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To stick with FCP 7 or not?

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Justin Bergeron
To stick with FCP 7 or not?
on Nov 17, 2011 at 12:52:11 am

How are post facilities & production companies responding to FCP X? From my analysis, even with recent enhancements, it's got a long way to go to be ready for prime-time.

I'm just about to complete the 1st. installment of a large multi-year doc' series with nearly 1,000 hours of footage, in various SD & HD formats, and not sure if we should stick with FCP v.7, jump to FCP X, go back to the Avid MC (my personal choice) or try Premiere? I'm very concerned about being married to a product, for the next few years, that will not be supported or upgraded but switching will mean that lots of work, which was done organizing, categorizing & marking the footage will have to be redone, regardless of how good a job AutoDuck does translating the project.

Since we have several systems working in tandem, on a SAN, if Apple does indeed discontinue the much neglected MacPro line, the decision may be made for me & back to the Avid MC running on Windows it will be.

All are potentially painful options with long lasting consequences & lots of logging & footage marking work that will have to redone if we switch.

Your feedback is greatly appreciated.


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Shane Ross
Re: To stick with FCP 7 or not?
on Nov 17, 2011 at 1:13:35 am

[Justin Bergeron] "How are post facilities & production companies responding to FCP X?"

Out here, in LA? Broadcast production/post houses are sticking with FCP 7...looking at alternatives for when they NEED to switch. No need right now, as FCP 7 does everything we currently need.

Personally, I'm going back to Avid. It just does everything I need, and some things far better than FCP did. Project sharing (although you need Unity or ISIS), mixing frame rates/formats (changing frame rates for final delivery)...now works with third party capture cards. Solid tape workflows...and is the standard in Los Angeles next to FCP 7. So going back will be easy. The latest Avid MC6 just makes this decision easy. And PPro CS 5.5 also makes this easy...as it currently struggles with supporting third party capture hardware (AJA is ahead of the curve on this one, but it is still buggy with others). And the audio capabilities of it are very limiting (see my blog post here: http://lfhd.net/2011/11/15/working-with-adobe-premiere-pro-cs-5-5/) We'll see what CS6 has to offer...but...MC6 is the clear for me.

You won't see FCX in this town ANYTIME soon. If ever. Not widely anyway...there are always a few oddballs out there.

Shane

GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Walter Soyka
Re: To stick with FCP 7 or not?
on Nov 17, 2011 at 2:58:12 am

[Justin Bergeron] "Since we have several systems working in tandem, on a SAN, if Apple does indeed discontinue the much neglected MacPro line, the decision may be made for me & back to the Avid MC running on Windows it will be."

Avid likes volume-level access to storage. Unless your SAN is an ISIS or directly supports Avid project sharing (as Terrablock does), you may have serious issues if you try file-level access on the same volume from multiple Avids at the same time. Avid writes a database file to the root directory of the storage, and two Avids on the wrong storage will overwrite each other's databases.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Craig Seeman
Re: To stick with FCP 7 or not?
on Nov 17, 2011 at 2:59:20 am

[Justin Bergeron] "How are post facilities & production companies responding to FCP X"

Here's the response from a facility founder who's been beta testing the next major release.
http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/335/20688



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Dennis Radeke
Re: To stick with FCP 7 or not?
on Nov 17, 2011 at 12:25:55 pm

The only real answer for you is to download trials of all of them and spend some time finding out which one works for you. Every application including FCPX has some valid strengths. You need to determine what your essential 'must haves' are versus the 'nice to haves' and make a decision based on that.

For example, for Shane's work, easy multi-channel audio output is essential for him, so he's more comfortable with Avid than Premiere Pro right now. But if you only need a stereo or 5.1 out for your deliverable, than that's not as big a deal for you.

Good luck,
Dennis - Adobe guy.


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Rafael Amador
Re: To stick with FCP 7 or not?
on Nov 17, 2011 at 4:43:12 pm

[Justin Bergeron] "I'm just about to complete the 1st. installment of a large multi-year doc' series with nearly 1,000 hours of footage, in various SD & HD formats"
Then you may be the guy that FCPX was waiting for.
You might do for FCPX more than Walter Murch ever did for FCP (in the end he just started to use it when thousands of people were making his living with that since years)
If you go for FCPX to do that job NOW, you will try something that nobody has tried since the world is world, and if you get it you will be a legend.

[Justin Bergeron] "How are post facilities & production companies responding to FCP X?"
If we take the people that answer this thread as a valid example, think that a 20% is going to FCPX, the other 80% running away or waiting for a brave like you who proves that FCPX can be used for something more than what has been shown so far.
rafel
BTW: Beware of the beta-testers and trainers.

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Bill Davis
Re: To stick with FCP 7 or not?
on Nov 17, 2011 at 9:55:32 pm

[Rafael Amador] "BTW: Beware of the beta-testers and trainers.
"


Yep, gotta "beware" of those folks, cuz all they've ever done is help smooth the path toward the effective use of ...

every single solitary piece of software that's ever been used for anything by anyone.


useless gits.

: )

"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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Rafael Amador
Re: To stick with FCP 7 or not?
on Nov 18, 2011 at 3:44:08 am

[Bill Davis] "Yep, gotta "beware" of those folks, cuz all they've ever done is help smooth the path toward the effective use of ...

every single solitary piece of software that's ever been used for anything by anyone.


useless gits."

I've never heard of any FCP beta tester crying out loud how awesome was the next FCP release.
I've been beta testing only once for one company I had to keep my mouth locked till the product was released.
I would like to have feed back from ALL the beta testers, not just from those with positive reaction.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Chris Harlan
Re: To stick with FCP 7 or not?
on Nov 17, 2011 at 10:11:01 pm

As Shane says, here in LA FCP 7 still has a lot of life. I see no reason why you can't get three years out of it. I still use it like crazy, though I am working more Avid into my personal workflow. As for X, I don't know a single facility here that is going that way.


