Taking Advantage

For some reason, my new blog has turned into a Final Cut Pro X blog. I swear I'll get to some training!

In the meantime, there are some deals out there brought on by Apple's FCPX release. Avid had been advertising Final Cut Pro crossgrade discounts the moment Apple demoed at NAB this past April. While Final Cut Pro 7 and Avid are both industry leading NLE's in Hollywood and other large productions, Adobe is becoming more attractive to the lower to mid-level post and edit house.

Anyone using Premiere Pro in the past remembers how slow or what a complete waste CS4 was. But, Adobe has come around with many new (well new last year) and exciting features with CS5 (now CS5.5). It's always good to have as many tools at your disposal as possible, especially when you are in a business of servicing other editors or consuming edits for print-to-tape and other processes. Now that Adobe sees their opportunity to take some of the rather small fraction of editors leaving the FCP world, they are offering some great deals. Premiere Pro is 50% off, totaling $399 and the CS5.5 Production Premium at $849 (with discount code SWITCH).

Premiere Pro + After Effects + Photoshop Extended = $849

Whether you like Premiere or not, this is a great deal to get another license of Photoshop and After Effects. I can't say that I would use any other piece of the suite, and can't really suggest anyone spend time learning Encore or Audition—or even Flash for that matter. But the main pieces of the suite are very useful. If you are a small to mid-level production house and want to add another seat or another tool to your box, it's not a bad time to buy. Who cares if you hate Premiere's slowness with QT files! It's still AE and PS!

Honestly, I have never seen Adobe do a discount like this. It proves that their life is only in charging for CS updates, though. And the larger the userbase, the more upgrades they can sell with minor additions to each CS release. Did we upgrade to CS5.5? No. Will it have saved us any money going from CS5 to CS6? Probably not. But, it is what it is and Adobe does hold a few software footholds in the professional and semi-professional world.

Does that mean you can't make professional work in Final Cut Pro X?

No. Not in the slightest. But if all the features are enticing and seem to meet your needs, here are a few "gotchas" with the current version of FCPX.

  1. If your current pipeline consists of EDLs, Final Cut Pro X won't work for you (and probably won't ever)
  2. If you are currently working with RedRAW and want to roundtrip and edit into Color or DaVinci, FCPX won't fit for you (although there are a few workarounds)
  3. If you consistently export XML to a ProTools or Logic suite for sound mixing, FCPX won't work unless you have Automatic Duck for exporting (FCPX code shows XML export, but who knows when Apple will turn it on)
  4. If your projects depend on multi-cam editing for lengthy events, FCPX isn't for you right now (but Apple plans on adding this as a feature and will probably be much smoother and efficient than FCP7)
  5. If you have specific needs and workflows on Fiber Raid drives for asset storage and file share and don't want to look into changing anything now or ever, FCPX isn't for you.

But, who is this for?

  1. If you shoot DSLR or sync-sound and match with PluralEyes or manually, FCPX can save you a ton of time!
  2. If you are a single editor, FCPX is for you.
  3. If you work with a small-medium team editing and are tired of 10year old methodology, then FCPX offers a faster workflow than any of the other NLE's
  4. Do you want to make advanced audio adjustments in the timeline without round-tripping to Soundtrack Pro? FCPX is great.
  5. Tired of dropping in basic AE project files into Premiere and waiting to render? Motion 5 integrated projects with the "share" function gives editors unparalleled control without any rendering needed. Sure this means you might be learning Motion for the first time, but for editing speed and creativity, it's worth it!

At the end of the day these are all tools

None of these NLE's do the work for you. It's still your job to tell a story, take away distractions, deliver a project and meet a deadline. You don't have to be a fanboy to do great work. The talented storyteller can make anything work, from Avid or Smoke to iMovie on the iPad.

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