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Old June 30th, 2011, 04:30 PM   #1
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FCP X: Looking Forward While Looking Back.

Chris Hurd has kindly posted a feature length article of mine giving a little historical perspective on where FCP came from and where FCP X might be going.

FCP X: Looking Forward While Looking Back at DVInfo.net

Excellent opportunity for all the worriers here to make the case of why I'm wrong in thinking that the release of FCP X is going to be a LOT like the release of FCP 1.0

Food for thought.

Enjoy.
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Old June 30th, 2011, 04:46 PM   #2
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Re: FCP X: Looking Forward While Looking Back.

Good article!

I especially agree with the following quotes:

"In my experience, itís a sweeter life when you get your cage rattled every so often. You can shun it or embrace it. What you canít do is avoid it."

Change IS good, as it forces us to think differently now and then, and let's us explore new possibilities. Without change it's very easy to be set in the old ways - stick to the old ways of doing things, stick to the effects we've grown to love, the style we're familiar with. A little change now and then is great for my creative work.

"Thatís instructive in the present, and I think thatís where the current FCP X discussion has largely become stuck. We keep yelling about what itís not. And quietly ignoring what it is and even more important, what itís likely to become."
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Old June 30th, 2011, 05:28 PM   #3
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Re: FCP X: Looking Forward While Looking Back.

A superb contribution to the debate that will annoy many a dinosaur on this forum, but someone had to say it and you've done it brilliantly.

The more I play with this program, the more convinced I am i'm looking at the future.

Yes, there's a long way to go, but there's gold in them hills.

FCPx can be infuriating - particularly for those of us that invested so much time (and cash) into learning - and in my case teaching - the original. The simplicity of the new approach will be an inspiration to a new generation of film makers, and pull the carpet from beneath the "pros", as the rather arcane hocus pocus of "professional" NLE's becomes increasingly sidelined.

FCPX takes us closer than we've ever been to the essence of storytelling, and this is only the embryo stage of what guarantees to be a phenomenal game changing film making tool.

Great article. Many thanks Bill.
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Old July 1st, 2011, 02:16 PM   #4
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Re: FCP X: Looking Forward While Looking Back.

Awesome article, Bill. I went through the same exact thing you did, when I adopted FCP during the summer of 1999, when Adobe Premiere 5.1 failed me for the last time. I cut stuff that went on the TV news station I worked at, while cutting my little feature film, weddings, etc.

Ironically, the people who are declaring that Apple now (today) don't care about professionals, have been decrying FCP since 1999. Give me a break! NOW you think FCP is professional?? If I see certain people's names under the title of a blog or article, I avoid it. Some of them are on this board, other boards or in magazines or on websites.

The mob mentality of trashing FCP X was annoying and I'm glad I tuned it out, and bravo for your great article!!

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Old July 1st, 2011, 02:30 PM   #5
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Re: FCP X: Looking Forward While Looking Back.

A brilliant perspective on the situation, thanks for posting this. As a long time FCP user I got caught up in the hysteria as well, I actually downloaded FCPX yesterday, I have been editing with it all day today and have found I like it a lot.

I will be using PPro instead of FCP7 for a while as I like the fact it is now mature (ish) 64 bit software, but I plan to also edit projects on FCPX too and I'm looking forward to the journey.
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Old July 2nd, 2011, 09:08 AM   #6
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Re: FCP X: Looking Forward While Looking Back.

I agree with you on innovation. I'm excited to try FCP X. The way it works with media is more similar to the way I currently work with Final Cut Pro 7, having pretty much abandoned the way the bins work. I also agree with apple that the concept of "tracks" is unnecessary and wastes a lot of time. So I'm all for major tweaks to the UI.

However, I can't use Final Cut Pro X. There is a whole list of dealbreakers and virtually everyone has one. I couldn't care less about tape deck support. But there is no way I can use it until it opens Final Cut Pro 7 projects. Storing Render files on the same drive as the event file is also a deal-breaker. It means I can't keep my event files all in the same location. I have to think 10 years ahead as I work at an institution and am never really "done" with a project. I'm not convinced enough that Apple will fix these problems in a timely manner, so I can't start a new project on Final Cut Pro X for fear that features I need may never arrive or arrive too late. So any project I do has the potential to be abandoned or inaccesible in the future.

