how I learnt to stop worrying and love the new final cut

There’s a strong declaration of intent over at CrumplePop where they explain why they have tied themselves to the mast of FCPX. In particular they are predicting that everybody will be over the fear of change and the learning curve (and the bug fixes) within a year. That’s pretty bold.

Call me skittish but right now I don’t even know if I will have done a ‘Day Job’ Job on FCPX by then.
Probably. But not likely enough to bet the everybody will be doing it.

Motion, on the other hand, is a different case.

Turns out my mum is reading this (hi mum) so I’ll explain. Motion is the tool for making text, images and all that magicky stuff fly around on the screen. Like PowerPoint but better.

There are three reasons why I will be using the new version of Motion in ‘combat’ conditions long before I take that chance on Final Cut Pro.
1. It hasn’t changed as much.
2. It runs 64-bit which is more efficient and that’s a bigger deal for this kind of work.
3. It over-writes the old version when you install it.

Number three means that I’ve been working with it today at the office. I could re-install the old one but that would be a hassle I could avoid.

Here, then, are my first impressions:
Doesn’t play well with Final Cut Studio 7 – Roundtripping is just broken but I never really trusted roundtripping before.
Fast but erratic – works, renders and plays back quickly and well. Then it kinda freezes up for thirty seconds for no particular reasons. I had a couple of crashes but I didn’t loose any work to speak of. Some of the controls were kind of twitchy.
Not immune to the Apple mind control juggernaut – I spent a few minutes looking for the export command. Apparently we ‘share’ everything now. Because nothing says Pro User like a Sesame St reference. It’s all very friendly and stuff but it’s one of those changes where Apple has actively asserted something and it has no clear benefit for the user. Therefore you can only assume that it is more valuable to their master plan.
Fortunately the default keyboard short-cut is still command-E so you can think export even while you’re sharing.

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Comments on: "Let’s call it… Co-operation!" (2)

  1. A very interesting read, very compelling counterpoint to the “get me adobe cs5 double-quick” rhetoric one hears everywhere.

    No doubt they are making a sound business decision. In terms of installed users (in all market segments, not just pro postproduction) I don’t doubt for a second that FCPX will trounce Avid and Adobe by orders of magnitude. So naturally CrumplePop are targeting, wisely, the bigger market.

    I’m not so sure about the professional editors. Lots are jumping ship right now since they have no choice. It comes down to a race – will Apple add the needed features in time to win back these editors, or will these editors cross a threshold of no return?

    I know for myself that FCPX will probably mark the end of my career as a professional editor. Mostly symbolically, by the coincidence of its release just before I started my MFA program with which I hope to transform myself into a director. But also in the sense that it neatly encapsulates almost all the tricks and techniques I’ve acquired in 17 years of working with NLE’s. As CrumplePop points out, editors no longer need to be video technicians. So there goes one of the ways I distinguished myself from the wet-behind-the-ears graduates glutting the market. FCPX can only strengthen the downward pressure on rates, which is already quite a buzzkill.

    I also believe it will make it harder to distinguish yourself as an editor, in the more filmic sense, as opposed to video-technician, and therefore make it harder to compete for the really yummy editing gigs: scripted drama, comedies, narrative and documentary features. These are already tough nuts to crack.

    Avid and FCP 6/7 killed the assistant editor’s job and turned them into loggers and data-wranglers. Not a useful way to hone the craft of storytelling – they don’t even to watch how its done. Aspirants will simply have to do it themselves and hope they get lucky. There’s no pipeline for them to learn from more experienced veterans.

    I guess we live in interesting times!

  2. Our assistant editor basically does lower priority jobs. We try to push her upwards with things that need more supervision when we can.
    Which I suppose puts the senior editor in a more directorial chair, so you could be on the right path.

    Maybe people like you will be where trainee editors get their mentoring.

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