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Apple Wields Its Hammer, Smashes SuperMeet

If news broke that Apple was finally going to attend the annual Final Cut Pro User Group SuperMeet to announce a brand new version of Final Cut Pro, you might think it would be cause for celebration. Apple has periodically attended past SuperMeets, held for the last ten years during NAB. But except for an appearance last year, the company hasn’t had much of a presence or sponsorship for some time. As a result, you might assume every SuperMeet attendee would welcome the news that the very secretive Apple, which rarely shows previews or announces products before they ship, will show up. Well, you’d be wrong. For weeks now the official SuperMeet website has been headlined by logos from companies like Avid and AJA, some of its main sponsors. Those logos have now mysteriously disappeared. For weeks on the site the presentation lineup listed people like Philip Bloom doing his Canon DSLR thing, Alexis Van Hurkman talking color grading, Autodesk talking Smoke for Mac and Avid bringing Kevin Smith to the stage. Those have been replaced by, and I quote, a “surprise sneak peek at something very special.” For weeks there had been no second half of the agenda listed, only that an announcement would be coming soon. The ball dropped on Tuesday when a rumor began going around that Apple had demanded organizers of the SuperMeet turn the event over to them. While we don’t know for sure, I think it’s safe to say Apple wants to use the SuperMeet to announce/demo/pimp the new Final Cut Pro that was shown to a small handful of folks in late February. That in itself should be fantastic news to all FCP 7 users suffering under the weight of the now outdated software. It seemed ideal that Apple might take the entire second half of the SuperMeet show, leaving the planned program in place. But the latest rumor, encouraged by the disappearing logos, is that Apple has done something decidedly less cool by kicking all the other presenters—presenters who have planned, promoted and spent money on this event—off the stage entirely to take the spotlight for themselves. I want to call this what it is: a really jerk move by a company that thinks they can do as they please, to whomever they please, because of who they are. If Apple is confident in the awesome, jaw-dropping, stunning product it has produced then it should want to present during the second half of the show and let the new product stand on its own against the competition. The Apple fan-boys out there will say that Apple was right to do this as it’s a Final Cut Pro user group after all. But truth be told, Apple hasn’t really supported these events in quite some time while companies like Avid, Adobe, AJA, Autodesk and others that don’t even begin with an A have. These companies recognized that it’s not necessarily about the singular tool anymore but how their products can integrate into a bigger post-production community. It’s these non-Apple A and B and C companies that have kept SuperMeet alive and thriving year after year. Without these sponsors over the years donating time, money and especially prizes for the “world famous raffle” there would be no SuperMeet. Unless there’s some hidden underwriting we don’t know about, it’s fair to say that it is really every company and person other than Apple who has made recent SuperMeets possible. The fact that the SuperMeets moved away from being Final Cut Pro-specific has benefited the post community as a whole. There are a lot of tools and challenges out there that Final Cut Studio just can’t handle as well. We can all read Internet reviews and watch YouTube video demos until we’re blue in the face but seeing professionals demo a lot of these non-Apple tools up on the SuperMeet stage has always been a nice outside-the-Apple-bubble perspective on filmmaking and post production. While these presentations are usually always sales pitches of some kind they at least often featured real users using the tools. We don’t know what Apple has in store but if it’s anything more than a 90-minute, carefully planned reality distortion field, I’ll be amazed. This decision to cancel many of these already announced presenters and sponsors must have put SuperMeet organizers in an impossible position. They are now damned if they do, damned if they don’t—damned by the FCP fanboys if they turned Apple down due to the last-minute nature of their request but now damned by the rest of us who think they should have stood up to Apple and stuck to the commitments (and possibly contracts) they previously made. Ultimately, Apple shows a total lack of respect for the Final Cut Pro user group as a whole to put it in this position. The user group is made up of tireless people who have dedicated years of their lives to making the SuperMeet a reality. It’s sad to see them cave to the big 800-pound gorilla in the room. There are still a lot of folks out there who believe Apple can do no wrong, be it product, policy or action. To them, this move might not make a bit of difference.  We’ll have to wait until next Tuesday night to see why the folks at Apple, when they finally show Final Cut Pro X, didn’t want to follow anyone else . But I’m already sorry we’ll all miss Avid’s previously scheduled presentation featuring filmmaker Kevin Smith. He would have been the most successful filmmaker (that I’m aware of) to ever present at the SuperMeet. Plus, he happens to be a very entertaining speaker. Avid still has Smith scheduled at its NAB booth during the week but the SuperMeet would have put him in front of a big, targeted audience truly interested in his filmmaking process. Avid’s now thinking of giving him a stage elsewhere. You can follow that and even share your voice on Avid’s Give Kevin Smith a Stage at NAB blog post. My only hope is that Avid doesn’t counter program an event against SuperMeet; attendance would be way too low. Most have already purchased SuperMeet tickets and many others want to win the DaVinci Resolve panel up for raffle. While we love Kevin Smith, he doesn’t help us earn a living the way FCP does. So as the rumors fly, we can only guess what will actually happen Tuesday night. Will Apple re-invite a lot of the same presenters to talk about how they can integrate their tools with FCP X? Will the company issue an apology to those who have been screwed over? Maybe Apple will make it all better, as some smart person suggested on Twitter, by giving a free copy of FCP X to every SuperMeet attendee in the audience, Oprah-style.

70 Comments

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  • Steve Speed

    Why are you blaming Apple for Smashing up the Supermeet? The Supermeet organisers could simply have told Apple where to get off especially given Apple’s lack of attendance/support over recent times. The simple fact is Apple announcing a new Final Cut Studio is _the_ biggest news at NAB2011 for many people especially those attending the Supermeet.

    This story can easily be spun another way, Apple gave the Supermeet of a world exclusive but with strings. The Supermeet would’ve been crazy to refuse. Can you imagine watching a hokey filmmaker and Mr DSLR Bloom only to find out the Supermeet passed up on a world exclusive?

    I’m amazed how many people are now finding love for Kevin Smith, remind me when he last made a watchable film? Bloom on DSLRs, do me a favour? Hardly something to get upset about missing and definitely filler for want of something better. Poor Avid and Autodesk having to make other arrangements… So what.

    So the Supermeet attendees have got a massive world exclusive and you are bleating. Get over yourself and stop referring to people who use FCP, who have standardised on FCP and who’ve not given up on a new FCP being released and look forward to it as Fan-boys. It does you no credit at all and is childish.

