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FCP-X angst: Mind-killer or motivator?

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Bill Davis
FCP-X angst: Mind-killer or motivator?
on Jul 13, 2011 at 3:33:49 pm

Not to scare everyone....

But what if the real problem is that all you guys who are so upset at the FCP-X rev aren't upset at the right thing? You're pissed at APPLE and FCP-X - but what if that's not the real problem, but merely a symptom of a larger truth? That ALL of our clients are coming to the realization that there's little need to pay US to be gatekeepers to the specialized religion of editing for much longer.

What if our industry follows the course of, for example, piano playing? There are millions of people who functionally play pianos. And a very small, working cadre of people who play for money. A handfull of concert pros that the VERY top end - a few thousand working bandsmen toiling away in the larger live music industry - but largely toiling away in anonymous tedium - and everyone else does it ONLY for personal enjoyment?

Yeah, it's scary. Like many of you, video editing is one of the central skills I've built my career on for the past 20 years.

But I'm starting to see pretty clearly that no matter WHAT software I pick today - it's probably NOT going to make a big difference in my working life if the industry foundations continue to change so rapidly.

You may not like it. And I certainly don't feel comfortable with it. But I think it's pretty clear that this is what's fundamentally happening here.

I remember the musicians squawking when synths replaced pianos, and as samplers and sequencers replaced the synths, and here we "video editors" are following the same curve.

The reality is - while editing SKILLS will always be in some modest demand - editing OPERATIONS are likely nearing the end of their useful life as a business model. (I know that sentence will raise a lot of IRE but I stand by it.)

Modern customers don't want editing. They want someone who can communicate ideas in the form of a polished whole presentation. Know where I'm getting the majority of my work recently? Researchers. The corporate consultants who generate business DATA that becomes the message. I"m working WAY higher in the corporate chain then ever before, and I have to partner with new people who speak a new language and learn what drives THEM. They aren't like the clients of my past - they're about metrics and trends and percentiles and market-segments, not about ratings and CPM or even web-hits.

And that goes WAY beyond the edit stage. If your business model is waiting for clients to call for "an edit" good luck. Somewhere WAY upstream of that decision it's likelier and likelier that someone will intercept the modern "virtual job ticket" and divert the whole project to a new entity that has a member who has "video production and editing" as just another skill set - like word processing or presentation design is considered today.

The new communications firm model is evolving. And it's a messy process.

Just as there are no more "secretaries" who sit around waiting to type letters anymore since every employee is expected to be able to do their own email correspondence without a helper - and there's so much dreadful PowerPoint out there - is that everyone is EXPECTED to do their own - skills or no skills.

THAT may be the new video production model. It SUCKS, but it's also likely inevitable.

The slots we used to fill are disappearing. Time to find new slots - or cling to the idea that we are really so damn good that we can make a living playing concerts for our customers in a world where with a few mouse clicks they can listen to any piano player that's ever lived.

It sucks to even write this - but honest self examination is the necessary pre-curser to change - and the change is coming fast these days. Like it or not.

FCP-X? Barely matters. Use it or don't. The TOOL you own is not going to protect you if this change continues. ONLY what's in your brain and how you THINK can protect you.

And allowing your mind-set to become stuck in "tool defense" or even "tool assessment mode" seems like the NERO approach to this business right now.

For what it's worth.

"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'Conner


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Forrest Burger
Re: FCP-X angst: Mind-killer or motivator?
on Jul 13, 2011 at 3:42:58 pm

Bill,

You've struck the nail directly on its head...

Forrest



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shawn Bockoven
Re: FCP-X angst: Mind-killer or motivator?
on Jul 13, 2011 at 3:55:03 pm







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Jacob Kerns
Re: FCP-X angst: Mind-killer or motivator?
on Jul 13, 2011 at 3:58:48 pm

Ya, I moved to new cheese called Premiere Pro.

NIADA
Technical Director


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Craig Seeman
Re: FCP-X angst: Mind-killer or motivator?
on Jul 13, 2011 at 3:51:15 pm

[Bill Davis] "But I'm starting to see pretty clearly that no matter WHAT software I pick today - it's probably NOT going to make a big difference in my working life if the industry foundations continue to change so rapidly."

This has actually been going on for some decades. It just accelerates over time. What will matter is that someone who does in house communications will also have an accessible, easy to learn, tool. People become multitaskers rather than specialists.

So it's not what tool you pick but that someone else now has a tool to pick whereas they were previously reliant on a specialist.

