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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 nofilmschool advertiser.

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


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  • 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

        • 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?

        • LeopoldBloom on 05.17.13 @ 2:11AM

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

        • Jesse Korosi on 05.20.13 @ 12:07AM

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


  • 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)

    • 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.

      • 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).

      • 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.

        • trackofalljades on 05.10.13 @ 11:33PM

          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.

        • PhinioxGlade on 05.11.13 @ 8:32AM

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

          • What’s the setup you’re running?

          • PhinioxGlade on 05.11.13 @ 8:33PM

            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

      • 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.

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

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

      • 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.

    • PhinioxGlade on 05.11.13 @ 8:28AM

      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.

      • 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.

        • PhinioxGlade on 05.11.13 @ 8:40PM

          Editing on a laptop is not great, the screen registers as 1440×900 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

          • 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?

  • Skinny Pete on 05.9.13 @ 9:21PM

    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.

    • Skinny Pete on 05.9.13 @ 9:22PM

      “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….

      • 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.

        • 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.

          • 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.

          • 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.

          • 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.

          • PhinioxGlade on 05.11.13 @ 8:44AM

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

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

      • Joe Marine on 05.9.13 @ 9:33PM

        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.

    • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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.

    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

    • 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.

      • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 ?

    • 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.

  • Kevin Valbonesi on 05.9.13 @ 10:07PM

    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.

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

  • 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.

    • 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.

  • 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…

    • It’s not the visuals, it’s the way you work in FCPX. I feel I tend to stay on the keyboard longer before picking up a mouse (which equals speed). Like it or not, I would say about 90% of the time, the magnetic timeline is the better metaphor. The magnetic timeline increases my speed considerably.

      Some people want to stay with what they have (look at Avid MC: unchanged since the dinosaur era). I get it. I even returned FCPX on v1. Even though I returned it, I still had the app on my computer. After playing with it, I had to admit to myself I was seeing a big performance increase. With the new updates, it feels like the pro editor it should have shipped as. Cool, weird, (insert your adjective here), I just edit much faster with it.

      • Okay, so I just checked out the magnetic timeline thing and you know what – I’ll give you that one ;) Pretty neat!

      • But it is also the visuals. In FCPX you can look at your events in film strip view to quickly find what you are looking for. Being able to audition a bunch of different clips saves a ton of time. Once you try a different take, it’s saved in the audition and you can switch back and forth really quickly to see which take works best. Keyword collections and favorites are very intuitive and quick.

        And if you really care about speed, you should be running whatever NLE you use off of a SSD with external RAID thunderbolt drive.

    • FCP X also has had native support (without transcoding for most formats, including H.264) since day 1. Transcoding to ProRes is an option if you want it but not required. Logic’s plug-ins are included, and Motion is a great tool for titles, effects and much more. Design one title template and you can use it throughout a project changing the text in FCP X; you can also design your own effects (make an Unsharp Mask filter, for example) or make your own Transitions too.

      If you’re not convinced about FCP X yet, here’s part one of a free six-part guide to using it that I wrote for

  • I also wonder what made the Coens decide to go to Premier rather than FCPX. Wish this article could have enlightened us. Apple seems to strive to be disruptive in dramatic fashion. This might seem to be good for their business because then the customers need to buy more new stuff. Of course editors got pissed at Apple’s disruptive change from FCP to FCPX, just as Canon photographers did when Canon switched from FD to EF lens mounts, and stuff from before the change would not work with stuff after the change. Maybe there is a fix by now but who knew then?

    • People still preferred OS9 When they released OSX. Humans don’t like change, fortunately I never used fcp7 and jumped straight into X.

    • FCPX is designed for the prosumer. Wedding videos, music videos and commercials. It’s not just about the editing application but how it integrates with other applications. The sound is exported to protools for dialogue editing, sfx, music etc. Visual effects go out to Nuke or After Effects (maybe Fusion too) and have to come back into the project. The final project goes out to color grading in a Lustre or Davinci suite. All of these applications have to play nice together. FCPX has tried to address these issues but no professional editor wants to be working with a Beta piece of software on a multimillion dollar project. This is why Avid is still popular in high end post. It’s reliable. Even then, Avid has upset some of it’s hard core editors with the jump to 64 bit and the introduction of AMA as it added bugs to the stable system.

