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May 9, 2013

Coen Brothers Switching from Final Cut Pro to Adobe Premiere with Their Next Film

adobe premiere pro creative suite cs6Though there have been some seriously divided opinions on the new Adobe Creative Cloud-only strategy, there is no question the company has made a dent into what was once Final Cut Pro and Avid territory. The Coen Brothers, Academy Award winners for Fargo and No Country for Old Men, have been editing their own films since they began their careers (under the name Roderick Jaynes), and they've been using Apple's software until now: their newest film, which has not begun shooting, will be edited on Adobe Premiere.

From the Adobe NAB press release, here's some info about the move:

The next version of Adobe video tools has been developed with features created in direct response to the needs of filmmakers, broadcasters and video professionals. In fact, the multiple Academy Award winning Coen brothers have been working directly with the Adobe Premiere Pro product team and are switching to Adobe Premiere Pro for their next feature film slated for late 2013.

"Broadcasters, filmmakers and video professionals are looking for modern tools that meet the demands of today`s evolving video industry," said Steve Warner, vice president of product development, Adobe. "Adobe`s video tools revealed today provide content creators with one powerful toolset to help them produce exceptional content and streamline workflows. From Academy Award winning filmmakers like the Coen brothers to global broadcasters, these innovative tools are what will continue to drive the shift to Adobe video solutions across the broadcast and media industries."

On the surface this may seem insignificant to some, but it shows just how far Apple has fallen out of favor with Hollywood. Avid continues to be the editor of choice for many post houses, but those who also dabbled in Final Cut are either considering a Premiere Pro move or have done so already. Regardless of the actual positives for Apple to completely change their editing platform, the move has done plenty of damage with professionals, who arguably drive these trends in the first place.

What do you guys think?

Link: Adobe Drives Innovation With New Video Workflows at NAB 2013

[via Notes On Video -- Twitter]

Disclosure: Adobe is a No Film School advertiser.

[Update: an earlier version of this post stated that the film edited on Premiere was Inside Llewyn Davis, which is inaccurate.]

Your Comment

135 Comments

It doesn't surprise me. With the new updates over the past year, I personally just cut faster with FCPX. I love it. And I've worked as a professional editor. But that's just me.

Although workflow, speed, features, 4k, etc. are all important in an NLE, just remember some of the greatest films were cut physically by hand...and they had a lot less to work with. As long as you can edit in the format you want to edit in, and it plays nice within your workflow, who cares? All you need after that is "J", "K", "L", "Spacebar", and whatever cursor tool you need at the time. The rest is skill, experience, and craft.

May 9, 2013

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I agree, the tech doesn't really matter. Knowing when and why to cut is what's important. I love FCPX because it's a very visual program, editing is a very visual art and I'm a very visual person.

Filmstrip view is amazing when you just need to find the right reaction shot, expand the clip as far as you need so you can see every frame, it's really great. You also can't beat the Audition feature, it really encourages creativity and trying new things. The magnetic timeline and connected clips also make it very easy to experiment with the footage.

I don't care what other people use, this is what I like and in time what you edit on won't really matter. I like simplicity and Apple made FCPX very simple. Like you said, people used to cut with razorblades and tape. 2001 A Space Odyssey was amazing, everything we have now is just icing on the cake. The NLE doesn't matter, your skills matter.

What I want to know is why the Cohen brothers decided to use premier. I'm sure they aren't ignorant about what each NLE has to offer and there were probably good reasons for the choice.

Also, since they edit their own films, it's not like an FCPX editor is losing out on the work anyway.

May 9, 2013

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Julian

I wish I could live in that fairyland where editing just jkl and snip, I spent all day reconfirming sequences from an offline online edit that had proxy files with different file names from the masters. And since they shot 60p and converted it, I had overlapping timecode with no file name or reel metadata to reference. Post can be a logistical nightmare thats where the NLE actually matters.

May 10, 2013

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ryan

Well, technically that's where good production planning matters. But as an editor you'll rarely have control over that. Does the NLE matter though? Avid, Premier or FCPX, what difference will it make when you're trying to fix those specific problems?

May 10, 2013

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Julian

Dude, that sounds absolutely horrible!! I feel for you!!

May 17, 2013

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LeopoldBloom

Hey Ryan,
Sounds like your dailies house didn't know what they were doing!
Sorry to hear about the manual conform!!

