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Don Scioli
FCPX and the new economy.
on Sep 19, 2011 at 7:48:30 pm

This may be a bit off topic but I wanted to post to this forum because you people seem like the smartest in this business. How are most of you or your business coping in this lousy economy? For us, as we've been in business for 30 years, I'd say corporate is down about 80%, commercials are almost non existent,political commercials which we did quite alot of, the funding has been removed from them as the developers and business backers have all gone broke, we're doing a bit of government work, since there is still a bit of funds there.

I believe that FCPX plays into the hands of those who do the $200-$500 crappy videos for Demand Studios or Monkey See, et al, as that segment seems to have increased for the amateur.But I believe that if it were not for the cheapness in price of producing videos of this type, the client would not do them anyway, so no net gain for the pro.

I welcome your thoughts.


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Craig Seeman
Re: FCPX and the new economy.
on Sep 19, 2011 at 10:26:02 pm

You may need to re-examine your business model. Low cost of gear for them also means low cost of gear for you too. You may be able to lower your overhead.

I was recently contacted by a corporate client who I haven't heard from for years. it turns out they've been doing stuff on consumer cameras and cutting with iMovie. They have a huge job (8 training videos) that's too complex for iMovie.

BTW have you thought about using FCPX's iMovie import "advantage" as a way to generate "finishing" business for all those corporate produced iMovie jobs out there?

All those people using inexpensive tools may not have the best skill sets or the creative outlook. You need to think about how to pitch to those clients in a way that can meet their budget and your profit.



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCPX and the new economy.
on Sep 19, 2011 at 11:08:16 pm

Maybe check out the business and marketing forum.

Maybe that's a better place to post this?

Jeremy


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Gary Huff
Re: FCPX and the new economy.
on Sep 20, 2011 at 2:27:10 pm

[Craig Seeman]BTW have you thought about using FCPX's iMovie import "advantage" as a way to generate "finishing" business for all those corporate produced iMovie jobs out there?

One anecdote does not a trend make.


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Craig Seeman
Re: FCPX and the new economy.
on Sep 20, 2011 at 2:48:02 pm

[Gary Huff] "One anecdote does not a trend make."

Not a very adroit sales attitude. If one is experiencing a downturn but believes video is still be doing or actually growing, it's likely that much of the work is going "in house" on the cheap. A good sales person will exploit that. Or to you refute the OP's noted downturn? Or do you refute that business is going in house on the cheap? FCPX is a tool that can exploit that because you can import a client's project rather than start from scratch. That might be attractive to budget minded clients. Rather than lowering one's rates one adds a service. FCPX might be a limited tool at the moment but this is one unique thing it has to offer.

In the last few weeks I've been approached by two other smaller businesses that were also using iMovie. The one I originally mentioned happened to be larger though. I suspect there are a large number of businesses making do with iMovie.


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Ann Clark
Re: FCPX and the new economy.
on Sep 22, 2011 at 8:20:59 pm

Good point. One anecdote does not make a trend. My experience is that most who have their own productions don't really like hearing that "your baby's ugly." They're twice as offended when you tell them what it will really cost to fix it (even if we offer them some really awesome deals on edit time, etc.). Based on the many clients we talk to here, they're very emotionally invested in their handmade productions, and not inclined to see anyone apply any finishing services. It's hard to even explain to them that a YouTube vid is not necessarily in broadcast format, much less get them to pay to have it fixed. I don't really see a trend there yet. Maybe later, but not right now.

MacPro 2 x 2.8 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon 14GB memory - OSX10.6.4 FCP7


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Ann Clark
Re: FCPX and the new economy.
on Sep 22, 2011 at 7:07:31 pm

My gut feeling is that FCPX is aimed at the prosumer-self-proclaimed-pro "crappy $200-500" category of online vid preditor. I can't speak directly about its quality, because I don't own a copy of FCPX. Unfortunately, my video card (which I love otherwise) won't work with FCPX or Motion5. Apple must know how severely they've burned the upper-end of producers with their FCPX release, and it was probably a key decision intended to refocus on the broader, therefore more lucrative, prosumer market.

