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Life After FCP 7 - Avid, FCPX or Premiere?

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sandy shapiro
Life After FCP 7 - Avid, FCPX or Premiere?
on Feb 3, 2012 at 3:27:09 pm

Hi,

I started on Avid, moved to FCP and have stayed with FCP as my main editing base for the last few years. However, I freelance and at times cut on Avid - it depends what the production house runs. What are your thoughts on where to go (and where production houses will go) now that FCPX is in and FCP 7 is out?

- Where do you see the professional industry moving - FCPX, Premiere or Avid?

- Will FCPX try to keep the professional editing market?

- Do you see Avid taking over some of the market or slowly going away?

- How do you see the future of Premiere in the professional world?

I'm asking because I'm wondering if it's worth learning FCPX and Premiere, or worth buying the new Avid Media Composer - I see the latter has changed it's interface and seems to be picking up where FCP left off.

Change and adapting is evident in our profession, but I also believe that to be really good at one thing, it's best to focus on using one tool to get you there...

Thanks


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Steve Connor
Re: Life After FCP 7 - Avid, FCPX or Premiere?
on Feb 3, 2012 at 3:46:33 pm

[sandy shapiro] "I'm asking because I'm wondering if it's worth learning FCPX and Premiere, or worth buying the new Avid Media Composer - I see the latter has changed it's interface and seems to be picking up where FCP left off. "

It's entirely down to the Production Houses you do work for but updating your Avid skills will be good, Avid haven't changed their interface very much at all so it shouldn't be difficult.

Steve Connor
"FCPX Agitator"
Adrenalin Television


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Alan Okey
Re: Life After FCP 7 - Avid, FCPX or Premiere?
on Feb 3, 2012 at 4:07:23 pm

The terms you use, specifically "professional industry," "professional editing market," "professional world," etc. need to be more clearly defined.

If your definition of those terms means broadcast TV, then Avid is most likely the safe bet. If it means "anyone who earns a living doing video," then it's a much more open question.

Several people who post in this forum take umbrage when people equate "professional" with "broadcast." You have been warned...

;)


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sandy shapiro
Re: Life After FCP 7 - Avid, FCPX or Premiere?
on Feb 3, 2012 at 4:16:41 pm

Alan,

I was leaving "professional" open. But if you'd like a label, I'd like to hear from every type of professional - corporate vid, commercial, film, tv, doc., etc - who makes their living editing.

and by professional, I mean "no home movie editors." sorry if anyone takes umbrage to that.

All thoughts are sincerely appreciated.


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Bill Davis
Re: Life After FCP 7 - Avid, FCPX or Premiere?
on Feb 3, 2012 at 5:26:35 pm

[sandy shapiro] "Alan,

I was leaving "professional" open. But if you'd like a label, I'd like to hear from every type of professional - corporate vid, commercial, film, tv, doc., etc - who makes their living editing.

and by professional, I mean "no home movie editors." sorry if anyone takes umbrage to that.

All thoughts are sincerely appreciated."


OK then.

I'm a "professional" editor since I've made my entire living the past two decades plus by producing and editing video. It's my only source of income.

I don't work in LA or in NYC. So here, broadcast opportunities are limited. So are network TV production seats. Corporate video is the big jobs driver. I've edited on FCP since Version 1. I've never been an Avid or Premier editor. FCP Legacy has taken me from small firm work to editing high profile programs for some of the largest corporations in my state.

I embraced X fully and I'm having great success with it. In the past 60 days, I've earned more on X then I did on the previous nine months of using Legacy - tho I actually attribute that less to the software, and more to the increasing health of the economy - projects that were stalled, seem to have broken loose in a flood.

X has earned my admiration and trust because in the increased workflow I've faced, I doubt that Legacy's "render-first - cut second" workflow would have kept up with the pace I needed to succeed with so many projects stacked up.

I've done projects that were video based - still photo based - hybrids - motion graphics based - and consulted with professional video colleagues, DSLR photographers, and corporate clients - used X to meet ALL of their needs. And haven't missed even one of my sometimes insane deadlines.

To do that I had to essentially totally re-train myself. That's an on-going process and I expect to keep improving for many years.

