FCPX: It may be the future, but its not the present.

By Andy Mees

I was busy as hell for the early part of last week, crashing together a 30 minute doc. The footage for the programme was shot and delivered on a mixture of cameras and formats including HDCAM (tape), XDCAM HD (disc), an HDSLR (clips on hard disc). The tape and disc footage was captured into the edit system's direct attached local storage from one of a rack full of bloody expensive HDCAM and XDCAM decks (ingested via HD-SDI for audio/video, RS422 for timecode and deck control) and encoded using a codec optimized for the NLE. The HDSLR footage was just copied over to the NLE’s local edit storage and then imported straight in to the project. To round it off, all of that footage was supplemented by various bits of library footage that we would need that I pulled in to the system via FTP directly from our broadcast server.

For reference, the edit system in question was Grass Valley's EDIUS 5. Not FCP, version X or otherwise, and not even the latest version of EDIUS at that.

So why have I got anything to say about FCP X. Well then, I'll tell you … because we "were" just about to replace our PC based Edius suites with a couple of all singing all dancing hardware assisted Mac Pro based Final Cut Studio super suites (oh yeah) and all hanging of a nice big chunk of XSAN savvy shared storage.

And is that still going to happen, with FCP X in its place? Hell no.

Once upon a long time ago, I trained as an editor, hands on in the basic 2 machine linear edit suites (one player, one recorder) of a large satellite TV network … and in time, with a bit of luck and a following wind, I moved up into the 3, 4 and more machine edit suites that the big boys drove. All linear, all real time, all the time. How clever was I? Unfortunately it turns out it was a bit like learning a dead language. read more...

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