One might say just as word processing might have been a specialized skill when most where still using computers, know everyone can word process although some are far more skilled at it than others. This also happened with Desktop Publishing. While there still are specialists, someone doing an in house newsletter or small business doing marketing, doesn't have to hire a specialist.



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Greg Burke
Re: FCP-X angst: Mind-killer or motivator?
on Jul 13, 2011 at 7:31:36 pm

What they Did is mess up by calling it Final Cut Pro, and Killing all the other apps that people had mastered, im willing to bet if they just released it as iMovie 10.0 and told us they were discontinuing FCS altogether the reaction would have been much softer. But instead they Call it FCP so JOW Smith can feel special.

I wear many hats.
http://www.gregburkepost.com


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Craig Seeman
Re: FCP-X angst: Mind-killer or motivator?
on Jul 13, 2011 at 3:56:05 pm

[Bill Davis] "But I'm starting to see pretty clearly that no matter WHAT software I pick today - it's probably NOT going to make a big difference in my working life if the industry foundations continue to change so rapidly."

This has actually been going on for some decades. It just accelerates over time. What will matter is that someone who does in house communications will also have an accessible, easy to learn, tool. People become multitaskers rather than specializts.

So it's not what tool you pick but that someone else now has a tool to pick whereas they were previously reliant on a specializt.

One might say just as word processing might have been a specialized skill when most where still using computers, know everyone can word process although some are far more skilled at it than others. This also happened with Desktop Publishing. While there still are specializts, someone doing an in house newsletter or small business doing marketing, doesn't have to hire a specializt.

____
note to gatekeepers. I had to misspell a certain word because contained within it was the name of a commonly used "men's pharmaceutical"



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Noah Kadner
Re: FCP-X angst: Mind-killer or motivator?
on Jul 13, 2011 at 4:03:50 pm

That cheese video is so perfectly apt. Good one.

Noah

Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Panasonic GH2 and GoPro HD Hero.


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Dustin Parsons
Re: FCP-X angst: Mind-killer or motivator?
on Jul 13, 2011 at 4:52:51 pm

Yeah, it's definitely a fear of mine. I wish I had kept up with 3D modeling and animation...


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: FCP-X angst: Mind-killer or motivator?
on Jul 13, 2011 at 5:01:57 pm

all interesting stuff - but borrowing the desktop publishing comparison below - its clear that the market for skilled print design, typography, layout, photography has exploded with the advent of desktop publishing which is, say, analogous to the democratisation of tools you're describing in editing - again I'd argue that places where it really is on the ground is in broadcast journalism where in all Irish news operations about every journalist is self editing the basic three minute packages. Anything more complex, pro-editors are crafting it.

but going back to tool availability, I'm not sure pianos or quarkxpress are quite on the money, but even if so, people playing the piano can play it on elevators, in ad breaks, in website banners and on royalty free collections now - its very unlikely that some plebian horde of moron cutters shifting magnetic clips around is going to rise up and devour us - they are the pagemakers - thats all fine - if the pool gets immeasurably bigger as it did in desktop publishing, all to the wonderful good. Skill never goes out of style. Neither does the propensity to pay for it.


FCPX, however, is a still a horrible, gaudy dog's breakfast as software.


http://www.ogallchoir.net
promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Bill Davis
Re: FCP-X angst: Mind-killer or motivator?
on Jul 13, 2011 at 5:36:32 pm

Andreas,

I would dismiss anyones opinion of the quality of, say, a movie's editing, if that person knew nothing about the craft of editing. It's easy to be a critic in a world where no standards for criticism are followed - a pretty fair description of the modern blogosphere, IMO.

So sorry, but I'm going to disregard your opinion of the "quality" of FCP-X "as software" since I doubt you (nor I) have the slightest clue about the code that underlies it. It could be a truly bad story - or it might be the dawn of a new way of looking at writing - only TIME will tell.

You can bark about features or implementation all you like (to extend you favorite canine theme) but unless you're an assembly language or Objective C (or whatever FCP-X is written in) code crafter, neither you nor I have the slightest clue about whether the underlying "software architecture" is good, bad or indifferent.

I accept your loud and constant quarrel that software does not FUNCTION as you wish it would. Fine. If everyone thinks in a similar fashion to you - it will rapidly fail.

If, on the other hand, more people think differently than you do about this - it will do just fine - and you will have to either ignore that reality or adjust your thinking - just as I will in the areas where FCP-X doesn't currently meet my needs.

I'm just trying to see the forrest for the trees.