    I’m sure you would have spent no time in releasing another negative blog post if Apple hadn’t demoed anything thing this NAB. It seems to be a running thread through your posts even reviews of competing products.

    I wonder if you are still hurting at not being invited to the Cupertino sneak peak? This blog post seems utterly churlish.

    • http://www.scottsimmons.tv Scott Simmons

      Steve, I think fanboys aren’t ones who have standardized on FCP but rather those who wear blinders and believe it is the end all / be all of post-production. You have to admit there are a lot of those out there, not because FCP is the best thing ever but because it comes from Apple. There has been a lot of FCP negativity lately since the app is old and in need of an update. It’s GREAT we’re going to get this preview and the exclusivity offered to the SuperMeet organizers is a god-send to them I’m sure. But even you have to admit that doing this one week before is tough on everyone but Apple. As I said, they should have slotted into the second half of the show and let the product stand on its own two-feet. Then everyone would have been happy!

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  • http://www.alphadogs.tv Terence Curren

    <>

    Unless they are afraid of comparisons being made to missing features in the new iFCP. :-0

  • http://www.jayfriesen.com Jay Friesen

    I’m inclined to agree with you Scott on about everything. Mostly that it’s an incredibly dick move by a large company. To me, it shows a lack of respect to everyone involved.

    I’ve never attended a supermeet and while the idea of a Resolve panel raffle is highly attractive, who says BMD didn’t pull their raffles when everyone got cut? I would if I were them.

    Anyway, I’ve never been an Apple fanboy and certainly never will be. Even if they did hand out free copies, they’re buying their “fans.” And that’s just as dick as laying down the hammer.

  • David S

    The fall-out will be next year. Especially if Apple can’t present a jaw-dropper of a presentation and product. As next year rolls around, how many of the Autodesks & Avids will even consider sponsoring? I don’t know, but I’d bet that any sponsor will look hard at return-on-investment for this event next year. Time will tell.

  • http://winstonhearn.com Winston

    Based on Apple Keynotes in the past few years (you know, since the last version of Final Cut was announced) I don’t think it’ll be a problem at all for Apple to fill up the entire Supermeet.

    Now they like to announce the product, walk you through a list of the top new features, then do a bunch of hands on demos. And if they are smart, they’ve enlisted some plugin makers to write plugins that will take advantage of the (hopefully) re-written cocoa-based 64bit program, so of course they are going to want those plugin makers to show off their plugins.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if we still see something from AJA presented, just not in the original “we’re a sponsor” type way. There are guaranteed to be other presenters up there than just Apple, it’ll just all be orchestrated by Apple.

    I do have to mention on the flip side though, that last year all the presentations went long and everyone was complaining that because the Raffle was last, everyone had to stay really late. I can’t imagine how much complaining there would be if Apple took over the second half and gave a decent presentation of new software (which, let’s remember, they aren’t just updating Final Cut Pro, but the entire suite, including hopefully updated versions of Motion and Color), and then the raffle was still held. People would be pissed and complaining the opposite, that Apple should have just done their presentation because they can stop by the Avid and AJA booths anytime to get the same information.

    But in the end, I’m with Steve, from the moment this rumor surfaced yesterday or the day before, everyone has been saying “what a dick move on Apple’s part” but the truth is, the Supermeet organizers had the ability to say, no we have everything lined up. Apple might have said “we’ll only present if we have exclusivity” but the Supermeet didn’t have to accept. This is nothing new on Apple’s part (they do tend to be conservative on the marketing front, and aren’t willing to let anything have a chance of upstaging them), and so I can’t see the blame laying on anyone but Supermeet.

  • Steve Speed

    I think you’ve misjudged to room, I’ve been watching twitter #NAB and there has been massive amounts of tweets regarding the new FCP and general excitement. To be completely honest I don’t think there are too many fan-boys of FCP left only a fool would rave about FCP over the competition. Fanboys like bells n whistles and on that front FCP is a little light these days.

    We all know the current FCP is long in the tooth but for many of us with nailed down workflows it still does the job, admittedly, without the tricks of the competitors but it does the job. The cost of new software then relearning out weighs the benefits from switching for many.

    Don’t confuse the relief and excitement of a new upgrade as fanboyism. It’s genuine relief that it is finally here.

    My main wishes are apart from performance improvements are that Apple has sat back and given the process of Post Production a looong hard think/rethink. We’ve got new input devices such as Magic Trackpads even iPads that could be used to improve the interaction between the operator and software.

    I also want to see what they’ve done regarding the flow of the project through the post production pipeline. Will the suite of individual apps still exist or will it be an integrated application like Smoke that will allow the user to flip from editing to grading to titling at will. Oh and what asset management?

    Say what you like about Apple but they understand human factors very well.

    • http://www.scottsimmons.tv Scott Simmons

      @Steve – “It’s genuine relief that it is finally here.” <—- I think that's the best quote of them all and I totally agree.

  • etchie

    Hear article with an understood point of view. This may be a small gripe you could consider knit picking but I find it a tad annoying that the author decided to describe these vendors as “donating” their time. This isn’t a charity event.

    I’m torn on the subject and I don’t think I’m alone here. I don’t hesitate to say that this is indeed a dick move on Apple’s part, but this is the big news I’ve been waiting to hear so I’m still excited about it. The worst thing you can say here is what some of you have already done. You can be excited and not think Apple did anything wrong, but is there reason to bash other presenters? If I were at NAB ib would have been excited to see both Bloom and Smith.

  • http://postpost.tv Jonathan Eric Tyrrel

    I know we disagree about how the changes to the SuperMeet agenda appear to have been handled, but I think we both know that the other companies you’ve referenced would most likely leap at the chance to hold court with such a captive audience themselves. I imagine that their respective marketing departments are raising a wry glass in deference to the audacity of the coup.

    Regarding the rush to upgrade, I’m sure that you know as many organisations, including major broadcasters, as I do who are working quite happily with older versions of software. I’m a little hesitant to suggest, but surely the desire to only operate the latest and greatest is symptomatic of the very same traits you disparage in your post.

