Wednesday, 16 September 2015
Over the last five days I spent my time in Amsterdam attending IBC 2015. I also attended the FCP EXPO.
IBC is a trade show for the TV and film business:
IBC is the premier annual event for professionals engaged in the creation, management and delivery of entertainment and news content worldwide.
Across 14 big halls, two or three had exhbitors relevant for production and post production.
There were many high-end media asset management systems, virtual studios with motion control cameras and large cages where drones were shown flying around.
As last year, there weren’t many signs of Final Cut on the IBC show floor. Apart from the Avid and Adobe stands, few screens were showing any kind of editing application. If you weren’t part of a NLE decision-making team, you’d think there was no choice in NLEs yet.
Camera manufacturers were starting to admit that they are better camera makers than digital recording device makers. Good news for companies making devices that can convert uncompressed camera source to codecs from Avid and Apple.
Despite Final Cut being hardly mentioned, Apple was everywhere because of ProRes. Whenever a video, sign or stand staffer covered high-end workflow, ProRes was always mentioned - usually first for some reason.
As with the vast majority of trade fairs of any kind around the world, Apple didn't pay for a stand. They choose to attend informally. Visiting stands, arranging meetings and supporting events near the main show.
At the US equivalent of IBC, the NAB Show held in Las Vegas, Apple organised their own invite-only suite in a nearby venue. They also gave presentations at an event orgainsed by FCPWORKS, a US-based post production systems integrator.
This September FCPWORKS teamed up with UK-based Soho Editors to put on a Final Cut Pro X-focussed event for IBC attendees. FCP EXPO was a two day event at a venue a few minutes walk from the IBC halls with sessions including presentations from Apple, Alex Snelling for Soho Editors and Ronny Courtens on Metronome’s reality TV workflow.
I gave a presentation as part of the FxFactory session which included a demo from Tim Dashwood on his exciting new toolkit for editing 360º video on the Final Cut Pro X timeline. As well as being able to play 360º video directly to a connected Oculus Rift VR headset, the 360VR Toolbox also allows editors to make creative choices based on how edits feel - almost impossible until now.
In coming days, some of the presentations will be made available online.
The presentation Apple gave had moved on a great deal even since the one they gave on the Apple Campus as part of the FCPX Creative Summit in June. It included more examples of great work from various projects around the world and demonstrations of features from recent Final Cut and Motion updates. Apple also introduced who from the team were there and welcomed attendee questions throughout the day.
Even though the day started with Apple, there was no drop off in attendance throughout both days as people stayed for a wide variety of presentations, networking and conversations in an exhibition area featuring pro Final Cut Pro X suppliers such as Intelligent Assistance.
It is good news that Soho Editors were putting this event on. They are a long-established post production staffing agency and training company. Their support shows they think there’s a benefit to them encouraging their freelancers to learn Final Cut Pro X and that Final Cut training is a valuable service they can offer.
At the moment many TV journalists, researchers and producers are learning Final Cut through in-house training. Agencies like Soho Editors represent editors who already have years of high-end post experience. Once other established editors realise that freelance contemporaries are learning X, they may want to make sure they keep up.
Now that IBC is over, it is time to plan for NAB in Las Vegas in 2016. I've organised my flights already. I hope FCPWORKS and Apple take what they've learnt from Final Cut at IBC and do more in April.
Soho Editors has many clients and freelancers who aren’t sold on Final Cut Pro X yet, so they were a great choice for a Final Cut event partner. I hope FCPWORKS tries to reach more unconverted editors and post people when publicising a ‘NAB adjacent’ event.
As the UI for Final Cut is so much less threatening than the competition, I think there is mileage in attempting to get non-editing and post people to attend as well. People who have all kinds of jobs in TV, games and feature film production would benefit from learning Final Cut. My take would be: ‘Why should editors be the only ones who benefit from the ease and speed of Final Cut Pro X,’ but I’m no marketing expert…