      This isn’t anti Apple anything. Premiere and Avid both work fine on the OSX platform. The only thing you can knock Apple for was how it abandoned Shake, it’s Professionally adopted Compositing software. This was the first signal that they were getting out of the professional market. Then they don’t update their Mac Pro line significantly and then release FCPX which not only abandons a very good Professional product but tries to change everything. Why is a Bin called a bin? A trim bin. What is an event for a narrative filmmaker? We have a project, bins, scenes and shots. Where is the language of the professional filmmaker? This isn’t about tradition either, it’s about a continuity of understanding. When cutting a narrative film or television series we don’t need the fluff in the software. It can recognize close ups and medium shots. Who cares. This is why I have a lined script. This is why we have a script supervisor. I could go on but trying to explain to amateurs how the software integrates into workflow is mind numbing. If you like FCPX great but stop being ignorant about it’s short comings for professional work (outside of the uses outlined above).

      • Have you actually looked at FCPX? With 10.0.8, we have .r3d support, XAVC support, MXF, multicam, export for use in Davinci Resolve, etc. Please don’t spread misinformation. What wedding videographer shoots in 4k?

        • Like I said “FCPX has tried to address these issues but no professional editor wants to be working with a Beta piece of software on a multimillion dollar project.”

          You may have added these features but no one with a multimillion dollar workflow wants to take a chance on a Version 1 piece of software. I tried to convert my 20 episode series, cut on FInal Cut Pro 7, to FPX for the use of foreign versioning and it was a disaster. We converted it easily to Premiere instead (and it would work multi-platform).

      • Your arrogance is dialed way up to 11. Bring it down a notch, you’ll play better with other humans.

    • Given that it’s a press release from Adobe, I’m going to guess that they gave them free licenses at the very least if not more in-kind donations to help offset the cost. Just as Cold Mountain / Walter Murch was an ad for FCP in a pro / Hollywood environment, this would appear to be the same.

      There should be disclosure rules for this.

      • The Coens can afford a few Adobe licenses… Adobe used in a press release because they want to promote their software. The interest for the Coen brothers (and Murch) is to have the software developer deliver software that works the way they want to work. It is a partnership that FCPX didn’t take into much consideration.

      • In fact, Apple showed no interest in supporting Walter Murch for much of the duration of Cold Mountain post-production. In the end he had to rely on a small third party company in order to troubleshoot issues with FCP within his workflow and struggled throughout the process to obtain Apple’s support. He was surprised at the time that they didn’t want to become involved in the first big-budget feature to be edited in FCP.

  • Oh come on give me a break.

  • Those attacking NFS need to get a life

  • Apple is going to have to start from scratch all over again to win back trust, no matter how wonderful FCPX allegedly is. Once a company makes a change to a new platform, it may be years before they’re ready to update and even take a look at another NLE.

  • Steven Huber on 05.9.13 @ 11:40PM

    Oh man – no Deakins?

    That grade looks way too tweaked for my tastes. I hope it’s just a temp.

  • Yes this article feels more like a Anti Apple commercial.

    There isn’t much of relearning in FCPX then going from FCP7 tp Premiere.

    • There is basically no learning, it’s just the willingness to accept change and try something new. In general, people don’t like that. FCPX is as simple as any file based computer workflow. So many organizational features, this program could save dozens of hours for a documentary film maker.

  • I’ve gone from FCP 4, 5, 6 & 7 to FCPX to Premiere CS5, 5.5 and CS6 and now I’m back to FCPX. I’m cutting a music video shot on the Sony F5 in FCPX (native codec support!) and it’s blissful. I love the magnetic timeline and it runs beautifully at version 10.0.8 on my NFS Hac Pro (i7 Ivy Bridge @ 4.5Ghz, 16GB RAM, SSD and NVidia GTX 670)

    Good luck to the Coens using Premiere. They’re probably afraid to move away from their winning formula (or Adobe paid them handsomely), and Premiere is the closest they’ll ever get to FCP 7. Maybe in a few years they’ll be using FCPX, but what does it matter? If it works for you now (or doesn’t!), why do you need the validation from the Coen brothers?