The tourist and the hunter see the same forrest very differently. Your view - and my view - are both valid - right up to the point where they are not.

Such is life.

"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'Conner


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: FCP-X angst: Mind-killer or motivator?
on Jul 13, 2011 at 5:53:24 pm

well, you're right there Bill - I'm fiercely concerned with how software *FUNCTIONS,* hey, you know, I'm using it - and I could not give two flying hoots how the code looks.

I like photoshop, I'm extremely proficient in photoshop and a bunch of other software. I don't recall trawling through the C+ code of photoshop or whatever to gain insights into the efficacy of it as a design and photography tool. That idea is ridiculous.

In short your argument that I cannot criticise FCPX as an editing tool because I can't "..have the slightest clue about the code that underlies it.. " makes no sense at all.

And who's the hunter woods thing? Too gnomic for me that one.


http://www.ogallchoir.net
promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Tim Wilson
Re: FCP-X angst: Mind-killer or motivator?
on Jul 13, 2011 at 6:12:30 pm

To go down the "motivator" road...

[Dustin Parsons] "I wish I had kept up with 3D modeling and animation..."

Which got hit harder, faster, and longer ago. You don't even need to know about video formats, cameras, or media management to do that stuff. Here's my QuickTime movie or TGA or TIFF sequence, rendered to my desktop. The end.

But you make an outstanding point that's worth coming back to again and again: shooting and editing skills are not enough. There's too much downward pressure on prices, especially on freelancers, and currently unemployed children don't need as much money as you do. Diversifying skillsets is critical.

We regularly talk about this in the Business & Marketing forum, which you all should check out if you haven't. The fact is that post is growing again, really fast, but maybe not in the ways that you expect.

One recent example, a job at FotoKem in the COW jobs forum now, looking for someone with DI experience AND who can help them whip "storage backup and recovery for a multi-OS, multi-terabyte, high-availability NAS/SAN/local storage and computer infrastructure" into shape.

That might sound so technical that it's out of this business, but once you translate, it's basically looking for somebody who knows their way around multi-platform shared storage. You've maybe been doing that for FREE already. Sharpen up and get paid for something an awful lot like what you're already doing, while working for one of the world's most respected houses, because you've built something valuable on top of your software skills.

Here's another one I really like from the COW jobs forum, from Whiskey Tree: yeah, they want years of software experience or school experience, actually favoring work experience OVER school, but also:

 Minimum 3 years of studio or vendor VFX producing experience on major feature film projects
 Equivalent work experience or bachelor’s degree in film, communications, or similar discipline
 Sublime written and verbal communication skills
 Fluent grasp of mathematics and their application to managing projects and personnel
 Outstanding project management skills
 Solid and successful experience leading production teams
 Ability to maintain and encourage calm under pressure
 Thorough knowledge of VFX pipelines, techniques, and disciplines
 Robust experience in MS Office; particular familiarity with Excel


I know that major feature film experience doesn't apply to all that many people, but look at the rest. To get a job like this, you need people skills, writing, math, using spreadsheets for time and project management, and being able to keep your sh^t together under fire. That's true for a job like this in Tampa or Tonopah too. It's exactly the stuff we say SHOULD make a difference when being considered for a job. Nothing from a box or an app is going to let a kid get ahead of you, even if they have a better education. They don't have a prayer.

(Here's the sad part to me: for I don't know how many people - a million? more? - $299 is a step UP in price for the FCP they were ripping off. Being sold through the app store might do more than anything else to cull the FCP herd to people who are "serious" about this "business." Ahem.)

Again, I'm not saying that any job I've mentioned here is for you. I'm making a broader point about skills. It's good news that facilities (salaries! benefits!) are among the places doing the most hiring right now. It's good news that no kid is qualified for the best jobs.

Which is why the key to one's next step up the ladder is almost certainly not in software chops alone. Hopefully getting a software slap upside the head will inspire you to look in a more fruitful direction.


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Jamie Franklin
Re: FCP-X angst: Mind-killer or motivator?
on Jul 13, 2011 at 6:16:38 pm

[Bill Davis] "
I'm just trying to see the forrest for the trees."


No, you're not. You might have a different approach to this release, and that's fine, but again, the constant drone of "we're all just scared because we just don't get it" is really really really really tired.

Pissed, yes, but to try and once again to dismiss it as misdirected, and not understanding the revolution of the business is grossly off the mark, and serves only to try and toss red meat into the forums for arguments sake.

