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Re: After a year has perception of FCPX changed?

COW Forums : Apple FCPX or Not: The Debate

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Bill DavisRe: After a year has perception of FCPX changed?
by on May 27, 2012 at 11:44:12 pm

Since this is just all speculation and chatter, here's my question.

What else could Apple have done given the reality of the situation surrounding FCP?

In my estimation, that situation was:

A) a target niche of video producers divided into vastly discrete camps from video hobbyists to movie production professionals - with huge numbers of sub-groups in between with differing needs.

B) a rapidly and revolutionarily underlying desktop OS platform transformation taking place(Leopard to Snow Leporad to Lion) simultaneously.

C) the emergence of Mobile and the Apps culture driving huge shifts in information demand - including video.

And into that vortex, you're going to launch a totally re-imagined product that has to be poised to take advantage of the changing landscape of how and when people need to edit and deploy video?

I mean come on. This is not the 1980s any more. Cameras don't cost $100,000. You don't need teems of engineers to take care of them. I can assemble a dozen cameras with a few phone calls to meet any need I see - and so can you.

If you or I spy a truly or unique situation that deserves preservation on video, that used to be exclusively a "call a professional" situation. Today it's simply not.

A mile around wherever you're sitting today is unheard of video production power sitting on closet shelves and in teenagers bedrooms. Your neighbors likely have quality camcorders, the skateboard kiddies have GoPros, and everyone has HD CelPhones - and all the desktop computers in your neighborhood have the capabilities of editing software.

And worse yet (or better, depending on your orientation!), any one of the video professionals here can probably show up in your neighborhood with a roller bag and do fully professional video production with nothing more than a half hour of setup time - we all have the gear AND the expertise and we can go anywhere at the drop of a hat without an OB van in tow.

Like it or not, that's a massive shift in things.

So if you were tasked with designing software to meet the needs of the largest swath of all these new "video producers" honestly, would you make the design goal to create software where the number ONE criteria is "it has to have operate so much like FCP-Legacy so it doesn't make those users annoyed?"

I personally wouldn't put that in the top two dozen design list criteria.

Legacy had to go away because the larger video production world is moving away from what it was great at. Not ALL of the production world, certainly, but enough of it to really matter.

Legacy was a response to the way video was done when Legacy was growing up.

X was a response to real technological change in the way video production increasingly happens now. Cameras everywhere. Cheap cameras. More outlets. Less broadcast, more internet. Less opportunity to "crack" the movie business, more opportunities to "crack" the business video game since every business with more than a dozen employees uses video.

(As an aside, In my youth, I never went into a "shopping center or store" where video was on a screen other than in a department or store selling TV sets - and today you can't go into a mall without walking past 100 video screens playing content everywhere you look. Times have totally changed in that way.)

X makes damn good video right now. And next year will probably make even better video. And will handle audio better. And over the years, I think it will become popular and more productive precisely because it's core features are focused on helping users make order out of chaos, (tagging search, library functions) make fast assembly the rule (range based work and magnetism), and agile deployment (its sharing features.)

Those things are needed by more people in a connected world awash in video than the ability to send your audio to an out of house composer and/or a colorist and even those "high end" piping functions have clearly been planned for in the X future.

It'll probably take a few more years for the X plumbing to become complete. But that's fine with me. It's a wicked fast general cutting tool that handles everything I've been throwing at it lately, and travels by my side comfortably now rather than waiting for me to get back to the studio to get the real work done.

And those attributes are more important to me today, because that's what I've discovered I actually need in my day to day work.

I need a great PERSONAL video editing solution that does 80% of all video functions out of the gate. Not an "industrial shop" solution held back to get the top 5% of high-end features just right for a sub set of it's users.

So I think Apple did a great job of figuring out the right feature mix to start with.

If you see things differently - post away.

If you really think Apple should have held off and released a more fully featured but far more complex HollyWood Suite Editing Tool - and hoped that the masses would have loved that larger beast via the "halo" effect - make the case.

I think they released a killer 'personal editing tool" based around wildly new thinking that took most of us half a year or more of constant use to really begin to come to grips with - and are now growing it very rapidly into an amazing modern content creation app that can handle most tasks tossed at it right now by people outside of "large facility" workflows.

Right call, IMO.

Floor's open.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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