While Apple managed to keep its NAB releases quiet up until the start of the show, the company created quite a buzz once the news got out, including the announcement of an HD version of Final Cut Pro (available for free to all registered V.4 users) and the introduction of Motion, a $299 realtime graphics program featuring tight integration with other applications.
I ran into Terry Curren, online editor and president of Burbank-based post boutique Alpha Dogs (www.alphadogs.tv), while at the show and he agreed, the Apple announcements were some of the more interesting, particularly Motion. "For $299, how could you go wrong?" says Curren of the motion graphics application.
Curren and his Alpha Dogs facility regularly host the Editor's Lounge, a monthly forum designed to give post pros the opportunity to gather to discuss industry issues, see technology demonstrations and take a close look at new products. The events have been well attended, with around 80 professionals showing up to the pre-NAB-themed one in March. And just after NAB, Curren arranged to have a rep from Apple come by to show off the new products.
Final Cut Pro HD, Xsan and Motion were all demo'd, and again, Motion garnered the most attention. Apple demo person Doug Cunningham was new to the graphics tool himself, but Curren says that the application's interface is very user friendly, and he could see that even first-time users would be able to get up to speed quickly.
"This is the first Apple application that was developed entirely by Apple," notes Curren. "It wasn't something they acquired from somebody else. As I watched the demo, I said to myself, â€˜I can do that' It's very user friendly." He adds that while the Editor's Lounge attendees give new products tough evaluations, "For that price, there's nothing bad you can say about it." Alpha Dogs offers both Avid Symphony and Final Cut Pro for editing. Like some of the pros in this month's "Roundtable" feature, Curren believes creativity is what brings clients to his studio, not necessarily the technology. And with prices coming down for many of these applications, Curren also wonders how bigger post houses will stay in business.
The next Editor's Lounge, set for May 21, takes a look at Sony's Xpri nonlinear editing system. Freelance editor Mike Buday will demo the system.