Postapalooza 2009

I completely forgot I never blogged about Postapalooza. I am lucky to have an awesome employer who decided to send me there. I had never been to a conference of any kind before, so this was an entirely new experience for me.

On a Sunday afternoon in October, I drove from Indy to southern Indiana to check into the Belterra Casino and Hotel. It was an awesome drive. Half of the drive was on I-74, and the other half was on scenic winding country roads in the hills among fall foliage. I wasn’t expecting that at all.

Postapalooza was very much an editor’s retreat, above all. It was held in a VERY remote area on the Ohio River. There is literally no place to go nearby to get away from the hotel. Being plucked out of busy life and placed into a perfect hilly river-side hotel is reason enough to return to Postapalooza each year.

The conference lasted two days. It was organized into a different tracks – one more focused on video editing, another more in motion. And between those, there were multiple levels – intro level, intermediate, and advanced. It was nice to have a wider selection of sessions to choose from than just introductory level. I picked a mix of editing and After Effects sessions. There were also a few general sessions.

They held a camera general session that I didn’t really feel was worth the time so much, mainly because I had worked with all of the cameras before. But it felt like most of the people in the room either had their tools already or weren’t interested. Still I learned a couple of things, so I’m glad I went to it.

The other general session was 60 in 60 – 60 FCP, After Effects, and Motion tips in 60 minutes. I wish it was more rushed – actually 60 minutes (it was close though). And the tips were regurgitated from the sessions and were very basic, so I didn’t get much out of that.

The sessions I did were very good, and I heard great things from the others. I wish I had the opportunity to have Trish and Chris Meyer at my Postapalooza event (they were only in the Michigan one). It would have been nice to have truly expert level knowledge on After Effects.

There was also a big giveaway, and since the event was small there happened to be enough prizes for everyone. I managed to win the Magic Bullet Suite for AE and FCP (and I use the plugins ALL THE TIME NOW). It was worth $900! Awesome.

Outside of the planned out sessions, I had a great time. The hotel room was super nice, the weather was pleasant for mid-Fall, and I was forced to just take time to myself since I couldn’t get on the Internet or drive to McDonalds. I briefly went to the casino as well. I think I went in there for about 20 minutes and smelled like smoke immediately. I spent a lot of my time alone in Starbucks or in my room where I had to order room service since there was literally nothing else to do. I did socialize a little with attendees, but there were so few that it was hardly worth it. It was great – just me, some coffee, and my “Behind the Seen” book about how Walter Murch edited Cold Mountain with Final Cut Pro. Totally immersed in all things post production for two days.


Possibly my favorite part about this whole thing (besides the post talk of course) was the buffet. I’m still in the mindset of a starving college student, so when I get unlimited access to a fabulous buffet, I feel like the kids in Jurassic Park when they are chowing down on the food they find right before a velociraptor comes and tries to eat them. It just makes me happy.

In conclusion, Postapalooza was great. I wished some sessions went a little deeper into the material, but I realize that 90 minute sessions can’t possibly teach you THAT much about After Effects. It was worth going to, and maybe someday I’ll go again. I hope the event grows more and more, because it’s very good for editors. It’s something they need to do from time to time.

Hopefully this post will help someone out in the future when they’re looking for information. I tried googling this event a while back to find out more, and I didn’t see a thing.