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Re: Final cut X A Diamond in the rough

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Shane Ross
Re: Final cut X A Diamond in the rough
on Jan 8, 2017 at 10:51:58 pm

This part:

"This all changed in 1999 as Apple computers launched Final Cut Pro. This was a non-linear editor that let you do a bit of online too. It streamlined the whole editing process. FCP too was met with a lot of scepticism and nobody wanted to learn the new software. But then it slowly grew on the editors and most Studios, Channels and production houses used FCP. A few films too were edited on FCP."

This is not why FCP grew very popular, very quickly. You could online in Avid too...for YEARS before FCP came out. Avid Symphony and DS were out before FCP 1. No, what made FCP so popular were a few things:

1) Cost. It was $1000. You could edit your films for $1000. Avid at the time cost $65,000-$125,000. Media 100 was a bit better, but still in the $10,000 range. Those of us working on independent films need to either rent an Avid, for A LOT of money, or beg/plead/bargain with the production companies we worked at to use the Avid at night. And we needed to shell out a lot of money for our own storage. But then FCP hit the scene, and it was cheap. Now we could buy it and run it on the Mac we already owned, or could get cheaply. CAPTURE VIDEO VIA FIREWIRE! WOW! BEfore that you needed spendy Avid cards. Now, shoot DV, or telecine your film to DV and bam, capture via firewire and you are ready to go! Or get a DV converter box. Suddenly you had a large crop of Avid editors who cut features and broadcast TV shows who were also cutting with FCP, because we had side projects and short films we were doing. We learned out of necessity. I can tell you, we all thought the interface looks a bit Fisher Price...and the funny thing it, IT NEVER CHANGED. it remained the same. BUT, well all go to using it. WE WANTED TO LEARN IT...because we could cut our projects with.

2) Cost. Yes, another COST reason. Now there was this NLE that didn't cost $65,000 that production companies could now BUY and OWN...or rent REALLY REALLY cheap. Because of that major cost savings, a lot of places jumped on this...starting with commercial and trailer houses, and then TV...and then film. But it didn't start really migrating until FCP 3...when capture hardware came out for it...MATROX, ICE...so we could now connect to professional decks. And then Digital Film Tree developed a tool to help Murch cut COLD MOUNTAIN with this...that tool because CINEMA TOOLS. And then FCP 4.5 came out, and you could capture HD via firewire! DVCPRO HD! It was when Production companies bought and started using FCP 3 and up that it was forced on some editors who hated it...most still do. But it really REALLY took off because a very large group of editors already knew it, because they cut their own stuff with it...and kids in film school were learning it, so you had this new crop of editors coming in that new it, alongside the many old guard that knew it.

3) Streamlined the process...yes this did happen. Suddenly you could capture without ANY compression many HD formats, DVCPRO HD, HDV...and then make titles with Motion, send to COLOR, go back to FCP and add your titles. Rather than onlining in Avid, outputting to tape, color correcting tape to tape with DaVinci, capture back into Avid to add titles, then output to tape again. Although you could still grade in Avid Symphony, it wasn't as good as other options...still isn't, which is why those other options existed.

But it all boils down to cost. That's what drove Avid to drop the cost of it's software. That's what revolutionized the NLE and how it skyrocketed to popularity. New filmmakers had access to editing tools, older filmmakers had access to editing tools. And this all happened during the DV revolution as well, so you had a LOT GOING ON!

But then Apple dropped the ball with FCX...big time. At least in the professional film and TV world. FCX is a MAJOR force in most other aspects of editing. FCP 7 required all sorts of professional know how and conversions...FCX did away with all that, you didn't need to convert stuff, or it could do it in the background. You didn't need to know lots of workflows...it made things easier for new editors to learn...and for expansion in other markets that was really really needed. Apple dropped the professional Film and TV market, for the much larger editing marketplace...wedding, corporate, web, realty, new filmmakers. Film and TV account for 2% of content creation. And it is still the most popular NLE out there...selling over a million (if not two million) copies. Avid is in the 200,000 range...not sure where Premiere is.

FCX bungled the release so bad that it leaves a bad taste in the mouth of many of the people who were the champions of the original FCP. We were burned...and it's tough to see past that. Avid burned us too, and it's taken us a LOT to trust them again, but they have earned it, and continue to earn it.

FCX's growth in the pro TV and film market will be VERY VERY slow compared to FCP Legacy. The conditions aren't the same. There is not longer the same need for really cheap software in this arena. We have it. WE have access to the tools we need. And Premiere is similar enough to FCP Legacy, and Avid, that we can use that if we want...we don't need to learn a whole new way of doing things. And FCX still doesn't offer slick solutions to situations where Avid excels (multiple editors on one project)...it's close to the way it was done on Legacy.

So that's why FCX is so slow to break into the FILM/TV market. It doesn't fulfill needs we have. The current tools do what we need. Yes, FCX can do some things better...but many of us don't feel they are enough to justify spending months learning FCX's interesting language, and unique way of doing things. It is happening, we all know this. But it won't happen in the same time as it did with FCP legacy...it might take another 10+ years...if that. Apple doesn't seem to be interested in our market...it is happy with the "new markets' and "new mediums.' And those mediums are also poised to take over Film/TV...so when they take over, perhaps FCX will as well. (In order for FCX to work in a professional film/TV market, it needs to rely on a good half dozen or more third party apps to make it function properly. THAT is how interested Apple is in our market...)

Shane
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Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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