APPLE FINAL CUT PRO: Apple Final Cut Pro X FCPX Debates FCP Legacy FCP Tutorials

Re: FCP-X and misrepresentation

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Evan Schechtman
Re: FCP-X and misrepresentation
on Dec 3, 2013 at 3:31:31 am

Hey Bob,
I have never replied to a post in my life, but since my public actions and business practices are so provocative to you, I thought I can at least answer some of your questions and offer a bit of an insight. Its a great reminder that when you put yourself out there, someone will remember and hold your feet to the fire. That is why I mean what I say, when I say it.

On its release( FCPX), I was quoted in an article that "People who make rash decisions in technology are idiots!" Of course I was called the idiot.

Apple doesn't need me to defend them, and I don't defend their actions or foolishness in the way the transition was communicated. It is a transition. I addressed two real major issues in my speech.

First was our emotional response to technical change. An understandable one, as we all make our living using tools we don't make, for the most part. Of course highlighting change is a constant. We all wanted change but not this much, this fast-and not tied in a bow. The second issue was that it was time for a major technological shift- at the core- and within this a few items. What defines "Professional", hardware at base design level? What does our OS need to manage more files than ever, larger images than ever? How do we really go faster? What does our storytelling tool really need to do for me in an ecosystem of inexpensive specialized tools?

The GPU is now king for the professional Apps I use. The CPU while still important has been de-emphizsed as a primary indicator of media application performance. For those Applications that use it. There are of course ways of supporting multiple GPU’s now, and in the PC and gaming world its common. And DSP cards and other accelerators have been around for years, but lets be real- I use my blue ice card as an ashtray now. I need the the new MacPro. I want a solid state machine with stock dual GPU configs, that are a set of tasty badasses. We needed multiple GPU support at OS level. We needed Thunderbolt 2 to support any performance on GPU breakouts that can make a difference.

We are there now. The company that everyone said does not care about the professional has- designed a machine from scratch to a modern spec. Not a small Investment on their part. An investment. (sure we can sit here for an hour and complain about how I can’t rack mount it, and need to hot glue Thunderbolt connectors to the back of it and my storage).

Mavericks to me, is the first “professional" OS. I can list the ways but I will sound like an ad. XSAN (not for everyone) is built in.

And FCPX, is an editor built on a modern engine, on top of a modern OS with new media underpinnings, soon to run on top of custom made hardware with ridiculously fast but not perfectly practical built in IO.

For me, when I look around, I call that all built for the professional.

As for Radical. Our transition has been interesting. And is coming to a head in the next few weeks. Many of us use FCPX. The facility is 95% FCP, sure. And has been the entire year. I am glad you used the date in your post to emphasize the uncovering of this horrible conspiracy. We used FCPX on real client work around 10.0.3/4. Overall there was no doubt then that there were many things that showed me that this was the future. There were to many things missing. It was not the Macro sized changes that were the real show stopper, it was the micro things that were missing and the lack of an efficient way to collaborate that made us wait to roll it out. Many of us began to use it on our own, and in some areas, including myself, I did not do any work in 7 last year. My use is quite different however. Over the months we got through 9 releases? Some pretty major. We are awaiting the new release that had been announced.

The application has come a long way, completing a picture of the role metadata really can play. We saw what looked like course corrections and many meaningful additions. We got to see their approach, and commitment. We also got to see what Apple is leaving to the third parties. I am a fan of them leaving the niche and highly specific to the dev community to do, and focus on core features, speed and infrastructure.

We are ready to roll it out on 2 major jobs that are starting fairly soon, we are working on timing. During the year I can say with certainty, when in an engineering staff transition that I observed clever workarounds and “workflows” in FCP7 that get the job done, but are clumsy and time intensive. Almost every time I needed to look for solution, FCPX had a FUNDAMENTAL feature that was the answer- On multi cam stuff, and on 3D workflow as compared to Premiere- easily for what I needed.

And for Premiere, its awesome in that its super capable. It works with everything. It has GPU acceleration kind of. Its dynamic link for many people is the key. We did a big job on premiere, in 3D, on a beefy box, for a big director. Like anything- if we chose that path, we would find the hardware formula to dial in just so, but we did not find that on this job. The job had some nutty requirements, and FCPX was in the mix, where it clearly outshines Premiere in a few key areas of core workflow. FCPX slaughters everyone at actual speed, You have been using it, so I hope we can agree on that. I will have Premiere in the studio for sure. We will need it from time to time. It does things no one else does. I started on Premiere. When deck control cost extra from Pipeline. Seems history repeats.

We had a media 100 and two Avids back in 99 when I got together with Radical.
We have only had a few Avids over the years, the last big one was 2002 or 3 for Metalica because David Zeiff wanted one. He largely used FCP7 shortly after that, and some Avid. There were two Adeline systems when I was doing Miramax work for a year. There are four seats floating around now when we need to use them or someone requests in- in what is largely an edge case. We use 3rd party software to get it on XSAN and it works. Did you do the Avids back in the day for us?

I have to worry about the staff. Editors, Assistants, Engineers, Producers, and Clients. There will be a learning curve, for sure- and it will cost time and money, no doubt. It has to happen and If I am going to disrupt the facility for a major shift, it will be when I feel the tool has come to enough maturity - and not to learn a different version of the old thing. They need to be trained, and we needed to secure additional people to ensure a smooth transition. And, personally speaking - I have had it with FCP 7. Its not fit for the work we do, they way we want to do it. I knew it would show itself when it was time.

I don’t need to tell you that planning a migration takes time.And there are surely plenty of gotchas. Through my live testing, during the “transition” we realized the real value of the GPU, and what ram does to a 64 bit App. VaVooom. All machines will be brought to an absolute minimum of 16gb ram, and all will have gpus with a min of 1gb. Many machines that had 512’s swapped were new again for HD pro res.

All this is not to mention what OS I run, and there is the meta-data controllers. Will they even run the new OS? I am not migrating on a .0 release. I use open directory- do I continue, how do I migrate that? What does Apple keep doing to the server version of the OS? What will Applecare do for me? Why did Lost end so badly?

These things suck. How could they do this to us? Its an imperfect system. Its the cost of change. Constant change. It is what it is, and keeps us employed and keeps me planning and timing and waiting for the entire picture to present itself. It takes time and money to transition. Period.

I have kept my word, and explored all avenues during the transition. I have let the situation breath. The actual transition is coming and in 2014 and we will full scale test it on two important jobs. A real investment Radical will make. I don’t take it lightly- I judged when it would be time. I will put my money where my mouth is as it were- and pass or fail you can post it here. I think I used up all my energy to respond to it in this one go however.

I hope this has answered your questions and criticisms directly, I am very easy to find and happy to speak to you at length should you have the desire.

Sure, I may sound like an ad for Apple, but I am literally just telling you why I choose what I do. It feels like the right choice to me. Maybe it is me who is the idiot?

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