With the National Association of Broadcasters show in Las Vegas almost upon us, we caught up with FCP guru Larry Jordan. We asked him about what he expects to see at this year's show and of course the the role that he sees Final Cut Pro X playing at the show and in the future.
FCP.co: When was your first NAB and can you remember the products/highlights of the show?
Larry: I think my first NAB was in the early 1980's, maybe late 70's. The big news was portable Sony video recorders that recorded on 3/4" video tape, the recorders were the size of a briefcase and a 30-pound video camera from Toshiba that you could carry on your shoulder to record video in the field.
50 pounds of gear and you could shoot news. And the booths were packed.
FCP.co: What software trends do you expect to see this year at NAB 2014?
Larry: Two key trends I'm watching: improved performance and improved integration. Video editing requires a suite of applications, plug-ins, and utilities even for "simple" edits. Software needs to do a better job of moving files from one app to the other.
More video codecs that are incompatible with all the other video codecs we are currently wrestling with. And, thinking about codecs, I'm expecting to see shipping implementations of the H.265 video compression codec, which allows high-quality delivery of 4K video to the home over the Internet.
I'm also expecting a lot of Buzz about The Cloud (I am not a fan), 4K (I am a fan), and collaboration (at every level of production and post).
FCP.co: What hardware trends do you expect to see this at NAB 2014?
Larry: New storage technology with the integration of Flash/SSD technology with spinning media. Lower prices for SSD drives. Increased storage capacity on spinning media. And a variety of RAID 5 high-speed systems using Thunderbolt 2 at price points that make them attractive to independent producers, as opposed to bankers.
I'm looking for more 4K video monitors and better pricing on 2K monitors.
I also expect to hear a lot about video delivery on multiple screens: desktop / laptop / tablet / and mobile phone. Producers need to produce media that can be consumed anywhere on anything.
Plus the usual explosion of new cameras, camera accessories, and lighting gear.
FCP.co: Do you expect to see more copies of Final Cut Pro X on the floor at NAB this year?
Larry: Apple has ALWAYS been well-represented on the trade show floor. I'm expecting to see a lot of Final Cut Pro X and Premiere Pro CC. Avid will be visible, but nowhere near the same level.
FCP.co: Do you see a polarization between editors you come across who use FCPX and editors who don’t use FCPX? (i.e. those who use it love it and this who don’t use it hate it?)
Larry: Of course. Always. Editors have defined themselves for years by the gear they use and the gear they don't use. Remember those old FCP 7 vs Avid Media Composer bar fights?
If we can't argue about how wrong the other guy is in his/her selection of editing software, what's the sense of coming in to work?
FCP.co: 12 months on, What is the one FCPX advance that has impressed you from this time last year (i.e. Libraries or similar)
Larry: I'm impressed by three things over the last year:
1. The number of editors who have said: "I hated FCP X when it was first released, then, about six months ago, I started using it and I REALLY like it."
2. The number of updates Apple has pushed out over the last year - something like five, of which the 10.1 update was a biggie!
3. The new media management system - Libraries / Events / Projects - in the new Final Cut Pro X 10.1.
FCP.co: If we could grant you one wish for a new feature for FCPX what would it be?
Larry: I have four:
1. Better audio mixing inside FCP X
2. Better round-tripping with Motion 5
3. The ability to see if audio is out of sync with video and by how much
4. The broadcast safe filter integrated downstream of the Color Corrector
And don't get me started on keyboard shortcuts I'd like to see...
FCP.co: If there is one great FCPX super tip you could share, what would it be?
Larry: Press the Shift key when you launch FCP from the dock and Final Cut launches without opening any libraries.
And, if you gave me the option of one more tip, I'd suggest pressing the Option key when you launch Final Cut from the dock and discover a hidden menu.
FCP.co: Finally, what advice or tips have you for visitors who haven’t been to NAB before?
Larry: Wear comfortable shoes.
Ask questions at as many booths as you can. Exhibitors are spending tens of thousands of dollars SOLELY to meet and chat with you.
There's no such thing as a stupid question; only questions that you don't know the answer to, yet.
A good opening question is: "What do you have that's new and why should I care?"
Don't expect to see a fraction of even a tiny part of everything.
NAB is my favorite trade show and toy store. Almost bought a helicopter there two years ago, but couldn't find a place at home to park it. Remind me to tell you the story - ah, some other time.
Many thanks to Larry for his predictions and advice. You can catch him every week on the Digital Production Buzz which is the industry’s longest-running podcast covering creative content producers and tech news for media production, post-production, marketing and distribution.
Or, why not say hello to him on the show floor at NAB this year and ask him about that helicopter!!!