Wednesday, June 22, 2011

X Marks The Spot

Ahhhh... between my last post and this post, much has happened. Many projects have been completed, many edit hours churned out and I've added a few new clients to my company and freelance list. Haven't had a proper break for more than a year and a half (but finally, a short beach getaway is coming right up) but those edits ain't gonna edit themselves, are they? :)

In fact, I've been so busy with pre/prod/post that I've not had the chance to upload some of our latest works online.  Though I've managed to squeeze two more new videos online - both fun to work with, on shoot and in post:

TV Commercial for our long-time theater client, Toy Factory, for their "881 - The Musical" production. Heard the musical sold very well and was well-received by the audience - kudos!

Something fun for another returning client, OpenNet. Where do you get such nimble and expressive hands? HINT: Editing develops agility and a good sense of rhythm ;)


BUT, the Biggest, Baddest, most Bombastic Breaking News of all broke a coupla' hours ago:

FCP X is (finally) here

It's only been a few hours and there has been a lot of online chatter about The X. I've seen the official intro video and read about the features, comments and hot-off-the-keyboards reviews (not to forget, the key omissions). Not being an early adopter of technology (but only staying ahead of the news without burning holes in my pockets), I'm going to adopt my usual 'Wait and See' approach.

Afterall, I am running a fairly stable (though sometimes quirky) FCP 6.0 system on 10.5 Leopard on a 2009 Mac Pro and... it works. I am very familiar with & fairly fast on it. I have more than a few current and pending projects - and lots more that I'll need to be able to tap into in case clients come back (a key omission in The X) - and clients have been coming back to update their videos recently.

The lack of OMF exporting feature in FCP X makes it a definite no-go for me as well. BUT from comments made by editors that Apple Dev team consults with, these "pro" features are currently omitted but not forgotten. Which suits me just fine - shall await a more stable and feature-complete package before making the switch. It's a complete rewrite, so surely, I'm not going to bank on it to be The One on first try (even though many people seem pretty upset by having their expectations shattered after waiting so long... as for me, I have too much patience. I can wait.)

In the meantime, I am grateful for the early adopters and FCP fanatics who had already started editing projects with FCP X mere hours after its release! For they will probably be the ones to stress the system and discover the 101 flaws and bugs that Apple will work on for its next update...

Moving to FCP X would probably be inevitable but does not have to be imminent for my shop. I can see FCP X potentially being very useful around here (once I get up to speed with the new.... almost-everything + the professional features get worked in and stabilized + all my paid plugins get their necessary updates) - we're a small shop and almost all our projects are short-form and not more than 20mins, we work with tapeless formats 70% of the time and deliver tapeless for majority of our clients as well.

I would be lying if I say I'm not equally thrilled AND spooked by the really low price point at US$299.99 - thrilled that for such a low price, I can get a whole buncha bells, whistles, SFX and templates bundled with a spanking new NLE; spooked because now really EVERYBODY can just get an iMac/MacBook Pro and be an editor/run a production house/set up their own internal post-production team. We're already experiencing some sort of stagnation of project prices despite high inflation... so this can be quite disconcerting.

Hardware and software-wise, the barriers to entry have really been dropped low. In terms of experience and expertise? It's probably going to remain difficult to explain the value-add of having an "education" (formal or usually, non-formal and in the "real world", supplemented by copious amounts of good, updated reading/viewing materials online).

In any case, I think many people are still reeling from the shock of finally coming face-to-face with the much-anticipated, spanking new FCP that looks and behaves so differently from its ancestors... hobbling along more like an iMovie Pro/crippled Final Cut Pro.

The release of the news came a little underwhelming but I guess life (and edits) will go on... to bed, I shall. Regardless of NLE, nothing can replace a clear mind when pressing them JKL keys!