Wiping Egg Off My Face

Posted on by Larry

There are about 85 emails in my in-box this morning with links to a speech I gave at the April Final Cut Pro User Group about my reactions to Apple’s presentation of Final Cut at NAB.

While I stand by most of my remarks, there was one unfortunate moment where I said, with a special dramatic emphasis for the crowd, that Final Cut Pro X was not ready for professional use.

I believed that then. I don’t believe it now.

When I made that presentation to the LAFCPUG, it was the week after NAB; a week after Apple presented the new version of Final Cut to the world. When I watched that presentation, I was watching it through the prism of my experience with Final Cut Pro 7 and all I knew about the application was what Apple showed on stage in their demo.

How could anything that radically different equal what we already had in Final Cut Pro 7?

I knew this new version was far more than iMovie – but, at that time, I didn’t think it was Final Cut Pro, either.

Its no secret that Apple gave me rare access to the software by inviting me to a demo of an early build of the software in February this year. However, what is not known, is that they also gave me permission to contact their development team to discuss the new version.

After NAB, and after my presentation at that April LAFCPUG meeting, I finally had time to follow-up on Apple’s offer. And I did. A lot.

I peppered them with questions:

• Why did Apple decide to totally reinvent the interface?

• Why did Apple feel they couldn’t simply do an incremental improvement to what we already had?

• Why did they only talk about Final Cut Pro?

• Why did they add the features they did?

• Why did they not mention others?

• What did they view as the future of editing, and who did they see doing the work?

While I can’t tell you what Apple told me until after the NDA lifts with the release of the product, I can tell you that what I learned during those conversations has completely changed my opinion.

Because so many of us base our lives on this software – both creatively and financially – there is a lot of stress whenever a new version comes out. Especially a radically different new version.

I understand, I feel the same stress.

But I no longer feel, as I once thought, that this is a step backward. Based on what I learned during my conversations with Apple, I believe this release provides us with an opportunity for a large step forward.

Now, we just have to wait and see what Apple ships.

For many of us, this will be a giant leap into something truly exciting. There is a lot of news to share and I can’t wait to tell you more about it.

That day can’t come soon enough.


36 Responses to Wiping Egg Off My Face

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  1. Jody Eldred says:

    @Steve: I’ve known and worked beside Larry for a long time, and I can assure you he speaks truthfully and uncoerced by anybody. He does not need Apple’s “blessing” to be the success he has become (after several decades of continuing hard and diligent work) and he is free to be as truthful as he wants to be, which in my experience is 100%.

    Apple is a sturdy company, confident in their products, and easily able to weather criticism of their products, regardless of who it is from.

    And Larry Jordan is also confident in his remarks, his training, his DVDs and his books, equally able to weather criticism– regardless of who it is from.

    “Hard-edged analysis” from Larry Jordan? Count on it. If you have evidence to the contrary I invite you to share it.

  2. Larry has comported himself with integrity and dignity in a challenging situation, no question. It’s Apple that is raising all the ruckus here. And not so much because of this release, but a perceived shift in its corporate culture that has the potential to alienate many of its original proponents. As has been repeated soooo many times, the jury is still out on all the unanswered questions.

  3. Michiel says:

    Hi Larry,

    Thank you for all your work and efforts you make for the community !

    Regarding FCP X there is one more thing on my mind. Or should i say a ‘who’ ?

    Can you disclose anything about the wellbeing of Bruce the Wonderyak in the new version ? Anything at all ? Please ?

    Thank you 😉

    • Larry says:

      Can I disclose? No, because I haven’t seen any trace of Bruce recently…

      Hmmm…. I will dispatch my most talented Yak-trackers deep into the heart of Apple to see if we can pick up his trail.


  4. Nance Flynn says:

    I think Tracy Valleau wrote the most concise and complete answer to installing a new version of any software.

    BUT, I don’t think Larry was talking about bugs and the usual adjustments that have to be made. He was talking about the design and features not being quite up-to-snuff for professional use. Everyone was saying that it looked like iMovie. That’s why everyone got nervous, including me. I am REALLY looking forward to the speed of 64-bit and background rendering! But I don’t want to compromise control or customization. I hope they didn’t take any of THAT away.

  5. Dan Allen says:

    Hi Larry,
    I am a student filmmaker – should i buy FCPX or should i go Avid?
    Many thanks in advance!


    • Larry says:


      Now that Apple has released Final Cut Pro X, you can read the specs and decide which system is best for your projects.


  6. Newsman says:

    Larry, you accomplished something rare: You rocked Apple’s world.

    I get the feeling they needed to be shaken by somebody with your stature and credibility.

    Perhaps Apple wants a wife and a girlfriend. The wife is the pro user. The girlfriend is the kid/amateur user. The problem with having a wife and a girlfriend at the same time is that you usually have a very bad result.

    BTW Larry, you are an amazing speaker. I’ve never heard anybody with your ability to be serious and wickedly funny in the same sentence. (I’m not from Boston.) You are quite a pisser. (Yes, I’m from Jersey.) If you had gone into politics you would have never lost an election.

    You are very convincing in a paradoxically Big Brother/favorite uncle sort of way.

    Anyway, at least if FCPX sucks, we at least have you around to teach and entertain at the same time.

  7. Fluffy Kitties says:

    Definitely FCP X FTW!!!

    Can’t wait to upgrade from iMovie 11, and dude, can’t find your FB badge..?

  8. Carlos says:

    Well, for me it’s really pretty simple; without the ability to import old projects, I can’t use it. What I find really puzzling and no one seems to be addressing is, if Apple is positioning this as a completely new product and not an upgrade, then why did they stop selling final cut studio? I think they could have waited a few months and announced its EOL.

  9. jason says:

    This is Apple’s way of telling dedicated professional users of FCP to go jump in a lake and they have discussed as a new product launch. They clearly are abandoning the pro editing community. So disappointing.

  10. nicolas says:

    telling people to wait until imovie “pro” becomes professional is like telling iphone users to wait for the next release to make calls ….

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