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Final Cut Pro X: How We Got Here (and Where It's Going) in an Entertaining Hour

08.15.11 @ 4:34PM Tags : , ,

While stalled underground on a NYC subway several weeks ago, on my phone I started writing a post entitled “Final Cut Pro X is a Brilliant Rethink of the NLE, but I’m Switching to Adobe. Here’s Why.” (It’s not because Adobe is offering 50% off, though that helps). The train delay turned out to be of a briefer variety than expected, and so I never finished the post — and since then hundreds of bloggers have talked ad nauseum about FCP X and I haven’t felt a need to add another voice to the mix. However, this presentation by Evan Schechtman at NYC’s Apple shop Tekserve is the best overview/history/contextualizing of the FCP X situation I’ve seen (and not just its past, but its future):

Sorry about the audio only coming from one speaker — nothing I can do about that from here!

And yes — I did use the word “brilliant” to describe FCP X. Brilliant, but obviously incomplete. Without going too much into it, I’ll just say this: if I were a film student or someone just getting started, I’d definitely learn Apple’s much-maligned new NLE. Perhaps not to the exclusion of everything else, but FCP X is a very efficient chop shop, and some of its new features — auditions, for example, as demonstrated by Evan above — make you a better editor. However, I’m a multihyphenate who already knows Premiere Pro, After Effects, Photoshop, and Audition (and it’s worth noting again, since Adobe is keen on capitalizing on disenfranchised Final Cut Pro editors: all of these are available for 50% off as part of Production Premium). I’m locked-in, and for where I am in my multihyphenate career (meaning: I’m not a full-time editor), it doesn’t make sense learn a new NLE. Maybe if that NLE started playing well with other programs like After Effects, I’d revisit that line of thinking, though…

[via 2-pop]


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  • Yea… I mean it all sounds good…

  • One of the bigger things for me was that I didn’t like that you saw non project specific media in your media window. But as I’m watching here, it doesn’t look that bad.

    The biggest thing for me is that I’d need a mac to use it and I’d much rather build a PC :)

  • I like it a lot. I just hope that they follow through..

  • Does it have curves already? or, more broadly: did they add anything yet, or is it still in its original state?

  • That’s a good presentation. I’ve used FCP X for business(short webvideo for a product) and it was great. I got to sit with my client and in real time, change clips around and try different gradingstyles etc.
    However, since I upgraded(?!!) to OS X Lion, the priogram has been complete bullshit. Titles can’t be moved, system is super super slow, it crashes etc.

    I am willing to use the program again, only they have to fix these problems. It was pretty embarresing having FCP X not allowing me to move a simple text, not transform move, but textmove. And I had to restart my system two times at all be able to work with FCP X.
    I get that it’s a big leap into the future of editing, but the fact that they FCP X got worse in Lion really makes me wanna trow it out.

    FCP7 havn’t been the same either with OS X Lion. I can’t drag text i write(or clips) from the viewer to my timeline, what’s going on here? Anybody got the same problem. Workarounds?

  • The question is: Why did you upgrade to Lion so soon?

    Why did you just not install Lion in a differente installation and just play with it?

    Everybody knows you have to wait at least 6 months before upgrading to something so new, a new OS is mostly and advance Beta because real bugs comes when millions of people use it and not just a couple of hundreds… you’ll just have to wait… to next FCPX and Lion upgrade… that simple ;)

  • Why? because I really did think FCP X would work even better with the new OS X, the os it’s supposed to be made for..
    If I knew that this would happen, do you really think I would have upgraded?
    However, I will wait for fixes. I just hope that they’ll come sooner that in six months.

  • Alec Sprinkle on 08.16.11 @ 9:58AM

    Off topic (only a minute in so far), but those people in the background are very distracting.

  • Adobe Abode on 08.16.11 @ 2:02PM

    Hey Koo, or anyone, I just got Premiere. I’m still using fcp7 but could you recommend a good website/video tutorial for Premiere beginners? I have it installed but haven’t started a new project yet…

  • “When was the last time you exported an EDL?”

    Are you joking? 3 times last week.

