I'm sitting in the Vegas airport waiting for my flight back to Springfield and pondering everything I've seen at NAB this past week. Here are my brief thoughts – some may get expanded entries later.
Technologies for Worship Conference – This conference was one of the main reasons I went to NAB this year. I've never been to an official church media event and I wanted to see if we were doing things similarly to other churches. Short answer is that Schweitzer's media is good, but is grossly underutilized (something that's been on my mind a lot before this event). The best part of this event was the hands-on sessions.
Final Cut Studio 2 – WOW! Multiformat timeline rocks, surround sound in Soundtrack looks great. This is going to be a must-have upgrade.
Adobe Media Player – I'm excited to see a desktop FLV player. This app is also an Apollo application which speaks well for that platform.
Red One – Red is going to fundamentally change the digital cinema industry. The short they were showing in the booth (shot by Peter Jackson and the WingNut team) was phenomenal. The quality of imagry from a "print" of Red footage is easily as good as film. The RedDrive/RedCode integration with Final Cut Pro is also sweet. It allows editing of raw 4k footage on the timeline. If you're wondering what that means SD video is 720 pixels wide, full HD is 1920 pixels wide, 2k is 2048 pixels wide and 4k is 4096 pixels wide. 4k footage is roughly what's used as a digital intermediate after laser scanning film. Being able to shoot and natively edit in FCP is killer – shoot, plug in the Red drive via firewire, and import to the timeline, then edit. The best part though is that this camera fully equiped is less than $40,000. Comperable cameras cost hundreds of thousands of dollars more.
Walter Murch – Wednesday night I went to an event that featured a keynote by Walter Murch, a legendary film editor (Apocalypse Now, GodFather Part III, The English Patient, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Cold Mountain, Ghost). He walked us through his philosophy as an editor through the scope of his most recent project, Francis Coppola's latest film Youth Without Youth. This was a very insightful presentation. It's going to prompt me to make some shifts in the way we handle some of our video editing workflow at the church.
Final Thoughts – This was a great event. Lots of gear to review, met some very interesting people, and got a great perspective on the state of video gear for the coming year. I've been feeling a pull to produce a short again (I worked on two in college). I'm not sure how it will work in the scope of all other areas, but I think I'm going to start writing a short to shoot later this year.