    When I watch anything, the last thing I think about is what it was edited on…

    • Thanks. It’s been said before, and it’s all that matters, no one cares what your nle is. Use Imovie if that works. All’s well that ends well

  • for me there´s really no need for using fcpx. i mean apple gives not much about the needs of editor, so it seems to me. they earn their money with the app store and iPhones. i tried fcpx one time in the beginning when it came out and i thought it was a very bad joke. the only reason to use it would for me be to save money but if u anyway work with photoshop and ae, why to hell use this crippled software. i think adobe is really working a lot to make their tools better every year. the performance of all the creatvie suite is really amazing. for me it´s normal in the meanwhile to work with ae and photoshop in a premiere timeline, of corse with native avchd and for examble r3d files. i really don´t want to miss this anymore. lately i sent a a render cue with 42 timelines, one hour each, into media encoder and went to another city for a job. when i came home everything was finished without any problem. it was mixed avchd with 25 and 50p, with color correction and ae comps embedded . this is stability and i want this. 2 days of non stop export and the destination folder was a server via ethernet. what more can u ask for…

    • You tried it once… when it was first released… FCPX has had 8 updates since then. It’s a completely different program. You don’t have to use if, but if your first impression was 10.0.0 then you have no idea what you’re talking about and no idea what you’re missing out on.

      As for exporting, you can create batch export settings. Basically export your project with one click and it will export it in as many different formats as you want.

  • Anthony Marino on 05.10.13 @ 8:51AM

    Hell, I wish the adobe product team would just address the AVCHD bug in their software. Can’t import mts and prores files in the same timeline without any glitches. Been at this problem for months now and find it really ridiculas. Come On Adobe! Man up

  • yeah. mts is a wired codec. but it runs good together with dslr footage in premiere. i think this codec is reallly shitty, quicktime cannot handle it at all and even vlc has hard times with it. maybe thats why there´s a problem to mix it with proress. i did a huge project last summer with 5dmk3 footage and panasonic .mts and it worked like a charm…

    • Anthony Marino on 05.10.13 @ 11:26AM

      Nice to know. Thanks. It has worked for me before. Seems like every time there’s an upgrade from either Adobe or Windows my machine suffers in some sort of way.

  • Whoa. Stop the presses. I will never understand why it matters so much what edit system so-and-so uses. When it hits the screen, can you tell which one they used? What kind of sandbags did they use? Who catered?

    • Really? Well I guess Ryan should just shut down the site since no one is interested in how to make movies…and you know, that’s kinda the whole point of this site.

      Or maybe you’re in the wrong place?

      • Really? I guess we could talk Mac vs PC or Ford vs Chevy as well. One editing software vs another does not an editor make. The edit does.

        • Are you new here? NFS has a big huge article on building a Hackintosh, and there have been plenty of other hardware articles. If it has to do with filmmaking, it’s relevant here.

        • I mean fuck, if tools don’t matter I guess I’ll just walk outside and will my film into existence!

          Do you really think a painter just throws up their hands and are like “Well my tools don’t really matter, I’ll just grab some crayons and note paper…”

          • The tools matter of course, but if you are not offering anything of value as to why you made the switch from FCP 7 to Premiere, what you liked, what you didn’t, your workflow, etc., then it’s only marketing hype, so then there is no point of even mentioning it or writing a blog about it, because it means zero.

            Implying, that because the Coen Brothers made the switch, “Hollywood is falling out of favor with Apple”, is just crap.

            • The Coen Brothers were the poster children for Final Cut in Hollywood. Apple had pages on their website blasting that the Coens were using their products. Post houses that were using Final Cut couldn’t work with FCPX when it came out because it was missing half the features they needed, so they moved on to something they did have what they needed. FCPX might be a more mature piece of software now, but people had to move on because they needed something that worked now, not in 2 years.

    • You are right in that a tool is a tool. If you can get from A to Z in any form then it doesn’t matter.

      However, the process from getting from A to Z can be helped by well thought out, reliable software and hardware. These things help the artist achieve what they need to achieve without jumping through hoops. The Coens want a reliable software with a robust workflow. It doesn’t make them better filmmakers but it doesn’t create new problems either. It’s a preference and a way of working that matters. If you love the workflow of FCPX then embrace it and enjoy. There are many that don’t find that it works the way they would like it to so they go to the alternative.

