Game Reset: The FCP X fallout has been a blessing in disguise.
By Eric Wise
Don’t get me wrong, I bought FCP X the day it came out and I will learn how to use it – well. But it’s clear that Apple is leaving the professional software space. So I, like so many other fulltime freelance editors will have to readjust. Soon I’ll be able to add another slash to my title: Avid / FCP/ Premiere Pro editor. And even though I have the same concerns a lot of other editors have about how the $300 FCP X price tag will further commoditize our craft, I think it’s ultimately a good thing all of this happened. Why?
- And then there were 2. This leaves Adobe and Avid in the professional editing space. They make solid products but more importantly, both companies care about pros and what we need to get out jobs done. They have a collaborative, respectful and inter-dependent relationship with pro users. They need us to not only survive but thrive. It’s clear that FCP (and the Apple approach) has made Adobe and Avid’s offerings more competitive over the years. And because of some of the cool features in FCP X (despite the pro limitations), Adobe and Avid will be forced to continue to improve and innovate. The bottom line – with Avid and Adobe there is the sense that we’re in this together.
- Merry-go-round. We use to be able to round-trip in Final Cut Studio but alas, not anymore. By learning Adobe’s NLE, I will soon be able to wear the “triple crown”: After Effects, PhotoShop and Premiere. And if you count Illustrator, Encore and Media Encoder, I will have an unmatched round-tripping workflow.
- I will further refine my motion graphics skills. Even though I am primarily an editor, about half the work I get during the year is purely motion graphics. I love design and I love making it move. To stand out in an increasingly crowded field of editors I try to use either After Effects, PhotoShop or both in every project. Sometimes this is not feasible (or even necessary) but when it is – I’m all over it.
Will FCP X usher in a new era in post? Maybe.
It will in the very least usher in a new era of techniques that will change the craft of editing – maybe for the better. It’s hard to argue that background rendering in X is not a good thing. One of the most frustrating things about FCP 7 was having to constantly render. It was hard to get into and keep an editing rhythm. This is not something you have to do as much in Media Composer.
Indeed, the mass adoption of non-linear editing in the 90’s not only helped editors work faster but it also helped us get into a flow that was not possible with the linear machines that proceeded it. No more waiting for tape decks to pre-roll and sync up.
Instant cuts. Instant results. Easy to create. Easy to undo.
The FCP X timeline takes advantage of multi-touch and you get the sense that we could be only a few years away from Minority Report editing.
Whatever happens, it should be clear or will be when the dust settles that storytelling cannot be commoditized. So I’ll keep on working with whatever tools that help me refine and customize my vision and hopefully these tools will keep getting better.
Either way, I will.