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Is it wise to start out with FCPX?

COW Forums : Apple FCPX or Not: The Debate

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Josiah GravesIs it wise to start out with FCPX?
by on May 30, 2012 at 12:34:30 am

I am a student and have worked on multiple freelance editing projects in the past. I purchased the dirt cheap student priced Avid Media Composer to learn on simply based on the fact that it is the broadcast industry standard. My question is, as someone who is relatively new, is it a smart idea to begin with something like FCPX as opposed to Avid or Premiere?

As I've looked at the discussion it seems that much (though not all) of unhappiness caused by FCPX is that it requires professionals to completely relearn the way they have edited. It seems like Apple has been trying to break out of the mold that was created back when film was first invented and is trying to create something on par with the capability of technology today. Is it wise to take advantage of this sort of clean slate and go with what is brand new?

On the other hand Apple has seemed to be moving away from the professional as a whole. Not only has their software seemed to have professional users as an afterthought but their hardware has also seemed to be lagging. The Mac Pro just as an example is falling behind and seems to have no update in sight.

So, is it wise to ride along with Apple's revolutionary mentality, or have they left the professional behind in pursuit of the consumer?


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Craig SeemanRe: Is it wise to start out with FCPX?
by on May 30, 2012 at 12:50:10 am

Apple is not moving away from professionals. Most professionals don't work in feature film or broadcast. It will take some time to make headway into that market again.

If you want to freelance it'll be some time before there are FCPX freelance jobs.
If you want to start your own business, FCPX may be a good place to start if it does everything you need it to do or you believe it'll grow in features as your business grows.

I've been using edit systems for about 30 years. I'm used to change. I prefer FCPX to other NLEs at this point because it's method of doing things fits with what I've hoped NLEs would become.



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Josiah GravesRe: Is it wise to start out with FCPX?
by on May 30, 2012 at 1:06:03 am

Thanks for the note. On a larger scale, do you think Apple will fundamentally influence the way media is handled? Working with Avid I get the impression that is an archaic beast of the past which still has its head buried in a pile of film reals. For those who work with audio I think its the equivalent of Pro Tools, which is essentially a digital version of an analog mixer based recording system. It just completely counterintuitive in an all digital environment.


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Alan OkeyRe: Is it wise to start out with FCPX?
by on May 30, 2012 at 1:18:39 am

I think Apple is ahead of the curve in its focus on metadata, but I seriously doubt that the trackless editing paradigm of FCP X is going to become a widely adopted industry standard, especially in the broadcast/film editing market.


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Bret WilliamsRe: Is it wise to start out with FCPX?
by on May 30, 2012 at 1:20:06 am

There's nothing wrong with the way X is doing things. Some argue that the timeline is a hinderance and others like it. I think the biggest pro gripe is that Apple replaced a fully functional feature complete app with a less featured app that still doesn't fit into many professional workflows. There are websites dedicated to the features it's still lacking compared to Avid, FCP 7 and Premiere. Whether those are important to a person or a company's workflow is their decision. But at this stage in the game, I think you'd do well to learn Avid. Also rent CS6 and get a copy of FCP X. I really think you're going to need to know them all if this is your profession. Things have changed.


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Alan OkeyRe: Is it wise to start out with FCPX?
by on May 30, 2012 at 1:34:17 am

I think it's way too soon to include FCP X as a "must-learn" app in the company of the other apps you've mentioned, at least as far as employability at larger facilities goes. As Shane Ross said, it all depends on your focus. If you're looking for employment in the film/broadcast sector, save yourself the $300 and skip FCP X, or at least don't expect it to give you any kind of competitive advantage in that market.


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Alan OkeyRe: Is it wise to start out with FCPX?
by on May 30, 2012 at 1:14:00 am

Regardless of FCP X's merits, it's important to recognize that it has a very unique editing methodology. If you are just starting out and wish to be employable, you can't do better than Avid Media Composer, Final Cut Pro 7 or Premiere Pro, which all use a track-based editing paradigm. Knowledge of FCP X will be far less transferrable than that of any of these other applications due to its non-standard interface. The sad truth is, most employers won't even tolerate ignorance of the specific editing application that they use, even if you have learned something with a similar editing methodology.


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Shane RossRe: Is it wise to start out with FCPX?
by on May 30, 2012 at 1:18:23 am

You have to approach it this way...where do you see yourself heading professionally? Hollywood? Broadcast TV and FILM? Then learn Avid and FCP 7 and PPro (although FCP 7 will be phased out). Want to do corporate video, commercials, weddings...the plethora of OTHER editing professions (and I left out more than a few, I'm sure), then see what they are using. Learn what is being used there. Learn FCX if you will be striking out on your own too, and getting clients who want edited video...if you like the way it works.

It all depends on what YOUR goals are.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Josiah GravesRe: Is it wise to start out with FCPX?
by on May 30, 2012 at 1:30:29 am

Thanks for all the quick responses. And yes, that was the theory behind purchasing Avid. I really don't enjoy working with it but it is the standard in many places and I figured it would be worth my time to learn how to use it. As far as FC taking a step backwards, that was another big incentive for me to go with Avid. X actually debuted right before I made my purchase and it was a significant factor. I really want to see how CS6 stands up, Adobe seems to have made some huge steps in the latest release, and the idea of editing native just sounds heavenly.