      What’s odd here is that FCP revolutionized editing. They made it simpler than Avid. They made it more in-depth than Media 100 (look it up kids). They refined it into a piece of software that the highest talents in the business like the Coens and Walter Murch would enjoy using then abandoned it. These are the people that helped make it such a success and then they turn around and preach a new revolution. There is a reason why these great filmmakers abandoned it. It wasn’t a revolution. Just a jazzed up version of Imovie.

      • You just said they made editing simpler and thought it was a good thing. Then they simplified it even more with FCPX and it’s a bad thing? You do realize that iMovie was the beta version of FCPX right? FCP was never an Apple product, it was a macromedia product that they kept modifying. Once Apple figured out how to create a visual editing program with iMovie they took what they learned and wrote FCPX from the ground up. FCPX shares ZERO code with iMovie. Yeah it looks the same, but that’s the point. FCPX is more like traditional editing than anything else because it’s so much more visual, it’s like you can look at the images in the same way as print of film.

        • Oh Julian…

          I know all of that. I cut on Final Cut Pro 1.25. Simple is fine but Editors want control. Apple is notorious for taking away control. Look at After Effects as a perfect example. Simple but powerful. The compositor or motion graphics designer has total control. You wield the tools of the software. Simple and versatile. That was the power of FCP 7. FCPX misses the point. We don’t want automation. We want simple. We want to be able to control and innovate. If you don’t get this then you can apply all the presets you need. That is not the professional game.

  • I actually hate when people ask me “what editing software you used” -__-

    • PhinioxGlade on 05.11.13 @ 9:12AM

      Why? It’s like asking what camera, lens, lighting, mic, etc. What people use, llke, dislike and avoid even want all helps when considering or reconsidering the tool set they use, learn and invest in.


    Take a look at a Walter Murch timeline. How does he adopt FPCX?

  • Most people don’t even realize that Adobe was the reason why Apple stayed afloat for so many years. It was Adobe Photoshop, loved by designers, that kept the company viable. There was also Pagemaker for desktop publishing and Illustrator. Apple started to purchase software to promote their brand until they came out with the Ipod. Now they are a huge success in the consumer market and are less interested in the lower profits of the professional market.

    Traditionally the software would drive the hardware. Apple wanted Photoshop, Final Cut Pro and Shake to drive their hardware market. They are a hardware company that in the heyday of Microsoft had a pittance of the market. The innovation of software would bring consumers to the hardware. Until Ipod. And Ipad. Now that the company is uber-successful in the consumer market they are less interested in the professional market that kept them afloat for so many years (look up the mac clones kids or the injection of cash from Microsoft to keep that company running).

    Their disinterest in the Mac Pro and power computing has shown that they are not interested in Professionals anymore. They pay lip service to it but they are not innovating in high end workstations and top end professional systems. The lure of the BIG money has them abandoning the professionals that helped keep the company afloat for so many years. It’s a shame.

    How many 3d animation or Compositing companies use Apple? Linux or Windows is the choice of high end workstations.

    I can appreciate the want of loving Apple for it’s previous track record. For those working in the real high end of this business the writing is on the wall. Apple has moved on to bigger and more profitable things. Good for them and their shareholders. But don’t try to convince me that they are innovating for professionals. Adobe is. Avid is. Maybe even Sony with their trumped up version of ‘Cool Edit’ Vegas. Apple has seen the light and that light is profit from the consumer. Why is FCPX so cheap? Where is Shake? Motion… give me a break with all the cooked in presets. Prosumer software.

    • “Why is FCPX so cheap? Where is Shake? Motion… give me a break with all the cooked in presets. Prosumer software.”

      All due respect, you have no idea what you’re talking about. While it’s not perfect, I can do things in X that I could never dream of doing in FCP 7. Was 7 prosumer? I have a pretty good feeling that apple will make Roles groupable, which will make a timeline like Murch’s not only do-able in X (it already is with some little workarounds) but it’ll do it automatically, no archaic track patching required. There’s bits of Shake, FCS, STP/Logic, Motion built into FCP X, and I’m sure more is coming. The Metadata..Keywords, Collections, Smart search functions, etc. make “bins” totally superfluous. The ability in X to organize, categorize and search through huge amounts of source material is amazing. And it’s fun to cut in.

      As I said, X isn’t perfect. It also is evolving faster than any NLE I’ve used in my 18 years of full time “hollywood” editing. If you don’t like it, fine. There are lots of good alternatives. Calling it “prosumer” is ridiculous though. And wrong.