X is not simple. It requires re-thinking. I find that re-thinking to be personally expanding since I'm considering lots and lots of areas where I'd never previously been pushed in my decades with Legacy. I feel more organized. I feel like I'm building a workflow and a key wording environment that not only pays short term benefits today - but will pay massive benefits in the long run when I can access my global "asset library" and make better use of stored material than I personally ever could before.

For that reason alone, I'd encourage you to carve out the time to add FCP-X to your toolset - I wouldn't suggest you dump everything else and rely exclusively on it unless you determine that the kind of work available to you fits what it's very good at. That's a personal choice and nobody here can help you make it - since none of us has a clue about where your talents, style, and interests best fit in the video editing universe.

I'd encourage you to think more about where you want your career to go. Don't let the path meander unless you're willing to go where the winds blow you. If you aspire to a seat at Disney - then seek out the tools they value and learn those. If you adore pets and aspire to do the great ASPCA documentary - then you can shoot with, edit with, and sit in front of whatever the heck you like.

That's the excitement of video today.

Good luck.

"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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Paul Jay
Re: Life After FCP 7 - Avid, FCPX or Premiere?
on Feb 3, 2012 at 4:54:40 pm

They all will have their place.

The latest FCPX update is superb and shows together with Thunderbolt that all Apple hardware is as Pro as you want it to be.
The Multicam/Audio Sync feature is like butter.

Premiere is great because it's the only one that actually supports a lot of camera formats natively.
(real native) but creates a lot of cache crap in the background.

Media Composer 6 runs great on Lion and has support for BMD and AJA products.

It's alllll good...


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Andy Neil
Re: Life After FCP 7 - Avid, FCPX or Premiere?
on Feb 3, 2012 at 5:33:02 pm

Professionally speaking, I think it's important to learn at least those three and be familiar with any others you may come across. Personally, I dislike the Premiere UI, but I know how to use it. I don't get much work from it, but I like to be prepared in case something comes around. As a freelancer, the only time I want to say no to a job is when I'm too busy.

Avid has changed a few things in it's interface but it really hasn't changed enough that you can't become comfortable with it in a few days. It's Avid's greatest strength as well as its greatest weakness.

FCPX is quite different from FCP7, but not all that hard to learn IMO. I haven't seen it implemented at any place I've worked, but have used it for jobs (from home).

Andy

http://www.timesavertutorials.com


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Walter Soyka
Re: Life After FCP 7 - Avid, FCPX or Premiere?
on Feb 3, 2012 at 6:17:41 pm

I agree with Paul and Andy -- do you have to choose just one?

I link to this great post about the fracturing NLE market by Oliver Peters [link] every chance I get:
[Oliver Peters] "I do believe I'm starting to see a divide in where the NLEs are going based on a lot of things I've seen posted here and in other places over the past 6 months. I think that in general, film editors, broadcast TV stations and post facilities will likely trend back to either Avid or maybe over to Premiere Pro. I think companies with in-house "creative" post operations (like ad agencies, media marketing companies - the sort of model typified by @Radical Media) may very well trend over to FCP X."

FCP7 was a great general-purpose editor that was adopted in many niches. Since FCPX required everyone to re-think their workflow anyway, many people are exploring the unique strengths of competing NLEs and trying to figure out what works best for their specific needs.

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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Bill Davis
Re: Life After FCP 7 - Avid, FCPX or Premiere?
on Feb 3, 2012 at 10:30:32 pm

[Walter Soyka] "FCP7 was a great general-purpose editor that was adopted in many niches. Since FCPX required everyone to re-think their workflow anyway, many people are exploring the unique strengths of competing NLEs and trying to figure out what works best for their specific needs."

Makes sense to me.

And can also be seen as "if you need to keep working the way you always have - X is not the right choice for you."

OTOH "If you want to explore other ways of working and your shop structure will allow it - then X might be a great tool to enable you to start to explore how editing might be done somewhat differently in what looks to be an increasingly "data driven" future.

Both views make a lot of sense and are consistent with Oliver and Walters thinking.

Horses for courses, once again.

