People don’t like change. That’s why the zombie apocalypse started years ago. Life is change. Zombies don’t change; they deteriorate. Maybe I shouldn’t use such lofty clichés when describing software but most whining I’ve heard about Apple’s update of Final Cut Pro X have come from people who don’t even get the most out of its predecessor.
I had a project that I needed to get out of the door FAST. I had never launched FCP X before but I figured that it had to handle the cornucopia of fruity formats much better than the graceless FCP 7. Correct. SD 29.97, HDV 60i, DV 16×9, stills audio, ProRes 8 all got dumped in from a USB2 drive and were instantly editable. I did have to pause at the interface. Instantaneously I hated the iMovie look. However, I could actually see the text without using an electron microscope which necessary for all prior versions of FCP (I started at v 1.0.2). Many of the basic hot keys were the same but I could figure out where slide/slip was. It didn’t matter. I just had to chop and position.
Now I’m certain that several things aren’t right with FCPX but outright dismissing it as a toy is crotchety whiney b.s. The app edits fast, renders fast, background renders fast and got the job done on a 20 minute EPK. The same job on FCP 7 wouldn’t have made the deadline. In my years, I’ve yet to use Flint, Flame, nor any of that other bizillion dollar Quantel shit. But that’s like saying I can’t drive because I don’t have a Formula One rig. Well, Formula One doesn’t do shit for me in a post-apocalyptic street race with pot holes and cannibal snipers at every corner.
I’ve since edited a 2 hour 45 minute project and a few other long form things. I can see why someone whose main gig is invested in their rig being specific and familiar. I’m still learning the program by fire so I’m still missing elements that I knew instantaneously in FCP 6 and 7. However, I don’t think I have ever cut anything as quickly before with any other editing app. It’s not only the faster hardware (as I would like to max out the RAM before sending it to its rightful owner). It’s just easy as hell to drop footage in and move. Now, I going back to finishing the first real cut of this documentary that has been kicking my ass for years now. 9 hours of footage getting chopped down to an hour. Fun times.