      • Go home Charlie. Metadata is what is good at but to what end? 7 wasn’t prosumer. You could go to a 35mm and to a final print. I output hundreds of shows out to Betacam Sp and Hdcam. There was a glitch in 7 that was maddening in that it would be a frame off in output randomly (at least with Kona hardware). Never a problem like that in Avid.

        Bits of Shake? Where is the bits? Where are the nodes and the ability to control the image? Presets. Upload to facebook… Bits of Motion? Motion is a joke at best. Please.

        • lol. I’ve output hundreds of shows to tape too. I also cut sound on film and edited tape to tape. What’s your point? Metadata makes searching and organizing incredibly simple, way easier than binning/subclipping etc. If you need to go to film, use MC or Lightworks. Since nobody makes film cameras anymore, that’s not really an issue. As far as the bits… I dunno, can’t find the article about it. If I do I’ll be sure and let you know. As far as presets… are you saying there were no preset effects in 7? MC? Pr? Are you suggesting that you don’t have any control over the effects in the app? Seriously? Do you have any criticism of X based on experience using a current version of the app, or are you just repeating things you read on the internet? Again, if you don’t like X, don’t use it.

          • Well I don’t know what you are working on Charlie but none of this is any of my workflow or anyone I know. Sure there are presets in Final cut 7 but we didn’t do any of our composing or motion graphics in 7. Complex composites were done in Shake, Nuke or After Effects and don’t get me started on Gamma shifts from the Nuke composites to FCP 7. Always a problem.

            I never have to search for anything in FCP 7 or otherwise. I have a lined script that tells me what reel something is on and what timecode to look at. It’s a much easier method. My assistants organize the bins and if I can find something the script supervisor figures it out… Takes are circled and the timecode is beside it. I don’t know how FCPX replaces that.

          • How many companies running Nuke are using Apple hardware? How about Maya? Our British partners on my last 3d animated show used WIndows. Motion capture in Windows. Maya in Windows. This caused problems in our FCP 7 workflow and would cause seizures in a FCPX workflow.

          • ” Sure there are presets in Final cut 7 but we didn’t do any of our composing or motion graphics in 7. Complex composites were done in Shake, Nuke or After Effects ”

            As do we, mostly AE. To be fair, other folks here are still on 7 and the workflow is the same.

            “I have a lined script that tells me what reel something is on and what timecode to look at. It’s a much easier method. My assistants organize the bins and if I can find something the script supervisor figures it out… Takes are circled and the timecode is beside it. I don’t know how FCPX replaces that.”

            Well, you can do the same thing in X, my Events (aka fcp 7 projects) look just the same as they did in 7. For your workflow, you could create smart collections that looked for “circled” takes and put them all in a “bin” for you, without moving them from wherever event/keyword collection they were originally in. The same master clip can reside in multiple places based on about a zillion metadata combos you set up. Hell, your assistant could tag good takes with scene/angle numbers, have them all go to a smart collection based on a preset criteria – “use this” in the notes column or something – and you could select them all and hit a key and have a rough scene assembly in your timeline. You can do this in other NLE’s of course, but trust me, the combo of key wording clips/ranges, using favorite/reject tags, smart collections etc is nuts. In a good way. Particularly if you have lots of source footage to slog through.

            Again, I’m not some fanboi cutting sk8r videos – not that there’s anything wrong with that. :-) I’ve used (use) MC, Pr, FCP 7 as well as X, and I’ll be the first to admit any shortcomings in the app, but overall it’s really really nice once you get into it. I’ll also admit that I hated it when it first came out, but it’s not the same app as it was then at all. It actually works now. ;-) As far as cross platform issues, that’s never going away. If it’s a show stopper for a production they should stick with the platform, OS X or Windows or *nix, that works. I’m not trying to convince you to use it or even like it. All I’m trying to do is dispel some of the utter horseshit floating around as to what X is or isn’t capable of.

      • Charlie, the ignorance of your post brought back memories of this old article:

  • Cavner, I understand your point that when working in a production machine FCPX may not find a place within the multitude of programs (and people) involved in whatever productions you’re apart of. That doesn’t mean that you’re in the only position that would be considered “professional” within this industry. Your dismissal of FCPX as exclusively prosumer seems extremely closed minded as there are varying degrees of what everyone would consider “professional”.

