FCP X Review

I just read Philip Bloom's blog where he asked 7 different professional editors who use FCPX to write about their experiences with it. Coincidentally enough, after last week's update to version 10.0.3, I decided to give FCPX another shot. I haven't looked back. I've been using it to edit a series of marketing videos for a professional client of mine, and I'm loving every minute. The new Final Cut really works! It is fast, intuitive, and the metadata used for media management is extremely powerful.   

For editors who have spent years with traditional track based NLE's making the leap can be daunting. Our minds and muscle memory need to overcome the fact that this is a completely different way to think about an editing system. The hardest part is getting past the learning curve and forgetting the old ideas of NLE's. Once you start get past all that, you realize that editing in FCPX is extremely organic and a tactile process. This software is definitely touch oriented. The magnetic timeline makes moving shots and scenes around so simple. I hope that the engineers at Apple are planing a touch screen release for the iPad or another touchscreen device in the future. I really think that that is the next step in editing.

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My coffee table/edit suiteI traditionally edit at my desk with a dual display, mouse, and a keyboard, but using the trackpad on my laptop is really what I think this system is made for. The last three days working from home have been spent on my couch with a portable G-Raid drive connected via Firewire 800 to my 17 inch Macbook Pro. I'm having a blast. Who wouldn't want to work from their couch? When I need a break, I can move back to the desk and use a real mouse, but honestly, I haven't needed to. This platform is just too much fun.  In fact, I think I may purchase a Magic Trackpad from Apple for when I'm working at my desk.

I also work in Final Cut Pro 6 and Adobe Premiere Pro 5.5, but I don't know if I like the idea of going back to them. FCP6 is great, and there will always be a soft spot in my heart for it. Premiere is a useful tool, but as I've told my colleagues, "It's still Premiere." I just cant get past the fact that it feels clunky. It's more like a piece of software than a creative tool. I don't want to think like a computer geek when I'm editing. I'll keep both of the old platforms around because I have projects that were cut with them. I'm definitely leaning towards an FCPX workflow switch though. Some of my clients hire me as a producer/shooter/editor, and that is why for me, FCPX makes a lot of sense.  I can go through the entire post production process in one platform. That is a major time and energy saver. 

I will admit that I was reluctant to try Final Cut Pro X. I was partially afraid of change and partially swayed by negative reviews and bashing by "old school" editors on the internet. I came to the realization that as a content creator, if I don't keep myself on the cutting edge of  technology, what is the point?  Knowing that I am among the first in the world to work professionally with FCPX helps create a drive in me to succeed. It is in my personal interest to stay on the cutting edge, and not follow the pack. After all, isn't that one of the reasons that great entrepreneurs achieve success?

In the past, I have taught editing on Avid and Final Cut 7 at Monmouth University. I wish I was doing it now on FCPX.  There is something about this software that just thinks like an editor.  There are fewer technical steps involved in making the creative decisions. I used to tell my students that I doesn't matter what you use to edit. The software is just a tool. FCPX just feels less like a tool. For students with zero editing experience there will be practically no learning curve to overcome with this software, and since so many people are familiar with iMovie, the transition to FCPX just makes sense.

I strongly recommend giving Final Cut Pro X a try or a second chance.  Version 10.0.3 has really added a lot of professional usability to the system. If you need some help learning, IzzyVideo has the best video tutorial I've found so far, and it is completely free! Or, you can aways connect with me on Twitter @patrickperrotto.