Posts Tagged ‘LAFCPUG’

The 9th Annual FCPUG San Francisco SuperMeet

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

Join us and the Boston, SF Cutters and FCP UGs from around the world in San Francisco for the largest gathering of FCP users and Gurus on the Planet

Where? - Robertson Auditorium, Mission Bay Conference Center (Rutter Center)- UCSF (Download Driving and Parking and Train instructions HERE)
1675 Owens Street
San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: 866.431.UCSF

  • When? Friday, Febuary 5, 2010 – 7:00PM – 10:00PM
    (Doors open 4:30PM)
  • Why? Because you need to learn something and meet people who are smarter than you.
  • How Much? – $10.00 per person.(earlybird)
    $15.00 after January 4, 2010.
    $20.00 at the door
    Ticket will include 2 raffle tickets.
  • Any raffle prizes? Of course. $2.00 per ticket or 3 for $5.00
  • Who should attend? - Digital Content Creators who work on a Mac and anyone and everyone who wants to learn something and meet people that are smarter than them.
  • What’s on the Agenda? – It’s SuperSecret


The Importance of NAB and What I Got Out of It

Monday, May 25th, 2009

This year I attended my first NAB show.  I set aside three days to attend this event and to go to related events.

A lot of people were saying that this year’s show was smaller than it has been but to me it was gigantic!  Attendance was also down and both of these this I think are rightly attributed to the economy.  While I was there for three days, it definitely wasn’t enough to take it all in.

The NAB show is so large that they have a daily magazine covering all of the goings on.   In addition to this they had (more than) daily podcasts covering different interesting aspects of the show.

There were big names there, Mary Tyler Moore for one.  And lots of book signings.  One of the big draws to this trade show is all of the technology, mostly new, that is on display, showing the future of broadcasting.

While NAB stand for National Association of Broadcasting, the show covers all aspects of film and digital video as well as internet and even gaming.  They understand that merging technologies have made all of these telecommunications areas a part of “broadcasting”.

I am currently taking a telecommunications class and recently learned the following things about NAB: “The first professional code for broadcasters was developed by the National Association of Broadcasters in 1929″ and “On the industry side, lobbyists represent the interests of those involved in the business of telecommunications.  One of the most influential of these is the National Association of Broadcasters.  Organizations such as NAB can influence the decisions of legislators by providing them with information about how certain issues or pending legislation will affect the industry”.

I certainly got sore feet walking the thousands of square feet of the exhibition floors, yes I said floors.  I should also mention that this expo covered multiple buildings.  I saw so much and honestly, there were whole floors that were just beyond me.  I could only imagine that these exhibits were for some very elite public.

The shear massiveness was completely overwhelming to me.  So much so that it has taken me month to gather my thoughts enough to even begin to write about the event.  I know that I’m not alone in this, as there are other publications and writers that have stalled this long as well.

There were a lot of “cool” things to see, even for an independent digital editor and filmmaker like myself.  I spent a lot of time watching demonstrations at the FCPUG (Final Cut Pro Users Groups) “Superbooth” as well as at some other locations.

I attended some classes and seminars and other external events.  More on these later.

Before I went, I heard one of the executives of NAB talk about why going to NAB was important.  He echoed why the LAFCPUG leader says people should attend events, to get in touch with people and meet them face to face.  I have to thoroughly agree with them.  The most valuable experience for me was meeting and talking to so many people, especially the people that I have meet on line and even done business with bt had never, until NAB, met face to face.

Being active in attending events, especially in the post production arena, I have met some great people and it is always so cool to run into familiar faces.  The more I am active in meeting people, the  more opportunities open up for me.  In fact, it is because I attended NAB this year, that I had a common point to share with an interviewer and got an upcoming assistant editing job.

My original purpose for going to Las Vegas that week was to attend one external event, the FCPUG SuperMeet.  This is an annual event where Final Cut Pro user groups from around the country get together and it’s a fantastic event.  With all of my new social networking ties, through Twitter, etc.  I learned of a few other external events that I attended as well.  Then NAB gave out free exhibit passes, so I, of course wanted to “check it out”.

I learned so much and made so many great contacts at NAB this year, that I have decided already to set aside a whole week for next year’s event!

Stay tuned for more reviews on other industry events and I’m sure, more from NAB.

I Like Free (and Almost Free) Stuff

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

Okay, okay.  I know I promised you a Norm Hollyn bit on this next blog, but I just wanted to slip another entry in here before that one.  So stay tuned.  How’s that for a “lean forward moment”?

Being active in whatever field you’re interested in will more than likely garner your own fair share of free stuff.  But if you seem lacking in accouterments, read on.

Free movie screenings for writers

Some years ago, I joined the mailing list for Creative Screenwriter magazine.  With this email list, you get invites to many film screenings throughout the year, usually on Tuesday nights.  These are very special screenings because they have a Q & A afterwards, usually featuring the screenwriter(s) of the film.

