The Picture

Supermeet friends:  Rick Young, Michael Horton, Gregory Clarke, Philip Hodgetts,   Dan Berube, Peter Wiggins, Katie Berube, Dean Cleary

Supermeet friends: Rick Young, Michael Horton, Gregory Clarke, Philip Hodgetts, Dan Berube, Peter Wiggins, Katie Berube, Dean Cleary

(Amsterdam, Sept 12, 2014)
It’s just another lifestyle photo of a group of friends posted immediately on Facebook, sent out via Twitter and filed away in the “Memories of IBC 2014” digital folder.

Not really.

The collective psyche of these friends moves tech mountains on a daily basis. They are part of the bright and inspirational underpinning of all the small and large moving parts that together make up a whole moving part when combined with other moving parts … well, you get the drift.

Here, in what appears to be a simple social media moment, they are gathered in anticipation of the 7th Annual Supermeet in Amsterdam, having Italian food, tipping a glass here and there, laughing too loudly for the other tables and generally spreading cheer, all whilst diving into analysis of the latest metadata solutions, codecs, design challenges, developer challenges, editorial deadlines and dreadful deeds, corporate failings and successes, predictions for the future, 1 and 0’s, and, well, some things that I just don’t and most likely will never understand!

Dinner in Amsterdam with Gregory Clarke, Philip Hodgetts, Cirina Catania and Peter Wiggins

Dinner in Amsterdam with Gregory Clarke, Philip Hodgetts, Cirina Catania and Peter Wiggins

For those who are unfamiliar with The Supermeet, I will try to explain it to you. It is part fraternity/sorority party, part B2B cocktail meet and greet, part exploration of space and time continuum as it applies to the world of content and all the moving parts that support it, part creative inspiration untapped and…all heart brought to you by Michael Horton and Dan Berube. It is a raucous gathering of the Creative Pro User Group.

If you have never experienced it, you must. And once you do, you will become part of the family and this is one reunion you will not want to miss.

In Amsterdam, the Supermeet is 500 of your closest or soon to be closest friends gathered together over a 5-6 hour period to share information, watch exclusive presentations of new “stuff” from top companies like Adobe, Blackmagic, iZotope, Atomos, HP and demonstrations from the likes of editors Maryann Brandon, ACE and Mary Jo Markey, ACE (ripped from their editorial suites as they worked on Star Wars: Episode VII), Giles Lively presenting on Davinci Resolve for Blackmagic, Al Mooney livening up the crowd with his effervescent Premiere Pro announcements, filmmaker Hasraf Dulul with behind the scenes stories of his new film, “Sync,” Mike Thornton rescuing our audio dirty deeds, Jeromy Young with Shogun 4K monitor-recorder tales, and the folks at HP, Carlo Ruiz and those using HP Workstations to create passionate products: Patrick Drake and Kylie Flavell.

You are just now beginning to understand why this evening lasts, well, all evening!

Before you even get to the presentations, there are twenty companies outside the theater, each with a unique story to tell, a new product to introduce or software that will intimately prove indispensable to our working lives. The list of attendees is a surprise each year, but I do know of two of them because I am personally and most proudly involved: The Lumberjack System from Philip Hodgetts and Gregory Clarke, PhD, a powerfully easy tool for cloud-based on-set logging (yes, even when you’re offline) and Other World Computing (OWC) started almost thirty years ago by yet another techie genius friend, Larry O’Connor, and represented in Amsterdam by Rick Van Dyne.

And this brings us back to those friends moving tech mountains and that picture.

Bottom line: I can’t believe that I am so lucky to be able to be in the same room as these people who build the foundations that enable me to do the work that I love so much.

Without their genius, my wild and often unbridled creativity would most likely be limited to … well, what? I’d have to make my own tools, and I don’t know how to do that. I couldn’t create Final Cut Pro, or Adobe Photoshop. I’d be hiring PA’s to log on paper during our shoots instead of on an iPad and instantly creating keyword ranges. I’d have no way to shoot, no way to record sound, no way to transport my files over the pipeline. My images would not be color graded and I’d have to go back to writing my own music…um, you don’t want to know about that.

And I certainly wouldn’t be in Amsterdam with my friends telling stories and tipping a glass to happiness.

So, the next time you post a picture of your friends on social media, think about how lucky you are and stop for a moment to say thanks. I just did. Cheers!