042903fcpxWhen Amy and I got into film making and video some years ago, the choices of editing software were limited and ultra expensive.  From 1991 until 1999 we used Avid Media Composer, which was a hardware and software bundle that cost way too much and crashed way too often.

In 1999, we switched over to Apple’s Final Cut Pro, which ran reasonably well on our Apple Macs and provided the tools we needed to produce videos and films for documentary work and on the web.  When we learned that many studios were also using FCP, it convinced us we made the right decision.

Final Cut Pro was an NLE (non-linear editor) and one that served the needs of both the independent film maker as well as established editors who worked with studios. Even George Lucas used the system for his Star Wars films.

That changed in 2011 when Apple completely revamped Final Cut Pro, throwing out the timeline concept for a new approach to editing.  Professional editors cried foul and accused Apple of abandoning those who make their living editing videos and film.

Like others who edit film and video, I went looking for other options, settling for a while for Adobe Premiere Pro.  It allowed me to import projects from Final Cut Pro, something the new release from Apple would not, and provided a familiar non-linear interface for use.

But Apple kept updating Final Cut Pro X, adding back features that were missing from the initial release, and I decided to give the program another try.  For one thing it is far cheaper than Premiere, After Effects and other add-ons, and I like things that break away from the mold.

So I’m back using Final Cut Pro X as a primary editor for films and video.  For the most part, it’s a pleasant experience and a necessary change of pace.  Most of the videos here on Blue Ridge Muse are edited with FCP as are the videos I provide to newspaper web sites and televisions stations.

Who says an old dog can’t learn new tricks.

(The video below was edited in Final Cut Pro)

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2 Responses to Finally settling on Final Cut Pro X

  1. Hello Doug and welcome back to Final Cut! 🙂

    I was one of the many that was very unhappy with Apple’s sudden change since it meant the 11 years I spent learning the old Final Cut was useless. But I decided to give it a try and all I can say is that I can not be any happier! My edit times have been cut in half and the quality of my work has gone up. I am also always finding new features that makes my workflow even smoother.

    I am very happy to see many are coming back. Great work on your edit and keep up the great work. Have an amazing day!

  2. It was difficult choice for me to “upgrade” from the classic Final Cut Suite (I had been using version 6 and didn’t fully go to version 7) to FCPX. Fortunately, I was also using iMovie for quick and easy edits (many of which for jobs that paid richly, BTW) so adopting FCPX wasn’t as painful as it was for others.

    Unfortunately, far too many editors cried foul even before exploring the new version. They weren’t subtle about saying so and sparked a no small number of sycophants to echo that sentiment without a glance at it. You mention, “throwing out the NLE concept for a new approach to editing…” Which FCPX absolutely does NOT do. It is still legitimately and by all definitions of the phrase a non-linear editing application. The fact that FCPX made certain tasks easier and more intuitive incited some to say it made editing so easy, “my grandmother could edit.” In my book, that’s a compliment, not a curse. Apple has re-implemented lost features in updates (e.g., multi-cam) that are easier to work with. When I edit, I don’t want to be a mechanic. I want a tool that stays the heck out of my way. Final Cut does that now better than it ever has.

    I’m convinced I made the right decision in staying with Final Cut in its latest version and I see that developers have been there all along providing plug ins and templates that are making my job easier. I’m also convinced that some who have switched are staying away because of pride and wishing they’d stayed with FCP all along. Regardless, despite some things that Apple does to infuriate me as does Adobe and Sony, I’m glad I stuck it out. The best reward is happy clients who have stuck with me during the change as well.

    David Burckhard
    PicturePoint On-line