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What we have really lost with FCP 7

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Will Hodgson
What we have really lost with FCP 7
on Jul 8, 2012 at 11:12:36 pm

Walter Biscardi's recent article 'A cautionary tale for the FCP switcher' made me rethink about the upheaval that FCPX has caused. It also brought back fond memories to me of working at Pogo Films. For the uninitiated Pogo Films was an all Final Cut Pro post house in Soho, London. (Now it does avid and Quantel too). It was the first all fcp post house in the UK (yes before UNIT), and it is where I learnt my trade.

What we did at Pogo - and what others on the Cow, blogs and youtube videos all around the world did - was to develop a body of knowledge, a shared methodology that made Final Cut the best NLE on the market.

It wasn't just the program itself, although I do rate it highly. It was the experimentation of all these people, these ambitious post production start ups that were trying to do things for less, but at the highest possible standards. Amazing work arounds, like Walters' own bringing in a render file on top of the original clip, so you wouldn't have to re-render if you experimented with other effects. (a proto global render cache).

What made Final Cut awesome, was all of us, working things out like that and sharing our knowledge. Apple made the price right and invited us to have a go, but we collectively stabilised the workflow and made Final Cut truly ready for primetime.

So now we have to choose between Avid MC, Premier Pro, FCPX or perhaps even the new Lightworks. I now own all of the above (except Lightworks – waiting for the mac version), but none of these are supported by the 13 years of indie collaboration that fcp 7 had.

Now matter what the Apple, Avid, Adobe, or Editshare marketing departments say, we know that these things never work they way they should. A great example is in Walters article and Avid's AMA not quite working right, although my personal experience has seen me redo 3 jobs in fcp 7 that I started in Premier, just to get it done right. (All due to 'working with native files' proving too much for the system near the end of the job, and there being no DI codec or 'transcode project' option to fall back on)

What we have lost is our collective experience. 13 years of insights and experiments, battle hardened in real world scenarios around the world. And with no obvious heir to the Final Cut throne, it will be a long journey indeed until we have rebuilt our shared knowledge.


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Daniel Frome
Re: What we have really lost with FCP 7
on Jul 9, 2012 at 12:38:53 am

The only thing it reminded me of is how lazy we as editors have become. Making sure that everyone hears our moans, we judge NLEs like a teenager holding a new smartphone. This clip (when applied to editing software) comes to mind (skip to 1:20 in):







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Bill Davis
Re: What we have really lost with FCP 7
on Jul 9, 2012 at 1:19:24 am

[Daniel Frome] "The only thing it reminded me of is how lazy we as editors have become. "

Amen.

I've don't feel as if I've "lost" anything. I had a great tool for 12 years. It's still on my machine if I need it, but I actually haven't opened it in more than 8 months now except for one instance 30 days ago where I had to open an old edit to 7toX it.

Now I have another great tool.

X has freed me to work in more places, more quickly and is superb for creating, modifying and distributing short, punchy video files electronically.

Pretty much what my clients are asking for.

For me, I think change is just too fast today to risk that what worked yesterday MIGHT continue to work tomorrow.

I like the idea of fresh tools to meet the challenges of a new era.

My 2 cents, anyway.

"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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Mark Dobson
Re: What we have really lost with FCP 7
on Jul 9, 2012 at 7:06:26 am

[Bill Davis] "I've don't feel as if I've "lost" anything. I had a great tool for 12 years. It's still on my machine if I need it, but I actually haven't opened it in more than 8 months now except for one instance 30 days ago where I had to open an old edit to 7toX it.

Now I have another great tool.

X has freed me to work in more places, more quickly and is superb for creating, modifying and distributing short, punchy video files electronically."


I totally agree with you Bill.

And for me I don't recall my time with FCP being that pleasant.

It was an unforgiving piece of software if you got things wrong. To edit fluently with it required a lot of training and technical ability. For the work that I do it was vastly over complex.

I have no desire to return to editing with it and after a year have probably forgotten all my keyboard shortcuts.

Whether people like or dislike FCPX it is undoubtably a lot easier for both experienced and new editors to use.

Whilst I acknowledge that production houses will encounter severe limitations with FCPX in terms of its inter-connectivity and output options, Apple have really improved the reliability and stability of FCPX over the last 12months.

