If you’re heading to NAB in April and you’re interested in Final Cut Pro X then point you browser to FCP Exchange and get yourself registered for this special event that takes place off of the NAB show floor. Presented by FCPX workflow specialists FCPWORKS FCP Exchange will run April 18th-19th 2016 in the Rainbow Room at the Renaissance Hotel, a short walk from NAB’s South Hall. The NAB FCP Exchange is part of a larger FCP Exchange series that has taken place in Los Angeles. One of these events happened on March 5, 2016 and those sessions are now available on the FCPWORKS YouTube channel. I’ve embedded them below as well.
I chatted up FCPWORKS’s Noah Kadner (It’s hard to believe it’s been 8 years since I reviewed Noah’s DVD on using the HVX200) and asked a few questions about the FCP Exchange events and what one might get out of attending. Sam Mestman from FCPWORKS also chimed in as well. There’s a schedule of the NAB FCP Exchange at the bottom of this post and it’s important to mention that Registration is required to attend so if you want to go get on the list before it fills up. I went by one day last year and it was packed. Apple won’t have a big booth on the NAB show floor. That doesn’t mean you won’t see Final Cut Pro X around the Las Vegas Convention Center and it doesn’t mean there won’t be a lot of user willing to talk FCPX on the show floor but if you want the epicenter of FCPX at NAB 2016, FCP Exchange it going to be it.
How has attendance been at the FCP Exchange events?
Attendance has been great so far. We’ve filled up Abel Cine’s workshop studio with each event we’ve done in Burbank. And that’s taking away from folks’ free time on a Saturday morning to come in and interact. Another observation that impresses me is we run a very long show and people who do come tend to stay around and watch the entire show. We must be doing something right.
I’m curious as to the amount of “curious” attendees you see at these events vs. the diehard FCPX users who might be coming to network and learn new things (which is valuable as well). Have you seen a lot of attendees who have yet to give FCPX a try?
We find most people who walk in are at least familiar with FCPX. Many are using it every day for a living or are planning to. They’re curious to validate their own workflow as well as learn what others are doing.
Are these also great events for the seasoned FCPX editor to attend?
We try to program a good mix of more introductory and advanced sessions for each show. There’s nothing super basic nor ridiculously advanced. We’ve had mostly presentations from working editors in a variety of genres: including documentary, narrative, TV, indie features and trailer/commercial editing, to name a few. Plus great product-specific presentations to highlight a new tool or plugin.
Who would you say gets more out of an FCP Exchange event? The “pro” or the “newbie?”
See above, I’d say there are more than enough content breadcrumbs in FCP Exchange to link the pro and the newbie. A lot of it is simply showing off what can be done with FCPX as a production tool and with less focus on which button does what. If you have even a passing interest in editing as a profession, there’s plenty of great and relevant content in there.
If presenting to a room of editors who know little about FCPX what have you found to be their biggest “wow” moment?
There’s always a lot of eye openers. Either a specific Final Cut Pro X feature that was hidden below the surface and never seen before by many, or a particular workflow plugin or helper app timesaver that people didn’t know about. The recent Apple presentation for the workflows of Trim Editing in London got a lot of oohs and ahhss due to the quality of the work and the craftsmanship of the timelines within X. We’re not permitted to re-broadcast the Apple presos unfortunately, but they’re a great reason to attend the live shows if at all possible.
Ha- not really hecklers per se or if so, very respectful. FCP Exchange guests are generally very professional and low-key. We’ve tried to make the focus on FCPX exclusively as a platform to declare a certain kind of expectation. You’d have to really want to hear about non-stop FCPX workflows just to come into the room. Not to say respectful debate isn’t completely welcome at FCP Exchange.
Both of the FCP Exchange events have been in Los Angeles, any plans to bring these to other cities?
We’ve had a few inquiries to do other shows in the US and overseas and we’re totally open to it. The challenge is time and resources. FCPWORKS is based in California and we have an excellent venue and production partner in Abel Cine. And since FCP Exchange session videos are made mostly available (save for the Apple presos) on the web, the content is ultimately accessible to the rest of the interested world regardless. (Check out the FCPWORKS YouTube channel).
How much interest is FCPWORKS seeing in FCPX inside of Los Angeles and the “Hollywood” system? Seems I remember reading that FCPWORKS was seeing a lot of interest outside of the USA? What’s been your biggest “install” thus far?
Swiss TV recently spent a good deal of time validating Final Cut Pro X as its updated editorial solution (Our friends at fcp.co have a great article on this Swiss TV switch). National broadcasters generally hold the highest standards for their tools as they cannot afford any downtime with 24/7 programming. They also don’t make major workflow changes unless the results are truly massive improvements over pre-existing toolsets.
FCPWORKS’ Chief Workflow Architect Sam Mestman worked with Ronny Courtens and the engineers at the network to thoroughly stress-test Final Cut Pro X in their workflows. They also provided a shared storage solution via Lumaforge that passed with flying colors. It’s quite amazing what can be achieved with shared storage performance these days.
