Post Production: Did Everything Change in Post?

Creative Cow by Walter Biscardi

A discussion of FCPX, including comments on the latest 10.0.1 release

It's been five months since the "big sneak peek," and three months since "everything changed in Post." I was asked recently, "So where do we stand now? What's everyone doing?" Well from where I'm sitting and the conversations I'm having with many Final Cut Pro folks in the industry, there are three camps forming within the Post industry.
Those who have already left Final Cut Pro. Those who are testing alternatives to Final Cut Pro. Those who are delving into Final Cut Pro X while maintaining Final Cut Pro 7 as their day to day editing system.
Camps 1 and 2 are quite large while the third is much smaller. Again, this is from where I'm sitting and the conversations I'm having with folks. The overwhelming consensus on Reason Number One for the defection of the first two camps is directly off the Apple Final Cut Pro X FAQs. "Can I import projects from Final Cut Pro 7 into Final Cut Pro X?" The short answer is still a rounding "NO." But Apple says....
Final Cut Pro X includes an all-new project architecture structured around a trackless timeline and connected clips. Because of these changes, there is no way to "translate" or bring in old projects without changing or losing data. But if you're already working with Final Cut Pro 7, you can continue to do so....
Still, more than anything else, that is the complete deal breaker for everyone I know and those who are reaching out to me and my colleagues for advice. Apple spells it out quite clearly in their response, "there is no way to bring in old projects without losing data." There is just no way, as a business owner, I can say to the client "I know we charged you $20,000 for that project last year, but we're going to have start all over. See we upgraded all our systems to Final Cut Pro X and we cannot open older legacy projects. Yeah, we can still use that media, but we'll literally have to start all over from scratch to build the project." I will not be in business very long if I have to have that conversation with clients. In my case we go back 5 years or more for news story updates, documentary updates, corporate presentation updates, etc... I'm working on a documentary project right now that was completed three years ago because it needs to be re-edited for broadcast. 250 hours / 6 TB of materials, over 40 original timelines, dozens of bins and all the organization from that original project. Sure FCP X could read all those original files, but losing my 40 timelines, my organization by bin, I could not do that to my client. Part of the reasoning for this in Apple's explanation is the trackless architecture of FCPX. I don't know anyone who is a professional in this industry who would have ever suggested trackless editing is a smart thing. As an editor in a collaborative workflow, track management, especially in audio, is one of the most important things you do. When a show is handed off to a sound designer, for example, you generally hand them a chart that lays out exactly what they will find on each track. If the application is "trackless" there's no way to know what's what. read more...

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