    As much as I’ve enjoyed hearing Kevin Smith speak on the occasions I’ve been to see his live shows, I’m not sure I would dismiss the career of Walter Murch quite so readily…

    And finally, given that I know first hand how tirelessly the SuperMeet team work to put these shows together and their passion for the community, I’m looking forward to supporting their next event in London this summer.

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  • Darwin

    Anyone who use the term fanboy can be automatically dismissed. Their opinion carrys no weight. Obviously Apple required a certain amount of time and the conference organizers acted on it. It is the FCP user group so get serious.

  • http://www.lovelyjunkie.com Rob

    I agree completely with this article. I am an Apple and FCP lover, might even call myself a fan boy, but why cancel everything that was planned? I was really looking forward to that lineup and seeing those sponsors, I also REALLY wanted to see Kevin Smith.

    Whomever made the final decision to bump all the sponsors and speakers, may have made a mistake.

    Either way,… I’ll be there!!! ;D

  • http://www.DigitalMediaServicesFlorida.com Brian Satchfield

    Your immature, close-to-profanity manner of writing immediately discredits your comments. Regardless of your feelings about Apple’s actions here, you look like the sore loser by making comments like “I want to call this what it is: a really d*ck move by a company…” I’m surprised the editors of studiodaily.com allowed this to pass. You discredit them, too.

  • Mike

    Scott,

    Are you a newbie to the industry? MANY of your articles seriously read like someone fresh out of school trying to make some controversy where there isn’t any.

    This one and the modular one just read like you’re so uninformed and pushing your own agenda.

    Just wondering.

    Best of luck to this direction man, I can’t imagine it will last long.

    • http://www.scottsimmons.tv Scott Simmons

      @Mike – Nope, not new at all. Been a professional editor for over a decade, writing my own blog about post-production for about 6 years and contributing to Studio Daily here since 2007. It’s lasted for a pretty good while thus far.

  • Bill@yorkshire

    I’m wondering if this year’s sponsors will bother putting up the bucks just to get booted next year if Apple decides to be another no-show. This could basically kill the meet.

    I won’t be there — have to do work on the other coast.

  • Craig Seeman

    http://www.apple.com/finalcutstudio/resources/communities.html

    To be able to use FCPUG comes with real strings/ropes attached. These groups may have legal obligations. Please note from the above link
    FCPUGnet – Final Cut Pro User Group Network
    Daniel Berube
    Michael Horton

    and
    http://www.supermeet.com/
    The Final Cut Pro User Group Network is excited to have a very special guest presentation at the 10th Annual Las Vegas FCPUG SuperMeet.

    Apple likely exorcised their legal and contractual control they have with FCPUGNet. So I don’t thing Daniel and Michael were in a position to tell Apple what to do.

    Apple is a business, whether you like it or not, and they likely did NOT want to share time with an Avid sponsored speaker nor a product like Resolve when they can use that time to show FCP and Color. Apple will likely have presenters of THEIR choice to show THEIR products. Others such as AJA may still be presenting but under Apple’s control now.

    Final Cut Studio is a formidable (although aging) professional suite with considerable market share, not simply fanboys, but professional facilities who use it and have to make difficult purchasing decisions based on its future. This even will have a BIG financial impact and Apple (and the facilities) know it.

    While I think they could have handled this better, one should be clear about the business motives behind it and power they have in controlling FCPUGNet as they see fit for those ends.

  • Jim W

    It is the Final Cut Pro User Group. Let Avid start their own if they wish. This is BIG news to FCP users.

  • Sandy

    I was holding off buying my tickets until they posted the entire lineup. Glad I did… I won’t be going. Not really interested in Apple and FCP. At least, not enough to listen to several hours of presentations from them.

  • Jim W

    I do feel sorry for Philip, however.

  • http://sheffieldsoftworks.com Patrick Sheffield

    “Now outdated software”?

    Geez – what are you doing with your system – thought editing ET’s immersion senso-movies?

    gimme a break.

    Patrick

  • Steve Thomason

    You lost me at “fanboy”. What an unprofessional whiner. Btw, i don’t just use FCP. I use After Effects, AJA gear, I have 2 Smoke suites, etc. You went from professional, insightful columnist/reporter to surfer guy with a blog & a chip on his shoulder. I’ll look elsewhere for news.

    Unsubscribe…

  • goDonato

    a) so what?
    b) i don’t think this surprises any of us.

    if you want all the news on the same day, skip the superwhatever and wait till nab.

  • Eric

    Fellas
    you know what is missing from this and a handful of other writeups on the same topic… is feedback from the folks that organize the supermeet and the vendors that you apparently feel were robbed of stage time. Anyone that goes to the Supermeet knows that the true value to the vendors is to have a captive audience during the mix/mingle 4 hours before the stage show as that is when the real customer opportunities gel. The vendors arent losing out on much of anything here and they know it and they will be at the meet regardless if they got bumped off of the stage for their 15 minute block. Apple’s announcement is important to the entire community right now… as the rumor mill has been ripe until now with hints that Apple was scaling back their focus on FCP. Fortunately for everyone… it sounds like the rumor mill was amuck.

  • George Patay

    Just to clarify, and speaking as one who was very involved with the Chicago Final Cut Pro User Group for years – Apple has never had any control – financial, legal or otherwise over any of the Final Cut Pro User Groups.

    What is published on the Apple website is simply a referral to privately organized groups. There is no uniform business structure across any of the user groups.

    This too applies to the Supermeet which has nothing to do with Apple, Inc, in terms of ownership or control.

    While I do not know the exact business structure of the Supermeet, I would venture a good guess that this is largely a privately owned enterprise.

  • Nick

    First of all, I’m a little surprised that StudioDaily was ballsy enough to send out an e-mail promoting this article as its top headline… It smacks of the same type of fanaticism (albeit, anti-fanaticism) that the author claims those who continue to use FCP are supposedly guilty of. More importantly, it doesn’t sound like anyone who has any actual information on what went down was consulted, the entire thing is conjecture. This is like the Perez Hilton version, down to the oh-so-eloquent turn of phrase “A really dick move by Apple.” All it’s missing is the Microsoft Paint photo of the Apple logo with arrows pointing to it and the word “dick” handwritten on top.

    Putting all that aside, I think the idea that people show blind allegiance to Apple only works up to a point. There are much more practical reasons to stick with an outdated software package over competitors who offer newer software with more features. FCP/FCS is entrenched. It would have to be so utterly useless, to the point where it couldn’t function, for people to give up the infrastructure they’ve built on it for the past 5-10 years. I’ll believe that up to 20-30% of the people who use the software are die hards that will go to any length to stick with an Apple product. That’s a minority, though.

