Tonight’s Guest: Final Cut Pro X
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard about the controversial release of Apple’s Final Cut Pro X. FCP X even had a guest appearance on Conan O’Brien’s late-night talk show, when the show’s editors (who clearly don’t like X), put together a ‘reel’ using FCP X.
The very fact that a parody about a video editing software program would be featured on a popular, late-night talk show says a lot about where we are in this industry and just how accessible this technology has become. And it goes a long way toward explaining why this version of Final Cut Pro is so different.
The harshest, and most vocal, critics come from editing professionals who are, understandably, upset that the tool they knew and loved, and used with great success, is gone. Not just different, but gone. Hey, I get it. I’m an editor. We have deadlines to meet, and don’t have time to feverishly hunt on the Internet at 3am to see how to use a button.
But with technology advancing at light speed, including phones that have HD cameras and editing capability built into them, the formerly elite world of filmmaking is now available to everyone. Apple isn’t in the filmmaking business. They are in the sales business. And they know that creating a powerful editing program, that’s also easy to use right out of the box, will sell to more people than just professionals. Apple is seeing the forest, not just the trees. And they know what we know: that this technology is now in everyone's hands.
When I started out as an assistant editor in 1992, the AVID digital non-linear editing system was really taking off. Talented editors, who had been editing with film for 25 years, were suddenly forced to deal with this new ‘digital’ technology. Gone were the white gloves, grease pencils and canvas bins. Your ‘film’ was somewhere inside the computer in the form of zeros and ones. Then, just as everyone got used to AVID, Final Cut Pro arrived on the scene in 1999. All the professionals who now knew and used the AVID system had a good laugh at this little desktop editing program (I personally refused to use it until I had to for a job). To convince professionals to ‘switch’, Apple’s Final Cut Pro adopted more than 200 features that were just like AVID, charged $49,000 less for it, and the rest is history. So is history repeating itself with the introduction of FCP X? (Apple added a bunch of new features to FCP X and has dropped the price, all to appeal to a larger market). Only time will tell.
While editing professionals will limp along for a while until some of the high-end features such as Multi-Cam Editing and AAF/OMF export are gradually re-introduced into this version, beginners and prosumers will rejoice in this new version’s power, speed and ease of use.
So enjoy, NYVS members! And if you have any additional questions about Final Cut Pro X, check out our FCP X Forum here: http://www.nyvs.com/forum/general/discuss/topic/Editing/final-cut-pro-x-questions