Since I'm not trying for the price buyers at the <$500 category, the effect of the economy on our business is only indirect. Fewer SMBs starting up means fewer people need ads, corporate video or online video -- and many of those who do are content to let the production happen in the illustrious studios of "My Nephew's Basement." We just sidestep these do-it-yourselfers, and go for business owners who can delegate these complex creative tasks to experts.

The trick is it's hard to sell someone on quality, once they've experienced cheap -- unless you can tap into their discomfort with their somewhat lame existing video production.

Anyway, our business is picking up, despite it all. Onward!

MacPro 2 x 2.8 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon 14GB memory - OSX10.6.4 FCP7


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Craig Seeman
Re: FCPX and the new economy.
on Sep 22, 2011 at 7:14:49 pm

[Ann Clark] "My gut feeling is that FCPX is aimed at the prosumer-self-proclaimed-pro "crappy $200-500" category of online vid preditor. I can't speak directly about its quality, because I don't own a copy of FCPX."

Huh!!!???
The prosumer who uses XML export to go to Resolve and Smoke?
The prosumer who uses Sony SRMaster 4K?
The prosumer who uses SAN?

Not looking at the free trial of FCPX and doing a little research before making wild assertions seems decidedly "prosumer" to me but in my experience even prosumers do that much.



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Ann Clark
Re: FCPX and the new economy.
on Sep 22, 2011 at 7:38:41 pm

@ Craig: You seem to really like FCPX.

Others on this forum (not just me) seem to have a bad taste regarding this product which reportedly has a few big flaws, not the least of which is that it doesn't open versions of FCP files made in FCP7 or older. That's already a big minus for those of us with 10+ years of FCP projects in the archives and lots of dollars spent training for the old FCP. Also, many producers' favorite features were left out, much to their chagrin.

Most notably for those discussing FCPX, it seems to have a simplified interface that some have compared, at best, to Express or at worst, to iMovie. This is why there's a common opinion that it's for the less sophisticated producer -- the one who typically tries to gain experience by doing small, low-cost jobs. Anyway, I was just jumping off on the poster's mention of very low cost producers as the culprit for a downturn in business. But that doesn't affect us here in my business, anyway. We're all about high-end.

Given that FCPX is aimed at users not necessarily married to FCP7 (see other postings on this in Creativecow and also LAFCPUG) it's a hard call to say it ISN'T for a brand new (and probably less experienced) user.

I've done a lot of research, and can't use the product because it doesn't work on my hardware at present. Management isn't inclined to invest in FCPX until I make a good case for it.

Anyway, don't be so quick to judge those who are trying to make a judgement on a potentially expensive switch (training + equipment). Before we jump in to buy this software, I need to be sure we really should scrap old machines, but more importantly, scrap old FCP productions that were contracted for by current clients, and which can't be updated in FCPX.

Anyone else like to counter my assertions? I'd really like some good news about FCPX for a change.

MacPro 2 x 2.8 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon 14GB memory - OSX10.6.4 FCP7


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Craig Seeman
Re: FCPX and the new economy.
on Sep 22, 2011 at 8:10:17 pm

[Ann Clark] "Others on this forum (not just me) seem to have a bad taste regarding this product which reportedly has a few big flaws, "

But making a blanket statement that is inaccurate serves no civil discussion. One may not like FCPX but certainly the features I list are fact and are decidedly not "prosumer" unless you have a very "high end" definition of "prosumer."

[Ann Clark] ", not the least of which is that it doesn't open versions of FCP files made in FCP7 or older."

FCP7 sequence XML can be sent to CatDV which can export FCPX XML. It's still awkward but given that, I suspect more facile or possibly advanced solutions will be on the way through various third parties.

Again you make statements that aren't informed. There's certainly real criticism but please be fact based when you make them.

[Ann Clark] "Most notably for those discussing FCPX, it seems to have a simplified interface that some have compared, at best, to Express or at worst, to iMovie."

I've never seen ease of use as a disadvantage. The power is accessible. Roles is very good. You're making statements without having used the app let alone spent some time with it.