    Really, if FCP wasn’t able to get the job done even though it’s fallen behind the pack in terms of features and newness, people would have jumped ship en masse by now… because when it comes down to it, a love (or hatred) of a brand doesn’t pay the bills, deliver projects or keep clients happy. It just doesn’t make logical sense.

  • http://web.me.com/mkrupnick/PixelLabs/Hardware.htm Michael Krupnick

    The culture and focus @Apple is changing radically, no doubt. Talk as we may about all the surface manifestations of the shift to a cheaper (?) consumer base for iApple, that’s where they’ve been going for a long time. With the same results as, for instance, Toyota, which formerly made a superlative product and now trash, like the iPhone. Ironically, FCP was once a truly innovative creation. What changed was the emphasis on cheapness which attracted shortsighted amateur producers and became the key sales impetus, pushing real functionality to the curb. FCPX? Wotthehell happened to 8 and 9? Same thing with OSX. Panther was better than Snow Leopard, and more third-party friendly. Hijacking a meet is just Apple’s bad manners showing. Yes, FCP6 and OSX.4 are long in the tooth, but I’ll bet work better than Lion and FCPX will. The move to iOS is a deliberate step away from pro apps, the old Apple falling away from the tree it grew on. It’s good for the stock for now, but bad for the old user base. Users have been long abused by Apple, and this time the fruit may be falling a bit too far from the tree to grow much more. In fact it could eventually reduce Cupertino to dried up stalk. And this former “fanboy” has no tears left for it anymore.

  • http://www.drwfilms.com David Roth Weiss

    Come on, face the facts, the so-called SuperMeet at NAB has traditionally been, and is really still supposed to be, a get-together of all of the Final Cut Pro user groups from across the country. So, what the heck was Avid doing making a big splash at what should be Apple’s big show anyway?

    When you really think about it, it hardly seems right that both Avid and DaVinci should be lighting things up on what should be Apple’s home field, in and front of Apple’s adoring fans, while Apple was just going to sit by idly twiddling it’s thumbs.

    In any case, give Apple and SuperMeet’s Michael Horton some credit even if they came to their senses a little late – a big Avid dog and pony show at the national FCPUG event is just plain wrong for a company like Apple. It’s just business plain and simple.

    Now, if what what they’re showing next Tuesday is the right stuff, then look out, maybe editing will become sexy once again. If it goes the other way, then I guess we’ll all be talking about Avid’s big event next year.

    David Roth Weiss
    Director/Editor/Colorist
    David Weiss Productions, Inc.
    Los Angeles

    A forum host of Creative COW’s Apple Final Cut Pro forum

  • The Real David S.

    This tripe you’ve written is designed to produce mouse clicks and visits.

    Any so called professional editor that uses words like “Apple fanboys” is looking for controversy, not educated discourse.

    The decision made here weren’t made by Apple, but by the organizers of the SuperMeet.

    Blame them, if you want, not Apple. There’s no body here twisting arms and you know it.

  • Michael Sacci

    @ David Weiss

    What it should be and what it has been are two different things. Apple had close to a ZERO presence last year at the event. The old SuperMeet site pushed the idea of all types are welcomed.

    Honestly I would have like to have seen Phil and Alex’s presentation. Even having Kevin Smith there would have been good, I would be able to visit a lot of the table without the huge crowd during his talk.

    But as with most things these days the real issue the the way it was done and happens to Michael’s image. Apple didn’t know it wanted to announce this at this time, why not scheduled this a while ago. Personally I that the 1/2 half of the event would have been perfect. The agenda was never set and giving apple 60-90 minutes would have made the event killer for everyone.

    All that aside, I excited to see what Apple’s got, I’m FCP only editor and like everyone else I want the performance to catch up. I just wish this was set up in a more friendly way.

    Anyone remember the good old days when Apple had their corporate event on Sunday at NAB, Now they were killer, and then we got to drool all over the apps running in there booth, the good-ol’-days.

  • Sho

    It’s an announcement. Does anyone REALLY care about that?

    Really? REALLY?

    You know what the announcement will be. If you pretend you don’t, at least you know all the gory details will be all over the web ~15 seconds after the words leave the presenter’s mouth.

    The issue is people lost out on practical, interesting presentations… all for a lousy announcement telling you what you already know, trying to sell you shit you probably already have decided about.

  • debbie rich

    If this is accurate info, then I think it’s incredibly uncool that Apple dismissed the other presenters. I’ve worked with smaller software companies for many years now and they put a lot of time, effort and funds into supporting the Supermeet, none of which are easy to give these days. For Apple to push the small companies aside is unfair and pretty horrible from a financial and marketing standpoint.

  • Paul

    Why would Studio Daily allow such a poor and borderline offensive piece of journalism be posted to their respected site?

    No, I am no “Fanboy” but this article has zero journalistic merit. You may have to stoop to telling both sides of story in the future. Oh, you may say “Apple didn’t comment or return your call”. I say this may be the problem… You got your writer’s feelings hurt so you lashed out. Right?

    _–Former Reader–

  • debbie rich

    Let me rephrase something that I just wrote, since I can’t take it out of the post queue. I realize that Apple isn’t pushing small companies off the stage for this event, since it’s larger companies or entertainment personalities that are allegedly being bumped. But in my experience in the software industry, Apple (waaaay more than other big companies) has pushed smaller entities in order to get their needs met. In this case, we could say it’s the Supermeet organizers, Bloom and Smith. It also irks me that seemingly Apple is paying attention to the Supermeet only when it wants to, rather than continuously through the years. This is what I am reacting to gut-level, I suppose. Surely Apple could have asked for some demo time, not all. I guess next Tuesday night will reveal all…

  • http://dylanreeve.com/ Dylan Reeve

    You never can tell how a post might be received I guess.

    I largely agree with Scott on this. That people are hung up on the terms “fan boys” and “dick move” is odd, when there’s clearly a bigger picture.

    In the last couple of year the Supermeet has become a very interesting non-brand-specific event where relevant people and companies present to a group of interested people. It has gained a lot of broad credibility for that. I think it’s great that it became an event where Blackmagic, AJA, Autodesk and Avid could come together to present what they had to offer. It shows a maturity in the industry that I really appreciate.

