Larry’s Thoughts On Final Cut Pro X

Posted on by Larry

[This article was first published in the July, 2011, issue of
Larry’s Final Cut Pro Newsletter. Click here to subscribe.]


Final Cut Pro X was released just over 30 days ago — seems longer than that somehow…

I’m not going to rehash in this newsletter all the drama we’ve been living through – but I do want to step back and share a few thoughts.

First, as the comments on my latest blog indicate, passions are still running high on all sides of this new release.

I get emails from people telling me how much they like it, intermixed with emails from other editors telling me how much they dislike it. Then, just to keep my head spinning, I get still more emails from folks sitting firmly on the fence.

As I mentioned to someone during an interview, many established Final Cut editors feel like they’ve been jilted by a long-time lover. There is no doubting the pain and anguish that they feel. And, in situations like this, lashing out is often a first response.

Especially when they feel that their ability to earn a livelihood is threatened.

As I’ve written before, regardless of what you think of Final Cut Pro X, Apple thoroughly botched this launch.

However, what’s often missed in this dialog are the number of people who are positively thrilled with the new release. They tend to be new to the platform, tend to be upgrading from iMovie, and tend to have far fewer requirements of their editing system than FCP 7 power editors.

Regardless of which side of the fence you are sitting on, Apple has clearly stated that this is their new direction for video editing. They are also saying they are working hard to release updates to meet the needs editors have loudly said they need.

Apple is not going to go back and modify FCP 7. Nor are they going to release it as open source. They will be staying with this new platform.

To me, the burden is now on Apple to recover from the launch and add the new features that editors are demanding. FCP X is still a dot-zero release. In every version of Final Cut since version 1, with the exception of Final Cut HD, Apple has released many incremental dot updates (all of them free, I might add) providing bug fixes, stability improvements, and new features. I fully expect that to continue in the case of FCP X.

For editors new to Final Cut that don’t have legacy projects that need to be converted, the new software has much to recommend it in terms of speed, ease-of-use, flexibility, and power.

Yes, it still has a significant ways to go in stability and features, but when it comes to driving a bold stake in the ground, it doesn’t get much bolder than this.

For editors that are concerned about the current state of FCP X, I recommend you give it a few months to mature. See what direction Apple takes the program. For now, we are just guessing. In a few months, we will know whether that direction is right for us and our projects.

For those editors that can’t wait, Avid, Adobe, and Media 100 are currently running switching programs. If it helps you to sleep better at night, then by all means switch. However, for bigger facilities, there’s no harm in waiting a bit longer for the dust to settle.

My company, this newsletter, and I will be providing training and support for both Final Cut Studio (3) and Final Cut Pro X. I’m excited about my new FCP X training, but also happy to help editors struggling to solve problems with FCP 7.

I want to see what Apple does. Give the software time to grow. See where the future takes us. Then, when I have more information, I’ll be able to make a more informed decision.

In the meantime, I’m using both FCP 7 and FCP X. I pick the tool that works the best for the project I’m working on. For me, there’s no benefit to making a hasty decision; I’d prefer to make the right one.


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