[Ann Clark] "This is why there's a common opinion that it's for the less sophisticated producer -- the one who typically tries to gain experience by doing small, low-cost jobs."

I have 30 year years experience in post and started using Avid Media Composer in 1990. Again blanket generalizations have no productive conversational value. While FCPX doesn't yet have the depth of features Avid and Premiere or even FCP7 had, there are some very advanced professionals and big businesses investigating in in anticipation as it develops. Some like it, some don't. Generalizations without substantial information to back them don't mean much unless one simply wants to troll.

[Ann Clark] "I was just jumping off on the poster's mention of very low cost producers as the culprit for a downturn in business. "

Just like Final Cut Pro at $1000 was compared to the $60,000 Avid Media Composer in 1999?
Or maybe it's that Sony XDCAM EX cameras as low as $6300 can resolve as much as some $30,000.
Or maybe that RED cameras have been as capable as cameras costing much more.
What part of the industry has not had a very radical drop equipment price over the last decade?

As the price of entry dropped actually skills have become more stratified and obvious. Everyone who got to operate a CMX340 was a least competent given the cost of entry. Now it's much easier to show off one's skills given the plethora of people who own equipment they don't know how to use properly.


[Ann Clark] "I've done a lot of research, and can't use the product because it doesn't work on my hardware at present. Management isn't inclined to invest in FCPX until I make a good case for it. "

[Ann Clark] "MacPro 2 x 2.8 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon 14GB memory - OSX10.6.4 FCP7"

I seem to have the same MacPro at 10.6.8 and also MacBookPro purchased at the same time at 10.7.1 and FCPX runs on both and handles AVCHD work far better than FCP7.

[Ann Clark] "Anyway, don't be so quick to judge those who are trying to make a judgement on a potentially expensive switch (training + equipment)"

Judgments should be fact based. So far you've made claims and I've presented facts to refute them. That's doesn't mean FCPX is the based NLE for a given job but you're comments are inaccurate and I will refute inaccuracies because promulgating inaccurate information on the internet is something I will refute.

[Ann Clark] "Anyone else like to counter my assertions? I'd really like some good news about FCPX for a change."

I've countered them with concrete facts about features supported. Maybe that's not "good" news but then you're looking for something you haven't articulated, which gives no room for someone to respond to.



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Ann Clark
Re: FCPX and the new economy.
on Sep 22, 2011 at 8:14:36 pm

Craig, You've clearly got a lot of time on your hands. I'm not sure why you're so interested in countering me line by line. Tiresome.

@Don -- if you're still following the thread you started -- any ideas?

MacPro 2 x 2.8 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon 14GB memory - OSX10.6.4 FCP7


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Craig Seeman
Re: FCPX and the new economy.
on Sep 22, 2011 at 8:25:00 pm

[Ann Clark] "Craig, You've clearly got a lot of time on your hands. I'm not sure why you're so interested in countering me line by line. Tiresome."

Since when is accuracy tiresome? I do a lot of compression work so render bars give me time.
Personally I find spending time reading inaccurate statements tiresome but not responding to them as many others might be reading.



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Don Scioli
Re: FCPX and the new economy.
on Sep 22, 2011 at 10:13:03 pm

Everyone- I just wanted to see how 1, everyone's business was doing in this lousy economy and 2, is FCPX taking some of the low end business away from the "professional" by making crappy video cheaper and more attainable by the amateur.


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Craig Seeman
Re: FCPX and the new economy.
on Sep 22, 2011 at 10:26:09 pm

Actually it's brought me some of the low end crappy business willing to pay my full rate.
Clients save by not having to spend on my charging to convert AVCHD to ProRes for example.
I've rescued one iMovie project from a client that was not an editor (obviously) and had started a job in iMovie.



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCPX and the new economy.
on Sep 22, 2011 at 8:36:34 pm

I welcome the new changes, some do not, and that's fine. I'm not telling you what software to use, as that's silly. I do have some comments about a few things you have brought up.

[Ann Clark] "This is why there's a common opinion that it's for the less sophisticated producer"

What is wrong with things being more simple? I just don't get this argument.