    For many of those involved with film outside of the massive, seemingly sterile and mechanical, productions that you’re apart of welcome Apple’s innovations within FCPX. It doesn’t mean you have to be so patronizing and angsty.

    • FCPX is fine for video hobbyists, wedding videos or shorts, but professional editing gets done with Premiere or Avid. And to make choices even tougher, Avid Media Composer 6.5 / 7 is now priced down to $999.

      • OMG! Really? I guess I better tell the movie studios and TV networks that the stuff they’re airing or putting in theaters isn’t cut on a “professional” NLE. lol

        • Oh, I guess the truth hurt someone’s feelings.

          • The truth is, I’m working and getting paid cutting in X, 7, Pr, MC… whatever it takes. I can, and do, cut on whatever NLE suits the job. I’m a “professional.” You, clearly, are not.

      • What’s your definition of “professional”?

        • My own definition of “professional” would be anyone making a living in their respective field. I suppose everyone has a different definition but as far as I can recall that is the most literal. In this industry, however evident it may be through these responses, it seems as though less and less people are considered “professional” the further up you move in the industry.

          I mean, there are certainly (what I would consider, anyway) professional wedding videographers but many people seem to lump it into the same level as amateurism. Maybe if I worked exclusively on multimillion dollar projects I’d have the same pretension, but I hope not. My point is that FCPX has it’s place for professionals and to cast it aside as prosumer at best when there is evidence that you can literally see with your own eyes I have to blame ignorance.

          • PhinioxGlade on 05.11.13 @ 9:45PM

            There is a higher barrier of entry with FCP7 and CS6, both in cost and technical skills (maybe?). It is good Apple was willing to lower those points just as HDSLRs have done, allowing more people to be creative. You choose the tools that suit your needs, of course you can cut a movie on FCPX, even VirualDub. I choose Sony over Canon, Anamorphic lens over standard lens, Windows over OSX, CS6 over FCPX, Lightroom over Photoshop, C# over Java, iPad over every other Tablet and so on. There is room for all types of approaches and tastes. As a case in point I prefer the image from my Nex 5n over my 5D2

    • Prosumer is a level of professional. Thus the word ‘pro’. It’s more a question of workflow than of the ability of the software. This is why many people who work in series television or features abandoned it.

    • “For many of those involved with film outside of the massive, seemingly sterile and mechanical, productions that you’re apart of welcome Apple’s innovations within FCPX.”

      Who is being patronizing? Sterile and mechanical? How about funded and watched?

      • I’m with you Cavner. While I like and use FCP X, and do what i can to try to get rid of all the crazy misconceptions about the app, there are far too many people – on both sides of the debate – who resort to putdowns to try to make a point. I wish they’d stop. It’s software.

        • Right. It’s software and if you can make it do what you need then it will be adopted. I’ve become quite interested in Lightworks as of late. A very interesting piece of software that Hugo was cut on.

          I’ve got nothing against FCPX as a piece of software. It is evolving and interesting. But there is a reason that mid to high end post production has not embraced it. It’s not because people are not interested in change. If that was true then we would have kept with Avid. Final Cut Pro was an attractive piece of software and many people like the Coen’s and Murch (and others) switched. FCPX has to prove that it has the mustard and version 1 just didn’t do it.

          • “If that was true then we would have kept with Avid.”

            True, having been a pert of it, the move from Avid to FCP ” classic” was fairly easy for most at least in terms of the interface. And the move from FCP 7 to Pr is pretty easy too.It looks the same and behaves in a similar fashion. Sort of. ;-)

            FCP X, besides looking different, is more Avid like in terms of the default Ripple mode and the way the timeline works. i.e. empty space is media not…uh… emptiness. From what I’ve seen folks who learned to cut on the original FCP initially have a harder time in X than people who have some Avid chops.

            And yes, the original version of X was pretty useless for “high end” work. That has changed. I suppose you’d call what I do “high end” and X works just fine. I’m getting a lot of inquiries from other “high end” people as well.

