TTFN Final Cut / by Victor Currie

Last post, I detailed how I saw the Final Cut Pro X debacle from the perspective of a user of a lot of different editorial/finishing solutions over the decades.

With some testing under my belt now, I'm saying goodbye to the program until (if) Apple gets its act together and makes it work for collaborative workflow.

I've been using Final Cut Pro for the last five years, but I'm not a fanatic about it like many others. It's functional, and I vastly prefer Apple hardware and OSX to Windows.  It was better than Adobe Premier Pro at the time when I started using it, and I wasn't an Avid interface fan.

Unfortunately, Final Cut Pro 7/Final Cut Studio 3 is stuck in 32-bit architecture land, which is fine for people working in HDV and the like, but for those of us moving video and still files around from our Canon 5D Mark IIs and the like, it's way to slow and plodding.

I've been using Premier Pro intermittently for the last eight months or so for two main reasons: It saw HDSLR files natively in the timeline, and it was built on 64-bit architecture, so for the 70+ percent of what I've recently cut, it was a vastly faster workflow.

While I was initially impressed with FCPX's speed at working with HDSLR files in the timeline, and love the background transcoding to ProRes, it just doesn't work for me.  I hate the "events" based file structure, and it's just too clunky right now.  While I usually count on Apple to point the way to the future in design, completely eliminating the ability for professional filmmakers to work intuitively eliminates any speed advantages that the program and its keyword-based search capabilities.

There's a lot of great potential in the program.  In fact, it's that potential that Apple showed off in pre-release previews that probably backfired on them.  The integration of some of Color's functionality, and the auto-match clips idea are huge.  But that's not enough when you can't work happily with others.  As a producer, I often look to others to do animations and other services that are out of my editorial skill set.  And on larger projects when I'm either directing or producing and having someone else post, I--and everyone I know--need a collaborative workflow.

So for now, I'll just bye for now to Final Cut, and hope that the inevitable updates will make it worth coming back.  And thanks to Apple for waiving their rules about not refunding App Store purchase and giving me my money back.  I'll  be using it for the Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 upgrade.