[Will Hodgson] "What we have lost is our collective experience. 13 years of insights and experiments, battle hardened in real world scenarios around the world. And with no obvious heir to the Final Cut throne, it will be a long journey indeed until we have rebuilt our shared knowledge."

I can't really see that that experience is lost. Surely the huge advances in file based editing over the last few years have freed the editor up to get on with what's at the heart of the job, creating stories.

I'm just remembering the pain of digitising location tapes.


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Franz Bieberkopf
Re: What we have really lost with FCP 7
on Jul 9, 2012 at 2:35:42 pm

[Mark Dobson] "FCPX it is undoubtably a lot easier for both experienced and new editors to use. Whilst I acknowledge that production houses will encounter severe limitations with FCPX ..."

Mark,

I, for one, doubt it this "undoubtability".

If software doesn't support my workflow and approach, it is not "easier" to use - it is unusable. This is quite aside from the severe limitations you note.


Franz.


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Chris Harlan
Re: What we have really lost with FCP 7
on Jul 9, 2012 at 11:59:57 pm

[Franz Bieberkopf] "Mark,

I, for one, doubt it this "undoubtability".

If software doesn't support my workflow and approach, it is not "easier" to use - it is unusable. This is quite aside from the severe limitations you note.
"


Yes, I second that. Mark, however pleased you may be with FCPX, its pretty clear that there is abundant doubt about.


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Scott Sheriff
Re: What we have really lost with FCP 7
on Jul 12, 2012 at 1:56:25 am

[Franz Bieberkopf] "I, for one, doubt it this "undoubtability".

If software doesn't support my workflow and approach, it is not "easier" to use - it is unusable. This is quite aside from the severe limitations you note."


I'm pretty much in agreement with that.

Even if the anecdotal accounts by some users say it's easier, they are still that. Anecdotal.
There are plenty of entry level, pro-am, prosumer or you name it devices and machines in our modern world that are initially easy to use, but quickly show their limitation when used by an advanced users, for advanced purposes. For those users they are in fact not easier to use at all. It's just that simple.

Scott Sheriff
Director
http://www.sstdigitalmedia.com


"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur." ---Red Adair


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: What we have really lost with FCP 7
on Jul 9, 2012 at 3:42:44 pm

[Will Hodgson] "What we have lost is our collective experience. 13 years of insights and experiments, battle hardened in real world scenarios around the world. And with no obvious heir to the Final Cut throne, it will be a long journey indeed until we have rebuilt our shared knowledge."

A valid point. Not everything will be lost. Yes, there are new techniques to learn, new shortcomings to work around, new buttons to press. Final Cut Legend is ubiquitous, it's true, but it's not like that knowledge base that has been built is suddenly invalid, it just needs to be further built upon.

This does not mean we can't learn again. It's already happening on every level.

What I stand to lose the most is Apple Color.

It was so simple and easy to learn, fairly easy to use if you held its hand in just the right way, and I could always get quality results out of it.

FCPX has some decent color correction tools built in. While the color board is unconventional I find the results to be pleasing, and that's all I can really ask for. It needs some tuning up, and perhaps a feature or two (like tracking) and it's fairly solid as long as you don't let the color board bother you. If I need to get out to a dedicated color grading app, FCPX, even in its infancy, allows me to get to Resolve fairly easily or even to Color with an XML translation. Other more mature applications are still struggling with that. I am sure it will get better.

NLEs will keep changing and thriving, we have already seen that, but I will miss Apple Color the most as there truly isn't a replacement for it yet without having to buy some new hardware.


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Oliver Peters
Re: What we have really lost with FCP 7
on Jul 9, 2012 at 4:24:45 pm

[Will Hodgson] "So now we have to choose between Avid MC, Premier Pro, FCPX or perhaps even the new Lightworks. I now own all of the above (except Lightworks – waiting for the mac version), but none of these are supported by the 13 years of indie collaboration that fcp 7 had."

Huh? Avid editors of all levels were collaborating since day one. The original Avid BBS was around since the early 90s. Sharing knowledge, tips, tricks and workaround has NEVER been the exclusive domain of FCP editors.

[Will Hodgson] "but we collectively stabilised the workflow and made Final Cut truly ready for primetime."

