Final Cut Pro X: Filmmakers Remain Skeptical

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Apple's Final Cut Pro X

Apple’s Final Cut Pro X:
POV readers chimed in

A few weeks ago I wrote about the backlash against Apple’s release of Final Cut Pro X, asking you for your thoughts about the new software and how you’re making the decision to upgrade (or disregard).

Released back in late June 2011, positive buzz surrounded the release of Final Cut Pro X, but that quickly faded as editors got hold of the software. The blogosphere erupted over key missing features, with opponents jokingly referring to the new software as “iMovie Pro” and threatening to jump ship to rival platforms.

Here are some comments POV readers have added to our discussion since July…

Filmmaker Aron Gaudet (The Way We Get By, POV 2010) summed it up this way: “I was very excited to give it a try, but after the initial backlash I’ve put it on hold until I can let the dust settle and see if it’s worth it or not. From everything I’ve read, it seems there are least a few key things missing from FCP X that will need to be addressed before I would make the switch and test it out.”

Video editor John W. left a message on our blog chiding Apple for a software launch that was disrespectful to its customers: “The dust is starting to settle on the fallout already, with many people I know planning their exit strategies from the FCP platform. Features are one thing, but on the other hand, the sheer hubris of how Apple handled the release — and how they treated their end-users and their third-party hardware vendors — more than anything else convinced me that the best defense against this happening again is to maintain a diversified skill set and an agnosticism toward software platforms and computer brands. ”

Filmmaker Angela Tucker (Election Day, POV 2008) also chimed in: “I’ve been happy w/FCP 7 so am in total denial over FCPX. When people say they’re thinking of going back to Premiere, it’s bad!”

Film professional Abe Greenwald tweeted to @povdocs, “I haven’t decided if #fcpx is the introduction of New Coke or automatic transmission in cars. I’m hoping it’s the latter.”

Trevor Meier offered the only positive review of Final Cut Pro X we received on our blog: “I think what it really offers is a new paradigm more tightly focused around tools that aid storytelling in the edit, along with a lean & mean foundation good for another decade or so.  While I was initially looking over at Media Composer (and gave Premiere a solid look) FCPX is slowly starting to win me over. We’ll see what the next few versions bring.”

On the official Final Cut Pro X FAQ, Apple insists FCP X “has impressed many pro editors, and it has also generated a lot of discussion in the pro video community.” Apple uses the word discussion here as a euphemism for criticism. In many instances, it says new features will be rolled out later this year, but based on my conversations from working editors, that’s not likely to win them all over.

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Alva French
Alva French
Alva French is a freelance multimedia journalist and was a POV Digital intern in Summer 2011. She has been blogging on French and Francophone music, politics and culture since 2007 and is an aspiring documentary filmmaker. Alva is currently an M.A. candidate in International Reporting at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.