            But, yeah, at the end of the day people need to believe that it can do what they need it to. All I know is that I hated X. Then I heard it got better, so I sort of forced myself to try it. Now, it’s painful to use anything else. Every now and then I feel I need to respond to people (in general, not directed at you …) who are talking nonsense about it. YMMV. :-)

      • It isn’t that I don’t understand your impatiences with FCPX, as I too find myself frustrated by the automation that you’ve described, it’s more about the delivery of your opinions that I find distasteful. Lines like “Go home, Charlie” and referring to your readers as “kids” seems like you’re trying far too hard to differentiate yourself as a professional from the others who may also consider themselves professional. You don’t need to be apart of a “funded and watched” project in order to be considered within the professional realm, never mind have a say within this discussion.

        The section of the industry that you’re describing just can’t adapt FCPX for logistical reasons, which makes sense considering all of the limits that it presents. I’m saying that, despite your language, your slice of the industry isn’t the only section considered professional and that FCPX does have a place within the professional workflow.

  • PhinioxGlade on 05.11.13 @ 9:36AM

    I’ve only been a video editor for a little over 6 months so my opinion is based on very little experience.
    I had never used either CS or FCP only dabbling with VirtualDub and old VHS deck editing so I download the trails with the intent of creating the same content in each editor to gage differences, feature set, and usability. Coming from Windows and being a Computer programmer Premiere was exactly what I expected, it screamed professional feeling like the IDE I used to code. Final cut on the other looked like a video editor thrown in with a capture card but ultimately by the 6th crash in a hour and limited codec support prevented me from even trying it out.

    • Not sure what Final Cut you’re using, but I cut on X 40+ hours a week and it A) never crashes, and B) plays pretty much anything I can throw at it without rendering or transcoding. You may need to install some codecs, or you have some other system issues.

      • I don’t get it Charlie. Why do people think that a simple interface means “not professional”? When I’m editing I want the interface I’m staring at for 8 hour straight to be as clean and simple as possible. Why do you need buttons all over the place when you’re just gonna use keyboard shortcuts anyway?

        I’ve been editing with FCPX since day one and its been an amazingly easy program to use. The software never gets in the way and it really allows me to just focus on putting the pieces together. The metadata and organizational features make it so easy to know exactly where a specific shot is when I need it.

        Depending on your workflow and who you’re collaborating with, there are some essential plugins. X2Pro does a great job sending my audio to ProTools, and utilizing the roles feature makes that process even more concise. Event Manager X is great for keeping FCPX reallly fast by only showing the events and projects you’re using at the moment.

        But one of the best plugins to come out exclusively for FCPX is CoreMelt’s SliceX with Mocha Tracking. With this plugin, you can do rotoscoping directly in FCPX, this is the same thing that you can do in AE, but now you can do it right in the program. But I guess that’s not a professional tool any real editor would want to use…

        • PhinioxGlade on 05.11.13 @ 9:22PM

          Rotoscoping in editor, cool. I’ve been using a lot of that in th last month via AE.

          As for looks dictating opinion that happens in everything we do. I’m a Computer Programer, function before form is what I’m accustomed to, first it must work then make it look pretty. Adobe feels familiar to users of any industry’s professional software, it shares design queues and patterns, this is even more so on a the Windiws version. I admit that I didn’t use FCPX enough to form an opinion and I hope it more stable now. I had problems with Adobe products using much too much ram and roto in AE can cripple any computer but I’m happy with my choice of NLE.

      • PhinioxGlade on 05.11.13 @ 8:53PM

        I think it was FCPX v1.0. I believe i downloaded it from Apple’s website instead of the App Store. I was using 1080p25 .MTS files from a Canon camcorder, which is not a good format.

        • Yeah, that version kind of… sucked to be honest. crashed more than it ran in my case. I couldn’t use it for real until maybe… 10.0.4? It’s improved markedly. Editing in X is really no different than any other NLE, The organizational ability on the source side is amazing though, and it’s just done away with track patching. Once you get your head around it, it’s hard to work in fixed track environment.

          What I find pretty funny, – and this isn’t directed at you FWIW,- is that one of the loudest criticisms you hear from people who haven’t used X except in a cursory way, is how Apple has “dumbed it down”. Yet, at the same time, many of these same people complain about how it’s so different that they can’t cut on it. Huh? I can tell you unequivocally… it’s not dumbed down. At all. Spend a little time to learn it, you might be surprised. If not… there are plenty of great choices now. :-)

          • PhinioxGlade on 05.12.13 @ 5:08AM

            Fare point that I should give it another shot, if only to broaden my skills but the only Mac I have access to now is my work’s rMBP as I’ve moved away from OSX. After 3 years of attempting to use OSX in my personal life CS6 being available on Windows and having better performance on its native platform has lead me to abandon a system I could learn it on.

