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September 12, 2013

Tired of Long-Distance Video Collaborations? 'First Cut Pro' Wants to Make the Process Faster & Easier

The process of working in teams on a single video across multiple states, countries, and even continents can be a frustrating endeavor -- especially when clients get involved to review and comment on footage. A new service called First Cut Pro (not to be confused with that Apple product) aims to make collaboration between teams that much easier, by incorporating smarter ways to give feedback and bring that directly into whatever editing system you're working with. Here's the First Cut Pro team at the recent Techcrunch Disrupt event (with some shorter videos below):

Here are some more videos showing off the First Cut Pro service:

http://vimeo.com/55056209

http://vimeo.com/63509468

http://vimeo.com/63509467

http://vimeo.com/67714690

http://vimeo.com/63489327

From the post:

First Cut Pro supports the ability to export markers into .CSV files for spreadsheets, .XML metadata files for Adobe Premier, After Effects and Apple’s Final Cut Pro, as well as .txt files for importing into AVID Media Composer. That said, videos aren’t stored in the cloud — they’re stored locally on the viewer’s computer or on network attached storage. That means that high-quality versions of the videos can be viewed instantly.

Right now for small teams on personal projects, the service is completely free, but they have multiple tiers with different restrictions:

Having been involved in a few of these (I'm sure there are some of you who have done hundreds), the review and feedback process can be a little slow and tedious at times. While there are some ways to do this sort of thing directly in some editors, for larger teams, it becomes necessary to have better organization. At least if you're a small team, you could try out the free tier and see if you like what the First Cut Pro team is doing. For those of us who don't have the budget to create a custom solution, and who constantly work on projects spread out over a number of people and clients in different places, I think First Cut Pro could be a good solution.

What do you guys think? What do you currently use to facilitate similar results as First Cut Pro?

Link: First Cut Pro

[via Techcrunch]

Your Comment

31 Comments

I tried a test project and it seems buggy to me. In the viewing room it the loading screen wouldn't stop and never got to the actual video.

September 12, 2013

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Steve

Depending on where the content is hosted, there could be embedding restrictions that cause what you are experiencing.

I'd gladly help you troubleshoot if you want to email me: taylor at firstcutpro.com - :)

September 13, 2013

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It's a public Vimeo video. The loading reel just keeps spinning and spinning. I'll email you.

September 13, 2013

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Steve

For me, the problem was the firewall at work. Vimeo had a problem with the interface, but they're working on it. Youtube, dropbox worked well. I dig it. I'm going to use it on my next project.

September 13, 2013

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Steve

Lovely idea - I cut commercials in London for international clients, and I'm currently running a team of editors in 4 countries working on a series of inserts and docs for broadcast during a sports tournament - both situations always involve the sort of feedback process described here but...

There's no way the clients will spend time learning/exploring a new interface and way of delivering feedback. There's a reason feedback comes in thick and fast and in a dozen different forms - the people watching it are usually working on several things at once, and take the path of least resistance. It's a nice idea, but I can't see it being too popular... Genuinely hope I'm wrong, as it would make my life easier at the moment!

September 12, 2013

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I agree, I just tried it and it just seems a bit too complex/ buggy for non filmmaker clients. The comment window only works sometimes. It seems like this may have been released a bit prematurely. Really unfortunate, would love to use this.

September 12, 2013

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OB

People release betas because they want to net interest. The ones who get it will stick with it.

It's really hard to invest tons of capital into one specific direction and have users feel so-so about it. It's much better to release something 70% developed that you can change and fine-tune to users' wants/needs rather than have it locked 100% and fail, which means going back to the drawing board and investing more time + money to go down a different path.

September 12, 2013

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Thanks for understanding and explaining!

September 13, 2013

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Hi Alex,
We've been working around the clock to polish things up.
One of the focus areas was the ability for a client to use the viewing room with little to no instruction.
Most of what you see in the instructional videos are for you and your team to help manage the feedback.

All your clients want and can see is the viewing room which functions like a smart YouTube with autopause and automatic timestamps on their comments. If they can navigate YouTube, they can use our viewing room. No software to download and works on tablets too!

September 13, 2013

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This seems awfully expensive. Email and Dropbox have worked fine for me in the past.

September 12, 2013

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Use the free version then.