What made FCP "ready for primetime" was the work done by folks at AJA, Blackmagic, Matrox, etc. Without them taking the risk, FCP would have been stuck as a hobbyist's DV editing tool.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Chris Harlan
Re: What we have really lost with FCP 7
on Jul 9, 2012 at 5:23:35 pm

[Oliver Peters] "What made FCP "ready for primetime" was the work done by folks at AJA, Blackmagic, Matrox, etc. Without them taking the risk, FCP would have been stuck as a hobbyist's DV editing tool."

Hear, hear!


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Will Hodgson
Re: What we have really lost with FCP 7
on Jul 9, 2012 at 5:30:57 pm

Oliver, you make two good points. It was the third party hardware vendors that enabled fcp to go prime time - not that they had a lot else to go with, Avid being hardware exclusive at the time.

However, as I'm sure you are aware, there was a lot of trial and error with these third party cards to get them playing nicely with fcp.

And this work was at least partly done by the small post houses, who shared their trials and tribulations.

I was trying to articulate why people felt so let down by the end of fcp 7, and I think this is partly down to having to start from scratch with learning all the kinks in these new programs (well new to the fcp people of old anyway).

But as Bill and Mark have stated, there is merit in learning how to tackle things in new ways too.


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Oliver Peters
Re: What we have really lost with FCP 7
on Jul 9, 2012 at 5:44:07 pm

[Will Hodgson] " and I think this is partly down to having to start from scratch with learning all the kinks in these new programs (well new to the fcp people of old anyway)."

Get used to it. Since you say you've been editing for 13 years, I suspect you'll do this all over again two or three times, before you retire ;-)

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Liam Hall
Re: What we have really lost with FCP 7
on Jul 10, 2012 at 9:46:29 am

[Will Hodgson] "What we have lost is our collective experience. 13 years of insights and experiments, battle hardened in real world scenarios around the world."

I started editing film on Steenbecks and Moviolas in 1985. I've learnt and forgotten more systems and workflows than Paris Hilton has had boyfriends. It's just the way things are.

Liam Hall
Director/DoP/Editor
http://www.liamhall.net


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: What we have really lost with FCP 7
on Jul 13, 2012 at 9:32:35 pm

Aye, I love unit. Have a done a few stints there. Who doesn't like a wee soho lunch menu?

say unit was like an affirmation walking in though - OS folder structure, work practice, the general notion - you realised that everyone was figuring out things the same way - nearly identical file folder structure organisation in OSX for FCP was spontaneously happening everywhere. And unit was the place with the passcode locked room for EU apple ad work for gods sake?

In a way, what I think apple didn't see, or even care about, was that their editing system had become, outside of itself, a structure for a lot of contemporary thought about how editing and post should take place - FCP had a real base level validity - that reality permeated half of london.

People drew conclusions about the world they were in based on the democratic strength of the application. For all its failures - it was ludicrously strong.
In many respects, Final Cut Pro was an underpinning to an important shift - that lots of people realised they could pull things together - as designers had done for years prior.
No one really needed Isis or Irix - we could happily self organise. And we did en masse. real workers of the world in a sense. death to flame and avid.

Apple produced a sentence with FCP - they were saying that there was full democracy within true professional craft. In a really interesting way, they were disseminating scales of skills availability - anyone could make an OMF, and anyone could conduct absolute first rate colour grading, Final Cut Pro wasn't an application, it was a gift platform to let anything ensue.

FCP was, more than anything else, an open patent.

The only problem I have with FCPX is that it is a brain damaged diminution of craft designed for complete illiterate morons.
It's not an open patent now - its a burger recipe.

its not communicable or real, its not transferable or valid, its certainly not intelligible: its a laughable mess of cupertino egocentric phrases like "secondary storyline" and "connected clips", "roles", "special sauce" "eleven spices" "umami" "amazing editing flavours"

It's the liberal arts as a cheeseburger.

or a razor for aluminium unibody blades.

thought maybe one last rant and that. would be a shame not to no?

http://vimeo.com/user1590967/videos http://www.ogallchoir.net promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Oliver Peters
Re: What we have really lost with FCP 7
on Jul 13, 2012 at 10:02:22 pm

[Aindreas Gallagher] "thought maybe one last rant and that. would be a shame not to no?"

Actually that was pretty lucid for you, Aindreas! ;-) And even late on a Friday night!