The next year will be instructive as to how Apple responds. My guess, people will start to like what FCP X does, but they won't switch until Apple addresses their dealbreakers. If it doesn't happen within a year, it's dead, people will switch to competing products. The difference between FCP 1.0 and now, is that Apple was competing with over-priced Avid's then and cornered a piece of the market. Now Avid's are cheaper and Premiere Pro is quite capable. Apple simply does not have the luxury of time to fix the problems.
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Old July 2nd, 2011, 12:55 PM   #7
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Re: FCP X: Looking Forward While Looking Back.

I don't think it will be "dead", out of two million seats of FCP7 I bet there's probably less than 2-300,000 that are used for "High-end" Production and are likely to be switching elsewhere.

I think Apple have anticipated this well in advance and may well be letting the high end go to Avid and Adobe. It feels very much like starting again for Apple in the video editing world. FCPX will appeal to the next generation of Editors and Filmmakers, like it or not Apple are very good at predicting the future.
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Old July 2nd, 2011, 02:06 PM   #8
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Re: FCP X: Looking Forward While Looking Back.

Hey Brett,

Makes sense to me why you'll do a wait-and-see. It's a little weird for me, because I have an on-going client who tends to just have me replace video and photos for short commercials and YouTube videos, but keeping the music and some of the graphics the same. So I'm a little concerned about switching to FCP X; but, these are short little videos and it'll give me an excuse to re-cut the music and graphics bed.

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Old July 2nd, 2011, 04:53 PM   #9
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Re: FCP X: Looking Forward While Looking Back.

I guess this is the 3rd great revolution for me. I started in Post in 1980. In 1989 Avid had so much ridicule because at about $60k it was a toy compared to $1M online rooms. It had horribly fuzzy pictures barely usable for offlining.

By 1999 Avid was into online and FCP 1.0 was laughed at as the toy.

Here it is 2011 and once again FCPX is called a consumer toy. Apple know what they're doing and they're in the position to take a short term hit while FCPX becomes the next great NLE as I think it can.

Key is its database/metadata handling and its AV Foundation base. While there may be feature paucity at the moment, it's the foundation for a very powerful NLE. Apple would not have built that foundation investing R&D resources if they had no intention of taking advantage of it.

BTW anybody who says it's iMovie based doesn't understand the foundation. iMovie is Quicktime based and FCPX is AV Foundation based. There are superficial similarities in the GUI because Randy Ubillos has been working on improving and editor's GUI since he did so with iMovie. Had Ubillos had is way, iMovie would have been called First Cut which would be the offline editor to FCPX's eventual online capabilities. In fact, that a client can now give you an iMovie "selects" cut instead of a "paper cut" is a big step forward for some editing workflows.
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Old July 4th, 2011, 02:52 PM   #10
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Re: FCP X: Looking Forward While Looking Back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Connor View Post
I don't think it will be "dead", out of two million seats of FCP7 I bet there's probably less than 2-300,000 that are used for "High-end" Production and are likely to be switching elsewhere.
I guess I mean "dead" in the pro market. Yes, if Apple takes longer than a year to fix the problems that prevent pro's from using it, they will move to other products. The increased rendering speed of Adobe and Avid compared to plodding FCP 7 will be hard to resist. I do believe, Apple will fix these things. I'm just not sure they thought they were going to have to. I don't consider myself a high-end user, but I can't work with FCP X in it's current form. Not because of the interface, but rather the critical missing features.
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Old July 4th, 2011, 03:15 PM   #11
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Re: FCP X: Looking Forward While Looking Back.

Brett, that's exactly how I feel. I'm not a "high end user" of FCP but the features the new FCP X currently has not got (and may or may not get in the next 6-12 months) mean it's basically dead in the water for me (even if it has some neat things I'd really like). I'm using Vegas on a PC and will keep using FCS2 on my Mac Pro and MBP for a while as I greatly enjoy them both/can get the things I need done really well with them - but more and more I'm thinking of getting up to speed with Adobe CS5.5 Prod Premium.

If (and it's a VERY BIG if) Apple "back peddle" to recapture the kudos of being a pro video supplier anytime soon - then I'll look again - but I'm not expecting I'll need to - but I'd happily be proved wrong. To me, the path seems set.

Maybe in 1-2 years it'll be OK ...who knows....but I can't wait that long as meantime I have a video business to run, feed my family and Apple just lost my trust, big time. It'll be a VERY hard sell second time around. I now really don't think they want the serious video pros as their clientele anyway, judging by the heavyweight, informed comment that I've read in the last week or so (and a plethora of web chatter that we've all been deluged with too).

