The future of video editing has been going directly into the hands of anyone who wants to tell a story. With Final Cut Pro X, it goes very deeply into those hands. And that's a very good thing.
Going to start this one by saying that I HAVE NOT seen or used the new app in person. I've read 2 loose compilations of reviews and 1 press release from Apple (and I learned a long time ago to not trust the press releases, lol).
When I first began using Final Cut Pro in 1999 or 2000, I liked it because it reminded me of an Avid "Media Suite" upon which I had created some cool stuff. That was why I originally liked FCP; it was familiar and easy to learn and use. Remember kids, this was back when having 18 gigs of storage was really really awesome and resembled 2 large shoe boxes strung to the Avid with embillical cords.
Final Cut Pro continued to be easy to learn and use for years. It added more bells and whistles, literally, with Soundtrack Pro. With Motion. Compressor. Eventually even Color. (DVDSP I'll leave alone....and you'll understand why shortly.)
Why was I excited about Soundtrack? Because it came with a music library and music loops. I was not - - and am still not - - an audio guy. Final Cut Pro is my preferred audio mixing and cutting tool. Can I bop in and out of Soundtrack or Adobe Soundbooth or even once-upon-a-time ProTools to do some equalizing? Sure. Do I like to? Not often. Does my end product, after hours of messing around in an audio application, sound much better than what I could do in FCP itself? ....only now that I've saved some presets. I loved the addition of Soundtrack because of the content that came with Soundtrack.
Why was I excited about Motion? Because I love After Effects, still do, and I thought Motion would be a serious option. It wasn't for me....I ended up loving Motion for the library of video content that came with it.
Why was I excited about Color? It looked neat. It has saved my ass on occasions. And I still like to just send clips there and mess around with them, though I hardly ever use the results. It's a fun toy for me.
Why was I excited about DVD Studio Pro? I wasn't. But some clients needed DVDs, and this was packaged with the software, so now we could possibly use it to make some DVDs, instead of the DVD recorder next to the decks.
Why was I indifferent about Compressor? It compresses. So do a lot of other dedicated apps. Utility is nice.
Tonight I saw that FCP X has been released, and most reviewers are giving it 2.5 stars. Read more here:
truly great comments in here - http://www.engadget.com/2011/04/12/apple-announces-final-cut-pro-x-rebuilt-from-ground-up-with-64/
Final Cut Pro X is a $300 app, available only through Apples App Store. Compressor and Motion are available separately for $50 each. DVD Studio Pro is not available. I LIKE ALL OF THIS. A lot of people don't.
For starters, Final Cut Studio used to cost $1,000 to $1,200 and ship with, what, 7 installation disks...and all of its manuals...the manuals were nice....even though online forums prove nobody read them.
There was a time when we didn't have motion pictures. There was a time when editors cut film by hand with razors. There was a time when I was editing either 3/4" deck to deck or ABC rolling edits through a Video Toaster or Pinnacle Genie. There was (and if you listen closely, there still is) a time when only the "professionals" used Avids, and only these upstart basement editors who don't know bars and tone from pad used Final Cut Pro. ....yeah, those quotes and italics are ironic... When Walter Murch cut Aviator on FCP, it felt like validation for the underdog software that could and all of the little people who were using it. That was in 2005.
Final Cut Pro is, today, one of a couple professional products available. Final Cut Pro 7 was / is just the latest version of an application that held its own and impressed a lot in a "professional" editing workflow (and yet to say FCP7 impressed anyone is to stretch the truth).
The last time I was excited about a new Final Cut Pro was when sub-frame audio editing was introduced. This year I added Adobe CS5 to my system. Once upon a time I created some excellent work on Premiere. I was so tired of FCP that I wanted to see what the new Premiere could do. I wanted it to be better than Final Cut (And in some ways it is better, for my purposes. Just one is the ability to work natively with P2. The BBC switched to Adobe this year. All that said, right now I use Premiere rarely.)
Compared to the rest of the world of computing, getting into any professional video application has lately felt like steering a dinosaur.
Final Cut Pro X appears to have stirred some excitement in me.
Just watch the demo of how the timeline works, how your footage is organized, how your tools are right there. I've walked people through the basics of timeline editing, and it has been interesting. FCPX looks very intuitive. Not to mention finally taking advantage the power that macs currently have.
I'll say again that I haven't used the new app, I'm just reading what other people have read and written about it. There are going to be haters, and there are going to be people who think I'm an idiot for feeling such butterflies and expressing them without testing. So be it.
....and I see "native editing includes support for import and playback without transcoding" of AVC-Intra.
...and I see export presets for youtube, facebook, etc., taking a tip from Adobe export options.
The Bad off the bat:
- X is not backwards compatible. (Haven't most .0 versions of 64 bit software been this way?) You can't open your current FCP products in X. When you compare the "update" with the predecessor, it's easy to see why. But still very inconvenient.
- apparently doesn't let you set markers the same way that you used to be able to. I do like my markers.
- apparently can't specify where you're storing your files...such as project files, render files. I'm guessing it's like iMovie in that regard. You can eventually find your files, you just need to know where to look.
- content auto analysis automatically sorts your shots.
- working with tape is either difficult or not possible. ...because we all love tape so much...i say only halfway mocking.
- no XML support. That's not good.
Each of these things are bad for me because I've been editing for 16 years, 11 of those years on a program I'm familiar with, and I know how and where I like to save, sort and generally do things.
Each of these bad things are only going to be bad for professional fcp users. For the new market that Apple is opening, these things will not matter. And I imagine a couple of versions or updates from now, pro life will be okay too.
Apple's argument for streaming video over DVD production makes a lot of sense to me. 1) Remember HD-DVD vs Blu Ray? What will come after Blu-Ray? 2) The last time you shared your video, did you ship a DVD or did you upload it? (Well, Scott, that depends on the length of the video. Yes it can.) Last time you sent a professional ad to broadcast, did you create and ship a beta because they don't accept DVD, or did you upload it?
Now what about at the beginning where I waxed stupidly about the future of video editing going directly into the hands of anyone who can tell a story? Do you have $300? Do you have a new-ish mac? Now you can have one hell of a lot of power to express your creativity. At your fingertips. Hopefully it's as intuitive as it looks.
Somebody commented that it should have been called iMovie Pro instead of Final Cut Pro. If the program does what you want it to, who cares what it resembles? 11 years ago I couldn't afford an Avid, even though I wanted one. I got the program that did what I wanted it to and resembled an Avid. It happens.
Final Cut Pro was initially embraced by the documentarian and indie film maker. Now, particularly for these storytellers, the software is going to be even more accessible. Two or three years from now I'm sure a big budget flick will be created on FCP-X's latest version.
People can shoot and edit HD video on their phones now. That's a lot of power in a pocket and a lot of stories that can be told. The world is only going to keep going this way. And as professional editors aka storytellers, we can only embrace the continuing and constantly growing opportunity share our experiences with the world.
We all love stories. Final Cut Pro X looks like a brilliantly intuitive way to tell more of them. I can't wait to try it out. ...after upgrading to 10.6.7...that's through the app store, right?
PS - - I use the word Professional a lot in this. FCP started life as a pro-sumer application. It's really really good powerful prosumer, but prosumer nevertheless. It grew and grew and became adapted professionally. iEverythings have changed the way prosumers consume and create media. FCP X appears to be right in line with those changes.
PPS - - I'm posting this from a virus-free PC. My editing gear is on a mac across the room. I still have my functioning, very first G4, it plays music and stores a lot of pictures.
Bring on the cries to burn the idiot!