I’ve been at screenings featuring Rob Zombie, Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Seth Rogan Evan Goldberg, Michael Davis, Zach Helm, Nancy Oliver, Gustin Nash, Garth Jennings, Nick, Goldsmith, Jason Reitman, Guillermo Arriaga, Scott Frank, Zoe Heller, Patrick Marbel, Phillip Glass, Chris Rock, Louis C.K., Ted Elliot, Terry Rossio, Fredi M. Murer, Don Payne, Drew Goddard, Ari Sandel, Peter Billingsly, John Fusco and Collin Chou.  These have been very entertaining and free!

So if you are interested in the craft of screenwriting, I think you’ll like these too.  But seriously, if you aren’t going to stay for the Q&A, don’t sign up to go.

Conferences Seminars and Expos

Conferences, seminars and expos are great places to learn more about your desired profession and to learn the upcoming changes that could affect the future of what you’re into.  Not only that but also they are great places to network and meet new people.  I make it a point to meet at least one new person besides the booth personnel or company reps whenever I attend a conference or expo.  And what else is important here?  Free stuff!


The following film making events were all free via sign up on the web.  Usually you have to register by a certain date to get free admission.

Apple Final Cut Server World Tour 2008 – I attended this event in Los Angeles May 13, 2008.  This was a great event that covered the new Apple product Final Cut Server.  They also went into some great detail on using Motion and Soundtrack Pro too.  At the event they had product booths from about ten vendors.  So mainly they just had fliers and brochures to hand out, but there was free sodas and coffee.

And then the raffle…  my wife wins the iPod nano!

DV Expo – Nov 5th, I went to the DV Expo.  It wasn’t as good as the HD Expo I attended earlier and will talk about later but there were a couple of good seminars and cool stuff to look at/drool over.  There was also some free magazines to pick up.  No free refreshments here though.

At one of the seminars, I won a $210 Viper book.  I have no use for a $210 Viper book so anyone that does, let me know.

HD Expo - Oct 29th, I went to the HD Expo in Burbank.  (This year it’s at the Universal Hilton, March 5th!)  I attended a RED presentation (will again this year too) where we got a great preview of what’s going on at RED as well as a very cool preview of Che, the Steven Soderbergh flick.  Their were TONS of free magazines and a really cool exhibit area.  Parking was validated.

Post Production:

FCPUG SuperMeet – (10.99 and a drive to SF) — This San Francisco version on Jan 7, 2009, was really a lot of fun and covered in an earlier post, so read that one.

LAFCPUG – ($5 suggested donation) — I have attended all of these meetings since March 2008, but was very late to one because I was at another seminar on lighting given by Birns & Sawyer (where they had free beer and snacks!)  They have a great raffle there and if you don’t win, you can most likely get an Automatic Duck keychain!

LAPPG – (Free) — I have recently found the Los Angeles Post Production Group.  Last month I attended their meeting and it was very cool.  It’s a small group only and you have to RSVP right away or else you won’t get in, as I found out the first time I tried to attend.  But last month’s meeting was a presentation by Jay Miracle, award-winning editor, producer and director.  Jay worked as editor on the Emmy-award winning documentary Hearts of Darkeness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse, chronicling Francis Ford Coppola making Apocalypse Now.  Very insiteful and full of dirt and secret stories… ooo cool…. and hey, I won a Moviola T-shirt!

DMA/LA – (Free) — Also at the Barnsdale Art Park Gallery Theatre (where the LAFCPUG meets), Ko Maruyama heads up this great meeting of Digital Media Artists.  They have a raffle too.

Pizza & Post – (Free) — As the name implies, there’s free pizza and a talk on post.  This is a new find of mine too and is put on by the Video Symphony TV & Film School in Burbank.  This month’s talk was by Philip Hodgetts of Intellegent Assistant.  There’s some free mags there too.  RSVP is needed for this event.

Miscellanous Stuff

Movie Night w/Mostly Lisa – ( Won two free iPhone apps while watching Lisa Bettany get drunk watching the Oscars.  (And I don’t even have an iPhone!)

Digital Production Buzz – ( Every Thursday 6pm – 7pm, Pacific Time.  Fantastic Digital Video Production, Post and Distribution online radio podcast.

Leo Laporte –, live and recorded video broadcasts for tech stuff.  The ultimate geek-out.

The more I look into events, the more I find and I would swear that if I were jobless, I could survive on the freebies of events such as the above.  This combined with the plethera of eseminars/webinars has given me a wealth of knowledge in the digital film making arena and I look forward to more this year.  I’ll let you know what I find.


LAFCPUG, a Year of FCP and Confessions of a Seminar Junkie

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

Well, it’s almost been a whole year since I started this whole FCP and video editing journey.

