Final Cut Pro – Apple’s Vision
I always find that editors complaining about how “terrible” FCPX is haven’t actually used the software, so their opinions are very misleading. It may come as a little bit of a surprise when I tell you that I actually love Final Cut Pro X.
So apart from really liking the software for many many reasons including the awesome Mutilcam editing, RED/UHD workflows of all kinds, background rendering, simplified Offline/Online with the proxy tick box among other things, the really exciting part is how I see people working in the future. As Alex4D outlined in his blog – with the latest update to iMovie, Apple have basically given the core of FCPX to iMovie just with a different and more basic user interface. This no doubt is to help with seamless translation of projects between iMovie and FCPX. Add to that iMovie on iPhone and iPad and iCloud sharing of projects and you have on your hands a pretty flexible editing infrastructure.
Imagine you go out and shoot, then you or your DIT depending on the scale of the shoot pull your media into FCPX. Your media is then organised and set to create proxy media. The proxy media along with the project are all saved on iCloud. This is immediately accessible for anyone you decide to share it with, to start logging, transcribing, cutting, doing a basic sync pull or assembly. Once that is complete it could then be sent on to a craft (Offline) editor to finish cutting it together and polishing the story. This could still be done in iMovie if it has all the tools you need, but if you want access to a more complex set of tools you can open the project in FCPX. Next you send it on to the finishing editor (Online Editor) who will have all the original source media. Open the project in FCPX and in the preferences un-tick use proxy media and FCPX will flick to using the full resolution source files. Then do whatever preparation that’s needed and send out to Pro Tools or a future version of Logic X for the final mix and off to Resolve for the Grade, Online and delivery too.
I use Avid, Adobe and Apple editing software among others and I can honestly say they all have great tools and allow you to do your work, but remember, tools are just that and editors are story tellers. The tools you use are your choice and you need to use the tool that makes sense for the job. A pencil, a pen, a typewriter, a computer and specific software are all just tools to tell your stories. The simpler the software the less it gets in the way, so why not use something that is easier? With this in mind Apple really are “skating to where the puck is going”. I’m happy to use any NLE but I’m finding more and more that I’ll push things into FCPX when it’s an option. It’s already an amazing tool and it’s only been out for two years, so who knows what the future will hold.
If you want to know more about FCPX, Craig Slattery cuts items for the BBC’s Culture Show on FCPX you can read about that here. Chris Fenwick hosts a cool little Podcast called FCPX Grill with user stories about FCPX in the professional world. This is also a good place to go if you want some real opinions on the software.