Also, I don't equate simplicity with low end. I would venture to say that some of the lower cost jobs I have been on require the most amount of resources. They are much harder to complete and appease. The free jobs are even worse.

Look at computer operating systems today. They are much easier to use, yet get more sophisticated with every release. Does this make them more low end? No, it just makes them easier to use with more capability, and I'l ask again, what is wrong with that exactly?

[Ann Clark] "Given that FCPX is aimed at users not necessarily married to FCP7 (see other postings on this in Creativecow and also LAFCPUG) it's a hard call to say it ISN'T for a brand new (and probably less experienced) user."

I don't follow. Yes, we can't open our legacy projects at this time, I get that, and our archive is of real value to us as well. But that doesn't mean my experience on FCP7 gets thrown out the moment I open FCPX. To say that the new car is a worse version of the old car because the new seats don't fit in the old chassis doesn't seem like a valid argument. It's a new car, different model year, same name with inspirations of the old design. There is no question that FCPX is different from it's predecessor.

Before FCP, I used to edit on Media100. I still have all of those projects. I do not get calls to update those projects anymore, they are essentially dead. At some point, my 15 yr old FCP Legacy projects will be dead too. We will have to keep FCP Legacy around for a bit, that's OK, hard drives and LTO tapes are cheap.

[Ann Clark] "Before we jump in to buy this software, I need to be sure we really should scrap old machines, "

There's now a free 30 day trial to see if works on your existing hardware. If you need video out, I would wait until the next update comes out which is in "early 2012" according to Apple. My advice would be to give it an honest to goodness spin. "I don't like it" knee jerk reactions to this software are unprecedented. It takes a little while for it all to sink in.

Jeremy


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Steve Connor
Re: FCPX and the new economy.
on Sep 22, 2011 at 8:43:33 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "I don't follow. Yes, we can't open our legacy projects at this time, I get that, and our archive is of real value to us as well. But that doesn't mean my experience on FCP7 gets thrown out the moment I open FCPX. To say that the new car is a worse version of the old car because the new seats don't fit in the old chassis doesn't seem like a valid argument. It's a new car, different model year, same name with inspirations of the old design. There is no question that FCPX is different from it's predecessor.
"


Plus the fact the old car is still in the garage if you need to take it out for a drive

"My Name is Steve and I'm an FCPX user"


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCPX and the new economy.
on Sep 22, 2011 at 8:44:23 pm

[Steve Connor] "Plus the fact the old car is still in the garage if you need to take it out for a drive"

Zzzzing!


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TImothy Auld
Re: FCPX and the new economy.
on Sep 22, 2011 at 9:33:01 pm

There is no problem with simplicity as long as it is accompanied by functionality. In this case is is not. There is plenty of potential functionality there but it still does meet many people's basic needs. Not mine, anyway. While I am encouraged by Apple's apparent new attitude, after exploring this update I don't find a lot to shout about. It is also apparently (to me) still a very buggy piece of software.

bigpine


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Ann Clark
Re: FCPX and the new economy.
on Sep 27, 2011 at 5:02:00 am

Jeremy,

I think you're taking me out of context. Simpler is better - as long as that's streamlined. Also, I said that the common opinion seemed to be that the software was a bit low-end.

The interface, as I understand it, for FCPX, requires learning/relearning a few, maybe many, things.

I don't need the 30-day test drive. My hardware, according to my tech guy, is on the non-compatible list. He said I'd need an upgrade to try the test drive.

Maybe when FCPX gets a few more of the features I need, such as support for my gazillion FCP 7 files, I'll take the financial plunge. For now, I don't intend to fix what ain't broke...

MacPro 2 x 2.8 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon 14GB memory - OSX10.6.4 FCP7


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCPX and the new economy.
on Sep 27, 2011 at 4:37:09 pm

I'm not sure if I am taking you out of context. Didn't I quote what you said?