Bottom line - the inability to open legacy FCP projects in FCP X is the real killer for me. There is NO EXCUSE for that when other NLE's can open FCP projects. What a stupid and silly omission. Apple blew it with that (and killing FCP7 availability on the day of FCP X launch - Highly unprofessional). Like numerous others, I often get corporate clients requesting a refresh or variation of stuff that I did for them 1, 2, 3 maybe years ago for a specific meeting, market segment or whatever.

And one more thing. Once most of the "real movie pros" desert the Apple FCP "brand", will it still retain it's "value" with all the millions of aspring creatives in the marketplace? I think I know the answer to that one...

Just as well they do (pretty nice) phones and iPad things really well then.
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Old July 4th, 2011, 03:59 PM   #12
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Re: FCP X: Looking Forward While Looking Back.

I'm interested in the perspective of all those who say that massive "pro" features are missing.

While I believe that there are a mountain of "conveniences" that have been stripped out in the quest for a leaner, quicker, more modern app - what exactly are the "features" that are inherent to the functional editing for most of you that you find missing?

For example, yes, OMF export is gone. But while that might feel particularly critical for those who work with big teams of specialists - it certainly doesn't mean that one can't marry audio and video inside FCP X. Merely that you can't do that in precisely the same very convenient and current workflow compatible way in which you could with FCP 7. But while that may make it less convenient for your tasks, you're not arguing that quality audio is impossible for the new build.

Maybe I'm missing something here. But I'd honestly like to know, what is actually truly "missing" from FCP X as a capable general purpose video editing tool compared to FCP 7?

Anyone?
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Old July 4th, 2011, 04:16 PM   #13
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Re: FCP X: Looking Forward While Looking Back.

Multicam is probably a big deal for some. Not opening old projects is also a pretty big deal for most, but starting from scratch, that's not as bad.

XML in/out is crucial if we're supposed to be able to use FCP X together with others (and our past selves), though, and I suspect that will come pretty soon.
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Old July 4th, 2011, 06:42 PM   #14
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Re: FCP X: Looking Forward While Looking Back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Davis View Post
Maybe I'm missing something here. But I'd honestly like to know, what is actually truly "missing" from FCP X as a capable general purpose video editing tool compared to FCP 7?
Track based editing, media management in MY control, opening legacy projects and I/O support.

Any single one of those is a deal-killer for me.
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Old July 4th, 2011, 06:53 PM   #15
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Re: FCP X: Looking Forward While Looking Back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Davis View Post
But I'd honestly like to know, what is actually truly "missing" from FCP X as a capable general purpose video editing tool compared to FCP 7?
Bill, that's a great question! I'm slowly going through my FCP X tutorials and trying to figure that out for myself - as a "one-man-shop" who would very much like to drop "Classic FCP" (I'm on FCP 6, not 7, so I prefer to use the generic term "Classic FCP" to denote any of FCP 1-7) and shift onto FCP X for paid work as soon as it can stand up to it.

I have one "definite" plus a number of "concerns" which I'm currently trying to figure out if they are truly valid.

1/ The definite is the inability to import Classic FCP files. That is huge for me. I frequently have to re-visit, re-open and make new additions and updates for clients.

2/ My number one "concern". How well can FCP X reconnect media? I have one major client where I shoot and edit in their offices for a couple of days per week. If I want to do a bit of editing in my home office over the weekend, I can copy the entire project from their RAID onto a more portable hard drive to take home and can then later copy the newly created files back onto their RAID using Reconnect Media. FCP 6 is fairly "smart" and can therefore handle this sort of thing fairly easily. On my tutorials so far, I've found how to assign the project to an external hard drive (rather than use the Mac's drive) but haven't yet gotten to a further tutorial which can shed any light on how well it can reconnect media (in the scenario above) or if it can handle a project spanned across two external hard drives. Have you found the answer to that one yet, Bill? Or anyone else? Until I get certainty on this point, I'm most reluctant to attempt any paid work on FCP X.

3/ A lesser concern. If I'm not happy with the job that the FCP X sound tools do on a clip and would like to do further work on that clip in Soundtrack Pro, can I round-trip the clip directly from FCP X to STP and back (round-trip)?

4/ Same thing with Motion 5. Can I round trip from FCP X to Motion 5 and back? Mark Spencer has indicated that you can't in his "Motion 5: Five Missing Features" article on PVC. But I haven't tried this for myself yet.

Points 3 and 4 aren't necessarily "deal-breakers" and are lesser concerns.

But bear in mind that I'm only talking about version 1.0 here (of FCP X). For all we know there might be updates in the next weeks which could make these concerns redundant.
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