The Dawn of a New Era

April 13, 2011

Last night was an extravaganza. An event. And yes, a bloodbath. The focus was on Final Cut Pro, the application that we know, love, and use on a daily basis. They showed off statistics boasting about its success… an installation base of over 2 million, far above its competitors and the industry standard in growth. So what do you do with a product that has a 94% satisfaction rate and has millions of adoring users?

You trash it of course.

At least, if you’re Apple that’s what you do, and that’s what they did last night. Final Cut Pro as we know it is dead. But that’s not a bad thing. Whether we knew it or not yesterday at this time, now we realize just how archaic, just how antiquated and behind the times the revolutionary piece of software was. All of sudden, the game has changed, and like a Phoenix rising from the ashes, so is Final Cut Pro X emerging from the destruction of FCP7. So, the question is, what has Apple done?

It proved all the naysayers wrong.

Those that said Apple was going to abandon the professional video market just got slapped on the face. Last night showed that Apple has put years of R&D and manpower into developing the new suite. According to Larry Jordan, there were over 2 rows of top Apple executives at the event last night, including Phil Schiller, an all-star lineup that wouldn’t get sent to a product launch they didn’t care about. Apple has not been waiting for Final Cut to die a slow death… they have been pumping it with new life.

Those that said Apple would abandon the professionals and produce an iMovie Pro were put to shame. Incredibly, there still is a vocal group that is claiming Apple trashed Final Cut for an iMovie on steroids. But those who truly use Final Cut on a daily basis realize that the only people who are saying that are the people who don’t use it. At first glance, they look remarkably similar. But when you look up in the sky at night, an airplane and a star look quite similar as well. Appearances can deceive. What Apple did was automate the tasks that required unnecessary labor, something true professionals can’t afford to waste their time on, allowing all the manpower to be spent on the creativity. For the insecure who are only good editors because they have the tolerance to handle the obnoxiously laborious tasks that others don’t want to do, this will throw them off guard. But for those who are truly confident about their ability to tell a story as well and efficiently as possible, and who put that as the goal above all else, this will come as a life-changing development. Who can tell the best story is not contingent upon who is the greatest computer wiz. It is contingent on who is the best storyteller… and that’s the way it should be.

Apple also realized something vital and made an effort to address it. Final Cut Pro is one of the most torrented Mac Applications. With the Studio costing about 1000 dollars, many would just steal it from the internet. To address this, they knocked the price of just Final Cut Pro to 299, killing the unnecessary Final Cut Express. Want to produce a home movie? Use iMovie. Want to produce a quality production with the same tools as the professionals? Use Final Cut Pro. Simple as can be. It’s important to also remember that all the features and applications weren’t shown off today. But rest assured, there’s more. The guy I talked to back late last year was really passionate about the changes Motion was going to receive in that it was going to become more Shake-esque power-wise. My guess (no inside knowledge here) is that the whole studio will be priced at 499, with Motion and Soundtrack selling individually for 99 dollars through the Mac App Store with Content packs shipping through retail. But again, just a guess.

What’s important to note is that this is just the beginning. Considering the iPhone won’t be unveiled, there’s no doubt that WWDC will reveal much more. Until then, we know this… Apple cares about its video professionals more than anybody could’ve imagined, and that they’re ready to take us into a whole new era of digital editing. I, for one, am ecstatic, and will be joining Apple on the journey.

52 Responses to “The Dawn of a New Era”

  1. Blah said

    Pretty awesome stuff right there. Can’t wait to get my little paws on it. ;)

  2. yep…they did it..the best fcp ever….june where are you…X come to daddy..

  3. Breakthrough price!

  4. Chribbe said

    This takes editing to a new level. Just love how they dare to rethink editing workflows. Well done!

  5. shooter Steve said

    Wow!! That half ass FCP X demo that showed zero features that many, many pros HAVE to use to finish programs for broadcast sure have brought the fanboys out slobbering all over themselves!!

  6. Nick said

    Steve, is it adobe or avid you work for?

  7. fcp x…adobe….avid… are not our children….use the software thats makes you happy…and get to work and make money…..what bullshit!!

  8. Stets said

    @shooterSteve Wait, you mean they didn’t spend the limited demo time they had demoing standard, expected features and instead focused on the things that were new and different?

    I for one am truly shocked and appalled.

  9. final cut x…will be the best…it will have everything…..after june we will see….I for one will get it as soon it comes out….hahahahaha to all who says it’s no good. go play with shit avid or premier.

  10. ….don’t tell me this site is dead again? don’t any one talk here….

  11. Sadly, splitting up the studio package was not a good idea, I will not be upgrading in fact I think I may just go for the adobe master collection, I can get that for a few bucks more and I really like the features you get with that platform, unlike FCP they have created a much better over all product lineup, I am disappointed.

  12. well….go with the old…if you like…but i will go with the future….the new final cut pro x..

  13. well now that it’s here…what does everyone think about the new fcp x?

  14. the Pros are going mad over at Apples support board.. most see it as iMovie Pro..

  15. Deacon said

    I am toatlly wowed and prepared to take the next step now.

  16. as the up grades come out..it will get better and better…to where it becomes # 1…

  17. Are you Daft, with more than 300 one star ratings, and hundreds of refunds, this is easily the biggest Failure Apple has ever put out, you people are sick and you need to get some help.

    This update sucks.

  18. This is Evil, you cant even open a previous project created with FCP 7, no XML, no multi cam, crashed four times in the first hour, the people that like this are the people that are not editors at all, they are imovie fans, good for youse guys, get wid dat, stuff, I also dumped my apple stock before it dropped, glad it did it now, Apple is really screwed up.