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Neil Patience
Re: To stick with FCP 7 or not?
on Nov 18, 2011 at 11:10:56 am

Hi

I am in London and work for many broadcast facility houses, broadcasters and production companies. So far the universal decision has been to ignore FCPX, I dont know anyone who is using it. Those with FCP7 are currently broadly sticking with it. I know one FCP set-up that is looking to Avid but at the moment it seems people are staying as they are.
Adobe have yet to gain any real popularity in the broadcast/facilities market here, again dont know anyone who uses it in that field.

Avid is by far the dominant platform in broadcast/facilities here. Probably upward of a 75/25 split.

I am hearing more and more "Mac people" talking about switching to Windows, which is certainly not something I have come across before. That said not sure anyone has actually done it yet.

As others have said I think you will be fine with FCP7 for a few years yet. My feeling is stick as you are unless you really do need to consider a longer term future now, if so, I like you, would go Avid.

best wishes
Neil
http://www.patience.tv


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Dennis Radeke
Re: To stick with FCP 7 or not?
on Nov 18, 2011 at 2:31:44 pm

[Neil Patience] "Adobe have yet to gain any real popularity in the broadcast/facilities market here, again don't know anyone who uses it in that field."

This may be true for where you live, but not indicative of the US or WW in general. Clearly, Adobe is not used as widely in some markets as Avid or even FCP at present, but I would remind you that 5-7 years ago, no one was using FCP either. Times change, competition is good. Adobe is committed to making great tools for high-end markets like broadcast. Below are a few links to current published examples.


Hearst TV - top 15 ownership group: http://www.adobe.com/cfusion/showcase/index.cfm?event=casestudydetail&cases...

CNN: http://www.adobe.com/aboutadobe/pressroom/pressreleases/200909/AdobeandTurn...

BBC: couldn't find the exact link because there are several.

Gareth Edwards (Monsters - feature film): http://tv.adobe.com/watch/customer-stories-video-film-and-audio/adobegareth...

Vincent Laforet: http://www.adobe.com/cfusion/showcase/index.cfm?event=casestudydetail&cases...

And quite honestly, we have several more and in the process of many more.

Dennis


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steve knattress
Re: To stick with FCP 7 or not?
on Nov 20, 2011 at 11:35:27 am

I agree with Neil, I'm a broadcast editor here in London editing for most the major networks.

I should say that 95% of my work in on avid.

My clients on FCP are sticking with FCP7 at present. (One large broadcaster with both FCP7 and AVID had moved some productions back to AVID even before the FCPX release)

I do have FCP7 on my laptop which I do use on OB's via a MOTU interface box, but now have AVID and Premier there too.
As soon as I sort out my workflow, I properly shall be moving to AVID there also.

I have never seen Premier used.

Steve


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Paul Escamilla
Re: To stick with FCP 7 or not?
on Nov 18, 2011 at 9:35:54 pm

here in NYC i have yet to meet a professional editor who plans to use FCPX. In fact, most haven't been willing to buy it to try it out. They all seem to be planning an eventual switch to Premiere or Avid, just as we are at my company.


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Justin Bergeron
Re: To stick with FCP 7 or not?
on Nov 29, 2011 at 7:44:32 pm

I really appreciate the thoughtful feedback this group has provided to the question I posed, your suggestions have helped me arrive at what I feel is the best decision for my project, which I can now confidently present to my superiors. Whether or not it's adopted is another thing & will most-likely come down to money & the fact that everyone, besides myself, will need to be re-trained.

I've decided that, for my project in particular, it will be best to switch to the Avid platform sooner rather than later. The fact is there are too many uncertainties associated with both FCP 7 & X to entrust a multi-year project to. I have to base my decision on the facts that I have to work with in a multi-system environment to edit 100's of hours of footage into broadcastable HD programs on a deadline.

The Details:

Although, for the most part, I enjoy editing with Final Cut Pro 7 & it's easy to find editors & assistants that at least know the basics, it is a dead product. I agree with those of you who've basically said, "if it ain't broke don't fix it", however the reality of committing to a product (FCP) & platform (MacPro) that's no longer supported by it's developer for a project that will go on for another two years and because of the "evergreen" nature of the footage/subjects could be revisited for years-to-come, is risky.

Additionally, because FCP is project based, not Bin based like Avid, I'm already feeling the pain of juggling multiple versions of projects between editor's & assistants and having to manually sync projects myself to make sure no work gets lost. I've set up a pretty good system to manage this but it would be much easier with Avid. Also, the fact that I can open a bin created on an Avid in 1997 today, gives me great piece-of-mind.

I feel the way we edit with NLEs needs to evolve to accommodate modern file-based workflows, the meta-date, mixed media, etc. & perhaps with FCP X Apple took a step in the right direction but I agree with those of you who say it's a beta product that wont be ready for the day-to-day realities of broadcast & feature film editors for a few years. Even that opinion assumes Apple is still committed to the pro market, which is questionable given the tens-of-billions they make from average consumers who are far less demanding. If the MacPro line is discontinued we will know the answer.

These factors & more make me uneasy about entrusting my project & livelihood as a broadcast editor/producer to any version of FCP. Avid has been around for a long time, it's products are mature & reliable (DS being favorite) and they get the job done, my only concern is that they will stay in business!

Side Note:

I'm a big Adobe fan & I seriously considered Premiere & although I've used their other products on a daily basis for fifteen years, I feel it's a better, for my project, to go with a product with a longer track record as a broadcast editor.


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