2015: It was a good year

2014 was a pretty good year for Greg and I. Getting our first screen credit on Gone Girl and the release of Focus where we were able to make significant contributions were definitely the highlights. At the beginning of 2015 I had only the most basic idea of “family history video” and neither Lunch with Philip and Greg nor The semiSerious Foodies were more than an idea in my head.

My singing “career” entailed three concert performances, and – perhaps a first ever – a custom song with words appropriate for ‘custom metadata’ opened my Content Metadata session at The FCP X Creative Expo in June. Perhaps the biggest surprise was that we are only days away from closing on our first house together. Something completely unplanned at the beginning of the year. It was also the year I filed US Citizenship, having been a permanent resident since 2008.

The year started with me in Tasmania for a family reunion with a nascent idea for “recording some family history videos.” That didn’t work out as well as I had hoped, due to my mother’s health issues. By the time I travelled back to Australia for Mother’s Day, I had a much clearer idea of how the project should proceed.

In the time since January, I realized I needed to become a lot more serious about it. To that end, I rethought the project, and the questions, into a more long-term history project, starting with the recalled history of my aunts, going back up to 80 years.

I put the questions I used online, but really you should take any opportunity, using whatever gear you have. My mom has been visiting and several times she started telling stories of her life or attitude at the dinner table. On a whim I grabbed my iPhone and started recording. She noticed. Did a double take and continued.

Over several nights I have now nearly four hours of recordings I would never have obtained. The audio is acceptable, the lighting levels were low, but some grading and application of Neat Video and it will be usable. Most importantly, I have a lot of memories in her own words, captured forever.

Early in the year I started transitioning Conquering the metadata foundations of FCP X to an open website at metadata.guru. It’s still a work in progress, but it already has some good information on metadata.

Lumberjack System‘s first anniversary came around and we announced Transcript mode to bring time-stamped transcripts into FCP X. This was extensively used on the OJ Simpson documentaries that aired in late 2015. Join us at NAB 2016 – probably in an FCPWORKS suite – for an amazing addition to Lumberjack. The beginning of the next generation.

Heading up to the first anniversary the website was redesigned – in Adobe Muse which I highly recommend – and a lot more video got added to the Lumberjack website. More video to come early this year.

NAB 2015 was also the anniversary of my decision to learn to sing. Like my January performance, my karaoke performances were not terribly strong. But I had voluntarily got up in front of an audience and sang! Talk about nerves! Remember what I’ve said about needing to suck in order to learn and grow!

By June I was comfortable with Content Metadata kicking off my FCP X Creative Summit session. In the November showcase I did a parody title Everybody wants to learn to sing (to the obvious tune) and I’m all alone from Spamalot. For the Christmas recordings I contributed Six White Boomers with the help of Rachel and my niece Charley Hodgetts.

The FCP X Creative Summit was also where we started recording Lunch with Philip and Greg. Partly networking, partly to create some interesting video content without too much investment, partly to explore further my idea of a small (but high quality) production kit. Along the way I wrote about the production kit and technique. Our fourteenth lunch is in post.

Launching today is another project started in 2015: The semiSerious Foodies with a mix of food blog and a cooking show based on the premise of eating a dish in a restaurant, and then reproducing it in whatever conditions we are in – particularly while we’re traveling.  So far we’ve shot two shows at home, two in Barcelona and 1.5 shows in Amsterdam. Again with the small production kit in my shoulder bag!

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the year, is that Greg and I will own a home (and mortgage) within a week.

That’s probably the point: almost everything that’s happened in 2015 was not planned at the beginning of the year.