Visiting Cupertino

Visiting Cupertino

Four years after launching PostLab at the 2019 Creative Summit in Cupertino, Apple thankfully decided it was time again to do an in-person conference on all things Final Cut Pro and Motion. To Cupertino, we went, and wow, did we have a blast 🛫

Coming from all over the world, and all types of video production, the more than 200 attendees are a wonderful mix of people to be around. There were a lot of familiar faces, but a lot more new ones - many people attending were first-time visitors, which is a great thing to see.

Being at the Summit feels like attending FCP Uni - whether you're an experienced power user or new to Final Cut Pro, everybody at the Summit has a drive and is eager to share their knowledge. Besides the people, each day is packed with insightful sessions on color grading, audio roles, working with titles and transitions, media management, and speeding up editing; so many amazing workshops offer insights that immediately elevate your skills. Each edition has had a great mix of presentations on real-life production workflows, mixed with in-depth technique and technology sessions

As always, the vibe at the Creative Summit is vibrant and optimistic, not in part caused by being so close to the Apple team that's working on the tools that we use daily. Not just metaphorically close; Apple people were around every day, attending sessions, and having the hallway chats that the Summit is famous for. These conversations are where the real proof in the pudding is. In the rare case the sessions are not to your liking (there are two session tracks), there will always be interesting people in the hallway eager to chat and get acquainted.

An important part of the Summit is always the fabled Apple Day, and this year, the Summit kicked off with a visit to Apple Park itself. The architecture and surrounding landscape of "AP" is astounding, and that tour would have sufficed. However, the Apple team went to great lengths to give us an in-house keynote on what's coming to Final Cut Pro, Motion, Compressor, and, for the first time, Logic. Besides the Pro Video team, we got to meet with the Pro Workflow team that usually resides in Culver City, and we're able to use all the new M3 hardware that Apple announced only a week before the Summit.

PostLab 2.0

The next day, it was session time, with a very special one that we had prepared quite a while for. As we had been working on a brand-new PostLab for two years, the Creative Summit was the perfect moment to give everyone a sneak peek of the new completely rebuilt PostLab, and then some.

In a packed room, Isaac and Jasper give a great presentation explaining the backstory of PostLab, and why a new PostLab was dearly needed. Today’s world needs workflows that can move between cloud, local, and shared storage without friction, so always-online apps no longer work for media production. To solve that, the new PostLab is a) no longer a cloud-only solution, b) is serverless, and c) is no longer a subscription but a regular software license. That drew quite a bit of applause, but we were just getting started: demo time 🙂

As PostLab’s codebase was getting old in the teeth, we decided to scrap it and completely rethink PostLab. Luckily, that also means being able to use the latest SwiftUI features, and that in return means an app that’s smooth as butter. As Jasper showed, checking in and out Final Cut Pro libraries is now superfast. On top of that, the new PostLab supports not just FCP and Premiere Pro but all apps and documents. Jasper showed version control for Logic and Motion, to much pleasure of the attendees as lot of Motion users were present.

And then it was time for one more thing, as this session was called “the event of the year” for a reason: Jasper introduced our brand-new invention Event Locking. Working very much like bin locking, Event Locking allows FCP users to use events while others editors are working in them. On top of that, PostLab makes it possible to share Events across libraries. This drew a massive applause and even more gasps, as the crowd understood the implications this new feature will have on their future workflows.

Didn’t make it to the Summit? The new PostLab is going into Public Beta later this year. If you're currently a PostLab user, keep an eye on your inbox, as we'll send you more details and also an invite to the Beta soon!

State Of The Ecosystem

Overall, the Summit is a great example of how vibrant and connected the Final Cut Pro community is, and how much of that is thanks to the marriage of great software and great hardware. As iJustine noted, Apple silicon is now so much fasterl than your brain, that editing in FCP almost becomes poetic - there’s no longer any friction, or waiting for actions to be finished by the computer. You can be in the zone, all the time.

That lack of friction was a recurring theme across all attendees: again to pick up on how  iJustine put it, it’s not technical friction you want from the tools you use. It’s the creative friction that you're looking for. Experiencing that means you’re improving, as you're going down lanes that are uncomfortable. It's that exact feeling that makes you hone your skills and up the ante on your editing game. Over and over again, the Summit made it clear that FCP empowers its users, and does so through innovations like its magnetic timeline, media management, and overall editing speed.

A Perfect Ending

As if it was meant to be, during the penultimate session, the news broke that the SAG-AFTA Hollywood actor strike had ended. Cheers went up all around, and a burden was removed from many people's shoulders. Not so many people at the Summit were directly affected as it's a pretty international gathering, but the ripples of the strike(s) have been felt all around the world.

All in all, the Summit was a great three days of being submersed in the Final Cut Pro ecosystem, and I’m already looking forward to next year.