Apple has made a big point of mentioning their continuing support of the ‘Pro User’ over the last six months. We understand, but the best way they will target new pro users is by officially attending the two big trade shows of the year.
Let’s start off by saying that the work Ronny Courtens has done with FCPX World and Sam Mestman with the Faster Together presentations has been enormous. Both have publicly showcased Final Cut Pro X usage around the world, but on the periphery of the two large trade exhibitions, IBC in Amsterdam in September and NAB in Las Vegas in April. Apple pulled out of both trade shows nearly 10 years ago.
We remember the volume wars with Avid. The rows of machines staffed with Apple Pro Apps team members, the very people behind the applications. From the show’s openings, the stands were always packed.
Ronny’s and Sam’s events are outside the show floor, so there’s no passing footfall, the attendees have to know about the event and make an effort to be there.
Of course the satellite events do get attendees, but with the same faces and from what I’ve seen, mostly FCPX converts already.
Think about attending a car show. Would you walk out of the confines of the exhibition to go and see another new car in a garage ten minutes away? How would you know this garage was there and holding an event?
Apple needs to get back on the show floor. With the new iMac Pro and the possible launch of the new modular Mac Pro later this year, Apple has never had so much to catch the ‘creative pro’ walking past.
Yes, there are of course Apple retail outlets around the world. A 'creative pro' might go there for his or her new iPhone of MacBook Pro, but these are not the places where they would look at top end machines or video workflows.
We understand the lead times on booking floor space at an exhibition is very long and should Apple decide to attend, it might take a couple of years before they would get a prime spot. Then again, Apple paid to take over the SuperMeet for FCPX’s launch, so we know the chequebook comes out when it has to.
Although some hardened disbelievers will never attend an external event, they just might wander on to a stand to kick the tyres of FCPX. Have a play with 4K multicam footage playing back smoothly and at full resolution (maybe have some emergency paramedics with smelling salts just in case for the Premiere editors), wonder at the responsiveness of skimming or tinker with the simplicity of the new colour wheels.
But what would really be the icing on the cake would be to take the presentations from Ronny’s and Sam’s events and put those right in the heart of the show floor.
I’ve sat through many demos and user stories on most of the big stands and these in depth FCPX case studies would blow the opposition away. They would also be a truthful representation of what happened. No failing to mention a missed TX deadline worldwide (You know who you are) or not mentioning having a room filled with engineers jumping to fix every crash.
Just people editing, making nice stuff without problems.
Hopefully that would get a lot more ‘creative professionals’ using Final Cut Pro X for the first time.
I first saw Final Cut Pro almost by accident at IBC many years ago...
Peter Wiggins is a broadcast freelance editor based in the UK although his work takes him around the world. An early adopter of FCP setting up pioneering broadcasts workflows, his weapon of choice is now Final Cut Pro X.