    Apple’s play here show an immaturity I believe. Apple does not play nicely with others, and I think that’s disappointing. They had plenty of time to decide what they were going to do with this event and FCP X. The second half of the event was presumably being held for them. But instead they chose to flex their muscle and demand the whole thing.

    Maybe Terrence is right, maybe they need the whole duration to convince the audience that the new look FCP isn’t as scary as it seems (the idea that it might be iMovie Pro is pretty widely circulating lately).

    I’ve work on event sponsorship and planning before, and I’ve worked in marketing. From Supermeet’s perspective this was pretty shortsighted – they will have a really hard time getting back to where they were with sponsors, and if Apple’s past is anything to go by they’ll lose interest once they don’t have anything specific to show.

    From Apple’s perspective it seems that it would have been a much bolder move to simply take the second half, effectively have the last word and trump the previous presenters.

    I’m very interested to see what Apple has in store for us, but I’d also be pretty pissed off if I’d paid for a ticket to Supermeet expecting one thing only to have it changed at the 11th hour.

  • Joan

    Scott,

    As an editor, I was completely embarrassed for our entire community by your remarks. I am very surprised StudioDaily allowed you to post this. You are a professional editor who should be leading by example instead of slandering others.

    StudioDaily is a professional site for our industry. So when did it become a site for reporting news based on rumors?

    You could have taken the high road on this, and discussed supporting the others who had been dropped from the Supermeet. you could have even discussed Avid’s support for KEvin Smith to provide him with a venue. But no instead you chose write this article based on rumors and threw your personal feelings in, by using the term “fanboys” and ” a really dick move ” .

    Using those terms simply makes StudioDaily look like a tabloid instead of a professional site, and it does not present you in a great light either.

    I am disappointed that this is where StudioDaily is heading, and also with you. You have become very unprofessional in your articles and the way you present yourself online.

    • http://www.scottsimmons.tv Scott Simmons

      @Joan – sorry that you didn’t like the post. The Studio Daily blog (and for that matter a lot of blogs in general) aren’t always about hard news. Part of my place on this blog is providing opinion and commentary on our business of post-production. Opinion and commentary are an lot about personal feelings. Studio Daily has a hard news section in addition to this blog so you’d never see this type of article there, you’d only see news. It was my opinion, from the comments and facts that I had read and gathered, that Apple was the major catalyst for the change in SuperMeet, a week before the event. This post was indeed an opinion that included “personal feelings” about this development. All I wanted to do was call it like I saw it. In the process it’s generated discussion that, no matter your opinion on my opinion, I hope has been somewhat thought provoking.

  • Jason_L

    To Nick:
    I think I heard you say in a nut shell “Its ok that FCP outdated software because it doesn’t effect you.” Perhaps you cut only DVCAM or something that FCP seems to really have been built upon and is rock solid with… but we live in a world of long GOP these days. Have you ever tried to really edit XDCAM in FCP? It royally sucks, continually crashes. I have such infrastructure you speak of and yes I have been on the prowl for a replacement as it seems the roles have completely switched 180 degrees from the days when AVID was king and had outdated software. Now its Apple who is completely behind the times. Most fixes in FCP suggest trans coding to Prores to “fix” the problem. Sounds a lot like AVID AVR3, AVR75 …etc.

    It is a true slap in the face to us who have thousands of dollars and hours invested in hardware and software and to see the once bold and vibrant attitude of support by Apple to be reduced to NOTHING. No mention of progress of FCP upgrades, no promise of continued support, a diminishing pro-line of Apple products. And then when the marketplace rises to the occasion with many vendors trying to make the inroads and bridges to a support-starved edit base for FCP.. the giant awakes… to take a dump in the room with their latest and greatest. You have to be kidding me!

    Apple simply doesn’t deserve the stage, even at an event surrounding their product. The whole thing feels like an absent father returning to wow an dazzle his teen age kids that don’t know him, or sometimes care to know him anymore. If Apple wanted to make a big splash do it on their own dime like everyone else, its not like they are hurting for the cash to do so.

  • http://www.alphadogs.tv Terence Curren

    The bottom line is, who other than Apple could convince people to pay for the opportunity to be sold a new product?

  • toby

    Well this is a first – I’ve never seen an actual publication of someone extrapolating on their own conclusions of what a RUMOR means.

    It’s even titled with the destruction of one of the subjects, which no one, including the author, has even predicted, much less witnessed or has any evidence of.

    ‘Opinion’? Your opinion about – what your opinion of what a rumor means – does not qualify as anything but garbage. Except maybe to people who jump at the tiniest chance to spew disdain. Oh, hey maybe there’s a career writing for Glenn Beck in your future; you’re certainly not over-qualified for the job.

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  • Steve Speed

    While watching the #NAB hashtag in twitter yesterday it dawned on me who Scott’s article was written for, his followers on twitter.

    @comebackshane noted of my reply, “Well, the first person obviously was a fanboy.”

    @robimbs astonishingly wrote, “Well written article by @editblog about the new FCP and the #Supermeet – http://tinyurl.com/3lapxdq #NAB” One wonders what passes for a well written article in Mr @robimbs world? Silveradosys obviously agree to as they’ve RTed it too.

    Then a series of back slapping “we’re da men” type replies oh and anyone offended by Scott’s use of language, not me personally, is simply precious. So unless you’re a big manly editor cutting from the trenches and you really really wanted to see Kevin Smith and dear Philip talk about using the wrong type of camera to make TV programmes with you are likely to be the wrong demographic for this article.

    I urge you to have a look at Scott’s twitter feed @editblog where you can see the development of this blog post over the previous day. It starts yesterday where the term fanboy starts to get thrown around. As you work your way through the conversations you’ll see the central points of the article taking shape. Apple are “dicks,” Supermeet were “forced” by Apple to change their plans and fanboys account for anyone who’d prefer to see a world exclusive demo of the new Final Cut.

    I love this tweet Scott, “@jonathaneric I think it’s best to not be a fanboy of anything. Fanboyism clouds proper judgement.”

    Fanboyism clouds proper judgement, eh? Pot, kettle, black? What judgement!

