Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Future of Final Cut Pro X

I realize I'm joining the Final Cut Pro X conversation a little late in the game, but I tend to give things the benefit of the doubt, and honestly, I was a bit shocked and confused by what I was hearing regarding the new, download-only, "app" release. This New York Times article helps shed some light on the hysterical rants of the FCP community by pointing out some of the favorite features from FCP 7 which are just in different places in FCP X, and explaining how some features will be added later on. It's an article definitely worth reading.

Currently, I'm not too worried about Final Cut Pro X. As the article accurately points out, we're not yet obligated to upgrade, and FCP 7 is still working just as well as it ever did. My concern is where Apple is going to be taking FCP X in the future. If the future of Final Cut Pro is to become "iMovie Pro" then I will have to start shopping for and learning a new platform, like Avid or Adobe. However, I'm not ready to count FCP X out yet. I think Apple and Mr. Jobs have something up their sleeve.

Here's what I think is really going on. The FCP X which we have seen and been gossiping about is Apple's new entry level editing software. Within a relatively short time span, iMovie will unexist like in Orwell's 1984. Apple computers will come with absolutely no video post software OR a new program which will be more or less unusable. All home movie enthusiasts, and amateur film makers will have to cough up $300.00 to play Spielberg in their backyards.

What about the Pro level users you ask? The FCP X I speak of will act as the foundation for which Pro Level editors can begin to build a proper post platform. After downloading some upgrades and spending money on additional "apps", pluggins, 3rd part software/hardware, a Pro Editor will actually have built himself a Final Cut Pro X editing station which basically resembles a FCP 7 platform, but it will be able to background render and allows editing while ingesting media. FCP X will the Lego set of None Linear Editors, allowing users to add functionality and compatibility as they see fit.

I could just be in denial; the release of Final Cut X could be the end of pro level editing platforms from Apple, but what I've described above seems like a logical business model. Apple is a pretty sharp company, and I really can't believe they would just throw themselves under the bus. Why would they spend so many years building a pro level piece of software, as well as a faithful following, just to throw it all out?

What do you all think?