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So how was the first FCPX Creative Summit?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Randy Ubillos second left. Photo courtesy of @fxfactory.


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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!

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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!)

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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!



Written by
Top BloggerThought Leader

I am the Editor-in-Chief of FCP.co and have run the website since its inception ten years ago.

I have also worked as a broadcast and corporate editor for over 30 years, starting on one inch tape, working through many formats, right up to today's NLEs.

Under the name Idustrial Revolution, I have written and sold plugins for Final Cut Pro for 13 years.

I was made a Freeman of Lichfield through The Worshipful Company of Smiths (established 1601). Though I haven't yet tried to herd a flock of sheep through the city centre!

Current Editing

great house giveaway 2020

2020 has been busy, the beginning of the year was finishing off a new property series (cut on FCP) for Channel 4 called The Great House Giveaway. I also designed and built the majority of the graphics as Motion templates. It has been a great success and the shows grabbed more viewers in the 4pm weekday slot than any previous strand. It has been recommissioned by C4 for 60 episodes, including prime-time versions and five themed programmes. The shows have also been nominated for a 2021 BAFTA.

Tour de france 2020
Although both were postponed to later in the year, I worked again on ITV's coverage of the Tour de France and La Vuelta. 2020 was my 25th year of editing the TdF and my 20th year as lead editor. The Tour was the first broadcast show to adopt FCPX working for multiple editors on shared storage.


BBC snooker the crucible

BBC's Snooker has played a big part in my life, I've been editing tournament coverage since 1997. I'm proud to be part of a very creative team that has pioneered many new ideas and workflows that are now industry standard in sports' production. This is currently an Adobe Premiere edit.

amazon kindle BF

Covid cancelled some of the regular corporate events that I edit such as trade shows & events. I was lucky however to edit, from home, on projects for Amazon Kindle, Amazon Black Friday, Mastercard and very proud to have helped local charitable trust Kendall & Wall secure lottery funding.

As for software, my weapon of choice is Final Cut Pro and Motion, but I also have a good knowledge and broadcast credits with Adobe Premiere Pro, MOGRT design and Photoshop.

Plugin Design & Development

I'm the creative force behind Idustrial Revolution, one of the oldest Final Cut Pro plugin developers. It hosts a range of commercial and free plugins on the site. One free plugin was downloaded over a thousand times within 24 hours of release.

I also take on custom work, whether it is adapting an existing plugin for a special use or designing new plugins for clients from scratch. Having a good knowledge of editing allows me to build-in flexibility and more importantly, usability.


Now in its 10th year and 4th redesign, running FCP.co has given me knowledge on how to run a large CMS- you are currently reading my bio from the database! Although it sounds corny, I am pretty well up on social media trends & techniques, especially in the video sector. The recent Covid restrictions has enabled live FCP.co shows online. This involves managing a Zoom Webinar through Restream.io to YouTube and Facebook. 

The Future

I'm always open to new ideas and opportunities, so please get in touch at editor (at) fcp.co. I've judged film competitions, presented workflow techniques to international audiences and come up with ideas for TV shows and software programs!


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