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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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