    What is worrying is the lack of intellectual honesty in the article and complete lack of any journalistic intent. This is surprising for someone working in the media as an editor assisting viewers form ideas and indeed for Studio Daily allowing it to be published. It’s amazing that others RT links to the article with glowing praise also presumably working in the media given that they follow Scott? I guess you’d expect that level of unthink from editors cutting docs on multichannel tv but not these worldly wise people editing from the trenches, surely?

    Had I been writing the blog post I would have sent a stream of emails to the organisers of the Supermeet trying to get clarification for the last minute changes and given them a chance to state their case. It appears that all the blog posts I’ve read on the subject have failed to do the basics of serious journalism, check the facts. Until either Apple or the Supermeet actually say publicly the reasons for the changes then nobody _actually_ knows for sure what the mechanics were and it’s all complete speculation. As someone wrote above Apple don’t dictate or hold anything over user groups so what hammer did they actually wield over the Supermeet?

    This blog post dressed speculation up as hard facts and the salvo against us “fanboys” is absolutely designed to quell debate. It’s the house brick subtle, “If you’re not with us, you’re against us” argument.

    Thanks for reading, a fanboy.

    • http://www.scottsimmons.tv Scott Simmons

      @Steve – It’s funny that you should mention Twitter since the conversation on that platform is taking the place of blogs for many. To dismiss that as a bunch of like minded individuals sitting around backslapping each other is incorrect as there several hundred post-production people who actively follow and engage with each other on a very regular basis. It’s an excellent resource. It’s really not much different than if we were all standing in a room or having a beer discussing the topic at hand, except that it’s public. There was indeed a lot of discussion about what transpired with SuperMeet, and a lot of that fed into my feelings on the event. That’s part of what happens when one forms their own opinion about something, they listen to other’s ideas and opinions in forming their own. And as I have said, part of what these blogs are about are opinion and commentary on events in our industry. And an awful lot of the discussion I had while forming this post didn’t come from Twitter but from email and other communication forms with people who were familiar with how it all went down so you’re drawing conclusions that are incorrect. The idea that is was only written for Twitter followers is quite funny and certainly makes it sound like you’ve done some CSI sleuthing but in truth there’s many people who read this blog who have no interest at all in Twitter. What Apple has apparently pulled here, IMHO needs to be known. And again you assume that no one writing about this has sent emails asking for comment from Apple or the event organizers. Again, you assume wrong. They have been silent on the matter so conclusions are drawn from others involved. If the folks from SuperMeet speak and all the conclusions that I’ve drawn are incorrect then I’ll be happy to write a follow-up. But as I stated, I believe the SuperMeet organizers were damned either way. Would they piss off people if they dumped the whole agenda for Apple? Of course. Would the piss off Apple and a bunch of others if they refused what Apple wanted? Even more so. What amazes me is how many people give Apple a free pass on most everything they do. I personally think that to come to such a large, scheduled event 1 week before and cause such a drastic change (be it be demanding, offering cash, whatever) wasn’t the best way they could handle it. That’s my opinion, obviously your differs.

  • Craig Seeman

    @George Patay
    I think you need to read the terms under which a user group can be formed using Apple’s names and trademarks. I can’t speak for your specific user group but Apple does have such terms and if you look generally at Apple/Mac User Groups you may sometimes see that the group formed under such terms. There are other discussions I’m reading about Apple’s “ability” to take over a meeting and people who know these terms have also brought this up. Also keep in mind that the NAB SuperMeet has a bit more value than local users, some of whom may be “casual.” There’s big bucks on facility purchases with many licenses riding on this meeting and Apple is using this situation.

    The “SuperMeet” is part of FCPUGnet and the right to use FCP as part of the name, is a name that Apple has control over the use of.

  • http://johndoereport johndoereport

    Tell Apple to go to hell. How about a boycott of their product till it actually works?

  • vidman

    Hey People

    Wake up and smell the coffee. FCP is my primary business tool. I use it to make a living. I welcome Apple’s participation. Anything they do to help make me better at what I do is a good thing.
    Everybody was bitching and complaining that they were neglecting FCP and now that they have a major announcement, it’s still not good enough.
    You people should get a life and talk instead of chasing your tails like this. Grow up.

    David Elvin

  • http://www.FilmmakingWebinars.com Marcelo Lewin

    I can understand, from the SuperMeet’s perspective why, if it is Apple announcing the new version, this is so huge for them, but having said that, I run a website that depends on sponsors and I would NEVER EVER kick out multiple sponsors for one (do you really want to put all your eggs in one basket, not to mention that it is totally uncool to do such a thing). I think when making decisions like this, one has to look at the long term ramifications of such decision. Do you want to really piss off 10 or 20 sponsors for one big sponsor that never really backed you up and then what do you do the next year? How do you rebuild all those relationships? Kevin Smith cancelled? Really? He’s huge! Anyhow. Let’s wait until Tuesday to see what the deal is and how it will turn out. You know that there will be tons of people at the SuperMeet due to this now, so from a marketing perspective, it has worked for them. I just hope that they don’t lose the relationships that have been supporting them in the past years.

  • http://hollywoodreinvented.com Lawrence Jordan

    Scott, Thanks for the post. I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiments in your article and frankly, am pretty surprised that this was the best Apple could come up with to unveil the latest version of their post-production software, which we all believed held so much promise for us as media professionals. The whole thing is just bizarre and reeks of an Apple “marketing” decision gone very awry.

    FIrst let’s address FCPUG. I’ve known Michael since the 2-pop days and he has always been a stand up guy. We also know that over the years Apple has gradually backed away from working with user groups like his, (I’m so old I remember when we called them SIG’s!) and has become basically unapproachable for this type of support. So for all practical purposes, Michael and Daniel were probably put in somewhat of an untenable position. Let’s face it, It would have been the noble thing to do, but it would have also taken extremely big balls for those guys to say no to Apple.

    But Christ, all those other sponsors must be VERY pissed off…

    OTOH…

    I think we can all agree that throughout their history, Apple has been nearly as notorious as Microsoft in their disregard for the welfare of small developers and other companies (Avid in this instance) in their quest to build the “world’s greatest” operating system. Like anyone trying to slay a Goliath, it all seemed cute and good when they were the droopy, crunchy, bastard hippie children of the computer revolution, providing welcome contrast to the obnoxious propeller heads from Redmond. Apple’s decades long fractional market share also helped rally their troops (us) to pledge allegiance to the computer “for the rest of us…” This, in spite of horror stories out of Cupertino regarding Steve Jobs rude, dictatorial and often humiliating management style.

