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?


  1. you are right... you can also find latest Entry Level Jobs alerts online.

  2. i think that fcp x have not the future, it's not pro, it's for housewifes(

  3. I"ve used it for a total of two hours. Interesting to say the least. I'm going to stick with them at least for another year to give them time to make adjustments for us pro editors. However, if after a year it stays a glorified iMovie, then I'm going back to Avid or Premiere Pro. It could be that Apple is following Adobe's old strategy of creating a open source program that developers a& 3rd party companies can customize and alter for their own products. So you could have a landscape where Apple only releases basic updates to keep up with industry changes, but many companies would sell their own versions of Final Cut X that work with their proprietary hardware & software. It goes against Apples tight control of their products, yet for this pro app, it could work and make sense because Apple doesn't make money off of Final Cut (well, not until the sell of X). They make the bulk of their money off of the boxes and now iPads and iPhones. I will be testing the software in its current form in a few weeks after I get my new RAID installed. I have a documentary to edit and I want to see how well I can edit in X on a long form project. I've tested it for ENG editing and its a breeze. Yet, layering and compositing seems very difficult.

  4. I agree with you David. I think FCPX will become a very modular system with which to edit. Someone like me, a professional photographer, does not want to deal with all the deep level edit work like my friends do in broadcast. That stuff is VERY deep and I'd rather outsource the work to someone with years of experience then try to learn it myself in a cram weekend.

    I already know the basics of Premiere and FCP7 and I get by with both but there's so much for me to love with FCPX. There's a part of me, the part that likes to tinker, that wants to dive into CS5.5 and not look back but what that will get me is a body of work that's post heavy and that's not where I want to go.

    I'm sitting at the desk of my new Mac Pro with only FCP Studio 3 on it and I've held off installing anything else. I'm thinking of only using Aperture and FCPX for one month to see how I like everything.

    I'm not an Aperture user anymore but I think it could be a good experiment.

    Motion 5 BTW is way overlooked. I think Motion 5 is the FCPX secret weapon for creating your own looks and plugins.

    BTW get on Google+ I won't be on FB for a while if ever.

  5. Yup, its really nice post. The shoulder mount also reduces the amount of vibration and sway that you may experience while you are mobile.

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