Avid Media Composer or Premiere Pro CS6: Saying Goodbye to Final Cut

Screenlight by Richard Keating

They say don’t knock it before you try it. And sure enough, until recently, I have been fairly open to the idea of adopting Final Cut Pro X as my NLE of choice. But I have just delivered my first project cut exclusively on FCP X and must say it was a completely unpleasant experience. "Everything just changed in post", is the tagline for FCP X on Apple's website. It sure did: for the first time in 9 years as a professional editor I actually didn’t enjoy editing.

Some of the most well documented deficiencies upon the initial release of FCPX were the lack of XML import/export, multi-cam editing, and broadcast monitor support. The absence of these features from the new version caused an unprecedented uproar from the post-production community, and Apple moved quickly to add these features. Having said that, the lack of any of the above features (with the exception of XML support) was not much of deal breaker for me. The bulk of my business is corporate video, where everything from graphics and audio mixing is done in house. In fact, FCP X seemed like it was built for the kind of editing I do.

So why am I turning my back on Final Cut Pro? First is the fact that it is such a completely foreign interface. Now, I’m the farthest thing from a Luddite and I don’t fear change, but I spent the last 9 years of my life becoming very proficient at something and now it’s just gone. There is a huge cost in terms of both time and energy associated with learning new ways to do things in FCP X. Right now it seems like it would be far less disruptive to my workflow to switch to Premiere Pro CS6, or even Avid than it would be to continue using Final Cut Pro X. Sure, my skills as an editor are not dependent on my tools, but being extremely knowledgeable about the primary tool of my trade is a selling point when I market myself to potential clients.

FCP X: Taking The Editor Out of The Driver’s Seat

Apple has decided to take the "hassle" of media management out of the mix by organizing all project assets automatically into Events. I never saw media management as a problem. In fact, it was again a marketable skill. A few weeks ago I was returning a hard drive to a client of mine - a production company that specializes in high-end corporate videos. As usual with this client, they were going to pick up where I left off – some audio sweetening and color correction, etc. My client remarked that he liked working with me because he never had any problems getting the projects up and running and knowing where all the assets were, regardless of how complex the project was. That’s because I take the media management aspect of my job very seriously. This gives me an edge when bidding for jobs with current clients. They’ll go with me even though some young upstart will charge them half my rate because they know, in the end, things will go more smoothly and they’ll have a better experience. read more...

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