It's a few weeks on from the recent Final Cut Pro X Creative Summit in San Jose. Prompted by a few emails, we thought we would pass on our thoughts and memories of the event.
We were delighted to be invited to the first FCPX Creative Summit held in San Jose California that ran from the 26 to the 28th of June. What did we expect? Well, we were promised a presentation by Apple on their campus, keynote speakers, a Supermeet and many different sessions during the weekend to learn from.
We got all of them.
We started off on the Thursday by visiting the conference centre in the afternoon to register. There were three warmup sessions to attend as well should you wish. The conference was held in the McEnery Convention Centre, a ten minute walk away from the Fairmont hotel where most people were staying thanks to a good room deal brokered by the organisers. No problems getting in to the centre of San Jose either, the venue and hotel were only a short taxi ride from the airport.
The next day, a crowd of excited editors gathered outside the Fairmont for the trip to the Apple campus for their presentation on FCPX.
And that is about all we can say on the visit as Apple asked everybody not to blog or tweet about the presentation. Mobile phones had to be left on the bus.
All that we will will divulge is that everybody said it was well worth the visit. Maybe it was the first whisper to emerge from Apple's 'omertà' that exists across most of their software and hardware development. Hopefully Apple can bring that presentation (or similar) to a bigger audience in the future.
In the afternoon, we returned to the convention centre for the keynote sessions. Mike Matzdorff went on stage talking about the workflow used in the making of the feature film Focus. Unfortunately, Jan Kovac the editor of Focus couldn't make the event in person due to work commitments, but a link via Skype was a very good alternative. Both had very interesting points to make about FCPX.
Then in the evening, Michael Horton and Dan Bérubé hosted the first Bay Area SuperMeetUp. A combination of presentations on stage and a room full of exhibits kept us busy for the whole evening.
One highlight was Alex Gollner interviewing Randy Ubillos. 'Chief Architect on a range of products, including Final Cut Pro, Final Cut Pro X, Aperture, iMovie '08 through iMovie '11 and iPhoto for iOS' so the billing read.
Two lines from Randy will stay with us from that evening:
I had a different idea of how the Final Cut Pro X launch would have gone.
And a great insight to what happened after that launch:
Steve Jobs asked me after the Final Cut Pro X launch if I believed in it. I said yes, he said 'In that case so do I'
Randy then segued nicely into a presentation on how he and his husband make videos about their world travels. It highlighted iMovie and FCPX's design roots.
Randy Ubillos second left. Photo courtesy of @fxfactory.
Afterwards there was ample time to look around the exhibits in the next door hall. One highlight was Sam Mestman demonstrating 16 streams of 4K playing on a new Sharestation unit. These cost effective shared storage solutions provide a lot of bandwidth to multiple clients.
We tried editing with the sixteen streams and apart from a very small pause when you hit play, the sixteen stream multicam clip handled like a single HD stream. Even more impressive when we found out that the box was also supplying sixteen streams to another machine on the FCPWORKS table!
The next two days, Saturday and Sunday, consisted of many different hour an a quarter classes with three rooms running at the same time. It was hard to decide which speaker to listen to as the organisers had lined up an impressive list of presenters for the sessions. In the words of organiser Jeff Greenberg "There was something for everybody."
But maybe it was the time around the official events that was the most constructive for us. We met old friends, made new friends and generally chatted about Final Cut Pro until the small hours most evenings. (Or mornings!)
Post summit dinner, left to right: Chris Fenwick, Peter Wiggins, Bill Davis, Sam Mestman. Jeff Greenberg and Alex Gollner.
The event isn't the biggest of its type we have attended, but for quality of information, the speakers, the classes and of course the attendees, it was the best. All of course, dedicated to FCPX.
Sitting on the plane on the way home on the Monday it also got us thinking about the relevance of the large trade shows to Final Cut Pro X. Apple do not officially attend NAB and IBC and if an update happens around the same time, it is spread across the internet in minutes.
What new hardware is there to look at? We don't use tape machines any more and I/O boxes have come down to a size and price point where they are almost disposable.
So if your boss allows you one trip per year, could the FCPX Creative Summit be the best choice for the FCPX editor?
We think so and we really hope the show not only happens next year, but also grows into an event that every editor should attend.
A huge thank you to Jeff Greenberg and everybody at Future Media Concepts for making it happen.
Hopefully we shall see you there next year!