I started my first FCP class Feb 18, 2008.  And started Final Cut Pro (the software program) for the first time on March 10th.

It was at that class that I learned about the Los Angeles Final Cut Pro Users Group and I attended my first meeting March 26th.  I’ve gone to every one since and because I love seminars and presentations and lectures, I’ve added many other events to my itinerary over the past year as well.

I’ve long been a fan of seminar-style learning, heck isn’t that what it was like in Kindergarten?  Someone who knows something much better than I, up there telling me how it all works.  Raise your hand, ask a question and get an answer or better yet, raise your hand, give an answer and feel all warm because you’re being praised for such a good job of understanding!

I’ve always been kind of a “brain” and “teacher’s pet” in the eyes of my schoolmates.  But one thing I was bad at was homework.  I procrastinated like nobody’s business!  Report due next month?  Why I’d wait until the morning of and copy stuff out of the encyclopedia, being very careful to “use my own words” for fear of being charged with plagiarism!  Despite all of that I made it through school fairly well and only partied my GPA down to a B+ my senior year of high school, when I figured I was just going to have fun.

I’ve given up partying and have improved my study ability in the years hence.  And now at an advanced age of forty-one, am filed with purpose and drive.

The motif of people who do well at what they do seems to be, “I’ve always wanted to do _____!  Ever since I was a wee lad/lass, I’ve been doing this in one form or another!”  I’ve done lots of things from childhood and I have to admit those things I’m pretty damn good at.  But there’s another type that I hope I am.  One that has always wanted to do something and then when he is finally able to put all of his resources together, he goes and does it and he excels a it.

Well, that’s my plan for editing and maybe a bit of film making.  I fully intend to win an Oscar for editing, even if it takes me to eighty years old.  Hopefully not that long but I’ll keep doing it until I do and beyond, (Insert your favorite deity or force here) willing.  I haven’t always done editing nor film making but I’ve always had a desire. (I even took a year off of high school to try to pursue cinematography.  Long story and I didn’t even get close to doing it but the desire has been there for a long time.)

Now, my love for seminars even transcends to tape and CD lectures.  I buy business related “infomercial” products too.  One of the best I ever bought was a business and marketing kit by E. Joseph Cossman.  Just amazing stuff.  When I go to lectures, I try to record, either by video or audio the event too.  Usually via a pocket recorder, these days it’s been with my Palm TREO 700p.  It can record video for hours.  What a great feature.  Heck, I have all my FCP classes and all of my LAFCPUG meetings on video.

I guess I would lump conferences and conventions in to my “lectureous” desires too.  I especially love to get swag at conventions.  I’ve been to three eBay Lives!  You don’t want to see my embarrassing collection of eBay trading cards!  The funny thing is that the free swag at the events always ended up paying for the trip to the conventions with more left over!

In addition to the LAFCPUG meetings this last year, I have attended the Apple Final Cut Server World Tour in L.A., where my wife won an 8G iPod nano; DV Expo; FCPUG Supermeet; Birns & Sawyer lighting seminar; Digital Cinema Society green/blue screen event and the HD Expo.

In addition to my FCP Editing class, I took Intro to Pro HD with Discovery and History Channel Producer/Director Jim Lindsay.  An amazing life experience where I learned a lot not only about shooting professional HD but also a lot about the business as a whole.  In this class, Shane Ross taught a couple days, we went to EFILM and to Plaster City Post.

This year, I also was able to be on set for Prison Break and meet with the director, DP, editors and an assistant editor of the show.

Truly, LAFCPUG has been “bery bery” good to me!  Not only do they have great presentations and great people to meet but also they have a raffle that, if you actually go ahead and buy some extra tickets for you will very likely win something.  Like I said, I have attended the last ten LAFCPUG meetings (they didn’t have a December meeting).  And I have won something from the raffle eight times and of the two times I didn’t, once was because I got there late and couldn’t get any tickets but even then I got some free pass to an expo!

This new year, I have been doing a lot of webinars and eseminars and podcast watching/listening and streaming video watching.  There is unlimited data in this vein.  And I plan on going to a lot of events.  I have to take a four month hiatus from LAFCPUG because of a class commitment, but it’s killing me….  I guess I’ll have to order those meetings off of iTunes!

If you are into FCP and are in the L.A. area, definitely check out the LAFCPUG meetings.  Here’s a link for more info:

Next Blog: Norman Hollyn and why you need to buy and READ his book, The Lean Forward Moment.  BTW, he’s going to be presenting at LAFCPUG in Feb, so go see that for sure!!!!

The 8th Annual Macworld FCPUG SuperMeet

Friday, January 9th, 2009

Arrived VERY early to the 8th Annual Macworld FCPUG SuperMeet.  They didn’t stop you from hanging out inside the building, so I went in and hung out and watched the vendors setting up their tables and finished my Vente Soy Vanilla Creme/Steamer.

