Archive for April, 2011

Apple Previews Final Cut Pro X

Final Cut Pro X

A semi-late update in early May 2011 (I forgot to add this in earlier), but here’s some video of the event:

I was up late last night following a couple of Twitter feeds last night to see what Apple was going to do at the 2011 NAB SuperMeet in Las Vegas. As we found out to be the truth, Apple bumped Canon, Avid and indie directing hero Kevin Smith from speaking, so they could preview Final Cut Pro X!

I’ve been a video editor since 1995, when I learned how to cut via 16mm film and tape-to-tape (essentially two tape decks with a control, a.k.a., linear editing), then I went non-linear in 1999, first with Adobe Premiere 5.1, then Apple Final Cut Pro 1.0. I never looked back, and even though I’ve used Premiere Pro, Avid XPress and Media Composer and even Sony Vegas Pro, I will stick with Final Cut Pro. 12 years and counting! I’ve cut a few feature films, numerous short films, commercials, music videos, corporate videos, etc.

Anyway, Apple has usually just evolved FCP; in 2003, I believe, they introduced FCP 4, which changed the user interface (UI) a bit, but more or less stayed the same. Most NLEs (non-linear editors) tend to do this, usually adding things “under the hood” and new features. Well, Final Cut Pro X is completely re-written, and I’m happy with it, but I’m also a little nervous… as an editor, I’ve become very accustomed to how FCP works, so a new UI can be intimidating. But, it’s time for a revolution.

However, some very welcome features, like background rendering and editing while still ingesting footage, was something Sony Vegas Pro has been doing for years. I remember seeing my colleague Douglas Spotted Eagle demoing just that during our HDV US tour, back in the fall of 2005. But I’m VERY happy Apple is bringing these and other brilliant features (scaling up to 4K? Yes please!) to Final Cut Pro X!

Here is a good write-up of the new features, and Larry Jordan, FCP expert and trainer, weighs in and provides some official Apple images, especially since he saw a similar demo back in February 2011. Regardless, it’ll cost $299 and will be available June 2011 from the Mac App Store! Wow! (To be honest, I had a feeling they’d lower the price point.)

Apparently this is just a “taste,” so I’m sure we’ll learn about the other Final Cut Studio apps, such as Motion, Soundtrack Pro, etc. I think elements of the apps are built-in, but Apple will probably release them, a la carte, in June. Hopefully very affordable, too, so us editors can really justify upgrading.

Stay tuned!