Those sites you mentioned about the lack of features, could post some of those links?


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Alan OkeyRe: Is it wise to start out with FCPX?
by on May 30, 2012 at 1:40:27 am

What type of editing would you ultimately like to be doing?


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Josiah GravesRe: Is it wise to start out with FCPX?
by on May 30, 2012 at 1:45:09 am

At the moment, things seem to be moving towards corporate, or going into business myself. The work I have done is mostly for non-profit organizations doing work internationally. So mostly promo/doc kind of stuff. I really enjoy it and would love to take it further but of course in today's job market you have to be prepared for anything.


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Craig SeemanRe: Is it wise to start out with FCPX?
by on May 30, 2012 at 2:01:53 am

[Josiah Graves] "Those sites you mentioned about the lack of features, could post some of those links?"

I like this one. This is from somebody who is certified and likes FCPX so he seems acutely aware of what's missing. Great detail. What's crossed out is what Apple has added from his original list.
http://fcpx.tv/top.html

[Josiah Graves] "Adobe seems to have made some huge steps in the latest release, and the idea of editing native just sounds heavenly."

Although I hear the rendering on output can be hell.



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Josiah GravesRe: Is it wise to start out with FCPX?
by on May 30, 2012 at 2:21:24 am

Thanks, I'll take a look at it.

[Craig Seeman] "Although I hear the rendering on output can be hell.
"


I guess you pay for it on one side or the other. I'm downloading the trial for FCPX right now. I'll try it out, see how it goes. Hopefully I can get my hands on some adobe stuff and compare. I think the integration within the Adobe suite is the best thing going for it.


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Craig SeemanRe: Is it wise to start out with FCPX?
by on May 30, 2012 at 2:41:22 am

In FCPX you may want to turn off background rendering while you work.
Rendering on export has been very fast for me.
I've edited H.264 .mp4 and exported ProRes and the export was faster than real time.



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Bruno SchalchRe: Is it wise to start out with FCPX?
by on May 30, 2012 at 1:37:43 am

I wouldn't start with FCPX, I think it is closer to imovie than to a professional and robust editor so it becomes something like imovie pro. Media composer and premiere, on the other side, are getting better and better(CS6 was recently released for premiere and if you use after effects frecuently you could take advantage of dynamic link).
I would start with premiere or media composer, but not with final cut Pro X.


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eric pautschRe: Is it wise to start out with FCPX?
by on May 30, 2012 at 2:45:37 am

FCP 7 will be used for several years down the road as well.

I say learn and know X but dont rely on it getting you work. If it takes off in the professional world you'll be ready.



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Dennis RadekeRe: Is it wise to start out with FCPX?
by on May 30, 2012 at 11:38:36 am

If it hasn't already been mentioned, it makes sense for you to give an earnest try to all three in turn as they all have 30 day trials. Knowing more than one NLE is always a plus and as has been mentioned here many times, each NLE has certain strengths for particular types of projects.

Once you've done that, you'll have your favorite and I hope it'll be mine, but regardless, you have working knowledge on all three.

Good luck!

Dennis - Adobe guy

Here's the link for the Production Premium trial http://adobe.ly/In5IR5


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Andrew KimeryRe: Is it wise to start out with FCPX?
by on May 30, 2012 at 7:56:34 pm

I think Shane hit the nail on the head w/saying that different segments of the industry, as well as different geographical locations, will be using different tools. I typically work as part of a larger production so I need to know Avid & FCP 7 because that's what the vast majority of my potential employers in LA use. If I worked all the time as a self-contained shop and all I delivered to my clients was the final product then I'd have more liberty to use whatever I wanted.

Is it wise to start out w/FCPX? Sure, why not? Just don't think that's the only NLE you'll learn. I started out w/a mix of Avid Express, Premiere 6 and linear editing. I later stumbled into FCP (because it was inexpensive at only $999) and used it on my own projects while I still used Avid at work.

If it looks like potential employers will start using FCPX then I'll start learning that too. I'm not really worried about being 'first' to know FCPX because I don't see being first as really being beneficial to me as an editor. I wasn't on board for V1 of Avid, AE, PS, FCP, etc., but that hasn't stopped me from working w/those apps professionally.


-Andrew




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Richard HerdRe: Is it wise to start out with FCPX?
by on May 30, 2012 at 8:38:15 pm

Before you get to far in your prognostications be sure to read Walter's article at the top of this board.

http://magazine.creativecow.net/article/a-cautionary-tale-for-the-fcp-switc...

The ensuing discussion has a very important discussion on media management.


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Josiah GravesRe: Is it wise to start out with FCPX?
by on May 30, 2012 at 10:14:20 pm

Thanks for the article. This is what I gather from everything you guys and the articles have said:

1. Avid is rock solid provided you are prepared to follow the very specific (and traditional) Avid workflow without deviation.
2. Premiere has the most open front end workflow but needs to work on media management and back end finishing issues.
3. FCPX is somewhat revolutionary with a high priority on metadata and ease of use but is lacking in many of the powerful and detailed tools that are present in other NLE's.

Sound like a good summary?


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