FCPX and the Domino Effect Part I: Stacking Them Up

Creative COW by Walter Soyka

Apple's release of FCPX has shaken the digital content creation industry, and raised a lot of speculation among editors about how much Apple understands or cares about professional users. On the one hand, FCPX sports completely modern media and imaging engines, a powerful and flexible database backend, and a completely new interface infused with new editorial concepts.

On the other, it's missing critical features that many working editors relied on: interchange with other applications, legacy compatibility, multi-camera editing, proper video monitoring, and tape I/O and control. No matter how appealing new features like native media editorial or pervasive metadata may be, the missing features immediately disqualify FCPX from numerous complex workflows.

With the end-of-life announcement for FCP7, and with FCPX being more of a new product than an upgrade, editors and facilities everywhere are now facing migration. That migration looks a little different for everyone. Some users have adopted FCPX and find that it's a great fit for their specific workflows. Some have taken advantage of compelling sales offers from Avid or Adobe and have already moved to another application. Others will stick with FCP7 for as long as possible before deciding on their next step. FCP7's EOL has been an invitation from Apple to editors everywhere to reconsider their needs, workflows, and application choice.

I'm going to describe what my migration is looking like. I started using Final Cut Pro with version 1, and I built my business on it starting with version 3, so I'll start with the context of Apple's rise in post-production. Then I'll get into what the release of FCPX has meant for me and how it's made me reconsider what tools I use.

I learned to edit on linear tape-to-tape systems and Avid systems. At the start of my career, I did editorial and finishing for local broadcast. I briefly used Avid professionally working for others, but I ultimately built my own business on Final Cut Pro during the DV revolution. I think this period of time, starting with the dawn of DV in the late 1990s and extending into the mid-to late-2000s, was a golden age for video on the Mac platform. read more...

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