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

CAT | Technology

It’s not that often that I’m in front of a crowd any more, but there are a couple of presentations coming up where I’ll be featuring Lumberjack System: San Jose SupermeetUp, FCP X Creative Summit and a week later, San Diego FCP Users Group. The two presentations will focus on my long-standing passion for Content Metadata and how that saves time and money with Lumberjack System and Final Cut Pro X.

While I can’t save you any money on the Creative Summit, follow this link to save $5 on the SupermeetUp ticket and come get a free pouch when you say Hi!  We’ll also answer any Intelligent Assistance app or Lumberjack questions. Latest word is that Alex Gollner will be interviewing Randy Ubillos, the Chief Architect of Adobe Premiere versions 1 through 4.2 and Final Cut Pro leading up to FCP X.

Although I started this project on a small scale during my family’s quadrennial reunion back in early January, I was somewhat thwarted by circumstances, for which I am thankful. 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.


In the latest episode of the Terence and Philip Show, Terry and I discuss how to survive an ever-changing world and keep your career alive. Triggered by a discussion of a family history video project I’m undertaking (and will be writing about more shortly).

Longer term readers will know that I have two “day jobs:” at Intelligent Assistance and Lumberjack System. While it’s been a great year for Intelligent Assistance, it’s Lumberjack System that has grown up so quickly in its first year.

We celebrate the second year, with a new website and some real success stories.


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.



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.


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.




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.

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