[Ann Clark] "Also, I said that the common opinion seemed to be that the software was a bit low-end. "

I think this decision can only be made by trying it. There are plenty of people that can run FCPX on hardware that didn't on the qualified page. It's free, and I would try it out on a non production system to see if you even like it. The only way to try something is to actually try it.

As far as getting FCP7 project support, that might not happen. It certainly isn't possible today.


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Ann Clark
Re: FCPX and the new economy.
on Sep 27, 2011 at 11:44:15 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "As far as getting FCP7 project support, that might not happen. It certainly isn't possible today."

Bingo.

When they solve this big requirement, then I'm perfectly happy to try it out. Till then, there's no real motivation for us to experiment with the new regime just because it's from Apple. (Plus, they don't pay the editors to experiment, they pay to get the job d-o-n-e.)

MacPro 2 x 2.8 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon 14GB memory - OSX10.6.4 FCP7


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TImothy Auld
Re: FCPX and the new economy.
on Sep 27, 2011 at 11:53:51 pm

Like you Jeremy, I don't think it ever will happen. Which is why for me (and anyone else with even a seasons' worth of FCP 7 projects) the current embodiment simply doesn't work.

bigpine


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCPX and the new economy.
on Sep 28, 2011 at 12:10:25 am

[TImothy Auld] "Like you Jeremy, I don't think it ever will happen. Which is why for me (and anyone else with even a seasons' worth of FCP 7 projects) the current embodiment simply doesn't work."

Yeah, we have the better part of a decades worth of archive in FCP Legacy. I guess if we do decide to move to FCPX exclusively one day and we get a call to update an old project which happens frequently, we will have to figure out what to do. CS is capable, and operates similarly. We already have it, so it seems like the way to go forward with those situations.

I wouldn't use FCPX unless it was on new projects.

When I transitioned from M100 to FCP, the same thing happened. I'm still here, still working and better than before.

As happened then, I would not let the Legacy stand in the way of what's next. I don't know if FCPX is it, just like I didn't know if FCP 3 was it way back then.

Jeremy


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TImothy Auld
Re: FCPX and the new economy.
on Sep 28, 2011 at 12:20:53 am

I really don't give a damn what's next. I always find out. I care what works for me now.

bigpine


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TImothy Auld
Re: FCPX and the new economy.
on Sep 28, 2011 at 12:26:21 am

And, by the way, "one day I might get a call"?! I get them almost weekly.

bigpine


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCPX and the new economy.
on Sep 28, 2011 at 12:58:34 am

We get frequent calls too. Eventually we won't as those projects will be too old, just like what happened with our M100 projects. Until then, we transition.

What did you use before FCP?


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TImothy Auld
Re: FCPX and the new economy.
on Sep 28, 2011 at 11:17:29 am

I use Avid, FCP, Vegas and whatever else people will pay me for. All of those will communicate with other systems by some means and in a way that those other systems will understand. FCP X does not do this. I could be remembering wrong but Media 100 was capable of EDL export, wasn't it?

bigpine


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCPX and the new economy.
on Sep 28, 2011 at 12:32:21 pm

[TImothy Auld] " I could be remembering wrong but Media 100 was capable of EDL export, wasn't it?"

Yes, but that's about it. There was no way to get our M100 projects to FCP projects which is what we have been talking about here. FCP7 projects to FCPX.

I have no doubt that we will be able to export an FCP7 timeline to FCPX. We just might not be able to get 7 projects to X.

Also, as far as X getting interchange, that will come too. You can already go from X to AE to PPro. It's convoluted, but it works and was done with no API and no official Apple XML documentation. I understand why people think X is stupid, but I'm hanging around to see what happens. I think it will be very useful in the near future but perhaps I'm just a nerd.


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TImothy Auld
Re: FCPX and the new economy.
on Sep 28, 2011 at 12:45:03 pm

I too am hanging around and if it becomes the best option for me in the future I will not hesitate to use it. Right now though it just has way too many question marks. There are things about it I really do like about it, though. Using it as a rough kind of scratch pad I find to be quick and easy. When things have to be more precise it becomes clunky to work with. For me anyway.

And I don't know about you but I had to present an official nerd ID card in order to join CC.

bigpine


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