They were disingenuous on the presentation. Knew full well what it lacked while promoting it as an incomplete product, which it really wasn't, and to expect larger updates to expressions of the editing process that doesn't simply tailor to holiday videos reliant on 3rd party developers wasn't what NAB was about.

People have every right to be "pissed" at this garbage and inadequate release, on almost every detail, the disregard to warn on the EOL, and to dismiss it as white noise and misdirected because you have a greater understanding of the truth is arrogant in the extreme...


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Craig Seeman
Re: FCP-X angst: Mind-killer or motivator?
on Jul 13, 2011 at 6:41:18 pm

That's a failure in marketing, not a failure in code.
The marketing sold implied it was a "Pro" tool as delivered. The coders, on the other hand, know it's just a work in progress.

You don't have to differentiate between that but when I am as I evaluate FCPX.



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Chris Jacek
Re: FCP-X angst: Mind-killer or motivator?
on Jul 13, 2011 at 7:39:59 pm

[Craig Seeman] "The marketing sold implied it was a "Pro" tool as delivered"

That's not implied. If it's in the software's title, it is overt. Calling it "Pro" is purposely misleading and disingenuous. And it is unethical. Is that uncommon in the corporate world? No. At Apple, though, it was once unthinkable.

Professor, Producer, Editor
and former Apple Employee


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Craig Seeman
Re: FCP-X angst: Mind-killer or motivator?
on Jul 13, 2011 at 7:56:52 pm

[Chris Jacek] "Calling it "Pro" is purposely misleading and disingenuous."

I do think it will be "Pro" eventually just as FCP 1 was "Pro" eventually. The problem is that it was believed to be "Pro" ready right out the door. The problem is that a mature FCS2009 was pulled from the market and we got a grossly immature FCPX. There was no transition. I suspect there was more to that than marketing. I can't help but think there were licensing or contractual issues that were terminated/not resolved/expiring. Apple's history is long transitions to new technologies. You can go all the way back to OS9 and the very immature (useless) OSX 10.0.



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Jamie Franklin
Re: FCP-X angst: Mind-killer or motivator?
on Jul 13, 2011 at 8:05:20 pm

[Craig Seeman] "I can't help but think there were licensing or contractual issues that were terminated/not resolved/expiring."

All due respect, this is another repackaged excuse. It's not gaining traction, although it's the new talking point this week, for a reason. It doesn't excuse the silence. At all...and the argument doesn't stand on it's own without confirmation and an explanation as to why this was not brought up earlier...

Licenses expire all the time, typically, those that depend on those licenses, get fair warning of their status...and if not, should be called for what it is. Negligence, if silently pulled off the shelves


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Chris Harlan
Re: FCP-X angst: Mind-killer or motivator?
on Jul 13, 2011 at 8:41:12 pm

To quote the great Dwight Schrute:

If onlys and justs were candies and nuts
Then every day would be ErnteDankFest


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Jamie Franklin
Re: FCP-X angst: Mind-killer or motivator?
on Jul 13, 2011 at 7:58:49 pm

[Craig Seeman] "That's a failure in marketing, not a failure in code."

Semantics. What you call a failure, there is enough evidence to persuade even the biggest Apple neophyte that it was a fabricated, or manipulated marketing scam.

It was promoted as a work in progress at NAB to alleviate concerns about what was missing, not what was to come after release and what was to come with Lion and what was to come from other vendors......Larry Jordan has said this numerous times. Those who followed NAB saw this, you saw it, you just redefine it. And again, it needs repeating, the glorious EOL many of us have spent thousands invested in without warning.

This is anger, not cowardice to the fantasy "revolution" completely repackaged in this thread to say the same dang thing we keep hearing from the "other side"....


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Chris Harlan
Re: FCP-X angst: Mind-killer or motivator?
on Jul 13, 2011 at 8:34:30 pm

How passive-agressive of you.


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Robert Brown
Re: FCP-X angst: Mind-killer or motivator?
on Jul 13, 2011 at 10:52:43 pm

The way I see it is like the reason why a lot of us here hire accountants. We hire accountants because they are willing to spend the time to understand what all the terms mean and how it affects things when many are not. I just have no interest.

I also think that there is a certain stamina that you develop after doing something for a long time that somebody else new to it probably won't have. Some of the sound mixers at work have bought FCP and I haven't seen anything from one of those guys. I hear how they say hard it is to edit even though they cut sound all day. I try sound editing and have the same reaction to the tediousness of the whole thing.

Although I have seen FCP allow new "editors" to show up that never would have made it as a tape op in the past, I still think skill speaks for itself and some people will always be willing to pay for that.