Cheers,
Jesse

May 20, 2013

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Jesse Korosi

So what will be a good machine for someone starting out? Buy a Macbook Pro and run Premiere on it? (since windows is so cumbersome usually)

May 9, 2013

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Vikas

What are you trying to get into? If you want to be an editor full time, a retina MBP will be really versatile and speedy. If you know you want Windows only, you can build a better desktop than you can buy in the Apple store. If you are a filmmaker, what do you shoot with? Do you do a lot of VFX and color work? If you are shooting on a DSLR with little to no color grading work, iMovie that comes free on every Mac would do exactly what you want it to. If you want to do a lot of color grading, VFX, processing, 2k+, etc, you need an NLE that plays nicely with other apps (or has a lot of great built in tools). I think FCPX is quicker to edit with and fits perfectly into my workflow with Davinci Resolve, but Premiere Pro is probably a little more flexible in terms of playing nice with other apps. Avid Media Composer is the most feature rich, at the expense of UI and speed (just my opinion).

FCPX is $300
Premiere Pro is over $700 standalone (not talking about Creative Cloud or other bundles).
Avid Media Composer is $1000

So, it depends on what you are trying to do.

May 9, 2013

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If you're a student and buy a computer in September, Apple usually gives out a $100 App store gift card. So for young editors, it's only $199. So a monthly fee or a one time fee that you can probably get your parents to pay for.

Young editors are the future and FCPX is priced much better for a broke college student who would rather spend $50 a month on beer or weed (although that's not nearly enough for a month supply for most students).

May 9, 2013

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Julian

I've been using a 2010 iMac (core i5, 12gb ram, ati hd grafics) to cut a project, it worked really fast and I had no problem. But later I've been using a RetinaMBP (nvidia graphics, SSD , 16gb ram) to recut and reedit the same project and after 3 or 4 hours of work I felt it struggling to play footage smoothly and as fast as the iMac...so... a MBPRetina is very beautiful but for serious hours of work I don't find it very reliable.

May 10, 2013

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Jesuan

Have you tried using the notebook with an external storage device, like a USB 3 hard drive for example?

Sometimes the bottleneck isn't where you think it is.

May 10, 2013

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trackofalljades

Ive also found apple's flagship laptop to be unreliable under the stress of video editing.

May 11, 2013

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PhinioxGlade

What's the setup you're running?

May 11, 2013

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Julian

Highest available build of the rMBP as of Nov 2012. I think it's 15" screen i7 16GB ram 768GB SSD 650GTX. It really helped disabling the Intel Graphic card switching

May 11, 2013

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PhinioxGlade

I disagree about Windows being clunky. I built a custom PC (I know that not everyone is comfortable doing this) and it will outperform all but the absolute top-shelf Mac Pros (which cost over twice as much).

Granted, I wouldn't go to Best Buy for an editing system, but a savvy shopper can get a great PC for relatively inexpensive (at least compared to a Mac).

Don't buy the hype about Macs being the only game in town.

May 30, 2013

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Go a Mac Pro (or Hackintosh) if you HAVE to use a Mac to run Premiere.

May 10, 2013

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moebius22

I just moved from a 2008 macPro to the latest bumbed up 27" iMac. It is gorgeous and fast with FCPX.

May 10, 2013

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Tulio

I run Premeire on Windows 8. I prefer Mac OS - but once you are in the application - who cares??!
PC's can be a little more uh... moody? at times. But I'm not a technical super wizard and any issue I've ever had with graphics drivers or whatever - I ALWAYS found the answer online. (Not that it happened often)

Macs are great - but I sold my older MacBook pro, invested in a relatively inexpensive PC to run Premiere. It's got good hardware and is speedy enough.

May 10, 2013

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I use the fully speced out rMBP at work for video editing via CS6. I've had a lot of heat issues and the logic board has been replaced just 3 months in. It's a great looking laptop, pretty screen but it unreliable. I purchased a 600 buck Windows 7 desktop dropped in a 3 year old 460 GTX use it for CS6. It out renders the rMBP even with its reduced specs: i7 to i5, 16GB good ram vs 12GB of cheap ram, 650GTX vs 460GTX, SSD vs external USB 2.0 hdd.

I would greatly advise against the first generation rMBP, hopefully the 2013 model will be improved.