The bottom line is that FCP "legacy" became a platform. I'm not so sure that won't happen again, once it gets past the birthing pains.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: What we have really lost with FCP 7
on Jul 13, 2012 at 10:34:44 pm

mate - I'm not long back from work - lets not completely over-do the irish stereotype shall we? :)

its really not birthing pains bud - its just not the same expressed goal. And I liked and respected the old goal.

in the end, the ultimate issue would be that no one paying money (in london) appears inclined or willing to go anywhere near this software. or its provider.

stand to be corrected etc.

http://vimeo.com/user1590967/videos http://www.ogallchoir.net promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Oliver Peters
Re: What we have really lost with FCP 7
on Jul 14, 2012 at 12:04:47 am

[Aindreas Gallagher] "in the end, the ultimate issue would be that no one paying money (in london) appears inclined or willing to go anywhere near this software"

I certainly see the same here (Florida), but have taken some less-than-tentative steps myself on several recent projects. That's with clients in the room and real deadlines. For the most part it's been OK, but currently X is still very much an island, leading to a number of workarounds. The exception is with effects. Although RT playback performance is often quite poor, the reality is that the breadth of small, cheap/free - and very good-looking and creative - filters are coming out of the woodwork for X, like never before. That's pretty attractive. And the video signal quality is also hard to challenge.

I think the segment of the market that needs interchange with other facilities and other applications, will be best served by a combination of X/Cmpr/Mtn, FC Studio and CS6. There are some additional forces that I think will come into play and move towards the strengths of CS6 and X. For example, there is a beginning push (though small for now) to edit and master in 1080p/50 and 1080p/59.94, as well as 2K and even 4K. FCP legacy and Avid are simply not capable of working in this environment.

So give it a bit of time and I think the landscape will actually look quite different. I'm sure plenty of editors will continue to put their noses in the air about X due to the necessary changes in the editing paradigm. But the labor force is changing and $299 looks really attractive to the bean counters ;-)

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Steve Connor
Re: What we have really lost with FCP 7
on Jul 14, 2012 at 9:06:12 am

[Aindreas Gallagher] "in the end, the ultimate issue would be that no one paying money (in london) appears inclined or willing to go anywhere near this software. or its provider."

So what software have London companies been moving to?

Steve Connor
"The ripple command is just a workaround for not having a magnetic timelinel"
Adrenalin Television


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: What we have really lost with FCP 7
on Jul 14, 2012 at 3:35:37 pm

well, I'm not massively well informed but more or less no one is budging yet. - associated press has shifted everything to premiere - thats the only big substantive push I heard of - they published new working practise for all producers working with the software like.

for what I know barring that - ESPN is still FCP7, MTV Viacom commercial EMEA stuff is still FCP7, a very big web design firm I do stints at is still FCP 7, Disney EMEA is still FCP 7, GREY the advertising behometh is still FCP 7 in all suites, basically... no one has moved yet.

more than one person has said they're not inclined to move because they're happy with their pool of editors, and a lot, an awful lot of london editors are FCP - particularly short form and commercial stuff.

no one seems at all inclined to do anything hasty, and all the kit still works.

http://vimeo.com/user1590967/videos http://www.ogallchoir.net promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Steve Connor
Re: What we have really lost with FCP 7
on Jul 14, 2012 at 4:28:40 pm

[Aindreas Gallagher] "more than one person has said they're not inclined to move because they're happy with their pool of editors, and a lot, an awful lot of london editors are FCP - particularly short form and commercial stuff.

no one seems at all inclined to do anything hasty, and all the kit still works."


It must be a tricky decision for a lot of companies, the Editors will be waiting to see which way they go and vice-versa. I think if CS6 had'n been such an improvement the shift back to Avid would have been inevitable.

Steve Connor
"The ripple command is just a workaround for not having a magnetic timelinel"
Adrenalin Television


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Oliver Peters
Re: What we have really lost with FCP 7
on Jul 14, 2012 at 4:50:41 pm

[Steve Connor] " I think if CS6 had'n been such an improvement the shift back to Avid would have been inevitable."

I'm not sure it's a matter of CS6 being better. PProCS5.5 was pretty good. PProCS6 was more a UI overhaul than anything else. The Adobe approach is simply a closer fit into the FCP "legacy" workflow than Avid is. It's easier to swap FCP 7 for PProCS6 by simply replacing one cog with another. That's mainly due to XML and the easier ability to natively deal with QT files. Moving to either FCP X or Media Composer means a lot more than just changing edit software.

