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Sam Mestman: If you’re looking to see Final Cut Pro X in action at NAB…

NAB FCPX sam mestman

Earlier in the week we had FCP guru Larry Jordan's take on what he expects to see at NAB next week. This time it's workflow guru Sam Mestman's turn to look into the crystal ball...

Personally, I think NAB 2014 is going to really highlight how the way we are acquiring, editing, and distributing our media is changing.  Camera prices are going down and resolution is going up. Shared storage environments are now becoming affordable for smaller shops. 4k workflow with modern hardware is no longer a big deal and HDMI 1.4a (and soon 2.0) make viewing that content really straightforward.

Thunderbolt, 10 gig ethernet, and USB 3.0 have made moving massive amounts of media simple. The DCP file is rapidly replacing the film print in movie theatres. 4k TV’s and monitors are becoming affordable in the same way that 1080 TV’s started to become affordable before HD became the standard. H.265 is going to make distributing that 4k content to the home over the internet a whole lot faster and more efficient.
thunderbolt nab fcpx
The cloud and online distribution are quickly pulling away business from traditional cable, and you’re starting to see brand based content delivery systems like NBA League Pass, HBO Go, Netflix (with their original shows), and the WWE Network allowing content creators to distribute directly to their audiences on a subscription model as opposed to being forced into broadcast and pay cable delivery mechanisms.  Content is rapidly switching to a curated model where the customer can watch whatever they want whenever they want from whoever they want online (or streamed to their TV) for a small monthly fee. We’re quickly moving from a buffet model of a whole bunch of things nobody wants to watch on paid cable to a model where good content that people actually want to see is going to be the only thing that really matters anymore to broadcasters (whether they’re on TV or in the cloud).  I think this theme is going to be reflected pretty much everywhere you turn at NAB.
The reason I think this is that because gear and technology is becoming so much more affordable for the end user, you’re going to start seeing a whole lot more people making content than we’re typically used to seeing.  Because of that, you’re going to see a whole lot of people that don’t have built up infrastructures and ways of doing things walking the floor and shopping around looking for gear at their new studio/production company.  They’re not going to be looking for things to add to their existing workflows and pipelines.  They’re going to be looking for the technologies that are going to give them the best bang for their buck when it comes to adapting to the new standards and delivery mechanisms that are becoming available.
It was just a few years ago when the typical person walking the show floor was asking themselves “what gear is going to give me the best shot of delivering a film print/digibeta/HD-Cam SR to a movie theater or cable network for Broadcast?”  This year, I think the majority of people walking the floor are going to be asking themselves “what gear is going to give me the best shot of not only delivering to the network, but also DCP, iTunes, Netflix, Youtube, Hulu, and is there a good way for me to do it in 4k and at half my previous budget?”
nab cameras fcpx
I’m not even going to pretend to know what products are going to be the talk of NAB this year. I imagine there’s going to be a heavy emphasis on 4k, affordable shared storage, interesting data asset management solutions, and the beginning of an emphasis on cloud and metadata based workflows. I also imagine that there’s going to be some pretty surprising price points that people will be announcing for some things. However, for those of you who are FCPX focused, I do know of one thing you might want to check out that may interest you.
If you’re going to be in Vegas next mon-weds for NAB, and you have any interest in FCPX workflow, you might want to take a break from the floor and come stop by the Wynn for a little bit where FCPWORKS will have a special demo suite. Whether you’re into 4k, feature film, documentary, broadcast, shared storage, or you’re a metadata junkie, we’ll be showing off some things on real world productions that might interest you. Basically, go walk the floor at NAB and see all the new toys, then come to the Wynn and maybe get a few ideas on what to do with it all.  
Among other things, we’re going to have Mac Pros and iMacs running FCPX on Mavericks in a shared storage environment from Quantum.  We’ll be showing how FCPX and Shot Notes X can get you from import to your first edit in 10 minutes.  We’ll be showing how Lumberjack is going to simplify workflow for documentary and reality editors everywhere (Phillip and Greg from Intelligent Assistance are going to be presenting all their other apps there too). We’ll be showing off how Softron is changing Broadcast workflow, and how Quvis is making DCP creation easy for filmmakers.  We’ll be showing off FCPX-Resolve integration, 4k and 6k RED Workflow, and how editors are building their real world projects in FCPX.  If any of this seems interesting to you, just sign up here and we’ll see you next week sometime.
p.s - If you’re a FCPX trainer, this might interest you: FCPX Trainers Event 
p.p.s. - you might just see us on the show floor somewhere at another manufacturers booth.  Keep an eye out for screens with FCPX on them.


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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