May 11, 2013

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PhinioxGlade

I've gotten used to editing on my 27" iMac with a second 22" monitor, SSD, thunderbolt drive, 16GB RAM, 2GB video card. At this point I couldn't imaging editing on any laptop.

May 11, 2013

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Julian

Editing on a laptop is not great, the screen registers as 1440x900 that not really enough room but the rMBP has 2 thunderbolt ports and 1 hdmi so you can attach 3 extra screens. I do miss having a 27' iMac screen but I don't like how OSX handles multi-monitors

May 11, 2013

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PhinioxGlade

OSX and multi monitors is great, except where the screens are different sizes - then you get the 'wall' that you need to negotiate when moving windows or mouse between screens, but not a big deal. I love the new full screen options with ML and up to 16 desktops with the customisable hot corners etc...can windows do that?

May 16, 2013

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Andrew Cox

I feel like this article was posted for the sole purpose of inciting a 80+ comment anti-Apple circle jerk.

It's not what they edit on that matters, its just a tool. CS6 and FCP are literally the exact same thing (except, dare I say, CS6 has a much more dated and clunky design). And following the Coen brother's choices on which to use certainly wont make you a better filmmaker. It's about the script and the acting and directing those two.

May 9, 2013

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Skinny Pete

"it shows just how far Apple has fallen out of favor with Hollywood"

Come on NFS. Seriously? Because ONE production switches then they are automatically doomed? The state of "journalism" in 2013....

May 9, 2013

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Skinny Pete

Apple had a big 'ole page on their old Final Cut site spotlighting how the Coens would use their software to edit features. This, along with articles about Walter Murch and a few others, was a big part of their marketing strategy. The Coens switching is telling, and worth sparking discussion about, especially as many of us migrate to Premiere Pro or otherwise away from FCP 7.

So, yes. Seriously.

May 9, 2013

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

I'd say the Coens didn't switch—they stayed with the same.

Cutting in Premiere is the same as in Final Cut Pro 7. It's traditional NLE layout and thinking on a modern code base.

It doesn't surprise me that they chose not to re-learn editing in FCPX. Maybe they will in the future? I do however think that some of the innovative stuff in FCPX is more targeted towards those who need quick turn around times, and that isn't feature films to me. Not to say that FCPX wouldn't be excellent for a feature film, but you'd have to sit down and learn it and be comfortable with it.

May 10, 2013

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What director wouldn't love the audition feature? Try out a dozen vastly different ideas, play them a bunch of times to compare the difference, then pick the best one.

May 10, 2013

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Julian

I completely agree. Premiere CS6 can be almost an exact carbon copy of FCP7 when you change the layout to 5.5 style and change the shortcuts to FCP style. FCP X on the other hand is completely different to use and I for instance simply can't get used to not having multiple tracks and gaps closing automatically all the time. Premiere CS6 is the true FCP8 and that's what many editors wanted.

May 10, 2013

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Haiggoh

I started cutting 3/4 tape to tape then moved onto an AVID Media Composer for 6 years. For the past 7 I've cut on FCP. Tried FCPX and hated it. I recently made the switch to Premiere and haven't looked back. It was a VERY easy transition from FCP 7. With the AE integration it made a whole lot of sense for me personally. I dogged premiere for years and now I'm eating a big plate humble pie and loving it. If you have the time to relearn a whole new edit system, great FCPX might be for you. When $$$ and getting a project done quick are on the line, I don't have time to deal with a company more concerned about making slick toys and jerking me around with a joke of a new NLE. Apple's stepped in it big time and myself and plenty of other professionals don't take kindly to a company screwing with their paycheck. I love Apple computers but if I have to wait much longer on a new Mac Pro or they completely screw up the new system I'm going to do the unthinkable and switch completely back to PC. Guh that thought is depressing.

May 10, 2013

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Andrew

Premiere 6 was built on leads taken from the FCP7 team. Adobe focused on taking market await from FCP7 and there succeeding.

May 11, 2013

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PhinioxGlade

"What director wouldn’t love the audition feature?" Probably, those who shot expensive feature films based on a precise script.

August 4, 2013

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Paolo

Who said they're doomed Mr. Jeffreys? The fact that Adobe worked with the Coens and that they switched to Premiere - and Apple worked pretty much alone without input from professionals - says a lot about the two companies.