Right now there's a lot of push-back from the editing community. Apple currently seems to be in a mode to adjust to customer and enterprise pressure. For example:

http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/12/07/13/apple_acknowledges_mistake_pl...

I think the next update will give us the best read so far into the direction ProApps has taken. I think it will also set the decision for many.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Chris Harlan
Re: What we have really lost with FCP 7
on Jul 14, 2012 at 5:39:08 pm

[Oliver Peters] " PProCS6 was more a UI overhaul than anything else"

Of course, for most of us bobble-heads out there the UI is what its mostly about.

[Oliver Peters] "The Adobe approach is simply a closer fit into the FCP "legacy" workflow than Avid is. "

Actually, one of the things that is exciting about it, is the degree to which it is a closer fit to both FCP and MC. Sort of the best of both worlds approach. Not that they actually got the best of both worlds in all instances, but it is definitely a middle ground that I'm fond of.

One MC inovation that no one seems to want to flatter most sincerely is the Source time line. It can be amazingly useful, and one of the basic editorial elements I really like about MC. But, maybe I'm alone in fetishizing it.


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TImothy Auld
Re: What we have really lost with FCP 7
on Jul 14, 2012 at 6:31:05 pm

No, you're not alone. I find it immensely useful and miss it very much when I'm on other systems.

Tim


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Chris Harlan
Re: What we have really lost with FCP 7
on Jul 14, 2012 at 7:11:41 pm

[TImothy Auld] "No, you're not alone. I find it immensely useful and miss it very much when I'm on other systems.

Tim
"


Glad to hear! No one ever seems to mention it. You can kind of get next to it with multiple timelines in FCP7 and Pr6, but its not quite the same. Of course, when I'm in MC, I miss multiple timelines for other reasons, so it kind of evens out.


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TImothy Auld
Re: What we have really lost with FCP 7
on Jul 15, 2012 at 11:02:10 am

I also also loved that I could grab anything from the timeline in MC, throw in up in the source monitor and use it as such. Very handy and often a big time saver.

Tim


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: What we have really lost with FCP 7
on Jul 14, 2012 at 7:01:31 pm

my one day smorgasbord with avid didn't get to that - what's this source timeline?

http://vimeo.com/user1590967/videos http://www.ogallchoir.net promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Michael Hancock
Re: What we have really lost with FCP 7
on Jul 14, 2012 at 9:32:06 pm

When you load a clip or sequence into your source monitor you can toggle the timeline to show the source side, not the record side.

Super useful to mark up long takes with locators, or to load a sequence and choose exactly which tracks you might want to cut into your sequence, etc... Also how you see the source side audio waveforms.

To toggle the timeline from Record to Source, look at the bottom left of your timeline. You'll have the fast menue, the focus button, then the Source/Record toggle. When it's grey, you're looking at the record side. When it's highlighted green it's source side.

----------------
Michael Hancock
Editor


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Oliver Peters
Re: What we have really lost with FCP 7
on Jul 14, 2012 at 9:45:43 pm

[Michael Hancock] "When you load a clip or sequence into your source monitor you can toggle the timeline to show the source side, not the record side. "

About now would be a good time to point here:

http://digitalfilms.wordpress.com/2012/05/03/avid-media-composer-tips-for-t...

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Chris Harlan
Re: What we have really lost with FCP 7
on Jul 15, 2012 at 2:49:22 am

Thanks! I didn't know about that Slip Perf. command. Nice overview, too.


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Oliver Peters
Re: What we have really lost with FCP 7
on Jul 15, 2012 at 12:40:41 pm

Thanks. Steve Hullfish at PVC has been doing some switcher tips recently as well.

Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: What we have really lost with FCP 7
on Jul 14, 2012 at 7:00:11 pm

yes for sure - its almost funny at this point how tip toe it all is, my hair was on fire six months ago and absolutely nothing has changed - although I am expecting it to start shaking out to premiere in many instances - eventually - its the easiest switch I think.

I got a full day run through off a soho online editor on Avid - its a powerhouse alright - but its verrry different. Also the effect handling is, to put it mildly, weird I thought. thats not a value judgement - just that all things being equal, its hard not to see the FCP editor opting for premiere if he has the choice.

there are little hints of premiere coming in - I've seen one or two FCP job listings on mandy that also include premiere as an option.

http://vimeo.com/user1590967/videos http://www.ogallchoir.net promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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