Peter Wiggins, Flex 8, and the Power of the Multi-Hyphenate

What do the OWC ThunderBay Flex 8 and Peter Wiggins, the FCP.co Editor-in-Chief, have in common? They are both multi-hyphenates that get a lot done. Peter recently had the opportunity to do a review of the Flex 8 – and in reading it, I was hit with this interesting revelation about the multi-hyphenate artist/entrepreneur and the latest hardware release from OWC. Each of the Flex 8’s three primary features is kind of a symbolic representation of one of Peter’s jobs. I can think of no better way to pay homage to a man who has had such an indelible impact on the industry.


An Editor First

Peter Wiggins
Peter Wiggins

First and foremost, Peter is a professional editor. For over four decades, Peter has been a professional in this industry, getting his start editing 1” linear tape. Tons of formats and editing systems later, Peter is still going strong doing work for such outlets as the BBC and Channel 4 in England (Peter is based out of Lichfield, Staffordshire, UK, in the heart of England, about 16 miles north of Birmingham).

What does every editor need more than anything (excluding an NLE, of course) is hard drive space. The Flex 8’s ability to have up to eight drives (that’s where you get the “8” in Flex 8), configurable in various RAID arrays, makes it an excellent partner for a veteran editor like Peter.

Undoubtedly, Peter’s vast editing experience contributes to his success in his other two “hyphenates.”


Peter, Plugins, and PCIe slots (oh my!)

One of the hallmarks of Final Cut Pro X is its rich and wide plugin architecture. Through App Store purchases, or via the plugin marketplace FxFactory, Final Cut Pro X allows editors to greatly expand power and feature set. 

From simple and free plugins that are as simple as providing the ability to easily grow or shrink images, to more complex color grading suites, the Final Cut Pro X plugin ecosystem provides a sea of opportunities for FCPX editors.

It just so happens that Peter is a plugin developer and co-founder of Industrial Revolution, makers of the popular XEffects plugins for Final Cut Pro (7 and X), After Effects, and Motion.

Peter started the company back in 2006, and in that time, he has been able to maintain a lean team of designers and engineers expert in using Apple technology. I have no doubt that if you’re a Final Cut Pro X user, at some point you have come across one of Peter’s plugins.

Just like Peter’s plugins extend the functionality of Final Cut Pro X, the Flex 8 PCIe slot can do the same for your computer set-up. 


Blog and Dock

Ten years ago this December, Peter could not find any suitable resources for news about Final Cut Pro. So, he created one. FCP.co is one of the leading blogs and forums for all things related to Final Cut Pro. Editors from all over the world get “plugged in” to the site to boost their knowledge and power; or connect with other users via the forums.

Likewise, the third and final feature of the Flex 8 is its versatile dock. Whereas FCP.co allows you to plug into the Final Cut Pro community, Flex 8’s dock allows you to plug in a variety of devices, including Thunderbolt 4, DisplayPort, USB-C, and USB-A. Need an SD 4.0 or CFexpress card reader? They’re on the front for easy access. You can even power up and charge you MacBook Pro when plugged into the Flex 8.

Okay, I admit it. This final connection between Flex 8 and Peter is a bit of a stretch. Admittedly, my analogy breaks down (just a bit). But, the overall message and theme still holds: this multi-hyphenate artist and entrepreneur has contributed quite a bit to our industry through his various disciplines. Likewise, you’ll find that the Flex 8 will be a significant contribution to your post-production arsenal.

Front ports on the Flex 8
Frontside ports on the Flex 8 (click to expand)

The Top 3 Reasons You Too Should be a Multi-Hyphenate

I hope you come away from this profile of Peter Wiggins inspired to go down your own multi-hyphenate journey. There are three reasons why you should:

  1. Financial fulfillment: first and foremost, it goes without saying that having multiple disciplines that can earn you income is always a benefit, especially in times like these. It’s akin to diversifying your stock investments. The more you are, the more financial stability. (It’s particularly nice if one of those disciplines can earn your passive income like Peter’s plugins)
  2. Creative fulfillment: investing your time in various creative endeavors can be creatively fulfilling as well. Speaking from my own personal experience, I love the fact that on any given day, I could be recording and producing a podcast for one client, writing a blog post for another, and shooting and/or editing a video for a third. It allows me to exercise multiple aspects of my artistry, and each feeds the other.
  3. Career insurance: nothing is certain in life except death and taxes (and sometimes not even taxes). The more skills you have, the more “insurance” you’ll have in your ability to apply for various jobs and open up multiple doors of opportunities.

You may be thinking to yourself that it’s too late or that you’re too old. If that is your thought, let me remind you that Ridley Scott was 42 when he made his first feature “Alien,” and he’s still going strong at 82! Find yourself a hobby to start and enroll in any number of online classes (free or otherwise) to get going. And if you have a Flex 8 by your side, there is no limit to the diverse disciplines you could undertake, knowing you have all the expansion, connection, and power slots needed.

Ron Dawson
the authorRon Dawson
For nearly 20 years, Ron Dawson has been a professional video producer, content marketer, and influencer in the visual arts industry. Most recently he was managing editor of the Frame.io blog and currently is managing editor of Film Riot and a Story Producer for Wistia. He helps brands and creative artists tell their stories using video, content, effective SEO strategies, and words.
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