And no, Chris and Herb - this is NOT the same as saying "no other tool on the planet but X will allow this." So settle back into your chairs. ; )

"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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James Mortner
Re: Life After FCP 7 - Avid, FCPX or Premiere?
on Feb 4, 2012 at 6:33:57 pm

[Bill Davis] "And can also be seen as "if you need to keep working the way you always have - X is not the right choice for you."

OTOH "If you want to explore other ways of working and your shop structure will allow it - then X might be a great tool to enable you to start to explore how editing might be done somewhat differently in what looks to be an increasingly "data driven" future."


Agreed ! Do you think there will be further cross-over though ? I could see the other NLE adopting a keyword and tagging system ?


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Bill Davis
Re: Life After FCP 7 - Avid, FCPX or Premiere?
on Feb 4, 2012 at 9:27:58 pm

[James Mortner] "Agreed ! Do you think there will be further cross-over though ? I could see the other NLE adopting a keyword and tagging system ?
"


I believe it's inevitable.

Look at how Apple's iPad has led to every company computer company trying to put out a similar form factor tablet.

This industry has always been centered on "leapfrogging."

The big change in this case, is that Apple was the first to take the BIG move of gutting a successful product in order to target a future where they felt that the ground up re-build was worth the cost, the disruption, and the risk.

(Actually, to be fair, Adobe did quite a bit of re-invention with Premier a couple of years previously - but in features and capabilities - not so much the underlying foundational core technologies (if my understanding of that stuff is accurate.)

Apple, in completely jettisoning their own Quicktime underpinnings for AV Foundation and Core Services - kinda did the real estate equivalent of a "scrape" rather than a re-model.

Apple now has brand new "state of the art" plumbing, AC ducts and electrical underneath their brand new building. That building is smaller and much more modest than the old mansion, but there's plenty of land to expand into - and over time, they have freedom to build with new ideas.

Their competitors are betting that the existing infrastructure of their platforms will serve their needs long enough to make better business sense.

Businesses have succeeded on both the more conservative approach (stick with the existing plumbing) and the more progressive one (jettison the past now, so you can have a clean slate to build something better in the future.)

I'm comfortable with Apple's direction because in my mind, that view better matches the larger forces of change in the wider industry. New output possibilities, workflows, devices, consumer habits, etc. etc.

Time will tell which view drives more success.

"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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Walter Soyka
Re: Life After FCP 7 - Avid, FCPX or Premiere?
on Feb 4, 2012 at 10:48:02 pm

[Bill Davis] "Apple, in completely jettisoning their own Quicktime underpinnings for AV Foundation and Core Services - kinda did the real estate equivalent of a "scrape" rather than a re-model.

Apple now has brand new "state of the art" plumbing, AC ducts and electrical underneath their brand new building. That building is smaller and much more modest than the old mansion, but there's plenty of land to expand into - and over time, they have freedom to build with new ideas.

Their competitors are betting that the existing infrastructure of their platforms will serve their needs long enough to make better business sense."



That's not accurate. Just because the user-facing elements of Premiere Pro and Media Composer look the same as they did a few years ago doesn't mean that the underlying code is old. Adobe and Avid have both gone to great lengths the keep the user experience the same, while changing all the technology underneath it. They offer continuity to their user bases as a feature.

Adobe overhauled their the plumbing in 2007, developing MediaCore to eliminate their dependency on QuickTime. Premiere Pro 1.0 was a ground-up rewrite of Premiere, and Premiere Pro CS5 was a 64-bit re-write of Premiere Pro. That was in April of 2010.

Avid has been quietly rewriting Media Composer for years, piece by piece. Both Avid's Open I/O and AMA indicate serious architectural changes.

There's more on this in a good blog post by Philip Hodgetts: Three companies, three different approaches to 64 bit [link].

Apple may be trying to leapfrog the competition on user experience, or on data model -- but with respect to infrastructure, they're playing catch-up.

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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Bill Davis
Re: Life After FCP 7 - Avid, FCPX or Premiere?
on Feb 4, 2012 at 11:18:09 pm

[Walter Soyka] "Apple may be trying to leapfrog the competition on user experience, or on data model -- but with respect to infrastructure, they're playing catch-up."

Thanks for the link. Interesing.