Another story worth mentioning that we’ll also have as a workflow presentation at FCP Exchange at NAB is Metronome Productions in Denmark. Ryan Velin and Mads Larsen Nielsen worked directly with Danish TV2 to devise a total Final Cut Pro X based workflow. More than 30 seasons of various television shows have now been cut in Final Cut Pro X at Metronome Productions, one of the largest production companies in Denmark, owned by global content creator Endemol Shine Group.
–Here’s a response to the outside Hollywood question from FCPWORKS’ Workflow Architect Sam Mestman:
Sam: The truth is that Hollywood is probably going to be the last place where FCPX gets truly adopted, and it really has nothing to do with whether the product can do the job or not… it has a lot more to do with talent pool, inertia, and a general uninterest in changing the status quo on the high end. That said, the screening for Whiskey Tango Foxtrot was packed, and so was the ACE Tech Day event that got FCPX in front of the some of the most high end editors in the world, and I think demos like that opened some eyes. I know there’s a lot of high end editors using FCPX on personal and home projects, which is going to gradually bring FCPX into the cutting room as editors become more comfortable making it their choice for their higher end projects now that there are a lot more high end case studies out there (WTF, Swiss TV, Nina Simone, Game of Thrones, Challenger, just to name a few of the really recent ones).
I can tell you based on what we’ve been doing at Lumaforge that there’s a ton of FCPX users out there, as the majority of our leads and customers are facilities that use FCPX, and there’s more of those around the world than there are in Hollywood, if for no other reason than there’s less established infrastructure so people are freer to make new choices and experiment around the world. In terms of Hollywood, you’re going to see FCPX start to work its way in on the low end initially (indie features, shorts, and Youtubers, etc), and that is very much in progress already. Most of the movies made at We Make Movies (my loss Angeles based filmmaking community) are being cut with FCPX, and it is also the platform of choice for most high end Youtubers… and it’s those type of people that represent the next generation of editors. So, basically, I think the answer to your question is that this process has already started… the amount of high profile case studies is continuing to accelerate, and there is currently a palpable change in every conversation I have about it lately.
If we’re still having the “When is FCPX going to take off in Hollywood conversation?” 18 months from now, I’ll be extremely surprised. It’s already happening, and mostly, I’m just waiting for a lot of the seeds that have been planted to start growing.
FCPWORKS will once again be at NAB with a suite off the show floor in the RENAISSANCE LAS VEGAS HOTEL. How many years has FCPWORKS been doing this?
The company has been around since 2013 and this is the 3rd NAB FCPWORKS has presented workflows during the show. At NAB 2014 we had a more private suite setting by appointment over at the Wynn. For NAB 2015 we changed to a more public venue at the Renaissance. The reaction was so positive to that event, we decided to do another round for 2016 and dovetail it with the FCP Exchange series people have been enjoying in L.A.
It this an invitation only event or is it open to anyone?
FCP Exchange is open to everyone. Our only limitation is first-come first-serve seating. For that reason, I recommend grabbing a spot as soon as possible over at http://www.fcpexchange.com.
Why present off the NAB show floor and not directly in South Hall?
We really wanted to do a full workflow demonstration room with comfortable seating, projections and more above and away from the din of the show floor. At the Renaissance we found a nice compromise between still being an easy 5 minute walk from the show and yet a much calmer and more collaborative environment for guests interested in deep dives into Final Cut Pro X as a workflow and professional tool. We’ve noticed a lot of other exhibitors from NAB choosing alternate venues at the Renaissance as well to present more in-depth subjects away from their booths.
Is this NAB Exchange more of a presentation-only event or will there FCPX-centric exhibitors setup in and around the suite?
We’ll have a handful of workstations with developers around the presentation suite. The focus will be on the live presentations with plenty of availability for 1:1 follow-ups for attendees interested in learning more.
Will we see Apple presenting at the NAB FCP Exchange?
Apple will be presenting two sessions during FCP Exchange at NAB, on Monday, April 18th from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and again on Tuesday, April 19th from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. I haven’t been told the exact contents of those sessions just yet but I believe there will be different content in each.
In past FCP Exchange sessions, they’ve showed in-depth case studies from showcasing high-end professionals using FCP X. During our presentation at NAB 2015, they showed off the Focus feature workflow. So attendees can count on something on that level I’m guessing.
What the single biggest thing you’d like for someone new to FCPX to take away from their time spent at the NAB 2016 FCP Exchange?
A theme we hear over and over again is that the performance and streamlined interface of Final Cut Pro X really places it in a league of its own compared to other NLEs out there. The process gets out of the way and empowers creative people to simply focus on storytelling in the most efficient and enjoyable ways.
FCPX suffered somewhat out of the gate from a lot of misconceptions that became accepted facts over time. FCPWORKS has made a business out of helping create and support workflows for professionals who have taken the time and interest to investigate the application on its own merits. We feel their results and gains made really speak for themselves in the presentations you’ll see at FCP Exchange.
Thanks to Noah and Sam for answering these questions. As one who has attended the FCPWORKS events at NAB before (PVC took the first video tour ever through the first FCPWORKS NAB hotel suite in 2014)I can tell you that it is a welcoming environment with enthusiastic folks more than willing to talk filmmaking and their choice of tools. Space is limited so get you registration in if you want to attend. There is a schedule below that will be updated as things change.