FCP X and the Future of Editing

This article by David Leitner at Filmmaker magazine is an excellent read for a film and video editor in 2012.

On the software side, why perpetuate dual source/record windows from 1970s tape editing, or interface metaphors adapted in the 1980s from film editing (Avid Media Composer), or 1990s timeline design (Final Cut Pro 7)? Why not exploit this 64-bit great leap forward in speed and processing to rethink, perhaps even reinvent, editing for the coming file-based century?

It’s been almost a year and a half since Apple bungled the launch of Final Cut Pro X.  Since then the software has quietly improved over time, receiving 6 updates and chipping away at the list of missing “must have” features, and I think Apple will be vindicated for their decision to wipe the slate clean and start over.  It was blasphemy in June 2011 to think that FCP X couldn’t capture from broadcast videotape, but today it’s almost a quaint novelty when I do just that.  It’s a similar story for the lowly edit decision list.  What do you mean I can’t generate an EDL in X?  As with most remaining holes in Final Cut Pro, there’s an app for that.  Third parties have stepped in to meet practically any niche need that the pro editor might have.

So, what tool am I using to edit today?  Final Cut Pro 7.  But I’m not happy about it.  As editors we are never really “done” with what we’re working on, which makes shifting to a new platform a great big challenge.  I currently have several ongoing jobs that span months.  The shift is coming, however, and I’m ready for it.