So would it be fair to extend the "plumbing" analogy to aver that with Avid and Premier, they've been working inside their houses to remodel not only the shape and color of the structure, but they've been installing new plumbing and wiring on an incremental basis as it is needed? This has resulted in a house that has the same basic shape and functions (compatibility) but more modern internal services available.

Apple, at some point, looked at their huge mansion that had to accept that while their "visitor load" was significantly larger than the A's and likely was serving a much broader range of visitors, the infrastructure hadn't developed as rapidly. So rather than taking the path that the A's took to retrofit - they decided to "scrape" and start over.

They essentially choose to build the new building based on their assessment of what modern visitors would likely want and need in the future.

The other buildings still largely look like their did over the past few years. But Apple has a new building that some people love and other hate. But that inarguably has been refreshed with new building techniques that while not as "standard" - appears to be built on the premis that theres a better way to do primary functions (perhaps like heating and cooling") than the traditional AC systems and boilers of the past?

Or are you saying that the engineers at Adobe and AVID were simply "smarter" than those at Apple and found a way to keep everything that had been built over time, and make it just as capable as the rebuild that Apple was forced into?

That seems to be the big knock on Apple. That they didn't "really 'have to scrape anything - and that if they'd just done it like Adobe and AVID, they could have gone as far as fast and never missed a step.

If so, this is a pretty large inditement of their "vision."

And they seem to be a company who's "vision" is precisely what's propelled them to such amazing business success.

Do you think they got it totally "wrong" Walter?

Just curious.

"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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Walter Soyka
Re: Life After FCP 7 - Avid, FCPX or Premiere?
on Feb 5, 2012 at 4:35:39 am

[Bill Davis] "So would it be fair to extend the "plumbing" analogy to aver that with Avid and Premier, they've been working inside their houses to remodel not only the shape and color of the structure, but they've been installing new plumbing and wiring on an incremental basis as it is needed? This has resulted in a house that has the same basic shape and functions (compatibility) but more modern internal services available."

Extending this analogy, I'd say that Apple built a brand new house. Adobe and Avid built new houses, too, but they kept the same layouts and decor. Adobe did it all at once, building an identical-looking house with modern infrastructure on a new lot and inviting people to move. Avid replaced the entire house with all new materials, room by room, while the occupants weren't looking.



[Bill Davis] "They [Apple] essentially choose to build the new building based on their assessment of what modern visitors would likely want and need in the future."

I think Apple built the NLE they themselves would want to edit on -- their platonic ideal of what an NLE should be, irrespective of the current state of the art.

Back to your analogy, I don't think Apple built their house with their visitors in mind at all. They built their house they way they wanted it to be, and if you want to come visit, you're welcome to. Just take your shoes off by the door.


[Bill Davis] "Or are you saying that the engineers at Adobe and AVID were simply "smarter" than those at Apple and found a way to keep everything that had been built over time, and make it just as capable as the rebuild that Apple was forced into? That seems to be the big knock on Apple. That they didn't "really 'have to scrape anything - and that if they'd just done it like Adobe and AVID, they could have gone as far as fast and never missed a step."

Apple, Adobe, and Avid have all done rewrites.

Apple took the opportunity of rewriting to also completely re-imagine what an NLE should be.

Adobe also did a bit of a re-imagine going from Premiere to Premiere Pro a few years ago, but it was largely evolutionary, and not nearly as expansive (or jarring) as Apple's.

Avid has limited their re-imagination to a couple of technical innovations, keeping the user experience largely the same.

These were all decisions. Apple proudly chose to break with tradition; Adobe and Avid have proudly chosen to keep with it. Each approach has merit.



[Bill Davis] "And they seem to be a company who's "vision" is precisely what's propelled them to such amazing business success."

True, but totally irrelevant. In this context, given that FCPX is a blip on Apple's revenue radar, do we really care what their market cap is? Does success in mobile translate to success in editorial? Not automatically.

All any of us care about is how well their products fit our needs -- which is part of why FCPX has been so divisive.



[Bill Davis] "Do you think they got it totally "wrong" Walter?"

I don't think that Apple did right by their customers in the transition, but in terms of design philosophy, I don't think it's necessarily an issue of right and wrong. It's just different -- and that's ok.