  • Adobe Premiere CS6 can open FCP7 projects without recompression etc. This would be a major reason The Coens are going to Premiere, as well as a similar workflow.

  • A lot of ‘TV broadcasters’ use EDIUS Pro because it beats all of the above NLE for ages now. They had mixed format editing before ANY of the NLE found a way to do it in Hi-Rez REAL TIME format!

    Tried all the NLE before and keep going back to EDIUS for fast editing and super easy without a huge learning curve.
    You can try it for a month FREE with a FULL version, nothing crippled. Far cheaper then FCP and other NLE most people are using.
    Don’t be surprised by the SPEED this NLE render in any format.

    The only downside is they don’t have a direct AE plug-in and other plug ins. However there is a bridge one can use. This may change in the future.

    (am not affiliated with Edius software company… just sayin’)

    • For someone who isn’t affiliated with them you sure do love to put all the marketing terms in all caps. I thought I was reading a typical automatically generated spam comment.

  • You’re all a bunch of big babies. Except Cavner – there’s a man who know’s what’s cracking.
    It is indeed mind-numbing trying to explain to people why and how certain tools are used and others avoided in a professional post production environment.
    There’s almost an unwritten code – those who work in such environments and on such productions just ‘know’ without having to harp on about it.

    If this FCPX audition feature is what has caused so many of you to start experimenting more – then that’s a sorry state of affairs. Perhaps you’d like to ‘audition’ some alternate cuts and sections in, uh, I dunno – a TIMELINE where you can actually craft each alternate. I’m no expert but I’d say this form of auditioning has been around since the first NLE was released.

    Edit on a mac, a pc, retina this, gpu that – a 2008 Macbook Pro is still more than capable of cutting HD ProRes off a firewire800 drive if you so wish. A five year old PC with a standard usb2 external drive can roll with large BBC drama Avid MC timelines of DNxHD36 material and 12 tracks of audio any day of the week and twice on Sundays – I’ve seen it done more than once.

    If you all spent as much time editing as you do having a cry about the tools, maybe the tools would become less of an issue to you? A case of ‘shut up and edit’.

  • I started editing professionally on a TV documentary series in 1995. Back then it was Media100. I then switched to Avid for a few years, then to FCP 5,6,7. I’ve edited over 200 hours for Discovery,Nat Geo,History,BBC,etc during my 18 year career.
    I am just about ready to finally leave my beloved FCP 7 behind for good.

    I’ll be starting my next project on either Avid, FCP X, or Premiere. I had always thought Premiere was the clunky little brother to the other NLE’s but I just downloaded the trial and I gotta say, I am really liking it.

    Maybe its because its so much like FCP7 style of editing. I was really impressed though, and it feels like a natural progression. I tend to use my timeline like a palette and I don’t really feel like ‘re-learning’ the Avid style of editing. I know FCP X has come a long way but I am more interested in getting down to work and not re-inventing the wheel.

    To hear the Coen brothers are making the switch as well makes me happy to know I am not alone in wanting a proper FCP 8……

    good luck with your projects everyone.

  • I can’t believe that no one has mentioned suite integration. Adobe has made jumping between programs and making changes easy and fully-featured.

    You don’t get After Effects integration with any Apple products.

  • Hi guys!! Great post, as usual!! Thanks.

    Joe, Koo, why don´t you open an article/discussion about Mac vs PC as an edit platform. Maybe you don´t think usefully but I know that it is not clear for many why you should pick one from an other plataform at this times, when the best NLE´s runs on PC and Mac and so does almost the whole world of video application. I think it should be really useful. Specially knowing that Mac it is slowly leaving the pro market.

    (Excuse my english, not a native speaker)
    See you guys,
    Matías Mancisidor C.

  • They will wish they had not chosen Premiere when, after editing, they need to export the audio.

  • As an ex 16mm, Quad,1″, Umatic, Betacam, Fast, Premiere, Avid, and FCP7 editor; FCPX does require a change in mindset. …and the time to really understand it. I have found it worth the pain to change …and I won’t be going back. I never lose a clip now. (where it’s stored) …which I used to do regularly with a big project