    But now the man who reinvented the Walkman for the digital age and put a phone into it is the 800TB gorilla. And although I agree it’s maliciously thrown around way too often, the term “fanboy” is an apt description of a new generation of users seduced by both “cool” (if not always the best) products and the infamous Jobsian cult of personality with a disregard or lack of knowledge of it’s “dark side”. Apple’s not only conquered the computing industry, but as of this moment, holds many of the keys to the future of media creation, distribution and consumption. They are the new gatekeeper. The pinnacle of corporate America. What IBM was (and what Apple loathed) in 1984. And frankly, as evidenced by a dunderheaded move like this, everyone should be starting to fear them more just a little.

    Agreed, it won’t get much play beyond our small community of digital media creators. But I think what many of us are sensing and reacting to is that same kind of feeling we got when we saw a big bully picking on others smaller and weaker in the schoolyard. Say what you want about Avid, but they play in an extremely small and specific corner of OUR schoolyard; editing and post production.

    So I say have a little class Apple. Where’s the Vision? Values? Ethics? Anything beyond just the bottom line…

  • withheld

    Scott Simmons is an edit god…do not question the master….

  • The Real David S.

    After rereading Simmons’ and Jordan’s two posts, I have to ask the same thing Jordan asked:

    “So I say have a little class Lawrence and Scott. Where’s the Vision? Values? Ethics? Anything beyond just the bottom line…”

    If you don’t like that fact that Apple practices capitalism — just AVID and Media 100 did with their support contracts when they could — vote with your dollars and move to another platform and OS. That’s how FCP succeeded.

    The anthropomorphism of Apple by people here does not coincide with a company that is owned by shareholders.

  • http://www.ameseditor.com Travis Ballstadt

    If General Motors and Toyota had been spending money advertising at the world’s largest Mustang Enthusiast Show, and one day Ford contacted the show’s organizers and said “we’d like to use your show to introduce our new [exciting new vehicle the public has been waiting for and is very excited to see] but you have to give us sponsor exclusivity,” NOBODY WOULD CARE AT ALL ABOUT GM & TOYOTA’S FEELINGS.

    But people love to bash Apple, and the same people would be bashing Apple if they didn’t show a new FCS at the Supermeet.

  • Jackson Moon

    So this just “happened”, right?

    No one knew in advance (including Apple) that Apple might want to do something for the event, right?

    So the FCP group lined up an agenda, talent, booking, you know, all those things outside of the control of the “reality distortion field” and when the core strikes back, everyone caved.

    Somehow this scenario is full of B Movie enthuasiasm and reality.

    “IF you wouldn’t own it for ten years, don’t own it for ten minutes.” Warren Buffett (hope the quote is close)

  • Chris Jacques

    Thank you Scott for writing an honest blog post about a happening that does affect people who edit for a living and use all of the tools made by the involved vendors.

    For the Apple employee, I mean Steve Speed, who is trolling on the board – he is clearly out of touch with the meaning of a blog and social media. Hey Steve, guess who makes a bundle leveraging social mediums and “honest” input from its contributors…you got it, Apple. In fact, didn’t they invite a bunch in not so long ago to give them a sneak peek at the product?

    It seems like you are grasping at straws to bring Scott down – when really you should be focused on learning how social mediums work. They may be a big part of your own business soon, if they aren’t already.

    That all said, the decision by Supermeet organizers was unethical and will hurt them in the long run. Apple has never come knocking on the door to offer support until they felt they had to upstage someone at an industry event that they didn’t find important enough to be a part of for the past three years. (NAB). Say what you will about he said, she said, but I have more than enough evidence to 100 percent support the claims that the vendors involved were told they could not present on the stage at Supermeet. That after they dished out money, prizes and a lot of time.

    Steve – grow up and start a blog of your own. Maybe you can channel some of the negative energy somewhere else.

  • Rich Thompson

    SuperMeet, rumors, presentations, excitement, and relief; hey I get it, but FCP better have something good because my PC is running circles around my Mac Pro – Realtime is real with CUDA and for a lot less money!

  • Andrew

    I was a huge fan of studio daily but it’s now removed from my RSS feed.

  • Rick C

    I love FCP. I love Avid MC5. I love Adobe After Effects. I edit/produce on a beautiful Mac 8 core. I use all of these programs and and many more 3rd party plug-ins and tools to make my living as a producer/editor like so many of us in the “real world” of professional production.

    I’m sure the FCP update will be awesome, and I will still buy it if it is. However, now the details of how Apple’s presence was handled at the Supermeet is confirmed and not a rumor, here’s my opinion.

    What Apple did was a straight bitch-slap to not just all the sponsors, but to the attendees flying out to see presenters like Kevin Smith and Phillip Bloom.

    To call Apple a dick on this move at this point is not harsh at all. I’ll go further by saying they were total fucking assholes.

  • Paul B

    Kevin Smith is still presenting:

    http://community.avid.com/blogs/avid/archive/2011/04/07/give-kevin-smith-a-stage-at-nab-update.aspx

    I don’t know why anyone cares about Phillip Bloom. It’s FCPUG, not DSLR workshop.

    If you are looking for blame, you should blame the Supermeet organizers. They are the ones that are enabling Apple to take over. In the end it’s not a big deal. Some people will be mad, but as long as the new Final Cut has something to show – all will be forgotten and forgiven.

    There is plenty of room for all these companies to show off products on the floor. Everyone is just overreacting.

  • Nick

    First bit of business… Just heard Avid WITHDREW, it wasn’t kicked out by Apple as this article claims… But, again, since I haven’t spoken with people actually part of the event, this information could be as flawed as the stuff in this post.

    @Jason_L – Hey there! I definitely see your point, and I’m not necessarily saying it’s “okay” that Apple has neglected to make any major updates for a while. Believe me, when the last “update” to FCS was released I had a huge WTF moment. It does suck, I won’t argue with you there.

    But I haven’t really had the same problems you describe with the workflow… For the past 5 years we’ve been working with mostly HDV and capture from HDCAM, and it’s been very smooth. True on the HDV side we do transcode to ProRes… But the ingest process on that is seamless, so it works out.