I keep going back to Oliver Peter's post about the fracturing NLE market [link]. When you look at Avid, Adobe, Apple, and Autodesk (apologies to also-rans Sony and Grass Valley), they have different strengths (and different weaknesses) that indicate different philosophies.

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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Chris Harlan
Re: Life After FCP 7 - Avid, FCPX or Premiere?
on Feb 5, 2012 at 7:24:09 pm

[Walter Soyka] "[Bill Davis] "And they seem to be a company who's "vision" is precisely what's propelled them to such amazing business success."

True, but totally irrelevant. In this context, given that FCPX is a blip on Apple's revenue radar, do we really care what their market cap is? Does success in mobile translate to success in editorial? Not automatically.

All any of us care about is how well their products fit our needs -- which is part of why FCPX has been so divisive.
"


I think it is only fair to point out that Jobs and/or Apple's "vision" has also--at times--led to near catastrophe.


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Tangier Clarke
Re: Life After FCP 7 - Avid, FCPX or Premiere?
on Feb 5, 2012 at 8:39:05 pm

I think it's good to know multiple NLEs and platforms, though I am pushing for FCP X. Since it real ease I (as I did when Motion came out) spend less time dealing with the software and more time with the creativity. For projects where I've used FCP X, I've been significantly more productive than in FCP 7 and can play more, due to both the interface/workflow and AV Foundation I am sure. Don't get me wrong it has some growing up to do, but I like where it's going.

For what they're worth here's my collection of why I am in favor of FCP X. For the cow posts in the links below you can see my name for the reference posting. In the end, do what works for you and able to work individually and/or collaboratively in a creative and efficient way. At the end of this post is a copy/paste of just some of the conversation I had with another editor - just another perspective.

For the record, I don't think it's iMovie Pro though due to the interface/resemblence I think that just makes good business sense on Apple's part. iMovie was for more advanced under the hood the FCP 7, the latter just had more "Pro" (which such as charged word lately) features.

http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/335/8623

http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/335/9499

http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/335/10981

http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/335/10945

http://digitalcomposting.wordpress.com/2011/06/28/x-vs-pro/

http://lonelysandwich.com/post/7033868135/fcp-the-new-class

http://library.creativecow.net/adcock_gary/FCPX/1

http://www.philiphodgetts.com/2011/09/fcp-x-color-management-secret/

http://www.philiphodgetts.com/2010/08/introduction-to-av-foundation/


Email:

Hmmm. Those same sentiments were out when Final Cut Pro came on the scene many years ago and it did make it into the "big" studios. In recent months I've already seen Adobe and Avid "silently" follow Apple's footsteps with product releases and mentions of future products/features. I think the same way Apple is managing to consumerize the enterprise business with the iPhone and iPad, we will see the same happen even in the studios as video and data become less separate and people demand a workflow between devices that Avid may not be able to offer since they don't manufacture hardware nor have a business model that has vertical integration the way Apple does. Who's to say, but everything I thought would happen is happening and one of the most important things is that developers love the FCPX programming architecture and for that very reason, along with the masses that will adopt FCP X i think it will be hard pressed for studios and execs to find a good monetary case not to go with an Apple-based workflow. It just won't make financial sense except to keep around what they've already invested in just to get their ROI.

We'll see what happens, though it'll take some time. I've seen some code revealed by programmers of what's hiding in FCP X and I am blown away by what's to come that they haven't turned on yet.

In any case, I think choice and competition is good.

Tangier

On Jan 31, 2012, at 12:11 PM, other Editor wrote:

Probably too little too late to recapture the attention of the feature film industry -I know of two studio features (in addition to the tv shows we've all heard about) that just bailed on FCP and are going to post with Avid.
So, FCP becomes a nice little prosumer editing tool used by small boutique, educational/industrial producers - I think Apple is fine with that.

End Email.



Keep on cutting!

Tangier


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James Mortner
Re: Life After FCP 7 - Avid, FCPX or Premiere?
on Feb 5, 2012 at 10:55:43 pm

[Tangier Clarke] "So, FCP becomes a nice little prosumer editing tool used by small boutique, educational/industrial producers - I think Apple is fine with that. "

I disagree. If that happened it would be a severe climbdown for Apple.


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