The Calgary FCPUG is a support network for editors using Apple Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere, AVID Media composer and Autodesk Smoke for Mac. Members work in every medium from SD, to HD, 4K and film. All editors are welcome! Be an active part of the community and register by entering your name and e-mail address to the left.

It was ten years ago that the Calgary FCPUG (then Final Cut Pro Users Group) first started meeting and it has been going strong ever since. Of course, there have been changes over the years, most significantly two years ago with the introduction of Final Cut Pro X and the demand from the community that the group discuss editing options beyond FCP. We now discuss not only Final Cut Pro, Final Cut Pro X but also Avid Media Composer, Adobe Premiere and Autodesk Smoke, plus a myriad of other software options required to complete our work now.

The Calgary FCPUG (now Fabulously Creative Pro User Group to encompass the other platforms) now receives both financial support and significant door prizes from a number of sponsors. Our Platinum Sponsor, AJA Video Systems, along with sponsors Blackmagic Design and Artbeats have not only offered our members thousands of dollars of great door prizes over the last couple years, they have allowed us to procure a great projector screen, sound system and screen for our meetings. We have access to an IOXT for presentations plus numerous other tools. Members benefit from access to our sponsors, local resellers, and the collective knowledge of the membership. On occasion, there is free food and drinks as well. Our newest sponsor, Annex Pro, is a Vancouver, BC-based value-added reseller for software, hardware and IT infrastructure to the Media & Entertainment Industry. Annex Pro will be providing some great door prizes and also support for group members with their infrastructure and workflows.

When this group started 10 years ago Final Cut Pro 3 was the current version; Final Cut Pro 4 had just been introduced at NAB; we were editing on PowerMac G4s towers, possibly on a new 17" Powerbook G4; we were editing DV, analog, film, and HD; and the future was looking very bright for Apple's editing app, though the future was far from certain. A lot has changed, though in many ways many things are still the same; the future for editng on the Mac is both bright, and uncertain. The group continues to fulfill its function of helping our members navigate this world by bringing together a wide diversity of people working to make great video.

Here is the announcement from the first Calgary FCPUG meeting held at Emmedia on May 29, 2003:

 

Earth to Sky Pictures will present a screening of their award-winning motivational series PUSHING THE LIMIT: Passion, Team, Innovation. This series, commissioned by SHELL International and the Canadian Sport Centre, Calgary, talks to Olympic athletes, coaches, trainers and sport scientist about what it is that drives them to win. Recipient of the Best in Class: Best Motivational Rosie award at the 29th annual AMPIA awards, this series uses a unique presentation style to bring all of the emotion and passion of these people to the screen.

At the screening are expected many of the creators of the series, including; the Producer/Writer, Christina Willings; the Producer/Editor, Duane Martin; the Director, Christopher Markowsky, who also received a nomination for his work on this project in the hotly contested Best Director, Non Dramatic, Under 30 minutes category; and Jason Lewis, the Director of Photography.

After the screening, an open discussion will be held on how the series was created, from concept, to shooting, to editing, to finish. Of particular note will be a discussion concerning how the look of the series was achieved using Final Cut Pro.

Duane Martin is an Apple Certified Trainer for Final Cut Pro. He has recently returned from NAB 2003, the internationally renowned new technology show for broadcast. Here he had the opportunity to train on Apple's upcoming Final Cut Pro 4. A presentation and discussion (though, unfortunately not a demonstration) of some of the new features of this groundbreaking editing application will ensue. Lively discussion all round of the features such as: RT Extreme; Live Type; Sound Track; bundled Cinema Tools; new media management functions; AVID style editing features; 32 bit rendering; oh boy, with more than 300 new features, there will be lots to talk about. Of course, this discussion will provide the chance to "stump-the-trainer" without taking a course. This evening will provide an opportunity for members of the production community, particularly those interested in editing capabilities of Final Cut Pro, to gather and meet one another, discuss what they do, and maybe even learn some new tricks.

This is a free event, donations will not be sought, but then again, the food and drink will be meager. It is really just about the gathering.


 

Once again I am making my plans to attend the NAB Show 2013. This will be my 11th year in a row for attending NAB so I wanted to share some tips for those going, or thinking of going.

First off, it's not too late to register to attend the NAB Show and the Calgary FCPUG, in co-operation with the NAB Show can help. However, the deadline for these deals is coming to an end soon. You have until March 22nd to take advantage of these deals.