September 12, 2013

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Steve

I knew that someone would point that out. I'll just stick to email and dropbox.

September 12, 2013

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Hey Matt,

We compare ourselves to other industry leading software products that provide review, feedback, and project management. The value props are similar and many times come down to time saved and hassle reduction.

Regardless, we're still tweaking pricing and plans to allow the little guys to still use the product w/o having to think twice.

September 13, 2013

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This looks great, especially if it functions as intended. In some ways like Wiredrive, but without the hosting and $350/month price tag. Even at the highest level with custom branding it's less than half that cost. I'm interested to see how it integrates and deals with private videos and revisions. I'll definitely be checking it out.

September 12, 2013

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So I can't get it to work at all with private videos from Vimeo.

September 12, 2013

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Hey Clifton,
There are specific settings on private vimeo videos that you will have to change to allow the videos to be embedded on firstcutpro.com.

Email me at taylor at firstcutpro.com and I'll gladly help you through the settings.

September 13, 2013

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Hey Taylor, thanks for chiming in, you posted the same time I did below ;) And thanks for clarifying the issue!

September 13, 2013

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If that's true, that you can't use private video from Vimeo, that's a total deal killer for me... should be the FIRST feature to add.

September 13, 2013

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Hey PJ,

You should be able to use private videos, they just have to have embedding turned on where you can whitelist firstcutpro.com. If I remember correctly, by default, private videos have embedding disabled.

September 13, 2013

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Thanks Taylor! Adding the site to the whitelist was easy enough and it worked like a charm. I was a bit confused by the space for a password (thought it was for the Vimeo pw), and the ability to add specific emails to the list of people who can access. It's all clear to me now, as are how revisions could be added to projects.

September 14, 2013

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there's some really nice ideas in there. Editors are usually running around trying to make the editing workflow faster, but there is plenty of room for improvement in a more clerical sense as well.

that said, the big problem with their model is that a lot of times, an editor is in communication with ONE point person. not designers, sound people, clients, and others, as the the video suggests. So, at least from a lone wolf editor perspective, I'm not sure the problem is really that bad.

I'm sure that "point person" who relays notes to the editor would like a more streamlined workflow, and for free why not?? but I just don't know if its that big a problem to warrant so much product.

the "17 hours per 1 minute of reality TV" stat they mentioned is NOT from consolidating notes. its from reviewing footage.

September 12, 2013

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dv

reviewing footage is one of the pain points we are trying to solve. for those loggers out there, imagine never having to record a timecode ever again. never have to press pause, scrub, comment, and press resume! :)

September 13, 2013

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Perfect, thank you!

September 12, 2013

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Just use Cinesync the whole vfx industry already uses it. It's bug free and efficient as hell

September 13, 2013

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Marcus

We're going after Cinesync. Period.
You have to download software and isn't necessarily client friendly.
We built what you see today in about 9 months time and it's all browser-based.

Not saying what Cinesync has is bad, it's amazing but in the new world of software where you get free updates literally every week, you'll see us become the standard soon. :D

September 13, 2013

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I can't get over the name. Why they chose a name so close to a previously created and very well-known product baffles me.

When people are skimming through articles, we read by looking at the shape of a group of letters, and guessing what the words are. People don't often read on a detailed, letter-by-letter level. What this means is, when you encounter the words First Cut Pro in a block of text, anyone familiar with Final Cut Pro will likely read it as Final Cut Pro. It was only when I saw the different logo after clicking on the link that I realized this is not related to Apple's product. Big marketing fail, in my opinion.

September 13, 2013

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Interesting looking product, well designed and looks simple to use, will check it out! Pricing is too high though I think, especially for the YouTubers of the world at the moment.

September 16, 2013

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I love this idea. Just signed up.
Love the name too. It's easy to remember :-)
Thank you for building the service.
Looking forward to start using it with my clients.

September 20, 2013

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Kim

As a lone freelance editor/independent contractor who has worked solo with clients and also has been hired out by small production companies - THANK YOU. Collaboration among teams using emails and such can be an incredible hassle and time waster! I applaud your efforts to make it easy for the client, browser based, and as cheap as possible. I still cannot quite afford it yet but will definitely be watching the product development and will invest in it myself when I am able.

September 24, 2013

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Katie

Excellent job on this article. I like your representation of your views. I would also like to thank you for interesting reading on this topic.

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