Confessions of a Reformed FCP X Hater

Posted by Anthony - December 9, 2011 - Editing - 1 Comment

Let me start off by saying I am not an editor.  I hire talented editors to help me make my movie magic to spec, so I don’t actually use any FCP or other editing product on a regular basis.  Nevertheless, (if you haven’t figured it out by now) I am a provocateur when it comes to debating the filmmaking issues of the day and apart from the lively discussion of  DSLR cameras we had earlier this week, I can’t think of too many other filmmaking topics that stir up more passionate feelings than Apple’s much-maligned FCP X editor.

Yes, I know we’ve been there and done that and everyone’s weighed in already, but courtesy of my man, Daniel Berube of the Boston FCP Users Group, I just came across this informative post from a Pro Editor and reformed FCP X hater, Scott Strimple, encouraging a second look at FCP X, so thought I’d share.

I’m always amazed at just how fast the hands of time move when we are sitting at our edit suites. It seems like yesterday that Apple stock was $17 and Michael Dell was speculating on what he would do if he were in charge of Apple: “I’d shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders.” It was Oct. 6, 1997, and Apple had recently purchased a pro video editing software package called KeyGrip from Macromedia...

[Read the rest of Scott's post HERE]

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One Comment

  • Rev. Al says:

    Mr. Strimple proceeds from the false premise that existing NLEs were broken.

    But they weren’t. The reason that all the professional applications use legacy workflows is because the vast majority of us pros are still using legacy media. Duh.

    When the last tape gets encoded and the entire industry is completely file-based, then I’ll concede that certain legacy workflows will no longer be necessary. But Apple’s mistaken assumption that these workflows – the tools and even the language! – are no longer necessary to integrate into what it labels a “pro” product is a clear indication that the company has no idea how professionals work or what they need and find useful. Ironically, in their attempt to improve nonlinear editing, they have lost touch with the very industry they claim, by action, to want to advance.

    There’s this little concept of “learning curve” that they seem to have forgotten. A low learning curve makes things easier. See, as the learning curve goes down, efficiency goes up. But there’s a HUGE learning curve with FCPX. And that’s odd, because Apple’s company philosophy is all about making things easier. In this case, Apple ignored its own paradigm at its peril, and now they’re suffering as post houses everywhere migrate back to Avid, which now also has a fully native Lion-supported 64-bit application with an upgraded interface and 21st-century tapeless workflow that has FCP 7-like features (mitigating the learning curve), plus the robust media management and the deep, surgically precise, EFFICIENT and FAMILIAR toolset that still makes it the preferred tool for the best editors in the world.

    And for those who think I’m just Apple-bashing? For the record, I own a Mac. I like it, mostly because it’s newer than my old, slower laptop (which would have been true of any platform I’d bought), but also because it’s smaller than my old laptop. Wow, imagine that. New tech being smaller and faster. Whodathunkit? Reason to evangelize about Macs? Not really. Recommend? Yeah, if you can afford it. Let’s be real here. It’s a piece of technology, not an expression of your innermost beautiful shining butterfly soul.

    Besides, you get what you pay for. There is an unbreakable law of the universe: Good, fast, or cheap…Pick two.

    FCP X is pretty cheap, much less expensive than Avid (which has also gotten less expensive as technology has evolved). Tells you something, doesn’t it?

    And though I can’t say I’ve ever had the misfortune to deal with a high-touch client like a bridezilla breathing down my neck about her wedding video, I have had my share of same-day-edits for demanding corporate and commercial clients. I’ve used Avid and Premiere Pro and FCP 7. And you know what? They all work just fine.

    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

    - Rev. Al

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