Here’s a technical note: For anyone trying to use an external HD to swap files between an Apple and a Microsoft computer. In theory, MacOS and Windows 7 are both fully compatible with the exFAT file system. MacOS since version 10.6.5. and Windows since XP.
But in reality when formatting your HD into exFAT you need to make sure to set the cluster size equal to or less than 1024 bytes. If you set the value higher you’ll get a “unable to mount” error on a Mac. I haven’t found much information about this online, however this thread on Apple Support describes the same problem.
I lost a lot oftime on this small error. I hope you’ll be able to avoid it. Also check out Vincent Laforet’s blog to see how to switch between a PC and a Mac properly.
On a larger note though, from my experience with Tomé:
Film editing on PC is a pain, because you’ll be doing it alone. If you want to collaborate with someone, you’ll fast find yourself stuck. I’ve been a PC-user since I was 3 years old so Premiere was what I had installed. I’d started editing on Premiere, happily back from shooting with 35+ hours of material to cut for Tomé,
But here in Tallinn, Estonia, I soon discovered myself on a deserted island with no other PC-using editors with Premiere to be found anywhere. I asked 25 people I knew, asked Facebook, contacted every editor I could find in Estonia that had a listing on IMDB Pro. But seemingly none of the editors in town were using Adobe Premiere. At least none of the editors I was able to contact. They were using Apple’s Final Cut instead. So unless I wanted to edit alone, and wanted to collaborate with an editor – and first of all, transfer my footage. I’d better get a Mac.
Ok, so maybe I can continue working on my PC while my editor works on a Mac?
No. Interchangeability doesn’t work that well. On international projects where HDs need to be shipped across borders and continents, small mistakes like this can cost weeks to fix in post-production time. Reviewing the work of your editor (who’s obviously will be working on Final Cut) means that you’ll have to learn to use a Mac anyway.
On a larger note, one of the most annoying parts of filmmaking is the slow workflow of editing. It used to be that filmmakers would capture the image on tapes and those tapes would have to be transferred into the computer, then the scenes would be selected before the real work of editing could begin. While tapes have been replaced by cards, now one faces the process of transcoding as the information on the cards is too highly packed to be edited directly. This is a process that can from a few hours to a few days. Because the files are large, they cannot be shared directly over the Internet but must be lugged around on portable harddisks. These can get lost or stolen, or in some cases just break down. One of the solutions would be high bandwidth p2p file-sharing