary Feature and Original Score categories at the 80th Annual Academy Awards® were created using at least one Avid®,Sibelius® or Softimage® system. Nearly two-thirds of these nominees employed workflows consisting of multiple systems from the various Avid brands, and for the eighth-consecutive year, every nominee for a Sound Editing Oscar® used Digidesign Pro Tools® systems. In addition, the award-winning Animated Feature used both Avid and Digidesign systems, the Visual Effects winner used SOFTIMAGE|XSI® for pre- and post-visualization as well as Avid systems, and the majority of the nominees for Original Song were scored using Sibelius 5.

The most difficult thing about editing this film was dealing with the overall story and structure, said Christopher Rouse, A.C.E. winner for Best Edited Dramatic Feature, BAFTA Film Award winner for Editing, and Oscar winner for Film Editing for The Bourne Ultimatum. We shot for a fair amount of time, starting in September 2006 and ending in July 2007. We added scenes…we took them out…we cannibalized scenes. We were constantly manipulating the footage – not only as it was originally intended, but often re-inventing the material to tell a stronger story.

While the editing team remained focused on the creative aspects of the cut, an Avid editing and shared-storage setup helped them keep pace with more practical concerns such as inputting and organizing the massive amount of footage and keeping track of constant revisions. As many as eight Windows®-based Media Composer® Adrenaline™ systems were connected to a 16-terabyte Avid Unity™ MediaNetwork shared-storage system at one time. An Avid system is far and away the most comfortable tool for me to work with. There are zero barriers between me and the material. That for me makes all the difference, added Rouse.

Digidesign Pro Tools was instrumental in the film also being awarded the Sound Editing and Sound Mixing Oscars as well as the BAFTA Film Award for Sound. Scott Millan, rerecording mixer on The Bourne Ultimatum was quick to point out the critical role that Pro Tools played in helping the team meet complex audio demands and a tight production schedule. I knew how difficult this project was going to be from the beginning so I strongly recommended that we use Pro Tools, he explained. It was to our benefit, hugely because the post-production process was very fluid. We had a lot of conforms and a lot of new material coming in frequently. Pro Tools gave us the flexibility to work very quickly and overall we were served very well by it. It was pretty much a prerequisite on this project and key to our creative process.

Dario Marianelli, composer of the Golden Globe Best Picture winner, BAFTA Best Film winner, and Oscar winner for Original Score for Atonement, revealed how Sibelius 5 was used as part of his creative process in composing the score, I knew that Atonement needed two distinct musical themes. There is the relentlessness of Briony – we called her the girl with faulty brakes, she just can't stop until she's wrecked everyone's lives. And then there's the intense love story between Keira Knightley's character, Cecilia, and Robbie played by James McAvoy.

To create the first of these two themes, Marianelli built up an evolving, percussive composition, and then amplified the tension further by adding the metronomic sound of Briony's typewriter keys over each beat. That was just one of those crazy ideas, and it really worked, he noted.

For the love story theme, the composer used a more traditional, strings-based approach, which matched the mood and also the wartime period of the film. Panorama view in Sibelius 5 really helped me with arrangements of both these themes because I don't think in pages, I just think in music. With Panorama, there are no breaks in your thinking, you can think more laterally, Marianelli added. Panorama view hides page breaks in scores, instead, displaying them on an infinitely wide page. Avid and Digidesign systems were also used in creating Atonement.

We congratulate our customers for being recognized as the best in the industry, said Gary Greenfield, CEO of Avid Technology. We're fully committed to providing them with ground-breaking tools—from music composition, audio editing and mixing to 3D animation, video editing and visual effects—that enable them to unleash their creativity and produce the world's most compelling content.

Avid Customers Take Top Spots Throughout Awards Season
The 80th Academy Awards concludes the awards season – hugely successful for the Avid brands and their customers – which also spans the Golden Globes, BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) Film Awards, Grammy Awards, and A.C.E. (American Cinema Editors) Eddie Awards. Across all of these awards programs, the majority of nominees and winners used industry-standard video, audio, and 3D animation tools from the various Avid brands including Media Composer Adrenaline, Avid Unity, Digidesign Pro Tools, Sibelius 5 and SOFTIMAGE|XSI software.

The Academy Awards and Grammys also featured a wide range of live, stunning visuals created using Avid Deko® 3000 HD real-time graphics systems. Avid customer, Fontastics, an LA-based broadcast graphics design and delivery services facility, relies on key strengths of the Avid Deko 3000/Hybrid system for these and other live awards events such as the People's Choice Awards. Awards segments were assembled by DMS Production Services, Inc., using Media Composer Adrenaline and Avid Unity systems provided by Hula Post Production in Studio City, Calif.

Additionally for the Grammy Awards, Pro Tools along with Digidesign ICON integrated consoles played critical roles in the HDTV and 5.1 surround sound broadcast from the Staples Center in Los Angeles. From their XM/Effanel mobile production trailer, the Grammy telecast audio engineers incorporated dual Digidesign 32-fader ICON D-Control™ systems to deliver real-time 5.1 surround audio mixes for every live performance and presentation during the telecast.

About Avid Technology, Inc.

Avid is a worldwide leader in tools for film, video, audio, 3D animation, gaming and broadcast professionals – as well as for home audio and video enthusiasts. Avid professional and consumer brands include Avid, Digidesign, M-Audio, Pinnacle Systems, Sibelius, Softimage and Sundance Digital. The vast majority of primetime television shows, feature films, commercials and chart-topping music hits are made using one or more Avid products. Whether used by seasoned professionals or beginning students, Avid's products and services enable customers to work more efficiently, productively and creatively. Avid received an Oscar® statuette representing the 1998 Scientific and Technical Award for the concept, design, and engineering of the Avid® Film Composer® system for motion picture editing. For more information about the company's Oscar, Grammy® and Emmy® award-winning products and services, visit www.avid.com.

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© 2008  Avid Technology, Inc. All rights reserved. Avid, Digidesign, Film Composer, M-Audio, Pinnacle Systems, Sibelius, Softimage, Sundance Digital, Adrenaline, Avid Deko, Avid Unity, D-Control, Pro Tools, and XSI are trademarks or registered trademarks of Avid Technology, Inc. or its subsidiaries in the United States and/or other countries. Emmy is a registered trademark of ATAS/NATAS. Oscar and Academy Awards are trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Grammy is a trademark of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, Inc. All other trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.