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Reflections on NAB 2010 – The Small

Following up on some reflections from NAB 2010 (yesterday we looked at some of The Big announcements from the big companies), today I’ve listed some of the little guys in their little booths that you find in and around the show floor. These booths are often nothing more than a table with a laptop, a bit of signage and one guy (or gal) demoing the product. The creators are always eager to show what they have been working on as I think they know they often go unnoticed with the big Microsoft, Autodesk and AJA booths looming near. It’s often though that these small vendors win awards for their NAB offerings as they are often the most interesting stuff. Here’s a few of The Small vendors that I caught up with (mostly, again, in the post-production space). Keep an eye on their websites as that’s where you’ll often find the announcements of new products or shipping dates as they often can’t afford advertising across print or the web. The Small Some of the best and most interesting stuff is always found at the booths (or shared booths) of the little guys. One tool I didn’t think a lot about until after the show is Shot Logger Pro. This Final Cut Pro companion logs footage on a shoot and while that’s not new these guys had hacked a Nintendo Wii remote to use as the start/stop trigger for a shot. In a world where iPhone and iPad seem to be the things people are most adapting to production I can see where the tactile response of the Wii trigger might be a better choice. Hang it off your belt on a shoot and you can grab the trigger without looking or thinking and not have to go through the slide to unlock steps an iPhone often require. It’ll be interesting to see how the Wii remotes play into the product once it ships. Speaking of FCP companions, there’s get for FCP. This is media indexing software that phonetically indexes your media and allows you to search for any word, phrase, or refined phrases and gives immediate and direct access to that search. Send the results to FCP and you get master clips with markers in your FCP bin. Documentary and talking head editors will rejoice at the thought of this in their workflow. Expect Get for $499 per language when it ships in July. We’ve often talked of using the iPad as some type of color grading control surface (in lieu of a proper hardware surface that is) andAct Focused showed just such an implementation. While it appears their first support will be for Cineform’s First Light expect them to support many other color correction applications. While it remains to be seen if something like this can rival a hardware control surface (doubtful) you can bet it’s going to be better than a mouse. FreshDV has an interview with the Act Focused guys. If you work with CMOS-acquired images like the Canon DSLRs and have seen the rolling shutter skew that can accompany them, and you don’t have $500 to spend on the Foundry’s tool, the Core Melt’s Lock and Load X will soon add rolling shutter reduction to its bag of tricks. I think this is something FCP / Canon users should really take note of not because it will be a great addition to the Lock and Load X tool but because it will be a FREE update to Lock and Load X. That’s a big enough feature that Core Melt could probably charge for the update or charge for it as a separate addition so it’s great to see this as a free update. Expect it in about a month. Singular Software announced DualEyes, a standalone application to sync dual system audio to your cameras. Unlike PluarlEyes, DualEyes will be able to work with many NLEs since it’s not a plug-in. It’s not yet shipping so keep you eyes on the Singular Software site for updates. As for Singular’s flag-ship production PluralEyes, it’s now supported in Premiere Pro CS5. The next beta of Plural Eyes is going to also attempt to correct for sync drift (among other new features) by slightly adjusting audio speed. This is a very interesting new feature that I’ll be keeping a close eye on. The Movie★Slate iPhone app guys were at the FCP User Group SuperMeet on Tuesday evening showing up updated version of Movie★Slate for the iPad. The iPad is certainly more viewing friendly that the small screen iPhone for slating purposes so it could become a valuable production tool. Movie★Slate can work with a song from your iTunes library for a pseudo timecode music video slate but for the most accuracy making your own timecode slate would be my preference. What they were showing at SuperMeet was a hardware connection for the upcoming iPad version that could accept timecode reference in. That was cool and could easily replace a smart slate for many of productions. Speaking of iPhone related things, VeriCorder was showing their 1st Video video editing app for the iPhone. It has a somewhat real looking editing interface with a small timeline, audio waveforms, the ability to set IN and OUTs as well as audio fades in a timeline. Hand Held Hollywood has a video demo from the NAB floor that shows it in action. These were some of the products that caught my eye from some of the smaller exhibitors on the show floor. Any of your favorites worth mentioning? Up tomorrow – The Medium.

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