The present and future of post production business and technology | Philip Hodgetts

CAT | Technology

A wide ranging look at all things NAB 2015, from Terence and Philip’s very subjective perspectives. Avid, Adobe, Blackmagic Design and some companies that start with C-Z as well!

You may have read that Randy Ubillos – Chief Architect, Video Applications at Apple – retired after 20 years with Apple, yesterday.  I’ve had the great privilege of meeting him from time to time, and offer my hearty congratulations on his retirement, the strongest of best wishes for the future, and heartfelt thanks for largely making my career possible.

The question on everyone’s lips is “how does this affect Final Cut Pro X?” My honest thought is “not much”. There are concepts in Final Cut Pro X that clearly came from Randy’s mind, but so also did the original Premiere Pro (1-4.2), the original Final Cut (Pro) (aka Keygrip at Macromedia), Aperture where he was lead architect, and iMovie 08. There were other apps before that, and the full history can be found in Timelines 2 by John Buck.

Randy was also an important part of the team that developed Final Cut Pro X, but more in the role of supervising architect, rather than as part of the detailed group of Product Marketing, App Design, and App Architecture. The people working in those key roles remain in those key roles, and I sense nothing that would affect, or change the direction Apple are taking with Final Cut Pro X. Final Cut Pro X is in exceptionally good hands moving forward.

As I’ve written before, the tools of creative endeavor will always be part of Apple’s DNA, and therefore I expect we’ll see evolution of the tools over time, but never abandonment. There will always be professional, and consumer level, audio, video and photography apps in Apple’s world.

Professionally, I’ve benefited from (writing an unreleased book about) Premiere Pro; from decades of Final Cut Pro classic; and from Final Cut Pro X. I still prefer Aperture over Photos but I’m keeping an open mind that the metadata functions in Photos will improve. For all that, I simply say “Thank you”.

Finally, a little bit of advice from Randy, on taking “holiday videos” (I may paraphrase slightly):

At each location, take out the video camera and shoot a shot. Now, put the camera away and enjoy your holiday and the location in the present.

 

The presentations from the NAB demo room hosted by FCPWORKS are now up, including my Lumberjack System presentation, which I think was the best I’ve ever explained the benefits of Lumberjack.

The full list of presentations is in the FCPWORKS YouTube Channel and they’re all worth watching, but I’d draw attention to the Direct TV Original Programming presentation (because they use two of the Intelligent Assistance apps and are a recent convert to Lumberjack, which saved them two days in a 7 day schedule). Likewise FCPX for Indies/Urban Cowboy and Mike Matzdorff’s Focus presentation mention how our tools are making their work easier.

My favorite comment – on Twitter – from Direct TV’s Marc Bach is:

Buying your apps is like buying hours of sleep!

Which is, after all, why we do it.

Apr/15

18

My Take on NAB 2015

A very subjective take on NAB 2015 because I spent very little time looking at tech! Instead my focus was on the FCPWORKS demo room and particularly my Lumberjack System presentation on Wednesday. But, of course, NAB is also about the socializing.

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It is the season for updates, and Apple come through with a feature update to Final Cut Pro X and Motion. Many of the new features are common, of course, because Final Cut Pro X and Motion share a common display engine (briefly referred to as the Linear Light Engine in the Supermeet preview, and never heard from again!). This is a solid release, with features I find myself using every day. Compressor also gains an interesting new feature: prepare for iTunes store.

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Apr/15

7

NAB 2015

Another NAB is nearly upon us. This will be my 18th consecutive show, although last year I was in Las Vegas but never made it to the show floor! This year I can’t avoid it as I’m doing a panel on the Digital Production BuZZ show Monday morning, and attending some press conferences/meetings on the show floor.

Most of the time I’ll be in the FCPWORKS room. On Wednesday 12:30 I’ll be presenting the definitive Lumberjack System demo, based on logging the presentations in the room itself! I’ll be testing out an OWC Thunderbay Mini  to hold the media from the event. The whole week’s presentations will be interesting but if you want the definitive word on FCP X – check out the keynotes by Apple folk Monday and Tuesday.

Sunday evening you can find me at the #postchat meetup at  O’Sheas starting 8pm Sunday evening, then on to the KISS mini golf event sponsored by Filmmakers of the Inland Empire.

Monday afternoon I’ll be contributing to Scott Simmons’ Post Production World session on Moving Metadata from Production to Post. That evening will be mostly at the FCP X Guru meetup at the Hard Rock Cafe and Tuesday evening Greg and I will be at the Supermeet of course. The definitive party list is at Toolfarm.

Hope to see you all there. If you spot me, say hello.

My day job is with both Intelligent Assistance, and Lumberjack System. Intelligent Assistance was featured at a recent event on the Focus workflow hosted by Light Iron. The videos have just gone up.

Intelligent Assistance’s involvement starts about 10 minutes into the first workflow video.

And the mention of my Conquering Metadata book is in Part 2 at 3’40”

Sync-N-Link is a specialized app used on productions that shoot picture and sound on separate devices, with matching time-of-day timecode. What we discovered in talking about it a few night ago, is how Sync-N-Link has been at the forefront of evolving workflows over the roughly six years the two versions have been in release.

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For anyone who hasn’t been hiding under a rock, you might have noticed that Focus released this week, and edited on Final Cut Pro X. For Greg and I it is the final chapter in a story that started with an email and subsequent phone call in December 2012. We worked closely with the editorial team to make our software tools meet their needs. What I didn’t realize until recently is that my little book Conquering the Metadata Foundations of Final Cut Pro X had a role in this story too.

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Feb/15

17

Modern Family Episode shot on iDevices

CNET are reporting that the February 25th Episode (Season 6 Episode 16) was shot with iPhone 6 and iPad Air 2 (with a little assist from a MacBook Pro). An iPad Air 2 was my primary “camera” for my family history video shoot back in early January.

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