Code for $100 off Conference Registration: PR28 (link with code prepopulated): http://registration3.experientevent.com/showNAB131/Default.aspx?App=EO&Passcode=PR28

Code for free Exhibits-only Registration: PR13 (link with code prepopulated): http://registration3.experientevent.com/showNAB131/Default.aspx?App=EO&Passcode=PR13

Once you are registered for NAB you need to get a hotel. One option is to use the NAB Show hotel reservation site. Of course, there is also sites like Expedia, Hotels.com, etc. You will also need to book a flight. As one of the biggest trade shows of the year you do not want to hesitate too long to book your flight and accommodation.

If your chosen hotel is along The Strip consider taking the Las Vegas Monorail to and from the convention centre each day. Though buses run from most hotels to the conventions centre the Monorail can be faster and more convenient depending which hotel you are staying at. Get a special rate on Monorail passes by clicking here.

Why do you want to attend NAB? Check out this great article by Earle Nichol at Matrix Video Communications here in Calgary. It is a great opportunity to meet other people from all around the world who are doing what you do, or doing what you would like to be doing, or even doing things completely outside of what you are doing from which you can learn a surprising amount. Curiously, it is also a great opportunity to meet people from your own community who you might not normally have access to; a better networking opportunity is pretty hard to find.

Speaking of networking, why not attend the biggest editors' network event on the planet, the 12th annual Las Vegas Supermeet which will be held again this year at the Rio Hotel in the Amazon Ballroom, which after the technical problems of last year is a welcome return. You can still pick up early bird tickets for the event until March 12th. Best of all, you could win one of the dozens of door prizes given away every year. Last year Calgary members did very well; don't let the fact I have never won a door prize discourage you in any way.

Of course, there are a number of other opportunities for networking. I always try to get to the Canadian Hospitality Suite, which is traditionally held in one of the ballrooms of the Flamingo Hotel. Often the manufacturers of various hardware and software also have events at NAB. Oh, and there is the show floor. Take the chance to meet the people who make the products you use. You will see companies like Avid, Adobe, and Autodesk providing demonstrations and teaching lessons. As well, take the time to drop by our Sponsor, Blackmagic Design and our Platinum Sponsor, AJA Video Systems, and say thanks for their support.  Take a break and take a seat for even more learning at the Post Pit in the Lower South Hall. Even take the time to learn about things outside your particular field. You might be surprised what you can learn stepping outside your area of expertise.

Last of all, the Calgary FCPUG traditionally has a meet-up on the opening morning of the exhibit floor (this year Monday April 8th). We meet up at the front entrance of the Lower South Hall by the Starbucks. I hope to meet as many members there as possible. Enjoy NAB!

Member Colin Marth has submitted an article about the current state of FCP X which I have posted below. Visit Colin's Blog to read more of his thoughts, hints and tips. Since the article was written Apple has posted an article about Electric Entertainment using FCP X to edit Season 5 of the TNT series Leverage. Okay, on with Colin's thoughts:

It’s time we dealt with details. How can FCP X be used in a T.V. or Film House Production workflow? Let’s discuss, in short, what FCP X can do, what it cannot, and what is yet to be added, that will support professional workflows.

THE QUICK ANSWERS:

FCP 7 Projects to FCP X and FCP X to 7: Yes

Tape import and export: Yes

Shared Network support: Yes (Apple XSAN Only)

XML Import and Export: Yes (FCP XML Language files only)

OMF. AAF files export: Yes (For AAF files, specifically for Avid Pro Tools 7)

ALE files: YES (With a third party workaround and FCP 7)

Color Bars and Tone for Broadcast: NO

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Recently the Boston FCPUGs and the FCPUG Network changed the name of their organizations to better reflect the open nature of their support groups to Creative Pro User Group (CPUG), a relatively simple change to the acronym of FCPUG but a significant shift from the Final Cut Pro focus that these groups were originally based on. Though I do not have any personal knowledge of why these groups choose to change their names (and focus) at this time it seems fair to surmise that with the introduction of Final Cut Pro X, discontinuation of Final Cut Pro 7 and Final Cut Server, and the subsequent shift of professional editors to finding other, more "future-proof" solutions, they saw the writing on the wall and choose a more inclusive name. These groups are not just about Final Cut Pro, and with both AVID and Adobe being major sponsors, it was time to more fairly reflect the nature of the groups. What does that mean to the Calgary FCPUG?

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Welcome to 2012, a New Year, and a great new year for the Calgary FCPUG and its members! This year the Calgary FCPUG welcomes a Platinum Sponsor, AJA Video Systems (click their banner above) who are providing hardware to test, funds for even more hardware, and some great door prizes. Additional sponsorship from Blackmagic Design (see their banner in the sidebar) includes even more door prizes and Artbeats continues their support for our group.

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