  • FCP Dinosaur on 08.16.11 @ 8:57PM

    guy reminds me of the guy selling Snake Oil at a travelling show! Whats wrong with FCP!!??

  • FCP Dinosaur on 08.16.11 @ 8:59PM

    let me guess, its not compatible with Motion, or After Effects, or Soundtrack Pro, or Shake, or “Power PC” likley wants Intel processors too right?

  • FCP Dinosaur on 08.16.11 @ 9:03PM

    you know what the problem is? when it was “Film” editors had YEARS to master their craft! Film was king for like 75 year stretch. Now software, hardware chages every 6 months and if YOU dont have the latest and greatest, well you’re just like the Sneaches on the Beaches without Stars! its Pathetic really! Are we here to showcase our talents, release creativity or are we just consumers being fed the so called “latest and greatest”!?

  • FCP Dinosaur on 08.16.11 @ 9:04PM

    its probably not even compatible with my camera!

  • Just finished editing a 15-min short that is going to be submitted to Sundance next month. On the strength of the final cut screener, the director just got a major sound house in LA to donate all the post audio FOR FREE. To start their work, they need a complete set of screeners with TC burn-ins, OMF’s, and a CMX 3600 edit list. Pretty standard deliverables. Could FCPX handle this?

  • Ok, I cant resist this;
    Why is it that when good folks like Henrik, is told, that he shouldn’t have upgraded to Lion, and that its his own fault, that his FCP isn’t working, cause he upgraded when, there was a new release.

    Could it be that maybe its apple, (and other large software vendors), maybe, actually should wait an extra 1-3 months before launching something. I mean how hard is it to make a group of BETA testers, that test large groups of environments, and then fix all that can be fixed of the darn software, before selling them to us. SELLING THEM TO US… for $$$.

    I am like Henrik. I also go for the new super great must have, (cant live without) new software. I pull out my VISA and pay for it. Now great… Let me start working with all this great stuff, that apple promises, will change my life thru their extensive PR.

    So one could ask a question?

    Is it apple? and (likewise large super companies) that should make sure, they don´t sell a product before it works? At least as promised!

    Or is it folks like me and Henrik, that should keep our mouths shut, and never complain again, that something is wrong?! and only blame our selves for being naive and trustful enough to buy when available?

    Arguments that state that apple should be able to release working software.
    They know every little hardware piece in every single mac they have ever sold. Down to its number, date, origin, version etc. So they know beforehand what drivers to write.

    Next, they control there updates so radically well, that they can without loosing one single person make sure that the software is working.

    I know, that 3 party software can be a problem. BUT, is FCPX, Compressor, LION, amongst many, 3. party software? No ofcourse not.

    Great greetings

    • Second that Sofus!

    • Because most people understand the reality of software launches. However you feel about that reality, should not weigh on your decision on whether or not to be an early adopter. That decision should be simply weighed by the pros and cons of buying at or near release.

      Expecting an OS or even editing software to work flawlessly from the outset is like expecting to win the lotto on your first try. Whether that ideal or not is irrelevant, its reality.

  • I have to say that I have mixed about the new Final Cut. One of my major concerns is that you are no longer allowed to open FPC7 files anymore which can hurt a lot of people since they may have their files saved with the old format. The other problem is this FCP is not an actual extension of the last one; it is a brand new software which means that people are going to have to relearn how to use it. Professionals are not going to want to buy this product until they have to because that would require time that they may not have. Overall, it is a good program but it is going to take some time for people to jump on board.

  • no, but the standard will be other in a short future, and do you think that FCP 7 can handle that!!! I think not!!! FCX is the future standard in video edition! and now is time to begin to learn again.

  • Hugo Jordan on 08.20.11 @ 11:45PM

    yeah, what the hell is this guy talking about? I work in commercials. It’s a very professional environment and we’re pretty up to date with the technology, and we export EDLs all the time. Color Correction, Online. How does he think these places match back. By EYE. that was a STUPID thing to say. I wanna keep listening, but he comes off like such an arrogant brick. Especially after that comment.

  • You’re just another idiotic and dishonest Adobe fanboy. You know FCPX is eating Adobe’s lunch and so you’re spinning as hard as you can.


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