I first ran into Anna Elizabeth James and Michael Koerbel, the aspiring movie-industry duo of Majek Pictures, through the short film "Apple of My Eye" recorded and edited last year entirely on an iPhone 4.
Since last June, the team has been busy. They've since produced eight installments of similarly produced action series called Goldilocks and an app that lets people download new episodes. And starting Friday, they upgraded their editing studio: two iPad 2s running Apple's new tablet version of iMovie were used to produce Goldilocks episode nine.
"The iPad 2 is definitely more fun than editing on an iPhone," James told CNET in an e-mail. Regarding iMovie, "the feature requests we posed to Apple were pretty much all addressed in this version."
Apple's product demonstrations are designed to elevate people's expectations and aspirations, but don't expect average Apple product owners to be able to reproduce what Majek Pictures did easily. But do take it as evidence that the "post-PC era," no matter how much I don't care for that particular term, will extend well beyond playing Angry Birds and posting updates on Facebook.
Majek Pictures bought two iPad 2s within the first hour after they went on sale, one for James and one for Fawaz Al-Matrouk, the team's Goldilocks editor. They had the video imported, edited, and posted Saturday after a 35-hour sleepless rush.
iMovie ran on the iPhone 4, but of course the iPad 2 has a more powerful processor and a much larger screen. What else is better with the new gear for the serious video editor? James' list:
You can now have three tracks of editable audio! (we only had one for Apple of My Eye)
There is a fourth track of audio that is enabled if you import an audio clip over 1 minute
More themes (including iCNN report)
Upload directly to Vimeo, YouTube, etc. This was amazing. The video literally never was on a "real" computer. [It was] shot, edited, and uploaded on iOS devices!
Import directly from iPhone 4 with camera connection kit. This was a big thing we were worried about, and literally a $29 adapter let us plug both iPhone 4's in and super easily upload to the iPad 2. Slicker user interface and the multi-touch is flawless
It's not perfect, but it's got what it takes for serious use, James said.
"I think one of the drawbacks could be you can't separate audio from clips, so [there's] no way to put B-roll over other video footage," she said. "But I can definitely see someone finding a story, shooting it on their iPhone 4 or iPad 2, and editing it, [then] uploading it for the nightly breaking news."
And the project is helping Majek.
"Even though we haven't made any huge monetary leaps yet, it seems like every door is opening," James said. Among other things, the Television Academy of Arts and Sciences invited Majek to its annual retreat to speak about "this new revolution," she said.