Apple’s Final Cut Pro digital-video editing application created a buzz at the Production Show, open from May 21-23 at London’s Olympia.

Attendees were able to view the program in a number of digital-video editing and DVD-authoring demonstrations hosted on the Apple Solutions Experts (ASE) stand.

This was Apple’s first appearance at the video-production and broadcast exhibition. The company’s presence was divided into a seminar area, and the ASE stand. ASEs are hand-picked resellers who offer specialized services.

Apple Solutions Experts About 15 ASEs were present at the show. These included Video Rescue, who showed their video portable video-editing solution; NMR, who displayed the Cinéwave high-definition editing solution; Trimedia, who showed NewTek’s LightWave 3D software running on a Sanity storage-area network FireWire drive.

Show-goer Simon Buckingham said: “I’m a real fan of Apple – everything they do is great. They have the slickest stand of the show.

“Mac OS X is a great upgrade. The only reliable systems for compositing and editing are Unix-based – and Mac OS X has a Unix kernal. OS X is also an affordable solution for high-end workstations. All the 3D applications are coming to Mac OS X. Maya’s conversion to the platform is a huge boost for Apple, but it’s still lagging behind the Windows version.

“Until now, we haven’t had high-end 3D applications on the Mac. I use Softimage – and that’s still not available for OS X.”

Shake it up ASE Tyrell demonstrated 2D-compositing application Shake. Apple has plans to develop Shake for Linux, Irix, and Mac OS X until 2003 when the situation will be reviewed. The next iteration of the application will be the last to support Windows, Apple claims.

Darren Godwin, Tyrell’s product manager for animation and effects products: “Shake benefits from Mac OS X’s simple structure. Apple isn’t taking Shake lightly. It wouldn’t surprise me if they take that technology and put it in a consumer application for small production-houses and film-makers – in the same way that Apple has bought technology in the past and shared it with other engineers.”

One of the 195 exhibitors present was Alan Curtis from RPS (Rhone Poulenc Systems) Data Productions, manufacturers of magnetic media and back-up tapes. The company supplies sound-studios with magnetic tapes. RPS has recently moved into selling software and hardware – including Apple’s entire product range.

Alan Curtis, RPS’s managing director, said: “The atmosphere here is cracking. There are a lot of digital-video editing systems being launched. The event has been very busy – at one point, we didn’t have enough staff to answer all the questions being asked.”

15,000 people were pre-registered for the Production Show, of which more 8,000 will attend over the three days, the show’s organizers said. This is a five per cent increase on the number of visitors that attended in 2001.

The show – which normally takes place in March – was moved back to May to avoid clashing with the US-based NAB (National Association of Broadcasters), an event dedicated to converging electronic media-communications industries.

NAB The Production Show’s organizer, Simon Marrett, said: "We changed dates from March to May – five weeks post-NAB – to be recognised as the UK showcase for this technology.

“This is the event where creativity meets technology. We’ve tried to work with other magazines and associates to make it our industry event, and are running free workshops around the show.”