    We just recently started working with XDCAM EX, added a Sony EX3 to camera inventory… We haven’t had to do anything with the footage yet besides running it through basic color correcting, but we haven’t run into any nightmares with it… I’ll keep you posted on that.

    Finally, I apparently misunderstood the purpose of StudioDaily… I actually thought it was more than just a blog, so maybe my expectations were skewed going into reading this article.

    • http://www.scottsimmons.tv Scott Simmons

      @Nick – “First bit of business… Just heard Avid WITHDREW, it wasn’t kicked out by Apple as this article claims” sorry Nick. What you heard is definitely not true. While word before NAB was that Avid didn’t drop out Avid themselves confirm this to be they case, they did not withdraw from the event, they were told they were no longer presenting.

  • http://hollywoodreinvented.com Lawrence Jordan

    “If you don’t like that fact that Apple practices capitalism — just AVID and Media 100 did with their support contracts when they could — vote with your dollars and move to another platform and OS. That’s how FCP succeeded.”

    Ahhahahaha! LOL! ROTFLMFAO!! What a great post. You IDIOT! YOU DUNDERHEAD! I’m the biggest capitalist you will ever meet! I LOVE MONEY!!!! (to a fault) But I practice something I like to call “Ethical Capitalism.” It’s obviously a concept you’re not familiar with. It’s Capitalism, but Capitalism where you don’t FUCK your fellow humans…

    Now maybe that doesn’t apply to corporations…?

    Avid asked a healthy fee for support contracts. But if you ever paid for one, remember what happened? You got actual SUPPORT!!

    If FCPX is as groovy as FCP lovers expect, I promise, I’ll eat my words…

    But if they’re following the same credo and mindset they’ve been exhibiting over the last few years… Fugeddaboutit…. Fischer Price Editing Tool Mutha-Sucka… (unless you’re just cutting to a music bed.)

    Tuesday, Tuesday, Tuesday… I can’t wait!

  • skylark

    C’est la vie … in the world of opinion.

    From top to bottom and from no0bie to fabulist – are all posted opinions are supposition and conjecture?

    Only the people who are actually involved in the discussions and administrations of the SuperMeet are privy to the FACTS!

    “Apple Wields Its Hammer, Smashes SuperMeet” posted on April 6, 2011 at 10:21 am – good old fashioned rhetoric.

    The time stamp … 10:21 am on April 6, 2011 is important, as it seems to establish a profound need to declare the hand prior to understanding the “opponents” intentions and their aspirations.

    Why not let the event unfold, and then discuss the FACTS.

    Scott Simmons, if you give people the facts and nothing but the facts, then they will be able to determine the truth on their own.

    YES, it is a challenge, and the difficulty of the challenge varies with the individual.

    It is difficult for an individual to undertake a dispassionate and impartial view and then for them to externalise it with an equally impartial and dispassionate perspective.

    Monetization is an extremely strong force … nothing wrong in monetization per se; it’s just incredibly dazzling.

  • Victor

    Hey Lawrence, since you choose to resort to name calling, talking about your own supposed “ethical” capitalistic tendencies are probably nonexistent.

    Anyways, since none of you are SuperMeet organizers, whatever you say, despite what evidence you claim to have like Chris Jacques, are just opinion, just makes idle internet chatter.

    So finally we get to hear from the elusive Apple about something that a lot of people speculated on like forever.

    Yeah, I’m sure Avid and AJA and a few other sponsors are annoyed, but then I bet they want to be there too.

    You’re all itching to know what is going to happen, be it good or bad.

    I bet no one who has a SuperMeet ticket is going to just give it away now.

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  • http://web.me.com/mkrupnick/PixelLabs/Hardware.htm Michael Krupnick

    There may be better information than specific app info, since all previews are hype-heavy by nature… especially with these estranged fraternal twins. On its debut, Avid v.1 ran only on a Mac. They were partners. But when Apple released FCP, Tewkesbury broke away to Windows boxes and the rivalry began. Apple’s commitment to a pro app division was high then, emotional in character, in fact. It also had a similar falling-out with Adobe, mostly about Photoshop, which also started as a Cupertino-hosted app but moved to Windows in protest. In the early days, Apple differentiated itself as a creative platform rather than a business one. The slicker GUI and feature set were built around the Motorola CPUs for many iterations and nine operating systems. And their support was more engaged with the user.

    They dumped Motorola with the G3 and went IBM for a while. The new architecture was not backwards-compatible, and the user had to take that hit, as did all third-party OEMs who had to recode. Still eager not to lose the customer, upgrades were priced down somewhat through Apple’s subsidies, and FCP grew because those users were not inconvenienced enough to switch. Plus, it was still cheaper than a comparable MC app. The switch to Power PC marked a certain convergence between Windows and OSX, and opened the door for Apple’s OEMs to code for both. Competitors emerged like Adobe Premiere. This reached a climax with the G5, the pro tower touted to be totally accessible and user-upgradable easily and at reasonable cost. It was a sexy machine; yes, pretty expensive, but it kept its promises pretty well … for the first couple of years.

    Then Apple did it AGAIN! Dumping IBM for Intel in all their products, many G5 owners found that they had a near-new machine that was no longer supported at any level. The multi-core processors didn’t run anything older than OSX.5 and the buss structure was so different that the G5 cards were no longer even available from the OEMs. This was a hard slap in the face for pro users who’d made sizable investments in the system only 2-3 years ago (or even less). Simultaneously, pro support seemed to vanish. If you didn’t pay extra for it, all you got from the Apple site was a generic white paper and a suggestion to hit a user forum.

    Meanwhile, it is unmistakable that Cupertino has shifted its prime focus to the consumer with its i-series. And a quick glance at the product cycle within it is revealing: which version of of the iPhone and iPad are we on this week? AND IT IS WORKING. Apple is the top tech earner of the world. The next OS for pros, Lion, is iOS as much as OSX, and the lead developer for OSX has left Apple. FCPX (what happened to 8 and 9?) is still being written. They made that clear at Supermeet. There was some proclamation of re-devotion to the pro base, but if sustained stability, vital to a pro, is not an emphasized attribute, then the “Pro” in FCP is only the trademark. And the one-size-fits-all price tag seems to say that. I’ll have to give FCPX a try, because my clients will expect me to have it. But I must say the behavior of its parent is very worrying to me.

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