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

CAT | Apple Pro Apps

In this episode I get to spend a lot of time talking about the background the Lumberjack System, in the context of  the very unsexy topic of workflow, particularly automating the workflow. I share many of the background decisions related to Lumberjack System – our logging and pre-editing system for Final Cut Pro X – including why it’s limited to FCP X.

Other topics include automation; Digital Heaven’s announcement of SpeedScriber; how Lumberjack has developed based on user, and use, feedback; the post NAB development of noteLogger; Prelude LIveLogger and the Premiere Pro ecosystem and NLE market shares; how development resources are allocated.

Patently Apple reports Apple have filed for Trademarks for: ‘Mac – Works with iMovie’, ‘Mac – Works with Final Cut Pro X’ & Combo of Both.

This certainly isn’t the first time Apple have filed for “Works with” Trademarks, and that’s what makes it interesting. Previously these type of trademarks have been for Apple Ecosystems, like iPhone, iOS, iPad, CarPlay, AirPrint, et al.

While I have no idea what it might mean – developers have no clues yet – it is interesting that iMovie and Final Cut Pro X are being considered as part of a larger ecosystem. For those who don’t know, these days iMovie is a version of Final Cut Pro X with a simplified interface.

Terence Curren and I recorded our thoughts on NAB 2016.  Topics covered include general impressions of NAB 2016, and why Terry did not attend this year; Blackmagic Design Resolve; Avid’s business; market fragmentation; HDR and expanded color gamut; Studio Daily’s Top 50 influencers (including Philip); Zcam; Lytro cam; VR; innovation; Apple watch and NDA’d Final Cut Pro X preview.

Episode 71: NAB 2016

If it’s September, it’s time for IBC – the kinder, gentler, European version of NAB! In 2013 I made my first exploratory trip to see if we should attend IBC and had few commitments. Second trip last year and Lumberjack shared a table at the Supermeet with FCPWORKS.

This year we’re once again teaming with FCPWORKS and Soho Editors by being part of the FCP X Expo. It’s a short walk from the RAI and Greg, Cirina and I will be there most of Saturday and Sunday, until we head to the Supermeet.

If you’re at IBC, come say hello at the FCP X Expo which will be the center of all things Final Cut Pro X at IBC, or at the Supermeet. We’re happy to talk about Lumberjack System, or any of our Intelligent Assistance tools. I’ll be helping Sam Westman with his Feature Film Workflows session at 12:50 on Saturday the 12th September.

Join FCPWORKS’ Sam Mestman on a crash course in feature film metadata prep and on-set workflows. Sam will also co-present an enhanced documentary feature workflow with Lumberjack System’s Philip Hodgetts. Shoot for the edit and maximize the potential under-the-hood of Final Cut Pro X

I’ll be focusing on how Chuck Braverman Productions used the transcription feature we built into Lumberjack System on their two OJ Simpson documentaries for the A&E Network. We announced Lumberjack’s ability to import transcripts into Final Cut Pro X at NAB. In fact we had worked closely with Braverman Productions to make that feature work for them. I’ll be sharing their story.

Grab a Lumberjack pouch from us there, or stop by our table at the Supermeet and we’ll give you one of these usual little pouches there.

Throw in at least three Lunch with Philip and Greg recordings while we’re there (although I think one will be an evening “lunch”) and it’ll be a busy week.

Particularly since I also want to record a couple of The semiSerious Foodies episodes (coming soon) in Amsterdam (Dutch pancakes and Filet American) as well as in Barcelona where we’re heading first.

All with my “fits over my shoulder” production kit!

 

Peter Wiggins is a freelance editor who has been using Final Cut Pro for broadcast since 2003. He runs the successful FCP plugin website iDustrial Revolution and he is the force behind FCP.co.

Peter WigginsPeter joined us for lunch in San Jose during the recent FCP X Creative Summit. (more…)

Jun/15

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Why did we change the name of Xto7?

Peter Wiggins of FCP.co asked me why we changed the name of Xto7 for Final Cut Pro to XtoCC.  Here’s my answer.

 

Although Final Cut Pro X’s initial release was four years ago today – June 21st – the story starts much earlier for me. Much more significant was the NAB 2011 preview that completely killed our software business for a couple of months, and even before that, with the speculation leading up to Apple’s formal release of a fresh approach to what a modern NLE should be.

There are important lessons from our experience.

(more…)

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.

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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