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Mitch Ives
Re: FCP-X angst: Mind-killer or motivator?
on Jul 14, 2011 at 12:00:25 pm

[Bill Davis] "I would dismiss anyones opinion of the quality of, say, a movie's editing, if that person knew nothing about the craft of editing. It's easy to be a critic in a world where no standards for criticism are followed - a pretty fair description of the modern blogosphere, IMO."

Bill, don't forget the entire population has a PhD in television watching. That's why everyone thinks they can edit. When was the last time someone told the plumber how to do something, or a surgeon to move the incision point... but everybody has an opinion on how something should be editied... which I believe plays in to your original point...

Mitch Ives
Insight Productions Corp.
mitch@insightproductions.com
http://www.insightproductions.com


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Kris Trexler
Re: FCP-X angst: Mind-killer or motivator?
on Jul 13, 2011 at 7:39:41 pm

I hear what you're saying but I disagree, at least as it applies to me. I'm not a young guy anymore. To give you an example of how old I am, I edited a season of "All in the Family" in the 1970's and edited music videos with Michael Jackson when he was at his peak in the 80's. I'm still in demand and enjoying my career as an editor.

I once had concerns that younger editors would put an early end to my career. And a tool like FCX (not sure if I hate it or love it yet) can make it easier for newbies to get into editing. But I have no fear anymore. An old pro like me who can deliver network programs to very high standards, is reliable and delivers on schedule, is self-motivated to do work at levels that please himself while his employers benefit from his quality work has no reason to fear newcomers. Maintain high standards and you have nothing to fear either. Don't drop the ball, don't fall behind technology, have the attitude that there is no problem that can't be solved and you will be in demand.

I intend to master FCX just so I can see what it's about. Whether or not I ever use it professionally is another matter. Avid Media Composer is my tool of choice and will probably continue to be. But I embrace the new. "Get on the train or you will be left at the station."

From an old pro to the rest of you ... enjoy the ride and don't be afraid of the new.

Kris


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kim krause
Re: FCP-X angst: Mind-killer or motivator?
on Jul 13, 2011 at 8:30:58 pm

it's all about change......when i first saw garage band on an ipad a while back i could hardly believe that it had the same functionality at 1/10 the cost of cubase and logic had running on an old mac some 8 or 9 years ago......a multi track recorder with a sound canvas and a sampler on a ipad for a few bucks! no way i thought...then i tried it....yup, technology had caught up with convenience. now i face the same dilemma as i ponder my future without color. of course i'll have to switch to davinci like everyone else but i can't shake the feeling that very soon we're gonna be cutting and grading on ipads and wondering how we ever managed in the bad old days when we had to have a huge powerful workstation and a mouse and 3 monitors...come to think of it has anyone noticed how many news interviews are shot in HD on iphones now? just watch cnn when you see the shot of someone being interviewed by the media.....not too many camera men lugging around huge video cameras anymore!look around people...that funny feeling you have that someone or something is lurking around in the shadows or around the corner is called change and it will bite you in the ass if you aren't ready!


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Marvin Holdman
Re: FCP-X angst: Mind-killer or motivator?
on Jul 14, 2011 at 1:56:52 am

I've said it before, and I'll say it again....

You can give a thousand monkeys a thousand typewriters, but you will NEVER get Shakespeare.

At the end of the day, the "Pro" in FCPX will indeed be ultimately true. Sadly, much like the "desktop printing revolution" we will soon have a HUGE on-slaught of "Pro" video's complete with overused effects and transitions, questionable and inappropriate content and a market will develop for "someone who know's what the f@#k they're doing". Perhaps by then, FCPX will have grown up. In the meantime, it is very apparent to anyone who has done this "professionally" for any length of time, that this product is in no way ready for anything but the most basal of work. The only real question remaining for many (myself included) is whether Apple is going to follow this "dumb it down for the great market" with their hardware. It's not looking good.

Marvin Holdman
Production Manager
Tourist Network
8317 Front Beach Rd, Suite 23
Panama City Beach, Fl
phone 850-234-2773 ext. 128
cell 850-585-9667
skype username - vidmarv


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Mitch Ives
Re: FCP-X angst: Mind-killer or motivator?
on Jul 14, 2011 at 11:55:12 am

Bill, FWIW, I had this same conversation and made the same points with Scott Anderson last week...

Mitch Ives
Insight Productions Corp.
mitch@insightproductions.com
http://www.insightproductions.com


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