At first, I had some internet access, so I did some emailing, twittering, etc.  Later it no longer worked and I had forgotten to charge my Treo, so twittering was minimal during the show.

I sat in the lounge area and rested.  Little did I know, but there was a super star presenter hanging in the same area.  An unassuming character but later I would find out, quite a dynamic presenter and AWESOME animator.  The fantastic M Dot Strange.

On the way in, I met Dan Berube of the Boston Final Cut Pro Users Group.

Waiting around, I saw Norman Hollyn (buy this book) and he and I chatted a bit beforehand.  I also ran into “thedrige” from twitter, who said he’d be there too.

Also got to talking with a Santa Cruz pod-caster from Futuremedia who did Obama rally podcasts. Funny guy.

Then we had to line up for our goodie bags and I swear I saw Iris B. there.

During the show, I was lucky enough to sit next to Norm and we both twittered updates of the show but he kicked my butt because he 1) had an iPhone and 2) didn’t have a low battery. In fact, check his twitters out by doing a Twitter Search on #FCPUG, he’s “schnittman”.

The first presenter was Blackmagicdesign who previewed their new DeckLink Studio and DeckLink SDI card for the Mac Pro. That DeckLink Studio is a pretty neat and at $695, quite a steal!

Next up was Christine Steele, who is a kick-ass editor and she gave good tips and tricks for editing in Final Cut Pro.

Bruce Nazarian talks about burning Blu-ray on the DVD using Toast 9 or 10.

Then Craig Yanagi of JVC announces their secret acquisition product: GY-HM100 a very light-weight (3 pounds) camera that shoots onto SDHC cards in native QT files. Craig was quite excited about his announcement. He should be as he was presenting for the President of JVC who was in the audience as well. But the crowd, especially me, seemed mostly unimpressed but sure wanted to know the price point on this little baby. Answer, under $4,000. It’s like a mini HVX200 that you don’t have to log and transfer footage on. The format is actually xdcam-ex. wrapped with QT.

And I’m thinking, “Who cares about ingesting or not? WE are EDITORS, we get paid to do that and you are presenting to editors.” (well more like a bunch of indie filmmakers really). I still would have to buy a card reader! While JVC worked closely with Apple on this, I feel it was 1) unveiled to the wrong audience (although it was nice to be the first), 2) too little, too late and 3) not making me want my Scarlet any less.

Then Apple gets up and and demos how fast it is to edit and then right on to how cool RED is! Ouch! “Thanks Apple!” “No problem JVC! Now get out of the way!” Yikes!

Then the break. And I’m thinking, “Cool! Now the raffle” But wait! There’s part two and THEN the raffle.

Part II

Eric Escobar: “Plug-Ins Won’t Save You”. Great presentation on planning out your characters and shots and the “Looks” involved. Check his blog here: or his website:

Yun Suh: Clips from the documentary film “City of Borders”. Very good thoughts on the editing and film making process.

Then, oh hey! it’s that guy in the lounge, he must have a show and tell to give and he came all early and nervous and stuff….

Boom-bastic! Here’s M Dot Strange!!! Funny guy! 3d is cool, z-space is totally cool. “Boning models” and the whole thing! Then he shows us some of his projects! Fuck (<- I throw that expletive in because it's not m dot strange with out one!) yeah! Hella cool! The old guys sitting behind me are holding their ears and saying, "I hope this isn't representative of the future generation". Sorry old man, it is!

Check his wrex at YouTube.

And now the raffle!

Holy shiza there was a lot of stuff. I didn’t get any but I did get my eco-friendly bag and an Aperture2 book. And an Automatic Duck key chain! (That’s a joke for all the LAFCPUG peeps but it’s true!)

My SuperBag Swag (all bags varied):
8-1/2″ x 11″ Apple training notepad
BBC Motion Gallery sticky note notepad
Artbeats Resource Disc
Larry Jordan & Associates “Almost 30 pf Larry’s Favorite Final Cut Pro Keyboard Shortcuts” mouse pad
ZIO PRO Presents Final Cut Pro 6 DVD (90 minutes, 11 Lessons)
Apple Pro Training Series Aperture 2 book
Apple pen
Larry Jordan & Associates pen 25% off card Free HD clip coupon
CSB School of Broadcasting 20% discount card on training
The Foundry 20% discount on Keylight or Furnace plug-ins 25% off on footage
Weynand Training International discount on Apple Pro Training Series Final Cut Pro 6 book for $35.75
and additional discounts on training and tutoring
Focus enhancements 5% off at
Peachpit 35% off of two new New Riders books, Edit Well and The Lean Forward Moment (44.95-35%=29.22)
20% Apple Training discount
an Automatic Duck Keychain/bottle opener.

Swag at tables:
Adobe cell phone sock
GenArts lazer pen