In Defense of Final Cut Pro X

Studio Daily by Bryant Frazer and Beth Merchant

Still frustrated by the introduction of Final Cut Pro X? Baffled by the trackless timeline? Flummoxed by the lack of support for XML, EDLs and VTRs (not to mention OLEDs)? Irritated by the missing pro features? Evan Schechtman feels your pain. The founder of Outpost Digital and CTO of @Radical Media in New York doesn't think FCPX is ready for prime time, either. But if the widely perceived failings of FCPX are making you consider abandoning Final Cut completely as an editorial platform, he has some advice: "Everybody just breathe. Just chill."

Beyond an exterior that seems oddly unfinished, Schechtman says there's a lot to like about FCPX. He acknowledges that new features like the magnetic timeline essentially demand that users devote time and energy to learning a new editing interface, but he doesn't see why that's a problem for editors who are experienced enough to remember a world where Final Cut Pro didn't even exist. “The people who are really seasoned know that change is a constant," Schechtman says. "I converted god-knows-how-many hundreds of Avid editors [to Final Cut Pro] kicking and screaming. I ran my business on Final Cut Pro and got beaten up for it. The thing that’s funny philosophically is that, despite all the original limitations of Final Cut Pro, people decided they had to live with it — and that dictated the next 10 years of workflow. People designed their workflow around those limitations. Everyone forgets that.”

Facing the Future

Apple has taken lumps for jettisoning features like EDL export and VTR controls from the new version of Final Cut. Schechtman sees that as an adaptation to today's file-based workflows. "When was the last time you exported an EDL?" he asks. "EDLs mattered when the only metadata was reel name and timecode. The new editing metaphor is so rich with metadata that an EDL wouldn't do it justice." read more...

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