May 9, 2013

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

This

May 10, 2013

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Mark

"and Apple worked pretty much alone without input from professionals "

That's incorrect FWIW.

May 10, 2013

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Charlie

I am glad to see there is not many people here bashing FCPX, on the contrary, people has used it and realized it is a great story-tellers tool. NFS, what about an article about how cool FCPX is?

May 10, 2013

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Tulio

It's all pretty dull. When the Coen's used FCP, it was a big deal. FCP was a big deal. Now the NLE revolution is over and the choice of NLE doesn't really matter. Apple annoy you, you switch to Premiere. Adobe annoy you, you give FCPX another chance. I like FCPX. It's like OS X. FCP7 is like OS 9. FCPX is world's better than the FCP that changed everything, that Walter Murch and the Coens were using.

May 9, 2013

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The article seems somewhat slanted. Not once is FCPX mentioned. As for Hollywood abandoning Apple, nothing could be further from the truth. Emmy Award Winning NBC show George To The Rescue is edited, colorized & finished entirely on Final Cut Pro X. http://www.fcp.co/final-cut-pro/news/1115-how-emmy-winning-george-to-the...

Having tried both Apple & Adobe, I'm certain that if the Cohen brothers had seen a proper demo of what FCPX can do, it would be their editing platform.

thank you

May 9, 2013

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It isn't just FCPX, but the hardware too. They keep saying they are updating their pro line, but it has been years since a significant update. There is just so much bang for the buck for a PC. And no I am not talking about the race to the bottom with cheap crap, but serious high end workstations. And you can't run Final Cut on a PC. I think that is another reason people are switching.

May 10, 2013

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steve

THIS. When your software is tied to your hardware, you need to maintain both.

CS is software that runs on either....so again, a little more flexible should one hardware manufacturer let you down like Apple has done for 2 years now.

They're going to need to do something BIG with the supposed new Mac Pros coming in 2014.

May 10, 2013

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sean

As an older filmmaker, I remember the heated debates regarding cutting on a moviola versus using a computer. The computer won. I use both FCPX and Premiere. They're both good. FCPX is faster. I prefer fast.

May 9, 2013

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I love this comment!

May 13, 2013

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Why is there a lack of discussion about that incredibly frustrating yellow info box that cant't be turned off in Premiere that follows you around everywhere ?

May 9, 2013

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Samantha

Why doesn't anyone ever talk about the audition feature in FCPX? I've tried so many stupid ideas out because, why not? If the director doesn't like it I'll just switch back, but sometimes those stupid ideas turn out amazing.

May 9, 2013

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Julian

The new macbooks don't play so well with anything that isn't FCPX in my experience. I know they aren't dedicated editing machines, but man do they seam to go kicking and screaming when I launch Avid or Premier.

May 9, 2013

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Kevin Valbonesi

What the heck!? Not photographed by Roger Deakins? Come on Coen bros...

May 9, 2013

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Robert

1) Select clip. 2) Right-Click. 3) Replace with After Effects Composition. 4) Do stuff in AE. 5) Updates automatically within Prem Pro. 6 and most importantly) have a lovely cup of tea in huge amount of time saved not doing a huge round trip from FC. :)

But that's just me.

May 9, 2013

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Kraig

Definitely - for a production that involves a lot of AE work, I almost certainly will use Premiere. But when I want to put something together quickly and using assets from a ton of different past projects, I'll turn to FCP X.

They're all just tools, people. Who cares what the Coen brothers use, have used, or will use in the future. We are incredibly, incredibly lucky to live in a time when we have multiple excellent and affordable options to edit video content from practically anywhere.

May 9, 2013

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Hummer

Better than razorblades and tape right?

May 9, 2013

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Julian

But the is nothing like making a cut you can't undo. Super8 god you were crap

May 11, 2013

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PhinioxGlade

I'm curious as to how FCPX is "faster" than premiere. With Adobe I can literally drag practically any media directly onto the timeline from the desktop and immediately start editing. No transcoding. If I need to tweak the audio, I bring up the clip into Audition. If I need to add VFX, I bring up After Effects. From what I've seen of FCPX, it seems geared to make shorter clips/movies (possibly) quicker. I guess FCPX seems faster because it's more visual, perhaps...

May 9, 2013

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mr. show

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