Editors familiar with Final Cut Pro’s history know that the legacy version of the application gained some major traction in the pro marketplace following Walter Murch’s decision to edit 2003’s Cold Mountain with FCP. Over a decade later (and almost three years after its release) Final Cut Pro X is on the edge of a similar game changer.
This week, fcp.co linked to a ten minute presentation from Neil Smith from LumaForge at the Digital Cinema Society meeting last month. Smith describes (without giving names) how a major Hollywood studio is editing a “100 million dollar movie” using six Final Cut Pro X workstations running Mavericks and connected to an Xsan. In listening to the details that Smith lays out, it was surmised by fcp.co forum member Ronny Courtens that the film in question is Focus, starring Will Smith.
The obvious question: why is a Hollywood studio going against the Avid grain to cut a motion picture in X? According to Neil Smith, the directors themselves are the driving force- they have been editing with FCPX on their MacBook Pros for two years and insisted upon using it for this feature. The studio pushed back, but the the film’s producer had enough clout and sided with the directors, and they got their way. They touted the creative power and flexibility of X as well as the relatively low cost of the buildout as the main reasons behind their decision.
2014 should be a tipping point for Final Cut Pro, one that’s been in the making for quite some time. New Mac Pros will (finally) be arriving in editors’ hands, and the solid upgrade to version 10.1 (its 10th revision since 2011) brings FCP to a new level of capability in a shared professional environment.