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Re: On Luddites and the Use of Machines: Apropos of FCPX

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Bill DavisRe: On Luddites and the Use of Machines: Apropos of FCPX
by on Mar 28, 2012 at 3:40:13 am

[Andrew Kimery] "I don't use FCPX because it doesn't meet my needs. There's no fear or anger or denial entering the equation. I need something that does X, Y and Z and FCPX currently does not at this time so therefore I don't use it. If that changes I'll take another look at it."

Andrew,

While I find nothing wrong with that statement at all - I do think we're entering a new era where looking at software exclusively as a "features" or even "workflow" construct might turn out to be vexingly limiting in the long run.

The small problem is that while FCP-X does a subset of X, Y, and Z that currently does not meet your feature set - it's also driven some innovation by a elevating some concepts and strategies from outside the regular XYZ feature set and bolted them directly into it's design.

What concerns me is that more than a few editors will keep focused on the "core skills" of editing - which should never be dismissed or belittled - and miss the fact that in order to truly benefit from the directional change that FCP-X has signaled - there is much new learning that has to be done.

X is not something that can be mastered overnight. Or even over-a few months. It's significantly deep code with a lot of new capabilities and processes that honestly take quite a bit of learning to get used to.

I've spent as much time over the past four months, for example, considering taxonomy (the field of intelligent naming and labeling) and export modes (versioning and persistent connection verses "save as" and "orphan document" creation.) as I have concentrating on the traditional skills of scene pacing or titling. My use of X on a near daily basis has literally changed much of my thinking about what it means to be an "editor" in the modern sense.

Yes, the core is telling the story. But to get that done, I've been given whole new arrays of tools that can help me tremendously if I can learn them. But they're not easy nor trivial to learn.

But it's precisely those new skills that are making me feel like I'm moving forward in my career, rather than continuing just to do the same stuff I did five years (or even six months!) ago.

I now not only edit, but I have a new appreciation for the role of metadata, search, clip relationships, and even in-application publishing of content for a connected world.

I simply don't think my brain would have gone to those places without having X in my toolkit.

I'm also simply not convinced that without getting past the "features" level of the program to honestly learn the overall data flow (both program content and metadata) any editor can fairly figure out if X is something they may be able to benefit from or not.

So I appreciate that at least you're keeping your eye on it.

If it does continue to evolve at it's current pace. At some point, I believe that most editors will likely have to contend with it's concepts. Because merging editing with search, and bolting those onto connected output concepts IS going to be where editing goes in an overall sense, IMO.

It has to in a world where every content creator pretty much has to rely on those same principals (search and agile creative output deployment via on-line publishing) as increasingly key drivers of modern content workflows.

If I'm correct, the other large scale editing programs will simply have to start adding even more of these capabilities to the ones they all ready have in place.

But Apple has now become arguably the first NLE to elevate content management and metadata tracking to completely equal status with fundamental editing tools - putting BOTH right up front in the user interface design.

It will be fascinating to see how many of the other major editing programs adopt that model over the next few years.





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