  19. michael said

    no comments from you … so was it “awesome” for you???

  20. final cut pro x …..is awesome……if you need old projects from fcp7 ..keep the old fcp on your system…90% don’t need muiti cam.but it will be there soon anyway….and a lot of the other things are there..just moved around…and FCPXIS NOT IMOVIE….it is ver1…of the best nle …out with old…in with the new…some want a faster horse….not a new car….I want the car…hahahaha FCPX

  21. mike what happen to you …what do you got to say about all this…

  22. Dear Steve Jobs

    I’m a big fan of Apple, have been for ages. I bought the iPhone 3, then the 3GS then the 4. I shelled out on a MacBook Pro and only recently invested in an iPad2. I love all that stuff, its life changing, without sounding ridiculous, for all the reasons that we know and love (could you do something about iTunes though please?).

    As a VFX professional I have often looked at Apple for the alternative ways of doing things. I have designed and installed various depts that are based around your infrastructure, and have gone to great lengths to sing your praises when the bean counters were not so sure.

    Well, I’m not sure I can anymore.

    Everyone is aware of the problems or issues, that many professional editors and post production houses have with the FCPX release. I wont go into too many of the technical details, many better and more knowledgeable folk than I have picked it apart. But suffice to say, from my point of view, there’s a few obvious glaring mishaps, such as no video out (my clients will love that), no audio export, and no backward compatibility. I’m not saying it wont be good, heck, it could be brilliant in a few releases, but that’s not the point. Its not the software release as such that I have an issue with, its the attitude that comes with it.

    How can you spend so many years, supporting the professional market, with testimonial films on your website, allowing start up companies and VFX studios to build whole departments, yet alone whole businesses that are based entirely on your software & hardware, then take it all away, with no more than a ‘we don’t do the pro market’. Its ignorant and arrogant and I would love to know what the thinking is behind it, and I don’t want to hear the numbers excuse. I don’t blame Apple for turning away from the professional market, if you can’t be bothered to compete properly with the other guys, better leave them to it, but all I would ask is a little professional courtesy and a heads up that things are changing, so we could at least prepare ourselves.

    And I’m not just talking about FCPX, that’s just one example.

    Last year I designed and built a brand new dept in a very successful, Oscar & BAFTA winning VFX company, of which I proudly still work. I convinced them to let me build it around your hardware (Mac Pros, Apple Server) all hooked up to an XSAN, with Final Cut software, working in tandem with Autodesk’s Smoke on Mac. What makes it unique is the way in which we utilise the Final Cut Server software, developing and re-writing scripts to enable us to have a truly tapeless workflow. We celebrate our 1st birthday in 2 weeks.

    About 6 months ago, we had a visit from your very own systems engineers, as they had heard we were using the FCS software in an interesting way and they wanted to see for themselves. They spent the afternoon, watching the work flow through the dept (over two physical sites, over a mile apart) and left, all in agreement that they we would have a film about our system put on the Apple website as a testimonial as soon as possible.

    Your decisions have an impact on the industry as a whole, you should know that by now, but it’s not always positive. By discontinuing Final Cut Server and no longer supporting FCP7, you have taken a workflow that you, Apple, were proud of and about to PR and ripped the heart out of it. What are the chances of you providing me with the code for the front/back end of FCS so I can develop it further as our business grows? What happens when I need a new codec supported for a tapeless camera, but you only provide it for FCPX? Why the hell did no one say ‘we aren’t releasing vsn 2.0 of FCS, in fact in 6 months, we’re killing it, be prepared’.

    There are many people out there that say ‘stop moaning, its a new way of doing things, embrace it’ which is all very well and good, and they can go and download the new FCPX, and be done with it. I like change, I love technology, but I’ve invested a lot of time and money and effort into my job, and I expect the same from the companies & suppliers that I rely on. Upgrade some software yes, adapt some hardware, of course, but don’t just pull the plug on it all.

    What will I do – adapt of course, but it wont be with Apple. I’ve been bitten by the prosumer supplier and I wont go that way again, not unless my clients want to sign off their edits via Facebook. In fact, I’ll probably buy Premier 5.5, because you know what, even that’s backward compatible with FCP7.

  23. FCPX is the way to go..it will get better and better…..it is better then fcp7 in a lot of ways now….

  24. Shooter Steve said

    It’s funny to come back to this site now that the piece of shit FCPX has dropped as I can say i told ya so. The fanboys have gone quiet.

  25. sweet molly films said

    No! I love final cut pro x….when the other nle’s grow up…they will be like fcp x…..we will see……….

  26. nick stam said

    My FCP goggles were as thick as anyones. Avid MC is my future now. FCP X was not made for pros. I do not see how anybody can disagree with that. Ron Brinkmann said it best “If you’re really a professional you shouldn’t want to be reliant on software from a company like Apple. In the end, your heart will be broken. Because they’re not reliant on you.” Right now Avid and PP is going to be progressing like crazy to grab up the pro market share. I think the one who wins between those two is the one who does the best with upper education.

  27. Shooter Steve said

    that’s funny sweet molly… i don’t know what kind of work you do but if you think FCPX is more grown up than Avid, Premiere or even FCP7 then you aren’t doing real work.

  28. sweet molly films said

    yes….in some ways it is now much more grown up then pp or avid…and this is only the beginning..by next year it will be king!!

  29. nick stam said

    Does it even have a slip tool? Am I missing something?

  30. Shooter Steve said

    sorry sweet molly films …. if you look at that Evan thing closely you’ll see that while what he says is true he glosses over all the bad things about FCPX, and there are many. Continue drinking your kool-aid and we’ll see if it sucks less next year.

  31. well shooter steve…what do you think now….about fcpx?

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