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The Future of Newsgathering Is MoJo With City Producer

Technology is moving fast, so fast that a French company has built a complete 'shoot, edit and send' newsgathering app for the iPhone. Send the finished story from location, or send the bits back to base to open up in FCPX for finishing.

I've been in broadcast television for longer than I really want to admit. I've seen kit come and go and been promised that I cannot possibly work without the latest hardware or software. More often than not, the bigger the promise, the bigger the letdown.

I've also been on the bleeding edge of some amazing technology changes. The moment of your first preread edit, using fileservers as sources and even accessing recording files in an NLE. Just recently, Dejero has dramatically changed how I edit live events.

So when something new comes along, I'm quite sceptical, but I can also see great potential in new products. (FCP classic was just one example)

I recently had the pleasure of an online demonstration of the MoJo (Mobile Journalism) app for the iPhone called City Producer.

Phillippe Baudet and Bertrand Samimi explained that City Producer was an internally developed tool within Bertrand's TV station that allowed journalists to shoot, edit and send back a complete news report ready for broadcast.

Why does this feature in a report posted on an FCPX site? The built in editor will be familiar with anybody who can edit on FCPX. Also, rather than just send the flat file back to base, the footage and the FCPX XML can be transferred from the phone. This means that an editor back at the station can finesse or version the story. Very clever.

Back to the app and the MoJo all starts with shooting. The app has all the normal range of camera controls as you would expect, white balance, ISO, frame rate, zebra etc. It also includes a live built-in waveform display!

city producer camera

After shooting in landscape, when the phone is rotated, it turns in to a two track NLE!

city producer nle

As you can see from the tabs, there are pages for sound mixing, adding a voice over (it automatically ducks the fx and music for voice or interviews) and a page for adding graphics which can be predesigned using a template. You can also add footage from other stories or from preloaded elements in the phones library such as graphic stings.

city producer soundmix 

Having completed your report, there is the option to send a flat file, publish to social media or send the project XML and associated media back to open up in Final Cut Pro X.

city producer export

 

This won't replace every location news report, but Bertrand told me that 80% of the news stories on his TV station are now made out in the field on City Producer. Pretty impressive.

Two caveats here. First of all the app needs to run on an iPhone 6 or 7 plus due to the real estate needed to edit. Secondly, you can't buy the app on the Apple Store yet, they are concentrating on B2B customers first before offering it to a wider market. Although a licence sounds expensive at €690 per year, it works out at about €2 a day, which is a lot cheaper than a cameraman with camera. (No whinging either)

Should you think your newsgathering organisation could benefit from going MoJo with City Producer, you can get in contact with Phillippe here. There is an evaluation copy available to qualifying users.

We hope to bring you a video of the live presentation of City Producer from NAB, in the meantime we found Bertrand presenting the app at a recent exhibition. It is in French, but shows City producer in action. The FCPX magic happens at about 14 minutes in.

 

peter wigginsPeter 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.

You can follow him on Twitter as @peterwiggins or as he runs the majority of this site, you can contact him here.

 


Written by
Top Blogger Thought 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.

FCP.co

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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